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HTPC/PVR First Build (HD) Advice Please.

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi guys

So i was thinking of purchasing the Panasonic 500GB HDD+Blu-ray PVR
(PCWorld) but I thought for that money - 819GBP (and i know you can get them cheaper), I would rather build my own HTPC/PVR myself and it can have 10x the functionality!

Here's what I want to be able to do:

- Use it as a PVR having my satellite connected to the PVR via composite in (my satellite is only SD at the moment, but i want to cater for HD upgrade)
- Browse the web, stream videos on the web over VPN
- Record from my 1080p SONY camcorder connected through HDMI (and data through USB)
- etc.

Here is the updated components list.

With regards to PSU, i chose that PSU because it is simply easier available in SA where I want to purchase.

Case - Antec Fusion Remote Silver
PSU- CoolerMaster SilentPro 500w
CPU- i3-540
CPU Cooler- Scythe Big Shuriken
Mobo- GA-H55M-USB3 MicroATX
RAM- 2x2GB 1333MHZ DDR3 CorsairXMS TW3X4G1333C9A
SSD - (For OS)64GB Corsair CSSD-V64GB2-BRKT Nova
Storage- 2TB Western Digital Caviar SATAII 64MB Cache 3.5-inch
Optical- LG WH10LS30 Blu Ray Burner/Rewriter
Capture Card - BlackMagic Intensity Pro (which has HD in and out)
Graphics Card - Sapphire HD5570 1GB DDR3 Graphics Card
OS- Windows 7 64 bit

Will this accomplish what I want to do?

Also what software would be good to run as a PVR Software that's always on as soon as i turn it on etc.). e.g. I want to be able to go to the lounge, switch it on with the tv and have the TV playing the live TV already. Not having to get the mouse or whatever and go to Media Center, then Live TV etc etc. If you know what i mean?

I would appreciate any advice or tips you have to offer.

Thanks cheers.gif
Edited by aae55555 - 3/31/11 at 6:28am
post #2 of 31
well, very good start, things are overkill.
ram for one, you do not need that high speed of memory, gaming memory does nothing for you when video is in place. load is on the cpu and gpu.
The cpu is very good but really you do not need a quad core proc for an htpc, a high end dual core is better and saves you money.
Video card you can get away with anything that has 512 mb of memory or higher. you should look into the 54xx-56xx range, they hange around the price of 50-75 dollars.

as for no mouse, that is good thing, it all dpends on what front end you want to run. I currently run media portal with out a keyboard and mouse and have a microsoft remote.

I also have a wireless handheld keyboard with a touch pad inlay just in case i need to access or set something new up.
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post #3 of 31
If you will not game you can replace that i5 760 and HD5770 for a i3 540 and HD5570. This will give the same performance for less money. For the CPU cooler i still suggest a Scythe Big Shuriken for an HTPC. Also 600W is a little big, I suggest the Be Quiet Pure Power L7 430W, this one is also far more silent.

Looks good to me, but be carefull when selecting a CPU cooler with that RAM. There have been many people with a cooler that did not fit because of the hight of the DIMM's.
Edited by Aeogenia - 3/31/11 at 4:42am
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the speedy advice downlinx! smile.gif

I am quite the gamer at heart, so I couldn't help but choosing that RAM and processor in case I ever wanted to run the odd game on there tongue.gif I guess you're right though..I do have a PS3 and my own gaming PC for that... I wanted something quite future-proof as well though i guess.

Don't get my wrong, I do have a wireless keyboard and mouse in mind that I want to use, but I want the front end to be as transparent as possible if you know what I mean, as the Panasonic PVR i was looking at buying would be.

I want to just go in the lounge, press the ON button on the remote, and have my live TV come up straight away.

Is there any specific alternative RAM/Processor combo you could recommend? I wanted it to run backed up 1080p movies perfectly (mkv etc.), and also my AVCHD files that I am planning on storing on there from my camcorder.

Cheers!
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeogenia;12943773 
If you will not game you can replace that i5 760 and HD5770 for a i3 540 and HD5570. This will give the same performance for less money. For the CPU cooler i still suggest a Scythe Big Shuriken for an HTPC. Also 600W is a little big, I suggest the Be Quiet Pure Power L7 430W, this one is also far more silent.

Looks good to me, but be carefull when selecting a CPU cooler with that RAM. There have been many people with a cooler that did not fit because of the hight of the DIMM's.

Thanks! Appreciate your quick response! Silence is definitely one of my concerns, so I will definitely check that PSU out. cheers.gif

EDIT: I see this is not modular. Is that a problem? Apart from tidyness
Edited by aae55555 - 3/31/11 at 4:47am
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by aae55555;12943819 
Thanks! Appreciate your quick response! Silence is definitely one of my concerns, so I will definitely check that PSU out. cheers.gif

EDIT: I see this is not modular. Is that a problem? Apart from tidyness

IMO, not really. You'll have penty of space in that case to arange the cables for good airflow. You will be using pretty much all the cables anyway...
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks smile.gif

Any other advice welcome! I am looking at the components you guys mentioned now.

What would the graphics card be used for? Smoother Blu-ray/AVCHD/MKV playback etc as opposed to the onboard HD graphics?
post #8 of 31
If you don't mind me awnsering some more questions...wink.gif

The big downside to the Intel onboard GPU, is that it lacks 24p support. This means that it cannot output at the standard video frecuency but only at 50-60Hz. For watching movies this is atleast for me a dealbreaker to choose an HD5570.

DXVA you should only used if your CPU is not powerfull enough to encode the video. This is becouse the image quality is better when decoding on a CPU. If you check the most recent tests (HQV) you'll see that there is almost no difference between the HD5*** and the Intel HD **** series.

Bottomline if you don't need 24p or 3d the onboard should do fine.
If you'll want to use 3d then a faster GPU will be recommended.
Edited by Aeogenia - 3/31/11 at 5:16am
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by aae55555;12943893 
Thanks smile.gif

Any other advice welcome! I am looking at the components you guys mentioned now.

What would the graphics card be used for? Smoother Blu-ray/AVCHD/MKV playback etc as opposed to the onboard HD graphics?

the playback does do alot with your gpu/cpu, but you will get the biggest performance from software and codecs.
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post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeogenia;12943982 
If you don't mind me awnsering some more questions...wink.gif

The big downside to the Intel onboard GPU, is that it lacks 24p support. This means that it cannot output at the standard video frecuency but only at 50-60Hz. For watching movies this is atleast for me a dealbreaker to choose an HD5570.

DXVA you should only used if your CPU is not powerfull enough to encode the video. This is becouse the image quality is better when decoding on a CPU.

Thanks for that. So you reckon the i3-540 should handle 1080p perfectly along with the 5570?
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