New HTPC to record Verizon FIOS program - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I plan to build a fairly good HTPC, based on the information on this forum. Based on newegg, the total cost will be about $1,150.

The HTPC will be used mainly to record news, current affairs, travel, cooking shows etc , up to 4 concurrent HD channels.

Before spending this large sum of money, I would like to check from fellow members that I have chosen the right components, and also to hear possible alternative components that are better/cheaper alternatives (or can be sourced cheaper elsewhere).

Here's the list, and pricing details (cost from neweggs):

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1 GHZ LGA1155 Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623132100 119.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 z68 HDMI SATA USB3 MicroATX Intel Motherboard 118.99
OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 94.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1600 F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 45.99
Antec Three Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Case 2*USB3 69.99
Pioneer Black Internal BD/DVD/CD Writer SATA BDR-207DBKS 89.99
Windows 7 64 bit $100 (or less) Home Premium 99.99
Logitech Harmony One Universal Infrared Advanced Remote Control 174.99
Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card Digital Cable TV PCI-Express 189.99
Samsung EcoGreen F4 2TB Hard Drive ST2000DL004 119.99
HP Media Center IR Infrared USB Receiver TSGI-IR01 19.99

(I currently have a mouse/keyboard)


I plan to connect the HTPC directly to a Panasonic Plasma TC-P50ST50 TV via HDMI cable. Does the HDMI output of the above HTPC support both video and audio? (I am renting at an apartment, so do not intend to add a surround system as it will affect my neighbors).

I will be attempting to build the above system myself (first time), including installing Windows 7 MCE. Do I need a physical monitor during the install process or can I connect the unit to the Plasma TV?

Are there any other parts that I need to order (I assume all the screws and cables for the motherboard connections will be supplied, right)?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 08:48 PM
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It looks fine.

 

But you need a decent power supply.

 

Personally I'd get a Samsun 830 128GB SSD for $99 rather than the Agility 3.

 

I'm sure the motherboard is fine although you could save some money with, for example, an Intel DH67BL for $85.  Not sure you need a $120 motherboard for this build (or a Z68 - I'd look for an H67 or H77).  There would be lots of cheaper options.

 

If you're near a Micro Center, you can get the CPU for $89. and other places have had that chip for under $100 recently as well.

 

You SHOULD be able to post directly to you plasma (I have with several systems to mine) but Im not guaranteeing your particular combination will work.

 

Yes, if you're using a i3-2100 with an H61, H67, H77, Z68, Z77 motherboard that has an HDMI output, the HDMI output will carry both the audio and video.

 

Be sure to check prices on Amazon as well.  Sometimes they're cheaper, and no shipping charge on cases and PSUs (which can be quite a bit at Newegg.)

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 09:24 PM
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You don't actually need an i3-2xxx for your purposes. A G5xx series CPU is more than adequate and is can be had for close to half the cost.

An H67 or even an H61 motherboard would be sufficient as well. It depends on the bells and whistles you want like eSATA, front header for USB3, Firewire, etc.

The case you selected is nice for a regular computer but it's not really an HTPC specific case. Most want an HTPC case that look more like a media device and less like a computer. What specific requirements are you looking for in a case?

Like the previous reply, a Samsung or Intel might be a better choice. OCZ SSDs seem to have reliability issues. I say this even though the laptop I'm posting from has an OCZ SSD that has been rock solid for well over 2 years. It's just that OCZ SSDs have a relatively high failure rate overall.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-12-2012, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Zon2020,

Thanks for your prompt response.

I was not aware that the case did not come with a power supply. Which power supply would you recommend for this unit (would like it to be quiet if price is not too expensive).

I will take a look at the other suggestions too.

Thanks.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 04:10 AM
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Buy.com has the Crucial M4 128GB SSD for $80 with free shipping. Check out the link on Slickdeals.net for the deal. You can usually get a refurbished Logitech Harmony One for $100 or a new one for $150 or less if you shop around. Corsair and Seasonic make some of the best power supplies and the Corsairs are routinely on sale.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Micromain, The HTPC will be mainly used to store recorded TV shows, watch Blueray/DVDs and also to backup my photos and laptop. I plan to store most of the cooking and travel shows so I can watch them again later on. I went for the mini tower case as I think I will need to have more disks, say up to 4 hard disks. Can the smaller case have room for 4 hard disks, as well as the Blueray? If so, please kindly recommend a suitable one for the motherboard/CPU chosen, and also the relevant power supply (I am fairly unfamiliar with PC components). Many thanks.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 06:44 AM
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Am planning a build for HTPC/Server and am looking at this case: Silverstone GD-06B. Can hold 4 hard-drives (2 hot-swappable), two 5.25" bay...and looks like a media device. Cheers.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 07:21 AM
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It sounds like you will be using this PC as a server for both pictures and TV content as well as a WMC playback machine. As long as you plan to add up to three additional hard drives, your choices for the case are limited (especially if you want to keep the price down). I just finished a build somewhat like you are talking about. I put it in a Roswell case that came with a ~400W power supply and cost $50 from newegg with shipping and tax (I live in TN). If you watch the specials from newegg you can pick up something like this practically every week.

I used an H77 mini ITX motherboard from ASROCK $99 (there is a micro ATX version for 69.99+free shipping) and an i5-3570K I picked up from a microcenter store for $189 (WAY overkill, but I plan on serving 4-5 extenders and recording 6+ channels at a time, so I went high instead of low). I used 8GB of memory (~$45). I have a 120GB OCZ system drive (Vertex 3), and 2TB and 500GB WD green drives installed for recording TV content. There is a windows home server on the network that has my movie/picture/music libraries and significantly more space if I need to archive any additional TV recordings. I do not have a bluRay player in this machine, just a DVD burner. I use dedicated bluRay players around the house for the most part for that function.

This setup works flawlessly with my cablecard tuners at present, could not be happier. I also use the machine as an office PC. With everything included, thai machine came in at just under $700. The operating system was only 42.50 (1/3rd of 3-pack windows home premium upgrade $130), I paid $79 for the 2TB WD drive and $40 for the 500GB drive 2 years ago and about $89 for the Vertex 3 after rebate. So, I didn't buy the parts all at once and most of them were laying around unused at the time. My cablecard tuners are silicondust HDHomeRun (2 @ 3 tuners each). I did not include them in the PC cost as I use them all over the house. I caught one on special from Woot ($130) and the other on special at $170.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsuser00 View Post

Hi Zon2020,

Thanks for your prompt response.

I was not aware that the case did not come with a power supply. Which power supply would you recommend for this unit (would like it to be quiet if price is not too expensive).

I will take a look at the other suggestions too.

Thanks.

Understand that a lot of big name pc parts companies sell power supplies; but basically none of them make power supplies.  They're all made by a bunch of Asian companies that you've probably never heard of, most of which don't sell in the US under their own names.  Different brands sell psus made by a variety of companies, and those companies supply various brands.

 

Seasonic and FSP are probably the two best "non-exotic" mfgs, and they both sell in their own name as well as make power supplies for others.  You can be pretty comfortable buying either of those brands.  With others you need to do a little background on who made it or reviews that actually tear it down and test it.  Look at Assassin's hardware guide, tomshardware.com, and JonnyGuru.com for recommendations and reviews.

 

Oh, and a power supply is not something on which to cut corners.  It may not be glamorous, but it is a very important component of your system, if you want it to be stable and not to burn up.

 

Here are some suggestions in the ballpark wattage:

 

SeaSonic S12II 380B - Newegg $53.99 (excellent power supply)

 

PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 400W - Newegg $49.99 after rebate.  (PCP&C is now owned by OCZ, but this power supply is made by Seasonic)

 

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D - Newegg $36.99   (often on sale, used by quite a few people here on AVS)

 

Antec NEO ECO 400C - Newegg $49.99 (also made by Seasonic)

 

A good buy right now is the Corsair Builder Series CX430 V2 which Newegg has for $35 after rebate (last week it was $25 after rebate) and which got a good recommendation from JonnyGuru  which you can read here -  http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&file=print&reid=239

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post #10 of 14 Old 08-19-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I have a question regarding the ventilation requirement of the Silverstone GD06B HTPC case.

According to the site, the dimension is 17.32" (W) * 13.39" (D) * 5.91" (H).

My cabinet space is just slightly wider, dimension is 18.5" (W) * 16" (D) and *7" (H, adjustable height).

Is there sufficient ventilation clearance, given that the 3 supplied fans are on the sides, and I also plan to have 4 3.5: hard disks eventually?

These are the components I have in mind:
SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum GD06B case
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1 GHZ LGA1155 Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623132100
GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 z68 HDMI SATA USB3 MicroATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1600 F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
Pioneer Black Internal BD/DVD/CD Writer SATA BDR-207DBKS
Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card Digital Cable TV PCI-Express
Samsung EcoGreen F4 2TB Hard Drive ST2000DL004
HP Media Center IR Infrared USB Receiver TSGI-IR01
SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Logitech Harmony One Universal Infrared Advanced Remote Control
Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium

Please advise if there's a problem installing the above components in the GD06B case, or if there's a case that's a better fit for my cabinet size.

Thanks
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-19-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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You should be able to post to that Plasma. I can post to the Panasonic TH-42PZ700u.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-19-2012, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micromain View Post

You don't actually need an i3-2xxx for your purposes. A G5xx series CPU is more than adequate and is can be had for close to half the cost.
An H67 or even an H61 motherboard would be sufficient as well. It depends on the bells and whistles you want like eSATA, front header for USB3, Firewire, etc.
The case you selected is nice for a regular computer but it's not really an HTPC specific case. Most want an HTPC case that look more like a media device and less like a computer. What specific requirements are you looking for in a case?
Like the previous reply, a Samsung or Intel might be a better choice. OCZ SSDs seem to have reliability issues. I say this even though the laptop I'm posting from has an OCZ SSD that has been rock solid for well over 2 years. It's just that OCZ SSDs have a relatively high failure rate overall.


Man....I like the way you think.. A lower performing MB and processor doesn't need a whopping PSU. packed into a small case. biggrin.gif
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-20-2012, 04:52 AM
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I assume you already know this, but FIOS has recently enabled the "copy-once" flag on a lot of their channels. I have several friends with FIOS cablecard HTPCs and they're extremely ticked off.
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-20-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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The only channels with copy once in my FiOS area are the premium channels, such as HBO.
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