Thread: HTPC Question

  1. #1

    HTPC Question

    Hey guys, I'm asking this question a bit in advance so I'm not going to ask about specific parts I'm just doing my research.

    Sometime in the new year I'm going to be moving into a new flat and I was going to switch from using digital TV providers to using a HTPC using DVB-T and DVB-S along with using it to view stuff from my PC. The Software I was planning on using was MediaPortal, providing I can find the OS disc for the OS on my spare HDD. If I can't find the Windows OS Disc or serial I'll swap to a different software and use a free OS.

    My question today is what would I need to build a full HTPC? Mainly just checking I haven't forgotten anything....

    Case + PSU
    Ram - I have 4gb G-Skill 1600MHz, is this enough?
    HDD - Have a spare 7200RPM 80gb drive, again is this enough?
    CPU + Mobo, was going to go for an AMD chip with onboard graphics but will look more into this when I'm planning to buy.

    I'm hoping to get all parts for under £200, or a bit more depending on the DVB cards.
    Now the bit I know nothing about is DVB cards, would I need a DVB-T card and a DVB-S and for the DVB-T I'd need my block to have a main antenna with an outlet in my flat right?

    Also with the software I was planning on using, mentioned above, in the set up I can use a server PC and a client PC. So I was considering setting up my gaming PC as the server and just using the HTPC as the client. All I'd need for DVB-S would be the card/usb toggle? I also need a remote, do these normally come with the DVB cards? I've done a bit of shopping today and some do but is it better to buy them seperate so you get one with more features/more compatible?

    Would love to hear some insight from people who have and use HTPC's.
    Last edited by Fluffygong; 2012-11-20 at 02:52 PM. Reason: DVB...not DVR /facepalm

  2. #2
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    4GiB RAM for a HTPC is more than fine.
    For case and PSU, what form factor have you decided on? mATX or mITX?
    80 GB drive is enough. Especially if you stream over the Internet, over network or via optical media.

    For HTPCs, anything above the E-450 in power is overkill for 1080p and surfing. Don't know about 3D blu-ray. I recommend AMD (gosh, I've said this a lot lately o.o) because they get closer to the famous 29.976 than nVidia or intel does. intel HD4000 would be my second choice though.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tetrisGOAT View Post
    4GiB RAM for a HTPC is more than fine.
    For case and PSU, what form factor have you decided on? mATX or mITX?
    80 GB drive is enough. Especially if you stream over the Internet, over network or via optical media.

    For HTPCs, anything above the E-450 in power is overkill for 1080p and surfing. Don't know about 3D blu-ray. I recommend AMD (gosh, I've said this a lot lately o.o) because they get closer to the famous 29.976 than nVidia or intel does. intel HD4000 would be my second choice though.
    Thanks for the reply, yes I believe you used AMD for your HTPC? I think it was your post I read a while ago when you built one. The CPU I was looking at was something like the AMD A8-3850 or 3870K for less than £1 more which would give me overclocking abilities if I wanted to and higher speeds at stock. These both have integrated Radeon HD 6550D graphics which I think would be more than enough. I wouldn't be watching anything 3D, most of the time I find it's done so poorly I'm better off without it - just personal opinion though.

    Mobo anything would do I guess, but it would depend on what DVB cards I wanted which I still don't know much about. Although if I use my gaming PC as a server that wont matter. The case I wanted something small and boxxy that wont look out of place in my lounge. This thing needs to be quiet aswell, so I'd probably need a custom CPU fan and to make sure that my PSU had a quiet fan on it.

    I think I need to research more about recording. I read that with some software and DVB tuners you can record, so I'm not sure at the moment if they record to the server or client computer. But again, a bigger hard drive is a reasonable small price increase. I think I might even have a spare value brand 750w PSU around. Might stick with buying a new one for quietness/quality.

    If anyone in the UK has experience with DVB cards some tips would be great!
    Last edited by Fluffygong; 2012-11-20 at 02:53 PM.

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