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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been researching this forum for a while now and I am going to take the plunge into my 1st HTPC. My budget is about $1000. I plan to use it to:


1) play DVD's at native resolution to my new Panasonic Plasma (1366x768)

2) clean up and scale my directivo signals

3) tune into local over-the-air HDTV signals (Houston)

4) CD jubebox


Here is what I have on my shopping list:


Case: Antec Sonata

Processor: Athlon XP 2800 + Barton

Motherboard: ASUS A7N8X 2.0 Deluxe

Memory: 512 MB

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda V 120 GB

Sound Card: M Audio Revolution 7.1

Video Card: Radeon 9000 pro

Capture/HDTV: Fusion II

Keyboard/Mouse: Gyration Ultra

IR: USB Uirt

Remote: Pronto Pro (already own)



Software:

OS: Win XP Pro

Dscaler

IR: Girder

Powerstrip


I would really appreciate comments, my biggest concern is finding a graphics card that will sit happily with the Fusion II card, but feel free to make any suggestions.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by willm




Here is what I have on my shopping list:


Case: Antec Sonata

Processor: Athlon XP 2800 + Barton

Motherboard: ASUS A7N8X 2.0 Deluxe

Video Card: Radeon 9000 pro

Capture/HDTV: Fusion II


Software:

OS: Win XP Pro

Dscaler

IR: Girder

Powerstrip


I would really appreciate comments, my biggest concern is finding a graphics card that will sit happily with the Fusion II card, but feel free to make any suggestions.

Teeps replys:

What you have spec'd should work, and probably work well.


As for your compatibility concern, consider no news to be good news.



 

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willm;


You might have seen it already. There is a thread about the Gryration mouse on clearance sale. BTW: mine works well and way beyond 6ft....



As for DVD decoder software, I would suggest you have a closer look at Theatertek, if you are interested in excellent PQ and userfriendly, STB like UI.

______

Axel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I researched my HTPC for a couple of months, mostly on the AVSforum. I have never built a PC before and only have average PC skills, but the temptation to get a scaler / HDTV / high quality DVD to go with my plasma was too much.


2 weeks ago I summoned up courage and ordered all the parts from a variety of Internet suppliers, newegg, directron, accupc, tigerdirect and digital connection. All came up with the goods in time for me to build it this weekend. I thought you might like some feedback.


I decided to make a couple of changes to my spec:


Case: Antec Overture

I decided against the Sonata when I viewed it in a shop, it looked good at a distance, but a bit plasticky hands on. I also decided to free up a space in my cabinet for a desktop shape case. I'm pleased with the Overture, it looks pretty tidy for a $100 case, but blue light is a bit bright (I can disconnect it) and silver front doesn't quite match the teac floppy drive.


CPU: Athlon XP 2500+ Barton

It was a hundred dollars cheaper than the 2800+ I had specced, read reviews elsewhere that it was overclockable (have no need for this yet, but thought it was nice to keep in my back pocket).


Hard Drive: I ended up having trouble tracking down a Barracuda IV or V bigger than 80 GB, so I went for a 160 GB Barracuda 7.7200 S-ATA drive. I've heard these aren't as good, but are still reasonably quiet. The S-ATA has lovely tidy cables, but was a problem, the windows installer did not have the S-ATA driver and would grind to a halt. Most of the information available on the web assumed that an S-ATA drive is installed as an extra drive with IDE being the main ones. Eventually I found the necessary driver put it on a floppy (thank heavens I bought the 3.5" drive) everything is now fine.


Network: I added a Netgear 802.11b PCI card (DWL-520+) which talked to my orinoco router first time, very satisfying. Downloaded the critical updates (27 of them!), driver updates, and real player. Clicked on to BBC.com for the radio and hear radio 2 & 4 coming over at 100+ kbps in clear stereo, we're Brits and so my wife was impressed, she's looking forward to showing off to her British friends when they next come round.


Other Problems:


Getting the Revo to output to the SPDIF. I hunted high and low for the "DIGITAL" option. My lovely wife calmed me down and helped me search logically for it and eventually we found it buried way down in the "speakers" pull-down list.


Getting Powerstrip to work "just right". Powerstrip is meant for the pros, I mucked about with it for a while and got it near to 1366 x 768. In frustration I started to adjust the scanning frequencies at random and suddenly whammo - the picture just leaped into tight focus, really nice.


Tomorrow's Challenge:


Fusion II, I am worried about this. The card specs look great but the random nature of the driver / software problems hit some, not others. I'm going to cross my fingers. I'll let you know how it goes.


Overall I have spent just over $1400, which is higher than I had hoped, you can see does not contain all the state of the art components but it should provide a lot of functionality.


Willm
 
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