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116 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 30700 18-Feb-2009 12:29
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With the lack of a reliable HD STB, this price point should be acceptable.

How you say?
There will of course be some comprimises.

I have used pricing from one supplier to make it easy in case one needs to purchase.

200  MB, 8200 based, http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?108255
90  cpu, AMD 3500+, http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?104969
40  2gb, http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?108004
16  2gb flash drive, replaces hdd, http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?105680
80  uATX case, http://procase.co.nz/pc/cs5118.htm
50  usb DVB-T + remote, http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Other/auction-203603664.htm
----
$476


As a backup if the 8200 does not work
75  8400gs, http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?106993
135  MB ,http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?108537

Cases are a very personal choice.
That one was chosen for best potential airflow.
Others that may be ok.
http://procase.co.nz/pc/pccases_00.htm#matx
From experience the psu is good quality and quite.

Is the 8200 enough GPU for the job?
Last test say no.
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=84&topicid=24361
But that was 6 mths ago, maybe drivers have improved.
I might borrow one to try when time permitts.

Will the cheap usb tuner work? Is it sensitive enough?
It should do from reading about other cheap tuners.
As for sensivity, don't expect too muh for the price.
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=25011

Potential power issue with usb sticks
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=26530


Good tips re making everything fit in a small case
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=25528&page_no=2

General low cost HTPC thread
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=21622

Once windows is install ontot he flash drive, you would use a write filter system to extend it's life and speed up the system.


Best case sceneairo for this box? XP/Media portal combo
-Recieves Freeview DVB-T HD and displays with no stutter
-Displays EIT EPG, Now/Next (maybe full day). If internet connection available then full epg via XML.
-Low noise as is.
-Expandable as user's budget permitts. PVR is already supported, just add more storage.
-HD via Component, with suitable DVI cable
-More flexible than and STB, play sll those crazy youtube videos you downloaded.
Cons
-No MHEG5 EPG
-More power required than a STB
-No antenna passthrough


Potential problems, unknowns.
-Is the 8200 enough? Price does not matter but we may loose some features with a discrete video card.
-Will the cheap tuner work?
-How limited is the remote? Standard MCE or it's own program only.
-How long will it run for without a reboot?

My parents are looking at a new TV so might get a chance to try this build out for them.

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1006 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 196490 18-Feb-2009 13:10
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So you already have an OS? dont need to buy one? And what OS will you be installing on a 2GB flash drive?

Where will recordings/media/live tv be written to/stored?

8200 may do the trick, not too sure about that myself. I know people have used 8400 with no probs though.

Also costs of cables, keyboard/mouse? (if needed)


Might be pushing it for <$500 but looks like it might be possible. Maybe some second hand but newish parts off trademe might help?




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre

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  Reply # 196492 18-Feb-2009 13:19
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No HDD is a mistake imo half the benefit of having a htpc is time shifting and recording things.  A 640 GB Western Digital is only around $120.



116 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 196504 18-Feb-2009 13:57
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OS, always a sticky question.
If my Linux skills were better we could just make an image for people to use.

In this case the price is based on the user having their own XP to use.
Win 7 might work too.

Cables, KB?
Once setup all you need is the remote and reset button.
$20 max for a HDMI or DVI>Component or VGA
Power cable comes with the case.

A small buffer could be done with a ramdrive.
Live TV should not need that much if any space.
Mediaportal can be installed with time shifting disabled.
No recording space as it is competing with STBs at this price.


HDD, yes that is true, but the aim of this particular price point was to match the existing STBs.
There are a number of things that could be better, but every little bit adds up.
Dual tuners, Hdd, DVD etc
You could always store across the network.
But if you have a NAS you probably would not be looking at such a budget system.


I guess the target audience is a tricky one.
People looking for STBs don't want to mess around putting their own system together.
And may be prepared to pay $800 for a TVIX
If someone built these they could not easily sell it to compete with existing solutions. MyPVR?
So someone that wants Freeview HD but are dismayed with current options for s STB.
Are not afraid to try buikding their own.
If there was a suitable step by step with pictures from unpacking to connecting it up, I think most people would be able to get one going.


The last time I looked at making a budget system.
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=83&TopicId=30062
This time I pulled no punches in cutting the fat :)

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  Reply # 196507 18-Feb-2009 14:13
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Ok a couple of issues

1. You MB, 8200 based, http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?108255 - only allows 256MB of ram to be allocated to video, you should try for 512MB

2. You didn't include an OS in the price which will push things over $600

3. Storage - If you are going to go this far record stuff

4. Dual tuner - If you are going to record you will want >1 tuners

1+2 are needed, 3+4 are nice to have.

Steve




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.



116 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 196618 18-Feb-2009 23:10
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Thanks for your input Steve.

1. Is there any reason to go above 256mb?
As that is sufficient for HD resolution and a little more.

2. $180, XP Home
http://qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?102424
476+180= $656
Remember piracy is wrong, even against ms.

3. I would agree with you there.
But where do you stop. :)
If I knew the state of HD freeview support, HTPC and STBs
I would have just gotten a MyPVR and be done with it.
But believed the sales pitch and started with the ET.

4. I have gotten away so far with the hvr1700, but there is a programming conflict on one of the days.
Will upgrade to the 2200 when they come back into stock at playtech.

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  Reply # 196623 18-Feb-2009 23:33
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MrWestie: Thanks for your input Steve.

1. Is there any reason to go above 256mb?
As that is sufficient for HD resolution and a little more.


I need to confirm but I thought that PureVideo/VDPAU needed 512MB for 1080i/1080p H.264 and VC1 to work all the time.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.



116 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 196671 19-Feb-2009 10:40
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Good point.
I think I found it.

http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:RNg3ZvkoBzEJ:www.nvidia.com/page/pg_20070413810098.html+PureVideo+memory+required&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=nz&client=firefox-a

Extract:--

Q. What do I need to have the best experience playing Blu-ray or HD DVD movies on a PC?
To enjoy the ultimate HD DVD or Blu-ray experience on a PC, you’ll need:

  • PCI Express graphics card with secure HDCP CryptoROM and GeForce 7 Series HDCP-capable GPU with 256MB of graphics memory or GeForce 8 Series HDCP-capable GPU with 128MB of graphics memory

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  Reply # 196672 19-Feb-2009 10:42
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remember for freeview HD you'll need a series 8 Nividia or series 9, from around the 8500 or 9500 range to decode freeview HD via GPU rather than cpu.  Not sure about the ATI equivalent.




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


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