looking for a quality HTPC, but lazy - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 2008-11-01, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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looking for a quality HTPC, but lazy

Hi there.. I'm too lazy to build it myself.. Though i have done so before and had many compatibility headaches etc.. so I'm looking to get a packaged deal..

Some places may throw it together for me, so even just selecting the individual parts is cool, (but i'd want some sort of confidence that there won't be compatibility issues)

So if folks could help me out, that would be great!

Anyway.. to start off, how about we use an Acer AM5621-E5601 with:
  • Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz)
  • 3GB RAM
  • 640 GB HDD
  • BD Writer/Reader
  • ATI Radeon HD3650 Video Card (512MB) - DVI Output
  • Vista Home Premium

It's specs look pretty good.. though i don't see 7.1 sound, nor component out. (do i care about 7.1 sound if i just want it to 'pass through' to my home sterio? - whats the best cound transfer to a home sterio?)

Comments on getting a cheaper package thrown together with great quality picture?

FYI, i have a 720p DLP projector which will be used.
My main goals are for the PC to act as DVD/blu ray player, 'pass through' sound to my home sterio, and to take a HD input from my sat receiver as well as my cable box.
It should also of course feed my projector - i think preferably using component (After doing a bunch of reading on the subtle differences between HDMI/DVI and Composite)...

Even the package above seems to lack a second HD input, as well as component output. (i could live with HDMI or DVI output though I suppose)

Anyway.. if anyone has a combination of PC parts that works well, let me know.. Or if you know of a prepackaged deal that fits all this at a good price..
Thanks!

Last edited by JohnnyCanuck; 2008-11-01 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Retail Link
bich_d is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 2008-11-01, 07:06 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,051
To make an HTPC capture hidef signal additional hardware is needed. Don't look for HD-in connectors on the parts in your list.
Make up your mind whether you want 7.1 or just 5.1; do you want lossless audio from BD disks; do you want bitstreaming; do you want 24Hz support.
Quote:
It's specs look pretty good..
How do you define good specs for an HTPC? Why do you need a BD burner? Why 3GB of RAM? Why did you pick a 3K ATI card?
You want an external video card that does BD playback with 8ch LPCM over HDMI/DVI, find a fanless 4350/4550 under $100...

If you are talking about a PC for HTPC duties ONLY and price does matter, there are very few options, none of the perfect:
-780/790 GX
-8200/8300 based NVidia
-G45
-9300/9400 based NVidia
All use onboard audio/video.

The 9400 at the moment is the closest to HTPC heaven.
granduncle is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 2008-11-07, 01:53 PM
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Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,331
If you want to record the HD from satellite or cable then your only option right now is to buy a Hauppauge HD-PVR and use it with compatible PVR software. I have one of these and use it with SageTV - note that Vista Media Center is very nice but it lacks support for HD from cable or satellite. You can hack it to get OTA HD as long as you don't install the TV pack upgrade.
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