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HTPC/DVR with Component Video outputs

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December 29, 2012 4:57:40 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next few weeks

Budget Range: Under $800 - the lower the better. :) 

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC, High Definition DVR, Streaming video playback, region free DVD player

Parts to Upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, ncix.com, amazon, etc

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 interlaced (1080i)

Additional Comments: My TV only accepts component video, so the most economical solution that I've found seems to be to buy an older video card that supports component out. My TV supports 1080i and 480p. I haven't built a PC in about 15 years, so I'm learning a lot.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'd like to build an HTPC that will allow me to stream TV shows from Amazon, Hulu, HBO Go, etc. I also want to use this system as an HD-DVR for Over The Air television.

I already own an HDHomeRun Dual High Definition Digital TV Tuner.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm trying to find cheap used video cards on ebay that support component video out. The EVGA GeForce 8800, 9500, or 9800 seem like they would fit the bill (among others.) These video cards seem to have high wattage requirements, which is why I jacked up the power supply.

Here are the parts that I'm looking at right now, but I'm very open to suggestions.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($91.78 @ eCost)
Case: Silverstone GD06B HTPC Case ($112.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro M 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($80.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Rosewill remote control ($19.99)
Total: $713.66
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-29 01:22 EST-0500)

I got a lot of information from this site and the Assassin HTPC blog in putting this list together.
http://assassinhtpcblog.com/?page_id=160


Is the hard drive going to be fast enough to handle recording 2 HD channels on the DVR and watching one at the same time? I assume that would be the heaviest load.

It seems that this case is very tight. I'm definitely concerned about everything fitting inside it properly - especially the power supply. I looked at a lot of HTPC cases and tried to find a good balance between everything fitting inside the case and the case fitting into my TV Component rack. I chose a case with a cover over the front because I think the front of most DVD-ROMs look really cheap and will probably detract from the nice look of the HTPC case.

I appreciate your time looking at this and look forward to hearing your comments.

Thanks!

*EDIT* I just bought an EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB video card on ebay, along with the 7 pin component video adaptor and a DVI to VGA adaptor. The video card is PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 30, 2012 4:43:49 PM

After reading a lot of reviews by folks who have the Silverstone GD06 case, it seems that the Silverstone
ST40F-ES 400Watt power supply will definitely fit in the case without having to install the fan upwards. Most other power supplies appear to be a gamble.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's my current parts list:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($91.78 @ eCost)
Case: Silverstone GD06B HTPC Case ($112.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Essential 400W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Rosewill remote control ($19.99)
Total: $682.67
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-30 13:39 EST-0500)

along with the EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB video card for the component video outputs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I guess my biggest question now is whether the hard drive is going to be good enough to use as a 2 tuner HD-DVR? Does anybody have any insight into using their computer as a DVR?

Thanks for your time!
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December 30, 2012 9:21:20 PM

I just built a machine for similar purposes although a much lower budget. I used a Celeron G540 and Biostar H77 motherboard, SDD only, running Ubuntu. Your build looks great for your budget.

For the connection to TV, I used this VGA to component-out adapter ($19.99) and it is working fine. Looks like your video card is discontinued so you need to find another or go with something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0U0...

This adapter works for me, but now that I have my HTPC set up, I must admit I feel a need to upgrade to HDTV. So I would definitely not spend much money on a video card and instead put any extra money toward a future TV upgrade.

Reagrding your question about the HDD, I don't see what the problem would be.
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December 30, 2012 11:26:11 PM

While the hard drive in my HTPC is a 7200rpm drive, it didn't have any problems recording three shows simultaneously. I doubt your 5400 rpm drive would have any issues.

-Wolf sends
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