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HTPC hardware selection help

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi there, i've gotten alot of help just researching this site in the past, in fact, most of my audio and video equipment was purchased because of fine reviews or reading about other people wanting similar things on this site. Thanks to all that post regularly!

I've done alot of looking around on here and various other sites regarding htpc builds... There is just so much information and so many variances between individuals that the plethora of information out there is overwhelming, so, I thought i'd make my first post here requesting help and recommendations on what I might need for my first htpc build.

My knowledge is limited at this point, but the basic things i'm looking for are:

1. The ability to RIP and store blu-ray discs as ISO (or if another means is better with the capability to bitstream audio, i'd be open to ideas).

2. Render video/pictures somewhat fast.

3. Record cable television.

4. Play back in full quality video to my plasma.

5. Bitstream the audio to my Onkyo HT-6200 receiver (and let the receiver do the decoding of DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD, etc.).

6. Leave space for upgrading later, where I could network the other HD televisions in my house to this PC for HD (audio/video) playback.


I'm not really interested (at this pont), how the PC looks, because i'll probably hide it so the enclosure should be built more for performance and cooling, rather than looking like a receiver or a dvd player... I'd probably even go for a tower. The ability to use a remote would be nice, and i'd like to learn about that also.

I'd like to know which motherboard, processor, case, and graphics/audio cards to look into. I was looking at the intel i3/i5 series processors, because of the ability to integrate bitstreaming audio directly from the motherboard... BUT, since I want to be able to render quicker, I think that a quad-core might be better for my needs...

If I ended up going the quad-core route, what cards would I need to be able to bitstream my audio? Will I be able to do this all through one HDMI cable?

I'm sure after reading for about 1 year, through the pages and pages of this forum and others, i'd probably be able to answer these questions myself... But, I just dont have that kind of time right now.

I also dont know much about different types of compression for ripping blu-ray discs, and if i'd be able to bitstream the audio after doing so, so help with that would be great...

Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 3
You don't need to read hundreds of threads. You just need to read this one. It's stickied for a reason
post #3 of 3
Check out the Build thread as posted above, this will give you more then enough info to get to going.

FWIW, it sounds as though one of the low end systems renethx lays out, will suit your needs fine.
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