Budget HTPC

Discussion in 'Home Theatre Computing' started by goodall, Oct 19, 2007.

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  1. goodall

    goodall Regular Kustomer

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    hey guys, looking to build a cheap HTPC for my bedroom to hook up to my old skool 48" sony rear projection monster. i dont really know much about the htpc scene, and was hoping for some recomendations on what to purchase for this budget system,

    • Dont care about what it looks like, so a cheap case will suffice
    • needs to bea able to play pretty much all major AV file types (avi, mkv, ogm etc..)
    • be able to watch live TV (maybe even freeview)
    • smallish HDD for my MP3's
    • cheap/free software to run on it, without too much to configure
     
  2. nicky munchkin

    nicky munchkin Nick is not responding...

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  3. goodall

    goodall Regular Kustomer

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    so how does this sound so far?

    *Intel Celeron D 352 3.2GHz
    *512-1024MB kingston DDRII RAM
    *Hauppauge WinTV NovaT MCE
    *160GB Hitachi deskstar HDD

    Still need to choose a cheap dvd burner, a motherboard, a graphics card (must be able to hook up to my tv) and a cheapo case. also any ideas on the sfotware i should run with it?
     
  4. nicky munchkin

    nicky munchkin Nick is not responding...

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    Only if you want a home sauna :)

    Get a E2140, there the latest line of Intels Core 2 Duo processors, there about £40, and they overclock to buggery. And they'll kick that celeron in the teeth.
     
  5. goodall

    goodall Regular Kustomer

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    The E2140 sounds good, although wouldn't overclocking it still result in home sauna?
     
  6. nicky munchkin

    nicky munchkin Nick is not responding...

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    Yeah, you don't have to overclock, but they do it well :) Should run much cooler and faster than that celeron too.
     
  7. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk Super Kustomer

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    Do you have any old components lying around?? Do you have any copies of Windows lying around??

    If you don't have a copy of Windows and don't want to pay for one then perhaps look at MythTv might be a bit of a learning curve to get setup but is free....

    Also what inputs does your Sony monster have ?? You may be dissapointed with the picture if you can only use S-Video or composite connections...
     
  8. goodall

    goodall Regular Kustomer

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    no spare components unfortunately, they are all in my current budget rig, should have a copy of xp somewhere, tv has plenty of s-video, scart, and composite scart connectors.
     
  9. saltynay

    saltynay Eats, Drinks, Sleeps Kustom

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    they are just about to update the celerons ;)
     
  10. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk Super Kustomer

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    You are spoilt for choice really. I quick google will turn up
    Meedio (my personal favourite but now officially dead and no good for PVR type stuff)
    MediaPortal. Open-source MCE equivalenet
    Xlobby
    SageTV
    Snapstream
    MCE (this would cost you though)
    Probably a million and one others now (been a little while since I last looked)

    I had my old HTPC connected via S-Video and the picture quality is well pants. You may be slightly disappointed with this aspect. May be worth doing some searching for ATI cards to RGB scart. There is a dodgy hack with some radeon 9xxx cards which allows you to get an RGB signal out but you may struggle to get hold of one of these cards now
     
  11. goodall

    goodall Regular Kustomer

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    could take the 9800 pro out of my current rig, since i don't really need it (don't game much on my pc, only the occasional game of doom) would just need to find a passive heatsink for it.