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Discussion Starter #1
Ok I have been reading and researching for coming up on a few months now and I have found a couple of my observations seem to go against conventional wisdom.

So In this thread I'm going to chronicle my experience building my ultimate HTPC.


1. The case.


Searching for a good htpc case has been a real journey.

One needs a case that will occupy the same footprint as a standard sized DVD player or reciever that immediately destroys the tower or standard desktop size in favor of microATX.

It must be relatively decent looking so a wierd shape, unnessary lights and gaudy ports need to be brought to a minimum.

It must also breathe well. Most microatx cases seem to go for half height cards but that severely limits our choices in Video/Tuner/Audio cards so that gets tossed right out the window.


After much searching I have gone for the Inwin D500T Inwin makes quality products and this looks like no exception. If I had any clue how to paint a case I would redo it in piano black but I don't , so I wont.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811108347



2. The motherboard.

I have two Machines that I can cannibalise. One is an AMD 2500+ Another is an Intel 3 GHZ, This means I already have memory a hdd, and a cpu.

Audio will be handled by sound card not sure yet but I'm most likely going to go for the X-fi for onboard 5.1 and 6.1 decoding. Onboard video will not be necessary since I intend to go DVI anyway and most onboard dont offer this.

Gigabit ethernet is a must, this machine will be network Aware so music and video can be loaded remotely.


The candidates are.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813137057
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813137061

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813186066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813127217
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813127214


I need to do more research and some will fall to the wayside in the end.

Since building this machine is largely an experiement and it's pretty damned hard to find a microATX card without embedded Audio/Video I'll be looking into onboard options such as SPDIF Daughtercards.



3. Video Card.

Contrary to popular belief I think most el cheap video cards are up to the tasks being doled out by an HTPC all I ask is relatively good video quality and DVI out, and some other outs would be nice.


This bad boy should kick the living crap out of my current Radeon 7500



4. TV Tuner/Capture Card.

After much research I have realised that none of them really satisfy me.

No dual tuning on a single card, No hardware acceleration no FM support, spotty analog support.

So I'm sticking with dual analog tuner.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116628
 

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check out the HTPCnews.com for help building an HTPC

and look at pcalchemy.com for cases, PSUs, etc... when building your HTPC


and the Sony KD36XS955, is a really nice CRT TV

I would really think twice before downgrading to a 23" LCD


cause you will be paying for the form factor more than the quality of the picture

as only plasma comes close to the picture of a CRT
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE


Current Configuration:


Case Fan Replacement.
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16811999615


Memory
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16820220040


HDD
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16822144014


Wireless and Bluetooth Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16833158121


Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103535


Floppy
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16821103203


Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811108347


TV Card
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16815116620


Motherboard

*cues orchestra*

*bows profusely*
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130529



Software:

AC3 Filter

Purevideo Platinum 1.96

FFDshow

Meedio 1.41

Windows XP SP2




Potential Upgrades:

Nvidia DualTV Tuner, or Alternate HD Tuner. Pvr-150 = doodoocakes

MCE 2005, Meedio = Dead, so future support may warrant an upgrade/downgrade :(
 
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