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So I've decided to join the club and build a HTPC. this will be my first computer to build ever, so i need help. I want to hook it up to my Toshiba HDTV with a DVI cable.


I want to have the following in the computer:


1. a way to record OTA HDTV. I'm thinking of using the WinTV HD card. I've been told that hardware encoding is the only way to go.

2. a progressive scan dvd drive. does this exist?

3. a huge hard drive; what speed do i need for my pvr/dvd functions?

4. i've read about chipsets and motherboards, there are too many options. What do i need minimum?


And finally, in case this totally breaks down and I can't figure anything out, are there any HTPCs sold retail-wise?


Thanks for all help
 

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The DVD drive itself would not be progressive. It's your video card that outputs the progressive signal. All video cards can output progressive (most video resolutions/refresh rates are progressive - I have only seen a few monitors that do interlaced), but the quality of the DVD will depend on which card you get. I don't know about current nVidia cards, but in the past, ATI cards have always looked better for DVD than nVidia for me. A 5400 RPM drive should be enough. Most PVRs use 5400 because it's quieter and cooler. A 7200 RPM has a higher chance of overheating, especially if you have fewer fans in the HTPC to keep it quiet.
 

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The Hauppauge HD cards are not well regarded. I think that most people here like the MIT MyHD 120 for hardware playback, or the DVICO FusionHDTV II for software playback. Hardware decoding is not the only way to go.
 
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