Home Theater PC's (1 Viewer)

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Kevinw

Thread Starter
Just a regular guy
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 2, 2003
2,992
13
Jacksonville, FL
Who has one and what's your set up?
Mine is a Dell Inspiron 546s

AMD Athlon II X3 400E (2.2GHz, 1.5MB)
6 GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz (4 DIMMs)
640 GB SATA Hard Drive
16X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
MSI R4550-MD1GH Radeon HD 4550 1GB 64-bit GDDR3
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
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StevenD

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Nov 18, 2003
3,412
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Who has one and what's your set up?
Mine is a Dell Inspiron 546s

AMD Athlon II X3 400E (2.2GHz, 1.5MB)
6 GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz (4 DIMMs)
640 GB SATA Hard Drive
16X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
MSI R4550-MD1GH Radeon HD 4550 1GB 64-bit GDDR3
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit


I have an HP Z557 (that I paid over $2k for when it first came out) that's on its last leg. Ive put three power supplies and three video cards in it. Its a P4 and maxed out at 4GB RAM. However, it has no problem playing playing 1080p MKVs.

Its a beautiful case (with the display, RF keyboard, etc), so I have had a really hard time replacing it.

hp_z500_digital_entertainment_center.jpg



Im getting ready to build a new HTPC with an i3 processor (the best proc for a HTPC IMHO) and an nMediaPC 5000 case.

5000b3.jpg
 

lparsons21

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 17, 2009
9,775
7,827
Herrin, IL 62948
I currently have a Dell Hybrid for my HTPC, but honestly use it so little now that my Blu-Ray player gets all the internet streams I care about that I suspect I'll re-purpose it for something else. As more of these internet using BD players and TVs come out, I think the HTPC will slowly go away.
 

diogen

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 16, 2007
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I have had at least one for years...

The "in production" model atm is a Win7 AMD Phenom X2 (unlocked to X4 B55), 4GB RAM and 60GB OCZ SSD on a Gigabyte 785 board in an old Antec Aria case.
No optical drives, no hard drives inside - all backed up movies on 5 external 1-2TB drives. Two of them with Ethernet (WD World Edition).

Around November last year (when new MacMini's were introduced and the older models were selling for under CAN$400) I set one up for my parents (they are almost 90 and live in Germany). Upgraded RAM to 4GB and HD to 500GB/7200rpm and installed Win7 Ultimate on it (German, Russian, French language packs). It is connected to a 47" Sony LCD TV and the internet. I put movies on their Mini's hard drive from here (Canada) and they watch it there. Works very good.

Diogen.
 

lparsons21

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 17, 2009
9,775
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Herrin, IL 62948
Around November last year (when new MacMini's were introduced and the older models were selling for under CAN$400) I set one up for my parents (they are almost 90 and live in Germany). Upgraded RAM to 4GB and HD to 500GB/7200rpm and installed Win7 Ultimate on it (German, Russian, French language packs). It is connected to a 47" Sony LCD TV and the internet. I put movies on their Mini's hard drive from here (Canada) and they watch it there. Works very good.

Diogen.

I like that use! And it makes perfect sense.
 
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diogen

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 16, 2007
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with media players being as inexpensive as they are use a WDTV box and PS3 Slim instead...
The latest sub-$100 players capable of playing almost anything of video/audio did cut into the market controlled by HTPC for years.
But I believe it is still the best option as a HTPC companion...

The very nature of these players - silicon based - makes them very unresponsive to the changing marketplace.
And if you do the encoding yourself, you tend to use the best tools, and this often means not compatible video stream.

Also, there is hardly anything matching Win7 Media Center interface combine with Media Browser/MyMovies plugins...

Diogen.
 

SatinKzo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
83
Louisiana
I fully planned on using my spare core 2 duo and building a system just to play, but have not gotten around to it. I'm mainly looking for an extra DVR for myself when we use up the tivo HD's recording capacity. If my tivo's had a monthly fee, I'd have 2 HTPC's already, but we got a deal on 2 lifetime units, so until the day comes that I can't fix them to keep the lifetime status alive, it'll only be a hobby unless we really get into hulu or something else the tivo's can't offer.

I use my Azbox for media streaming off the NAS, so I'm not missing anything there.

While on the subject though, what OS is everyone using for their HTPC and what are the primary functions?

I planned on using win 7 media center for mainly dvr'ing tv shows.
 

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
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Newport News, VA
MY HTPC

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Most used software:
Arcsoft Total Media Theatre 3 Platinum
Slysoft AnyDVDHD
Slysoft Virtual clone drive.
Videoredo TV suite and Video redo plus
Tivodesktop plus
ClownBD
Imageburn
Dirt 2

G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core

1 - Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
1- Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

LG Black 6X Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive SATA Model GGW-H20L

HIS H577F1GDG Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Antec Silver Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Adesso 2.4Ghz wireless mini keyboard.

ASUS USB-BT21 USB 2.0 Mini Bluetooth Dongle

Cooler Master GeminII S Copper Base Aluminum Fins 5 Heatpipes CPU Cooler - (RR-CCH-PBU1-GP)

ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim PCI Sound Card

Microsoft xbox 360 wireless controller for windows

and I almost forgot a wireless msoft mouse that sits on top of one of my tivoHD units in the rack below the HTPC at perfect arm height to use in fornt of the 56" 1080p sammy DLP
 
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Kevinw

Thread Starter
Just a regular guy
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 2, 2003
2,992
13
Jacksonville, FL
Vurbano-
Very nice set up. I learned more about HTPC just googling your software.
My next add on is a BD burner and a wireless keyboard
 

SatinKzo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 22, 2004
6,232
83
Louisiana
nice list vurbano. Thanks for sharing, that's exactly what I was looking for when I asked what software everyone was running.

* I gotta ask though, does the processor at 125w TDP cause any issues with noise keeping it cool?
 
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hancox

Pub Member / UConnaholic
Supporting Founder
Nov 23, 2003
3,578
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Monroe, CT
nice list vurbano. Thanks for sharing, that's exactly what I was looking for when I asked what software everyone was running.

* I gotta ask though, does the processor at 125w TDP cause any issues with noise keeping it cool?

I noticed that, too. If building today, I would choose an i3, most likely, for exactly this reason.

Then again, there are multitude good AMD socket coolers, and AMD's are comparatively cheap.
 

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
nice list vurbano. Thanks for sharing, that's exactly what I was looking for when I asked what software everyone was running.

* I gotta ask though, does the processor at 125w TDP cause any issues with noise keeping it cool?
The only thiing I hear is the 5770 at boot up, I think it spins at max RPM first, then I hear nothing. My case fans are set to minimum RPM and the CPU cooler is recommended at AVS and is quiet. I followed a lot of the recommendations there.Guide to Building a HD HTPC - AVS Forum
 

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
I use these also quite a bit putting my BDs & HD DVD's on HDD along with the Hauppauge Videos...
Arcsoft Total Media Theatre
Slysoft AnyDVDHD
Videoredo TV suite and Video redo plus
ClownBD
Imageburn
Everyone complains that ANYDVDHD is expensive but you know what? Its invaluable and the only company I COMPLETELY trust. Plus free virtual drive? Thats a must for mounting and playing BD iso movies. And free ClownBD for making BD's? and a support thread in their forum? Slysoft is an absolute no brainer IMO.
 
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