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284 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 45419 2-Nov-2009 17:20
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Hi,

I'm looking to buy a new HTPC to replace my old HP one.  I'm tossing up between these two...

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/systems/htpc_radical.asp

http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=7296

The computer lounge one doesn't include an OS so by the time you add that they come out at about the same price.

I'm looking at swapping the TV card with either an HVR3000 or an HVR2200, adding in a existing 500gb drive and swapping the bluray for a standard DVD drive.

Any advice greatly appreciated :)

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722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 269376 2-Nov-2009 19:22
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It appears that one -the Playtech one- has a separate video card. I'm just a fan for separate due to the number of people that have had issues with integrated video & FreeviewHD. But that means more noise: of course.

Also, check out the available PCI(-E) slots for future expansion as I see they are both microATX boards.

I also like the Silverstone cases (I have an LC-14): being a LC-17, you could always upgrade to full ATX if the worst happens down the road.

One just states it is a 1TB SATA HDD, but what brand? WD or Samsung are getting raps at present.





Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

481 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 269547 3-Nov-2009 10:55
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cldlr76: I'm looking to buy a new HTPC to replace my old HP one.  I'm tossing up between these two...

Have you considered assembling your own HTPC, rather than buying pre-assembled?

If you've never built a PC, it's nowhere as complicated as you might imagine. Plus a self-build gives you exactly the specification that you want - no more and no less. You could certainly buy components for a very capable HTPC within the cost of the two possibilities mentioned.

 
 
 
 


722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 270398 5-Nov-2009 16:36
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Deev8:
cldlr76: I'm looking to buy a new HTPC to replace my old HP one.  I'm tossing up between these two...

Have you considered assembling your own HTPC, rather than buying pre-assembled?

If you've never built a PC, it's nowhere as complicated as you might imagine. Plus a self-build gives you exactly the specification that you want - no more and no less. You could certainly buy components for a very capable HTPC within the cost of the two possibilities mentioned.
I agree. It can be a very satisfying project. The hardware side of the build is far easier to learn than the software side, if you are not in the IT industry.

If you are going to consider a self-build, then make sure you do the research FIRST. Otherwise, you can end up with a system that can be less than ideal for your demands. Also, make certain you allow for possible future upgrades ie. Blu-ray drive or more slots for multiple TV tuner cards. The qualifier to that is there is a lot of less than solid information out there. I'm totally self-taught so it can be done.




Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

67 posts

Master Geek


  # 270412 5-Nov-2009 17:28
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Have you considered a Mac Mini for about $1050 plus a little extra for Windows 7 and a USB TV tuner?

http://store.apple.com/nz/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini?mco=MTAyNTQwMjg

2260 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  # 270415 5-Nov-2009 17:39
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If I had to buy one, I'd take the Zen for the following reasons, especially over the Mac mini

The Mac mini is ok, but pro's vs cons:
Zen vs Mac
9300 9400 no major difference
4gb ram vs 2GB($200 upgrade in apple store or add on another 4GB for $80 pricespy)
1TB HDD vs 160GB HDD(2.5" HDD not many in the 1TB range)
Nova 500T tuner vs Nothing, would be an add on
2.6ghz E5300 vs 2.53ghz
HDMI out as standard vs having to buy a mini-display to HDMI :(
500T remote vs Apple remote extra $30
Large case vs Tiny case
Bluray drive vs DVD-RW
PC vs Apple tax ;)
$1299 vs $1099 before any extras

I think you shoudl do a project :) we could advise you on what you need to buy. That way as 1gkar says, you'll get a great feeling from it. I've built and modded all my PCs(and destroyed a Mac mini) and it's been great




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 



284 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 270477 5-Nov-2009 20:54
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The mac mini is pretty cool but the lack of HDMI and small storage is an issue.

Vinne: Why the Zen over the concerto? Most people seem to think the seperate graphics card makes the concerto a better option.

Re doing a project I want something now and know its going to work.  My project is going to be fixing the machine I'm replacing for one of the kids

67 posts

Master Geek


  # 270480 5-Nov-2009 21:02
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You can get a DVI-HDMI cable such as:
http://store.apple.com/nz/product/TR843LL/A?fnode=MTY1NDA3Ng&mco=MTA4NDU2MTI&p=1&s=topSellers

You can probably get a considerably cheaper "not blessed by apple" version of it.

I was thinking of connecting a large 2TB external drive to it. You can also open them up and replace the 2.5 inch drive with a larger equivalent.

My work purchased the mid-level Mac Mini this week, and I tried out a Quicktime 1080 movie on it, and the video card seemed to do most of the work. The CPU was pretty much idle at 5% while playing.

My current media centre box is an old-skool Pentium 4 machine in a large beige case. Noisy too. Will be great when I finally get around to replacing both it, and the CRT telly!

 
 
 
 


635 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 270553 6-Nov-2009 08:42
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Not that I am advertising here but you might want to have a go with the Ascent online PC builder. website easily found, sign up to build a Custom PC and see how it goes, no strings.

A good starting point would be to take the specs from the two machines you are looking at and put them into the ascent builder. See how the prices compare. Ascent will build your PC for you or you can save money by doing it yourself.

EDIT: JUST FOUND OUT ASCENT NO LONGER BUILD PC's. Cry

That way you can change parts as needed with your build, say get a ATI 5xxx video card so it has HDMI audio bitstreaming and doesn't need a soundcard upgrade or special hardware added in the future. Or get the TV tuners you want.

cheers
db




Home Server: AMD Threadripper 1950X, 64GB, 56TB HDD, Define R6 Case, 10GbE, ESXi 6.7, UNRAID, NextPVR, Emby Server, Plex Server.
Lounge Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi18 with Titan MOD, Emby.
Kids Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi18 with Titan MOD, Emby.
Main PC: Ryzen 7 2700, 16GB RAM, RX 570, 2 x 24"


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