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Need help on building a HTPC

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Old 06-20-2011, 09:48 AM   #1  
How can anyone watch standard def?
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Default Need help on building a HTPC

I've been looking into building a HTPC. I'm trying to stay under $300 by using a tigerdirect AMD barebones kit, which come with mb,cpu,cpu cooler,ram,hd, and psu. Also I was going to buy a video card along with the kit. most of these kits come with 450 watt psu.
My goal for the HTPC is to watch movies of my 1.5WD TB, and to stream movies and t.v show from the net and possibly later down the road watch hd content. Any suggestion will help thanks.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:58 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by solocreep View Post
I've been looking into building a HTPC. I'm trying to stay under $300 by using a tigerdirect AMD barebones kit, which come with mb,cpu,cpu cooler,ram,hd, and psu. Also I was going to buy a video card along with the kit. most of these kits come with 450 watt psu.
My goal for the HTPC is to watch movies of my 1.5WD TB, and to stream movies and t.v show from the net and possibly later down the road watch hd content. Any suggestion will help thanks.
I literally JUST built an HTPC with the following:
eMachines EL1352-03 (paid $199 at microcenter for a refurb unit)
HIS AMD 6450 (H645H1G) ($65 at microcenter)
and
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950Q ($90 at microcenter)

SO, total price $355 plus tax.

The PC has a dual core X2 240 in the version I got and a 500GB HDD. I added the video because it's a passively cooled HD card that will run full HD without a hiccup. And the TV tuner gives me OTA TV. Hooked it up to the A/V receiver and viola.

I also added the SMK Link Ultra-Mini Keyboard for $60 so I could have control in a small package. So far, it's perfect. And totally silent.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:00 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by mobiushky View Post
I literally JUST built an HTPC with the following:
eMachines EL1352-03 (paid $199 at microcenter for a refurb unit)
HIS AMD 6450 (H645H1G) ($65 at microcenter)
and
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950Q ($90 at microcenter)

SO, total price $355 plus tax.

The PC has a dual core X2 240 in the version I got and a 500GB HDD. I added the video because it's a passively cooled HD card that will run full HD without a hiccup. And the TV tuner gives me OTA TV. Hooked it up to the A/V receiver and viola.

I also added the SMK Link Ultra-Mini Keyboard for $60 so I could have control in a small package. So far, it's perfect. And totally silent.
Good deal sounds like you've got everything you need. I am in the process of doing the same. Will post specs shortly.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:14 PM   #4  
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R4350-MD512H/D3 Radeon HD 4350 Graphics Card 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM
passive cooling small form factor. 1200 MHz memory clock will deliver HD via HDMI easily, HDCP compliant and and will send HD audio. $37.24 at buy.com

Phenom X4 9600 2.3GHz 2GB 250GB DVD±RW DL refurb from geeks.com $209.99. Built to lay flat so it fits the entertainment center and looks like any other piece of A/V equipment. Also picked up a 2TB Western Digital HDD for $60.

Last and best for me since I still have a lot of HD DVD movies is a LG GGC-H20N 6x Blu-ray BD-ROM/HD DVD-ROM/16x DVD±RW DL SATA Drive w/LightScribe for $60 again from geeks. I'll replace the DVD burner in the computer with this so I can watch virtually any HD or SD format.

$370 and I've got a rocking media center with plenty of storage space, can play virtually anything HD wise both audio and video. Can't wait for it all to come so I can hook it up.

If interested here are the links - LINK

LINK

LINK

Last edited by Loves2Watch; 06-20-2011 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:26 PM   #5  
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You will like that drive Loves. The software that came with mine plays all my HD DVD discs without a hitch. BD is another matter. To play Avatar, for example, I needed to upgrade my PowerDVD to the latest version at a cost of something like $80. Happens again having to pay more for BD, I'll just forget BD altogether and use pay for view and record with my Hauppauge 1212.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:12 PM   #6  
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I don't think I will be buying any software for Blu-ray discs as I believe/understand the XBMC media center client I will be using will play it all (HD DVD and BD) without any other software requirements. If that is not the case there is another option I will use though I can't discuss that here. And yes I am excited about getting it all together and being able to access my HD DVD's without a Toshiba player in the mix, not that there is anything wrong with that, I just want it all in one device.

Last edited by Loves2Watch; 06-20-2011 at 09:16 PM..
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:38 AM   #7  
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I was thinking of using this step up to start and possibly adding a dual t.v tuner card.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...6624&CatId=332


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...421&CatId=3670
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:21 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solocreep View Post
I was thinking of using this step up to start and possibly adding a dual t.v tuner card.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...6624&CatId=332


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...421&CatId=3670
The following for just a few dollars more would be a much better choice as it is a quad core processor, has more SATA ports, HDMI on board and a couple of better features LINK
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:14 AM   #9  
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My only issue with these bare bones systems is the lack of OS. If you don't mind pirating or you have a free license or even have a cheap way to get it, then you end up with a good deal. If you have to buy the barebones and then the OS on top of that, you're looking at another $150 just for Windows. You could do a Linux set-up if you like that way. The system I got was $199 complete with Win7 home premium. It's tough to beat that.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:18 AM   #10  
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Originally Posted by solocreep View Post
I was thinking of using this step up to start and possibly adding a dual t.v tuner card.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...6624&CatId=332


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...421&CatId=3670
Not to tick off the nVidia fans here, but ATI (or AMD now) has better decoding of HD video buit into the cards. I would go with a Radeon from AMD and get something in the 4670 or 6450 range. Even that 4350 Loves got is a good deal for HD.

That is unless you plan to play serious video games, then you need to spend a bit more on the card cause these bottom line HD cards are made for HTPCs, not for gaming.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:08 AM   #11  
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I don't plan to play games just for htpc
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:32 AM   #12  
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Originally Posted by Loves2Watch View Post
I don't think I will be buying any software for Blu-ray discs as I believe/understand the XBMC media center client I will be using will play it all (HD DVD and BD) without any other software requirements. If that is not the case there is another option I will use though I can't discuss that here. And yes I am excited about getting it all together and being able to access my HD DVD's without a Toshiba player in the mix, not that there is anything wrong with that, I just want it all in one device.
Is that a plug-in? The XBMC I'm using won't play BD or HD DVD is why I ask. Please let me know how all that works out.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:41 AM   #13  
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I don't plan to play games just for htpc
That being the case, go with the cheapest AMD Radeon you can get. The one Loves mentioned is a great choice. OR if you want newer look for a 6450, 1GB. You can pick them up on Newegg all the time for $50. Passive cooled so no fan noise at all.

I just re-read Love's link! That would be a good deal (assuming you have Win7 already). Thing is, that motherboard has the AMD 785 southbridge, which has an AMD Radeon 4200 built in. It is NOT gonna play games, but it will do full HD and HD audio via HDMI with no extra video card. I have the same southbridge on my desktop and tun full HD from my camera with no hesitation. It's a good option to avoid having to buy more.

Side note, Windows 7 is the only OS right now that has full HD video support native. Meaning H.264. So it is a good way to go for HD without buying extra software. It won't do Blu-Ray though cause there is not player software for BD, so you'd have to buy something like PowerDVD.

Last edited by mobiushky; 06-21-2011 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:52 AM   #14  
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R4350-MD512H/D3 Radeon HD 4350 Graphics Card 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM
passive cooling small form factor. 1200 MHz memory clock will deliver HD via HDMI easily, HDCP compliant and and will send HD audio. $37.24 at buy.com
If you haven't pulled the trigger yet, I'd really recommend going to the 5450 which is a much better, more stable card. I just got a silent MSI 5450 card for $39.99 at MicroCenter with a $20.00 rebate. I also have an HIS 5450 in another HTPC and both have been very good. I tried a 4350 and 4550 prior and they both at problems with stability and I've since seen other complaints about that series.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:53 AM   #15  
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Is that a plug-in? The XBMC I'm using won't play BD or HD DVD is why I ask. Please let me know how all that works out.
Will do as soon as I get it all set up at the end of next week...
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