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Xbmc htpc suggestions

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January 2, 2013 8:10:13 PM

i am trying to order parts to build a budget htpc running xbmc to stream movies from instead of an apple tv or google tv. i would like some suggestions on what kind of parts would suite me and also if anybody had built one in the past and is willing to share. :) 

More about : xbmc htpc suggestions

January 2, 2013 8:39:30 PM

I repurposed an old Dual Core Intel PC, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, ASUS GeForce 210 Silent as an HTPC running WMC. I have an eSata 1TB external HDD for recording.

For a tuner, I chose the SiliconDust HDHomerun Prime. Using an XBox360 as an extender. The other two PC's on the network also access the HDHomerun Prime.

I can watch/record up to 3 programs at the same time on the HTPC and XBox360.

What source(s) will you be streaming from? Live TV? DVD/BluRay? Extenders/DLNA?
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January 2, 2013 8:54:11 PM

that actually a really good idea. mostly i will be streaming from live tv , dlna, and mostly just streaming Netflix and such . i am not a big fan of apple tv and such devices as they are expensive for their limited functionality. so i will be considering an old computer and upgrading it with a low graphic car. and i will be getting this tv tuner thanks for the suggestion the specs are amazin!
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a b x TV
January 2, 2013 9:39:49 PM

I would note that the HDHomeRun Prime TV Tuner Card requires the use of a cablecard, leased from your cable company. If you do not have an upper level cable subscription (above basic cable), the HDHomeRun Prime isn't what you want or need.

-Wolf sends
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January 2, 2013 10:02:15 PM

thanks for the information wolfshadw as i didn't know that. for the system i think i am going to buy and old thinkcenter M serie probably and put a silent gpu in it. that would cost me about 130 ish. i think it should be more than enough for streaming movies and online videos to my tv as well as netflix ect. what do you guys think of this?
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a b x TV
January 2, 2013 10:11:48 PM

It's going to depend on the specs of the system you eventually purchase, but it doesn't need a lot of horse power. My HTPC (see my signature block) is more than enough to do all that you're asking to do.

-Wolf sends
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January 2, 2013 10:49:38 PM

xsamdagreatx said:
i was looking at these two from newegg.

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

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

yeah i figured but i need a nice gpu for the video output (hdmi). are the above any good? what gpu would you suggest for such very low end computers?


Make sure you have enough horsepower for 1080P. there are plenty of appends around XMBC and stutter (About 132,000 results on Google). Most seem to have a root cause in a stream that for some reason is not offloadable to the video card.

I would not touch an old P4 for this job (1) poor power usage, (2) old disk, (3) fan noise from PSU, etc.

Consider a sandy bridge pentium G refurb instead wiht HT video card or an A4, A6 or A8 refurb using built in video. For example this one (Gateway SX2855 Intel Celeron G460 1.8GHz 2GB 250GB) should go for <$150 http://www.ubid.com/Gateway_SX2855_Intel_Celeron_G460_1... or http://www.ubid.com/Gateway_SX2855_Intel_Celeron_G460_1... or this one at <$200 Acer Aspire AM3470G-UW10P AMD A6-3620 2.2GHz 4GB 500GB (not need for video card for an A6 used as HTPC). http://www.ubid.com/Acer_Aspire_AM3470G-UW10P_AMD_A6-36...

Auction prices vary, you may need to wait a bit to find the right one.
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January 2, 2013 11:08:05 PM

those look like the prices i was looking for have you ever ordered something from Ubid before? is this company any reliable? i checked their BBB ratings they don't seem to have any. i usually bid on cowboom.com and they are very reliable.
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January 2, 2013 11:24:20 PM

xsamdagreatx said:
those look like the prices i was looking for have you ever ordered something from Ubid before? is this company any reliable? i checked their BBB ratings they don't seem to have any. i usually bid on cowboom.com and they are very reliable.


I am not affiliated with ubid, don't work for them or with them.

Over the last decade I've bought a dozen or so PCs from them including the i7-920 I'm typing on.

If the warranty says "HP" or "Dell" or "Sony" or "60 days from the manufacturer" then you are getting a sale channel return and it will look new except for a sticker saying refurb and a short warranty. If the warranty says "ubid" or "refurbisher" then you are taking a chance and may just be getting something off-lease after being used. Right now any Core 2 based system is probably off-lease while sandy and ivy bridge system are too new to be off lease. I mainly buy PCs that carry the manufacturer's warranty. They send to close at a higher price. The ones I posted for you were all "60 days from the manufacturer".

Supply is spotty. You'll see a block of PCs come in, then you can go weeks without seeing one you like. Then another block comes in.

Good Luck. Post what you end up doing.


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January 2, 2013 11:32:20 PM

aside: auction on Gateway SX2855 Intel Celeron G460 1.8GHz 2GB 250GB

ended up closing at $88 plus shipping. Much lower than i thought it would.
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January 2, 2013 11:34:03 PM

yeah i like the prices but they seem a little too low to believe is this site reliable or is it a scam?
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Best solution

a b x TV
January 2, 2013 11:47:34 PM

I have no experience with UBid, so I won't comment on them. Looking at the two units from Newegg, the second one (ThinkCenter M57) with an added single slot, low-profile graphics card should be plenty for your needs, but I do have some reservations.

Under no circumstance should you purchase the ThinkCenter M52 you linked. Single core and an AGP graphics card slot.

The ThinkCenter M57 is the better choice (dual-core), but my concern would be the location of the hard drive in relation to where the graphics card would be installed. Add in a low-profile ready card with a cooling fan to at least get some air movement underneath the hard drive.

-Wolf sends
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January 2, 2013 11:59:04 PM

thank you wolfshadw for your help.
what graphics card would you suggest?
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a b x TV
January 3, 2013 12:45:52 AM

A Radeon HD6450 or Geforce GT620 should be enough for 1080p playback. Anything much better than that may place too large of a load on the power supply.

-Wolf sends
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January 3, 2013 12:50:17 AM

thanks alot wolfshadw appreciate your help in this matter.
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January 3, 2013 11:59:44 AM

Best answer selected by xsamdagreatx.
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