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Need some help finishing HTPC

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Parts I already have:

Intel Q6600 G0 stepping
Antec TPII 480 watt p/s
Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 CL5
WD 36GB Raptor 16mb cache
Seagate 7200.10 320GB x3
Windows XP MCE

Looking to encode my movies to H.264
Create DVR for satellite feed to the house
Store music
Bottom line is to be able to serve all this up for any location in my house.

Thinking that I may change over to Home Server.

I need some recommendations for a motherboard. No preference of chipset maker.

Also need a video card that will supply the 47" Vizio that this will be hooked up to. Prefer to go with ATI Radeon HD 3xxx series for this.

TV tuner card that will allow me to make a DVR for both SD and HD feeds.

Lastly is the memory good enough as I don"t plan to overclock at all? Should I go to some ddr2-667 from corsair Twin 2x2048-5400C4?

Thanks for all the help in advance.
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxSQ View Post

Looking to encode my movies to H.264
Create DVR for satellite feed to the house
Store music
Bottom line is to be able to serve all this up for any location in my house.

h.264 you wanna get "AutoMKV" and read about how it's used. Fairly simple app.

DVR functions best can be initiated in a Media Center type enviroment with a guide.

Make sure you store your music in WMA Lossless 9.0 with EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and dbpoweramp to encode it from FLAC.

Dunno about WHS, you may need it you may not. I have 4,000 songs and about 200 movies on hard drive without a server and serving it all up via the extender (Xbox 360) and MyMovies.
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxSQ View Post

Parts I already have:

Intel Q6600 G0 stepping
Antec TPII 480 watt p/s
Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 CL5
WD 36GB Raptor 16mb cache
Seagate 7200.10 320GB x3
Windows XP MCE

Looking to encode my movies to H.264
Create DVR for satellite feed to the house
Store music
Bottom line is to be able to serve all this up for any location in my house.

Thinking that I may change over to Home Server.

I need some recommendations for a motherboard. No preference of chipset maker.

Also need a video card that will supply the 47" Vizio that this will be hooked up to. Prefer to go with ATI Radeon HD 3xxx series for this.

TV tuner card that will allow me to make a DVR for both SD and HD feeds.

Lastly is the memory good enough as I don"t plan to overclock at all? Should I go to some ddr2-667 from corsair Twin 2x2048-5400C4?

Thanks for all the help in advance.

Before you start spending serious processor time encoding your DVDs consider just making ISOs or just copying the folders using DVDshrink. A 2.5 hour movie will eat about 8-9GB if copied straight and will look exactly as good as the source DVD. You can even let FFDShow help you play them back to get nearly HD quality out of them.

It will take a fair bit more drive space, but will allow the maximum amount of quality. I have done very high bitrate H.264 encodes of my DVDs and they look noticeably inferior - especially during motion - on the big screen. A DVD can also be turned into an ISO in about 15 minutes, while a dual-pass, high bitrate h.264 encode will take hours. At least try both methods and see if the reduction in quality is worth spending a few more bucks on drives. Heck, drives are cheap. I can get 60-70 movies on a 500GB drive which I can buy for $100. What is that, $1.60 per film?

If by Home Server, do you mean WHS? If so, review the data-corruption bug and see if your usage would effect that. The key benefit of WHS is selective backup/duplication and seamless integration of various types of drives. You will also need to think gigabit ethernet, not wireless G, for that.

Your choice of MB is dependent on what you need it to do.
HD onboard sound? DTS or multichannel LPCM?
Integrated video? Some of the new boards will fully accelerate HD content.
Cool running? Nvidia boards are hotter than most.
Gaming? SLI? The board should be compatible.

That Radeon card will work just fine for you. I also believe that it has audio chips on board so that it can send A/V HDMI out. Do check that specific model though.

Do you want clear QAM on your tuner? some cards won't do it.
Will other computers on your home network wish to partake in some TV? Try HDHomerun.

Running 4GB? Excellent choice. However since you aren't running Vista you won't have superfetch to help you out. I doubt you will notice moving to a lower clocked RAM, but it may impact video encoding speed if you go that route. I do find it odd that you might choose slower RAM, but spend money on a Raptor.
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