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recommendation of HTPC based on requirements

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I am currently looking for a wdtv live replacement as I sometime experience stuttering playing high bit rate mkv rip and that just drive me up the wall. HTPC will definitely give more capabilities.

my setup:
- Sony Bravia HX701
- Squeezebox
- 2.1 stereo system
- wrt610n
- wdtv live

must have requirements:
- flawlessly playing high bit rate 1080p MKV movies
- must handle Jdownloader running at full throttle
- HDMI output
- web browsing
- Squeezebox streaming
- Magic Jack
- form factor: need to fit in a conventional stereo stand but smaller the better
- low power consumption

The system must handle this worst case: playing high bit rate mkv, while squeezecenter streaming flac music to squeezebox, while on the phone with magic jack and jdownloader is running at full throttle.

Budget: 450$

Some recommendations of HTPC system is appreciated either pre-built or I can built the whole system.

post #2 of 5
A good place to start is the HD HTPC building guide, there are several configurations suggested in there for different budgets.
Also, there is an excellent HD software guide in a separate thread.
Both threads are part of the sticky section at the top of this forum.

Also, might I suggest, lose the MagicJack.
Try NetTalk: no need for a PC and same size as MJ, connects straight into your router.
A better product (just my opinion).
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi Hirent,

Thanks for the quick reply, I have checked the HTPC building guide and found it very useful, but I am not sure which configuration would handle the worst described above.

I looked quickly at NetTalk, much better, I might wait till I can get a Canada phone number.
post #4 of 5
I'd think a intel i3 system with W7 x64 and 4 gig of memory would suffice. You can build a mini-ITX system and it'll be pretty small. I'm running Nvidia 9300 graphics with a intel E6300 and it's in a case about 10"W x 11.5"D x 2.75"H. A i3 system would fit into the same form factor.

Your stereo system likely will require a motherboard with optical or coax output.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi Peter, thanks for your advice on mini-itx, I am looking at the ZOTAC GF9300-K-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Mini ITX Intel mobo, looks pretty good. Any reasons why you pick GeForce 9300 over Intel H55?
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