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HTPC First build, looking for ideas and tips

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello HTPC community, first post here! My dad is looking at buying a bluray player (he has started actually watching TV and movies and stuff over the past few weeks and now wants bluray) and I told him to hold off on it because an HTPC might be better for him to spend money on. I have never even considered an HTPC build, so I am a bit lost in terms of about everything. I am reading OCN's sticky about HTPC as I type (well, almost as I type).

Since I have no idea what I need to buy I won't list a budget, though cheaper is always nicer and I probably won't get him to spend more than 400-500 dollars unless I really amaze him with what the HTPC can do. First of all, is it even possible to build an HTPC at this price point?

Assuming that it is possible I can move on to some other things. From what I know about HTPC and my dad here's what the PC would need t be able to do in no particular order
1. skype
2. netflix
3. browse the web
4. Pandora/Spotify
5. Play CD's
6. DVD and Bluray
7. pictures (no editing, I do that on my build for him)
any other cool things it might be able to do? I think I read stream and record HD or regular TV?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated smile.gif Thanks a ton in advance guys

PS: the way I see it is that I will give him the bluray quality he wants along with some extra features and get him to stop using skype/web on his aging laptop. thumb.gif
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Brodo Swaggins
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post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
After a bit of reading I have come up with:
AMD a10-5800k
ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M
500 GB WD Blue
4GB Adata XPG DDR3 1600

A little help with a TV tuner and/or soundcard would be amazing. He's using a Denon receiver and some Bowers & Wilkins floorstanding speakers with an unnecessarily huge 600W subwoofer. I can get model numbers when I'm home
Brodo Swaggins
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Brodo Swaggins
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post #3 of 8
Grab this, throw in a blu-ray reader, install needed software, and you have an htpc for under $300. It won't game well, but it will do everything else you want.....Cheapest solution i can find http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.aspx?sku=323741
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Interesting. Would I be able to add a tv card to this? (I guess I should check expansion slot availability on that). It doesn't look like I can, am I right? I think that the TV recording feature would be the one that he would go crazy for. I am not too worried about performance; he won't be doing any gaming, just watching movies, music, other media, facebook and Skype. Thanks!
Brodo Swaggins
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Brodo Swaggins
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by xK1LLSW1TCHx127 View Post

After a bit of reading I have come up with:
AMD a10-5800k
ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M
500 GB WD Blue
4GB Adata XPG DDR3 1600

A little help with a TV tuner and/or soundcard would be amazing. He's using a Denon receiver and some Bowers & Wilkins floorstanding speakers with an unnecessarily huge 600W subwoofer. I can get model numbers when I'm home

If he has a nice receiver you don't need a soundcard. Just run SPDIF/HDMI from the motherboard to the receiver. You'll get better audio than with a soundcard with set up anyway.

What are you wanting to do with the TV tuner card? Are you just trying to receive the base channels? Are you looking for DVR style set up for cable? How much are you willing to spend on this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by xK1LLSW1TCHx127 View Post

Interesting. Would I be able to add a tv card to this? (I guess I should check expansion slot availability on that). It doesn't look like I can, am I right? I think that the TV recording feature would be the one that he would go crazy for. I am not too worried about performance; he won't be doing any gaming, just watching movies, music, other media, facebook and Skype. Thanks!

Looking at the pictures, that desktop has one unused PCIe x1 slot. You should be able to fit a TV tuner card in there if the dimensions of the case allow it to fit. You could also opt for an external tuner card
Edited by irun4edmund - 6/29/13 at 7:28pm
post #6 of 8
From what I heard if you want to record with windows media center windows 7 has a better version than windows 8. Also use a small ssd and if you are recording add a mechanical hard drive to record the TV onto.
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post #7 of 8

Sounds kinda silly w/PS4 around the corner, but how bout a PS3? Built in remote & Bluray, Netflix, Hulu & Amazon access, dad-friendly, etc. I have a hard time imagining an easy-to-use HTPC for under $500 unless you're gonna do some extensive setup work. Mainly 1. BR software and 2. remote control setup with power on/off with an easy interface (read: remote).

 

Just my opinion as an HTPC noob. I'm building one now and I know I've run into issues making it pass the wife test... it never works when we want to use it, for various reasons. I went into it knowing I'd have to figure it all out but it'd be frustrating if all I got it for was BR playback.

 
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post #8 of 8
My HTPC:

-MSI B75MA-E33
-pentium g860
-2x2gb ddr3 1333mhz
-True Spirit 90 M cpu cooler (passive)
-basic power supply
-1tb HDD
-blu-ray drive
-fujitsu siemens matx case with no fans except the one in power supply

Planning to buy a tv card...

That kind of pc will cost around ~500 dollars and it performs nicely + its really quiet. thumb.gif
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