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HTPC Building an HTPC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by theevilelephant, 18 Feb 2008.

  1. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant New Member

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    Im looking to build an HTPC for as little as possible. Ive already got some stuff from my old pc

    Pentium 4 2.4Ghz
    MSI 6533 - mobo
    1Gb Ram
    Geforce 6200 (maybe 6400 cant remember)
    250Gb HD
    case+psu

    Im just wondering what else i need?
    I assume a TV tuner card (preferably one with remote, i feel like checking out win media centre xp)? in which case can someone recommend one?

    does the graphics card affect tv playback at all?

    Anything else i should consider?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    you'll probably want a bigger hard drive. graphics card can affect tv playback, but a 6200 should be plenty for standard-def. go for a dual-tuner card. it's really nice to not have to worry about whether something is already recording when you want to record something else.the mce remote can be used on plenty of other software. keep it.
     
  3. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant New Member

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    out of curiosity how different is mce to xp pro?, ive never used it..

    i really should sleep soon :S
     
  4. Gravemind123

    Gravemind123 avatar not found

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    MCE is basically Pro with a shiny theme and the Windows Media Center program and features added on to it.
     
  5. vsub

    vsub New Member

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    I'm running Vista Ultimate (with Media Center) on this HTPC setup:

    AMD 3500+ 2Ghz
    2x 512MB GEiL 2-2-2 DDR1 400Mhz
    XFX Geforce 6200
    2x 160GB Maxtor HDD's (I had lying around for too long)
    Hauppauge WinTV 500MCE (dual analog tv tuner)

    Even with the ffdshow codec enabled postprocessing and level fix, it runs very smooth...
    So it should run XP MCE with ease, though I prefer the Vista MCE.

    XP MCE is almost the Pro version, other visual theme, some extra's, but can't be joined in a Windows domain...
     
  6. Hazardous

    Hazardous New Member

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    Indeed... and a much better choice for HTPC systems :thumb:

    It's easier to use with a MCE Remote and IR Receiver though :idea:
     
  7. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    there are generally rules with HTPC's depending on how you wish to use it.

    i tend to go for a single hard drive, big as i can get, this reduced noise and heat.

    underclock the CPU to lower the heat produced, you dont need alot of speed for TV playback, unless its HD playback, but its easy to up the speed if needed. so that 2.4GHz could be thottled back to about 1.8GHz.

    if your not going to use MCE, then look around for mediaportal, its a great little app that gives you OS a MCE like abilities. however some freeware apps like mediaportal and a few others only support certain brands of tuner card and can be a problem setting up. so if this is the router your gonna go down, do your research before purchasing a tuner. most tuners are supported by MCE, and MCE is far easier to keep updated and to use.

    i would start off with one tuner card, as a good one costs a fair bit, and to spend out on two, to end up finding you dont use the other is false ecomony. two or more are only needed when you wish to record and watch at the same time.

    finally if that 6200 or 6400 has a fan on it, rip it off and stick a passive heatsink on it, a HTPC should be like children, seen but not heard!

    if you follow a few of these tips you should have a cool running, quiet HTPC, that hasn't broke your bank!
     
  8. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant New Member

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    Any suggestions for a tv tuner card? any that have got reviews or you own and could recommend?
     
  9. Daniel114

    Daniel114 New Member

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  10. Kode

    Kode New Member

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    linuxmce is good but pretty complicated from what i remember when i was building my mediacentre pc, in the end i went with mediaportal, its a great app, i didnt need a tuner card in my setup because the tv has a freeview tuner built in, one thing i did find with media portal was it took a pretty long time to start up each time and controls seemed pretty laggy, it might have been improved since i installed it, havent kept up to date with it, i found a way round this though, i had 2gb of ocz platinum memory in it so i created a ram drive (cant remember if i made it 512mb or 1gb) and installed media portal on that (it saves it on the harddrive and loads it into ram on startup or something) and it made a HUGE difference, those graphics should be fine, i used the onboard graphics that came on the barebones which are fine for normal playback, although the resolution isnt perfect, and unfortunately the intel graphics chip doesnt allow custom screen resolutions, i tried putting in a 7600 gs in it instead but the psu couldnt handle it.
     
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