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post #1 of 26 Old 05-09-2014, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I've spent a few weeks reading the forums, reading articles, looking at the hardware options of building an HTPC. It's not as easy as I thought and I haven't even reached the software side. Over the last months I have changed my needs and what I thought I would need, and I'm now starting to settle on things.

Things I know I'm picking out are
Fractal Design Node 605 case
Intel Core i3-4330
An 120 GB SSD from my main computer... (swapping that out to my HTPC and replacing that with the Samsung Evo 250 GB SSD.)
PSU CORSAIR|430W CX430 R. I know that's probably overkill, but it was $20 after rebate, so no biggie.

I still need to pickout a MB, HD RAM, DVR, TV card, and a IR

Here's my first question...

I have a logitech 880. I'd like to use that to control the HTPC. I need some sort of IR receiver. Can you point me in the right direction? Is it something I can plug into a USB or PCI slot, and have it externally, or is there something that I can build onto the case. (I'd rather not mod the case, because I can't even build legos)

I'm also open to suggestions for Motherboards, Ram, CPU (I'm willing to change) and hard drive

Thanks!
Ken
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-09-2014, 07:19 PM
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This seems to be a popular choice around here http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/360869035595?lpid=82 I have one and it has been trouble-free for over 3 years.

An H87 motherboard would probably be a solid choice for you. The Z87 boards have a bunch of extra features that in all likelihood you will never use.

That case is an awesome choice. I'm building a watercooled HTPC in one right now.

If you plan to use a slim optical drive with that case make sure you order one of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200701 now so your build doesn't get held up later while waiting for it to arrive.

You definitely do not want to drill a hole in that beautiful case if you are not comfortable with modding.

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post #3 of 26 Old 05-09-2014, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links. I would have never known that I would need a slim line cable. Ordering that now!
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-09-2014, 11:28 PM
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For hard disks, I would recommend the HGST 7k4000 line of hard drives.  One of the most reliable drives out right now.  I would avoid Seagate, from personal experience and hard data, I've lost 10 over the last 3 years, all failed with barely a year of service except 2 of them twice in a year (part of their known defective 1.5tb models). 

 

http://blog.backblaze.com/2014/01/21/what-hard-drive-should-i-buy/

 

Give that a read

 

As for processor, if you plan to run any other clients that require transcoding with something like Mediabrowser 3/Plex, I would recommend you bump up to a quad core but you don't have any software figured out yet.  Perhaps that should be your next step cuz the hardware does matter in relation to what software and features you are going to want to run.

 

Tv Tuners depends on what type of service you use OTA, or cable.

 

Ram you going to want 8gb or more, populated in pairs.  Don't skimp find the appropriate speed and capacity then look for a lower CAS rating from a major brand running at 1.5 volts.  The CAS varies at different speeds but try to get something 10 or less.

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post #5 of 26 Old 05-10-2014, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm planning on using mb3 or xbmc.
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post #6 of 26 Old 05-10-2014, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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as far as motherboards go. I figure I might as well go with at least a Micro ATX since my case can support it and it gives more room to expand my storage if needed.

If you had to choose which do you like the best. I'm linking to amazon because I have gift cards there.

MSIH87-G43 ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D12OANW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=30DT0YY4EYLR5&coliid=I3BVD0XOB2WL7E

or

Asus Micro ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboard H87M-E
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CRJTZVW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=30DT0YY4EYLR5&coliid=I2GT0XHZ06WY28
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post #7 of 26 Old 05-11-2014, 07:08 AM
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That MSI is an ATX board. If you use that your optical drive will not fit in a Fractal Node 605.

This one has an Intel LAN instead of Realtek if that makes a difference to you. http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-CrossFireX-Motherboard-H87M-PRO4/dp/B00CYWEYOK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1399816957&sr=1-1&keywords=asrock+h87m+pro4

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post #8 of 26 Old 05-11-2014, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that, that's twice now that I've added that to my wishlist and realizing later it was ATX....

I looked up the differences between the Lan cards and it doesn't seem to be a big difference. Is this the same mb that you linked at amazon? The one for newegg doesn't mention quad core, and since I'm getting the I3 4330 I don't think I need a quad core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157384

If they are different I'm thinking of getting the one I just linked over the ASUS that I previous linked to.
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post #9 of 26 Old 05-11-2014, 11:47 AM
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That's the same board (H87M PRO 4), look at the model number not the description from different websites.
Quote:
Originally Posted by naednek View Post

The one for newegg doesn't mention quad core

Motherboards don't have cores, processors do.

For RAM I have only used G Skill since I started this hobby a few years back. I'm not the type of person who has to try the "latest & greatest" new thing. I stay loyal to brands that just work. I'm sure there are several companies that make terrific RAM but here is my suggestion (fwiw).

4 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231427

8 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231445

Most people agree that 4 GB is enough but if you want to give yourself a little more headroom go for 8.

I don't use my PC for TV tuning so I can't help you with that.

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post #10 of 26 Old 05-14-2014, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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So most of the parts are ordered

1: Fractal Design Node 605 (got it on sale for $125 + tax)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352028

2: CORSAIR CX series CX430 430W ( Got it on sale for $20 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

3: ASRock H87M Pro4 LGA 1150 Intel H87 $82 + Tax
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157384

4: G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz PC3-12800 240-Pin ($89 +tax)
http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B004KY719A/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=30DT0YY4EYLR5&coliid=I1JHNITXF5RNR9

5: Intel Core i3-4330 Dual Core Processor 3.5 2 NA (BX80646I34330) (139 +tax)
http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00EUUN76U/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=30DT0YY4EYLR5&coliid=I1XJBWXM625USK

6: StarTech.com SLSATAF20RA 20-Inch Right Angle Slimline SATA to SATA with LP4 Power Cable ($8.88 +tax)
http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B003D181HM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=30DT0YY4EYLR5&coliid=I2KEFJ4MTZMN3G

7:Panasonic UJ240 6x Blu-ray Burner BD-RE/8x DVD±RW DL SATA Drive (Black) (57.90 +tax)
http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B003AXW2YQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=30DT0YY4EYLR5&coliid=I294VS03F03CYE

8: Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III (139 +tax)

I have some hard drives that I'm going to use first and then hope to get some better ones at christmas

I just need an OS, tv tuner, and attenae.

Total before tax $659.88
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post #11 of 26 Old 05-14-2014, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Which brings me to my next question

Win 7 or Win 8?

I'm either going to use XMBC or Media Browser. Haven't decided...
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post #12 of 26 Old 05-14-2014, 06:05 PM
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That's going to be a proper HTPC, keep this thread open and post some pics as you build it.

Win 7, 8 is your choice. I personally do not like 8 so I run Win 7 Pro on all my PC's. I've heard the argument that Win 8 is "faster" but I think that's a bunch of horse$#it, My PC boots from a cold start in about 17 seconds, what is 8 going to do, drop that to 14?

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post #13 of 26 Old 05-14-2014, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in a middle of moving as well, so this may be a slow build.

I guess what appeals to me with Windows 8 is the tiles. Thought it might be easier to navigate with the harmony remote I have.
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post #14 of 26 Old 05-15-2014, 05:09 AM
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When you set up your Harmony remote add it as

BRAND: Microsoft
MODEL: Windows Media Center SE

This particular set of commands has everything including mouse controls.

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post #15 of 26 Old 05-23-2014, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Pretty much have all the parts except the hard drive (that's arriving this week), tuner and dvr. I'm thinking of waiting on the Tuner and DVR because I'm still under contract. I want to focus on getting my media set up before I cut the cord when my contract ends in Oct/Nov. Also don't want to rush since this is my first foray.

I've built PC's all my life, so I'm not worried about putting this together. It's the software side that scares the **** out of me. I really need to make this work well, gotta convince the wife this was a good move (she's already convinced on the money saving side, but it also needs to be simple enough for her, and my 4 year old son. Yes, my 4 year old knows how to turn on the tv with the harmony remote, find his cartoon on the DVR, and play it. He also knows how to switch inputs to watch a DVD. He's ok with amazon prime but I have to watch him with that since he could buy something... The kid is in for a treat as he gets older. So much fun technology, and he seems to grasp the basics already at age 4. He's been doing this since 3 though. And before the judging begins about letting our kid watch tv so young, he has Cystic Fibrosis, and has to do a lot of treatments. We try to limit tv watching while he's tied to a machine, which is about 2 hours a day.

Anyways, Right now we're listing our house for sale, and so my attention is set on getting the house ready, but soon I want to build the system just to be sure the hardware works before I lose my return window. But after that I'm hoping for your continued guidance. I'll post pictures of what I have at some point.
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-04-2014, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm looking at this
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GY0UB6I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=30DT0YY4EYLR5&coliid=I1BMEW8J9KR306&psc=1
SiliconDust HDHomeRun PLUS 2-Tuner

From what I'm gathering, this won't require a cable card, and just needs an OTA attenae to connect to it. Then I run a ethernet cable to my HTPC and that will receive and display the signal right? From there I can use WMC or XMBC or something else to do the DVR functionality?

Is that correct, or do I need to run the ethernet cable to my router than to my PC?

I'm hoping that's not the case based on my current set up on where my router is located...
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm seeing my thread is starting to fizzle out... That's a shame. I'm just about ready to build, and could use the advice since this is my first htpc...

I ended up not getting the SiliconDust HDHomerun Pluse tuner, and ended up ordering the http://www.hauppauge.com/site/produc...a_hvr2250.html at amazon.com

They don't have it in stock, but I'm hoping they have it soon. I have gift cards there and rather use those and not spend any real $$$. But if it takes too much longer I'll switch to newegg.

Anyways,

All I have left is the O/S and the remote

I'm still trying to decide what O/S I want. I know the differences and the extra costs. I'm looking at this at functionality and user-interface. I look at Windows 8 and the metro, and think how easy it probably is to use my harmony 880 to navigate to the different apps and not having to have a keyboard/mouse/combo. But the drawbacks to the remote is when you have to type anything in, or if you want to do something other than watching movies, like web-browsing, etc...

It looks like no matter what O/S I get, I'll run into that issue depending on the remote/keyboard I choose.

So I'm leaning towards Windows 7 and the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DKZTMG/...NFLHNEY1&psc=1

Any thoughts?
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post #18 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 04:22 PM
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I also have the Harmony 880 for my HTPC.....had to make sure it was WAF'd! Remote does everything I want it to and then some..... Run Windows 7 for your OS - you can get an OEM copy for less than $99 (even less when on sale). The Hauppauge 2250 is a good OTA tuner, using one myself to supplement my Ceton InfiniTV 4.......
I don't know why people HAMMER Seagate - I'm runnin' 4 of their 3TB drives and haven't had any issues whatsoever - to each his own I guess......


Toys

Denon AVR-3311CI, Denon DVP-602CI, B&K Reference 200.7 S2, Belkin PF60
Sony BDP-S5000ES, Silverstone HTPC (6 Tuner DVR & 10 TB Media)
PSB Stratus Minis, PSB Stratus C6, PSB Alpha S surround, James Subwoofer EMB-1200
Sharp LC-70LE755U, Harmony 880 Remote
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post
I also have the Harmony 880 for my HTPC.....had to make sure it was WAF'd! Remote does everything I want it to and then some..... Run Windows 7 for your OS - you can get an OEM copy for less than $99 (even less when on sale). The Hauppauge 2250 is a good OTA tuner, using one myself to supplement my Ceton InfiniTV 4.......
I don't know why people HAMMER Seagate - I'm runnin' 4 of their 3TB drives and haven't had any issues whatsoever - to each his own I guess......


Toys
What does WAF mean? Windows approved device?

So how do you use your remote in Windows 7? I'm assuming it's useless until you're inside an app like Plex/XMBC/WMC? You would need at least a mouse to get to the app right?

Not having seen an HTPC in action other than videos I'm trying to get a visualization on the user functions of it. I have to make this easy enough for the wife and kid.

Thanks for your help.
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naednek View Post
All I have left is the O/S and the remote
While trying to troubleshoot a few weird performance issues on my new(ish) HTPC, I decided to give Windows 8.1 a try to see if it made a difference with the issue I was seeing (it didn't it was faulty hardware). I'm surprised how much I like it. There's something nice about just starting to type, and having Windows find the program you want. In the end, I decided not to go back to Windows 7.

I believe you can try 8.1 for 90 days to see if you like it. They were offering that at the end of last year, at least...
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post #21 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naednek View Post
What does WAF mean? Windows approved device?

So how do you use your remote in Windows 7? I'm assuming it's useless until you're inside an app like Plex/XMBC/WMC? You would need at least a mouse to get to the app right?

Not having seen an HTPC in action other than videos I'm trying to get a visualization on the user functions of it. I have to make this easy enough for the wife and kid.

Thanks for your help.


Wife Acceptance Factor = WAF.....My Harmony is only good while in WMC.....if I want to do updates and install new software, then I have a wireless MICRO keyboard with mouse that I use to do that.


Toys

Denon AVR-3311CI, Denon DVP-602CI, B&K Reference 200.7 S2, Belkin PF60
Sony BDP-S5000ES, Silverstone HTPC (6 Tuner DVR & 10 TB Media)
PSB Stratus Minis, PSB Stratus C6, PSB Alpha S surround, James Subwoofer EMB-1200
Sharp LC-70LE755U, Harmony 880 Remote
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post #22 of 26 Old 06-12-2014, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naednek View Post
I look at Windows 8 and the metro, and think how easy it probably is to use my harmony 880 to navigate to the different apps and not having to have a keyboard/mouse/combo. But the drawbacks to the remote is when you have to type anything in, or if you want to do something other than watching movies, like web-browsing, etc...
Someone running Windows 8 needs to chime in, but I don't believe you can use a remote with the Metro start screen.

I've programmed some basic tasks to my Harmony remote in Win 7 (exit window, reboot, password entry, etc.), but I keep a wireless Logitech keyboard/touchpad combo handy in case I need it (same one you linked to). It works fine for what I need, but I don't use it much. I don't use the HTPC for web browsing, and if I need to change settings or install updates, I remote into the HTPC from my laptop or iPad.

You can set up a "mouse" device with the Harmony remote, but it's pretty clunky.

Last edited by dfkimbro; 06-12-2014 at 06:47 PM.
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post #23 of 26 Old 06-14-2014, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Got the hardware installed, well about half of it.

Still got to install the slim-line blu-ray, tv card, and the power supply. I'm still waiting of the tv card to arrive. Slow progress, but it's progress. Was a little worried that I bought the wrong sized motherboard. It wasn't aligning correctly. But once I removed the face play on the expansion cards, everything fit in place.
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post #24 of 26 Old 06-15-2014, 06:48 AM
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post #25 of 26 Old 08-02-2014, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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House bought, now to get serious with finishing this project.

I had said earlier I bought the WinTV-HVR-2250 at amazon. Well it still hasn't shipped. However I found it instock elsewhere, but I was hoping for amazon since I have gift cards.

Now that I know where my TV will be and now know my cable modem will be next to the TV, the HD Homerun Dual Plus is back in my considerations.

Which do you prefer...

The WinTV-HVR-2250 or the HD Homerun

I have an Attenae and plan on DVR'ing OTA. Streaming is nice, but not a necessity since we don't have decent tablets.

Thoughts?
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post #26 of 26 Old 09-16-2014, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naednek View Post
House bought, now to get serious with finishing this project.

I had said earlier I bought the WinTV-HVR-2250 at amazon. Well it still hasn't shipped. However I found it instock elsewhere, but I was hoping for amazon since I have gift cards.

Now that I know where my TV will be and now know my cable modem will be next to the TV, the HD Homerun Dual Plus is back in my considerations.

Which do you prefer...

The WinTV-HVR-2250 or the HD Homerun

I have an Attenae and plan on DVR'ing OTA. Streaming is nice, but not a necessity since we don't have decent tablets.

Thoughts?

This has to be the worlds slowest build. Who knew buying a house and getting situated would take so long. I was hoping to be set up before the fall season, but that's not going to happen. To make things worse my main PC is giving me trouble either it's the video card or power supply.

Anyways, the HTPC has everything except the tuner card. I kept waiting for amazon or newegg to show they have 2255, but they keep listing 2250. I hear that what is being shipped is the 2255. Don't know why they can't update their titles...

I'm still on the fence on what to buy. I'm hearing bad things about the 2255... I don't have access to a cable card, so to my knowledge my options to have 2 tuners is the HD Homerun Dual or the Haugepauge 2255

I'm having a hard time picking. I would totally appreciate some good comparisons or advice. I'd like to order something this week and get this done with.
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