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Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 155

post #4621 of 15907
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemathews68 View Post
there is a reason Assassin named it "Simple/Beginer"!
Yup.
post #4622 of 15907
Ok, so clearly I would need an HTPC since I want to head in the direction of 3d along with the fact that 1080P and HD audio are extremely important to me. It seems what I am striving for is something that isn't just an HTPC, but the HTPC is the heart of the operation. This is drastically becoming larger and more expensive than I had expected it to be, lol. As of right now, I don't really care to use it for anything other than creating a home theater movie library, and hope to have some sort of video processor to help improve the PQ of my projector. So I guess the best way to start would be to build the HTPC and then expand my network storage as it grows.

-Sean
post #4623 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by 230-SEAN View Post

what would be the reason to build an HTPC then if you can just do the same thing from one of the "media boxes" that are available now? Do those things not allow the same level of audio and video quality or something? Or is it that the HTPC will give you more options with different software that the "media boxes" can't compete with?

I started with a Popcorn Hour A-110 which cost me $250 a piece after taxes back in the day. It didn't play a number of my Xvid files (too many warp points or something?) and it also had some issues with subtitles. It hangednquite often and required a reset every few hours or so. The thing that broke the camel's back, though, was when Crunchyroll went legal and started simulcasting select anime (with a subscription). PlayOn only had YouTube and Hulu support back then and my only choice was to go with an HTPC. I already had a back-end server/bedroom HTPC. Just didn't have any other HTPC's and I was hoping I can go the media streamer router to save some dough. Seriously, wishing I hadn't wasted $500 on the two A-110's and just went with the HTPC directly.

There are a lot more choices today, certainly better and less expensive ones than what was available a couple of years back. However, if you want something that can do it all (granted, the "well" and "easily" is a bit questionable), that still means an HTPC.
post #4624 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemathews68 View Post


There are plenty of HTPC users with large HDD in their machines but there is only so much room. When you 200 HD movies and TV shows the TB's start adding up.

As far as the boxes go maybe someday the they will be able to to do everything but I searched and searched for one without finding the perfect solution. Some will stream networked content, some will play IP based content, some will download torrents, some will out put 1080p. None will do it all and I haven't seen any that will do the HD Audio formats from BD's or record over the air TV.

IMO a HTPC will be ready for everything.

Yes an HTPC can get sophisticated. I found as I started my build there is a reason Assassin named it "Simple/Beginer"!
I had the same questions you did.

What set top boxes download torrents?
post #4625 of 15907
Bluray readers are 15% off at Newegg with code EMCKEJG72. Just bought the Samsung combo drive for $61 shipped.
post #4626 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydrunk View Post

What set top boxes download torrents?

the BriteView CinemaTube and a friend of mine has a Patriot media player that does. I think there might be a few more.
post #4627 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemathews68 View Post

the BriteView CinemaTube and a friend of mine has a Patriot media player that does. I think there might be a few more.

So does the Dunes, PCHs, etc...
post #4628 of 15907
Originally Posted by YAMAMIR
So... with great help from the fellows in this forum i have decided to build an HTPC.
The idea is to build a solid and cheap 1080p-capable machine.

Case: I want to go with "Thermaltake Element Q" because it is cheap at my location and looks good, it also have a built-in 200W power supply.

Motherboard + cpu + gpu: amd zacate e-350.
my cheapest option with usb 3.0 is Sapphire Pure Fusion Mini 350, this motherboard requires DDR3 SO-DIMMs, which is weird and i think it supports only up to 4gb ram...
gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 will be extra 60$,worth it?

I am also looking for a cheap small HDD for the OS and reliable external HDD(usb3 or e-sata) for the movie library....

is that sounds o.k?
any ideas/suggestions will be great.
post #4629 of 15907
I found a site that has the Athenatech A1089BB.150 case which is the rebranded Mini-ITX Rosewill RC-CIX-01 which is not in stock anywhere.

I ordered one yesterday; will see how it goes. They also have the case in 3 other color schemes.

http://www.neworldit.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=A1089


Note: Their description of the case does not include a photo, and describes the external drive slot as "slim". Other sites including NewEgg show what appears to be a full size slot.
post #4630 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by davemathews68 View Post

IMO a HTPC will be ready for everything.

Yes an HTPC can get sophisticated. I found as I started [hxxp://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1333464] my build there is a reason Assassin named it "Simple/Beginer"!
I had the same questions you did.

Yup.

First: Thank you assassin for putting this information together in one cohesive place - very, very useful! It's proven a wonderful resource to point friends to who are interested in building their first computer and/or HTPC.

I've built a large number of systems before but never a dedicated HTPC. I have most of my components selected, thanks in large part to your guide, but I'd also like to understand one additional thing related to the integrated HD graphics.

According to the Intel press releases there are a few additional SB chips coming to market May 22, 2011. A couple of the additions I thought were notable for HTPC use:
Core i5 2405S - 2.5GHz w/ 3.3GHz Turbo, HD 3000 graphics @850MHz-1100MHz, 6MB L3, 65W TDP - Est. price $205
Core i3 2105 - 3.1Ghz HT, HD 3000 graphics @850MHz-1100MHz, 3MB L3, 65W TDP - Est. Price $134

So my question is; having little experience with an actual HTPC
a) is HD 2000 graphics enough to power everything need for full playback of all current commonly used files?
b) is there a noticeable, or worthwhile, jump in going to HD 3000 graphics over HD 2000?
c) Given both are 65W TDP, aside from the cost would there be any reason to NOT go with the i5? I much prefer physical cores to HT....not sure if there is any arguable use for 4 instead of 2 in a HTPC though.

Thanks in advance for any and all replies, and again for this great wealth of knowledge!
post #4631 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeydrunk View Post

What set top boxes download torrents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davemathews68 View Post

the BriteView CinemaTube and a friend of mine has a Patriot media player that does. I think there might be a few more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

So does the Dunes, PCHs, etc...

Some of the Patiot Box Office steamers will also will bitstream HD Audio if you're lucky enough to get one with the Realtec 1073 D++ chipset in it and you cross-flash it with a hacked version of Mede8or f/w. Mine does. It even plays back m2ts.

I picked it up for $45 AR from the egg. It has been more trouble free than my HTPC but it doesn't tune TV or cable.
post #4632 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oredigger View Post

Bluray readers are 15% off at Newegg with code EMCKEJG72. Just bought the Samsung combo drive for $61 shipped.

I got that eblast this morning. Guess it's time to get one for my PC so I can start ripping my BD's.
post #4633 of 15907
Does anybody have an opinion on this motherboard?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130569

It's no Gigabyte ud2h b3, but it seems that for $50 cheaper, I'm only giving up an eSATA, optical audio, a pci slot and a few USB ports. Given that I'm building my own media server(so I don't need huge amounts of hdd space), was planning on connecting through HDMI to an audio receiver (so optical is a bit of a waste), am not going to be connecting many external gadgets, and am only planning on adding a Ceton card I don't see that I'd be losing anything.
post #4634 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjchavez View Post

Does anybody have an opinion on this motherboard?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130569

It's no Gigabyte ud2h b3, but it seems that for $50 cheaper, I'm only giving up an eSATA, optical audio, a pci slot and a few USB ports. Given that I'm building my own media server(so I don't need huge amounts of hdd space), was planning on connecting through HDMI to an audio receiver (so optical is a bit of a waste), am not going to be connecting many external gadgets, and am only planning on adding a Ceton card I don't see that I'd be losing anything.

Sure, why not? It's not like you'll be overclocking, anyway. MSI also has pretty good power consumption - very close to Intel-branded boards. Gigabyte boards, on the other hand, tend to be quite power-hungry. Don't get me wrong, the numerous VRM's are great for overclocking. For a basic low-power build, though, I like both Intel and MSI.
post #4635 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oredigger View Post

Bluray readers are 15% off at Newegg with code EMCKEJG72. Just bought the Samsung combo drive for $61 shipped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I got that eblast this morning. Guess it's time to get one for my PC so I can start ripping my BD's.

Just ordered...
post #4636 of 15907
Has anyone had good luck using multiple TV tuner cards, in particular I am interested in any experience using two Hauppauge HVR-1250 tuner cards. (I am using Win 7 standard Media Center having OTA reception only - no cable.)

I have come to realize that it would be nice to not have to jump out of the HTPC so often to use the built-in TV tuner (currently I only have one 1250 card in the HTPC). I have an empty PCIe slot to accept a second 1250 card, but don't want to go down that road, unless there is no difference in usability/performance from some of the other dual tuner card offerings.

Do people here have better luck with the single dual-tuner cards? Is it good to use the same model TV tuner card as the second card, or are two different brand cards ok? Will I be missing having the free PCIe slot, in case there is some other kind of card I may wish to install in the future (although can't think of any at the moment)?
post #4637 of 15907
By "jump out of the HTPC" do you mean "exit Windows Media Center"?
post #4638 of 15907
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjchavez View Post

Does anybody have an opinion on this motherboard?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130569

It's no Gigabyte ud2h b3, but it seems that for $50 cheaper, I'm only giving up an eSATA, optical audio, a pci slot and a few USB ports. Given that I'm building my own media server(so I don't need huge amounts of hdd space), was planning on connecting through HDMI to an audio receiver (so optical is a bit of a waste), am not going to be connecting many external gadgets, and am only planning on adding a Ceton card I don't see that I'd be losing anything.

I think its really solid. Especially for $78.
post #4639 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

By "jump out of the HTPC" do you mean "exit Windows Media Center"?

If I am in Media Center and a program starts recording, at that point I can't view a different program from inside of Media Center. I have to change TV inputs and use the built-in tuner on the television. Not a huge deal, but would be nice to continue using the HTPC with all functionality, regardless if a program happens to be recording.

And even though we don't watch all that much TV, in a few cases so far, I have not been able to record a program, because another program was already recording. For this reason, I am considering picking up a second tuner card, possibly used or wait for a sale, to add to the HTPC.
post #4640 of 15907
Thread Starter 
OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD SATAII for $90 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc..._-NA-_-NA-_-NA
post #4641 of 15907
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indio22 View Post

If I am in Media Center and a program starts recording, at that point I can't view a different program from inside of Media Center. I have to change TV inputs and use the built-in tuner on the television. Not a huge deal, but would be nice to continue using the HTPC with all functionality, regardless if a program happens to be recording.

And even though we don't watch all that much TV, in a few cases so far, I have not been able to record a program, because another program was already recording. For this reason, I am considering picking up a second tuner card, possibly used or wait for a sale, to add to the HTPC.

That would be the same on a single tuner Tivo or Cable box, fwiw.
post #4642 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjchavez View Post

Does anybody have an opinion on this motherboard?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130569

It's no Gigabyte ud2h b3, but it seems that for $50 cheaper, I'm only giving up an eSATA, optical audio, a pci slot and a few USB ports. Given that I'm building my own media server(so I don't need huge amounts of hdd space), was planning on connecting through HDMI to an audio receiver (so optical is a bit of a waste), am not going to be connecting many external gadgets, and am only planning on adding a Ceton card I don't see that I'd be losing anything.

I have that Mb and I have no complaints at all, it works fine. Don't see what you need all that other stuff for anyway. Also got mine for like $60 it goes on sale at microcenter, plus had $25 off.
post #4643 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by indio22 View Post

If I am in Media Center and a program starts recording, at that point I can't view a different program from inside of Media Center. I have to change TV inputs and use the built-in tuner on the television. Not a huge deal, but would be nice to continue using the HTPC with all functionality, regardless if a program happens to be recording.

And even though we don't watch all that much TV, in a few cases so far, I have not been able to record a program, because another program was already recording. For this reason, I am considering picking up a second tuner card, possibly used or wait for a sale, to add to the HTPC.

If you're going to add another tuner, get a dual tuner. Then you'll have three available.
post #4644 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That would be the same on a single tuner Tivo or Cable box, fwiw.

Sure, but with the single OTA tuner currently in my HTPC, sometimes we might be watching a program live in the HTPC, and suddenly we will get a popup msgs stating that a recording is about to start (on another channel), and we either have to cancel that recording, or we get kicked out of the current live viewing session in the HTPC. As luck would have it, this happened to occur last week while my wife was watching a program, and she got kicked out of the last part of the program, until she could find the remote and switch over to the television tuner - missing a couple minutes of the end of her show in the process.

So if I can find a second 1250 card at a low cost, having two cards would avoid these type of situations, assuming a second card would play nice with the HTPC and not introduce any additional glitches or hassles.
post #4645 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by indio22 View Post

Sure, but with the single OTA tuner currently in my HTPC, sometimes we might be watching a program live in the HTPC, and suddenly we will get a popup msgs stating that a recording is about to start (on another channel), and we either have to cancel that recording, or we get kicked out of the current live viewing session in the HTPC. As luck would have it, this happened to occur last week while my wife was watching a program, and she got kicked out of the last part of the program, until she could find the remote and switch over to the television tuner - missing a couple minutes of the end of her show in the process.

So if I can find a second 1250 card at a low cost, having two cards would avoid these type of situations, assuming a second card would play nice with the HTPC and not introduce any additional glitches or hassles.

Or get an HDHomerun which you can plug into your home network and has dual tuners. Then you'd have 3 tuners and don't have to put another card in your HTPC.

We have one HDHomerun and it can record 2 things at once or record one and watch Live TV on the other. If I need more tuners I simply add a 2nd HDHomerun to the network and now I have 4 tuners.
post #4646 of 15907
I just ordered the parts for my initial htpc build

Case: Silverstone LC10B-E
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
Memory: G.Skill F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO (2 x 2GB)
Boot Drive: Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB
Data Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB
Optical Drive: LG WH12LS30 Blu-ray Burner
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W

Many of these components are overkill for a basic htpc. But this build will eventually be updated for storage (4 x 2TB in raid 5) and gaming (discrete video).

I'm also toying with the idea of adding a Ceton card. Unfortunately that would mean switching from DirecTV to Comcast.
post #4647 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddHealy View Post

I just ordered the parts for my initial htpc build

Case: Silverstone LC10B-E
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
Memory: G.Skill F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO (2 x 2GB)
Boot Drive: Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB
Data Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB
Optical Drive: LG WH12LS30 Blu-ray Burner
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W

Many of these components are overkill for a basic htpc. But this build will eventually be updated for storage (4 x 2TB in raid 5) and gaming (discrete video).

I'm also toying with the idea of adding a Ceton card. Unfortunately that would mean switching from DirecTV to Comcast.

Looks dope, enjoy the journey getting it 100%. It can be frustrating if you don't get some sort of joy out of troubleshooting.
post #4648 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatoEnFuego View Post


Looks dope, enjoy the journey getting it 100%. It can be frustrating if you don't get some sort of joy out of troubleshooting.

Either that or if you aren't partially insane.
post #4649 of 15907
Hey guys, how long should it take an i3 to boot into windows 7 ultimate? Using an SSD for OS drive. Its taking quite some time which I'd swear it was much quicker at first. I initially installed the OS with the SATA set to IDE in BIOS, then I edited the registry in Windows and changed it to AHCI in BIOS. I'm not sure if this messed anything up.
post #4650 of 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

Assassin, what do you think of this ASROCK card? (ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157250
I know it is more expensive but it has esata and a USB3.0 front panel as well. I like the number of sata connections along with the esata for adding a JBOD later. I know I can get a card but to have everything inboard would be nice.

EDIT** I eneded up ordering it with the following:
Antec 300
Samsung 2TB
Intel Core i5-2500K
G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (Low Voltage)
AFT PRO-55U All-in-one USB 2.0 Card Reader
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7
and finally an adapter for the USB 3.0 that comes with the ASRock board Antec 30300 Three Hundred 5.25" To 3.5" Drive Bay Adapter Assembly
I already have Windows 7. Still need to find a nice new monitor around 24" and a bluray drive(hoping for a Fry's special this Friday
I should have everything by next week

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddHealy View Post

I just ordered the parts for my initial htpc build

Case: Silverstone LC10B-E
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
Memory: G.Skill F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO (2 x 2GB)
Boot Drive: Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB
Data Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB
Optical Drive: LG WH12LS30 Blu-ray Burner
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W

Many of these components are overkill for a basic htpc. But this build will eventually be updated for storage (4 x 2TB in raid 5) and gaming (discrete video).

I'm also toying with the idea of adding a Ceton card. Unfortunately that would mean switching from DirecTV to Comcast.

Sounds alot like my build I picked up a Pioneer 2206 from Fry's today for $110. My plan is for storage and some video editing and general computing. This build will be located in my office along with an almost full Acer WHS. I already have 2 HTPC's.
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