HD Home Theatre (on a budget)

danejaho Offline
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Post: #1
So my wife and I were looking to put together a "movie watching room" for us and the kids. I did some research, collected some components and put together something that works well for us and offers a lot of entertainment value for the buck.

I had some free time yesterday and tried my hand at narrating a video about my setup. I tried to cover most of the system specs in the video.





The Kodi box was done at the lowest possible price for the highest possible functionality. I had a Dell Optiplex given to me by my sister which has a Core2Duo E8500, 2Gb Ram, 300W PSU, VGA output only. The key here was that it had an open PCIe x16 slot so I had a world of options open to me for video cards. The limiting factor here was that power supply - at only 300W and no additional PCIe power plugs I had to be careful with the card I selected. I researched on Dell and found that this computer was sometimes spec'd from the factory with an ATI Radeon HD2400 video card which draws about 25 watts. Through research of HDMI video cards that were capable of HD audio passthrough I came across the Geforce GT720, which is passively cooled for silent performance and only draws 19 watts. It can even handle 4k video resolutions if I ever require that. The local computer shop had one for $65 so I bought that and installed it and it works like a charm. The only other thing I had to get was a Flirc so that I could control it with my Logitech Harmony 650 remote. That was $25. I then loaded OpenELEC 6.0 onto it which was free. So personally I'm into this for $90 (remember that's Canadian dollars) and it's fantastic. I've never had a video skip or fail to play and it looks and sounds awesome.

Hope you enjoy the video and would welcome any comments on anything that could be improved.
(This post was last modified: 2016-01-26 22:36 by danejaho.)
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spinmaster Offline
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Post: #2
Nice setup and great video!
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hdmkv Offline
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Post: #3
Nice job! Smile

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tshark2 Offline
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Post: #4
Sweet video! This inspires me to make a better home theater on my small budget.
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jaketanev Offline
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Post: #5
got to do this!
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zparcell Offline
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Post: #6
Nicely done!
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danejaho Offline
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Post: #7
Thanks for the comments everybody,

This setup gets used almost daily and is still working 100% for every movie I have on it. My only annoyance is that I can't turn the PC on or off via the Harmony remote/Flirc. If it could do that it would be perfect.
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Doc.Ex Offline
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Post: #8
Why not? Doesn't the Flirc just simulate a Keyboard? I can wake up/send to sleep my PC via keyboard. Maybe you have to check your energy savings settings for the usb ports.
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k4sh1n Offline
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Post: #9
I thought the FLIRC did have USB wake/off?

Guide: Getting flirc to wake up your computer

See eskro thread: How to Power ON/OFF your HTPC using a Remote?
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #10
If that doesn't work for some reason, some people have had luck modding the Streamcom flirc for other HTPCs: https://flirc.tv/more/flirc-streacom-edition
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nickr Offline
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Post: #11
Nice. I must finish my systems and post something.

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New2016 Offline
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Post: #12
Nice video and great setup for a budget
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