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My HTPC adventure...

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Sargjl1

Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
I am about to slowly start down the road of building my HTPC as the kids have destroyed one too many DVD's at this point, and I want a way to protect those expensive Blu-Ray discs before I start buying them.

1) My first venture is to find a good mobo that will allow me to play those wonderful pictured movies 1080p. If I can stay with the onboard graphics that would be great but I also want to be able to do some occasional gaming. I know to do a lot of gaming I will need to get a video card. I also plan on using my HTPC as a watered down NAS. I also have a Wii and would like to store my backup Wii games on the same system. I am planning on HDMI. What are some suggested mobo's? and any suggestions from Wii owners are greatly welcomed. What is the minimum I should look for in CPU as well. I would like to keep the footprint small as it will be a 24/7 machine.

2) Not so sure about a TV tuner as the HTPC will be remote on a wireless network. The cable comes into the master bedroom as the outlet in the living room is awkwardly placed (I would have to run coax all over the room just to get it to where the tv is).


3) I know a wireless is not optimal for streaming media, but how will a G-extreme hold up streaming media? My main desktop is in the Master BdRoom with the modem and router via ethernet cable, should I transfer all my media to the HTPC/Media Server and stream from there to the desktop or vice versa?

Thanks in advanced for all the help.

P.s. I should also mention that I am planning on eventually having surround sound via audio rec.
 

Stratus_ss

Overclockix Snake Charming Senior, Alt OS Content
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Location
Ontario Canada
I am about to slowly start down the road of building my HTPC as the kids have destroyed one too many DVD's at this point, and I want a way to protect those expensive Blu-Ray discs before I start buying them.

1) My first venture is to find a good mobo that will allow me to play those wonderful pictured movies 1080p. If I can stay with the onboard graphics that would be great but I also want to be able to do some occasional gaming. I know to do a lot of gaming I will need to get a video card. I also plan on using my HTPC as a watered down NAS. I also have a Wii and would like to store my backup Wii games on the same system. I am planning on HDMI. What are some suggested mobo's? and any suggestions from Wii owners are greatly welcomed. What is the minimum I should look for in CPU as well. I would like to keep the footprint small as it will be a 24/7 machine.

I am personally attached to my M3N78-VM motherboards for htpc. In fact, I have 4 htpcs off the same motherboard. I run these on everything from a 2.2 ghz dual core am2 chip to the 2.9ghz dual core. Works perfectly. The nvidia card offloads Hi-def content from the processor brilliantly and its an mATX form factor if your into that.

there are currently no 45W dual cores listed on Newegg, but thats what i have running in mine so they are out there. Either the X2 240 (2.9 ghz dual core) or the X3 8250e (1.9 tri core) should be more then sufficient. If you want to kick in an extra $40 you can get a quad core for relatively cheap.

The board i mentioned is listed as an AM2+ but with a bios upgrade from Asus it also handles the AM3's.

As for streaming over wireless G, it would be ok, just not HighDef stuff... that eats way too much bandwidth (especially for blurays)

Also, I have a Wii but I am not exactly sure what kind of input you are looking for
 

DarkWhite

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Location
Great North
About the Wii he's just talking about keeping game copies on the drive, which would work fine assuming he has the room.
 
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Sargjl1

Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
I plan on having plenty of room as I am looking at 1TB x2 at least. I am liking the WD Green.

I saw that NetFlix is going to start streaming to Wii... to bad it is not HD capable.

Stratus - so then I should probably keep all my media on the HTPC like a Media Server and stream my audio to my pc when I want to listen to music and such? I don't plan on watching too many shows on the desktop other than what I pull up on the www.
 
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Stratus_ss

Overclockix Snake Charming Senior, Alt OS Content
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Location
Ontario Canada
generally speaking i think its a good idea to store at least the high-def stuff on the htpc
If you have standard def stuff it should be fine across wireless. I guess the way to be sure for yourself is once you build it, try it out.

As for space, generally speaking high-def content usually runs about a gig per hour (or more depending upon your preference) use that as a general guideline to decide how much space you need. Myself, I have 6 X 1.5 TB hard drives and I will probably throw a SATA card in there sometime soon to be able to add more drives. Although I also feed content wirelessly to my neighbors upstairs.
 

||Console||

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
I did some testing over my wireless network .
700mb avi files (dvd rips ) worked fine .
720p & 1080p most of the time we a bit chopy . For me this was no big deal as 95% of my movies are only DVD rips .

I would be looking for a MB that uses a ATI gfx card so you can use sound + vid over the HDMI cable .

The Mb i was looking @ before i got a Box office was Asus M4A785TD-V EVO w/ Radeon HD 4200, http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX25351(ME).aspx
 

killem2

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
If I were you, and you do some gaming, i would allow enough room for perhaps an ati 5670. it uses no external power connector, and is on par with an 8800gt which can play games so so at 1080 and great at 720.

Plus, since its an ATI it can do the hdmi out, with the sound.
 

||Console||

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
This seems to imply that nvidia cannot do this. This confuses me as I have 4 nvidia cards that seem to prove otherwise

And you are able with your NV cards to put your sound and Vid over the HDMI ?

I thought this was a ATI only thing ?
 

glorp

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
NVIDIA GT210/220/240 models can bitstream 7.1 LPCM. No compressed HD audio formats though.
 
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Stratus_ss

Overclockix Snake Charming Senior, Alt OS Content
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Location
Ontario Canada
And you are able with your NV cards to put your sound and Vid over the HDMI ?

I thought this was a ATI only thing ?

the motherboard i mentioned will even do sound over dvi (with a dvi to hdmi cord)

it sends the sound out to the tv over the hdmi cable. As for the how of it beats me i just know i plug an hdmi cable in and i have sound
 
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Sargjl1

Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
What are some opinions on the MSI line of motherboards? Asus and Gigabyte seem to get a lot of attention on here and I know they are pretty good.
 
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Sargjl1

Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
I have been eyeing this mobo and this one. Any comments?


Also what suggestions for what I should look for in a Blu-Ray drive?
 
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Sargjl1

Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
I would love to hear some suggestions on Blu-Ray drives and power supply units...
 

CarlJohnson

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
I used the ASUS board you linked in my HTPC build. Couldn't be happier with the results. I used this Blu-ray drive and this PSU. Both are quiet and perform well.
 
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Sargjl1

Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Here is what I am looking at now...

Case
Mobo I like this one so that I can go optical with the feed when I get an AVR.
CPU or should I go with more core for ripping DVD/ Blu-Ray and medium gaming?
Blu-Ray Drive
Memory
PSU
Either Hitachi or WD Green for HDD. Will be adding more...

I will eventually be upgrading to a nice ATI 5--- video card. Any suggestions?

Should I invest in a better heat sink/ fan than the one that will come with the cpu? Thought about this one.

Will I need another fan for the case?

Recommendations for a remote?

After all the hardware questions answered, I will be looking at software.

Thanks in advance for feedback.

Did I miss anything?:shrug:

As soon as I have enough feedback I will be opening the wallet!!:rock:
 
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Sargjl1

Registered
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Jan 18, 2010
I should say I am looking for the smallest footprint possible and something quiet but it doesn't have to be a stealth bomber... yet. The machine will most likely double as a Media Server and backup, thus being on 24/7 hooked up to battery backup.
 

Wicked Klown

Hard *** Southern Boy Senior
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Location
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Everything looks good. Can't really help with the HDDs as I use Samsungs and a few Seagates. I've heard really good things over at AVS bout the Hitachis.
 
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Sargjl1

Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Okay.... So now that I have a pretty good handle on the hardware (I still may ask a question here and there.), I am moving onto the software.

I would like to try to keep it as cheap as possible. But also as easy as possible. I know my roads are with Windows Media Center 7 and also Linux. I have heard of Ubuntu (?) with all the freeware/shareware. But everytime I start to look into it, I get so lost... Maybe I just need good guidance.