Working out an HTPC system build. Suggestions wanted - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-15-2013, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I’ve been a member for a few years now. I read a lot but don’t post much. I’m not that knowledgeable but I enjoy reading and learning and there is plenty to learn here.

I put together a relatively modest 3D home theater system in our TV room a while ago. My next addition is going to be a HTPC system. My wife and I have decided to cut loose from cable, go OTA for television, and a streaming service, probably Netflix. We analyzed what we watch and found over 95% is on the three major networks for her. I prefer movies to television so an HTPC system with OTA TV seems like a win for us and a whole lot cheaper. My 2 year commitment with our satellite provider is over September 2013. That’s my deadline to have this built and functioning properly.

I’m going to list what I think I need and would greatly appreciate any suggestions or criticisms. I want to build my own PC’s. I was a field service engineer for a data processing company in the 80’s and 90’s. I have some electronics knowledge. Obviously it’s dated so I’ve been reading to get myself up to speed. The systems I worked on were OCR, ICR, and MICR processing systems connected to terminals for key correction. They were mostly TTL logic on wire wrapped augat panels with core memory. Jeez I just felt ancient writing that.

The new system will be two computers, one in the TV room, the other in the computer room connected through a wired/wireless router (already in place).

The PC connected to the HT will be used to watch/record TV, access Netflix, HULU, etc., and play movies and music stored on our main PC in the computer room. We already have a 3d Blu-ray player so a player won't be necessary in the PC.

The computer room PC will be used to rip both 2d and 3d movies, music, and data storage. It will also have MS Office and probably Call of Duty installed, if it works on windows 7. Occasionally I like to play a game or two (I’m old, I prefer blowing up Nazis to Aliens)

I subscribed to member Assassin’s blog site a few days ago. That was exactly what I needed to get my thinking process going. Thanks for providing all of that great info in one place.

For the computer room PC I’m considering an Ivy Bridge processor with an Asrock Extreme 4-M mother board, SSD for the operating system and a 2T HDD for data storage.

I haven’t considered anything yet for the other PC with the exception of having a dual TV tuner card to watch/record and integrating it with my Harmony One controller. The user interface has to be really simple. My wife will have a difficult time if she has more than one step to turn on the tv. The harmony one works great with my HT and from what I’ve read I should be able to configure it to operate a PC.

If you’ve got this far in my post, thanks for reading my ramblings. I’m really amped about this build and am looking forward to any suggestions.

Bill W.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-15-2013, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rattrigger82 View Post

I subscribed to member Assassin’s blog site a few days ago. That was exactly what I needed to get my thinking process going. Thanks for providing all of that great info in one place.

You are welcome. Welcome to HTPC!
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-15-2013, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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This is my first attempt at a parts list for my desktop. It's intended use is mostly to rip movies and music for my HTPC. Light usage for Internet browsing, MS office, and occasional game usage. Is this overkill? I have a tendency to hold onto my equipment for a long time. The desktop this is replacing was purchased in 2003. Any thoughts or comments? I really want to make sure everything will work together before I start purchasing

CPU: Ivy Bridge i5-3570k 3.4ghz quad core

Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme 4-M

Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)

HDD: WD Green WD20EARX 2 TB

SSD: Samsung 840 Series 120 GB SATA III

Optical Drive: Lite-On Bluray/DVD/CD Burner

PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MKIII 400 W Modular

Case: Corsair – Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower ATX
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-15-2013, 08:07 PM
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I just completed an HTPC using Assassin's paid guides, and I had never built a computer in my life. You will definitely be able to build it yourself easily if you're following the guides and have a basic understanding of computers. Go for it! I really had a lot of fun doing it and learned a lot.

I won't offer any advice since I'm a noob at this, but I'll run down what I just built to give you an idea of "how much overkill" you want.

Mine is:
Windows 7 home premium 64bit
Ivy Bridge i3-3225
DH77EB mobo
8GB G.Skill Ripjaws RAM
WD Green 3TB SATA III hard drive
120GB Intel 330 SATA III solid state hard drive
LiteOn IHES11204 optical drive
Ceton Infinitv4 PCIe tuner

Granted I am not using this for gaming or anything other than TV, ripping and streaming, but it is blazing fast as is. I've never had an SSD before and WOW. It boots in under 10 seconds from the time you press the power button, and all the applications are just lightning fast. So, I feel that my setup is probably way overkill for what I'm doing, but I don't care - I love it! And I suppose it has the capacity to take on more jobs and hardware in the future if I want to.

One thing that's really nice about the SSD is how fast you can install Windows (about 10 minutes using a thumb drive). Don't stress out if you're getting confused the first time you're trying to install all the drivers, codecs and software - it's trivial to format the hard drive and start over with a clean Windows! I started over with clean installs a couple of times when I did stuff in the wrong order - rather than uninstalling, I just reinstalled Windows to guarantee I had a clean system.
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