Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




3 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 120995 20-Jun-2013 16:20
Send private message

Ok guys,

I have toyed with the idea of building my own HTPC for a couple of years now. The thing is I can't afford to dump lots of money into one at the moment. I have been accruing parts over the last year and so far I have a list of a few components.

The purpose of this thread is to get suggestions and comments towards the project in order for it to be a success.

Components so far ::
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.6GHZ socket 775
Motherboard: Gigabyte ga-945gcm-s2l
RAM: 2gb DDR2
DD: 500gb Sata (main drive) and 500gb IDE (storage)
GPU: ATI Raedon HD 2600 XT[/url] or a GeForce 9300 GS
Case: Silvertsone LC17
Remote: Windows media center remote
TV tuner: Single tunder DVB-T from tardme (worked very well all last year when connected to roof aerial)
PSU: Generic 450w
Other: DVD-RW and Blue Ray drive

Things to consider ::

Which GPU will be better:
I am pretty sure that it will be the 2600 XT but I could be wrong. The card has been tested and displays 1080p perfectly but I am not sure if the 9300 GS can do it better or not?

Read/write speeds of the IDE drive:
I am not sure if the IDE could cope with 1080p recording from Freeview

Which software to use:

I like WMC because it is so easy and simple but Media Portal looks amazing and I love the idea of creating a tv server which I can stream from other computers in the house.

Things to do ::

I still have to assemble the HTPC and stress test it. One issue I have is that I have lost my serial key for Windows 7 and I cant seem to pull it off of the computer using software which might prove to be an issue q-

Other then that let I look forward to comments and I will press on with the project :D

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
734 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 130


  Reply # 840566 20-Jun-2013 20:03
Send private message

If you've lost your Win 7 key and don't fancy obtaining another, consider trying mythbuntu, a specialised ubuntu (linux) distro. It should support that hardware well - although it depends on the brand of TV tuner you acquired of "tardme".

If you think mediaportal looks good, mythtv (comes with mythbuntu) is even better (IMHO). I have used both.
Only trouble with mythbuntu is lack of native blu ray disc support. You *can* get blu ray discs to run, but it's a bit of a hack.

Whatever OS you go with, the 9300GS has VDPAU feature set "B" and can do advanced de-interlacing, but only on SD content. VDPAU is *very* desirable for watching TV. Upgrading the card to at least a Geforce 430 would be desirable for HD TV and take a load of the slightly marginal CPU.

4130 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 554

Trusted

  Reply # 840619 20-Jun-2013 21:02
Send private message

Why not look at a AMD A8 APU (cpu + GPU) on a AM3 Motherboard (or for slightly dearer an intel i3/i5.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,
OpenHAB: ODroid C2 eMMC DriveOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


 
 
 
 


2720 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 840686 21-Jun-2013 00:04
Send private message

I'm guessing You are buying 2nd hand gear...

Both those video cards are bad video cards for HTPC. Since the motherboard is PCI-E there are plenty of good brand new + 2nd hand GPUs. How much are you spending on video card? I'm sure you can get better for $30. Or brand new look at HD6450 I think it's ~$55-65.

Why not look at a AMD A8 APU (cpu + GPU) on a AM3 Motherboard (or for slightly dearer an intel i3/i5.


This is wrong, Llano CPUs were superseded by Trinity. Trinity are much better and can do 1080i properly. If you were going with an AMD iGPU you should look at AMD A6-5400K with FM2 motherboard.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


2720 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 840688 21-Jun-2013 00:08
Send private message


Components so far ::
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.6GHZ socket 775
Motherboard: Gigabyte ga-945gcm-s2l
RAM: 2gb DDR2
DD: 500gb Sata (main drive) and 500gb IDE (storage)
GPU: ATI Raedon HD 2600 XT[/url] or a GeForce 9300 GS
Case: Silvertsone LC17
Remote: Windows media center remote
TV tuner: Single tunder DVB-T from tardme (worked very well all last year when connected to roof aerial)
PSU: Generic 450w
Other: DVD-RW and Blue Ray drive

Things to consider ::

Which GPU will be better:
I am pretty sure that it will be the 2600 XT but I could be wrong. The card has been tested and displays 1080p perfectly but I am not sure if the 9300 GS can do it better or not?

Read/write speeds of the IDE drive:
I am not sure if the IDE could cope with 1080p recording from Freeview



DVB-T Freeview is 1080i not 1080p

If Hard-drive is IDE 7200rpm it would be fast enough as bottleneck is HDD speed not SATA vs. IDE

Both video cards are too slow for 1080i DXVA (hardware acceleration).  Since the video card will not decode 1080i you will need to use CPU, however the CPU is too slow as well.

Unfortunately Budget and 1080i don't go together very well. If you want to stick with the above hardware then you need a better video card that can handle 1080i DXVA with overhead.

My suggestion is sell off both video cards and buy a HD6450.
Operating system should be Windows 7 32bit
That computer is fast enough to run Mediaportal or WMC

If you do persevere with the existing cards then 9300 is probably better and you should use WMC over MP as MP does more intensive GPU renderering.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter




3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 840738 21-Jun-2013 09:07
Send private message

A while back when I built a very budget PC I bought the 2600 XT because it was a cheap card with hardware acceleration.

When I google 2600 XT I get the AMD page and it states:

Remarkable Combination of DirectX® 10 Gaming Performance and Hardware Processed 1080p VideoThe ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 delivers a remarkable combination of DirectX® 10 gaming performance and hardware processed 1080p video. Connect to big-screen TVs with HDMI® including built-in 5.1 surround audio to enjoy Blu-ray™ and HD DVD movies. ATI Catalyst™ graphics configuration software manages the stunning visual effects for a premium Windows Vista™ experience.
 Features & Benefits
  • Hardware processed 1080p video playback of Blu-ray™ and HD DVDs
  • Plug-n-play CrossFireX™ upgradeability
  • HDMI® with 5.1 surround sound audio
  • DirectX® 10 support

To me that sounds like it could handle 1080p or am I mistaken? 

I have clear understanding of hardware from a gaming perspective but not when it comes to video processing so forgive me if I sound slow. 

4130 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 554

Trusted

  Reply # 840801 21-Jun-2013 09:50
Send private message

1080p is not 1080i.....1080i is much harder on video cards. Look a tthe raspberry PI etc, they're all capable of 1080p - but give them 1080i and they can't handle it at all, netierh can an apple tv2

I have a A8-3870 API - which has built in a Radeon HD 6550D graphics. I haven't been able to throw any video at it yet that it couldn't render at 1920x1080.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,
OpenHAB: ODroid C2 eMMC DriveOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


2720 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 95


  Reply # 841673 22-Jun-2013 19:14
Send private message

MilesPNZ: A while back when I built a very budget PC I bought the 2600 XT because it was a cheap card with hardware acceleration. When I google 2600 XT I get the AMD page and it states: .... To me that sounds like it could handle 1080p or am I mistaken? 


Yes it should be able to handle 1080P, but as I've already said and davidcole has repeated, FreeviewHD uses 1080i.  Your best option for your existing hardware is to use a different video card that can handle 1080i.  PS. I am a member of Team MediaPortal and wrote a lot of the MP hardware wiki + guide.  My suggestion is if you want to handle 1080i Live TV with MP, you will need to dump both those video cards and replace with something like an HD6450 which is currently the cheapest AMD card for 1080i processing.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


3182 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 788


  Reply # 842161 24-Jun-2013 08:24
Send private message

davidcole: 1080p is not 1080i.....1080i is much harder on video cards. Look a tthe raspberry PI etc, they're all capable of 1080p - but give them 1080i and they can't handle it at all, netierh can an apple tv2


Why is that? asks a non-geek.

I'm interested in this question, given that I've started copying files off the TiVo (some of which are in 1080i, of course) to play on either my Mac Mini or others' equipment (eg, my parents' WD Live).

I had just assumed, in total ignorance, that 1080p would have been more taxing.

4130 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 554

Trusted

  Reply # 842163 24-Jun-2013 08:34
Send private message

jonathan18:
davidcole: 1080p is not 1080i.....1080i is much harder on video cards. Look a tthe raspberry PI etc, they're all capable of 1080p - but give them 1080i and they can't handle it at all, netierh can an apple tv2


Why is that? asks a non-geek.

I'm interested in this question, given that I've started copying files off the TiVo (some of which are in 1080i, of course) to play on either my Mac Mini or others' equipment (eg, my parents' WD Live).

I had just assumed, in total ignorance, that 1080p would have been more taxing.


I think it's to do with the fact that a 1080p (progressive) video has everythink in every frame required to draw what's needed on the screen.....and also because it's more popular the h.264 chips in all these low powered devices and video cards have the p variant hard coded.

Interlaced uses 2 frames to draw the picture, and it seems uses a different method of decoding that isn't included in the h.264 chips.  So it takes more CPU power rather than pure GPU power, and on something like a Apple TV or Raspberry PI there isn't a huge abundance of CPU powert to take advantage of.

I post processed the video that converted from 1080i to 1080p then it'd most likely work but you not allow live timeshifting.

Probably way over simplified, but this is how I explain it to myself.





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,
OpenHAB: ODroid C2 eMMC DriveOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


540 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 35


  Reply # 842252 24-Jun-2013 11:23
Send private message

I use a 2600 XT on my bedroom NextPVR client, and it's fine with freeviewHD, using hardware acceleration.
I know it must be accelerating, as it's only a P4 2.4 ghz - so can't decode it in cpu.

This is on W7 with the Microsoft decoder.

It's the AGP model if that makes any difference.





1090 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 182


  Reply # 845348 26-Jun-2013 00:29
Send private message

JonnyCam: I use a 2600 XT on my bedroom NextPVR client, and it's fine with freeviewHD, using hardware acceleration.
I know it must be accelerating, as it's only a P4 2.4 ghz - so can't decode it in cpu.

This is on W7 with the Microsoft decoder.

It's the AGP model if that makes any difference.






I find that very surprising. And that's outputting at 1080p to the display?




540 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 35


  Reply # 846881 28-Jun-2013 20:15
Send private message

mcraenz:
JonnyCam: I use a 2600 XT on my bedroom NextPVR client, and it's fine with freeviewHD, using hardware acceleration.
I know it must be accelerating, as it's only a P4 2.4 ghz - so can't decode it in cpu.

This is on W7 with the Microsoft decoder.

It's the AGP model if that makes any difference.






I find that very surprising. And that's outputting at 1080p to the display?


I use 1360x768 as the TV is hd ready, ands 1080 looks bad. (bad tv scaling)
Just tried it, and it decodes OK - but seemed to exhibit more of the dj re-mix type artifacts I get, but didnt see them when I played the same TS in WMP.

be good for a budget htpc if you have it laying around, but not for purchase.


1090 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 182


  Reply # 846904 28-Jun-2013 20:52
Send private message

ah yep that makes sense.






3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 846958 28-Jun-2013 22:36
Send private message

I am wondering if I should just go for a HD6450 and be done with it. The 2600xt is great and it would be fine for VGA but I don't want under powered and crappy tech.

21 posts

Geek


  Reply # 853527 10-Jul-2013 19:23
Send private message

davidcole: Why not look at a AMD A8 APU (cpu + GPU) on a AM3 Motherboard (or for slightly dearer an intel i3/i5.


+1 for the APU (although not restricted to what one you get)

I am personlly looking at building an HTPC with an APU. The server sits under the TV running Plex (maybe XBMC front?), adding a discret graphics card in crossfire with the APU.
http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/dual-graphics/pages/dual-graphics.aspx#3

This allows me and my brother to play multiplayer with me on the desktop and him on the TV.

Other TV's can be joined with another mini PC running XBMC that grabs it all off the server.
I hope to get this ordered and built in a couple of weeks.



 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Geekzone Live »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.