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241 posts

Master Geek

  # 274000 17-Nov-2009 19:30
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Some further thoughts for you. The motherboard you are looking at would make quite a good HTPC (I think) if you were conecting it directly to your screen.  Stick an HVR-2200 tuner card into the PCI-e slot and add some storage (either in the box or on your network) and you're away.  The main qualifier here is that I've not heard of anyone else using that board yet so there may some possible problems that I am not aware of.  To decode H.264 you need EITHER a good CPU OR a good GPU.  Win 7 Mediacenter (amongst other options), with the right hardware, will offload the decoding to the GPU if it can.  This is the best option and recently Nvidia has been the more reliable for HD video.  The built in GPU on this motherboard should do the job no problem.

However if you want to stick with the headless PC and go with the extender option the requirements for your PC are really quite different.  To be honest I would build a very basic PC in a cheap case and stick it out of sight  somewhere (in a cupboard?) if you can.  The old CPU you mentioned earlier will do just fine here.

If you are going with the extender option on Win 7 MC the 360 is fine with H.264 (whereas the D-Links can't do it) but it is limited to what else it can do - hence a direct connection to a HTPC will give you more options.

That's my extra 2 cents worth anyway

2860 posts

Uber Geek

  # 274018 17-Nov-2009 19:55
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My brothers onboard gfx 780G/HD3200 (HT3 Kuma Core CPU) does HDTV 1080i hardware decoding fine with Win7 MCE, connected to a 1366x768 display.

HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.


85 posts

Master Geek

  # 274971 21-Nov-2009 15:24
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I ended up getting the dual core nvidia ion board with an external power pack (to reduce heat inside the case) and this case ---> and the nova t dual dvbt tuner.

On backorder for the ion but pretty excited about it, it looks like a dvd player, is completely fanless, insanely low energy consumption, and is powerful enough to be a media pc rather than headless at the time where I get a bigger place and have the requirement to have a media pc and an extender.

Cheers for all the help guys

241 posts

Master Geek

  # 274986 21-Nov-2009 16:27
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I hate to ask but doesn't the board have a PCI-e slot whereas the nova t is PCI only. I could be wrong but you may want to recheck the specs...

85 posts

Master Geek

  # 275651 23-Nov-2009 22:29
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I got the USB nova TD :-) I also got the version of the ION with the external power supply which is awesome as there are practically no wires through the case and the heat normally generated from the psu is now outside the case!

Got most of the bits now so gonna get it going fanless with prime 95 for 24 hours straight before i make it my media pc. Hopefully it can handle or I may need to put a big slow fan in

2860 posts

Uber Geek

  # 276444 26-Nov-2009 10:33
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Here's another alternative, if you want to build something slightly bigger/more powerful/more expensive

Zontac Motherboard, inside Silverstone SG05

HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.

376 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 276471 26-Nov-2009 11:05
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Here is some food for thought - what about one of these?

They are based on the mini-ITX motherboards and have space for a 2.5" drive. What about using one of these at the front end and running a media server at the back end (i.e. in another room) with lots of drives and tuner cards. This could be an elegant, albeit costly solution.

My HTPC - Case Antec Fusion Remote, MOBO Intel DH67BLB3, CPU Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz, RAM 8GB  DDR3 1333, HDD 120Gig Corsair Force Series 3 SSD system | WD Caviar Black 2TB data, Tuners Black Gold BGT3595 dual DVB-S/S2, dual DVB-T, Video nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, 1024MB, Sound Intel® High Definition Audio (onboard), OS Windows 7 x64


2860 posts

Uber Geek

  # 276484 26-Nov-2009 12:47
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yeah origen is mega pricey!

HTPC / Home automation (home assistant) enthusiast.

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