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  Reply # 517440 6-Sep-2011 12:22 Send private message

To the OP's question. Yes you are looking at it wrong. In your price list you have gone for mid quality parts. The "deal" machine is full of old in appears in some cases if not all obsolete and cheap, it would be OK maybe for SAT TV but I would be very surprised if it could pay Freeview|HD at anything better then terribly (of course not with the software it comes with). Do you really think the case is going to be equivalent to a $400 Antec Fusion case?? Basically it is old stock that someone is just trying to get rid of in a hurry while some people might think it has some value.
As has been pointed out for not very much more money it would be possible to get something that would really work but if you wanted a good quality setup that will work for some time to come then yes you would have to spend quite a bit more.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 517452 6-Sep-2011 12:39 Send private message

freitasm: Or a Dell Zino HD - almost same size as the Mac Mini, and comes with Windows 7 home Premium installed. Great HTPC in the lounge (using HDHomeRun as DVB-T receiver).

I want to get one of these for my parents. The three standard models Dell seem to have on their website now are $699, $949 and $1,099. Differences are increasingly better CPUs, larger HDDs (I doubt my parents will need), Radeon HD 5450 Discrete graphics card compared to 4250 Integrated in the entry level.

It doesn't really seem worth it for them to upgrade from $699 to $949 essentially just for the discrete graphics card. What can that card do that the integrated can't? Would the integrated card do HD OK? Freeview? Blu Ray (if they got a drive later)?

I don't think they'll really need HD so I'm loathe to spend an extra $250 if they don't need to. Still, in the back of my mind I think maybe one day...



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  Reply # 517461 6-Sep-2011 12:49 Send private message

Nety: Do you really think the case is going to be equivalent to a $400 Antec Fusion case??


See, I do. I don't see why not. When the A33 was launched 3 years ago it was a top-notch machine. I believe it was reviewed as being very quiet with good cooling, and has plenty of features included. The case and PSU technology wouldn't have changed that much since then. If the A33 chassis sat on the same shelf as the Antec Fusion at PBTech, they probably would be priced very similarly.
Same applies to DVD and to remote control/mouse, the HDD, and even, dare I say it, to the tuner card. I honestly believe that the HVR1800 this machine came with should be just fine for Freeview|HD.

Yes, you and other posters have correctly identified that the core of the A33 is obsolete, and it would require a new mobo/cpu combo, and Win 7 if I didn't want to go MythTV way. But other than that, I just don't see the change in technology that would justify the ongoing price premiums.

For those wondering - no, I didn't buy the A33. It just got me thinking. :)





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  Reply # 517540 6-Sep-2011 14:42 Send private message

That A33 sounds like good price, and as mentioned it's a clear out product hence selling much below retail.

For comparisons sake, if I was to build new, and cheap (with some quality)
$200 for a Ion/ZACATE motherboard
$200 for a HTPC case with IR and powersupply.
$45 for 2GB ram (sufficient to run 7 Media Center)
$85 for 1TB hdd
$40 for 2x USB DVB-T tuners (although I would pay the extra for the HDHomeRun)

Total $570.

If you want an optical drive add $50, and if you want Windows you'll have to add a fair bit more, but there are perfectly usable linux htpc solutions.

FWIW my $600 18 month old Netbook works fine as a media center/pvr, and that includes the cost of a HD Display.

Either way if you were going too buy it to gut and replace I think you'd come out even, maybe better off if you can get a good price on the used market for the unused components.

Long term I think the company to watch in the HTPC space is Google. The GoogleTV is supposed to be switching to a SOC solution to be price competitive with the AppleTV, they recently acquired SageTV (PVR software developers), and Motorola - set top box manufacturer. Realistically they could put out a $300 HTPC box, and sub $200 extenders and still make money.

Alternatively it'll be interesting to see if Apple open up the appstore on the AppleTV, which would allow for PVR apps that work with networked TV tuners such as the HDHomeRun, on a very cheap low power box.

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  Reply # 517548 6-Sep-2011 14:57 Send private message

PS do you have a link to the website offering the Asus A33?



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  Reply # 517549 6-Sep-2011 15:01 Send private message





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  Reply # 517552 6-Sep-2011 15:07 Send private message

Sold out anyhow. Would be interesting to see if they'd happily handle Freeview HD.

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  Reply # 517570 6-Sep-2011 15:28 Send private message

bazzer:
freitasm: Or a Dell Zino HD - almost same size as the Mac Mini, and comes with Windows 7 home Premium installed. Great HTPC in the lounge (using HDHomeRun as DVB-T receiver).

I want to get one of these for my parents. The three standard models Dell seem to have on their website now are $699, $949 and $1,099. Differences are increasingly better CPUs, larger HDDs (I doubt my parents will need), Radeon HD 5450 Discrete graphics card compared to 4250 Integrated in the entry level.

It doesn't really seem worth it for them to upgrade from $699 to $949 essentially just for the discrete graphics card. What can that card do that the integrated can't? Would the integrated card do HD OK? Freeview? Blu Ray (if they got a drive later)?


Get the one with integrated HD4250 and BluRay - it will be a lot more expensive to add the BluRay later.

 




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  Reply # 517576 6-Sep-2011 15:39 Send private message

After a google search, I can see why you would want this. 
http://en.inpai.com.cn/doc/enshowcont.asp?id=1976
Looks excellent and is able to play video up to 1080i. I suppose the question would have been is it upgradable or is it a closed box with custom components? Looking at the back of it, it seems to be all custom to me= not upgradable

I think the trick is that building a good htpc is possible for about $6-700 depending on components and OS, but getting a system that looks like that and is integrated like that is very expensive.

Building one cheaper means not minding function over form and go for a desktop SFF case or lose the dvd drive and get a micro desktop. You cant expect to have a system that is the same price as that old htpc now and look the same because it is old or 2nd hand stock. Building the same system new now means spending the same as that system was worth when it came out, give or take a bit. 

The Acer Revo mentioned previously would probably be a close example of that Asus but with modern components and OS. 



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  Reply # 517578 6-Sep-2011 15:41 Send private message

paulmilbank: After a google search, I can see why you would want this. 
http://en.inpai.com.cn/doc/enshowcont.asp?id=1976
 

I think you got it wrong. That girl doesn't come with the machine. Cry




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  Reply # 517579 6-Sep-2011 15:44 Send private message

Thats how they get you hooked, they show you the pictures, then tell you everything is an optional extra over the base spec.

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  Reply # 517674 6-Sep-2011 17:49 Send private message

freitasm:
bazzer:
freitasm: Or a Dell Zino HD - almost same size as the Mac Mini, and comes with Windows 7 home Premium installed. Great HTPC in the lounge (using HDHomeRun as DVB-T receiver).

I want to get one of these for my parents. The three standard models Dell seem to have on their website now are $699, $949 and $1,099. Differences are increasingly better CPUs, larger HDDs (I doubt my parents will need), Radeon HD 5450 Discrete graphics card compared to 4250 Integrated in the entry level.

It doesn't really seem worth it for them to upgrade from $699 to $949 essentially just for the discrete graphics card. What can that card do that the integrated can't? Would the integrated card do HD OK? Freeview? Blu-ray (if they got a drive later)?

Get the one with integrated HD4250 and BluRay - it will be a lot more expensive to add the BluRay later.
 

So, you don't think I'll have any problems with lack of performance from the integrated?

Actually, I can't find a way on their website to add the Blu-ray. Do I have to, gasp!, ring them?

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  Reply # 517696 6-Sep-2011 18:24 Send private message

I think the trick is that building a good htpc is possible for about $6-700 depending on components and OS, but getting a system that looks like that and is integrated like that is very expensive.

Building one cheaper means not minding function over form and go for a desktop SFF case or lose the dvd drive and get a micro desktop. ?


I really should get my arse into gear and get my ITX HTPC case to market. Only thing left to do is CNC the front and rear panels.

http://www.solidchassis.com

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