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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I'd liek to build a HTPC with the myriad of PC parts I have lying around and I'd like some recommendations.


Here's what I have to work with


AMD Athlon XP3000 processor


Nvidia 6600GT


Toshiba 34HF84


Denon AVR-1802 receiver (I believe, I'll have to verify)



I would like to use the HTPC to play upconverted DVD's on the Toshiba, occasionally surf the net/e-mail, play/record upconverted SD broadcasts on the Toshiba, play/record OTA HD broadcasts on the Toshiba, occasional HD PC gaming on the Toshiba, and use to play CD's/MP3's.


I will need a TV tuner, HD TV tuner, remote, wireless keyboard/mouse, and a bunch of other hw items I'm sure.


The goal is to have a home theater appliance that seamlessly integrates with my TV and receiver, uses one remote and is simple enough for my wife to use with little/no difficulty.



What I'd like to know is how much HD space will I need, what's the best way to connect the audio to my Denon receiver, best video settings for the Toshiba, what OS/applications should I use, what remote will best suit my needs.



Please make any recommendations. Thanks.
 

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Since nobody else replied yet, I'll take a shot. For minimum setup pain and maximum WAF (Wife Approval Factor) I would suggest cheating by buying an HD-TiVO. That leaves your PC with the task of playing DVD's and MP3's (and if your wife insists, CD's.) You can use SPDIF to connect the PC to the receiver. For the best video settings for your Toshiba TV, use Avia or Video Essentials DVD's. Windows XP Pro, Windows MCE, or Windows 2000 are all reasonable choices of O/S. Meedio with its bundled remote is a reasonable front end, but I've heard it doesn't have good integration with the MyHD card, if you go that route instead of the HD-TiVO. If you record HD to PC, you'll need about 9 GB/hour, so maybe 250 GB to get you started, and you'll always want more. Maybe someone who knows more about OTA HD recording will step in to advise you further...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdul Jalib
Since nobody else replied yet, I'll take a shot.
Thanks, I appreciate that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdul Jalib
For minimum setup pain and maximum WAF (Wife Approval Factor)
Hahaha... love that one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdul Jalib
...I would suggest cheating by buying an HD-TiVO. That leaves your PC with the task of playing DVD's and MP3's (and if your wife insists, CD's.) You can use SPDIF to connect the PC to the receiver. For the best video settings for your Toshiba TV, use Avia or Video Essentials DVD's.


For video quality, I'm wondering... DVI-HDMI, or component output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdul Jalib
...Windows XP Pro, Windows MCE, or Windows 2000 are all reasonable choices of O/S. Meedio with its bundled remote is a reasonable front end, but I've heard it doesn't have good integration with the MyHD card, if you go that route instead of the HD-TiVO. If you record HD to PC, you'll need about 9 GB/hour, so maybe 250 GB to get you started, and you'll always want more. Maybe someone who knows more about OTA HD recording will step in to advise you further...
I would like to use just the HTPC for ALL functions. I have a lot of hardware at home and I can build at least 1, maybe 2 PC's. I can't justify spending the additional $ for a Tivo type box.


Another question is if I'm using MCE 2005, what remote control will I need to use that will allow me to control all my HT equipment? I mean my receiver, HTPC, TV (if required), etc... I know there are a few universal remotes on the market, but I'm not sure if they integrate with MCE 2005 well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by videolover
Go to newegg,

brand: Snapstream Media

Model: Firefly
Do you have one and are using it? If so, how well does the software work for HTPC use?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by viffer5
Another question is if I'm using MCE 2005, what remote control will I need to use that will allow me to control all my HT equipment? I mean my receiver, HTPC, TV (if required), etc... I know there are a few universal remotes on the market, but I'm not sure if they integrate with MCE 2005 well.
For HT (IR) gear and MCE (HTPC software)((IMO) there is NO OTHER CHOICE than the Harmony remotes.


Check them out. The Firefly is mostly a "PC-HTPC) remote!


Good Luck


Jeff
 

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How does one turn a HTPC on and off using a Harmony remote? Is there a way to add an IR to a HTPC? If so, learn something new everyday...


thanks,


gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I looked at the Harmony remotes, particularly the Media Center one and I noted there is no IR receiver. I was told that I'd have to buy the Microsoft remote that comes with the receiver and use that receiver with teh Harmony.


Is this right or can I buy a separate IR receiver that will work with the Harmony remote?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by viffer5
I would like to use just the HTPC for ALL functions. I have a lot of hardware at home and I can build at least 1, maybe 2 PC's. I can't justify spending the additional $ for a Tivo type box.
Just to through some more fire onto the HDTivo suggestion, up until last week anyways, DirecTV was offering a retention deal. HDTivo $299 + $100 mail in rebate. I got in on this deal, and others actually got more thrown in (6 mo. free HBO/showtime, etc...)


Just call up, ask for customer retention (if you don't have a direct number) and ask for this specific deal.


Ozy
 
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