Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 08:45 AM
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Thanks Assassin. I've never built a pc. Done the basics, ram, HDs, upgrades. Figured I could tackle this. I purchased your specs minus the hdd the other day.

FYI the 2tb hdd is $80 again.
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post #122 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackevin View Post

Assassin,

I feel that if I had any computer building experience that I would be so well equipped to build my own HTPC given all your information. The problem is I don't. Can I still build it or am I better off trying to find a pre-built one with specs that are similar to yours? And if building is truly more cost effective, how much would a pre-built system like yours run me?

Are you in the market for building one for someone?

If not, is there a pre-built HTPC that you would recommend for someone who has no computer building experience?

There is an "in-between" route you can go which is to get a barebones PC and the fit it out with the CPU, HDD, RAM and ODD recommended here.

This would be a very nice option for building an HTPC:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856101098

It'll cost you a little more than getting all the parts yourself, but it's mostly assembled. You just add in the CPU, HDD, RAM and ODD of your choice. Everything else is already hooked up.

 

 

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post #123 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 08:53 AM
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Here are some pics of my HTPC build from a year ago which uses many of these same parts.

http://picasaweb.google.com/bonscott87/HTPC#

The case is the Silverstone GB04. Man I LOVE this case as it's cool, quiet and great for cable management. Also there is room to add a video card if needed. It's a bit cramped I remember but then I'm used to building PCs with mid to full tower cases. It's not bad though if you take your time and tie off your cables.

Scott
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post #124 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 08:54 AM
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For those who want a full-sized wireless keyboard, this IMHO, is the best one on the market right now under US$50:





Look for it on-sale usually around US$39 w/ free shipping.

 

 

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post #125 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velillen View Post

i think this thread needs a new title....Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying and Building Guide

I like it. Can't wait to add the step by step building guide.
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post #126 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post


There is an "in-between" route you can go which is to get a barebones PC and the fit it out with the CPU, HDD, RAM and ODD recommended here.

This would be a very nice option for building an HTPC:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856101098

It'll cost you a little more than getting all the parts yourself, but it's mostly assembled. You just add in the CPU, HDD, RAM and ODD of your choice. Everything else is already hooked up.

I agree that this a great option for the first timers. I've done it and it is really easy. Plus, $220 for a nice case, motherboard, and powersupply isn't too expensive. You do not have a lot of expansion space with shuttle boxes, but they are nice.
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post #127 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 10:30 AM
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Yeah that's what I was thinking. Good luck and thanks for all your efforts!
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post #128 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Sandy Bridge looks to be a good option if you want (or are going to want) the following:
1. 3D playback
2. HDMI 1.4

You are most likely going to have to wait a few months to figure out what CPU and motherboards are going to be the best.

For me I don't want or need 3D playback so I am just as content with the current i3. And I don't have to wait.

Any idea what exactly is impacted by Intel's Insider anti-piracy technology in the i3's? I want to build an HTPC to play tons of DVD ISO's I've burned to a NAS just want to make sure this feature doesn't mistakingly flag my content as pirated and not play it for some reason?
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post #129 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackevin View Post

Thanks. Looking into NCIX. For a novice like me, the website is a little intimidating but I'm figuring it out.
...

It looks like if you go to NCIX.com, you can add all the parts you need to a cart, choose the $50 assembly/test option and do a US checkout. The parts were cheaper on the NCIXus.com site, but they didn't appear to make the assembly option available. Maybe you could go through the US site and contact them about assembly?

Here are the prices I got for a system very similar to Assassin's:

Windows 7 Home Premium: $99
Intel i3-540 cpu: $109
Gigabyte H57M-USB3 mini-ITX LGA1156 mb: $125 (didn't have the H55)
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB: $124 (I prefer my HDD's on an out of the way NAS)
G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 2x2GB: $46
Samsung 8x Bluray: $75 (they don't carry the Lite-On)
MSI Wireless N adapter: $16 (don't carry Rosewill)
Seasonic SS-350ET ps: $40 (Seasonic makes top quality, quiet ps's)
nMedia HTPC-5000B case: $70

Assembly and Testing: $50

Total: $760 + shipping

This system is close to the original recommendation. The only difference is an SSD instead of a HDD, and a $25 more expensive Bluray player.

How does this pricing compare to pre-built systems you are looking into?
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post #130 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanS View Post

It looks like if you go to NCIX.com, you can add all the parts you need to a cart, choose the $50 assembly/test option and do a US checkout. The parts were cheaper on the NCIXus.com site, but they didn't appear to make the assembly option available. Maybe you could go through the US site and contact them about assembly?

Here are the prices I got for a system very similar to Assassin's:

Windows 7 Home Premium: $99
Intel i3-540 cpu: $109
Gigabyte H57M-USB3 mini-ITX LGA1156 mb: $125 (didn't have the H55)
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB: $124 (I prefer my HDD's on an out of the way NAS)
G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 2x2GB: $46
Samsung 8x Bluray: $75 (they don't carry the Lite-On)
MSI Wireless N adapter: $16 (don't carry Rosewill)
Seasonic SS-350ET ps: $40 (Seasonic makes top quality, quiet ps's)
nMedia HTPC-5000B case: $70

Assembly and Testing: $50

Total: $760 + shipping

This system is close to the original recommendation. The only difference is an SSD instead of a HDD, and a $25 more expensive Bluray player.

How does this pricing compare to pre-built systems you are looking into?

That's a great setup. Very decent price since it includes a ssd.
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post #131 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

Any idea what exactly is impacted by Intel's Insider anti-piracy technology in the i3's? I want to build an HTPC to play tons of DVD ISO's I've burned to a NAS just want to make sure this feature doesn't mistakingly flag my content as pirated and not play it for some reason?

Not sure yet. I'm still waiting on all the dust to settle on these new sandy bridge cpus before I make any opinions.

Edit: From what I have read this should only apply to 1080p streamed content online. But I guess we wont know for sure till we start using them.
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post #132 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Not sure yet. I'm still waiting on all the dust to settle on these new sandy bridge cpus before I make any opinions.

Edit: From what I have read this should only apply to 1080p streamed content online. But I guess we wont know for sure till we start using them.

So do you mean this isn't an issue on the existing i3's? I just learned my Ceton Cablecard Tuner shipped so I'm also a bit concerned over what is defined as '1080p streamed online content.' If the existing i3 processors satisfy my requirements (e.g., playing back Windows Media Center (1080i/1080p) recorded content from my Cablecard Tuner, DVD ISO's and HD .mkv files) then I may just prefer the exisinng i3's for my HTPC.
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post #133 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryinnv View Post

So do you mean this isn't an issue on the existing i3's? I just learned my Ceton Cablecard Tuner shipped so I'm also a bit concerned over what is defined as '1080p streamed online content.' If the existing i3 processors satisfy my requirements (e.g., playing back Windows Media Center (1080i/1080p) recorded content from my Cablecard Tuner, DVD ISO's and HD .mkv files) then I may just prefer the exisinng i3's for my HTPC.

Nope. Definitely not a problem with the i3. I think the current i3 will do everything you want with ease.
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post #134 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 02:00 PM
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Hello, I do not have an AVR and I would like Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio. I'm confused how the sound goes from the AMD 5xxx to my headphones.
Is it like this:
5xxx decodes -> X-FI Platinum -> Headphones ???

Do I need to buy additional items other than the video card?
What I have:
Q6600
4GB Ram
X-FI Platinum
Nvidia 6200LE
BeyerDynamic DT 770 Pro 80 OHM

Thank You
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post #135 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Risa View Post

Hello, I do not have an AVR and I would like Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio. I'm confused how the sound goes from the AMD 5xxx to my headphones.
Is it like this:
5xxx decodes -> X-FI Platinum -> Headphones ???

Do I need to buy additional items other than the video card?
What I have:
Q6600
4GB Ram
X-FI Platinum
Nvidia 6200LE
BeyerDynamic DT 770 Pro 80 OHM

Thank You

I think you have the wrong thread.
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post #136 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I think you have the wrong thread.

Oh, I'm sorry. I've looked elsewhere for an answer but all threads assumed users have AVR's with speaker systems.
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post #137 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velillen View Post

Zack im building pretty much the same HTPC as the one assassin has listed parts wise. Parts get here tuesday. if you want i can just document how it all goes together with pictures so you can see how simple it is. Then just do it yourself.

You guys are awesome! Seriously... If you really don't mind taking the pics, maybe I would consider building it.

Quote:


This system is close to the original recommendation. The only difference is an SSD instead of a HDD, and a $25 more expensive Bluray player.

How does this pricing compare to pre-built systems you are looking into?

IanS: I put in a message to NCIX about the building/testing option. If they can build it for me, I get a much better system for around $700-800 than any of the pre-built that I have seen. There was no MSI Wireless N adapter listed on their site. Did I miss it?

Thanks, guys, for all the support!
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post #138 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackevin View Post

You guys are awesome! Seriously... If you really don't mind taking the pics, maybe I would consider building it.

Im planning on pictures a little write up at a minimum. Possibly a video but dont count on that. Pictures/write up yep though!

Honestly when i built my first (and actually only) pc back in 2006 the hardest part is honestly picking the parts! Putting it together is pretty dang simple as most parts only fit in one spot and jumpers dont matter much anymore. You'll be amazed at how simple it is

PSN- Velillen
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post #139 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velillen View Post

Im planning on pictures a little write up at a minimum. Possibly a video but dont count on that. Pictures/write up yep

I am definitely putting it on the first page. I'll probably add some comments to it a well if that is okay.
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post #140 of 15956 Old 01-08-2011, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanS View Post

It looks like if you go to NCIX.com, you can add all the parts you need to a cart, choose the $50 assembly/test option and do a US checkout. The parts were cheaper on the NCIXus.com site, but they didn't appear to make the assembly option available. Maybe you could go through the US site and contact them about assembly?

Here are the prices I got for a system very similar to Assassin's:

Windows 7 Home Premium: $99
Intel i3-540 cpu: $109
Gigabyte H57M-USB3 mini-ITX LGA1156 mb: $125 (didn't have the H55)
Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB: $124 (I prefer my HDD's on an out of the way NAS)
G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 2x2GB: $46
Samsung 8x Bluray: $75 (they don't carry the Lite-On)
MSI Wireless N adapter: $16 (don't carry Rosewill)
Seasonic SS-350ET ps: $40 (Seasonic makes top quality, quiet ps's)
nMedia HTPC-5000B case: $70

Assembly and Testing: $50

Total: $760 + shipping

This system is close to the original recommendation. The only difference is an SSD instead of a HDD, and a $25 more expensive Bluray player.

How does this pricing compare to pre-built systems you are looking into?

If you do this and have them put it together spend the extra $35 and get one of these to go in the case since it's a pain to do:




 

 

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post #141 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 09:25 AM
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Aftermarket CPU Heatsink!

Ok, since at some point in the future I know I'm going to overclock my i3 processor (sorry, its in my blood) and the stock intel cooler is the loudest thing in my case, I've been looking for some $40 or less aftermarket socket 1156 CPU heatsinks to use in the nMedia HTPC-5000B case, to provide better cooling and a lower fan noise.

Only annoying thing is with that case is that it has a heatsink height limit of about 112mm's till you hit the top of the case, which is annoying since 95% of the tall heatpipe heatsinks are at least 130mm in height, if not more.

So it looks like I'll be looking for a Low Profile heatsink, but then some of those are *really* low profile, and it seems like with this case, the best heatsink would be a happy medium...

So far I've looked at...

Arctic Freezer 11 LP - $22


Its cheap, Low profile (53mm high), performs a little better than the Intel stock at idle and full load, but is quieter than the stock heatsink.

Cooler Master Vortex Plus - $30


A little more expensive, a little taller (84mm) but it seems like this performs better than the AF 11 LP but from the reviews it seems to get loud once the fan speeds up.

Two more I found to look at...

COOLER MASTER GeminII S - $40



Scythe SCSK-1100 100mm Shuriken Rev. B - $35




More to come, still weeding thru the sea of heatsinks to find the best fit for this case and the intended use (HTPC)

Any suggestions are more than welcome :-)
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post #142 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 09:54 AM
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I use the Big Shuriken in my Mini ITX build. It is 58 mm tall, cool, and quiet. The only critique I have is that it uses Intel's crappy pushpin system for install.

Scythe SCBSK-1000

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post #143 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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COOLER MASTER GeminII S - $40

This is what I use in my core2duo build. GREAT heatsink.

I have heard really good things about the Big Shuriken as well.
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post #144 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 11:49 AM
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I've found it a little loud.

"The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." Spock, Mark of Gideon, TOS
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post #145 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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post #146 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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post #147 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Added HDMI cable options/recs to the first post.

nice addition. pretty straight forward for most people but a good reminder. I would personally add one from newegg as well though. I use the rosewell ones from NE personally. I only say this cause if you are buying a HTPC with the parts being from newegg it ends up being the same cost for the rosewill from NE as the monoprice cable once you factor in shipping. (for the most part) i think my difference was actually under a dollar. Not a big deal but you know its coming with the rest of your htpc so no worries on multiple vendors and it possibly coming a day later or something. Just a tid bit you might add

I know my parts will be here tomorrow or tuesday but the livino keyboard thingy i had to get through amazon and it wont be here till friday even though i ordered it two days before the htpc.

PSN- Velillen
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post #148 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velillen View Post

nice addition. pretty straight forward for most people but a good reminder. I would personally add one from newegg as well though. I use the rosewell ones from NE personally. I only say this cause if you are buying a HTPC with the parts being from newegg it ends up being the same cost for the rosewill from NE as the monoprice cable once you factor in shipping. (for the most part) i think my difference was actually under a dollar. Not a big deal but you know its coming with the rest of your htpc so no worries on multiple vendors and it possibly coming a day later or something. Just a tid bit you might add

I know my parts will be here tomorrow or tuesday but the livino keyboard thingy i had to get through amazon and it wont be here till friday even though i ordered it two days before the htpc.

Good points. I think the take home message is just to avoid paying more than $10 or so for a HDMI cable. I have never bought cables from newegg but I am sure they have some great cheap options like the rosewill that you mentioned.

You'd be amazed at how many people I know that have bought a 5 foot monster cable for $100.
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post #149 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Anyone else want to post pictures of their recent builds?

Here are my most recent pics. I just finished building this system over the holidays based on recommendations from this community. Currently, I'm in the "tweaking" phase. Running into a few issues getting WMC, Media Browser, TMT5 and MPC integrated so that the wife can operate everything without issues. It's coming together, just a bit more time-consuming than expected.

CPU: AMD ATHLON II X3 440 3.0G AM3 - $84
MB: BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX - $55
Ram: 2Gx2 (4GB) GSKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - $50
HDD (Storage): SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM - $80
HDD (OS): WD Black 500GB 7200 RPM - $60
Video: SAPPHIRE 100287L Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB - $80
Disk: LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM - $60
PS: Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450-Watt 80 Plus Certified - $55
Case: NMEDIAPC 5000B HTPC - $55
OS: Windows 7 Premium x64 OEM - $84
Remote: ROSWILL RCVR PRC-127 - $13
Keyboard: Adesso 2.4 RF









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post #150 of 15956 Old 01-09-2011, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Good points. I think the take home message is just to avoid paying more than $10 or so for a HDMI cable. I have never bought cables from newegg but I am sure they have some great cheap options like the rosewill that you mentioned.

You'd be amazed at how many people I know that have bought a 5 foot monster cable for $100.

I looked into this quite a bit several months ago, and while this is true...there are certain exceptions. In particular, the longer the run, the more important the cable quality.

I found the information posted on bluejeans cable to be very helpful, if anyone is interested in learning more.

Basically, a lot of cheap cables are certified "high speed" cables, but they only submit their 2-3 foot runs to the labs for certification. Personally, if I was going to run more than 10 ft of cable, i would buy better cable from bluejeans cable. Their cables are only ~$20 bucks for 10ft, and you have a better idea what you are getting. They state exactly how long of a run each of their cable type is certified to pass full hdmi bandwidth.

Of course, there are a lot of other components that lead to signal degradation, and I'm not suggesting spending $100 on a cable....but if your HDMI run is over ~10 ft, you may want to consider spending 20-30 bucks at bluejeans cable or a similar company.

(i am not affiliated at all with blue jeans cable, I just appreciate their detailed specs and interest in providing customers with useful info...and I've purchased there before).

Great thread Assassin!
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Rosewill Windows Vista Certified Media Center Infrared Remote Control Rrc 126 , New Logitech Harmony One Keypad Touch Screen Advanced Universal Remote Control Infrared Display Lcd

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