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New HTPC $850 & under (hopefully)

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Last response: in Systems
December 29, 2011 3:45:58 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 months, plus build time

Budget Range: $0 - $1,000, with a target of less than $850

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Netflix streaming, Hulu+, NBA Season Pass, BluRay playback, BluRay rip/storage, music/media storage/playback

Parts Not Required: Monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, (open to others, though)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Not right away, possibly never

SLI or Crossfire: Huh?

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 front projector or plasma

Additional Comments: This will be in a theater setup, so I would prefer it to be fairly quiet (may have cooled cabinet to put it in, though). Interested in eventually adding control with an Android tablet.

I want to be able to stream shows from services like Hulu+, Netflix, NBA Season Pass, and Amazon Instant Video. Other than maybe browsing the web from time to time, this won't be used much for anything beyond media. BluRay ripping is a must as I would like to house my library digitally and play back in 1080p + DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD. I anticipate needing to expand storage down the road, but am willing to do that via a server or external storage, so if I start with, say 2TB, I'm okay with that. TV tuner for OTA local channels is probably necessary as well. The form factor of the case makes NO difference to me. I suppose fewer lights, but if it is a "big" case, I'm okay with that. Function > form for me.

I'm pretty skilled in the HT realm and more than capable of putting it together, but I lack severely in my understanding of computer parts, their compatibility, requirements, etc. to be able to determine what to use. As I think of additional information, I will post. I've been reading around for a bit and think this community could be rather helpful for me. Thanks in advance!

More about : htpc 850

December 29, 2011 4:53:32 PM

Wow! That was quick. I'll look at all of that stuff a little more carefully when I get some time. What sort of software am I looking at? Additionally, is/can this be controlled via a Harmony remote or other IR remote?

I have another question about an HTPC. If I were to use the NBA Season Pass, is there a way to record games that I'm streaming? How about pause/rewind/etc.?
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December 29, 2011 6:05:24 PM

Software - You shouldn't need anything except the software that comes with the Blu-Ray (Power DVD probably - yes it plays Blu-Rays), and the Hauppauge software.

Remote - There are plenty of options out there. I have found that a good wireless keyboard (and mouse) with media controls is sufficient. ...and one less remote to keep track of.

Streaming - The Hauppauge HDTV tuner will record over-the-air broadcasts or what ever you hook up to it (sattelite / cable reciever, DVD player, VHS, etc..). It will record the video locally which you can play / pause / rewind at your pleasure.
January 5, 2012 2:53:57 PM

I know I can record over the air stuff relatively easy (I'm planning on NOT having satellite or cable service), but what about sporting events streamed with something like the NBA Season Pass? I've never used the service, so I don't know what it looks like, but pause/rewind would be GREAT.

A handheld remote for a lot of the basics would be pretty important, with a keyboard/mouse at the ready when necessary.

Great info.
January 5, 2012 3:03:18 PM

the Hauppage should be able to use a standard remote.