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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering buying a ready built HTPC. I know I can save a little $$ by doing it myself, but I am undecided right now. I want to be able to record HD. Anyone give a guesstimate on how much this would cost to build ?





Motherboard P4M800PRO-M (V2.0)

Processor Intel Pentium D 2.8GHz LGA775 CPU

Memory


1GB DDR2 PC4200 533MHz

Video


GeForce FX6200 256MB DDR2 HDTV-Out



AV-710 8 Channels Sound Card


Media Center Infrared Remote Control


500GB 7200 RPM SATA3.0Gb/s Hard Drive


Sony Dual Layer 18X DVD±RW Burner


All-in-1 Card Reader


VIA® VT6103L 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet (RJ45 LAN)

Wireless


54Mbps Wireless-G

USB 2.0 Ports


6(Front x 2 , Rear x 4)

Connector/Slot Front

1 x Audio port (Line-out, Mic-in)

1 x A/V Capture in Ports

1 x S-Video in ports

1 x IR Rack

Rear

1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors

1 x Parallel port (LPT1)

1 x Serial port (COM1)

1 x VGA port

1 x S-video in Ports

1 x S-video Out Ports

1 x DVI Oot Ports

1 x A/V Capture in Ports

1 x Line-in,

4 x Line-out

1 x Mic-in

1 x 75 Ohm Coaxial TV RF

Internal

1 x FDD connector

2 x IDE connectors

2 x Serial ATA connectors

1 x AGP 8X slot

3 x PCI slots

Operating System


Windows XP Media Center 2005

Software Bundle


PowerDVD, Nero , WinCinema suit, Adobe Reader 7....

Cables


Power Cable , S-video Convertor , HDMI Convertor,SPDIF Cable

Documentation


Driver CD, Product Manual ,Test Report

Assembly&Quality Immaculate custom hand wiring for ultimate air flow, Individual custom testing for complete system functionally , professional test report

Installation Probity On-Site Home or Office Installation and Setup ($99) Available in Atlanta ,GA (20 Miles)

Warranty


1 Year Standard Parts and Labor Ltd Warranty
 

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You can check newegg.com for prices for hardware and OS. Also keep in mind that currently MCE 2005 does not support QAM HD and only OTA HD feeds so if you dont already have good reception to OTA HD you may want to consider a front end that does support QAM and build around that.


Spec wise that system should be more than capable of recording/watching HDTV but I might have missed which HD card you have choosen or comes with the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyjoeyjoey /forum/post/0


You can check newegg.com for prices for hardware and OS. Also keep in mind that currently MCE 2005 does not support QAM HD and only OTA HD feeds so if you dont already have good reception to OTA HD you may want to consider a front end that does support QAM and build around that.


Spec wise that system should be more than capable of recording/watching HDTV but I might have missed which HD card you have choosen or comes with the system.


Sony 55a2000 (1080p via HDMI)


I have HD through Direct TV (including locals). I am confused as to what QAM is ??? Are you saying there are other options than Windows Media Center 05 ?? What about the new Vista ?
 

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Simple definition is MCE only supports HDTV if it comes from an antenna (ie rabbit ears) MCE does not support HDTV if you try to plug your Direct TV cable to the back of your computer.


QAM basically means that some cable companies (region dependant) will transmit HD channels unencrypted regardless of what package you buy from them. This means that if you have a QAM tuner you could pick up these "free" HD feeds (ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX/PBS). this comes in really well if you can not pick up OTA via your antenna.


You will note that some newer TV have this listed in their specs as well NTSC/ATSC/QAM256.


I am not familary of any that support Direct TV as I do not have that service.


Vista currently does not support QAM as well. This may change... who knows.


Yes there are other front end software available. Off the top of my head GBPVR and SageTV support QAM tuning with their latest versions. Then there is BeyondTV which I believe only supports OTA HD as well. MythTV for linux installs support QAM tuning also.


So if your ultimate goal is to get your Direct TV HD package to do the live/recording on your HTPC you may have to look at other front end software. Hopefully others with Direct TV can chime in and help you with your quest.


edit: re your Sony 55a2000. What I was asking for was your HD Tuner card that will come with the system you will purchase. As it relates to the above if QAM is what you want make sure the HDTV card supports this and is also supported by the front end you choose.


For reference my MCE computer displays 1080i HD recorded TV feed just fine using the built in Intel 915 graphics with a lot slower processor than what you have listed. So if your graphics card is even remotely better than my built in you should be fine.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=702289


just a few post down discussion about a DirectTV card. Add yourself to the list so you can follow its development.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the info. The tuner card on this system is : AVerTV HD MCE A180 TV Tuner


So if I just bought the Sage TV program, I would be go to go ?? I guess I would be just using the Sage software instead of the MCE ?
 

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Were you planning to record HD from DirecTV? If you were, you are in a bit of a pickle right now, with the rest of us DirecTV subscribers. The typical HD tuner cards can't accept HD from the DirecTV box, only OTA. DirecTV and Microsoft are currently working on a SD/HD tuner solution for MCE. However, no release dates have been given. In fact, it could be anywhere between soon, and '08 before they come out. The other problem is that no one knows yet if these tuners will be able to be added to an existing computer, or if you will have to purchase a new, "certified" PC, similar to the new CableCard tuners. So, if you want to integrate DirecTV, buying or building now is a risky proposition. If OTA HD only will suffice, then you are good to go.
 

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If that is the ECS motherboard, it has issues, I have one.


It doesn't support s3 standby properly. First off it suspends with all fans running still, and secondly the onboard network is lost after a suspend forcing you to power cycle the main power switch on the back of the power supply not just soft power on front to get networking back.

also it has poor ram performance equal to ddr400 not even ddr2 even though it uses ddr2.


Try the asrock 775 vsta or something better. That system is weak all around unless it's a bargain. ($500-$600 tops with legal OS)


Troy
 
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