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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently got a Westy 37" LCD monitor, and it looks great, but to me it screams "Give me an HTPC!" I'm not new to computers in general, but I'm a complete newb when it comes to HTPC, so I have a bunch of questions...


Currently I have an HD STB connected to my westy via component(my STB's HDCP doesn't seem compatible with the Westy's DVI for some reason). What I'd really like to use the HTPC for is nice upscaling to the Westy's native res(1080p), and playing DVDs, video files, and some kind of DVR function would be nice.


Currently the only spare computer part I have on hand is an ATI Radeon 9600xt 128mb card. I'm wanting to get a Shuttle or other small form factor PC, and obviously I'd need a CPU/Motherboard of some kind, thinking AMD AthlonXP 2700+, since it's cheaper than Intel and I wanna keep costs down as much as possible. I'm also shooting for 1gb of RAM, though I wouldn't mind going less if I could get away with it. I wouldn't really be using this thing for PC gaming, as I have a nice rig already set up for that.


Now, on to the questions:


1) For a TV tuner card, uh, thing, do I need to get an HD one, or can I cheap out in that area because of the HD STB? What would you guys recommend?


2) I know I said I wouldn't be using this for PC gaming, but I do also have a PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube. Would it be possible at all to use the HTPC to upscale these as well, or would the lag time make the games unplayable?


3) How big of a hard drive I should get for this thing? I'm not very familiar with HighDef file sizes, so I don't know how much space I would need to record a few hours of the stuff.


4) On the OS/Software front, would you guys recommend Microsoft or Linux? I'll definitely want to use a remote with this, and as far as I can tell, the MS software comes with one. However, if I can cheap out even more by going Linux and buying a separate remote system, that'd be nice.


Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read this! :D Any advice you could give would be much appreciated!
 
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