Mid-range Home Theatre PC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-30-2013, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

 

The big bad PC that was my family's HTPC went off to college last fall with our youngest child.  We've been missing it!

 

I want to build a new HTPC.  This one will go in the TV stand under the TV, and will plug into our Denon A/V receiver via HDMI.  Our other HTPC acted as a media server for our network.  I'll stuff some big hard drives into the new one for storage of music, video, photos and movies.

 

I want to play BD quality movies from media and from ripped/downloaded files.  Our cable TV provider will not sell cable cards, so can't use the box as a DVR sadly.  We won't be gaming on this box.  I'd like to be able to run the thing with my Harmony (can't remember the version) remote.  I want it to be very quiet - we have an Xbox 360, and it's too noisy for my tastes.

 

I am an IT guy, but my skills and experience are all in the realm of business networks etc.  My head is a little full of all that crap to do a deep dive into HTPC tech, so I am looking for a little advice.  I have access to any hardware I want, and my company is a Microsoft Parter, so I have a copy of Windows 8 at my disposal.

 

I was thinking of using an i3 - 4120 CPU, 4GB of ram, and an SSD for the OS, a 3-4 TB HDD for media.  I'm a fan of Asus motherboard, so would like to stick them for a M/B.

 

Questions...

 

Does the integrated video on this CPU allow me to play HD content efficiently?

 

I have owned many AMD processors in the past as well, is there a strong case to be made for using an AMD processor instead of the i3 - 4130?

 

Which motherboard suits HTPC use best?

 

I am having a hard time finding a case, seems like most manufacturer's think HTPCs are old news.  What is reccomended/available these days?

 

Thanks for your input!

 

David Moen

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-30-2013, 07:49 PM
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I suggest you look at Assasins guide to building a HTPC, it helped me greatly when I built mine . I can play Bluray movies with HD audio flawlessly.

TV - Panasonic 55GT50Main Speakers - Klipsch Gallery G28'sCenter Channel- Klipsch RC-52Sub - Klipsch Sub 12Surrounds - Klipsch RS-52 II (new)Bluray/Game - HTPC/PS3Receiver - Onkyo RC-360HTPC - Intel Core i3, HDMI,Windows 7,XBMC,Bluray,3 TB,wireless WMC keyboardVideo processor - Darbee
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-31-2013, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that tip,  I hit his Blog, did some reading and got all my parts ordered today!

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-31-2013, 04:45 PM
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If you are in the US your cable company is required by law to rent you a CableCARD.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-31-2013, 07:57 PM
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The OP didn't state their provider, many people "incorrectly" refer to their "tv service" provider as their "cable tv" provider even if they are referring to the various iptv, vdsl (generally provided by telephone companies) and satellite providers such as a community based dish to cable and systems such as ygnition, which recently broke into two other names which does dish network to qam with a box that converts it back to dish while offering 70 SD channels by analog. They make this mistake in calling it their cable provider since they provide the channels cable companies provide but have no way to implement a cablecard so to say his provider is required by law in the US may not be true depending on if it is "actually" a cable provider. For instance Cincinnati Bell has some areas more like fios and actually can use cablecards while other areas are more like AT&T using iptv which can't. The apartment complex next door to one of my condos in AZ has ygnition (or had since I don't know which company they became since the breakup as both still list the properties) which has a better selection of analog than Cox does there (including BBC America and NFL network... it used to be each complex in the area with this service had the same lineup but now some have more spanish language channels in analog) but requires the use of Dish Network tuners for any digital tv even though it is delivered by qam to the various units.

But I agree that it is a strong possibility that since he uses the term "sell" rather than "rent" or "provide" is the cause of the confusion (if they were not in the US I don't think cablecards would have been brought up but some people don't realize that as some canadian providers do use them as they use the same cisco and moto boxes but won't give them out and there are a few other countries that do the same but generally cablecard is a US thing.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-01-2014, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I am in Canada.

 

I have a Motorola HD PVR box, my Cable TV/Internet provider, Shaw, does not provide cable cards by any means. 

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-01-2014, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The build will consist of:

 

Intel i3-4340

Asus H87M-E Motherboard

8GB of Kingston 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM

Sandisk 128GB SSD

WD 3TB Green HDD

Logitech K400 Wireless K/B with touch-pad

 

 

I have an Antec 300 Case with a nice quiet Asus 440 W power supply in the parts pile at my shop.  I really want a Silverstone GD04b, but they are hard to find up here in Canada.  I would buy the GD06B, but the door on the front covers the USB ports, which I will be using for remote control transceivers.  Anyone use that case? Comments?

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