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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently own a pc and we've recently moved into a new house. I would like to use some of the parts off my current pc to create a htpc. Let me know what you think about the setup so far as i know some of it is well out of date. I was hoping to keep most of the parts, add a blu ray drive, two different hard drives (SSD and storage) and a Ceton tuner. The current setup provides great netflix streaming to my 42" flatscreen in the bedroom with HDMI audio and video from the video card. The new setup will move to a larger tv in the living room (55-60") and eventually be moved to the theater room with my projector. The living room will have 5.1 going through an Onkyo 607 receiver if that matters. I also own two Xbox's that i was hoping to use as media extenders in the other two rooms for now. I'm basically wondering if i should start from scratch or use a lot of my old parts. Thanks for your help in advance.


Computer: HP-Pavilion GX614AA-ABA a6330f

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (Windsor, JH-F3)

2800 MHz (14.00x200.0) @ 1004 MHz (5.00x200.9)

Motherboard: ASUS NARRA2

Chipset: nVidia nForce 6100-405/430

Memory: 3072 MBytes @ 200 MHz, 5.0-5-5-15

- 1024 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Hynix (Hyundai) HYMP512U64CP8-Y5

- 1024 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Hynix (Hyundai) HYMP512U64CP8-Y5

- 512 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Hynix (Hyundai) HYMP564U64CP8-Y5

- 512 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Hynix (Hyundai) HYMP564U64CP8-Y5

Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GT 520 (GF119) [PNY Technologies]

nVIDIA GeForce GT 520 (GF119), 1024 MB GDDR3 SDRAM

Drive: WDC WD5000AAKS-65YGA0, 488.4 GB, Serial ATA 3Gb/s

Drive: HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GSA-H60L, DVD+R DL

Sound: nVIDIA MCP61 - High Definition Audio Controller

Sound: nVIDIA GF119 - High Definition Audio Controller

Network: NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Build 7601
 

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I personally would start from scratch. But you could get a cpu and gpu and it would probably work ok. Not sure what socket that board is. But with HP you will have a locked down bios and I'm sure a crappy case with no airflow.


You can build new for pretty darn cheap these days.
 

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If it does everything you want already, what is it not doing that you want now?


I would either use it as-is or relegate that system to some other duty (home server?) and start from scratch. It seems though what you have will do everything you need (blu-ray, 5.1, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sort of asking if it will do what i want it to because i have not hooked it up to any type of "home theater" setup yet. It's currently attached to my 42" tv in my bedroom and seems to do fine with netflix streaming but that's all i can test as i don't have a 5.1 setup in the bedroom and i don't really want to set everything up in the living room and move the computer just to test it. That sounds pretty lazy when i read it back haha. Also, i don't have the InfiniTV card so i don't know how it will perform recording 4 shows at once and playing them back. Clearly i will need the TV tuner card and much more storage but will i need a new motherboard and processor? More RAM?
 

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Either


- Continue to use the system; add only necessary components, a tuner and HDDs, or

- Start from scratch.


Your system is outdated but not terribly bad. 3GB memory is plenty enough for your purpose. Recording multiple programs simultaneously involves HDD I/O performance and SATA 3.0Gbps drives are good enough.


Well, the only problem would be that there are only 4 SATA ports (SSD, BD drive and 2 x HDD) and as you will use the two PCI Express slots for graphics and tuner, you have to use a SATA controller PCI card if you want to add more HDDs. Well, PCI is good enough for media storage.


Install MPC HomeCinema ( Media Player Classic HomeCinema (x86), 1.5.3.3677, BE Mod, With installer ). Play some HD video files (e.g. this one ). See how it is.
 

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dave12285,


I have an HP a6528p tower w/Pentium E2200, 3GB RAM, GMA3100 on board graphics that I upgraded to Win7 HP. I have used this with TV tuners as a DVR since I bought it 3 years ago. Just replaced my old tuner with a Ceton InfiniTV 4 and I am happy for now!


The on board graphics is not an issue for me as I use media center extenders for playback, 2 Linksys DMA 2100s and Samsung I just added. The system in not as responsive as I would like but, it gets the job done.


Base on my experience, a DVR guy not full HTPC guy, I suggest you get that Ceton and give a try. I not knowledgeable about graphics cards but, otherwise think it will work. If you are not happy with the responsiveness, you could built that new iX Core system.


Good luck,

John
 

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Oh shoot I missed the 520, I thought you were using nvidia 6100 graphics. I would give it a shot. The card should do audio over hdmi. You may not need to get anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
josrq- That's good to hear. Hopefully it will work just fine the way it is.


renethx- I'm downloading the files now and will report back soon on my findings.


Thanks a lot to everyone who has helped me so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well i downloaded that clip and there's good news and bad news. It didn't play worth a damn in Media Player Classic. The default player for MKV files is VLC for me and it played fantastic in that. I suppose that is the good news. Does that mean it passes the test for video? I suppose i just need to try audio now.
 

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If you can play it fine with at least one player, that proves that your system is good enough for HD video playback (yeah, I know that your system can play it fine). Perhaps you will need to tweak MPC HomeCinema. Install LAV Filter 0.33 and disable View > Options > Internal Filters > Matroska. Then add Microsoft DTS-DVD Video Decoder in View > Options > External Filters, and set it to "Prefer". Then MPC HomeCinema will use


LAV Splitter -> Microsoft DTS-DVD Video Decoder -> EVR Custom Presenter


and playback should be better. As for audio this MKV file contains a DTS-HD Master Audio track. If you own a HDMI 1.3/1.4a AVR, you can bitstream it (add LAV Audio Decoder, set it to Prefer, double click it and check bitstream options). Otherwise, you have to be content with bitstreaming core DTS or decoding DTS-HD MA to multichannel LPCM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK great. I will drag the computer to the living room or the avr to the bedroom. Do you think the avr knows when there are no speakers hooked up? I was thinking of telling it I have 5 speakers plugged in and seeing if the dts-hd ma light will pop on. Thanks again for all the help. Cheers!
 
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