Going for first HTPC- Need Direction

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: within the month

Budget Range: ~ $400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Will be used predominantly for Bluray, Netflix, and web surfing

Are you buying a monitor: Plan to hook up to a 42" 1080p LCD TV via HDMI

Do you need to buy OS: I would not like to spend cash on an OS, however I don't have enough linux experience to no what direction to go as far as bluray players and such so advice would be appreciated

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Parts Preferences: I typically use AMD but last build was Intel and I love it. Could go either way.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: I'm hoping to come up with a rather small and quiet PC. This will sit in view underneath the TV so I don't want to take away from whatever is being watched. I also am curious about any form of pc remote that would allow me to not have to grab keyboard in order to start enjoying movies.
I have built multiple PC's in the past few years, however, I have never built a home theater specific one so I would be very appreciative of any help and advice given.
22 answers Last reply
More about going htpc direction
  1. An APU would be the best for this build.
  2. Quote:
    Do you need to buy OS: I would not like to spend cash on an OS, however I don't have enough linux experience to no what direction to go as far as bluray players and such so advice would be appreciated


    Ubuntu is a good place to start if you don't have any Linux experience. The OS is based on Linux but the interface is similar to Mac OS.

    I'm building an HTPC myself but I'm having a hard time selecting a case - I'm building mine based around a lot of spare parts that I've collected in the last couple years (CPU, RAM, PSU, GPU, etc) and the only thing I really need is a good case to house it in but that still sits on the shelf.
  3. +1 for Ubuntu. With VLC, that would be an awesome HTPC.
  4. obsama1 said:
    +1 for Ubuntu. With VLC, that would be an awesome HTPC.


    VLC?
  5. VLC is a media player, and it plays any format you can possibly throw at it.
  6. obsama1 said:
    VLC is a media player, and it plays any format you can possibly throw at it.


    It does not, however, play blu-ray discs. AFAIK, there's no freeware blu-ray disc playing software.
  7. Yes, should have mentioned that, thanks.
  8. I did a little "google"ing and it seems like I might need some terminal knowledge in linux to get vlc to playback blu rays. None of these posts were super recent though.
    Is this still the case?
  9. g-unit1111 said:
    Quote:
    Do you need to buy OS: I would not like to spend cash on an OS, however I don't have enough linux experience to no what direction to go as far as bluray players and such so advice would be appreciated


    Ubuntu is a good place to start if you don't have any Linux experience. The OS is based on Linux but the interface is similar to Mac OS.

    I'm building an HTPC myself but I'm having a hard time selecting a case - I'm building mine based around a lot of spare parts that I've collected in the last couple years (CPU, RAM, PSU, GPU, etc) and the only thing I really need is a good case to house it in but that still sits on the shelf.


    What form factor? And I presume the GPU requires a full size (i.e., not low profile) slot?
  10. If you get a Blu-Ray drive, it will probably come with PowerDVD or Cyberlink. They play Blu-Rays, but they don't run on Linux.
  11. g-unit1111 said:
    The GPU I'm using is a GTX 550TI (not the best I know...) but I have a spare one and it's going to be going in an Asrock H77 mATX motherboard. The case I'm thinking of using is something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163205


    I have the half height version of that case for my HTPC and love it.
  12. inanition02 said:
    What form factor? And I presume the GPU requires a full size (i.e., not low profile) slot?


    The GPU I'm using is a GTX 550TI (not the best I know...) but I have a spare one and it's going to be going in an Asrock H77 mATX motherboard. The case I'm thinking of using is something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163205
  13. jacob0808 said:
    I did a little "google"ing and it seems like I might need some terminal knowledge in linux to get vlc to playback blu rays. None of these posts were super recent though.
    Is this still the case?


    If you live in the US, those terminal "techniques" and similar are illegal in violation of the DMCA.
  14. The lack of freeware blu ray players is unfortunate. But I do have cyberlink, I'm just not the biggest fan of it.

    As far as conveniently working the pc from my couch. Is there a good option in the realm of a user friendly remote control?
  15. I have the Logitech K400 wireless keyboard w/ touchpad and an IR remote - I use the keyboard way more.
  16. jacob0808 said:
    The lack of freeware blu ray players is unfortunate. But I do have cyberlink, I'm just not the biggest fan of it.

    As far as conveniently working the pc from my couch. Is there a good option in the realm of a user friendly remote control?


    There's always this but it's a bit on the expensive side: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126039
  17. That mini keyboard looks pretty cool. A bit out of my price range though. The k400 seems more reasonable even though its bulkier.
  18. Here's a wireless mini-keyboard/touchpad that is compatible with Linux and affordable:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823852005
  19. inanition02 said:
    I have the half height version of that case for my HTPC and love it.


    Good to know, I need the full height version so my PSU doesn't go to waste.
  20. g-unit1111 said:
    Good to know, I need the full height version so my PSU doesn't go to waste.


    Mine supports full sized ATX PSUs, just only half height GPUs..so quite limiting in that sense.
  21. spankmon said:
    Here's a wireless mini-keyboard/touchpad that is compatible with Linux and affordable:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823852005


    Nice suggestion. I think that is what I will use.
  22. The Silverstone Sugo SG07 is an expensive case, but beautiful. Fits a micro atx with a bit of cable management needed.

    The best thing about it is that it fits a full size graphics card too. We have an I3, a 6850, an SDD and HDD and have no heat problems. Runs on 1080P tv so the graphics card isn't really taxed at all.

    Just another option if you were looking at something smaller G-Unit.
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