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Thread: My first HTPC

  1. #1
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    Resolved My first HTPC

    I've started this thread to make a place to document the build as well as to solicit help from others. Hopefully it will serve as a source of help to others as well.

    Currently I have a Samsung 50" DLP HDTV (the HL-P5063W) with the supplied stand for storing various audio equipment. I had tried using TIVO and found it lacking. Just this year Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 - OEM became available (OEM was the key) at New Egg to anyone. Previously as a "garage builder" I had applied to Microsoft for a license but never got a reply. Microsoft XP Media Center 2005 had some great improvements that made it a good choice to replace TIVO. So, I had the operating system I needed to build an HTPC!

    I started looking for a case to house the HTPC and I found the field kind of narrow. I wanted something that could look clean and stylish as well as something that could hold lots of 'goodies'. I wanted something black and aluminum and with stealthed drives. It absolutely couldn't look like a PC. After much research, I decided on the Ahanix D4 in black. (Ahanix website)

    The specs that interested me were:

    Case Type: ATX Desktop Important for room requirements
    Color: Black Matched other components
    Material: Aluminum
    Drive Bays: 5.25" x 2/0, 3.5" x 0/2 (external/internal) Will have 3 hard drivers and with a little modification, will work well
    Expansion Slots: 7 Just enough!
    Front Ports: 2 x USB2.0, 1 x IEEE1394 Always handy and the only concession to the "PC" look
    Power Supply: AHANIX HTPC 350W I could have done without this, more on this later
    Cooling System: 2 x 60mm rear fans Probably not enough
    Motherboard Compatibility: mATX / Standard ATX (12" W x 10" D) Important for motherboard requirements
    Dimensions: 7.13" x 17.13" x 16"(HxWxD) Fits in stereo cabinet
    Features: Standard VFD Driver for Windows XP Media Center Edition, Pre-Installed Vacuum Florescent Display (VFD) All exactly what I wanted

    OK, we got the case, now what is going to power this?
    Well, I still had a brand new ASUS K8V SE Deluxe motherboard sitting in the box. It would do nicely. I also had an AMD Athlon 64 3200 Clawhammer. I really wanted this PC to be quiet, so I chose a ZALMAN CNPS7700-CU heatsink fan combination. It is an excellent heatsink for this purpose. If the motherboard were sitting any other way than horizontal, I'd perhaps had some worries, but this will sit flat, so it's 918g weight wasn't a concern. (The maximum weight for a cooler is specified as 450g for AMD Socket 754/939/940 so this is well over twice that!) The CNPS7700 is one of the few heatsink fan combinations on the market with a 120mm fan. Rated at 20 dBA in stealth, it is uniquely qualified for an HTPC.

    For additional cooling, I chose a Zalman ZM-NB32J Northbridge Chipset Cooling Kit for the Northbridge to replace the stock passive cooler on the VIA K8T800 and attached the original small blue cooler from it to the VIA VT8237 chipset located just behind the AGP slot.

    Now, the next thing was the PSU. As I stated above, the Ahanix D4 comes with a 350 W PSU, but is simply won't do for an AMD 64 board with all the extras I will have, so I chose a PSU with good 12 volt power, decent fan (to improve air movement) and I came up with the OCZ ModStream 450W PSU Model OCZ45012U.

    The next area of concern was the hard drive. I wanted storage. This HTPC will store my music collection as well as record live TV. I wanted 3 separate drives. The main drive needed to be small, fast so I used a tried and true Western Digital Raptor 36.7GB SATA Hard Drive Model WD360GD. With a rotation speed of 10,000 rpm, it's not extremely quiet, but it is well suited for the job with a seek time of 5.2 ms. For storage I went for quiet and size combined with an eye on price. Two Seagate 200GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drives Model ST3200822AS are among the most quiet available. With 400 GB storage, I won't be needing much else for some time. One thing to note is that both models of hard drive come with a 5 year warranty, most important!

    Now, I needed some fast steady memory. I'm not planning on overclocking this, so nothing blazing needed here. pqi TURBO Series Dual Channel Platinum Kit 184-Pin 1GB(512MB x 2) DDR PC-3200 would do nicely.

    Now, for the video card. I had an ATI RADEON 9800 XT 256MB in another case that I could switch out, so it seemed a logical choice. It's blazingly fast for what I'm going to do and, well I already had it!

    One thing though, that video card was going to generate lots of heat, so I looked for alternatives to the stock heatsink fan assembly. I decided on the Arctic Cooling VGA Cooler ATI silencer 3. It was a snap to attach and now almost all of the heat generated by the videocard is pushed outside the case by an extremely quiet fan.

    While we're on the video end of things, I needed TV tuners. Yes, I want 2 and Windows Media Center 2005 supports them, new for this version. I chose ATI PCI TV Tuner Box Model E-HOME WONDER They fit quite nicely in the little room left on the PCI slots. The Arctic Cooler takes up a PCI slot, the rear connectors for the Ahanix D4 takes another and the SPDIF out connector from the ASUS package took another.

    For the optical drive, I decided on a Plextor 12X DVD+/-RW Drive, Black, Model PX-712SA/SW-BL. Yes, it won't show, but I chose it for it's speed and quiet. When I get to burning TV programs to DVD, it should do very well.

    Last but not least, we need a way to work all this, right? I will still want to use all the functions of Windows XP, so I chose a Logitech Cordless Desktop MX for Bluetooth in black, of course. I also chose the MS Remote Control with Receiver for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center. I'm not sure how useful it will be, but for the wife I think it's something she will find easier than the keyboard/mouse combination.

    Well, that about wraps it up for the purchasing part of the system Total cost? About $2350.00. That's a healthy hunk of change, let's hope this thing works, huh?

    I hope you've enjoyed this so far. I'll post pics later as I get to installing everything. I won't bore you with the installation details too much, only the stuff I think is out of the ordinary.
    Last edited by UncleBob; 12-27-2004 at 08:48 AM.
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  2. #2
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    Re: My first HTPC

    I have the PVR-250 and like it alot. I've been thinking about getting a second one so I can watch tv and record at the same time. I'm still currently using my Samsung Syncmaster 172x monitor as my viewing screen. How do you plan on hooking your system up to the tv? I have a Panasonic PT-56tw53 HDTV Projection Monitor and in the manual it says "The DVI/HDCP input terminal complies with the EIA-861 Profiles standard and is not intended for use with personal computers". How do you get around this? Thanks for your help. PS: What made you go with microsoft versus Snapstream beyond tv3?

  3. #3
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Yes, I plan on hooking up the PC to the TV, AFAIK, it's compatible. Max resolution is "1280 x 720 Digital Format Converter for All Inputs" The TV has a DVI connector specifically designed for the purpose. As far as Snapstream? I'm wanting to use it as a sample to sell to potential customers and felt Xp to be a more useable platform. If it proves otherwise, I'll look further into that.
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  4. #4
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    Re: My first HTPC

    on the comment about the remote control. Your wife must be far more adept than my mom. To access our HTPC (1800+ XP, Kt266aPro, 256, 8500AIW) you gotta turn on the reciever, TV, and switch the TV to vid1. Shes lost at turning on the Reciever. And using the remote wonder? "theres a computer back there?"

    Due to Financial constrains, the folding farm has discontinued production. Long live the farm!
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  5. #5
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    Re: My first HTPC

    More info on Media Center XP please.

  6. #6
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by dna
    More info on Media Center XP please.
    What do you want to know? Did you follow the links I provided?
    Inyourface....believe me, I know what you mean!!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  7. #7
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Nice system. I'm sure you have the most powerful uber-HTPC on teh planet. So, uh, what do you do for a living to be able to drop cash like that? Mafia hitman? Own a casino or two?

    I try to keep em under $500. I just get the cheapest XP mobile (that I run at stock speed OMFG!) and throw it on a uATX board with TV out and use the onboard stuff for video and sound. Add one small cheapo drive (I used an old 8.4G) for the OS and one extraordinarily huge drive for all the mass storage. Don't need much ram, 256M will do. The last one I made like that had plenty of power for what's required of an HTPC. Recording my shows, playing divx movies, watching DVD's, creating DVD's, playing MP3's, surfing the net, and some divx encoding while I slept. Best of all thanks to the XP mobile, it runs dead quiet because I just don't have to move much air through it at all to stay cool. (Now everyone knows why I am the only person here that buys a mobile and doesn't OC it.)
    Last edited by pitchafit; 12-28-2004 at 01:14 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by pitchafit
    Nice system. I'm sure you have the most powerful uber-HTPC on teh planet. So, uh, what do you do for a living to be able to drop cash like that? Mafia hitman? Own a casino or two?

    I try to keep em under $500. I just get the cheapest XP mobile (that I run at stock speed OMFG!) and throw it on a uATX board with TV out and use the onboard stuff for video and sound. Add one small cheapo drive (I used an old 8.4G) for the OS and one extraordinarily huge drive for all the mass storage. Don't need much ram, 256M will do. The last one I made like that had plenty of power for what's required of an HTPC. Recording my shows, playing divx movies, watching DVD's, creating DVD's, playing MP3's, surfing the net, and some divx encoding while I slept. Best of all thanks to the XP mobile, it runs dead quiet because I just don't have to move much air through it at all to stay cool. (Now everyone knows why I am the only person here that buys a mobile and doesn't OC it.)
    Thank you so much. That's very helpful. I've really been looking around and not finding much. What video card do you use?
    What about for surfing the net? You use the onboard video for that? What do you use for a monitor? (I'm using a 50" DLP)

    THanks for your input!

    Oh, BTW?.....I work at an LPG storage facility, just a workin stiff who has kept his nose to the grindstone for a long, long time!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  9. #9
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBob
    What do you want to know? Did you follow the links I provided?
    Inyourface....believe me, I know what you mean!!
    Ah, didn't see that 2nd link - only went to Newegg
    I'm interested in how well the Media Center XP works, need to see if it's worth the investment. About the only thing that really looks different about it is MyTV, which I can already do with my TV card.

  10. #10
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Well, I'm just about to start loading it, so I'll let you know!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  11. #11
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBob
    Thank you so much. That's very helpful. I've really been looking around and not finding much. What video card do you use?
    What about for surfing the net? You use the onboard video for that? What do you use for a monitor? (I'm using a 50" DLP)
    Built it for a friend, so unfortunately I don't have it here anymore, but I'm thinking of building a clone of it for myself when tax return time comes around.
    It's using the onboard video and audio on one of these.
    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...ion=13-152-020
    Works pretty good. It's not much for gaming, but he doesn't game on it anyway. He's got a gaming PC for that. He's just got a regular old Sanyo TV. Last I checked he was running 800x600 and can read all the text.

    The TV tuner is a TV wonder pro, and rather than a 5.1 computer surround speakers, he just bought three 1/8" stereo to RCA adapters and ran it to the 6 channel input on the back of his reciever. Sounds great!
    Last edited by pitchafit; 12-28-2004 at 02:28 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Thanks. I'm installing XP Media Center now, It's in my lab/office, not downstairs yet, so I haven't had a chance to tryi it out yet, more later!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  13. #13
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    Re: My first HTPC

    I have the same tv basically(HLN6117W). Planned on hooking a pc up to it but havent had the need thus far. What do you plan on doing with the audio? Run it threw the tv or an amp? Or hook up speakers to the pc?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------


    "We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car!" -Iacocca

  14. #14
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Great info Bob, I am ordering a few of those Seagate drivers here in a couple weeks. Sure can't beat the warranty.

  15. #15
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    Re: My first HTPC

    I got my Audigy 2 ZS running Digital Audio into our onkyo 650w reciever...sounds pretty damn nice : ) .
    I also ripped all my CD's at 320KB/s...
    Last edited by Inyourface1650; 12-29-2004 at 12:09 PM.

    Due to Financial constrains, the folding farm has discontinued production. Long live the farm!
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  16. #16
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by rehtaf
    I have the same tv basically(HLN6117W). Planned on hooking a pc up to it but havent had the need thus far. What do you plan on doing with the audio? Run it threw the tv or an amp? Or hook up speakers to the pc?
    Panasonic 500w surround. Bose front and center, Klipsch rear, JBL thumper...it's nice right now, should do just fine. I plan on using the optical cable.
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  17. #17
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Slashdot has an article on Win xP Media Center 05.

  18. #18
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Definitely use optical. I have my JBL home theater system hooked up to my Shuttle with Soundstorm and it is awesome.

    JBL PB10 Sub
    JBL Northridge N28 Fronts
    JBL Northridge N26 Rears
    JBL Northridge N Center
    Yamaha HTR 5560 Receiver

  19. #19
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidsoul
    Definitely use optical. I have my JBL home theater system hooked up to my Shuttle with Soundstorm and it is awesome.

    JBL PB10 Sub
    JBL Northridge N28 Fronts
    JBL Northridge N26 Rears
    JBL Northridge N Center
    Yamaha HTR 5560 Receiver
    Thanks, I use it exclusicely in the TV room and it was a prerequisite for this as well.
    Sub: Klipsch KSW-12
    Center: Bose VCS-10
    Rear: Klipsch Heresy
    Front: Bose Acoustimass
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  20. #20
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Do the Heresy's acoustically match the Bose acoustimass? Interesting....

  21. #21
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    Re: My first HTPC

    It should sound great. Both of you have nice setups. Mine is as follows

    Amp: Yamaha DSP-A1
    Left/Right: Monitor Audio Silver 7i
    Center: Monitor Audio Silver Center
    Surround: Klipsch in-walls, 2 in ceiling, 2 on rear wall
    Sub: Klipsch MX-90
    DVD: Denon dvd-2900

    Whats your opinion of xp media center? Is it worth the extra money?

    I havent seen anything about progressive scanning on a pc. So which one will give a better picture quality, a high end dvd player or a high end pc?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------


    "We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car!" -Iacocca

  22. #22
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    Re: My first HTPC

    Liquid...In my room as it sits, they work very well.

    For me, the jury is still out on XP Media Center. It installed easily enough. I seem to be stuck on the ATI Driver install atm. I may have to do a system restore but nuthin out of the ordinary. If it does what it's advertised to do, considering it doesn't cost much more more than XP PRO, it may do fine.

    I think I still may need to find software to help me do network programing identification for recording purposes, anyone use something?
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  23. #23
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    Re: My first HTPC

    hey bob just a heads up -

    when your using the VGA Silencer like i am on my 9800 XT you NEEEDDDDD to get some vga ram sinks, the ram without sinks does not cool properly. its either sinks or you get the new VGA Silencer thats made for the 9800 XT. the one that covers the ram

    i can recommend a gentleman over at hardforum or a link if your interested, this guy sells these things buy the hundreds and they are great little sinks. too bad he dont offer them in copper, just alluminum

    they are roughly $ 0.80 a piece and he only charges like 3 bucks to ship up to a certain number, which is alot of sinks btw.

    i got some from him and have them on my BFG 6800 GT OC. i like them,,,,,

    btw that case gets me all squooshy inside,,, man major drool factor.
    but 220$$$ no way man,,, no thank you.
    you spend money like its going out of style,,, and could have gotten a case of equal quality for 1/2 that,, gosh how come you didnt shop around ?

    and i had no issues installing Media Center 2005. she loaded and booted right up!!
    now as for the video recording stuff well i havent gotten that hardware yet.
    Intel Q9650 ES @ 3.85ghz 1.30v Asus Maximus Formula
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  24. #24
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    Re: My first HTPC

    LOL! Well, the latest version of the VGA Silencer has a large plate I installed on the back and if that proves insufficient, then I'll all some old sinks I have lying around, thanks for the tip.
    Case cost??? Well, I do work damn hard so I don't have too many hobbies and this one actually makes me money. I'm building this and am quite confident that i will sell several at a tidy profit this next year. Many clients are looking for just this type of thing and I need to have a top drawer demonstrator, not something that is a compromise. The case was a good price for the model I chose, I shopped around. When ever I spend that on a case I do my homework! It's very roomy and will easily accodate all I want. Most importantly? It doesn't look like a PC and as a part of a Media Center where just the monitor can cost $10K, that's a BIG deal in my book.
    Thanks for your input. I believe what happened with my OS install was a program that wasn't compatible...Diskeeper Professional, I believe. I did a system Restore to just before that install and all is well!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  25. #25
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    Re: My first HTPC

    I built my HTPC with the idea of recording my favorite TV shows.

    I've tried the ATi TV tuner stuff, and PVR250's. The only input usable to these cards are standard cable. I use digital cable exclusively. Going back to standard cable was very annoying.

    ATi MMC software was OK, it was clunky feeling.

    The stock PVR 250 software was good, better then the MMC stuff.

    There are a few good PVR programs available from 3rd party venders. Very nice stuff. Snap and such. I tried all of them.

    In the end I was recording standard cable low quality signals, so I got low quality recordings. I was very disappointed.

    I chunked all the PVR stuff.

    Our local cable has HD and PVR ready boxes. Enough space on an interal HD to record 60 hours of reg TV and 15 hours of HD content.

    The cable PVR is exactly what I wanted out of the HTPC PVR. I can record any show easy. It has 2 tuners so I can record 2 shows on 2 channels at the same time. It records ALL of a series with just a press of a button I ended up with 8 CSI's to watch in a few days. Shows I was not home for and did not have to seach listings for, very nice. All for $10 extra a month.

    I use the HTPC almost exclusively for DVD's and music. It no longer does any TV functions. It was just to cumbersome with my setup.

    This keyboard is awesome for HTPC control. Your not going to game with it but it makes HTPC control very very nice. The range is unreal, you have to try hard to make it mess up. I'm a good 12-15 feet away.
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...107-114&depa=0
    Heatware Feedback 197-0-0
    This space intentionally not left blank.

  26. #26
    Joined
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Aberdeen, North Carolina
    Posts
    857

    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBob
    I think I still may need to find software to help me do network programing identification for recording purposes, anyone use something?
    I'm not sure if this is what your talking about but I use BeyondTV3 from Snapstream.

  27. #27
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: My first HTPC

    Thanks, I was just about to purchase it when I delved deeper into MCE and it does all that for me! I jumped the gun. For the price? This may be a decent set of OS for what I want to do. Granted, I may be in a distinct minority, but that's never stopped me before!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  28. #28
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: My first HTPC

    Pictures to follow!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  29. #29
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: My first HTPC










    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  30. #30
    Joined
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Hamilton NZ
    Age
    39
    Posts
    7,575

  31. #31
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Gilroy CA
    Age
    36
    Posts
    325

    Re: My first HTPC

    dude, that is awesome. i want to build an HTPC now

  32. #32
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Lightbulb Re: My first HTPC

    My HTPC Consists of the following-

    Beyond TV (www.snapstream.com)
    A lite-on wireless keyboard w/pointing device (You can program your I.R. remote with it)
    Hauppauge PVR-150

    Currently I own an ATI 9600XT but let me make a suggestion if you get a video card- GO WITH nVIDIA!! They currently have better home theater video playback and I've seen several complaints from ATI owners about video quality concerning VMR-9 playback. I'm one of them as well as several others in the forums.
    Don't get me wrong, I love ATI and I prefer ATI for gaming systems but when it comes to HTPC's the smart move right now is nVidia...
    I know ATI has this new Theater 550 Pro but I'm not quite sure if it's out yet or not and I have yet to see it.

    The Lite-On SK-7551 keyboard is a VERY inexpensive alternative to trying to use R.F. remotes such as the ATI Remote Wonder and if you are using a remote such as the Sony RM-AV2500 you will have the luxory of using only 1 single remote.

    Microsoft Media Center is an easy solution and works but Beyond TV and Sage TV will have more features to it.
    Download Snapstream's trial version of Beyond TV and see if you like it.

    Just a suggestion
    Last edited by DarrenDiego; 01-12-2005 at 09:42 PM.
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  33. #33
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    11,621

    Re: My first HTPC

    I like ATI also, but their AIW cards are soooooo limited. They will only work with ATI software, which is a bummer. I have a PVR-250 for input, Radeon 9500 for output. It works fine for me.

  34. #34
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: My first HTPC

    Thanks for the ideas, guys. Here is an update:
    I finally got MS TV to work! I had to delete and reinstall the drivers for the AIW #Home cards as it refused to recognize them! I had a heck of a time getting programming information download until I shutoff SETI @ Home during programming download, now all is well there. MS still refuses to play some video DVDs. Another weird quirk? I can record on my spare drive but because it's formatted FAT32 it won't take large files. So if I record a 3hr program, the first time I try to fast forward (like through a commercial, for instance) the entire file is rendered useless. I get a black screen! I was really glad I tried it with a program I didn't care about!
    One cool feature I haven't tried yet is the "Create DVD" feature in MSMCE. Has anyone else tried this? What were your experiences?
    My playback with the ATI 9800 is pretty good, in my book.

    I bought Snapstream and it won't recognize my tuner cards!! I uninstalled it and reinstalled it but it keeps giving me no video or audio! I sent an email in with the required files and am awaiting a response.

    Want to hear a funny?? I've been building/servicing PCs for over 12 years now. This last year I went "public" with a part time business that did over $45k this year. I've hardly ever heard much from my wife about it except how goofy I must be and how much time it takes away, etc......She saw this HTPC and actually was speechless. She is bragging to anyone she can about how 'her husband made this computer'...I guess you take your compliments where you can get them, huh??
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  35. #35
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBob
    I bought Snapstream and it won't recognize my tuner cards!! I uninstalled it and reinstalled it but it keeps giving me no video or audio! I sent an email in with the required files and am awaiting a response.
    I'm using Snapstream's Beyond TV 3.5.1 - it works fine.
    If you are having trouble getting Snapstream to work, you should try their forums. You'll get a faster response in doing so.
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  36. #36
    Joined
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,027

    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by lidistick MD

    NICE!
    GOOD LORD! Thats a beauty!

  37. #37
    Joined
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Age
    70
    Posts
    5,302

    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBob
    Want to hear a funny?? ....... I've hardly ever heard much from my wife about it except how goofy I must be and how much time it takes away, etc......She saw this HTPC and actually was speechless. She is bragging to anyone she can about how 'her husband made this computer'...I guess you take your compliments where you can get them, huh??
    Oh how I can relate! Had a small business once (in another field) that did mostly weekend "trade show" stuff. Did not even get stuff unloaded when the wife would have her hand out. Then complained it never turned a profit!!
    Last edited by jedihobbit; 01-17-2005 at 01:30 PM.

  38. #38
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: My first HTPC

    Well, I gave up on the ATI EHome Tuner cars!! Absolutely horrible for watching TV on a big screen! Pixelation, stuttering and just poor quality. I'll save them for customers who want to watch tv on a PC.
    I ordered this:
    Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start...ce.html&e=7249

    I'll let ya know it this does it. It also has the added features of being designed specifically for HTPC, an FM tuner, as well as being a dual tuner, it will save a PCI slot.

    More to follow!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  39. #39
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    303

    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBob
    Well, I gave up on the ATI EHome Tuner cars!! Absolutely horrible for watching TV on a big screen! Pixelation, stuttering and just poor quality. I'll save them for customers who want to watch tv on a PC.
    I ordered this:
    Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start...ce.html&e=7249

    I'll let ya know it this does it. It also has the added features of being designed specifically for HTPC, an FM tuner, as well as being a dual tuner, it will save a PCI slot.

    More to follow!
    Most people buy into the all in one solutions (I did myself) only to find later that it's better to buy a PCI capture card and invest in a good video playback card.

    Right now nVidia seems to have better video playback on their GeForce 6 series cards with their "Pure Video" technology but I'm also curious to know how well the ATI Theater 550 Pro chip has an impact.

    Right now my ATI 9600XT (while a GREAT card) is not a good card for HTPC useage because of an issue with Microsoft DirectX 9.0c and VMR9 rendering. I get the same issues- blurring, pixelations, motion artifacts using BeyondTV.
    SageTV users have been reporting the same issues with ATI as well.
    Darren E
    HTPC
    Athlon XP3000+ | 1GB PC3200 | Abit NF7-S 2.0 | 80GB Seagate | 200GB Seagate | Antec Overature Silent Case | PNY 6600GT DVI | Lite-On SK7551 IR Keyboard w/Pointing Device | Sony RM-AV2500 Remote | 2 Hauppauge PVR-150 | 2 DirecTV D10 | Hitachi 65S700 | Beyond TV 4.0
    Notebook
    Sager 4750- AMD64 3200 | 80GB HDD | 17"WSXGA | 1GB Ram
    A/V Authoring
    Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus | Lite-On DVD | Antec 900 Case | Delta 66 Audio Card | Intel E6600 | 2 GB G-Skill RAM | eVGA 8800GTS 320MB | Seagate 500/500/400 GB HDD | ViewSonic 20" Q20wb

  40. #40
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    30,989

    Re: My first HTPC

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenDiego
    Most people buy into the all in one solutions (I did myself) only to find later that it's better to buy a PCI capture card and invest in a good video playback card.

    Right now nVidia seems to have better video playback on their GeForce 6 series cards with their "Pure Video" technology but I'm also curious to know how well the ATI Theater 550 Pro chip has an impact.

    Right now my ATI 9600XT (while a GREAT card) is not a good card for HTPC useage because of an issue with Microsoft DirectX 9.0c and VMR9 rendering. I get the same issues- blurring, pixelations, motion artifacts using BeyondTV.
    SageTV users have been reporting the same issues with ATI as well.
    Well, thanks I appreciate your info. Looks like I'll be trying a different card if this doesn't do anything. The thing is, sometimes it works flawlessly and othertimes it's pure crap! I see the ATI card was never meant for larger screens, but I may be barking up the wrong tree here from what you say!
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

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