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Would this computer make a good (standard def.) HTPC?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I was screwing around with my old rig Eyesore, trying to convert it to Ubuntu and the like and hopefully handing it down to my brother and sister, but I recently hit on the idea that I could make it an HTPC.
We don't own an HDTV (the best one is a 480p CRT in my room ) so I thought it shouldn't be that tough, I'd just get a tv tuner card and a bigger hard drive. I already have a Wifi adapter (and Linux is nicer with it, with Ubuntu it was plug and play instead of getting drivers ). The graphics card has an S-video out, so it would be perfect for SD. Maybe a smaller case, as well, it should fit because it's already a minitower.

Specs:
Pentium 4 1.8
512 Mb ram
Geforce 4 MX 440

Also, what cheap/free OS/Linux distro is best for an HTPC? I heard good things about Mythbuntu. Thanks!

Edit: Mainly kind of want to make it a DVR, any way to hook it to Dish Network box to pull up guide info and change channels through the HTPC? Sorry, I'm kind of a noob

Another edit: What's a good capture card that works with Linux? Thanks again!
Edited by G33K - 1/23/11 at 9:28am
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Proteus
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Ordinary Toaster
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3 GTX 780 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast 
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Crucial BX200 Cheap something that writes DVD-RW Hyper 212 Evo Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 
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Mouse
Logitech M305 
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I5 650 Intel DH57JG 8gb generic 750gb Scorpio Blue 
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Cheap generic 450w Some cheap junk I had lying around 
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post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by G33K View Post

Also, what cheap/free OS/Linux distro is best for an HTPC? I heard good things about Mythbuntu. Thanks!

Edit: Mainly kind of want to make it a DVR, any way to hook it to Dish Network box to pull up guide info and change channels through the HTPC? Sorry, I'm kind of a noob
Your CPU should decode 480P without difficulty, and as long as your TV supports Super-video connector and not a regular one or you'll be watching in black and white.

Kubuntu is better for low end systems, and you can install XBMC easily in the repo installer.
Or XBMC live OS. Have used it and works really well, however maybe a little big on cpu usage but very user friendly. Mythbuntu is a good alternative.

And no, unless the box is accessible via a network and you write your own script for it your stuck with your remote. DVR is the one thing not on my things done with a PC list so anyone else?
Edited by Aeogenia - 1/23/11 at 8:50am
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Recording isn't a major thing, just would be a nice feature. Could I use it like a VCR, if not a DVR? Another nice thing to do would be Youtube. Of course it will have a DVD drive (would be useful because our DVD player is crapping out >.>) and a CD drive.
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Proteus
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Ordinary Toaster
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3 GTX 780 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Crucial BX200 Cheap something that writes DVD-RW Hyper 212 Evo Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Pro 2x Asus VW246H Corsair Strafe MX Brown Corsair HX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Thermaltake Commander MS-I Epic Edition SteelSeries Sensei RAW SteelSeries QCK Altec Lansing BXR1221 
Audio
Sentey Symph GS-4531 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo T9550 ASUS Nvidia GTX 260m 4 GB 
Hard DriveOSMonitorMonitor
Scorpio Blue 750GB Windows 7 1366x768 Epson projector 
Mouse
Logitech M305 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
I5 650 Intel DH57JG 8gb generic 750gb Scorpio Blue 
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Cheap generic 450w Some cheap junk I had lying around 
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post #4 of 5
You would have to use it like a vcr, Have the dish auto go to a channel at a time and set up the pc to record based on times and not programs.

Mythbuntu or mythtv. If you decide against TV just grab xbmc live.
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Got Cheap?
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Server
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 965 Asrock 870 Extreme3 Sapphire 6850 sniper 2x4gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD blue 500gb cheap dvd-rw 7 x64 21" LG 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
KA-558 Antec TP-750 NZXT Gamma MX518 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac Ripper 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Athlon II x2 240 Biostar A870u3 2x2gb gb ddr1066 Samsung h154ui 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 204ui Western Digital WD10 EADS Western Digital WD20 EARS Western digital WD2500 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb dvd burner Windows 7 x64 Remote Desktop 
PowerCaseOther
Antec EA500-d Norco 470 Flexraid 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II x4 620 ASUS M3A78-EM 5450 G.Skil 2x2gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Western Digital Blue 500gb none Windows 7 x64 46" lcd 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
RII Antec EarthWatts EA-380 Norco 420 Polk Audio Monitor50 x5 
AudioAudioOther
Polk Audio Monitor 30 x2 Bic F12 sub Acoustic Research ARRX18G 
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks so far
Proteus
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Ordinary Toaster
(10 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3 GTX 780 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Crucial BX200 Cheap something that writes DVD-RW Hyper 212 Evo Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Pro 2x Asus VW246H Corsair Strafe MX Brown Corsair HX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Thermaltake Commander MS-I Epic Edition SteelSeries Sensei RAW SteelSeries QCK Altec Lansing BXR1221 
Audio
Sentey Symph GS-4531 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo T9550 ASUS Nvidia GTX 260m 4 GB 
Hard DriveOSMonitorMonitor
Scorpio Blue 750GB Windows 7 1366x768 Epson projector 
Mouse
Logitech M305 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
I5 650 Intel DH57JG 8gb generic 750gb Scorpio Blue 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
3tb Caviar Green Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 Stock Intel Cooler Debian 8 
PowerCase
Cheap generic 450w Some cheap junk I had lying around 
  hide details  
Reply
Proteus
(17 items)
 
 
Ordinary Toaster
(10 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k P67 Extreme 4 Gen 3 GTX 780 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Crucial BX200 Cheap something that writes DVD-RW Hyper 212 Evo Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Pro 2x Asus VW246H Corsair Strafe MX Brown Corsair HX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Thermaltake Commander MS-I Epic Edition SteelSeries Sensei RAW SteelSeries QCK Altec Lansing BXR1221 
Audio
Sentey Symph GS-4531 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo T9550 ASUS Nvidia GTX 260m 4 GB 
Hard DriveOSMonitorMonitor
Scorpio Blue 750GB Windows 7 1366x768 Epson projector 
Mouse
Logitech M305 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
I5 650 Intel DH57JG 8gb generic 750gb Scorpio Blue 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
3tb Caviar Green Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 Stock Intel Cooler Debian 8 
PowerCase
Cheap generic 450w Some cheap junk I had lying around 
  hide details  
Reply
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