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Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - Printable Version

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RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - eskro - 2012-04-27 18:30

hope that Zotac Support says true


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - Frankie Spankie - 2012-05-10 00:39

Hi, new to these forums. I've spent the past couple of hours looking into building my own HTPC. I've read the topic and looked through some of the builds and was just looking for some advice.

Essentially, I really just want to make an HTPC that works as an HD DVR and work with Netflix. I saw in the Q&A that all the Micro-ATX builds work fine as a DVR.

Do you recommend any video capture cards in particular? And will the video capture card eliminate the need for my cable box? I'm fine with paying a little more for a video capture card that I can use a cable card in to save some money on monthly payments to my cable company.

And I'm looking into the XBMCbuntu program. Reading up on it, it sounds like it's just a version of Linux. I've heard some people have a lot of issues with setting up Linux (I've only known a couple of friends who have ever worked with Linux). How hard is it to get set up?

Thanks for the help!


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - eskro - 2012-05-10 00:47

hello Frankie Spankie,
better ask on the forum by creating a new topic
about which PVR card is recommended.

i currently dont use this feature.


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - dfr818 - 2012-05-18 10:24

very good information····


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - eskro - 2012-05-24 08:08

(2012-05-18 10:24)dfr818 Wrote:  very good information····

thanks Nod


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - GortWillSaveUs - 2012-05-24 14:04

(2012-04-23 20:04)eskro Wrote:  reason is, A6-3500 is tested and re-tested and re-re-tested!!

get it! its the best,!

I agree 1,000%

I was going to build a "hopped up" build that would have cost me 3x as much as what I finally decided on.
I decided on listening to Eskro, Beer, and all the others who recommend the A6-3500
Boy am I glad I did, since it does everything I wanted and like I said, cost me 3x less.
If you want to see pictures (every proud dad wants to show pictures)

My suggestion, don't get fooled into spending too much, or thinking that you need mega processors and 64GB of RAM.
Plus, it's much easier of a sell to your wife. Nod


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - Beer40oz - 2012-05-24 15:34

(2012-05-24 14:04)GortWillSaveUs Wrote:  
(2012-04-23 20:04)eskro Wrote:  reason is, A6-3500 is tested and re-tested and re-re-tested!!

get it! its the best,!

I agree 1,000%

I was going to build a "hopped up" build that would have cost me 3x as much as what I finally decided on.
I decided on listening to Eskro, Beer, and all the others who recommend the A6-3500
Boy am I glad I did, since it does everything I wanted and like I said, cost me 3x less.
If you want to see pictures (every proud dad wants to show pictures)

My suggestion, don't get fooled into spending too much, or thinking that you need mega processors and 64GB of RAM.
Plus, it's much easier of a sell to your wife. Nod

And at the end you got a killer system! Big Grin


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - boobman09 - 2012-05-25 23:24

How does all of this (i.e. HTPC) integrate into my current cable? Is it needed at all anymore? How do I go about retaining my internet service? I'm too new to this. Just need to know what to expect before I dive in. Thanks!


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - User69 - 2012-05-28 15:49

Want a XBMC HTPC for cheap? You'll have to settle for using VGA and analog audio rather than the digital HDMI interface...

I just built an XBMC HTPC using an older HP model DC5100 PC and the new XBMCBuntu OS (XBMC 11.0 "Eden"). It's nothing special and only has a socket 775 P4 CPU (2.8GHz) with embedded Intel graphics, 1Gig of RAM and a 40Gig hard drive - cheap stuff! But it's still able to display in full 1080 "HD" and even sounds pretty good too. The hard part for me was configuring the BIOS (pressing F10 to get in it) and then disabling the CPU's extended capabilities so it appears as a single-core run of the mill processor. But once that was done I just loaded up XBMCBuntu and pretty much went with all the defaults. A little tweaking and I was even able to control XBMC using my Archos 5IT Android device (running Android 1.6 and the XBMC Android app) as a remote control including turning my XBMC box on and off. Can I say that again? I can actually turn my XBMC PC off and most importantly on using my Android device. Very cool stuff! I've also found a Vista remote control with a USB receiver that also works right out of the box too. However, the Vista IR remote can't turn XBMC on, although it can still turn it all off.

Actually, I believe the power off condition is a deep hibernation state (since that's what I set it to). Personally, I've found no difference in the power drain from when XBMCBuntu shuts things down than from when Windows was doing it. I can even unplug the power and then plug it in again and it still all appears to boot quite fast - assuming I didn't have a power hiccup or something previously. And that's thanks to HP's hardware and choice of BIOS that XBMCBuntu seems to know how to take advantage of. Therefore, I see no need to go with a full blown PC or use an even a more expensive SDD; that is, unless your XBMC PC also doubles as your main production rig (the PC you also use for work). This thing is better than even a full fledged smart blue ray player except for maybe the blue ray part (which might be another hundred bucks).

So save your money! If you're like me you probably have all your "content" on another PC or external drive anyway. A little network fiddling and I'm sure you can be streaming content from anywhere to your XBMC box.

Best of all, I did all this for under a hundred dollars! Take the Vista remote control out of the equation and I bet you might even find a similar system for around fifty bucks! But if you happen to want new stuff then I see even a new HP DX5150 might be another option. Even now (5/28/2012), I see the DX5150 is still available at my local retail outlet for just $99. Maybe somewhere near you too? The DX5150 is so similar to what I have except for the CPU (which may be better) that I bet even it could be made into a XBMC box with no trouble at all.


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - Matov - 2012-05-29 10:50

eskro, really great information in your threads. Thank you very much!

I've been reading this forum for a few months now, and I was going to build one for the living room with spare parts from my old desktop.
But I'm going for a complete different now, small and silent.
As soon as I get my list, I'll post for some feedback.


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - Beer40oz - 2012-05-30 19:35

(2012-05-29 10:50)Matov Wrote:  eskro, really great information in your threads. Thank you very much!

I've been reading this forum for a few months now, and I was going to build one for the living room with spare parts from my old desktop.
But I'm going for a complete different now, small and silent.
As soon as I get my list, I'll post for some feedback.

Nice! new hardware is always nice! Nod


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - padlee - 2012-06-06 10:46

Hi,

I am a hardware noob so bear with me. I was trying to build the suggested htpc but the shop in my country (Singapore) do not sell the A75M + A8-3850. The guy in the shop suggested this to me:

i3-2120 + ASRock H77M

As for the RAM,

He said he suggested take the 1333Mhz CL9 Cosair or G.Skill 2x2GB pair and use total of 8GB instead.

I also can't find Scythe SCBSK-2100 cooler and SilenX EFX-08-12 80mm Case Fan.

Are there alternative that i can find?

Reference:

http://assets.hardwarezone.com/retailer_pricelist/PC%20Themes_115.pdf
http://tradepac.com.sg/front1040612.pdf
http://tradepac.com.sg/front2040612.pdf
http://www.bizgram.com/index.php?option=com_jdownloads&Itemid=58&view=finish&cid=515&catid=5

Thanks alot


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - bluray - 2012-06-06 16:17

(2012-06-06 10:46)padlee Wrote:  i3-2120
I'm suggesting Intel i3-2105 instead. You'll get better HD3000 iGPU......

This case fan "ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan" and this CPU cooler "Thermalright AXP-140 RT"......


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - padlee - 2012-06-06 19:11

Thanks for ur input but can't find i3-2105 anymore here. Any other cous + mobo?


RE: Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start? - bluray - 2012-06-06 20:09

(2012-06-06 19:11)padlee Wrote:  Thanks for ur input but can't find i3-2105 anymore here. Any other cous + mobo?
Here are HD3000 CPU's and Socket 1155 motherboards.....

Intel HD 3000

Socket 1155 motherboards