Help me Build New HTPC (Post here to discuss plans for new HTPC) - Page 3 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #31 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-30, 01:26 PM
Q
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A third option I am looking at is bang for buck first timer setup. No gaming. Just watching movies, recording from satellite etc.

Looking at around $500

Need some pro's and con's

mobo: asus M2A-VM (HDMI) $94
CPU: Athlon 64X2 3800 + (65W) $94
Case: Antec NSK2400 $106
Ram: 2* 512mb or 2* 1G $<100

so need some pro's and con's. I know the mobo is limiting because of only 2 PCI slots. 1 is going to be taken by the hauppauge 150 right away. I am going to need to buy a HDTV OTA tuner as well which would take up the 2nd. Is there any other items that I am missing which I would require an additional PCI slot.

I haven't seen the case so need to look at but people here have recommended it.

As stated I will be using Beyond TV. Any other software I will need? A few people have recommended ThetherTek but its $60 or so. Wouldn't there be sometype of player with my mobo?

If I buy a Xbox HD drive is it just plug and play?

Thanks in advance for any advise, suggestions etc.

Joe
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post #32 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 11:42 AM
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One negative of using the HDMI card is that it goes into the only PCI-E x16 slot.
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post #33 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 11:48 AM
 
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My build is complete...for now

My HTPC (stage 1) is done but it's been a bit harder than I expected.

Here's a couple of things you should investigate/understand upfront:

1. Video (overscan/underscan) - If you're using onboard video you can't compensate for overscan/underscan with Powerstrip - it's not supported. nVidia 8-series cards are not yet supported either. I'm running 1280x720 on my Sony 42A10 RP LCD and in Windows XP MCE I can't see approx 5% all around the desktop. I've temporarily mitigated this by increasing the Taskbar height and making my browser window smaller than maximized.

Solution: I might buy the ATI HD 2400 card when released

2. Motherboard - updating bios when you don't have a floppy drive is a pain in the rear.

Sony KFE42A10 - Pioneer VSX-919 Receiver - Hi-Def HTPC (Blu-ray & HD DVD combo drive) - Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray player
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post #34 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 11:50 AM
 
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My TV is 720p and I've downloaded lots of 720p movie trailers. They all run flawlessly using the 690g board and onboard x1250 video. CPU usage is approx. 5%.

Sony KFE42A10 - Pioneer VSX-919 Receiver - Hi-Def HTPC (Blu-ray & HD DVD combo drive) - Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray player
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post #35 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
One negative of using the HDMI card is that it goes into the only PCI-E x16 slot.
On the Biostar board this doesn't happen. However, if you wanted the PCI-E slot for a video card, chances are you don't need the onboard HDMI, right? Can you remove it from the board?

Sony KFE42A10 - Pioneer VSX-919 Receiver - Hi-Def HTPC (Blu-ray & HD DVD combo drive) - Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray player
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post #36 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 01:29 PM
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TurboTropic,

So the X1250 onboard video does not allow to change the settings for overscan/underscan?

Ya I think that board requires you to have a certain version before using the EZflash method. pain with floppy for sure.........after you find one.

What you say makes sense about putting in a video card however the HDMI module also includes the SPDIF out. So you would have to find one with HDMI/ DVI and SPDIF.

I have to decide if I am going the $500 or $1000 route. Right now I am favouring the $500 route to get my feet wet and make a new one in 2 or so years after learning more about them.

Joe
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post #37 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 02:08 PM
 
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Q,

No, the Catalyst Control Centre isn't flexible enough to control the resolution on the x1250 to account for the over/underscan ON MY TV. My TV thinks it knows best so I need to do some funky stuff with powerstrip.

Can you relocate the SPDIF or get an external bracket?

Sony KFE42A10 - Pioneer VSX-919 Receiver - Hi-Def HTPC (Blu-ray & HD DVD combo drive) - Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray player
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post #38 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 02:38 PM
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nope. it is one of the things which they will proabably change in the future.

I did find a sapphire Video card which had SPDIF on it so that would solve that issue.

I am thinking (hoping) overscan / undersacan won't be a big enough issue to worry about though.

I am still reasearching a bit more but bang for buck these components look like they will do everything I want at a fairly low price.
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post #39 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 07:18 PM
 
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Quote:
One negative of using the HDMI card is that it goes into the only PCI-E x16 slot.
Most PCI-E video cards require an x16 slot. If that's a problem, get a motherboard that has 2 x16 slots.

Quote:
nVidia 8-series cards are not yet supported either.
nVidia drivers should support overscan compensation for HDTV. However, it's not the most obvious thing to find.

Quote:
I did find a sapphire Video card which had SPDIF
ATI digital audio is only supported by ATI software on my video card. That means it works with the ATI DVD player but nothing else. Kind of a waste IMHO. Newer audio cards (including onboard HD audio) often support audio pass through when used with video players that have software DD audio decoding. This is the way to go.
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post #40 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 09:02 PM
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So am I heading in the right direction for about $500? Any changes I should make? Any other recommendations?

Would I be better off with another mobo that has onboard HD audio and get separate video card?

I have read some reviews on the asus M2A-VM (HDMI) and they were pretty good reviews. $100 gets you a lot with it. Usually I am not a fan of AIO solutions and like getting separate items which are each good at what they do.
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post #41 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-05-31, 10:55 PM
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Found another board. This one is ATX so would need to switch cases. It also has HDMI and digital optical out without the use of the daughter card which is required on the asus board.

Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H 690G ATX
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post #42 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-06-02, 03:28 PM
 
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Sony KFE42A10 - Pioneer VSX-919 Receiver - Hi-Def HTPC (Blu-ray & HD DVD combo drive) - Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray player
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post #43 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-06-02, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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very nice dude. What is that little box with the blue lcd screen? I guess it works just like this one below

http://www.amazon.com/SMC-EZ-Stream-.../dp/B0001YXWIC

?
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post #44 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-06-02, 07:50 PM
 
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Very happy with my Biostar TF7050-M2 GF7050PC mATX mb so far.. HDMI out worked like a charm right off the bat and it plays 1080p VC1 and x264 downloads off the net at <40% with an AMD 4600+ x2. I installed the cheap chaintech card for optical out. Using an LCD 1080p display so I don't know about overscan issues. Will try plugging in the Xbox HDDVD drive sometime in the next week.

WD AAKS 500gb drive and Antec NSK2400 case are both very quiet.
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post #45 of 1073 (permalink) Old 2007-06-03, 11:46 AM
 
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Thanks jacksparrow. It's similar to the link you posted but the SMCWAA-G. Works great for streaming music from my upstairs PC over uPnP. I don"t want to have to turn the TV on to listen to my music collection.

I've solved the overscan/underscan issues now that I'm using HDMI instead of VGA. I managed to get 1:1 pixel mapping and the picture looks great. Highly recommend this mobo now that I've sorted out the problems I had.

Next up, I'm having a few problems with my wireless MS keyboard locking up occasionally. I'd like to remove the wired kb I have plugged in soon.

I'm running XP MCE and using TheaterTek via My Movies for my ripped DVD collection. Using Zoom Player for downloaded TV shows. Both are using ffdshow and make my DVDs look way better.

Sony KFE42A10 - Pioneer VSX-919 Receiver - Hi-Def HTPC (Blu-ray & HD DVD combo drive) - Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray player
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