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Couple question about HTPC

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have couple of questions about it I'm thinking of doing HTPC

1. Whats the reason why you guys make the HTPC
2. Will this be able to watch cable for free or just record cable for free like DVR?
3. How much would you need to spend to record 720p or 1080i or p content?
4. is there gallery on here on HTPC setups?

I'm kind of doing something similar I have pc in my room downloading movies like a torrent box and through the xbox 360 im watching the movies off of the torrent box and the movies are running through ethernet CAT 5 cable would that be some kind of htpc?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 15
I can answer a few questions because my friend just built a nice 86 inch HTPC system and spent $4800.00+ on it. I wont get into the details but its 1080P projector, ati HD card, 2 GB ram, and all other things that would make it nice.

HTPC is great because you can do so many things with it. Record tv shows is just one of them. You can also save all your movies to hard drive and watch them. Having a nice setup of all your movies on a hard drive and being able to view all details (the details can be updated online) is such a nice experience. There are so many options! A simple way to get you involved is by downloading a free little program that is so simple to set up and lets you experience the interface is media portal ( http://www.team-mediaportal.com/ ) This program is nice even though its free. My friend has an interface that is way more advanced than this one, but you will get the point. How about viewing pictures on your TV? Stuff like that is cool even though the wii does this too, haha.

To build one takes a little research. You would want a TV card of course if you plan on recording or watching anything on TV. If not, you could just watch downloaded movies But who wouldn't want to do both?

Ok here is the the most awesome thing.... my friends main computer crashed on him and he had to play in a match in a COD4 clan (Call of Duty 4). So I went over to check it out and lol. COD 4 at 1920X1080 on a 86 inch screen was just freaking ridiculous! In a most awesome way. I think everyone should have to play like that because you are not running around with a screen like that. You have to look around and its like real life because you have so much vision. LOL! It was incredible! He should charge kids to come over and play that, its so nuts.

Anyway, yes you can get away with spending a lot less or even a fortune more, but it should seriously be something you should consider. Right now a Blu-Ray player from wal-mart (junky stuff) will cost you about 350.00. A blu-ray player you can stick in your old pc is around $125.00 and you will have something better than that junk that wal-mart is selling. A decent capture card will be around 100.00, but still you will be doing a lot better than getting the junk from wal-mart.

Just to give you some kind of idea... I was thinking about using my old p4 2.2GHz CPU and an ati 9700 pro graphics card as a base for my HTPC... after researching... I want more than this can offer after seeing my friends. Sure I could watch lower resolution shows, but I will wait and get something that will do mpeg4 or higher decoding. HD is just too impressive and older hardware wont really cut it sometimes.

By the way, I am in the infancy of learning about HTPCs and I know I will eventually build one. My friend and I have another friend that helped him build this. Without him, I wouldn't even attempt the type of setup he has. It will take him over a year to get it setup to his perfect config and backing up all settings is a must.

I wish I never saw COD 4 at 1980X1080 on 86 inch.... lol it spoiled me!
Edited by Core2DoOH! - 5/28/08 at 2:25am
    
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post #3 of 15
1. you can record tv, play blu-ray/highdef for cheap, do anything on a tv. It's the future, it is the next generation of personal media entertainment system

2. no you cannot watch cable tv for free... you can get over the air hd/analog channels for free

3. you need at least a core 2 2ghz cpu, 2gb of ram, some sort of dedicated gpu or highend intergrated with hdmi port. expect at least $500 for a quality one

4. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26 i usually check out that forum for htpc. htpc are usually horizontal matx cases. best ones are made by silverstone and antec.
post #4 of 15
Reasons I have a HTPC

1. Free DVR (after you pay for the software).
2. Store movies on a server and select which ones to watch with remote. HTPC also shows all the info about the movies.
3. To go along with the DVR, I can record OTA (over the air) in HD.
4. Store tv series on server and watch anytime.
5. Inexpensive blu-ray player. (the one thing I still need is a blu-ray drive)
6. It's fun to tinker with. If you like me, I'm always tweaking and making it better.
7. Watch Netflix instant watch on the tv.

I could go on and on.
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
now on OTA what will I need for that and thats free also and how many channels can I get? depends?
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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyroo89 View Post
now on OTA what will I need for that and thats free also and how many channels can I get? depends?
OTA = Over The Air.

The number of channels depends on where you live and the reception you have.

A HTPC can also be used for PlaceShifting. I can watch TV or listen to music on ANY computer by logging into a webpage hosted by my HTPC.

www.asciiexpress.com/
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post #7 of 15
Just a note: If you have a cable modem, you can receive a whole load of analog channels off the cable using a standard terrestrial DVB decoder.

Also, I purchased a HD-DVD/BluRay player/burner from Newegg for 300$. Without violating the TOS, let's just say my 2TB array is now a replacement for my DVD carousels.
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post #8 of 15
Dont forget streaming music from sirius radio or whatever service you have. Plus all your mp3s played over your home stereo system. And also all your adult avi's and mpegs can now be played on your big screen. My entire setup cost me less than $800, thats with a hddvd/bluray combo drive, 1TB of hd space, an OTA hd tuner, and all the other stuff needed to run this baby. I cannot imagine not having it.
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post #9 of 15
I have an idea. Why don't we all collaberate together and make a list of good parts to buy then sticky it? I'm running a very rudimentary HTPC setup. It consists of an old HP computer that i transplanted into a standard MidATX case, with an upgraded PSU, DVDRW, 2 x 250 GB hard drives and an old 64 MB AGP video card. I'd be interested myself into new parts/software that I can use to make it even better. What I would REALLY like is a program that I can launch a movie or audio file remotely from another computer in the house.
post #10 of 15
Basic HTPC would be a 780G, dual core AM2 proc, and 2GB ram. Throw in your HD and case of choice, then you have a great, low cost HTPC that can hardware decode 1080p.
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