Any advice for my $1000 Ceton HTPC build? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Posted this over at tomshardware and thought i would get the advice of avs forums as well. I have been lurking for a month researching and find this site and its members very valuable. Thanks!
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Approximate Purchase Date: within next two weeks but can wait if necessary

Budget Range: $1000 before Rebates/shipping/taxes

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HTPC, recording and watch HD cable tv, streaming live and recorded tv and other video files to Xbox 360 extenders.

Parts Not Required: keyboard and mouse (for now), Windows 7 x64, remote control (need usb ir receiver tho).

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: will look at Amazon or NewEgg but I have to pay tax on Newegg so prefer Amazon (prime member too).

Parts Preferences: no preferences but think Intel sandy bridge will get the job done most effienciently. Pretty set on the Ceton Infiniti tv 4 tuner card though.

Overclocking: No, possibly underclocking but never done it before

Monitor Resolution:1080p

Additional Comments: I think I am ready to take a stab at my first HTPC after dealing with the TERRIBLE Comcast DVRS and their fees for too long. Essentially what I want this machine to do is replace my DVRS using windows media center and act as a hub for xbox 360s to access its video files, music, pictures, recorded and live tv. In my living my entertainment system (TV + receiver that requires optical audio) will hook up directly to the HTPC and through my wired network use the xbox 360 in the bedroom as an extender. One concern I have is I don't know what computers the xbox 360 media extenders would stress on the machine? Is my proposed build below enough to handle 2 or 3 xbox 360 extenders in the future or do I need to go quad core or something else? I also read that running onboard graphics for the h67 chipset can sometimes cause problems with codecs. I understand this but want to first give it a go with onboard graphics understanding I may need to through in a $75 discrete hdmi radeon card or something later on.

It should be quiet, cool, and will be on at all time so low power when idle. It has to look decent enough to convince my wife. Fortunately, she is used to the look of a receiver so it shouldn't be a problem. Convincing her it's worth a $1000 investment is another story so any tips there would be grateful.

One other thing I am worried about is the network setup. I am unfamiliar with a gigabit setup. I don't know much of anything about this but from my reading I think the best choice would be to run Ethernet from modem to wireless router then to a gigabit switch which hardwires to all other devices (main computer, xbox 360s, HTPC). Is this correct? How much is a good gigabit switch? What about cat 5e?

Thanks in advance everybody.
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I will post Newegg and Amazon links below as I would prefer Amazon where I can find it cause I won't have to pay 9.25% tax and I am an Amazon prime member

TV Tuner Card: pretty set on this.
Ceton InfinitiTV 4 - $400

Case: part I am most unfamiliar/unsure of.
Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center - $150

CPU: is dual core enough to be able to watch/record tv to multiple extenders?
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W - $125

Mobo: need hmdi and optical out as my receiver does not have hdmi but TV does
GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-UD2H-B3 - $130

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $47

Hard Drives: 1 SSD for OS and possibly time shift buffer, 1 for media storage
OCZ Technology 60 GB Vertex 2 Series SATA II 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) OCZSSD22VTXE60G - $116

Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2 TB SATA2 5400rpm 32 MB Hard Drive HD204UI/Z4 - $90

PSU: never know if I have enough
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W - $40

Remote: just need an usb receiver for the Logitech harmony xbox 360 remote I already have.
Windows 7 Vista XP Media Center MCE PC Remote Control and Infrared Receiver for Home, Premium and Ultimate Edition - $20

Total = $1118 and I think I like it enough to try and sneak by over budget. Thanks for any advice everybody and sorry for the long post.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 03:18 PM
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I had similar questions in my thread here a few weeks ago:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1317729

also, this thread is great to read:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1302559
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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nice andrewjs. Did you end up building it? How does it perform? Any stuttering using extenders?

Why did you go with the asus over the gigabyte mobo?

And i read through Assassin's stuff, got most of my parts from it and helped a lot.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 08:19 PM
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Thanks guys.

Glad I could help.


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post #5 of 16 Old 03-23-2011, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuccck View Post

nice andrewjs. Did you end up building it? How does it perform? Any stuttering using extenders?

Why did you go with the asus over the gigabyte mobo?

And i read through Assassin's stuff, got most of my parts from it and helped a lot.

it's partially built. I have everything installed and wired up except a dvd-rom. I thought I had a black 1, but the one I do have is white and since I spent like $930 on the HTPC, I want it to look pretty damn nice so I'm going to grab a black 1 tomorrow (my case is black).

also, I'm waiting on my ceton tv tuner to come in, which should be soon because it's in the next shipment lot. according to cannonpc, which is where I ordered my card, there's going to have tv tuners in stock soon to fulfill orders as soon as they come in:

"Great News!!!!

Ceton has have made great advances in production and shipments and we may have current back orders filled within a couple of weeks. We will then begin to have units in stock for immediate shipment of new orders in about 3 weeks.

Processsing Orders 16814 through - 17595

Phone lines will be unmaned from Thursday March 17th to Sunday March 20th due to Spring Break vacations. Email will be monitored and will be responded to in a timely manner. Eamil email questions about orders to sales@cannonpc.com and include the order number. Technical suppport questions email support@cannonpc.com."
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-24-2011, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewjs18 View Post

it's partially built. I have everything installed and wired up except a dvd-rom. I thought I had a black 1, but the one I do have is white and since I spent like $930 on the HTPC, I want it to look pretty damn nice so I'm going to grab a black 1 tomorrow (my case is black).

also, I'm waiting on my ceton tv tuner to come in, which should be soon because it's in the next shipment lot. according to cannonpc, which is where I ordered my card, there's going to have tv tuners in stock soon to fulfill orders as soon as they come in:

"Great News!!!!

Ceton has have made great advances in production and shipments and we may have current back orders filled within a couple of weeks. We will then begin to have units in stock for immediate shipment of new orders in about 3 weeks.

Processsing Orders 16814 through - 17595

Phone lines will be unmaned from Thursday March 17th to Sunday March 20th due to Spring Break vacations. Email will be monitored and will be responded to in a timely manner. Eamil email questions about orders to sales@cannonpc.com and include the order number. Technical suppport questions email support@cannonpc.com."

Since you seem to know about ceton, do you know if there are any updates on when the dual tuner version will be release?
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-24-2011, 11:18 AM
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Chuck sound like you know what you are doing, if you notice a problem with the 24fps thing you can get something like the radeon 6450 when it becomes available. I recommended a core i3 system to my brother last year, I will probably recomend the 6450 when its available.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-24-2011, 11:25 AM
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2 extenders shouldn't be any issue, 3 might be pushing it at least if all 3 are in use along w/ the HTPC.


I was hoping the InfiniTV 6 would come out before they caught up on the InfiniTV 4s so I could be sure that I could sell mine quick.


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post #9 of 16 Old 03-24-2011, 03:01 PM
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Has the firmware for tuner sharing gone public yet or is it still beta? That's the big thing holding me back at this point.

 

 

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post #10 of 16 Old 03-24-2011, 06:27 PM
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I think it's still beta, but they seem to add everyone that has an issue to the beta program as it has a lot of fixes besides the tuner sharing.


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post #11 of 16 Old 03-25-2011, 04:13 AM
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My ceton card finally processed. My account was charged so I'm looking at a couple more days left on my wait. I ordered it on Jan 28 so I had about a 2 month wait.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-25-2011, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Has the firmware for tuner sharing gone public yet or is it still beta? That's the big thing holding me back at this point.

Definitely still in beta. Plus, the sharing utility used to configure network bridging (also in beta at missingremote.com) has been pulled for the last couple of weeks. I'm a bit annoyed by that because I got into the beta the day they took it offline. Didn't lose any functionality, and the beta firmware has been working great for me, but I really want to add a tuner to another HTPC is the house.


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post #13 of 16 Old 03-25-2011, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuccck View Post


Case: part I am most unfamiliar/unsure of.
Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center - $150

Chuck, I have that same Antec case and the front lcd is really more trouble than it's worth. It has a built-in infrared receiver that runs on iMon software and has been a nightmare for my Harmony One remote. The only way to turn off the IR is to completely disable the lcd display (which is also overly bright and has crappy contrast). I finally bought an external USB IR receiver and thought I'd keep the lcd on for the clock, equalizer, and playback info, but it keeps picking up stray signals from my remote.

If I were to choose again I'd go with something like the Silverstone GD05B.
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-25-2011, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys, Somehow I have missed the emails for both this thread and the tomshardware one. Odd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Chuck sound like you know what you are doing, if you notice a problem with the 24fps thing you can get something like the radeon 6450 when it becomes available. I recommended a core i3 system to my brother last year, I will probably recomend the 6450 when its available.

Thanks Jeff. I don't think I will notice a problem with teh 24 fps thing but at least i know its a simple $75 ish problem too fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyram4x4 View Post

2 extenders shouldn't be any issue, 3 might be pushing it at least if all 3 are in use along w/ the HTPC.


I was hoping the InfiniTV 6 would come out before they caught up on the InfiniTV 4s so I could be sure that I could sell mine quick.

well, in the near future the MOST it will do is run straight from htpc to Main tv and one xbox extender in the bedroom. ONE DAY we might add extenders. Then i think i might be able to convince the wife of an upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pseudonym View Post

Chuck, I have that same Antec case and the front lcd is really more trouble than it's worth. It has a built-in infrared receiver that runs on iMon software and has been a nightmare for my Harmony One remote. The only way to turn off the IR is to completely disable the lcd display (which is also overly bright and has crappy contrast). I finally bought an external USB IR receiver and thought I'd keep the lcd on for the clock, equalizer, and playback info, but it keeps picking up stray signals from my remote.

If I were to choose again I'd go with something like the Silverstone GD05B.

DONE AND DONE. I was thinking about that for a while now too and really like the Silverstone. ONLY problem is its OOS on Amazon and $130 on new after shipping and taxes.

Heres another question for you guys. I current run my xbox 360 as a media center extender from my main computer for video files i have dowloaded and other stuff. I NEVER open media center on my computer, but if i did can i test on some plug ins on my main pc to show off some of the cooler add ons to my wife>?

Thanks guys.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-25-2011, 03:48 PM
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My advice on the wife is to have everything working perfectly (well as close as possible) before showing her anything. My initial set up was not perfect in xp MCE and it took the wife much longer to accept my Windows 7 setup that has worked very well since day 1. but as with any wife advice YMMV.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-25-2011, 10:34 PM
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My wife is a Senior IT Manager so I don't get away with anything! It just better work!
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