Optical Disk Drive (ODD)
Selecting an optical drive can be a little challenging because it is often hard to tell the advantages of one over another. I have used a variety of drives over the years — some more reliable than others and some quieter than others. However, for me when it comes to the HTPC discussion, it boils down to DVD vs. Blu-ray. With the HD DVD / Blu-ray format war over, it does make the decision a little easier, but you still really need to look at what you are planning to do and how much you want to budget for the ODD. Upscaled DVD content can look very good on an HDTV. In my opinion, the clarity of Blu-ray really starts to show up at screen sizes larger than 50 inches. At 50 inches and below, upscaled DVD can look very nice and can save the consumer some money. Therefore, to keep costs within an entry level price point, I opted for a standard DVD.
ODD: Lite-On DVD ROM $17.99 USD
Originally Posted by captain_video /forum/post/17031768
I also have a comment on the optical drive. Why get a read-only DVD-ROM when you can get a dual layer DVD burner from Newegg for only about $5-10 more with free shipping? They have the Sony/NEC/Optiarc burners on sale all the time in that price range and they're great drives.
One thing about a budget HTPC is that you also get budget performance. If all you want is DVD playback then you can get that with a cheap $50 standalone DVD player. For what you're spending you can probably do a lot better getting separate A/V components. If you really want to use the best features of an HTPC and configure it as a multi-tasking device, you'll need to rethink the whole budget issue. Your setup is definitely inexpensive but there's very little you can actually do with it, except maybe play back some music and watch a DVD.
Originally Posted by therealbiglou /forum/post/17033096
"Budget" and "HTPC" shouldn't go hand in hand. A HTPC isn't a simple machine that a layman can easily set up. It is a heavily hobbyist activity, and as such, shouldn't be controlled by a crap budget. Personally, I feel your build is actually more of a waste of money than the extra expenses for the additional hardware. I feel this becuase of its incredible limitations as an HTPC.
Your argument against W7 doesn't make sense. Don't you think someone who will be building a PC from scratch would be the perfect candidate to use Windows 7 RC1/RTM?
Add in a TV Tuner and a Bluray player, and we've got something to work with.
This whole "growth" and "introduction" nonsense is bunk. People shouldn't be starting their building basics on a HTPC.
Originally Posted by captain_video /forum/post/17033351
A DVD burner vs. a DVD-ROM only costs you a few extra bucks, so why not get one? Buying "budget" components to start with may seem like a sensible idea, that is until you realize you'll end up spending a lot more in the long run to upgrade it to something more useful. If money's the real issue then I recommend you hold off on any purchases until you can afford a worthwhile system. What you're putting together is a budget PC and not an HTPC. Check out the recommended components list in the sticky thread at the top of this section that addresses building a HD HTPC.
Originally Posted by michanecash /forum/post/17034622
has anyone seen this cabinet. I am thinking about using it for a HTPC.
It has a recessed area for a subwoofer, but I dont see any reason I couldnt put my PC in there.
Originally Posted by therealbiglou /forum/post/17034496
I have to agree with Captain Video. You seem to be building a budget PC and not a budget HTPC.
Also, you don't need to spend close to $1k to build a decent HTPC. Spend a little bit more and you can have a fully capable HTPC with Bluray and a dual-tuner digital TV tuner. This stuff doesn't cost much and you can get a whole lot more "home theater" funtionality. I built mine a year ago with Bluray and a dual tuner capture card for ~$600. You simply cannot do all the basic HTPC functions on the machine you built.
As for 7, of course it's not being sold yet. But you can still grab the RC or RTM for download (after today via torrents). And even after today you can still get unique product keys to activate it. 7's Media Center is far more functional and polished than Vista's.
Also, I think you underestimate the amount of work and maintenance it takes to get a fully fledged HTPC system up and running as smooth and user friendly as possible.
Originally Posted by therealbiglou /forum/post/17034770
For those basic tasks, why build a dedicated box in the first place? The main reason people build a HTPC to connect to a TV is for the "TV experience" which means Live/recorded TV and DVR functionality. Not to mention if you are spending the money, why not go HD capable and get a cheap bluray player. If the things you listed are the only things you are going to do on a HTPC, then why spend the $400? Seems like a waste.
Want a price for 7? Free. That makes your build even cheaper.
Originally Posted by therealbiglou /forum/post/17034584
Add the processor which is on back order for $60 (AMD 7800 Black Edition)... and you got yourself a fully functional HD capable HTPC for cheap.
Originally Posted by sotti /forum/post/17034769
IMHO tuners are dead.
it's $130 of dead weight that nobody really wants.
Who uses OTA TV expect for us lunatic fringe on these forums.
People want cable and satallite and the HD channels they grown accustom to on delivery formats. You can't get that on a DIY HTPC.
The HTPC is DVD/Blu-ray/Music/Pictures/Internet/Video
If you want real TV on your media center it's cable card or why bother.