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Help Building new Media center

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello All ,

I would like to get your help building new media center rig.


Requirements:


1. i want to use the Win7 media center record ability and tape into my hard drive episodes , videos , and other stuff in the channel.

2. To be able to connect my media center to the DNLA....

3. In the future i would like to play games so the option to have important upgrade is essential.

Well , that's it for now... any suggestions?
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post #2 of 22
Budget?

You need a capture card for recording shows.

DNLA? can you explain I don't understand this term.

Rig with upgrades, not a problem but playing games can be. Preferably keep HTPC's different from gaming desktops as they are meant to be silent.

Regards,
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post #3 of 22
Use your sig rig and then build a new gaming box!
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Its not for me.. its for a friend.

LG DLNA , he has a LG LCD which has this option so he wants to know if he needs anything to add to the computer....
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Any suggestion? can someone tell me which part will be ok? is a strong CPU is needed here for the recording?
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post #6 of 22
Wait, so is that a TV or a computer monitor?

Is the machine going to be out in the living room where it needs to be silent (and have wireless mouse & keyboard), in an office where quiet is nice, or in a media cabinet where no one can hear it?

Also a budget would be nice.

Then how much TV does he want to record (ie. how much hard disk space does he need) will it be over the air or cable, how many channels does he want to record at once, and is HD a necessity? Does he also want to be able to recieve from other sources (hook up a console or VCR or something, or get FM radio)? Also has he considered a cable card tuner, they are more expensive but it lets you get rid of the cable boxes and still get the scrambled channels (and the lower price of one cablecard vs multiple boxes should pay for itself in a year, year and a half depending on rates)

Also does he want bluray or is standard DVD sufficient?

As for the CPU requirement, unless you are compressing video, your CPU won't take too huge of a hit. Make sure you have decent hard drives (in this case green is bad) that can keep up with the video stream. if you are recording several HD programs at a time you might even look into a RAID 0 (and I mean several)
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post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdofPrey View Post
Wait, so is that a TV or a computer monitor?

Is the machine going to be out in the living room where it needs to be silent (and have wireless mouse & keyboard), in an office where quiet is nice, or in a media cabinet where no one can hear it?

Also a budget would be nice.

Then how much TV does he want to record (ie. how much hard disk space does he need) will it be over the air or cable, how many channels does he want to record at once, and is HD a necessity? Does he also want to be able to recieve from other sources (hook up a console or VCR or something, or get FM radio)? Also has he considered a cable card tuner, they are more expensive but it lets you get rid of the cable boxes and still get the scrambled channels (and the lower price of one cablecard vs multiple boxes should pay for itself in a year, year and a half depending on rates)

Also does he want bluray or is standard DVD sufficient?

As for the CPU requirement, unless you are compressing video, your CPU won't take too huge of a hit. Make sure you have decent hard drives (in this case green is bad) that can keep up with the video stream. if you are recording several HD programs at a time you might even look into a RAID 0 (and I mean several)

Hey...

My friend prefer it to be silent as it can.

Right now what he wants to do is to install Win 7 on it and use the media center software to record channels from the Satelite company .

HDTV? i don't know but it will be good to include this option .
How much hard drive space he needs? i think 2 TB will be enough.

Regarding the CPU- if he will record and the card itself need to translate it to another format wont the CPU need to be involved also?

Blueray? he prefer it will have a Blueray drive insted DVD.

Also he want's to have a USB 3 option but i told him it will cost more than normal USB 2.0 MOB..
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post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorg1983 View Post
Right now what he wants to do is to install Win 7 on it and use the media center software to record channels from the Satelite company.
This would require a relatively involved set-up. He'd still need a set-top box from the service provider to record from and he's going to need an IR blaster to change channels on the set-top box (STB). Not sure if the IR blaster thing is doable in Windows Media Center. Why does he want to build an HTPC? For satellite, it's much easier to just use the satellite company's STB/DVR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zorg1983 View Post
How much hard drive space he needs? i think 2 TB will be enough.
Depends on how much stuff he plans to store. 2TB can hold around:
around 1,200 ~ 1,900 hours of MPEG-2 SD (depending on quality settings)
around 250 hours of MPEG-2 HD (OTA/antenna)

Contrary to what BirdofPrey is suggesting, green drives are fine for recordings. It's not like you'll be recording uncompressed video streams. The max bitrate of an OTA HD stream is 2.4MB/s (19Mbps) and even the slowest part of a green HDD can easily reach 40MB/s (320Mbps) sequential. If you go near the outside of the platter, green drives can get 100+ MB/s sequential. Just make sure to use 64K sectors when formatting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zorg1983 View Post
Regarding the CPU- if he will record and the card itself need to translate it to another format wont the CPU need to be involved also?
You can buy capture cards/TV tuners with a hardware MPEG-2 encoder. I used a couple of old Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB2's on an Atom 330 with very little CPU usage. That said, so long as you don't go with Atom or Zacate, even the lowest Sempron can probably handle encoding 2 streams to MPEG-2 at the same time. Real-time recording to MPEG-2 has been around since the P4 days so you can imagine the task's not really all that difficult for modern processors. I would suggest going with a minimum of Athlon II X2 Regor or Pentium E5000 Wolfdale, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zorg1983 View Post
Also he want's to have a USB 3 option but i told him it will cost more than normal USB 2.0 MOB..
USB3 motherboards aren't that much more expensive nowadays. You can find several for under $100.

As for DLNA, you're not going to need it if you connect the HTPC directly to the HDTV via HDMI or something.

As others have mentioned, it'll be much easier if you can give us a budget.
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post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well , can anyone suggest a rig for me? something?
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post #10 of 22
Core i3 is suffiecient for hd video and some gaming. I like this case but its a bit spendy http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811112147. I have a 5770 gpu in my htpc and can game on it (using a wireless xbox 360 controller for pc) and it does just fine with blu-ray and hd video on a pioneer elite 50" plasma.

If your friend wants to record lots of movies/shows, and maybe move dvd's blurays to hdd then I would say two 2 TB storage drives. The wd 2TB 'green' drives can be found for pretty cheap http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136514

Heres a link to a htpc build i did a while ago using the same case (or very similar) as linked above.
http://www.overclock.net/htpc/715576...kg-htpcv1.html
Edited by bob808 - 5/4/11 at 1:04am
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