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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This budget system was my first HTPC, and built to replace a 7 year old Dell laptop that was being used mostly for streaming online content over HDMI. The original plan for this project was to cannibalize an 8 year old Dell workstation and transplant its parts into a Silverstone case, but after many... many compatibility issues it ended up with everything new except for the HDD.

Case: Silverstone Grandia GD05B ($110)
Motherboard: ASRock Q1900M ($90)
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB DDR3 ($37)
Power Supply: Antec VP 450 ($35)
Blu-ray Drive: LG WH14NS40 ($51)
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5450 ($35)

The HDD is an old Seagate 3.5" 250GB I had lying around, so after $45 in rebates total cost was $313. The HDD is definitely a bottleneck and I'm sure an SSD would be a big improvement, but for online streaming and the occasional Blu-ray the performance is totally acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure what the video card buys you that you don't already get on-board. Seems like you could have kept that $35 in your pocket. Nice build though.
The mATX version of the Q1900 doesn't support HDCP audio, so the XFX card allows me to bitstream HD audio codecs to my receiver over HDMI. Also for some strange reason the Mini-ITX version of the Q1900 does support HDCP... explain that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any plans for MadVR or just using the regular Kodi player?

(given you don' mind the quality from those ad ons, I could nearly assume the built in player is fine. :eek:)
Not really familiar with MadVR but the movies on Navi-X are 1080 with 5.1 DD (which is equal to what our cable provider offers quality wise). Haven't really spent too much time on the software side of things, but would always appreciate some advice?
 

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Not really familiar with MadVR but the movies on Navi-X are 1080 with 5.1 DD (which is equal to what our cable provider offers quality wise). Haven't really spent too much time on the software side of things, but would always appreciate some advice?
In my experience MadVR does video playback better than FFDShow which is what Kodi's built in player uses.

The difference can be slight though... but if you get used to the better player it can be real hard to go back.

I'm not sure it works with streaming sources though. There's a ton of info on the board about MadVR. I think the first stacked post is about how to use it.

Anyways, if you haven't already opened that pandora's box it may be better to just ignore it. :)

I don't think you mentioned remote but I use Roomie Remote for everything I do and I certainly recommend it if you are looking at options
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my experience MadVR does video playback better than FFDShow which is what Kodi's built in player uses.

The difference can be slight though... but if you get used to the better player it can be real hard to go back.

I'm not sure it works with streaming sources though. There's a ton of info on the board about MadVR. I think the first stacked post is about how to use it.

Anyways, if you haven't already opened that pandora's box it may be better to just ignore it. :)

I don't think you mentioned remote but I use Roomie Remote for everything I do and I certainly recommend it if you are looking at options
Logitech Harmony Smart Control hub/remote with the Smart Keyboard add-on. Previously had an old Harmony 520 but love the battery life of the Smart Control remote (16 months so far), and the iOS apps are really handy too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
cool.... I used Harmony remotes for a long time and enjoyed them and I guess they are even better these days.
It's the best of both worlds with their Smart Control, having physical buttons on the remote/keyboard and then extending all of their functions onto your mobile devices. The Harmony app is nice to have for the times you need it, but I find using a touchscreen as a remote tough because its easy for your finger to "wander off" the button when not looking at the screen.
 
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