[WINDOWS] First HTPC build - performance and future proof - advice needed
#1
I recently stumbled on to this forum and got hooked immediately. I need to build one of these. Currently, I have a 55" LG 1080p LCD and a blu ray player, no sound system. I'll probably add that soon though so I need to keep that in mind.

I'd like the following features:
* 1080p playback
* HD PVR functionality, watch and record simultaneously - record to local drive and / or HDD on other network PC
* Playing 1080p content from network PC
* HD sound (for future sound system)
* Quiet
* Streaming HD TV (VuDu or Netflix)
* Browsing while watching and recording (mouse & kb needed)
* Wifi not needed - will be wired
* Work with my existing Harmony remote

Also considering selling or moving my existing blu ray player and replacing it with an internal drive - thoughts?

I'm more concerned with getting good performance and a future proof system than budget.

Eskro seems very knowledgeable, what do you think? Once I decide on the components, what are the chances that everything will work without a hitch once built?

Thanks in advance!
/elb3000
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#2
I had some thoughts around the hardware based on eskro's AMD system here: http://forum.xbmc.org/showpost.php?p=721011

Would that, an SSD, an HDD, and a tuner card do the work? What do I do about controlling the setup with my Harmony remote?

/elb3000
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#3
Here's my plan, it's a page right out of Eskro's book... Placed the order yesterday, I'll update on it when it comes in:

Here’s what I got:

MB - GIGABYTE|GA-MA78LMT-S2 AM3 RTL $59.99
MEM - 4GX2 PATRIOT PGD38G1600ELK R $79.99
VGA - ASUS|ENGT430/DI/1GD3(LP) GT430 $69.99
CPU - AMD|PH II X4 925 2.8G AM3 RT $99.99
PSU - ANTEC| EA-380D GREEN RT $44.99
CASE - SILVERSTONE ML03B $59.99

I've got a Hauppauge 2250 and two HDHomeruns that I plan on running through this box using Team MediaPortal's TVServer for the PVR functionality. I had it working in theory mostly back around the time Dharma went final. Unfortunately, I had it on insufficient hardware and the experience was unsatisfactory.

Why 8G? With memory being cheap, and my previous experience, I was thinking that the possibility of a RAM disk for for timeshifting wouldn't be a bad idea.

Why a quad core? Again, that previous experience showed me that the TV server was pretty CPU intensive, so I didn't want this to be CPU bound. With possibly six tuners going through this device, I'm not sure the quad core wil be sufficient. I'm hopeful though.

I do plan on running Win7 on this one. While Linux may work, I'm getting too old to want to play too much with it.

I plan on using a Harmony with this as well. I use them on my other PCs wihtout too much trouble. I'm expecting a little bit of difficulty on this one as I'm planning on using the 2250 IR device.

There's a lot of options on the PVR front, you'll need to poke around there. Team Mediaportal was working pretty well for me back when. I gave up on TVHeadend. Support at the time for HDHomeruns under Linux and ASTC in TVHeadend was iffy at best, and too much for me to experiement with. I hear it's better however.
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#4
Thanks Kirky99. In terms of tuner cards, which do you recommend? Have you used anything other than the 2 you mentioned?
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#5
I have only actually used the HD Homeruns with XBMC. I got the Hauppauge 2250 and couldn't get it working great under Linux, and yet to try it under Win7.

Personally, I like the idea behind the Homeruns. It should be limited work on the part of the PC to manage what is essentially a network stream. There are a few choice for Homeruns now.

The Homeruns only do digital signals, not analog. I still have a few analog channels I want to capture, which is my main reason for going with the 2250. I've dealt with Hauppauge products inthe past and they worked well. They seem to be well supported as well.

To do the PVR stuff, XBMC isn't going to get you there alone. I think the direction is to make it a front end for a number of backend servers. MediaPortal, VDR, MythTV, YAVDR, TVHeadend are the ones I can remember. You'll need a server of some sort, so you want to decide on your backend (which may drive your OS, which drives what card(s) you are looking for) first. You can swap of course, however I'd pick either your OS on the server first. Then look at what's supported and go from there.

PVR is pretty early right now at least for XBMC. I feel its a bit of a gamble, however I'm all in. I liked what I saw and I'm pretty confident it's going to work out. I say this from a distance, I haven't been following it for a few months, but I'm starting to dig through a try to get caught up.
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#6
i3-2100 cpu + GT 520 gpu + 4gigs ddr3
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#7
hi Mallet21,
i saw you talking often about the GT520,
without me noticing anything about it too much till now but,
what i mean,
i have to update my GUIDE because of you Tongue

all my GT430 builds have to be converted to GT520 builds!!
I just noticed that there is a FANLESS GT520 LOW PROFiLE card!!
Which GT430's didn'T!!!

hahahaha, sweet! thanks Smile
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#8
And I just ordered the 430 :-(

I was checking on the 520, and there's speculation it won't handle deinterlacing on HD content as well as the 430 (read, can't keep up). Something to do with 1/2 the pipelines or something. I'll admit I never fully understood all that.

Any thoughts?

Specifically this thread: http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/my...ers/480236
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