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HTPC Show us your HTPC setup!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by geek1017, 1 Jun 2007.

  1. geek1017

    geek1017 What's a Dremel?

    6 Aug 2002
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    Here we go again. Another one of those threads.
    It seems like this is a neglected area of the Bit forums. So I thought I'd put up a picture thread. I'd also like to see hardware lists and possible screenshots as well.
    Basically I'd really like to build an HTPC, but I'm torn between some of the available solutions like Xbox + xbmc or an iTV.

    So this can be a discussion thread as well I suppose. Mainly just want to get people's ideas for media PCs as well as the best/cheapest way to get HD content onto a TV.

  2. d3fiant

    d3fiant What's a Dremel?

    1 Feb 2006
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    xbox wont get HD content on ur tv fella so its a media center or iTV for you
  3. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

    5 Jul 2005
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    XBOX will. Get a component cable to output 720p.
  4. <A88>

    <A88> Trust the Computer

    10 Jan 2004
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    A 360 is, iirc, the most full-fledged 'extender' option for HTPCs in that it outputs at far higher options than the PS3 and Apple TV (the latter of which doesn't support HD content at all thus far). I'd personally search for a cheap Xbox premium setup, or even just a core if you don't need the local storage.

  5. d3fiant

    d3fiant What's a Dremel?

    1 Feb 2006
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    yeh it does alow xbmc to run at 720p, but try to play any HD content and it really struggles
  6. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

    26 Mar 2006
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    I used a modded Xbox for a while it was pretty handy and you could setting it up via component as Dougedgy mentioned end of the day it was pretty limited and struggled with some things, as I wanted a PVR I moved to a proper HTPC and have not looked back, its quieter, consumes less power if built well and is much more Powerful machine useful for DVD upscaling via ffdshow etc.

    My current setup which I have just built is as follows, no point showing photos as you'll get enough from just a photo of the case.

    Silverstone LC19 in black
    AMD X2 3600 (1.9Ghz Dual core, mildly overclocked to 2.2Ghz but undervolted to 1.0v)
    Asus AM2-VM mobo
    1Gb DDR2
    500Gb HD
    3 tuners ( 1 PCI, 2USB )

    Power usage 40-65w, only noise is the HD.

    Downside of this setup is theres no real upgradeability options beyond the one slot and CPU/MEM but I don't need it, what this has is all I need, the old setup allowed me access to numerous slots for expansion as I actually had it geared up for gaming but never used the functionality what with X360 and PS3.

    My old setup that I have just replaced was built around the following.

    Antec Aria
    S754 A64 2800
    1Gb RAM
    Nforce 430 mobo
    400Gb HD
    Nvidia 6200TC (good enough for SD gaming at the time)
    3 Tuners.

    Power usage 70-110w

    In terms of Media extenders the 360 (160w) and PS3 (175w) have the same abilities these days but for them to work you need a media server which consumes power as well as having the consoles which consume 2-3 times more power than the above HTPC setups.
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2007
  7. geek1017

    geek1017 What's a Dremel?

    6 Aug 2002
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    Hey everybody, thanks for the replies.

    I hadn't even thought of the 360 before. That could be an option, though how does it handle DivX/Xvid or H.264 video?

    As for an HTPC, my thoughts were leaning towards something that would look at home in a HiFi rack. Of course I had also considered Mini ITX. Basically thinking of a media frontend for something like MythTV.
    PVR functionality might be nice, but I haven't actually watched TV in a few years other than trying to catch a few shows *cough*

    Keep up the discussion. I'm interested in opinions on what hardware is necessary for HD output.
  8. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

    25 Jun 2004
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    i think this thread needs a renaming :D. not one picture yet
  9. trigger

    trigger Procrastinator

    22 Mar 2004
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    • Silverstone LC03
    • Intel Pentium M 725 1.6Ghz
    • Zalman CNPS8000-Cu @ 5v
    • Aopen i855GMEm-LFS
    • 1GB Crucial PC3200 RAM
    • 200GB Seagate SATA HDD
    • Scythe Quiet Drive Internal HDD Silencer
    • SB Audigy 2 ZS
    • Seasonic S12 350W PSU
    • 2 x Avermedia AV-771 DVB-T Tuner
    • XFX Nvidia GeForce FX5200
    It's running MythTV on Debian unstable. It's really nice and quiet, can barely hear it from 3 foot away.

    edit: Pics are a bit old, so you can't see the second tuner or the quiet drive thing.
  10. herbs

    herbs Nobody but us chickens

    7 May 2001
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    32" LCD TV with dvb-t and analogue tuner
    Virgin Media cable set top box.
    stock xbox

    duron 1.6Ghz
    1GB Ram
    250+160GB Hard drives
    3xDVB-T Tuners
    Hauppauge USB PVR2 tuner for cable recording
    mce remote and ir blaster to control cable set top box
    Antec case with seasonic psu

    Running on windows xp with gbpvr as media centre software.

    I also have a another htpc in the bedroom connected to a 17" crt monitor this one has 4 dvb-t tuners.
  11. geek1017

    geek1017 What's a Dremel?

    6 Aug 2002
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    Thanks for the Pics. Keep them coming.

    Looking at those specs, maybe my thoughts on what is necessary were way off.
    Though I've been more focused on MiniITX and sff rather than ATX boards.
    I think my definition of an HTPC may be off as well. Looking around I guess what I'm looking for is a "media server".

    Cheers fellas. Let's keep this going.
  12. hobbs

    hobbs What's a Dremel?

    24 Jun 2005
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    Epia 1.5ghz eaden
    1gig of pc 2700
    160gb hd
    pico-psu and other little goodies
  13. lcdguy

    lcdguy Minimodder

    25 May 2004
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    while i don't really have a need for HD content right now (i only have SD cable tv)

    Here is my HTPC / Home Theatre Setup


    A64 3000+
    MSI K8N Neo Platinum
    1 GB Corsair XMS C2
    Geforce fx5200
    Hauppage PVR350
    4x 250GB HD for Storage
    1x 8gb EIDE for OS
    Auzentech x-mystique
    Windows XP
    Sage TV 4.1

    Sound System

    Yamaha HDMI Reciever
    JBL Venue Stadium Floor Standers
    JBL Venue Voice Centre Channel
    JBL Venue Monitor Rears
    Athena 4100 Sub
    Home Built Cables

    Display System

    Epson Powerlite S3 Projector (maxes out at 720p)
    84.3" Screen

    Media Playback

    Sony Upconverting DVD Player
    JVC 5 disc cd player
    Apoogee Tape Deck
    Technics Turntable (Yes i have LP's and 45's)

    Since it is basically in my very messy room, and i didn't want to cause peoples eyes to burn out of their sockets i will refrain from posting pics until i have it setup in a better room.

    Future Upgrades

    Either a 1080p Projector or TV i haven't decided how much crying i want my wallet to make

    Switch to HDMI cabling for as much as possible

    Add HD tuner to my HTPC
  14. Anator

    Anator What's a Dremel?

    26 Feb 2004
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    I just have my main PC with a DVI link to my TV, and TOSLink to my home theatre amp providing 5.1. Only thing I need now is a blu-ray or HD drive and im HD ready :D

    PC in sig

    TV = Samsung 27" TFT 720p TV

    Sound = JVC RX-E5S Control Center with 5.1 JVC Speakers
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2007
  15. phillj

    phillj What's a Dremel?

    18 Jul 2007
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    I have the following setup:

    Lian-Li PC-C30IB (IMON)
    Core2Duo E6750
    Gigabyte GA P35C-DS3R
    Zalman 9500
    2GB Corsair PC6400
    2 x 250GB Samsung Spinpoint T SATA II HDs
    XFX 7600GS HDMI
    Hauppauge Nova 500 T
    Seasonic S12II 430W
    MCE Remote + Keyboard
    Vista Ultimate x86
    Sony KDL-32S2530
  16. DarkOne42

    DarkOne42 How many PC's do you have?

    18 Jul 2007
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    Gigabyte P35C-DS3R - 2Gb PC6400 - E6600 -Zalman 9500 in Silverstone case (with VFD)
    2 x 40Gb 2.5" HD's in RAID 0 (They are VERY quiet)
    XFX 7600GS HDMI
    Nesteq PSU (No fan to silent)
    Samsung 46" LCD and Monitor Audio 5.1 surround with Denon amp via HDMI
    I use my logitec programmable remote... Very sweet.
    Systems plays 1080p movies like a dream.
  17. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Meanmotion's HTPC (I live with him, so I get to use it :D)

    AMD X2 3800+ w/c
    1GB memory
    Windows MCE + MCE Remote and KB
    Some Leadtek mobo
    Hiper 700w modular PSU
    Zalman Reserator :D
    ATI X1300 w/c
    Zalman HTPC case

    It's soooo quiettt ZzzzzZzz

    and some crappy 32" 720p TV and Creative DT2200 5.1s

    We wanted a proper sound card but there is no space for the spare X-Fi PCIe x1 card we have, however it looks awesome even though the VFD isn't working, yet. Plays back 1080p (downscaled) h264 perfectly.
  18. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest




    Everything works for us - it's not the best in the world but it's the best I've ever had - we've got Wii, 360, HTPC and a decent pair of Stereo 2.0s from a proper AMP.. oh and a screen that's over 100" big :cooldude: The wall is an off-white so it works quite well.

    The green light is the ambient backlighting from a random cathode - it also helps us know the thing is on because it's so quiet.

    HTPC: Gigabyte 780G mobo
    AMD 4850e 45W
    Corsair VX550W PSU
    2GB OCZ Cl5 800MHz memory
    Enermax Pandora case (meh, only thing we had spare)
    250GB Spinpoint hard drive
    EMU sound (once we fix the drivers in Vista).
  19. DaveVader

    DaveVader Fast Action Response Team

    10 Aug 2007
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    I hate you Bindi!
    I don't watch enough TV/Films to warrant an HTPC but when I have more money and my own place I may just build one ... it's a conversation starter at least.
  20. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Well, I only paid for the memory :blush: most of it is loaned, borrowed or old kit re-used.

    Case - Was gonna be thrown out anyway
    Mobo - Engineering sample
    PSU - Actually I think it's the TT 650W QFan. No one will use it in work and it actually saves space to use it.
    CPU - I will swap it out for a spare 5200+ or something when we come to review/use the 4850e.
    HDD/DVD drive/EMU - our own.

    Aye, perks of the job indeed :) It's still "bit-tech property" so we don't sell it or anything, but we'd rather it be used than just have office space used up. Also - if work needs it, obviously it has priority.

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