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.




47 posts

Geek


Topic # 60490 26-Apr-2010 23:36
Send private message

I'm about to build my first HTPC and thought I'd get some tips first before buying all the components.

Requirements:

Play back all sorts of media
TV Tuner & PVR (freeview with epg)
HDMI - Video and Audio through one cable
DVD (and be able to copy my dvds onto the hard drive)
Minimal gaming... I've got the PS3 for that already (and for blu-ray)

I'd love to run this as a Mythbuntu setup, but from all the searching I've done I can't seem to find a motherboard that will play well with Linux also support both Audio and Video through the HDMI cable. I might just use windows 7 for ease of setup and hardware compatibility. Perhaps later I'll add on a video card that is better supported by Linux and experiment with that.

Components:

Case: Silverstone Grandia GD04B
Power supply: Corsair VX450W  (just added one of these to my current rig and like how quiet it is)
Motherboard: GA-MA785GM-US2H (from what I can tell, does both video and audio on the HDMI output)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240 2.8GHz (Should be enough for anything I'm running on it)
CPU Cooler: Scythe Big Shuriken (fits the case and the optical drive)
Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 64mb cache (have heard good things)
TV Tuner: Hauppauge HVR-2200 (have heard it's the best for Freeview)
DVD Drive: Not sure yet
Remote: Not sure yet
Mouse/Keyboard: Logitech Mediaboard Pro for PS3 (for both my PS3 and the HTPC)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Am I forgetting anything? Will this setup work well for the listed requirements?

Thanks!

Create new topic
481 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 324603 29-Apr-2010 11:03
Send private message

It looks like that build should meet your requirements. You may want to consider a second disk so that TV recordings aren't on the same drive as the OS. If you might be recording multiple HD streams simultaneously, and watching a previously recorded HD stream at the same time the disk throughput is quite high and it provides some marginal help to put the OS on a different disk.

1006 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 29


  Reply # 324650 29-Apr-2010 12:22
Send private message

+1 for separate drives.

I have my OS on a 320GB 2.5" drive (sooo quiet), and a separate 500gb 3.5" drive for recording tv which is enough unless you're a major hoarder. MCE buddy is a good idea too as it will convert your wtv files into x.264 automatically saving you tonnes of space. I also have 3x 1.5TB HDDs in there for my media collection.

Also, will your onboard graphics be enough for freeview HD decoding and your "minimal gaming"? Probably but worth checking twice. You can always add in a passively cooled graphics card if needed.




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

 
 
 
 


Try Wrike: fast, easy, and efficient project collaboration software
597 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 36


  Reply # 324850 29-Apr-2010 17:24
Send private message

ryanja: I'm about to build my first HTPC and thought I'd get some tips first before buying all the components.

Requirements:

Play back all sorts of media
TV Tuner & PVR (freeview with epg)
HDMI - Video and Audio through one cable
DVD (and be able to copy my dvds onto the hard drive)
Minimal gaming... I've got the PS3 for that already (and for blu-ray)

I'd love to run this as a Mythbuntu setup, but from all the searching I've done I can't seem to find a motherboard that will play well with Linux also support both Audio and Video through the HDMI cable. I might just use windows 7 for ease of setup and hardware compatibility. Perhaps later I'll add on a video card that is better supported by Linux and experiment with that.

Components:

Case: Silverstone Grandia GD04B
Power supply: Corsair VX450W  (just added one of these to my current rig and like how quiet it is)
Motherboard: GA-MA785GM-US2H (from what I can tell, does both video and audio on the HDMI output)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240 2.8GHz (Should be enough for anything I'm running on it)
CPU Cooler: Scythe Big Shuriken (fits the case and the optical drive)
Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 64mb cache (have heard good things)
TV Tuner: Hauppauge HVR-2200 (have heard it's the best for Freeview)
DVD Drive: Not sure yet
Remote: Not sure yet
Mouse/Keyboard: Logitech Mediaboard Pro for PS3 (for both my PS3 and the HTPC)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Am I forgetting anything? Will this setup work well for the listed requirements?

Thanks!


If your going to use Linux then you will want an Nvidia video card, ATI support under Linux is arse.

I've heard murmors over on the XBMC forums that Intel intergrated graphics are now supported and work fine but havent had the time to fully investigate this. So you might be better off get a i3 instead of an AMD cpu.



47 posts

Geek


Reply # 325421 30-Apr-2010 19:52
Send private message

Asmodeus: +1 for separate drives.

I have my OS on a 320GB 2.5" drive (sooo quiet), and a separate 500gb 3.5" drive for recording tv which is enough unless you're a major hoarder. MCE buddy is a good idea too as it will convert your wtv files into x.264 automatically saving you tonnes of space. I also have 3x 1.5TB HDDs in there for my media collection.

Also, will your onboard graphics be enough for freeview HD decoding and your "minimal gaming"? Probably but worth checking twice. You can always add in a passively cooled graphics card if needed.


I'd already considered getting a second drive just for the OS. Not just for sound reasons, but so that I could easily swap out the drive that has just the media. I'll probably start with 1tb for media and add another later if I need it.

How do I figure out if the onboard graphics is enough to decode freeview?



47 posts

Geek


  Reply # 325422 30-Apr-2010 19:54
Send private message

PANiCnz:

If your going to use Linux then you will want an Nvidia video card, ATI support under Linux is arse.

I've heard murmors over on the XBMC forums that Intel intergrated graphics are now supported and work fine but havent had the time to fully investigate this. So you might be better off get a i3 instead of an AMD cpu.


I've heard that Nvidia is laggin in the audio department, and not many cards support audio through HDMI. I'll have a look at the i3 boards instead to see if there is one there that will do what I need. I'd prefer AMD, but am not too hung up on it and will switch if I can find a board that works better for me.

Ryan

597 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 36


  Reply # 325515 1-May-2010 09:34
Send private message



I've heard that Nvidia is laggin in the audio department, and not many cards support audio through HDMI.

Ryan


You heard wrong. Both Nvidia intergrated chipsets and their discrete graphics cards have no issues with audio over HDMI. I've got an ASUS board with the 9300 chipset and it does audio fine.

All of the 9X00 series video cards (not chipsets) required a seperate cable to be run internally connecting the soundcard/chip to the video card, but this has since been fixed with the 2X0 and 3X0 series.

The only possible audio downside is that the Nvidia cards only support 7.1 LPCM and don't do true bitstreaming like the ATI cards. However it should be noted that the ATI intergrated chipsets dont support bitstreaming and only do 2.1 channels.

481 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 325529 1-May-2010 10:45
Send private message

ryanja: How do I figure out if the onboard graphics is enough to decode freeview?

My HTPC is based on the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H motherboard, and its onboard graphics handle Freeview|HD decoding just fine. Although I don't have any direct evidence, I suspect that means the more recent GA-MA785GM-US2H will be capable as well.

Of course you do need a H.264 codec that supports hardware acceleration. If you are using Windows 7 for the HTPC the native H.264 codec will do that.



47 posts

Geek


  Reply # 331735 19-May-2010 08:17
Send private message

Thanks to everyone who helped me spec out my new HTPC. I ended up with a system that was very similar to what I speced to begin with. I added on an Nvidia Geforce 240 for better graphics and Linux compatibility and upped the processor to a 250.

I've put the system together and installed Windows 7. Only a few problems so far:

1. The sound on the Nvidia (through HDMI) seems to cut out a lot. It also seems to have a delay when sending the sound to when the amplifier realizes that it should be playing something. Might be an issued with the amp, so I'll look into that.

2. Freeview reception isn't too good. Only get around 8 channels and there's a fair bit of choppiness. Is there anything I can do except from get a better antenna or shift my house to somewhere with a better view of Kaukau?

Thanks!

722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 331949 19-May-2010 18:11
Send private message

All the best with your build. Regarding the query on your possible receptions issues: you may be better sending that part across to the DVB forum, more people with knowledge on installation will sight it there.




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

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:





News »

Amazon launches the International Shopping Experience in the Amazon Shopping App
Posted 19-Apr-2018 08:38


Spark New Zealand and TVNZ to bring coverage of Rugby World Cup 2019
Posted 16-Apr-2018 06:55


How Google can seize Microsoft Office crown
Posted 14-Apr-2018 11:08


How back office transformation drives IRD efficiency
Posted 12-Apr-2018 21:15


iPod laws in a smartphone world: will we ever get copyright right?
Posted 12-Apr-2018 21:13


Lightbox service using big data and analytics to learn more about customers
Posted 9-Apr-2018 12:11


111 mobile caller location extended to iOS
Posted 6-Apr-2018 13:50


Huawei announces the HUAWEI P20 series
Posted 29-Mar-2018 11:41


Symantec Internet Security Threat Report shows increased endpoint technology risks
Posted 26-Mar-2018 18:29


Spark switches on long-range IoT network across New Zealand
Posted 26-Mar-2018 18:22


Stuff Pix enters streaming video market
Posted 21-Mar-2018 09:18


Windows no longer Microsoft’s main focus
Posted 13-Mar-2018 07:47


Why phone makers are obsessed with cameras
Posted 11-Mar-2018 12:25


New Zealand Adopts International Open Data Charter
Posted 3-Mar-2018 12:48


Shipments tumble as NZ phone upgrades slow
Posted 2-Mar-2018 11:48



Geekzone Live »

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



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.