I am cutting my cable and getting rid of the cable box. My rooftop antenna provides 35+ channels (boston area), combined with internet based content should work for us.
I am technically competent having built PCs before, but never an htpc. Please guide me through this process based on my requirements below:
1. One box to do it all! Watch TV, DVD (blueray not priority), Internet streaming, play CD, ripping cd/dvd to box, connect to other storage on networks, program guide, record shows/series, timeshifting etc.
2. Sleek, elegant slim box to replace the cable box.
3. Will sit under the Samsung 550 series LCD tv with clear line of sight.
4. Single remote to control both the tv and htpc. Since they are in line of sight, IR should be fine. Though wouldn't mind RF if it can be easily incorporated. Additionally might go for lenovo remote keypad/mouse to control HTPC.
5. Probably need dual tuner - happauge or HDHomeRun?
6. Fast and responsive - not necessarily going for overkill but would like good response.
7. Very quite. Should be able to watch late at night without hearing the hum.
8. Not opposed to slightly running hot as it sits open under the tv, though still surrounded on three sides.
9 Already have Windows 7 Pro.
10. Last but not least, wife friendly
11. Budget $500-$700.
Where should I start?