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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After many years of using a Dell D620 laptop in a docking station as my "HTPC", I finally bought a dedicated and real HTPC for use in my new house... Man is it sweet!! Super smooth playback no matter how big the file... bluray, whatever, it's all butter smooth... I've got a gigabit network in my new house, with terabytes of space on my file server, so I've been enjoying mediaportal and watching movies on the fly...


Anyway, on to the HTPC itself... Based on renethx's excellent advice thread, I recently ordered the following components from newegg to build my HTPC:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H ($129.99)
RAM: Intel Pentium E5200 2.5GHz ($65.99)
Memory: A-DATA 4GB DDR2 ($46.99)
HD: WD6400AAKS 640GB ($69.99)
Case: Antec Black Fusion Remote 350 ($129.99)


Total w/ shipping: $461.58


I paired this up with a few existing components I had:
Remote :Logitech Harmony 620
Keyboard: PS3 MediaBoard Pro Wireless Keyboard
Display: Philips 1080p 120hz 52" LCD
Audio: Yamaha YSP-800 Sound Bar
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (via MSDN subscription)
Bluetooth: Generic USB bluetooth dongle


Here's a picture of how everything was shipped to me:




I would have liked to see the case shipped in a brown box as well, but whatever...


The Case - I had read some complaints about the case, but I had zero problems with it. It's a high build quality, and everything fit perfectly, nice and snug the way I imagined a small form factor HTPC would. Granted, I have built dozens of PCs over the years, but this is my first MicroATX build, and I found it straightforward...


The mobo/ram/cpu - Super easy to get everything on the mobo, and installing it in the case was a breeze... Here is a pic of everything I got:





The HD - I got a 600 gig HD, but honestly, a 40 gig would have sufficed... I don't plan to keep any media files whatsoever on the HTPC... In fact, I partitioned the system partition as 100 gig for windows 7 and mediaportal, and have not even formatted the other 500 gigs remaining... If anyone has a good use for local HD space, let me know, because as far as I can tell, my file server in the basement is just as good...



After putting everything in the case, I powered it up to make sure all the fans were working properly... The Intel CPU fan power wire was touching the fan blades ever so slightly, and this was a result of the built-in cable management of the fan... so I had to unwrap the cpu fan power wire from the fan casing and run it in a different fashion to prevent it from rubbing... Really, a poor design from intel on the stock cpu fan... Here's a picture of the case with everything installed (I've since tidy'd up the wires in there a bit more, but this is basically how it looks):





I am very happy with the final product... Getting mediaportal up and running was a breeze, but I've done it a few times... Getting the harmony remote to work with the Antec case and mediaportal was another story... I spent a good 8 hours over 2 days researching and learning about how iMon works, etc, etc, etc... Needless to say, it was no fun, lol! I'd recommend to ANYONE who wants to use a remote, to not use the IR that comes with a case, but to buy a Microsoft MCE remote and use that IR dongle instead... The built-in IR are a pain in the rear... But it is nice not to have an extra USB dongle hanging around I guess...



Finally, a picture of my completed setup:





Hope this thread is helpful to anyone looking to build a HTPC...
 

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I have a similar setup too.


antec microfusion (remote is crap, lcd display is useless)

2.8 core 2 duo wolfdale

4 gig adata

1tb wd green

avermedia dual tuner

Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H

sony dvdrw

windows 7 x86

panasonic plasma 50in g10

sony receiver


Installation was easy. This too, was my first build. It runs everything I throw at it. Eventually, I wiil add a bluray player and an external hd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by df1021 /forum/post/16995626


I have a similar setup too.


antec microfusion (remote is crap, lcd display is useless)

2.8 core 2 duo wolfdale

4 gig adata

1tb wd green

avermedia dual tuner

Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H

sony dvdrw

windows 7 x86

panasonic plasma 50in g10

sony receiver


Installation was easy. This too, was my first build. It runs everything I throw at it. Eventually, I wiil add a bluray player and an external hd.

The LCD has some function in mediaportal if you configure minidisplay to work with it... Shows the name of the movie playing, time remaining, etc... My LCD never stays put though, starting this morning it keeps tilting downwards... I open the case, straighten it up, but a few hours later, it falls out of place again and is crooked



BTW, with Windows 7 x86, do you only have 2.5 gig of available memory? That's all I have with my x86 Windows 7 and 4 gig of memory on the gigabyte MB... It's more than enough though, so I'm sticking with 32-bit...
 

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Technique are you playing blu ray rips, ie .m2ts or .ts files, in media portal? Could you semi walk me through what you installed, I got media portal up and everything plays but blu ray rips are problematic I have so many codecs / ect installed now im about to do a fresh install and try again.
 

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Very nice Technique (no pun intended...haha). I'm looking at building a similar setup (albeit with a smaller display)...will probably wait for Windows 7 retail to come out though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by df1021 /forum/post/17013659


Mine did the same too. I had to super glue it back into place. Is there a way to just keep the clock on?

Ah, superglue... I guess I'll do that...


I am sure there is a way to do just the clock... Check the built-in plugin in mediaportal minidisplay...

Quote:
Originally Posted by daninfamous /forum/post/17013847


Technique are you playing blu ray rips, ie .m2ts or .ts files, in media portal? Could you semi walk me through what you installed, I got media portal up and everything plays but blu ray rips are problematic I have so many codecs / ect installed now im about to do a fresh install and try again.

Yes, I am playing bluray rips... The only codec I have installed on my system is the matroska (haali) media splitter... Oh, I also installed ffdshow, but I don't think I needed it... Windows7 + matroska splitter = all you need, so do a fresh install and enjoy


Quote:
Originally Posted by zacharace /forum/post/17013880


Very nice Technique (no pun intended...haha). I'm looking at building a similar setup (albeit with a smaller display)...will probably wait for Windows 7 retail to come out though.

Windows 7 final is out now if you have an MSDN technet subscription... Otherwise, in stores in late October... It's a great OS, thank goodness as XP is approach being a decade old! lol...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by df1021 /forum/post/17013659


Mine did the same too. I had to super glue it back into place. Is there a way to just keep the clock on?

Crazy glue worked like a charm! Thanks for the simple solution
 
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