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  1. #1

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    Default Thoughts on this HTPC?

    I'm considering investing in one to clean up my DVD collection, but I'm not super fluent on PC gear.... based on what I've seen, this looks decent. Opinions?

    http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/sys/1245455437.html

  2. #2

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    Hi Dane,

    Be careful with this one. It does not have Operating System installed and does not come with it. It means there is no Windows or not even Freebie Linux is installed so you need to provide your own operating system. You'll need to have your own copy of Windows XP or Vista or any Linux distro.

    Also, AMD CPUs are usually cheaper than Intel even if they can perform nearly as well as Intel.

  3. #3

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    Not opposed to buying an OS... but I'm open to any suggestions, too! Around the same budget if possible.

    Thanks James.

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    On top of that, only 500gb of HDD space? I mean you can always upgrade it yourself (as easy as changing cables out in your HT/rig) but spend a little more coin and I bet you can get someone to build you one to suit your needs for alot less than you think!
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  5. #5

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    My guess is that 500gb would be sufficient for my movie collection currently (approximately 100?)... but yes, it would be nice for more space later on.

    I've found some threads on AVS for build suggestions... I just may be a little too impatient. :)

  6. #6

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    500GB of Disk, 2GB of RAM, AMD CPUs, No Easy Returns, Very Little Customer Support does not seem like a super deal to me.

    I think I've seen similar system from Dell and HP occasionally for around $380-$450 range and they comes with Vista or something else.

  7. #7

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    Last edited by megasat16; 07-02-2009 at 01:10 AM.

  8. #8

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    BTW, I'd like to have a horizontal case to look not TOO out of place...

  9. #9

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    Get a HP Digital Entertainment Center.

    Horizontal case, remote, and wireless keyboard are already built-in.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dane_peterson View Post
    Not opposed to buying an OS... but I'm open to any suggestions, too! Around the same budget if possible.

    My guess is that 500gb would be sufficient for my movie collection currently (approximately 100?)... but yes, it would be nice for more space later on.


    Thanks James.
    I would pass if I were you. You could easily buy those parts from newegg for about the same price or less. I wouldn't call that a rip off, but it is not a deal either.

    Also 500GB will fill up fast. Unless you compress the movies, which will create issues for playback with surround sound unless HDMI is available, you will easily have 4-5 GB per DVD.

  11. #11

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    I've been compiling a list of equipment, thanks to some help from members here. A few tweaks, and so far I've come up with:

    Pentium DualCore E5200 Processor - $70
    Gigabyte GA-G31M Motherboard - $51
    Western Digital 1TB HardDrive - $89
    Asus GeForce 9500GT 512MB Graphics - $60
    Corsair 2x 2GB Memory - $47

    Then just need a case, PSU, and optical drive. Look like a good combination?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by dane_peterson View Post
    I've been compiling a list of equipment, thanks to some help from members here. A few tweaks, and so far I've come up with:

    Pentium DualCore E5200 Processor - $70
    Gigabyte GA-G31M Motherboard - $51
    Western Digital 1TB HardDrive - $89
    Asus GeForce 9500GT 512MB Graphics - $60
    Corsair 2x 2GB Memory - $47

    Then just need a case, PSU, and optical drive. Look like a good combination?
    Looks pretty good. If your budget allows, I'd choose a motherboard and OS that supports more than 4 GB of memory. Another feature I'd look for, is optical out. There are mobos that have integrated video, and sound, that pass all through a built-in HDMI port. I didn't like integrated boards when they first came out, but they've come a long way.
    This is the board I used in my HTPC
    http://ca.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=...52&modelmenu=1

  13. #13

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    Funny, I was just looking at that board! I'm considering that as well. Wondered what people felt about integrated graphics.

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    This is the case I used. I can't hear it at all from across the room.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129038
    The silver panels up the sides are back lit blue, if that's distracting, you can disconnect them. There's only room for 2 hard drives, and one optical drive, but it's all I needed.

    It's very compact, and I wasn't sure I'd get the mobo in there, but it did go.

  15. #15

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    Why don't you just go with a pre-built HTPC?
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    Front projection, 2 channel, car audio... life is good!

  16. #16

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    So far I haven't found one that quite suits my needs and budget perfectly. I did look around at some HP Entertainment Centers... couldn't find any aestheticly pleasing/spec accommodating options for me. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place...

  17. #17

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    Here are some nice HTPC cases. I have the one at the bottom.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...TabStoreType=0
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  18. #18

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    I don't think I'm following this thread? Any laptop with a DVD write drive can copy a DVD and dump it onto an external HD....from there you could link the HD to the PS3 and use some of the programs people have mentioned on various threads here to have the PS3 act as a server that would PLAY any of those let's say 200 DVDs if you buy a terabyte drive? They're pretty cheap!

    Why wouldn't you want to do that...no case, or anything above is needed?

    Just curious! Please disregard if I've veered off course or misread something above!

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 07-02-2009 at 04:18 PM.

  19. #19

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    Great suggestion... I guess I never really considered that.

    It certainly would be easier... hopefully it's just as easy an integration. I'll browse some threads and see what people have to say about this option.

    The only shortcoming is I don't want to use my MacBook for copying purposes. I've never had a great deal of luck with DVD copies on OS X. Hmm..

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    I don't think I'm following this thread? Any laptop with a DVD write drive can copy a DVD and dump it onto an external HD....from there you could link the HD to the PS3 and use some of the programs people have mentioned on various threads here to have the PS3 act as a server that would PLAY any of those let's say 200 DVDs if you buy a terabyte drive? They're pretty cheap!

    Why wouldn't you want to do that...no case, or anything above is needed?

    Just curious! Please disregard if I've veered off course or misread something above!

    cnh
    Have they enabled the PS3 to see NAS drives yet? That could eliminate my HTPC completely.....

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by dane_peterson View Post
    So far I haven't found one that quite suits my needs and budget perfectly. I did look around at some HP Entertainment Centers... couldn't find any aestheticly pleasing/spec accommodating options for me. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place...
    Are you talking about the Digital Entertainment Center line or their Media Center PC's?

    I find the DEC line to be best for Home Theater, but my uncle uses one of their Media Center desktops as an HTPC and it works fine too...
    polkaudio RT35 Bookshelves
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  22. #22

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    Well I don't want a Media Center PC, cuz it looks too much like a PC. The DEC's are more attractive, but were discontinued in 07 and don't offer nearly the features I'm looking for.

    As for the PS3 with an external drive... it may not work. Looks like 4GB is the largest file a PS3 can support from an external HDD. I imagine that some of my movies will be larger than that. And nonetheless, the interface will be pretty "rigged".

    So back to square one. :\

  23. #23

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    I'm seriously considering this setup for HDD. HDMI output with remote. Checked on Logitech's website and it can be controlled by their all in one remotes as well. $200 MSRP and I think I saw it for $180-ish on Amazon.

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11076

    Shouldn't look out of place with it's horizontal design either......

  24. #24

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    http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-AH...6718010&sr=8-1

    http://www.whsplus.com/2009/05/26/my...s-home-server/

    Obviously need computer based software player to playback movies, but can be wireless and thus minimize noise if you put server far away from viewing area.

    Newegg has same rig with 1 TB installed and 1 extra TB free for $399 recently (click on combo deals):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ica-_-59321013

    If you do decide to build yourself using a Windows based platform, be aware that Windows 7 is going to be released in the fall and is actually receiving a lot of positive reviews.

    If you want something really basic, this is under $100, though you have to add your own external storage: http://techreport.com/articles.x/16565
    Last edited by mshan242700; 07-04-2009 at 10:51 AM.
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    FS: Roku 2 http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...71#post2033771

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by dane_peterson View Post
    My guess is that 500gb would be sufficient for my movie collection currently (approximately 100?)... but yes, it would be nice for more space later on.

    I've found some threads on AVS for build suggestions... I just may be a little too impatient. :)
    Well a single layer DVD is 4.7G and dual layer is 8.5G so unless you're going to "shrink" the DVD's you have 100 will fill the HD and consider about 20G or more for an operating system plus your DVD ripping program.

    I'd say 500G for 100 movies isn;t enough.

    Good luck

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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmarant View Post
    I'm seriously considering this setup for HDD. HDMI output with remote. Checked on Logitech's website and it can be controlled by their all in one remotes as well. $200 MSRP and I think I saw it for $180-ish on Amazon.

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11076

    Shouldn't look out of place with it's horizontal design either......
    Cool, but the interface is a concern for me. Which this product will lack...

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mshan242700 View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-AH...6718010&sr=8-1

    http://www.whsplus.com/2009/05/26/my...s-home-server/

    Obviously need computer based software player to playback movies, but can be wireless and thus minimize noise if you put server far away from viewing area.
    Conceptually good, but I don't have any interest in controlling this wirelessly from a separate computer. I want it to be all-inclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mshan242700 View Post
    If you do decide to build yourself using a Windows based platform, be aware that Windows 7 is going to be released in the fall and is actually receiving a lot of positive reviews.
    From the sounds of it, I can get a trial copy of Windows 7 for free, which is what I plan to do. That will at least get me by through Mar 2010, at which point I can take a deeper dive into what OS to use.

  28. #28

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    I would be hesitant about buying a used computer. For example, if I wanted to I could sell my laptop to an unsuspecting buyer only for them to later find out that the VGA output is broken...

  29. #29

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    No used computer... was quickly talked out of that.

    I have a tendency to spend lots of time researching things before making a decision. I have made a spreadsheet with individual current cost for (3) setups of varying quality. It's simply a matter of deciding how much I want to invest (and more importantly, how much I CAN AFFORD to invest)

    If anyone is curious about this list for their own purposes, let me know. I even have written down what vendor has the best price for each piece. :)

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    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940972

    If you just want to play back standdard definition dvds and no upsampling, a Celeron (Conroe-L) 440 with your mobo (I like Intel Box DG31PR because it is very low power and snappy with that cpu) is probably more than enough, a video card that produces good 2D image quality, and the http://www.theatertek.com software player will probably get you far.

    I'd also check out http://www.silentpcreview.com before selecting components as, at least for me, very low noise is an important issue if your htpc is going to be anywhere near your viewing position.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by mshan242700; 07-05-2009 at 09:10 AM.
    FS: Analysis Plus Oval One interconnects (3 meter pair with RCA terminations; 1 meter pair also available) http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...10#post1929910
    FS: Roku 2 http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...71#post2033771

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