Hey guys -- new to the Forums here and I've been collecting as much information as I can before finally breaking down and posting. I feel like my head's going to explode from all the options for my first HTPC. One minute I've decided on getting a pre-built and the next I'm considering building my own.
Ideally, I'd like to find a pre-built HTPC that is pretty much good to go (willing, of course to buy RAM/Hard Drive separately if it's barebones.) However, if building my own HTPC is easy (I've built a few custom desktop computers several years ago) and a great way to save money, I'd consider that too.
Let me paint you a picture of what I want from my ideal media center and you guys could perhaps let me know what would work best for me or if I'm not even making sense. By the way, I've checked the 'What group am I?' thread and I'm Group 5
, I would say. Also trying to keep the budget around the $300 range if possible. Here are things I'd like to do with my HTPC setup:
- Connect to my TV via HDMI (duh)
- Load XBMC on it (Live? or Windows 7? I'm undecided.)
- Hook up my 1 TB External Hard Drive via eSATA (since I already own it.) This would store my downloaded TV shows and Movies
- Stream Netflix HD with no stuttering at all
- Stream Hulu (highest quality) with no stuttering
- Install sabnzbd, Sickbeard, and Couchpotato on it so I can manage all my usenet downloading/sorting right off the HTPC
- Be able to put NES/SNES/n64 emulators on there and play with perfect performance
- Blu-ray drive just for watching blu-ray movies occasionally? Low priority but would be a nice bonus.
Let me put this out there too: I'm not a pack rat when it comes to downloading and storing TV shows and Movies. Typically, I'll download a recent TV show episode/season, watch it, and then delete it. Also, I'll download a movie I want to watch and then delete it when I'm done. That's not to say I don't want a good chunk of storage just in case. But, I'm not wanting to build a NAS with like 4 Terabyte drives in it. Trying to keep things on a smaller budget here.
Also not worried about doing Wi-Fi. Definitely going to hook the device up directly to my router via ethernet.
So, is it realistic to find an HTPC that does all of that for a reasonable price? I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts and feedback. Go easy on me, I'm new to this whole thing!