I want a PC to use mainly as a DVR and I've looked for pre-built models and can't find one. I've never built a PC before so it gives me a headache just thinking about it.
I want to use the PC in my entertainment center connected to my router with an Ethernet cord but with the option to switch to wireless. It would be connected via HDMI to the TV (1080p).
For now I just want to record 2 channels at a time from HD cable. I don't have a set-top box. I'd like the option to add an antennae down the road so I'm thinking of a 2 tuner TV card with a clearQAM coax input and an OTA HD antennae input too, but I want to be able to record from two clearQAM channels at the same time.
Obviously I'd need inputs for keyboard and mouse but I'd probably leave them disconnected most of the time.
Approximate Purchase Date: the sooner the better
Budget Range: $400-$600 - Not a big fan of rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: DVR
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Least expensive - Amazon, Newegg
Parts Preferences: low footprint: looks like set-top box, console, mini, etc.
SLI or Crossfire: ?
Monitor Resolution: 1080p
Additional Comments: I would like a quiet, energy efficient PC if possible -- I'd like it to sleep when not in use and wake when it's time to record.
I think the AMD build at the end of this thread seems like a good list for me.
After further thought, I think I'll be switching gears and going with this AMD solution. Totals around $724 after rebates. I am considering dropping the SSD and just using the Seagate in order to save $93, may add one later, or buy a used small sata off craigslist in the meantime.
The only thing I'd need to add to that build is an OS. I was thinking Windows 7 / Windows Media Center so I could use my Xbox 360s as extenders. I was also thinking of dropping the SSD to keep the price down.
Would this build work for me? Is there a better build now?
Any advice from anyone would be appreciated. Thanks.
Two case fans: $7.99 x 2 ********* I accidentally ordered just one at first. Case says it can take up to 4. ********* ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan
My Total Cost: $644.11 plus shipping
I already have keyboards and a mice but I plan to use them infrequently after initial setup. For normal use, I plan to use a USB infrared receiver and remote control that I already have, similar to this one:
I received the parts yesterday (minus 1 case fan) and put the computer together last night and finally got it working properly this morning. I need to go back in and see why the front USB ports aren't working, but other than that, everything I've tried so far seems to be working fine. 2 simultaneous scheduled HD series recordings from the free guide was the goal and it works great. This build is up to that task and then some.
Some Notes for others who may try this build:
One fan along with the CPU heat sink / fan seem to be sufficient in an air conditioned environment (but use your best judgement).
As my first build, cable management was a challenge for this case. (I basically just crammed much of it under the DVD player.)
I made the mistake of installing everything that was on the ASRock install disk. It installed a program called SmartView which put two Zynga links on my desktop which, if deleted, would get reinstalled after every reboot. Took me a while to figure out that uninstalling SmartView solves the problem.
Getting Windows Media Player to find my tuner and channels took me a whille. It helps to plug the coax into the cable input instead of the FM antennae input. But even after that was fixed, Windows Media Player wouldn't find my channels or download the schedule until I asked it multiple times with multiple reboots. I don't know why.
Thanks again for the help, Wolfshadw. Thanks also to teddymines and the others on the thread where I found the starting point for this build (down at the bottom of the thread).