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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! First I would like to thank the entire AVS community for the help and wealth of information everyone has put into the forums. Had it not been for this, I would never have jumped on the HTPC bandwagon nor decided to finally build one.

My current HT consists of a:

Panasonic 53WX42 53" widescreen

Kenwood 4090B receiver

Wharfedale MFM-5 fronts

Klipsch SC-1 center

Wharfedale Diamond Anniversary rears

What I want from my HTPC:

1) watch dvd/tv in HD (I want better picture quality than I'm currently getting)

2) get better sound out of my music/dvds (again, I'm hoping for better quality than my current system offers)

3) save/record shows in HD quality onto local harddrive

The following basic components will be used initially as I will be using the K.I.S.S. plan that I read in another thread. I will install the minimal components first (those that are absolutely needed). Once they are installed and run over several weeks without fail will I begin to install the fancy software. Again, after these have all run for several weeks each will I begin to add the last of the needed components. The idea behind this is if there's ever a problem it will be easy to pinpoint and try to correct.
Basic component list:

Chieftec 1040B case w/ included 300watt PSU (old case, will replace with the stunning A-Tech case at end of summer assuming I have enough $$ saved up :) )

Asus P4PE motherboard

Pentium 4 2.4BGHz

Corsair 512mb pc2700

WD 60gb 7200rpm hdd

Pioneer 16x slot drive

Radeon 7500 64mb w/ CRT+DVI+TV

Future components (once basic system is stable):

A-Tech case

Seagate Barracuda V 120gb (to replace 60gb)

Delta 2496 soundcard

MyHD tuner card (not sure if i need this since I have digital cable, still reading up on it)

Initial software:

Windows XP Pro

Latest drivers for all basic components




Sorry for the long post. Once I start getting into topics of interest to me it's hard to get me to stop :p Again, thank you to anyone who can offer advice and to the entire community for getting me this far. You're great!


996 Posts
My suggestions:

1. Start with a Seagate Barracuda IV drive rather than the WD. It is quieter.

2. Unless you absolutely have to have a slot load DVD drive, I would go for something quieter like a Toshiba or LG drive. I know you can get software to slow it down, but why complicate matters?

3. Check out the Digitalis Vision II case. Probably cheaper than the Atech but is quite nice. Unfortunately it seems to be a bit deeper than the Atech.

4. How are you going to control your HTPC? You will probably want a wireless keyboard/mouse. Also a remote control like a Pronto, along with IRman and Girder, can be of help.

5. If you are getting HD from a cable box, the MyHD card won't be of use. That card only accepts OTA signals.

12 Posts
Just a thought since you mention HD, you should check out this thread:

The short of it is that you might want to bump up the 2.4B processor just a tad to keep playback smooth. The good news is that Intel just announced another round of CPU price cuts:

So hopefully you should be able to pick up a 2.66 P4 for not much more. Since you posted yesterday, your favorite retailer may or may not have already factored the new prices into their retail prices. Also, end of this week or so the new motherboards based on the 875 chipset should start trickling in, along with matched CPUs with an 800 MHz FSB instead of the 533 MHz FSB of the 2.4B / 2.66 GHz P4s currently available. Of course, if you're ready to buy today, that's no help as they probably aren't available for another week or so at the earliest, so just get what you can for now.

814 Posts
You probably should go ahead and bump the video card to a 9500 or 9600 as the newer cores have supposedly better overlay quality (and DX9 support for smooth VMR9 support, on my 7500 it was not too good)

On the MyHD card, since you have digital cable I am going to assume its 480i via svideo or composite. I dont know what the MyHD's SD capabilities are (in terms of deinterlacing and noise) but you may want to look into some of the other capture cards such as the Xcapture/MSI/FlyVideo with the use of DScaler for your deinterlacing and various filters, or if you want to put down the cash for it, the H3D from Immersive.

As for the slot loading DVD driver, its fine, and for loudness issues that others may elude to -- you can download a pioneer utility which slows it down to the point that you can barely hear it. but that is just my opinion on the matter (it has the 'cool factor' going for it as well.)

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