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At the risk of getting flamed, I thought I would ask about this HTPC that is ready made. As you are all probably aware, HP and Sony are trying to develop home media centerpieces.... I bought the VAIO because it has a DVD Recorder, 2.53 ghz Intel, 120gb HD, 512 mb ram, 64mb NVidia GE Force 4 MX 440 video card with RGB, DVI out, S-Video in/out, Firewire ports, IR with remote for DVD/TV control, Yamaha AC-XG sound card with optical out for DD to decoder, software for recording videos, shows, etc. and even RCA inputs for older VCR tapes conversion to DVD. I have played DVD's and it looks great on my monitor, however, I am still wrestling with some small problems when sending DVD signal via S-Video to a standart NTSC TV. I figured I could start with this computer (got a great buy at $1340) and upgrade some of the components later. It is a separate audio and video card. Any suggestions or comments? The case also includes covered drives and is in a gray and silver color scheme to match most TVs out there. I could easily remove the side panels and paint them gloss black for a really sharp HTPC.


Why not start with a computer like this?


Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

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I am thnking of doing exactly this. would you post - or pm - the vaio model you have along with source info - that is a good price. I am considering this computer and a HiDTV tuner for ota hdtv. Also wondering about suggestions about adding external disk for video file storage and PCI space/requirements. ...Robert
 

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That's what I did but instead of a Geforce I got a Radeon 9000, put in a myHD card and a nice sound card for spdif passthrough. The built in Firewire works great for external storage. I also replaced the processor and power supply fans for something quieter and put all hard drives in noise reduction enclosures. Its a 1 year old 1 GHz Athlon and works flawlessly.


But I think I am in the minority here. I do not like to tinker more than necessary and I specially try to avoid Windows as much as possible.


Cheers,
 
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