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Need suggestions for Retail HTPC for PLEX/XBMC played from network storage to Plasma.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I purchased an ATV3 for use as an HTPC a while back and can't wait any longer for a jailbreak. I've been stuck using my TV's DLNA client which is limited in functionality and file formats.

Although I have plenty of experience with computer building, I don't have the time these days and would like something retail that just works. I don't want to think about the hardware on this computer... I already have 3 other home builds that suffer from various stability/compatibility issues.

I'm interested in installing PLEX/XBMC on a retail machine if possible. I need one HDMI out, maybe optical out as well. Infrared remote, gigabit wired Ethernet and I'd like it to handle full 1080p across all file formats and codecs along with surround sound and 3D. My most important factors are speed and stability. Noise, size and fancy cases aren't important as it will be installed in a closet. This computer's sole responsibility is video browsing and playing video from network storage. No video storage, no DVR/Tuner, or anything else needed.

The video files are stored on my Synology DS1511+ NAS, the HTPC will be connected to the NAS via gigabit ethernet and a gigabit switch in-between. HDMI will connect to my Panasonic TC-P60GT30.

My budget for this is in the few hundred $ range. I'm flexible, but I don't think this should be too expensive. Any suggestions on what I should be looking at? Is anything retail worth it? Any custom builders that I could just buy something good from? Any other comments?

Thanks guys, much appreciated!
post #2 of 3
Assassin is a custom builder that you can buy from. A few hundred $ is a little light maybe. WHen not getting an OEM build you have to factor in $100 for windows if you don't have that covered already.

An intel i3 system should be able to do all you want. Just need to be sure it has the HDMI and Optical audio on the back like you want.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I used the Assassin guide to build an HTPC. It turned out good. Very fast to boot, the windows 7 animation during the boot up screen doesn't have enough time to "complete" biggrin.gif

Below are the components I used:

  1. BM639 Mini Itx Slim Case
  2. Crucial 64 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT064M4SSD2
  3. Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53570K
  4. ASRock H77M-ITX LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  5. Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX


I followed some of the Assassin XBMC guide and have a pretty good SickBeard setup going. It needs a few tweaks and whatnot, XBMC isn't super stable. But I've had zero issues with Windows 7 being stable.

Thanks again.
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