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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following is hardware I've begun to gather for my first HTPC, based on research on this forum and others.


Appreciate any and all feedback.


INTEL 865PE BOXD865PERLX Mobo

INTEL P4/3.0EGHz 800M 478P/1MB HT RT cpu

Hauppauge PVR-250

ATI 9600 XT

two 512mb PC3200 chips - Crucial

two Seagate Barracuda 200gb SATA drives

DVD RW

Channel MAster UHF antenna


Need following still;


Silver Stone case with appropriate quiet fans

Like the Piano Black ANTEC OVERTURE 380W QUIET MEDIA CASE as well.

Winegard FM antenna


Still haven't decided on all software yet, so far leaning towards starting the project with MCE 2004 as I already have a licensed copy. Open to change down the road.


Will route audio from Mobo via optical cable to A/V receiver for 5.1 sound,

Will route video to A/V receiver for HD viewing, when HD source present, on 57" RPTV


I want the unit to also;


- record TV, esp. OTA HDTV

- archive to DVD

- rip my albums to it, then make CDs

- above, then MP3s for an MP3 player,

- capture Internet Radio via WIFI with 8011.g PCI card

- better DVD playback than my Panny 35S

- play DVD-A


down the road upgrade further for more home automation
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I see my first post is a bit vague, let me get to the 1st three issues I have,


- can anyone share their experience with playing Internet Radio over HTPC via WiFi

- has anyone any experience with digitizing vinyl to HTPC storage,

- what do people think are the best card(s) for OTA HD display via HTPC
 

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Yep. Stanger89 has spoken true and has distilled about a million posts and a ton of rhetoric for you into a couple of neat little paragraphs.


I run 512 MB of Dual Channel Ram and rarely find more than 50% of that being used no matter what I'm doing. If there is a need for 1 Gb RAM in an HTPC, I have not found it yet. You could save a little money there.


I run 3 HDD's. One is 160 GB on IDE and is used for OS and Apps and misc. I have 2 - 250 GB SATA drives, Raid 0 that I use for all video (PVR, DVD rips, TS streams)


DFA
 

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Not entirely... the MyHD isintegrated with Titantv for EPG data and recording. And I'm not sure what PVR functionality it lacks... not much of any in my book.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by madpoet
Not entirely... the MyHD isintegrated with Titantv for EPG data and recording. And I'm not sure what PVR functionality it lacks... not much of any in my book.
If I'm mistaken about this please correct me. However...


Essential/expected PVR features (IMO)
  • Timeshifting - not really a "PVR exclusive" nor an important one IMO (a true PVR should do away with the need to timeshift:)) but expected
  • No need to drop to the OS interface - that's a big one and that means, on-screen EPG, fully remote control able (and no girder tricks) including the scheduling, selecting of shows to view
  • Smart/show-based scheduling - not time based (which is what TitanTV was last time I used it) - the other biggie, a true PVR will abstract the nuances of scheduling, like record a show when it's on, conflict management


Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that the MyHD is a great HD DVR (notice DVR) but what distinguishes a simple DVR from a PVR is what I listed above, and to the best of my knowledge, the AccessDTV and MCE 2005 (with a Fusion or Wonder) are the only solutions at this moment.
 

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By your definition, then no ;). I think it works fine and the only thing I have to drop to the OS for is scheduling (but I remote in and do that anyway). No girder tricks here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
stanger89, DFA and madpoet -


my thanks to you for the insight.;)
 

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A few points


The Geforce 6600 is the better card, esp. for MCE and HDTV. It's only available with a PCI express interface, so if I was to buy everything new, I'd go with an i915 setup today and the 6600. It's $135 or so on newegg and seems to include a component dongle even.


Go with a quiet CPU cooler like the Zalman CNPS7000


I think you need MCE 2005 for HDTV support. The upside is, MCE does its own decoding, so you can go with a cheaper card. I have the HDTV Wonder and it's been working well. (For MCE, you can probably ignore most of the complaints about the ATI software, since all you need is the drivers.)


You'll want two tuners.. at least I did.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MartinK
MCE does its own decoding, so you can go with a cheaper card.
You have to go with a cheaper card because MCE doesn't support any cards with Hardware decoders :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stanger89
You have to go with a cheaper card because MCE doesn't support any cards with Hardware decoders :)
That's not true; it will run any card if there are drivers for it. It will not use the card's hardware decoder though.
 

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Right... there are no cards with hardware decoding and MCE drivers. You're both saying the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Threw the switch on my HTPC, and am watching Eagles vs Green Bay, the picture is outstanding!


Went with the Silverstone LC-03, very pleased with it. Added a 80mm Panaflo fan to pull in fresh air. Got a Silverstone Silent PSU, model 40F I think, it has a 120mm exhaust fan, very quiet, and pulls right from the cpu area. So far temps have been good, 51C at cpu, (though I know already you Athalon guys will argue it's too hot :rolleyes: ).


Wound up with 2 160 gig SATA and the Fusion 2 HDTV card from ebay while I wait for the next generation of HD chips/boards to appear. Had a spare floppy drive I threw in just for the heck of it, glad I did, made installing and formatting first hard drive that much easier.


Also, M audio card for sound.


Took about 8 days to get it to 1st boot up from the point I took case out of it's shipping box. Heck, installed MCE2005 4 times alone! Now, the real tinkering begins.
 

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Good to see you are joining use HTPCer in our journey of never ending tinkering. It's funny how we look for a better solution that components but we are always looking for something that will squeeze more performance out of what we already have. Me personally, I have had my HTPC working pretty darn good, but knowing that I can always try something different is what keeps me going. Now could we do that with components?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by etcarroll


Took about 8 days to get it to 1st boot up from the point I took case out of it's shipping box. Heck, installed MCE2005 4 times alone! Now, the real tinkering begins.
Where did you get MCE 2005? Thouhgt you had to buy it installed on a PC?

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you buy it with a peice of a pc, say a fan, or harddrive etc, you can also buy MCE2005.


In fact, I've seen a few links in this and other forums which lead me to believe you may be able to buy it alone, try NewEGG.
 
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