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21 posts

Geek


Topic # 19606 23-Feb-2008 15:59 Send private message

I've finally got my HTPC to a Zen-like state; one remote, looks slick and is super-simple for anyone to use.  I'm not interested in using it as a computer, I never want to see a Windows desktop - I just want my media and news how and when I choose.

 

I've seen a few people post pics of their home setups, so here are a few pics (ignore the Sony HD recorder, I should really get around to getting that on TradeMe).

 

Here's the whole rig

The whole rig

 

And here are some pics to give you an idea of the interface

 

Pic 2

 

Pic 3

 

 

Pic 4

 

Pic 5

(the titles etc scroll, it isn't cutting them off)

 

 

It does everything you'd expect, play, rip, burn, download, full EPG (via satellite) and it's dead silent.

 

Here's a summary of what drives it:

 

DISPLAY: Dell 24" 2408WFP, connected via DVI

AMP: Sony DAV-DZ720, 5.1 setup, 1000W

OTHER: 5 way component AV switch

 

HARDWARE

Silverstone SST-LC16M Black case w 460W ZM460B-APS silent power supply

ASUS M2N-E SLI

AMD Dual Core 4600+ AM2 + Zalman CNPS7500-Cu LED heatsink/fan

2 GB DDR2 667 RAM in dual channel mode

1TB SATA2 HDD

Nvidia GeForce 8500GT (Factory overclocked/fanless)

Dual-layer 48x DVD burner with Lightscribe

2 x Hauppauge WinTV HVR4000 (Analogue + DVB-S/S2 + DVB-T), one for DVB-S one for DVB-T    **UPDATED**

Windows MCE remote + keyboard

 

MEDIA PORTAL

Windows Media Centre 2005

MediaPortal RC2     **UPDATED**

 

CODEC

Nvidia PureVideo

FFDshow

Haali Media Splitter

QTLite

RealAlternative

VSFilter

FLV Splitter

CoreAVC Pro <- needed for DVB-T    **UPDATED**

 

SYSTEM

DVD Decrypter

Daemon Tools

MPtray

MPFocus

MCE Standby Tool

DriveImage XML (for backups)

 

There's a ton of tweaking that has also occured, little things like making the MCE button launch MediaPortal and S3 standby/wake from the power button on my remote.  The only other things I think I may do, apart from getting a cabinet to put this all in, is add a second HVR4000 once DVB-T is sorted out.

 

Let me know what you think :)


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3616 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 112513 23-Feb-2008 17:55 Send private message

Voting for sticky, awesome thread idea. I had planned on asking what people had in their builds for tuner cards and software, but this is much better.

Very nice mediaportal skin, i think it'll look good on our 40" LCD too. *yoink*

2113 posts

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  Reply # 112542 23-Feb-2008 19:42 Send private message

What does the AMD Dual-Core optimiser do?  Never heard of it.




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  Reply # 112546 23-Feb-2008 20:07 Send private message

I would be interested to know more about your system, since I am planning to use the same case...

In particular, I would love to know what you did for cooling (how many fans, where they placed, what size and speed as well as any other coling you used such as heatsinks etc)

If you could tell what temperture the system is producing if you have done any testing, and can you tell me what the sound is like...is your system silent?

While my system will have different components to that you have used (hence different noise and heat results), I am still interested to compare your results.

This is my possible setup, but I am refining all the time, as I do not plan to start my purchases for approx another month:

- Case: Silverstone SST-LC16S-MR
-
Motherboard: abit IP35 Pro
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz
- CPU Heatsink: Scythe Ninja Mini
- TV Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T-500 (dual DVB-T tuner)
- Video Card: WinFast PX8500 GT TDH HDMI (Low Profile)
- Hard drive: 2 x Western Digital Caviar GP WD7500AACS, 750GB, 5400rpm, 16384kb cache, sata-2
- PSU:
Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU
- Keyboard: Microsoft Media Centre Edition Keyboard (wireless, black, 3 pack)
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre with SP2 (proberly change to Vista due to wanting 4GB ram)

This is a thread I started discussing simular topics:
Build a HTPC




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

66 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 112618 24-Feb-2008 10:35 Send private message

DISPLAY: Philips 20" widescreen LCD (200WS8), connected via DVI

SOUND: Philips Limited Edition "tower" cd/tape/radio - aux input

 

HARDWARE

Thermaltake Black tower case, 370W PSU

ASUS M2NPV-VM

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+ (Socket AM2)

1 GB DDR2-800 RAM

1x small os drive, 1x 300gb, 1x 320gb

Nvidia GeForce 6150 onboard, 64mb shared ram - has onboard component/composite/svideo out which I used before the 20" LCD

Dual-layer 48x DVD burner

Technisat SkyStar2 DVB-S card

MCE remote

Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse

 

MEDIA PORTAL

Windows XP Pro SP2

TVEngine3

MediaPortal

 

SYSTEM

DVD Shrink

Alcohol 120

Nero

RemoteKC script- use your MCE remote as a mouse or keyboard


 

EXTENDERS
Two laptops running mediaportal and the tvserver client - these used to even work over wireless but for some reason are not working presently
One older machine hooked up to 29" CRT tv in other lounge - again running mediaportal and tvserver client

This machine was initally built as just an HTPC and was hooked to a 21" CRT TV, but once I got the 20" LCD I began using it as a desktop too. So the physical setup is basically like a desktop PC with keyboard/mouse etc, but you can angle to LCD over the the couch if you want to sit back and watch tv.



21 posts

Geek


  Reply # 112622 24-Feb-2008 10:44 Send private message

@eXDee  40" LCD! Wow.  A friend of mine motiviated me to make this post, you can see his setup here

@CYaBro  The AMD dual-core optimiser is a threading patch, someone's compiled AMD dual-core specific MediaPortal binary to take full advantage of the CPU.

@TheBartender  That sounds like a monster you're about to build, I was on a bit of a budget so kept to best bang for buck.  I went for this case as there's plenty of room for air between heat generating components - heat management is really that simple in my mind.

The 8500GT is fanless, just one giant heat sink running the entire side of the card.  The case has four 120mm fans running at low revs to keep the air quietly moving through left to right.  The CPU has a Zalman CNPS7500-Cu LED heatsink/fan and the power supply is a ZM460B-APS

I couldn't tell you the exact heat output, but I can tell you that its cool to the touch when placing your hand over any of the extraction points.  Sound wise, it's quieter than my Sony HD recorder (and WAY quieter than the Wii or Xbox360).

Hope that helps :)

Update:  I think I missed an important bit of software in my initial post (updated now): DriveImage XML.  Why?  Because this gives me a running snapshot of my system, probably the most overlooked aspect - backups!

 

166 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 112771 24-Feb-2008 20:02 Send private message

Hey, nice project.
I previously posted my wish specs in another thread, but I finally got around to building my machine. I'd like to show it off, I trimmed the costs substantially from original wishlist, but I think it didn;t take anything away from the finished product.

Here they are:

Silverstone Grandia HTPC mATX case $200
Corsair HX620 Modular PSU $169
Pioneer BDC-S02BK Blu-Ray drive $185
GE Cube HD3870 512 GDDR4 O/C edition $280
Intel E8200 1333 MHz 45nm 6MB CPU $149
PQI 2X1GB 800MHz DDR2 $155
Gigabyte S-Series GA-G33M-DS2R mATX MB $185

Already had
500GB SataII Drive
Vista Home Premium
Hauppauge HVR1100 DVB-T
Microsoft Media Centre Remote & Keyboard

So you can see, a complete build for around $1500, one that runs pretty quietly, plays awesome games, Blu-Ray and HD DVD-T.

I really like the understated look of the whole thing, it is fed into a 37" Panasonic Plasma & a Plinius 8200P amp. It really rocks!

Anyway, heres the pics:
http://www.jenkin.net/HTPC.htm

I like this thread & I like the upcoming HD Freeview -it looks pretty cool.
AJ

19 posts

Geek


  Reply # 112774 24-Feb-2008 20:34 Send private message

looks awesome (Media Portal + Monoschrome rocks!).  I'm interested to hear how you got on with that case - in particular the VFD.  Does it "talk" to Media Portal OK or are you just using the included software.

I really wish there were some HTPC Silverstone cases in stock in NZ - the only thing holding up the final "sexy" steps in my own Media Portal setup :(

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  Reply # 112779 24-Feb-2008 21:08 Send private message

guttedgeek: looks awesome (Media Portal + Monoschrome rocks!). I'm interested to hear how you got on with that case - in particular the VFD. Does it "talk" to Media Portal OK or are you just using the included software.

I really wish there were some HTPC Silverstone cases in stock in NZ - the only thing holding up the final "sexy" steps in my own Media Portal setup :(


Check out www.playtech.co.nz as they seem to have a few in stock.

My current setup:

MediaPortal TVServer
------------------------

AMD Athlon 1900+ SktA
1GB DDR-400 RAM
400GB Seagate SATA HDD
2x Hauppauge Nova S
Hauppauge PVR500MCE with Skydecoder connected via S-Video
Windows XP Pro SP2
MediaPortal TVServer3
All in an old ATX case sitting in the corner of an unused room.

MediaPortal Client
--------------------

Asus P2-M2A690G Booksize Barebone PC
AMD BE-2350 45W Dual-Core CPU
Kingston 2GB DDR2-800 RAM (2x1GB for Dual Channel)
Asus DVDRW
160GB HDD
Windows Vista Home Basic - Only using this as suspend mode works better than XP
Microsoft MCE Remote
MediaPortal Client - Blue Wide skin (But after seeing the Monochrome skin this will change)

The Asus PC has HDMI output.

TV: Toshiba 47" 1080p LCD connected by HDMI to client PC
Sound: Pair of Image 414s + Image Sub10 - Has 200W amp built in
Amp: Sonos ZP100 50Wx2

I also use my laptop sometimes to watch TV in bed but wirelessly the TV stream is a bit jumpy.

This setup is always changing and may look at using a Mac Mini as the client soon.
The TVServer is quite low spec'd but it can record 2 freeview channels plus a sky channel at the same time and not even be using 50% CPU.





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  Reply # 112781 24-Feb-2008 21:15 Send private message

All very cool stuff. Out of interest how many of you have to deal with the WAF?  Putting aside the cost and time I am having problems trying to get agreement to mount some small rear speakers in my family room to go with my PS3 and HD-DVD setup and 56" TV :-(




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR running on Gigabyte Brix, Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Logitech Revue, Pioneer AVR, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, Roku XS media player

Check out my blog at lchiu.blogspot.com

166 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 112805 24-Feb-2008 23:30 Send private message

lchiu7: All very cool stuff. Out of interest how many of you have to deal with the WAF?  Putting aside the cost and time I am having problems trying to get agreement to mount some small rear speakers in my family room to go with my PS3 and HD-DVD setup and 56" TV :-(


You have a 56" TV?? That's a strong start. I'd get my jewels nailed to the doorpost if I tried that stunt!

I just take the stealth approach, yeah like "hey honey, we don't have sky, so I'm going to put together something that will get us freeview, and replace all those components that take up space????" - it's like "yeah -right - whatever" - I take that as a green light.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 112808 24-Feb-2008 23:38 Send private message

lchiu7, I feel your pain...






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  Reply # 112815 25-Feb-2008 06:30 Send private message

guttedgeek:I really wish there were some HTPC Silverstone cases in stock in NZ - the only thing holding up the final "sexy" steps in my own Media Portal setup :(


Don't happen to know when they are coming back in stock? That is the downside to having few suppliers. When one shop runs out of something everyone doesCry







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



21 posts

Geek


  Reply # 112834 25-Feb-2008 09:02 Send private message

@guttedgeek  I'm just using the bundled drivers, main knob acts as volume/mute and the play/rew/etc buttuns function.  I use the display for the time, but pops up the weather forecast and whether I have any new email marked as urgent in the morning (when in standby).

@Nety Try ProMax Computers, they always seem to have a good supply.

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  Reply # 112893 25-Feb-2008 12:05 Send private message

ajst2duk: Pioneer BDC-S02BK Blu-Ray drive $185

AJ


Where did you get a drive for that price from?!! They are $450 as far as I can see.








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

322 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 112902 25-Feb-2008 12:36 Send private message

Aust.

Here ... http://www.fluidtek.com.au/

They don't ship, but plenty of others do ... e.g. http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/

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