Recommend me a cheap HTPC Build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-21-2010, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright guys I am making a HTPC for my new theater room so I am in need of a HTPC . I have read the stickies here so I have a good understanding, but I was hoping for more help with what my case is.

What I am looking for:
- HTPC that plays media files.
-Don't need a BluRay Drive
-Dont need a turner/HDturner
-HDMI/Optical outputs

Basically thats it, all I want for my HTPC to do is play movie files, I have a PS3 I can use to play BluRay movies.

Can you guys recommend me a HTPC to meet my goals? I am looking for no more than $200.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-21-2010, 08:16 PM
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If you're just looking at playing video files, you could just get a set top box like a wdtv or something similar for well under $200 that will do what you're looking for
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-21-2010, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I really like this:http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...dp/B002KKFP9Y/

But confused, do I have to use a external USB HDD with this?
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-22-2010, 08:10 AM
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You can, or you can access files on a network drive if you have one.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-24-2010, 05:42 PM
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Any PC will play media files. Just make sure you load a proper soft player - VLC and SMPlayer are my favorites. So, basically you need any PC, preferably small form factor (mATX), with HDMI videocard. Can't suggest any, - mine is VERY cheap but it has no HDMI, only VGA and S.

WD media player doesn't include HDD, nor does it necessitate external HDD (but external HDD without comp can't usually work without a WD). You can use any HDD with WD, including the one in your comp, but then the question is - why getting WD in the first place.

Stay away from WD and similar hardware "media players" - it is basically a chip for reading HDD and videocard to provide output, and it is often loaded with proprietary firmware of questionable upgrading possibilities, it might not read some video formats and you're stuck with the front-end that comes with this firmware. WD is for people who travel with portable HDD and no PC. You don't need a WD when you have a PC.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-24-2010, 05:55 PM
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-24-2010, 11:52 PM
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PC with HDMI and decent CPU/video will cost at least $250-270 to build, not to mention Win 7 if he needs one.

Might be cheaper to buy - new Dell Zino dropped the price to $300, and refurbished units will cost $250 or less at Dell Outlet when there will be any. Though on a brief glance at Zino thread I've got impression that basic version needs requires about $150 in upgrades, including video card, larger HDD, more RAM - basically everything but the case and motherboard
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