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Thinking of building a HTPC but need advice


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jakal007

I have been looking into building a HTPC and need some advice. Let me start with my reasoning behind wanting to build a HTPC. The main thing I am interested in is getting rid of my cable and tivo to save some money in the long run. I have never built a computer from scratch before, but I have replaced and upgraded components on computers I have owned so I have some experience working with computers. I have been looking online at different plans for HTPCs but I just wanted some more input on what components I should use to build my HTPC.

 

First my main objective is to use my HTPC to hook up basic cable and over the air antenna to view on my hdtv, as well as having a DVR function. Secondly I want to use to view my Netflix as well as Hulu Plus accounts. Now of course I would also use it for my audio collection and movie collection, and plan on putting a bluray player in it. So, I plan on leaving it running 24/7 and I'd also like to be able to use my Logitech Harmony Remote if that is possible. Also I don't know if this is possible but if there is a way to have a LED display clock on the front of the case I would like that.

 

Now I know that there are tons of different options out there and it all depends on budget, personally I would like to build one for $1000 or less. If any of you out there who have experience in building HTPCs, and have built one that will perform the task that I'm looking for, would be willing to list all the parts they used so I can look at them and try to decide how to build mine I would greatly appreciate any advice..

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J

I have been looking into building a HTPC and need some advice. Let me start with my reasoning behind wanting to build a HTPC. The main thing I am interested in is getting rid of my cable and tivo to save some money in the long run. I have never built a computer from scratch before, but I have replaced and upgraded components on computers I have owned so I have some experience working with computers. I have been looking online at different plans for HTPCs but I just wanted some more input on what components I should use to build my HTPC.

 

First my main objective is to use my HTPC to hook up basic cable and over the air antenna to view on my hdtv, as well as having a DVR function. Secondly I want to use to view my Netflix as well as Hulu Plus accounts. Now of course I would also use it for my audio collection and movie collection, and plan on putting a bluray player in it. So, I plan on leaving it running 24/7 and I'd also like to be able to use my Logitech Harmony Remote if that is possible. Also I don't know if this is possible but if there is a way to have a LED display clock on the front of the case I would like that.

 

Now I know that there are tons of different options out there and it all depends on budget, personally I would like to build one for $1000 or less. If any of you out there who have experience in building HTPCs, and have built one that will perform the task that I'm looking for, would be willing to list all the parts they used so I can look at them and try to decide how to build mine I would greatly appreciate any advice..

 

 

You have come to the right place. Building is what we do. Here is my two cents.

 

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128542

 

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116507

OR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115077

 

Power Supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171036

 

SSD for the OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167120

or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227791

 

Storage Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136891

 

Case of choice is somewhat personal, but stick with Silverstone or Lian-Li

 

As for your questions, no problem with Harmony Remote as I have two of them. You will need to buy a cheap IR receiver to complete the job or get a higher end case that has it built in. The audio, Hulu, and Netflix are pretty much add ons to Windows Media Center and should not be an issue. Blu ray playback is also a no brainer but you will have to add a play such as Arcsoft Total Media player which I think is the best ($90). The last thing of course is the tuners and there are a few options for that such as Ceton, HD Homerun. Hope this helps

 

 

BTW, Here are some videos I did for a system build. Not an HTPC but the concept is the same.

http://thedocsworld.net/step-by-step-system-build/

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Joe_Miner

I have been looking into building a HTPC and need some advice. Let me start with my reasoning behind wanting to build a HTPC. The main thing I am interested in is getting rid of my cable and tivo to save some money in the long run. I have never built a computer from scratch before, but I have replaced and upgraded components on computers I have owned so I have some experience working with computers. I have been looking online at different plans for HTPCs but I just wanted some more input on what components I should use to build my HTPC.

 

First my main objective is to use my HTPC to hook up basic cable and over the air antenna to view on my hdtv, as well as having a DVR function. Secondly I want to use to view my Netflix as well as Hulu Plus accounts. Now of course I would also use it for my audio collection and movie collection, and plan on putting a bluray player in it. So, I plan on leaving it running 24/7 and I'd also like to be able to use my Logitech Harmony Remote if that is possible. Also I don't know if this is possible but if there is a way to have a LED display clock on the front of the case I would like that.

 

Now I know that there are tons of different options out there and it all depends on budget, personally I would like to build one for $1000 or less. If any of you out there who have experience in building HTPCs, and have built one that will perform the task that I'm looking for, would be willing to list all the parts they used so I can look at them and try to decide how to build mine I would greatly appreciate any advice..

 

Here are two HTPC builds that I did recently though if I was building now I would go with the Z77 board and the i5-3450S PC-Doc recommended. The HD Homerun is a good basic tuner that can be hooked up to cable (for basic digital channels that are in the clear) as well as hooked into you external antenna(s).

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3400-recently-completed-htpc-build-with-i5-2500k-and-ga-z68mx-ud2h-b3/

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3067-htpc-build-completed-mostly/

For a Storage drive I would recommend looking at the Seagate 3TB also -- the 2 & 3TB WD Green's are also great choices IMHO and are more power efficient than the Seagate though the Seagate is faster.

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The one thing about the standard HD Homeruns is they will only record over the air HD and QAM HD on cable. They will not record analog SD channels from cable. To record SD you'll need another analog tuner.

 

I prefer to record the kid shows in SD, The kid doesn't care yet and it takes up less drive space.

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I recently picked up a couple of used Asus Vixs combo tuner cards. Each card has one NTSC (analog) cable tuner and one ATSC/ClearQam tuner. They've been working well since I basically am doing what you intend to do, basic cable and OTA. In my case, OTA didn't work out too well due to my location and tress obstructing my signal so I'm basic cable and QAM at the moment. New analog tuners are hard to come by now, so used will probably be your safest bet.

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

Stay away from green drives. They are not recommended for HD by the tuner manufacturers and could cause recording problems.

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jakal007

Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate the input. Based on the responses so far this is what I'm thinking...

 

1) Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Item #: N82E16822148844 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148844

2) Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner w/ IR Remote PCI-E x 1

Item #: N82E16815116036 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116036

3) COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Modular ...

Item #: N82E16817171036 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171036

4) Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000

Item #: N82E16823109079 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109079

5) G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Item #: N82E16820231428 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428

6) GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Item #: N82E16813128542 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128542

7) Intel Core i5-3450S Ivy Bridge 2.8GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 65W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450S

Item #: N82E16819116507 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116507

8) LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback SATA iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support

Item #: N82E16827106348 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106348

9) OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Item #: N82E16820227791 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227791

10) SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B micro-ATX / Mini-DTX / Mini-ITX MB, 1x5.25", 2x3.5"+1x2.5"HDD ...

Item #: N82E16811163166 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163166

Does this look like everything I will need? Any suggestions or improvements anyone sees? Also when it comes to video is a separate video card not needed in these builds? Like I said I plan on mainly using it for tv and movies, but I might use it for some light gaming. Is everything listed enough for those needs?

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

I would get a remote and I don't see any spindle drives for recordings.

 

I see the MB has HDMI but I don't see what chipset it is. If it is HD3000 or whatever it is called you will be better without a video card.

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Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate the input. Based on the responses so far this is what I'm thinking...

 

1) Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Item #: N82E16822148844 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148844

2) Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner w/ IR Remote PCI-E x 1

Item #: N82E16815116036 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16815116036

3) COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Modular ...

Item #: N82E16817171036 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817171036

4) Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000

Item #: N82E16823109079 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16823109079

5) G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

Item #: N82E16820231428 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231428

6) GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Item #: N82E16813128542 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128542

7) Intel Core i5-3450S Ivy Bridge 2.8GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 65W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450S

Item #: N82E16819116507 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819116507

8) LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback SATA iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support

Item #: N82E16827106348 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827106348

9) OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Item #: N82E16820227791 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820227791

10) SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B micro-ATX / Mini-DTX / Mini-ITX MB, 1x5.25", 2x3.5"+1x2.5"HDD ...

Item #: N82E16811163166 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811163166

Does this look like everything I will need? Any suggestions or improvements anyone sees? Also when it comes to video is a separate video card not needed in these builds? Like I said I plan on mainly using it for tv and movies, but I might use it for some light gaming. Is everything listed enough for those needs?

 

Looks really good but I agree with ITTOG, get a remote. You do not need a video card for any type of video playback. These are optimized for it. Gaming is a different story. I would go without first as you can always add on later.

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