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post #1 of 26 Old 06-17-2010, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to ditch Dish and save some money by building a HTPC.

Here are my requirements:

~$500-$700 (or less)
Ability to record at least 2 OTA channels at the same time.
Stream Netflix and other online programming.
Low power consumption
Quiet
1-2TB HDD
At least a DVD drive, I can upgrade to Blu-ray drive later. (Already own PS3)

I don't have an audio receiver but would like to buy one in the future.

I keep finding tons of information, but my head is spinning. Can anyone suggest all the parts I would need and keep me within my budget?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 12:31 AM
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It's hard as a newb, there's like 300 guides to look through. For computer specs, best to look here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post18333766

There are some recommendations for 600-700 builds.
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post #3 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess I'll take the plunge and get a piece list together to go along with my requirements and you all can hopefully let me know if it's either overkill, not enough or if I forgot anything.
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post #4 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 05:42 AM
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build or buy?

"If the world didn't suck, we'd all fly off."
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post #5 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 05:59 AM
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Do you already have an operating system?
The Avermedia Duet is the best choice for a dual OTA tuner IMHO.
Buy a low wattage (450 or less) 80+ power supply to save $$$ on the power bill.
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post #6 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 06:06 AM
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Core i3 + H55 micro ATX motherboard + 2GB of ram + Silverstone SG02 case + Scythe Big Shuriken CPU sooler + TV tuner of your choice.
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't have an OS...well I have a copy of Windows 7 Upgrade, but that won't really work without an existing version of Windows.

Also, I plan to build, unless buying would be a better option.
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post #8 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goober_nut View Post

I don't have an OS...well I have a copy of Windows 7 Upgrade, but that won't really work without an existing version of Windows.

Also, I plan to build, unless buying would be a better option.

well the purists here would suggest otherwise, but if you feel overwhlemed, and you never built before, i always suggest buying your first htpc so that you get a machine that works. just leave your self some upgrade room.

your money will go farther if you build, especially if you already own the OS, if you dont then sometime buying a prebuilt is comparable.

if you have a $500-700 budget you can get a very solid prebuilt that will do everything you could want an htpc to do.

i can give some recommendations for prebuilts (check out the dell 580 slim), but if you want to build, you'll need a dual core or better processor, get a ati 5450 video card , 2g or ram will be enough (unless you want a 64bit OS, then go 4) pick a case with a quiet power supply and add any other devices like extra hdds, tuner cards, etc.

its not that bad or overwhleming when you break it down, the problem is finding the best bang for your buck when buying different components.

"If the world didn't suck, we'd all fly off."
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't feel overwhelmed at all at the idea of building, it's more just making sure I get the right pieces for a good price that are going to fit and give me upgrade room.
I just don't want to end up going overboard on one piece and not enough on another or fry my equipment because I didn't get enough airflow.

I'm sure I could always get a cheap copy of XP then do a Win 7 upgrade.

I'll try to get a piece list together today or tomorrow and get your ideas.

Thanks so much so far for all of your help!
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post #10 of 26 Old 06-18-2010, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Parts list:

Tuner:
Avertv MTVHDDUWB HD Duet (White Box)

Motherboard:
ASUS LGA 1156/ Intel H55/ DDR3/ 2133OC/ USB3.0 - mATX Motherboard P7H55D-M Evo

Memory:
Corsair XMS3 4 GB PC3-12800 1600Mhz Dual Channel Core i3 i5 i7 DDR3 Memory Kit CMX4GX3M2A1600C9

Processor:
Intel Core i3 Processor i3-530 2.93GHz 4MB LGA1156 CPU BX80616I3530

Power supply:
Corsair CMPSU-400CX 400-Watt CX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Core i7 and Core i5

Case:
SilverStone Aluminum/Steel Micro ATX HTPC Computer Case GD05B (Black)

DVD drive:
LG Electronics GH22NS50 22X SATA Super Multi DVD+/-RW Internal Drive - Bulk with Software (Black)

HDD:
Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD10EARS

Am I missing anything, should I look at a cheaper part? Do I need anything else (ex. cables)?
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post #11 of 26 Old 06-21-2010, 03:58 AM
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I would take these components in order to get a more silent system -

PSU - Silverstone Nightjar ST45NF (450W) fanless or FSP ZEN (400W)

CPU Cooler - Scythe Big Shuriken

DVD - Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS (with the ASUS QuieTrack technology)

I'm in a process of building my own i3-530 system and read a lots of reviews regarding these parts.
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post #12 of 26 Old 06-21-2010, 06:05 AM
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4GB of RAM isn't necessary for an HTPC, so you could save a bit going with 2GB.

Power supply fans will be practically quiet for HTPC use, as the system will never draw enough power to spin them up from their slowest setting. Also, stay under 350W if you can. Remember that most power supplies are most efficient when giving 50-75% of their capacity. Use this site to get a conservative estimate on the power you need:

I would go with a blu-ray drive and some playback software such as PowerDVD. It adds money, but it adds another function to the machine. $60 for the drive, $100 for playback software.

The loudest thing in the whole setup will be the case fans, but I would wait until you have everything assembled before evaluating the noise. It could be that it's perfectly acceptable to you. I can hear mine when the room is quiet, but as soon as something is playing the fan noise fades into the background.
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post #13 of 26 Old 06-21-2010, 08:26 AM
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TigerDirect.com has the power supply you want on sale for $30 with free shipping after MIR.

The current model of DVD player is the LG 24NS50 or 24LS50 for LightScribe.

I would suggest getting a ATI video card for bitstreaming. You could get a HIS HD 5570 ($71) and you get a coupon for 50% off TotalMedia Theater 3, so instead of spending $100 for DVD player software, you'll spend about $125 for both and get the video card too.
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post #14 of 26 Old 06-25-2010, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Exactly what power supply is it that TigerDirect.com has on sale right now that I want?
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post #15 of 26 Old 06-25-2010, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8nXTC View Post

TigerDirect.com has the power supply you want on sale for $30 with free shipping after MIR.

The current model of DVD player is the LG 24NS50 or 24LS50 for LightScribe.

I would suggest getting a ATI video card for bitstreaming. You could get a HIS HD 5570 ($78) and you get a coupon for 50% off TotalMedia Theater 3, so instead of spending $100 for DVD player software, you'll spend about $125 for both and get the video card too.

I just had that same HIS video card delivered from Newegg today, but I didn't get any coupons for TMT3...

The video card rocks though!
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-25-2010, 03:17 PM
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Uh??? If you go to a post by you in this thread above mine (hint #10) and see under your list for "power supply", I think you'll find it. I'm not going to post a link for you, it's easy to type in TigerDirect.com in your address bar and then search their site.
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-25-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

I just had that same HIS video card delivered from Newegg today, but I didn't get any coupons for TMT3...

The video card rocks though!

Was going to order that card next week. You should go to HISdigital website and under all the HD 55xx cards it shows a special offer, find out how to redeem it for 50% off TMT 3.0, it's valid until 30th Aug. 2010.
http://www.hisdigital.com/us/product2-548.shtml bottom of the page it clearly states what's included in the box and shows 2 coupons, only the Bad Company 2 states while stock lasts.

http://www.hisdigital.com/us/news_show-123.shtml
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post #18 of 26 Old 06-25-2010, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for being dense. I had a pretty long day at work, I realized what you meant right before I was checking to see any responses to the thread.

I didn't need a link, for some odd reason I was thinking you knew of a power supply that I should get and not the one I posted in my parts list.
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-27-2010, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8nXTC View Post

Was going to order that card next week. You should go to HISdigital website and under all the HD 55xx cards it shows a special offer, find out how to redeem it for 50% off TMT 3.0, it's valid until 30th Aug. 2010.
http://www.hisdigital.com/us/product2-548.shtml bottom of the page it clearly states what's included in the box and shows 2 coupons, only the Bad Company 2 states while stock lasts.

http://www.hisdigital.com/us/news_show-123.shtml

Well damn, I guess I'll contact them and see what I can do to snag one of those coupons -- I have to buy TMT for my new system, so a few bucks off would be great.

Thanks for the info... Wish me luck!

EDIT: I just looked into a little more closely, and it appears that the TMT coupon may only be bundled with the 5550, rather than the 5570. I'll still contact them and give it a shot, but chances dont look great...
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-27-2010, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

Well damn, I guess I'll contact them and see what I can do to snag one of those coupons -- I have to buy TMT for my new system, so a few bucks off would be great.

Thanks for the info... Wish me luck!

EDIT: I just looked into a little more closely, and it appears that the TMT coupon may only be bundled with the 5550, rather than the 5570. I'll still contact them and give it a shot, but chances dont look great...

I noticed it stated that it comes with HD 5550 cards too, but then on the HD 5570 page it specifically states that the coupon is included in the box's contents so they should give you a coupon because this would be false advertising and their error.
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post #21 of 26 Old 06-29-2010, 06:50 PM
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PaleHorse, here's what I found, so I ordered the video card today.
Go to this website after you've installed the video card: www.arcsoft.com/intouch/AMDHD5550
It'll install some ActiveX software to verify the HIS HD55xx card is installed and then it should allow you to purchase TMT 3.0 + SimHD for $99.99 - 50% = $50.
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post #22 of 26 Old 06-29-2010, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8nXTC View Post

PaleHorse, here's what I found, so I ordered the video card today.
Go to this website after you've installed the video card: www.arcsoft.com/intouch/AMDHD5550
It'll install some ActiveX software to verify the HIS HD55xx card is installed and then it should allow you to purchase TMT 3.0 + SimHD for $99.99 - 50% = $50.

Nice find! I'll check it out!
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post #23 of 26 Old 06-29-2010, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8nXTC View Post

PaleHorse, here's what I found, so I ordered the video card today.
Go to this website after you've installed the video card: www.arcsoft.com/intouch/AMDHD5550
It'll install some ActiveX software to verify the HIS HD55xx card is installed and then it should allow you to purchase TMT 3.0 + SimHD for $99.99 - 50% = $50.

It didn't work... this is what it says after it installs the ActiveX component and runs the check:
Sorry, we did not detect the installation of your ATI Radeon™ HD 5550 graphics card on your system. Please install and try again

TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum with SimHD Plug-in $99.99 USD
It appears as though it's still looking for the 5550 specifically.
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post #24 of 26 Old 06-30-2010, 10:20 AM
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I like your parts list but I would recommend a PicoPSU

http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-150-XT-102-power-kit

or one of these

http://cgi.ebay.com/130W-mini-ITX-AT...item2a07c421f4

with a 150W, 19V power brick. Either is more than enough power for a i3 system and no power supply fan to worry about.

Stick with 4gig of memory, it does make a difference.

Peter
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post #25 of 26 Old 06-30-2010, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

It appears as though it's still looking for the 5550 specifically.

Not as good as 50% off, but Newegg is selling it as a download for $60.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...00SF-_-Product
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-10-2010, 10:03 AM
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Well, installed the HIS HD 5570 card in one of my systems and went to the website, let it install the activeX software and clicked the check now button. I get a message that states conragulations... so it just checks to see if you've got a HD 5500 card, not specific to the HD 5550 card. Now the problem. It also states that you can purchase the software for 50% off, just input the coupon code found on the postcard included with the card. So the HD 5570 will work, but you still need a coupon code to get it which isn't included with the HD 5570 card even though on the HIS website it shows this coupon is included with the HD 5570 card (they still haven't fixed it last time I checked even though I've sent to e-mails which they responded to stating it was an error).
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