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HTPC around $900

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April 21, 2011 6:13:53 AM

Please give some recommendations for my system. What parts would you use? :) 

Approximate Purchase Date: unknown


Budget Range:
800 - $950

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
home theater with 7.2 sound (DTS and Dolby) , video conversion and editing, games


Parts Not Required:
keyboard, mouse, speakers
Old parts will be used until more money is ready.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
http://newegg.com tigerdirect.com, avadirect, frys.com Tiger Direct Amazon store, official amazon.com dealers, or any reliable stores


Country of Origin: U.S. southeast


Stores: newegg.com,frys.com, tigerdirect.com, avadirect

Monitor: 24" $180 recommendation

CASE: Cooler Master HAF 912
http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/landing/haf912/home.php

PSU: ENERMAX PRO87+ EPG500AWT 500W
http://www.ecomastertek.com/psu_epg500awt.php

Motherboard: Asrock P67 Extreme4
http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=P67%20Extre...

RAM: please recommend a 2X2 set
2X2GB DDR3 1333 1.35v - 1.50v

CPU: Core i5 2500k

GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 6850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-121-...

Optical: Samsung Blu Ray SH-B123L
http://www.newegg.com/Store/BrandSubCategory.aspx?Brand...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2 channel tv tuner

HD video capture card

Software: video editing and conversion
free or $50


More about : htpc 900

Best solution

April 21, 2011 2:17:35 PM

I don't think you may 'qualify' your build as an **HTPC**

... and you really don't need a 700-850w PSU - nor a sound card (or video card) for that matter

Go small and save your media over your GLAN -- use a separate rig for transcoding/editing.

:) 
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April 21, 2011 4:35:17 PM

Quote:
and you really don't need a 700-850w PSU - nor a sound card (or video card) for that matter
You're right about the video card. A Celeron 340 2.93Ghz can play 720p with MPC and FFMpeg. Imagine what a Core i5 can do! I will drop the sound card if the integrated audio doesn't have noticeable noise/interference.
Quote:
Go small and save your media over your GLAN -- use a separate rig for transcoding/editing.

Thanks for the idea. My current pc is almost identical to this. http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00... How would that case be for a media server?
Quote:
Nvidia is the worse for HD playback and hardware transcoding quality, get one only if you use CUDA or something. You should use software (CPU) transcoding or Quick Sync or AMD's APP.
Software has the best quality. Intel Quick Sync was faster but with inconsistencies. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
Thank you both for help :bounce: 
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April 21, 2011 11:38:56 PM

Best answer selected by Skibicki.
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April 22, 2011 12:41:08 AM

mosox said:
Nvidia is the worse for HD playback.
Why? Is that true for all models?
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April 23, 2011 5:34:15 PM

What's the plan, here, chief? Where do we want to end up?

Are you going to establish a budget home theater with an LCD/plasma/projector? Going with a kick-ice 7.1 (or .2?) surround for the frugal-minded? Are you looking to build a substantial media library or is this just a PC to view some nice movies from time-to-time?

There are a number of issues with the SB that don't get a great deal of promotion. It won't do 23.97 film so that becomes dependent upon your video card; and if you use a video card you have to find a work-around to enable Quick Sync (Intel's best work-around so far is to enable a second monitor through the integrated graphics).

On-board sound will handle your audio most likely without any complaint so passing it to a surround receiver (even a low-budget one) will work just dandy, BUT ...

PowerDVD9 (which comes with your optical drive) will only pass 2.1 so you have to upgrade to P-DVD10 Ultra for T-HD 7.1 (minimum cost: $60).

If you are building a digital media library from your old DVDs and CDs you will need some ripping software --- check out FreeRip and AnyDVD (costs around $100).

And here's the deal with transcoding: ""Ain't worth the effort""

To be frank (actually, my name is Rob :whistle:  ) you can get decent quality at a reduced file size and bit rate, but Quick Sync is more geared toward lower-rez output for portables. It is a little faster at 'standard' transcoding but as you build your library it just starts to be a really large PITA to transcode everything, especially if you are capturing OTA TV for your library. The bottom line is:

HDDs are Cheap! You can put 125 dual-layer DVDs on a $60 1TB HDD without compression, so my advice to you is ""Rip it, and forget it""

As far as OTA television captures, an hour-long program is around 5GB with 1/3 commercials. Snag VideoRedo for around $70 to strip out the commercials and it will convert the TP stream to MPG with no compression in less than 3 minutes while doing so (with any modern processor). That's around 300 episodes of "Melrose Place" per $60 1TB HDD without compression.

Now. What's your question, again? :lol: 



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April 24, 2011 2:15:13 AM

Thank you again. :) 

Quote:
Are you going to establish a budget home theater with an LCD/plasma/projector? Going with a kick-ice 7.1 (or .2?) surround for the frugal-minded? Are you looking to build a substantial media library or is this just a PC to view some nice movies from time-to-time?
DOH! htpc was a dumb thing to put in the title, plus the budget range is off. My idea is closer to a multipurpose system with emphasis on high quality standard and HD playback. A mid or full tower if possible.

features

strong video playback and recording (high image quality, DVD upscaling, hardware acceleration, deinterlacing, good colors and contrast, post processing... etc) ati vs nvidia?

sound: 7.1 DTS - Dolby

AV conversion/editing

space for tv tuner and capture card install

fast wireless




















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April 27, 2011 1:55:32 AM

Here is the list of Realtek 8-Channel on-board sound chips.

As you peruse the list for the features you desire it is advisable to focus on **content protection**

The DRM whip-crackin' has initially not been as onerous as possible but that hammer will eventually drop. CP is part of the 'Protected Media Pathway' necessary for proper playback of HD media. The issue the industry faces in their efforts to penalize the **Honest 94.6% of Us** is WinXP still consists of 50% or so of OSes out in the wild, and it does not provide for the PMP. As Win7/Vista command more of the market you may anticipate DRM-related issues to more readily bite yah.

Otherwise --- just about any AMD/Intel rig has the architecture for hardware acceleration through their integrated GPUs to reduce CPU utilization to a minimum for HD playback and capturing. As an example:

AMD’s UVD3 decode engine supports an 'alphabet soup' of hardware H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, Xvid, Flv, and DivX acceleration through their 'APU' while also supporting Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA bitstreaming over HDMI (and full 23.976 fps support). The only thing (I think) it won't support at this point is *3D* BluRay.

Intel's 'hardware acceleration' on SB is handled by the HD2000 or HD3000 *Integraphics* (I just invented a word for Intel integrated graphics - :D  ) It's a heck of a lot better than where they have been, and maybe one day they can catch up to AMD :lol: 

Without more detail it's hard to address **AV conversion/editing**. Editing is dependent upon file size & type, RAMs and disk I/O. There is 'smart' editing by maintaining resolution, bit rate and file type; and 'brute force' editing with major file format conversion, super fancy effects and transitions, motion graphics, etc.

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April 27, 2011 3:20:20 AM

skibicki said:

features

strong video playback and recording (high image quality, DVD upscaling, hardware acceleration, deinterlacing, good colors and contrast, post processing... etc) ati vs nvidia?

sound: 7.1 DTS - Dolby

AV conversion/editing

space for tv tuner and capture card install

fast wireless


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/video-transcoding-a...

http://www.guru3d.com/article/his-radeon-6850-6870-revi...

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6450-review/4


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April 28, 2011 3:43:01 AM

Quote:
Without more detail it's hard to address **AV conversion/editing**. Editing is dependent upon file size & type, RAMs and disk I/O. There is 'smart' editing by maintaining resolution, bit rate and file type; and 'brute force' editing with major file format conversion, super fancy effects and transitions, motion graphics, etc.
Check the first post, the parts list is different. Nothing professional or :) super fancy:)  will be done except simple effects, filters and subtitles. Need to do 1080p screen capture.

codecs and containers

lossless video capture and screen capture codecs

Lagarith
UT Video Codec Suite
Huffyuv
Camstudio

codecs

MP4
MKV
AVI
h .264
Divx
Xvid
wmv
Mpeg 2
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