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238 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear masters of AV.

Lets start from the beginning. I hate this DVR from our local cable company. Hang ups (some times 10+ seconds, especially when watching HD), lock ups (requires pulling the plug), broken recordings (no audio, stuck fast forward), and my personal favorite, hard crashes (causes a reboot, blanks out DVR schedule, blanks out recordings, blanks out guide). This is box number five and I give up. All of the boxes had the same problems. I asked about possible firmware updates and the little old lady looked at me like I had crabs coming out my ears. After a quick call to tech support, the guy pretty much told me what I was afraid of: There has never been firmware pushes and probably never will.

So, the way I look at it, I can either look at Tivo HD or a HTPC. I used to have a Sony Tivo Series 2 and it seemed to cheesy and clunky to me. Not to mention the slow menu transitions...

My wife has accepted a budget of $700.00. After doing some looking around, here is the shopping list I have come up with:


hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC 7K09 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case with 270w PS


GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard


Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400


G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ

Hard Drive:

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive


External DVD USB drive, just to load the OS. The PS3 will be taking care of the Bluray/DVD movies.

Other equipment:

Onkyo TX-SR605 (HDMI 1.3, Dolby TrueHD)

Philips 42" 1080i Plasma (upgrading to Vizio LCD 1080p/120 in the next month)

Win7 Home Premium


1) TV Tuner: Because the case and mobo is mATX, I will be looking for external or low profile. What is my best option? I assume the BEST option is the ATI DCT and all the hacks that come with it. I would rather wait for a SDV, DIY cable card tuner that will hopefully come out one day... so for now, ATSC, NTSC, and QAM.

2) Power Supply: The PSU that comes with that box makes me nervous. 270 watts isn't much and, from what I can tell, it is proprietary, meaning I can't replace it with a better PSU. Has anyone ever used this setup?

Thank you guys so much. My wife and I appreciate all the assistance!

118 Posts
i would go with one of the low end renethx systems - this guy is good and his systems are especially configured for htpc with low power consumption - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post14239742

I would also go with a Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 - using this with windows 7 will allow you to record anything from your cable box you can record now - no limits - also later you can get a xbox for streaming into another room - works excellent and acts as a multi room dvr.
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