It is currently Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:22 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: PVR/Htpc - QUIET!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:10 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
What I have right now:

1x Samsung 160GB SATA NIDEC HD
1x FSP350-60PN ATX PSU

What I am looking for:

1x Quite stylish looking quiet case(ATX PSU support!)
1x Mobo
1x CPU
1x TV-Card and/or/or not a GFX Card(Why do people have this also?)
Tip on HTPC programs
General tips and experiences from other DIY HTPC projects!

I was going to sell the HD here but then I thought yesterday, why not build a HTPC instead! So I'm a total n00b on HTPC, bare with me!

EDIT: Minor editing..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:38 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
Posts: 3214
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Well.... Funny you should ask.

I've planned out the almost perfect HTPC. The only problem for me is money. A new HTPC is low on the priority list of things I want to buy (right after new car and new Plasma TV).

Anyways, the perfect setup to me is as follows:
Silverstone LC-01 or LC-04
Aopen i855GMEm-LFS
Pentium-M 755 (2.0 GHz) processor).
Zalman-7000AlCu
ATI Radeon 9600 (recommended for below)
ATI HDTV Wonder

_________________
My Power Rig, Storage Rig, HTPC and Main Rig


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 9:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 143
First question what do you want to run for PVR software?

You can run one of the linux PVRs like MythTV and Freevo.

You can run BeyondTV with Windows (Windows + $70), or you can use Windows Media Center Edition, which costs just less than XP Pro, but has higher system requirements.

I have found that the Nvidia video cards are easier to configure with TV out based on my usage, and have a DVD decoder that uses their cards as a hardware decoder. The DVD decoder is generally included with Nvidia tuner cards.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:58 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
sthayashi wrote:
Well.... Funny you should ask.

I've planned out the almost perfect HTPC. The only problem for me is money. A new HTPC is low on the priority list of things I want to buy (right after new car and new Plasma TV).

Anyways, the perfect setup to me is as follows:
Silverstone LC-01 or LC-04
Aopen i855GMEm-LFS
Pentium-M 755 (2.0 GHz) processor).
Zalman-7000AlCu
ATI Radeon 9600 (recommended for below)
ATI HDTV Wonder


WOW! That is NOT a cheap HTPC! Although VERY interesting. Is there any other Pentium M motherboard out there to buy?

To cut down a bit on the price you can go with 1.6 or 1.7 MHz CPU. Most of the time you won't notice any difference..

Together with my FSP 350-60PN PSU that will be a very quiet HTPC! Sweet! Because here in Sweden we don't have TiVo or anything like it available to buy in retail.

Also we don't have HDTV here yet either so the TV-card is not what I'll get. Is there then any reason not to get a Hauppauge PVR-250? Or have you got any other recommendations? You need a graphics card also, right?

Also, that is pretty much EXACTLY the kind of info I want, thanks sthayashi!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2004 12:01 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
PPGMD wrote:
First question what do you want to run for PVR software?

You can run one of the linux PVRs like MythTV and Freevo.

You can run BeyondTV with Windows (Windows + $70), or you can use Windows Media Center Edition, which costs just less than XP Pro, but has higher system requirements.

I have found that the Nvidia video cards are easier to configure with TV out based on my usage, and have a DVD decoder that uses their cards as a hardware decoder. The DVD decoder is generally included with Nvidia tuner cards.


I don't know yet. Are the linux ones hard to setup?

But I will probably run a windows program. Because when not in use I will run DC on the HTPC..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2004 1:09 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
So.. I've been thinking.. Regarding software I'm probbably going to go with Meedio(myhtpc) or SageTV.. Or something else.. :roll:

And I was thinking. Why not build one with basically the same power but alot cheaper:

Silverstone LC-01, LC-03(black) or LC-04
Abit NF7-S
AMD XP-M 2400+
Zalman AlCu
ATI Radeaon 9600
Hauppague PVR-250 or a 9600 AIW instead of both cards?
+

The stuff mentioned in the first thread and 1 or more USB harddrives in a closet or similar with a loong USB cable!

EDIT: Just discovered that Meedio can't record TV(yet..) so that's out of the picture!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2004 6:17 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
Posts: 3214
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
akaidiot wrote:
WOW! That is NOT a cheap HTPC! Although VERY interesting. Is there any other Pentium M motherboard out there to buy?

To cut down a bit on the price you can go with 1.6 or 1.7 MHz CPU. Most of the time you won't notice any difference..

Together with my FSP 350-60PN PSU that will be a very quiet HTPC! Sweet! Because here in Sweden we don't have TiVo or anything like it available to buy in retail.

Also we don't have HDTV here yet either so the TV-card is not what I'll get. Is there then any reason not to get a Hauppauge PVR-250? Or have you got any other recommendations? You need a graphics card also, right?

HD is becoming a rising factor these days (at least in this country). As for the Hauppauge, I think it's the default standard that other capture cards are compared to. It's supposed to be better than the ATI, at least with respect to software. The trouble is that if you look hard enough, you'll find at least one person who's unhappy with their Hauppauge/ATI whatever.

DFI has a motherboard coming out that is capable of dealing with the Pentium-M processor, though it's my understanding that it's even more expensive (and comes with active Northbridge cooling :x)

The reason I've got the Pentium-M 755 in mind is because it can hold its own to the Pentium 4, IIRC. And for non-Mpeg2 HD playback, a fairly powerful processor is needed. How well a P-M can do HD still remains to be seen, but I have faith in it.

BTW, You may not even need a 9600 for the Hauppauge. I only brought up the 9600, because ATI recommends a 9500 or better card for their HDTV wonder (something that you said you weren't interested in). Just be sure you have/get a videocard that can display to whatever TV/Monitor you want to watch from. In general, I think even a 9200 will suffice for that.

One last thing before I finish up this post. You're planning on using external storage. I would seriously consider going with Firewire/IEEE 1394 over USB. It's my understanding that Firewire has better real world throughput than USB which is important for video capture.

Okay one more REALLY last thing. One item that was strangely absent on my list was a 2.5" Samsung hard drive for the main drive involved. This way it can be suspended within the Silverstone cases.

_________________
My Power Rig, Storage Rig, HTPC and Main Rig


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:05 am
Posts: 1443
Location: Turkey
Quote:
I would seriously consider going with Firewire/IEEE 1394 over USB. It's my understanding that Firewire has better real world throughput than USB which is important for video capture.


this is correct. I've seen powerful systems come down on its knees because of USB2. Firewire - even the old version - is a lot better in video applications.

_________________
Thor's Hammer
Loki's Magic: Coming soon...
Odin's Chariot


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:50 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
But Pentium M CPU's can be comparable to Athlon XP-M in many repects. Are the AMD CPU's worse(will not be able to handle..) at handling playback/recording then the pentium M?

Also, if I buy a Abit NF7. I will of course change the active NB cooling with a passive HS.. Or do you have a tip of another MB that supports XP-M CPU's?

Also, I'd like to be able to play some games.. So I will get 9600 or better..

Have you got any info on the new DFI PM Motherboard?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:25 am 
Offline
Patron of SPCR

Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Posts: 2672
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands, Europe
akaidiot wrote:
Have you got any info on the new DFI PM Motherboard?

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=16740

_________________
3) RS480M2-IL | A64 3000+ | Freezer 64 | SS-301HT | 7200.7 PATA 40GB
4) Eee Box B202 | N270 | Vertex 32GB


Last edited by Tibors on Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 320
Location: USA
IMO Media Center Edition 2005 is leading the way in PVR software. Meedio is much more customizable, but that also relates to much more fiddling to get it right. Last I checked, Meedio did not have PVR capability in it's offerings, many Meedio users use Meedio as the front-end and SageTV as the PVR software. Media Portal is an interesting freeware port of the XBMC project to the PC platform.

XPMCE2005 is the only polished solution which does both SDTV and HDTV/DTV recording. However, HDTV is OTA only, no way to record/playback HDTV from your set-top box or DTV receiver. But, I expect that this is in the works, likely held up by DRM concerns from the content providers. BTW, what will be needed for the USA is a PC based HDTV capture device/tuner with a cable card slot. This hw is currently non-existant.

In my opinion, the HTPC will really be interesting when it has full satellite/terestial/OTA HDTV PVR capability. Imagine a remote-controlled HTPC with a slick front-end that gives you an interactive TV program guide, capability to record & playback HD and SD TV, a searchable DVD jukebox complete with trailers, cover art & preview/trailers, FM stereo, including recording, searchable mp3 jukebox with artist info, covers. etc., and photo slideshows. Pristine HDTV video is guaranteed via DVI output to the HDTV, audio to dedicated component home theater equipment via SPDIF w/ DD5.1 & DTS passthru.

Ok, I'm rambling. Here's some tips: I like MCE2005. MCE2005 hw requirements are the strictest of all HTPC software programs. If you register on the MS OEM System Builder website, you will gain access to a Powerpoint file which outlines how to construct a MCE PC as well as hw requirements for MCE2005. By the way, regardless of which software you go with, avoid software encoding PVR cards. By staying with MPEG2 hw encoding TV-tuner/PVR cards such as the Hauppauge PVR-250, your CPU requirements are greatly reduced. IIRC, for MCE2k5 w/ MPEG2 sw encoding min equiv CPU speed is 3GHz. For hw encoding, min eqiv CPU speed is reduced to 1.6GHz. Thus if you stay w/ hw encoding tuners, a low-power XP-M or undervolted P4 2.4C Northwood will be plenty of horsepower and can be cooled very quietly. The Pentium-M will be an awesome HTPC processor with it's fine performance and extremely low power consumption, but is priced out of reach for most of us. It also has an achilles heel in it's less than stellar video encoding capability.

For video cards, you probably want to stay with a passive card. The recommended video card list for MCE 2005 is at http://oem.microsoft.com/downloads/MCER ... r_MOSB.xls. I use a Radeon 9600-128, but there are other good choices both with NVIDIA and ATI chipsets. If you're a gamer, Gigabyte has a passively cooled GF6800 card.

Note that you will need both a PVR/tuner card and video card. If you intend to output to a HDTV display, I suggest using a display and vid card w/ DVI. Ideally, your vid card will natively support your display's HDTV resolution.

In regards to motherboards, features to look for are undervolting capability, on-board sound with SPDIF outut w/ DD5.1 DTS passthru and other silent computing features such as pwm controllable fan headers, cool n quiet, etc. Check out Aopen's offerings.

By the way MCE2005 has a significant achiles heel in that it records TV in a DVR-MS file format that is not playable on standalone DVD players. It is directly convertable to MPEG2, but the conversion process can be problematic and requires 3rd party sw. SageTV & BeyondTV record in MPEG2. BeyondTV also has other option including wma and Divx.

Hope this helps.

_________________
Luddite w/ old-skool P4 desktop rigs, incl. custom home server w/ 8 fanless/trayless hot-swap SATA bays in a mid-tower case w/ single 120mm fan.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:35 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
bomba -- great post! 8)

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:03 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
Posts: 3214
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
bomba wrote:
for MCE2k5 w/ MPEG2 sw encoding min equiv CPU speed is 3GHz. For hw encoding, min eqiv CPU speed is reduced to 1.6GHz. Thus if you stay w/ hw encoding tuners, a low-power XP-M or undervolted P4 2.4C Northwood will be plenty of horsepower and can be cooled very quietly. The Pentium-M will be an awesome HTPC processor with it's fine performance and extremely low power consumption, but is priced out of reach for most of us. It also has an achilles heel in it's less than stellar video encoding capability.

Bomba, I agree with MikeC, you've written a brilliant post.

Except, I feel that respond to the part I've quoted above. I agree that the Pentium-M is an expensive processor, however, I do not consider it to have less than stellar video encoding capabilities. This opinion, of course, is derived from the reviews I've found online. Judging from those graphs, yes the Pentium-M does perform worse than the HIGH END CPUs used in those benchmarks. Although there are no formal and direct benchmarks to compare it to, I strongly suspect that the Pentium-M can outperform the processors you suggested (or at the very least perform equally).

On a similar note, I've used this page as a guideline for what should be in an HTPC. Ignoring the price, to me the Pentium-M is the best fit and should theoretically be able to output and decode at 1080p, even though it isn't actually a 3GHz processor.

The counter argument is of course that an undervolted 3.0C Northwood should do the trick as well and for a considerably less sum of money.

Okay, now I realize I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, so I'll shut up now, but since I don't think I should delete what I've just written, I'll post it. :)

_________________
My Power Rig, Storage Rig, HTPC and Main Rig


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 143
All of the Happauge MCE cards are hardware encoding.

And if you find or purchase the Nvidia MPEG-2/DVD codec, it uses most Nvidia video cards as a hardware decoder.

Microsoft is pushing toward HTPC boxes that look like HT equipment, but it's just not there yet, and a hidden tower is better IMO.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 320
Location: USA
sthayashi wrote:
Except, I feel that respond to the part I've quoted above. I agree that the Pentium-M is an expensive processor, however, I do not consider it to have less than stellar video encoding capabilities. This opinion, of course, is derived from the reviews I've found online. Judging from those graphs, yes the Pentium-M does perform worse than the HIGH END CPUs used in those benchmarks. Although there are no formal and direct benchmarks to compare it to, I strongly suspect that the Pentium-M can outperform the processors you suggested (or at the very least perform equally).
I read the Pentium M processor & motherboard review linked up on the SPCR homepage with amazement. You get no argument from me that with cost taken out of the picture the Pentium-M is the best platform for HTPC, if it has enough horsepower for HDTV and WM-HD decoding. An full sized ATX Pentium-M platform would also be nice in order to configure a fully-loaded MEC2k5 machine with dual SDTV tuners, HDTV tuner and analog modem (for caller ID display).

sthayashi wrote:
On a similar note, I've used this page as a guideline for what should be in an HTPC.
This is a very interesting spec which I've not seen before, the crux is that for Windows Media Hi-Def playback @720P, minimum CPU is 2.4GHz; for 1080i with 5.1 sound 3GHz is recommended. Sheesh, 3GHz to play back WM encoded HD! I still feel comfortable w/ my P42.4C as it both undervolts well and overclocks well. irt Pentium-M, I'll let someone else be the test case as to whether it's got enough horsepower for 1080i WM-HD playback.

sthayashi wrote:
The counter argument is of course that an undervolted 3.0C Northwood should do the trick as well and for a considerably less sum of money.

Okay, now I realize I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, so I'll shut up now, but since I don't think I should delete what I've just written, I'll post it. :)

_________________
Luddite w/ old-skool P4 desktop rigs, incl. custom home server w/ 8 fanless/trayless hot-swap SATA bays in a mid-tower case w/ single 120mm fan.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:32 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
Posts: 3214
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
bomba wrote:
I read the Pentium M processor & motherboard review linked up on the SPCR homepage with amazement. You get no argument from me that with cost taken out of the picture the Pentium-M is the best platform for HTPC, if it has enough horsepower for HDTV and WM-HD decoding. An full sized ATX Pentium-M platform would also be nice in order to configure a fully-loaded MEC2k5 machine with dual SDTV tuners, HDTV tuner and analog modem (for caller ID display).

Using an HTPC for caller ID? :D I can't say I've ever given Caller ID consideration as a feature for an HTPC. Probably because I bought a cheap caller ID unit a couple years ago.
(I HAVE heard of it being done though. Back in my university days, I knew a guy who set his computer up to send him a Zephyr message anytime the phone was ringing, because he listened to his music too loud to actually hear the phone)

bomba wrote:
This is a very interesting spec which I've not seen before, the crux is that for Windows Media Hi-Def playback @720P, minimum CPU is 2.4GHz; for 1080i with 5.1 sound 3GHz is recommended. Sheesh, 3GHz to play back WM encoded HD! I still feel comfortable w/ my P42.4C as it both undervolts well and overclocks well. irt Pentium-M, I'll let someone else be the test case as to whether it's got enough horsepower for 1080i WM-HD playback.

Not 1080i, 1080p. A small, but critical difference. To the best of knowledge, there is no form of video transmission that is encoded in 1080p, and the few monitors/TVs that DO support 1080p are remarkably expensive. So the need to actually output in 1080p is really small and more for bragging rights only. However, I know that MS has often underspec'ed their hardware requirements in the past, so I'd feel a little more comfortable with something a touch more powerful than 2.4GHz.

But once I get my 1080p-capable TV and a Pentium-M processor, I'll tell you how well it works (that'll be what, 2-3 years from now for me? Damn, maybe I should ask for free samples or something).

_________________
My Power Rig, Storage Rig, HTPC and Main Rig


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 11:56 pm
Posts: 757
Location: EARTH.
I have a machine at work that'll decode 1080p WMV--it's 2.4 ghz HT P4. Decoding operations have a pretty big increase with HT-enabled processors. Also, I've noticed that WMV decoding gets a pretty big boost if the system has a DX9 enabled card (hardware, not software). I'm not sure if the performance gains are on the actual display of the information or if the hardware actually aids in the decoding, but it does play a role.


Too bad we don't have a display capable of displaying such a resolution.


A Pentium-M, while not quite as good at decoding/encoding as the P4, is still a damn fine chip. Given that it's ~95% of P4 performance at a quarter of the thermal dissipation, it's a wonder why anyone would want a P4. If I could have any system right now, it'd be a P-M, without a doubt.

_________________
Fun: GOLDFISHY
Work: Video Surveillance


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:56 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Ok.. This has developed into a quite interesting thread!

Thanks bomba for that exhaustive post!

I am now considering a Silverstone Lascala LC03V-Black

With just a 80mm L1A@low volt as intake and the FSP350-60PN 120mm PSU and a VGA-Silencer as outtake..
As VGA-card I will have 9800 or 9600PRO/XT depending on what ebay has to offer..

Porhaps I will be forced to do the mods mentioned in the linked review or porhaps I'll just be lazy and get a Reserator.. :roll: (Hoping for a black version!)

Also I will use the NIDEC SP1614C HD with it decoupled in the lower 5,25" slot and porhaps another 80mm L1A right below it blowing cool air on it..

I don't like the LC-04 solution with AGP/PCI slot..


Or I'll just get a LC-01, But I don't like the way it looks, gaaah! :roll:


Or something else, turns out I will probably get the full HTPC together after christmas!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:04 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:
Porhaps I will be forced to do the mods mentioned in the linked review or porhaps I'll just be lazy and get a Reserator.

A Reserator would make a mockery of the idea of such a case, no? And with regard to the mods by systemcooling on that case, I'd suggest trying to fit 80mm exhaust fans and geeting by with no intake fans, only intake vents.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:09 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
MikeC wrote:
Quote:
Porhaps I will be forced to do the mods mentioned in the linked review or porhaps I'll just be lazy and get a Reserator.

A Reserator would make a mockery of the idea of such a case, no? And with regard to the mods by systemcooling on that case, I'd suggest trying to fit 80mm exhaust fans and geeting by with no intake fans, only intake vents.


That will be a super negative pressured case = dust-dust-dust-e-dust-dust

Hmm, will a dust filter be too restrictive..:?:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 3:21 am
Posts: 196
Location: Denmark
Well, check this site: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdis ... forumid=26 and Althou many of the subjects dicussed there is a bit geeky (I promise, they really are) there is loads of information to be gathered, but the learningcurve is quite steep. Check this tread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthre ... genumber=1

My advise is to go with hardware that is compatible with MCE5 as this seems to be a winner, unless you want to fiddle with 3rd party software, filters and frontends.

Considering your hardware, there is one thing you have left out, and thats the most important thing of all. The display. You don't really gain much if using a standart TV, eg. you need a plasma, lcd, pc-monitor or projector to really get the benefits from a HTPC.

Almost any cpu/mobo will do the trick, if there is enough processorpower. 2.4 P4 or similar seems to be the lower limit. You can do with 512 and not more than 1GB of memory as a HTPC does not use a lot. Hauppage 150 should fit nicely, eventually getting two, so you can use one to watch a show, while the other record another. The AIW cards is not a good choice, as the support in various software except ATI's own is not good. Also what kind of sound system do you have? SPDIF out or analog? The M-Audio Revolution 7.1 is the card of choice, but you can get by with the onboard audio, if it supports multichannel audio.

Cases are very much a personal preference. Do a search here and I think something will come up.

Get ffdshow as this is almost the only filterpack you are gonna need. It also does a lot of other nice stuff.

Check this site out as well: http://www.htpcnews.com/

BTW: Much can be accomplished with little. I build my own HTPC in 2001, so age starts to show. However it get the job done. Today it consists of this:
1 GHz P3
512 RAM
60GB HD
Revo soundcard
DVD drive (oh, get a silent one)
A Gforce card
Terratec Cinergy 600 TV card
WMCE5 (not really using the frontend, as my cpu/gpu is not fast enough)

All hooked up to:
21" monitor
A 5.1 channel digital amplifier

It plays DVD's, video files, radio (with RDS) and Tv, not to mention the obvious mp3 and cd's. Picture quality of DVD's easily beats any analog TV.

Well, in the end there is may answers to your questions. What it eventually boils down to, is this: How much money do you plan to spend?

I hope you can use this input.
/Schroinx

_________________
My first IBM-compatible computer was a 16 MHz 386sx. The term IBM-compatible was later replaced with the acronym PC...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 3:21 am
Posts: 196
Location: Denmark
Oh, I forgot one of the most obvious things. You need a way to control it all. An ATI Remote wonder could be the easy answer, but if you go with MCE, maybe the MCE remote will be a better choice.

/Schroinx

_________________
My first IBM-compatible computer was a 16 MHz 386sx. The term IBM-compatible was later replaced with the acronym PC...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:01 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanks! From now on MCE 2005 is a high contender!

But can you run regular programs in MCE 2005? Because I was planning on running DC++ and Bit-torrent when I'm not using the HTPC. Is that possible?

Can the MCE Remote be used with other PVR Software? Like meedio?(Or I'll just look that up myself..)

I will use out 32" Widescreen 100Hz CRT Screen

Also, thanks for the links!

EDIT: Seems like you get a decent looking remote with the PVR-250, will probably go with that one..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 3:21 am
Posts: 196
Location: Denmark
Yes, any softaware that run under XP run under MCE as well. MCE is besically a XP Pro with SP2 without the possibility to join a domain (you can do that during installation, but then cannot use media center extenders, as this uses the fast user switching). On top of that is the frontend application, that makes it simple to navigate on a tv screen with a remote, but you also have access to the desktop. htpcnews.com and anandtech have review of the MCE5, so you can see what it is like.

Dunno about the MCE remote. The ATi remote wonder can.

/Schroinx

_________________
My first IBM-compatible computer was a 16 MHz 386sx. The term IBM-compatible was later replaced with the acronym PC...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:44 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:56 am
Posts: 128
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
That basicly means that I can have both MCE 2005 and Meedio installed and use which ever after my liking!?

They(M$) should sell it like a "Media Center Application" aswell as the whole Media Center OS, as it basically is an application, if I understand correctly..

Also, how is the support for non US TV-schedule download and such? Where is the big community with all the tweaks and nerdy stuff we all love and can't live without? I know there is one. Does it support plugins? Really dissapointed if not..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 320
Location: USA
I have the Philips MCE remote. Of course it works great in MCE. Doesn't do much at all outside the MCE frontend, but with Girder, can be made to work quite well in Meedio, BeyondTV, SageTV etc. I've demo'd SageTV and Snapstream (pre BeyondTV). They work fine as advertised, but take much more fiddling and configuring to work smoothly. If you like to spend time fiddling, Meedio w/ SageTV handling PVR will be a great way to go. Much more customizable than MCE. If you're a Linux power user and really like to fiddle, go w/ MythTV. But, if you just want your HTPC to work and work well with a minimum of configuration; MCE2005 stands alone. As I mentioned in my prior post, the biggest negative with MCE is the DVR-MS file format.

_________________
Luddite w/ old-skool P4 desktop rigs, incl. custom home server w/ 8 fanless/trayless hot-swap SATA bays in a mid-tower case w/ single 120mm fan.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:28 pm 
Offline
Patron of SPCR

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:48 pm
Posts: 445
Location: Sydney, Australia
For a good (but somewhat geeky/complicated) remote solution, you can use Girder remote control software together with a cheap IR receiver and almost any remote. This can be used to control almost anything in your PC.

Highly recommended, but it does require a bit of setting up. It's also a cheap solution if you've got any unused remotes kicking around the house!

_________________
pangit

Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 7:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 320
Location: USA
akaidiot wrote:
That basicly means that I can have both MCE 2005 and Meedio installed and use which ever after my liking!?
Yes
akaidiot wrote:
They(M$) should sell it like a "Media Center Application" aswell as the whole Media Center OS, as it basically is an application, if I understand correctly..
They have just released MCE2005 to the OEM market. It is possible to install MCE on top of an existing XP Pro SP2 installation as you can find folks in forums that claim to have done it and even tutorials on how to do it. Not sure if such an installtion will appear authentic to M$, however, and updates may not install. My suggestion, however, is to buy the software and do a clean install. MCE2k5 is now readily available and competetively priced. M$ will not likely release MCE to the retail market, because of the strict hw rqmts and (somewhat) tricky installation/configuration. They fear the resultant problems & tech support required. But, really, in comparison with other solutions, MCE is really easy to get up n running. Just pay attention to hw rqmts, stick with approved MPEG2 hw encoding capture cards and approved DX9 capable vid cards...and you must install a 3rd party MPEG2/DVD decoder, the NVIDIA decoder is recommended.
akaidiot wrote:
Also, how is the support for non US TV-schedule download and such?
This info is easily found on M$ webspace.
akaidiot wrote:
Where is the big community with all the tweaks and nerdy stuff we all love and can't live without? I know there is one.
thegreenbutton
xmpce.com
akaidiot wrote:
Does it support plugins?
yes

Also, in terms of remote controls, I have the 1st generation OEM Philips MCE remote, but will be upgrading to the newer OEM remote. The newer remote is learning and will also control your HT receiver and TV. The MCE remotes are excellent designs, are tailored for the MCE aplication and best of all they work great out of the box, no fiddling with girder for hours on end! They come with a USB IR receiver/blaster. The blasters are used to control set top boxes, receivers & TV's. Note that retailors are still selling the old remote, and they look quite similar. This is what the new remote looks like, order carefully.

_________________
Luddite w/ old-skool P4 desktop rigs, incl. custom home server w/ 8 fanless/trayless hot-swap SATA bays in a mid-tower case w/ single 120mm fan.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 7:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 320
Location: USA
akaidiot wrote:
I am now considering a Silverstone Lascala LC03V-Black
Have you checked out Dasman's HTPC in the Gallery? The Kanam Accent HT-400b HTPC case he used looks like a winner!

_________________
Luddite w/ old-skool P4 desktop rigs, incl. custom home server w/ 8 fanless/trayless hot-swap SATA bays in a mid-tower case w/ single 120mm fan.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 8:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 320
Location: USA
By the way, posters in avsforum (with too much time on their hands) have been recording and playing-back HDTV streams captured from the set-top box or TV firewire port by emulating a DVHS in their PC or MAC. Wont work on encrypted content however until PC's are able to decrypt the stream (non-existant PC cable card device needed).

_________________
Luddite w/ old-skool P4 desktop rigs, incl. custom home server w/ 8 fanless/trayless hot-swap SATA bays in a mid-tower case w/ single 120mm fan.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: xan_user and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group