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post #1 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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See post #15 for updated list.

This isn't my first computer build but it is my first HTPC so I'm hoping you will make sure I'm on the right track. I've read Assassin's guide, multiple threads here and Googled a lot of info but I feel like I still don't have it all covered. Everyone has so many different needs that one build thread is way overkill or under built it seems.

What I need it to do:
Record/play live TV
Automatically download podcasts such as TWiT

What I have:
Micro ATX case. It was my G'ma's Dell 2350 Dimension. Not sure what was wrong with it but anything in there probably wouldn't play nice with a new MB. Space is not an issue neither is sound as all my HT gear is on the other side of a wall.
FreeNAS server to hold all my media.

What I have picked out:
CPU $124 Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115077

I stepped up from the 3.1GHz basically so I didn't have the lowest available CPU. It was only $6 more. I don't know that it really matters.


MB $114 ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293

$75 Cheapest H77 board on New Egg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157303



Capture Card $94 Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116037
I read somewhere that the Hauppauge cards were the best so that's all I looked at.

RAM $30 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293


What I need:
Power supply
SSD for the OS.

I still need another HDD to store all the recorded material onto correct? I would suppose 500GB should be plenty big.

I have IR ran back there but the computer need an IR dongle. I will be controlling the system with my Harmony One.

What did I miss?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 09:12 PM
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Dell likes to use proprietary motherboards and cases so a standard atx/micro atx board probably won't fit. Not sure if you meant you wanted
to try and use that or not. I definitely recommend starting fresh with a new case.

Also you picked a full ATX motherboard. Normally people go with micro atx for an htpc so you won't need a large case.
Its a good board but overkill for an htpc. All you need is an H77 board for an htpc.

What TV provider do you have? Are you just planning on recording OTA with an antenna? Or whatever your cable Co sends over QAM?

If you have a cable or satellite and want to use that it won't work for anything but QAM that your cable co offers in the clear.
Which these days is usually maybe locals in HD and some or maybe none of the other channels, usually SD.
If you are aware of all that then disregard.

Not sure if you intend to record High Def, but it cmoes out to about 4gb an hour. 500gb's will fill up faster than you think
with HD. 2tb is where its at for DVR hard drives. I would get the biggest you can afford now instead of finding out later that the 500 is not
cutting it.

That was kind of all over the place but just some stuff I noticed.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-30-2012, 11:18 PM
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Here’s my old Dell Dimension 2400.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1404685/cheapest-ever-htpc-thats-decent-proud-of-myself/630#post_22239842

I too heard about Dell using proprietary mobos & a standard micro ATX may not fit. But I found this based on a Dimension 2300.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1404685/cheapest-ever-htpc-thats-decent-proud-of-myself/630#post_22239842

I measured my Dell mobo mounting screw positions as best possible & it sure seemed like my new ECS mobo would fit & it did. And so did a full size PSU. I kept the original case/CPU fan & used it as a case fan.

I’m guessing the Dell 2350 is similar to the 2300 & 2400.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-31-2012, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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OK I will look for a micro board and update.

Cheapest H77 board on New Egg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157303

I only have OTA. I could split the incoming cable connection and see what is on QAM but according to my regional thread here all I'll add of worth is WGN.

I will get a 2TB drive. I have one in the server that's been great and they are really cheap anyway.

I have an old micro board laying around, I'll have to see if it will work in the Dell case.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-31-2012, 04:49 AM
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Here you go :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131786

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115090 (Better built in graphics) Ie: Intel 3000 ILO 2000

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703034

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441 or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442 or a Samsung 830 in 64 or 128 gig models .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152245 or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136891 for data drives

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815706001 My favorite tuning card .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163205 . I like the Silverstone cases but you may pick from many varieties . This is just an example .

Get a copy of OEM Windows 7 64 bit either home premium or professional . I like prfessional cause you can rdp with out hacking the registry . Home premiun is fine though to and what most folks here use .

There , I just built you a kick ass htpc that will last you for many , many years . There are hundreds of build threads in this forum if you do a search and will give you many other ideas . Here is another idea and I am not even charging for it !! . Check this out .... the free version gives many solid build ideas that have been built , tested and work without flaw .

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/ Get the paid version for the wealth of "GOLD"..... Screw Visa !! THIS IS PRICELESS !!

You may or some may say my build is pricey . I just gave you good solid componants that plainly work . You need to shop these parts at various e -tailors to get the better prices . Deals are out there if you shop and can be paticient .

Good Luck and post back with pics of your " New ride " biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-31-2012, 05:08 AM
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I retrofitted two of my HTPC's with SSD's (120GB) for the OS. When you consider the abuse the HD takes with recording numerous hours of garbage TV programs and commercials; it is nice to have the OS and applications on seperate media. It really brings the HTPC to a whole new level of positive user interaction.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-31-2012, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Flocko!

Looks like the MB is a bit more future proof and the CPU is only another $10. Both good upgrades. I saw that RAM this morning and put it in my cart. That's a no brainer. Double the RAM to 8GB for $15? Heck yes! I forgot to fix the link here.

The tuner card is overkill for my use. We've been OTA only for 3 years and have never needed more than 2 tuners so I can't justify that upgrade. Please correct me if I'm looking at this wrong.

Yes I am definitely putting the OS on an SSD and data on a HDD. And I've read over Assassin's work and searched here. There seems to be a lot that doesn't apply to my needs and I don't want to overbuild for me. Lots of guys talking about 3D, I don't need that and never plan too. It really only needs to record and play live TV and stream off the NAS.

Thanks for the tips everyone!
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-31-2012, 03:18 PM
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You are quite welcome !

The tuner card was just thrown in for good measure as I will be referancing this thread for other folks builds so I don't have to keep re searching for all the links .

Ok .... " chop , chop " time to order up and get some build pics posted so we all can " oooohh and aaaawww " in a jealous like manor over your new hot rod . j/k , j/k

Good luck and post back . Remember , everyone is here to help if you need it smile.gif
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-31-2012, 05:09 PM
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If your just doing OTA thats probably the best tuner. Sounds like you got things under control and have a nice little build there.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-07-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Ordered everything this afternoon. Stuff from Amazon will be here Thursday, Newegg on Friday!
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-08-2012, 04:47 AM
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Why would a CableCARD tuner be the best for OTA?

Oops, looking at the wrong post.

That Hauppauge 2250 works well if you have a good, strong signal so antenna selection and aiming as well as the cabling to the HTPC are important.

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post #12 of 16 Old 08-08-2012, 10:44 AM
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I'm interested in this as well. I just had to switch from DTV to Comcast and the user interface for Comcast makes me want to punch someone in the face. I much rather use XBMC or something along those lines. What's the best HTPC DVR software for if I connect my Comcast box to my computer (via a coax adapter).
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-08-2012, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyzing View Post

I'm interested in this as well. I just had to switch from DTV to Comcast and the user interface for Comcast makes me want to punch someone in the face. I much rather use XBMC or something along those lines. What's the best HTPC DVR software for if I connect my Comcast box to my computer (via a coax adapter).
If you want to connect your cable box to your pc you need a capture device. Which is kind of a work around not a full time solution imo. You usualy need an IR blaster that will send commands to the cable box. So you are still really using the STB even with a new interface like WMC. XBMC is pretty limited when it comes to live tv. Not even sure they have it yet.

The best way is to get a cable card tuner. Put that in your PC. Give comcast their DVR back and you rent a cablecard for about $3 a month. No cable box rental fee no dvr service fee.

If any of your content is protected ie flagged copy once you can only use WMC. Its the only software right now that can decrypt an encrypted cable signal.
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-10-2012, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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:sigh: Got everything today. Going together smoothly, except the 3.5 to 2.5 adapter for the SSD. Got to the front panel connector and it doesn't match up to the motherboard. That's what I get for using an old case. They both have 20 "pins" but one is larger than the other.

Time to see if my Google Fu is up to par.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-15-2012, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Well it's up and updating Windows. I'm off to bed and will hopefully get it all set up by the end of the week. It came to $822.56 all together. I bought everything from Newegg or Amazon thanks to Amazon Prime.

Here are the parts I ended up with.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2105 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-M Pro Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($96.98 @ PC Mall)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($62.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Rosewill RANGER-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 400W ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.32 @ Amazon)
Tuner Card: Hauppauge 1229 WinTV-HVR-2250 White Box for System Builders Dual Hybrid PCI-E TV Tuner Board ($91.54 @ Amazon)
Total: $722.75
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-15 21:31 EDT-0400)
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-16-2012, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a few pics. The tuner card is missing in the top one.





And my mess. I will be putting the HTPC on the lower shelf. I need to lower it 1" so it'll fit.
It's all out of sight. The TV hangs on the other side of the wall. I don't think the kids mind looking at it.



Watching pre season NFL on it right now. I've gotten a video error several times but if it doesn't pop up right after starting live TV it works. And my Harmony One won't work with it. Will have to figure that out.

Thanks to everyone who helped! I'm going to love this.
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