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I'm somewhat of a rookie when it comes to HD software (codecs, players, etc.) as right now I just run my .mkv's on my powerful desktop. I've been reading up, but I'm wondering if I'll have any issues running 1080p files with this build. Ultimately, I want this thing for playing 1080p .mkv movies and browsing the net from my living room TV.


Is the onboard video going to be a bottleneck?

And what kind of sound can I expect from the onboard audio? Will I notice a difference if I get an X-Fi sound card or something else? (I'll be plugging the HTPC into a Harmon-Kardon receiver.)


Case Silverstone Grandia GD02S Silver $169.99

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 $209.56

Mobo ASUS P5E-VM HDMI mATX $154.99

RAM ? $90.00

PSU Silverstone Element ST50EF-PLUS SC 500W $87.10

Blueray LG GGC-H20L BLU-RAY HD-DVD Reader $174.99

Harddrive 2x Western Digital Caviar SE16 500 GB $0.00 (have already)

Wireless D-LINK DWA-552 Xtreme N Desktop Adapter $75.20

Keyboard LOGITECH DINOVO EDGE $171.58


Total cost: $1133.41 (Cdn)


Finally, could someone drop me a couple links that will get me started on learning all I need about the codecs and software I need? I see the sticky for tweaking ffdshow, but what do I install first? Also, what file player do you guys use? Is WMP 11 good enough?


Thanks for any help!
 

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So i'm much more of a computer person than i am an Audio visual person, but i love audio/visual stuff as well and am teaching myself that stuff as i go these days.

OK so what matters most in an HTPC setup, IF you are not going to be buying a video card, which from your list you are not, is:

the northbridge chipset. Nvidia has realized the htpc market is huge and has been coming out with their new chipsets. Essentially, combined with your processor is where all the work will be happening. The one you have gotten seems to be ok. If i were you i would consider getting the E8500 processor, that little extra umph might come in handy later on.

You should get 4 gigs of ram, only because you can for your $90 range.

Im not sure why u want a wireless card, but d-link defines terrible, in my opinion. Linksys (not great, is much better), same with belkin.

Are you going to use the computer to put the tv signal in and use it as a DVR as well? If so you need a tuner card.

Also, why do you want the full size dinovo? whats wrong with the mini? its so sweet, and practically designed for htpc, and it can be gotten for $130 if you price shop.
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/ke.../3848&cl=us,en


Your prices are outrageous. Clearly you aren't using newegg when you should be. For example, that mobo is 129 with 10$ shipping. The proccessor you have is 179 not 210... etc. so go there for prices and reliability, and super fast shipping.

Since you will be decoding information, meaning the movie files, you may want to consider an after market heat sink for the processor and some AS5 paste (5 bucks).

I'm not sure how much room ur case has, but make sure the heat sink can fit (huge problem sometimes).


Hrm codecs.... I'm sure i'll get yelled at somewhere for this. but what i use is FFdshow, haali media splitter (not sure if that is spelled right), and with that i can use VLC or WMP as i want. I personally perfer the layout and style of WMP so i usually use that, but since i watch a lot of anime, the subtitles don't always work so i use vlc. Also WMP can integrate well with media buttons on a keyboard whereas VLC doesn't so well.

Let me know if you need more help... this stuff is right up my alley.

as a side note, i used to use coreavc (dont' know if you can still get it) and powerdvd for my hddvd playback on my old computer (amd x2) and it was actually able to do it just fine... so maybe look into that?
 

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yeah, the mobo is the G35 intel chipset, so I was hoping with a strong processor and a good cpu that I would ok. I see lots of 4 gig RAM kits I could get, so question: Is it worth spending for the PC 8500 1066 kits for a HTPC? Do they get much hotter?


Processor: 8400 or 8500, or should I go quad-core? As I understand it, quad is great for video editing and photo editing, things I don't do. This really is just a movie platform. Would the quad still be helpful?


Wireless: I want a wireless cards for a few reasons, mostly that my movie files are on my main computer, and it will be impossible to run a LAN cable there. Are the any other possibilities? My friend told me about the games.dlink.com/products/?pid=383 that would let me connect wirelessly too.


Keyboard: Nice! Didn't even know that existed. Looks like thats my choice. Thanks!



Heatsink: Check. I'll look around, and make sure it'll fit. I found a solid web review of my chosen case that actually talks about what fits and what doesn't... Handy.



Prices: I'm from Canada, and ordering from newegg unfortunately will cost me at the border.
Those prices are from NCIX.com. I did however find a new website (CanadaDirect.com) that has some of the goods I want.


Codecs: Excellent. I'm using haali and ffdshow with media player 11. My friend set it up, and i wanted to know if we were missing a much more efficient player. As long WMP 11 will work fine, I'll stick with that.


Edit: reguarding the ffdshow sticky thread, is that a good resource for tuning ffdshow?


Thanks for the reply!
 

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I just put my 'high-end' gaming computer together and i got the e8500 because it was on sale with my case. love it.

If i could get it for the same price i would consider quad, i personally don't think there is any reason to pay extra for it.

Remember, that with wireless, that whole '108 mbps' sounds great and all... but your internet speed doesn't go above probably 11mpbs... thats why all the other routers are 54 (and thats not even used). The only way it would be used is on a home network, to transfer files locally.

I have personally never really needed to configure ffdshow, it always seem to work right out of the 'box.'
 

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you don't really need a fast processor since your network card will be the bottleneck. I have one of those (I love DLINk btw), but they can only stream ~15gb movie files (it's about 20ft away from a dlink di665 router in draft n only mode). I use the e8400 in my server and tried playing 1080p files just for fun. It works great (forgot the bitrate, but the file size was ~40GB).
 

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There is a relatively new program out... it is called tversity (its free) and it is designed to stream content between mediums

i personally use it to stream from my desktop and use the ps3 as the receiver. it works quite well... just need to know how to configure it correctly to get it work with all media types (took like nearly 2 straight days, but victory is mine
)

However for a setup like that you would need sometihng as powerful as e8400/8500 on your desktop to realtime transcode the files.

but you could use it to stream to a computer... I only say that so your network can handle it better... because it would all be local traffic, thus maximizing your 108mbps from the router.
 
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