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eXDee

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#20920 9-Apr-2008 22:35
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Still toying with ideas and options for HD and a HTPC, but prices of course are the final decider, like for most people

So im trying to price up a cheap good system which could handle DVB-T and Mediaportal etc.
This is not what i plan on getting, its simply planning and looking at pricing. However others who want a HTPC could use this build if it checks out.
I might buy a few months or sooner, i just want some kind of guideline of what the minimum spec is and the current cost to compare with a STB or whatever. I know a HTPC has many benefits over a STB or even PVR but theres also the issues that come with it too.


Case/PSU/Fans/DVD Drive/Hard Drives not included - i have these already and they depend on what you prefer (eg big hard drive)

Prices from C1 Shoppingmall except tuner (computerlounge)
PENTIUM DUAL CORE E2180 2.0GHZ - $120
Asus EN8500GT SILENT/HTD/256M - $105
Asus P5KPL - $106
Kingston DDR2 1GB PC2-6400 800mhz - $34
Hauppauge WINTV HVR2200 PCI-E (White Box) DVB-T - $141
Total - $506

Concerns are the processor - is it good enough? The motherboard - 1x PCI-E 1x slot - means only 1 PCI-E tuner card unfortunately. Any better ones that are still low cost?
Also, will there be/is there a motherboard with good support for hardware H264 onboard? This could lower the cost a bit. 1GB of ram is enough?
The tuner - i understand this allows you to watch one channel and record another? Also it has S-Video in, which could be possible to hook sky up to this, but this means probably getting a MCE remote + Blaster. Its too bad none have component in which would be nice.

Any suggestions on what you would do for a cheap build welcomed.

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gehenna
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  #122445 9-Apr-2008 23:08
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Looks good, I'd suggest going for an 8600GT though in terms of GPU.  and perhaps the Hauppauge HVR3000 although I'm only saying this from personal experience and I havent' tried the card you mention.

The 8600GT is a must though I think, from reading up about peoples experiences with HD playback on lesser cards it seems the 8600GT is a solid platform to start from.  I've got an XFX Fatal1ty 8600GT Silent, was about $175 from memory but well worth it.

 
 
 

You will find anything you want at MightyApe (affiliate link).
sbiddle
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  #122461 10-Apr-2008 08:07
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I have an 8500GT that works well. If you want to do any gaming on the machine however you would be better off spending a bit extra and getting the 8600.

eXDee

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  #122556 10-Apr-2008 15:42
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I forgot to mention it's only function would be a media centre running mediaportal.

The 8500GT plays everything seamlessly? doesnt get too hot?

I'm not too happy with the motherboard though, only 1 PCI-E slot for a tuner card.

Other than that, that system would work as a mediacentre flawlessly?
If so, $500 is my base price atm for how much a HTPC will cost compared to a STB, and thanks, might help me be a bit less undecisive.



Batman
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  #122807 11-Apr-2008 11:37
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i've done some mental calculations - it ALWAYS ends up cheaper buying the set top box. the only problem is there isn't one with a PVR for freeview HD at the mo.

ok let me put down mental into some numbers
lets say a VERY EXPENSIVE PVR which you can actually buy off trademe now is $800 okay -

so what will a HTPC cost me
- video card $200
- cyberlink powerdvd 8 $99US = $125
- tuner hvr2200 $140
- mce remote $60 (well if you buy nova t 500 remote comes with it)
- dvbviewer $30
- plus motherboard, RAM, HDD, windows vista, etc etc etc ...

plus constant instability!

tonyhughes
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  #122810 11-Apr-2008 11:43
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joker97: i've done some mental calculations - it ALWAYS ends up cheaper buying the set top box. the only problem is there isn't one with a PVR for freeview HD at the mo.

ok let me put down mental into some numbers
lets say a VERY EXPENSIVE PVR which you can actually buy off trademe now is $800 okay -

so what will a HTPC cost me
- video card $200
- cyberlink powerdvd 8 $99US = $125
- tuner hvr2200 $140
- mce remote $60 (well if you buy nova t 500 remote comes with it)
- dvbviewer $30
- plus motherboard, RAM, HDD, windows vista, etc etc etc ...

plus constant instability!

HTPC is a great concept, and worked well for me when i was prepared to put in the time and effort to maintain it.

Now I have MySky, and my time spent maintaining it is zero.

I am happy.

My gal is happy.

I miss my HTPC, but I dont miss the aggravation.







eXDee

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  #122901 11-Apr-2008 17:27
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joker97: i've done some mental calculations - it ALWAYS ends up cheaper buying the set top box. the only problem is there isn't one with a PVR for freeview HD at the mo.

ok let me put down mental into some numbers
lets say a VERY EXPENSIVE PVR which you can actually buy off trademe now is $800 okay -

so what will a HTPC cost me
- video card $200
- cyberlink powerdvd 8 $99US = $125
- tuner hvr2200 $140
- mce remote $60 (well if you buy nova t 500 remote comes with it)
- dvbviewer $30
- plus motherboard, RAM, HDD, windows vista, etc etc etc ...

plus constant instability!

The only thing im concerned about is the fact that recordings are only available off the HD if you get a PVR. HTPC is a bug plus in the fact that you can watch it on any computer in the house.

Video card is $100 - 8500GT
Cyberlink codecs arent required, theres a driver package with accelerated h264 free
dvbviewer is also not required - gbpvr or mediaportal
motherboard + ram is around $150 HD depends on preference, im not a fan of vista and i have most of the other bits :)

@Tony:
We are probably getting mysky HDi if it doesnt cost an arm and a leg, but we watch TV1-3 most of the time, then prime, sky sport and possibly discovery.
And since sky and freeview etc won't cooperate, TV1-3 wont be HD on sky, probably still the same old compressed rubbish.

openmedia
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  #122904 11-Apr-2008 17:54
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tonyhughes:
HTPC is a great concept, and worked well for me when i was prepared to put in the time and effort to maintain it.

Now I have MySky, and my time spent maintaining it is zero.

I am happy.

My gal is happy.

I miss my HTPC, but I dont miss the aggravation.


So you have had 100% reliability and no issues with things like series linking, or the small disk size?

Most of my sales enquiries these days are from people who are unhappy with MySky. Sadly our product often doesn't prove suitable as we can only do a single Sky chanel via an STB.

Most of the MySky issues are with missed recordings.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC as a Technology Evangelist and Portfolio Architect. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.




tonyhughes
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  #122929 11-Apr-2008 19:24
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openmedia:
tonyhughes:
HTPC is a great concept, and worked well for me when i was prepared to put in the time and effort to maintain it.

Now I have MySky, and my time spent maintaining it is zero.

I am happy.

My gal is happy.

I miss my HTPC, but I dont miss the aggravation.


So you have had 100% reliability and no issues with things like series linking, or the small disk size?

Most of my sales enquiries these days are from people who are unhappy with MySky. Sadly our product often doesn't prove suitable as we can only do a single Sky chanel via an STB.

Most of the MySky issues are with missed recordings.

MySky has missed exactly zero recordings for me.
Series link went all screwy once - lost every link. Have since had box replaced, and no issue since.
Far less issues (i.e. down to zero issues now) than HTPC.

If I had the time to pour into it, I would still have an HTPC though.

MySky has high WAF.







Batman
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  #122935 11-Apr-2008 19:49
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wait a few months and your mysky WILL miss recordings due to software bugs - we've found that after 12 months it just randomly forgets to load repeat recordings, needing a reboot every 2 weeks! so we gave it back. plus we were only watching tv2 and tv3 (and f1). oh well!

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