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Discussion Starter #321
All of the boards that support audio over HDMI are sending the digital stream. In some cases (Like the ALive series from ASROCK) there is a connector that can go from the SPDIF on the motherboard to a compliant HDMI equipped video card.

Regardless of how it is connected, if the motherboard and/or video card combination states that it supports audio over the HDMI connector, it is digital.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply Que3!
My question is basically simple...is it straightforward to now build a HTPC with only a HDMI cable going out (carrying both digital Audio and Video) to modern AVR system?

I will check HDMI video cards now looking for Digital Audio In capability. Hadn't realised that!
 

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Discussion Starter #323
Theoretically, yes, but there are unknown variables that are intoduced from the amp and the TV used and if they do or do not have issues with the HDMI signal that the HTPC is sending.

Unfortunately, the only way to really find out is to try. Worst case, you end up with an HDMI cable and a digital audio cable. Two cables might be twice as many as you were hoping for but that is still not very many.
 

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My HTPC

Hi everyone,

A while ago I was thinking about buying a HTPC see this post.

Fortunately for me I waited a bit and the 780G chipset came out :D

So I finally bought my HTPC (at least the bare minimum). Here's the list of the components:

  • Antec NSK2480 380W M-ATX Desktop Case (BLACK/SILVER)
  • Western Digital SE16 320GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ
  • OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-12 240PIN DIMM
  • Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H AMD 780G mATX AM2+ 1PCI-EX 2PCI SATA
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850E Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 2.5GHZ
  • Nmedia RF Wireless Vista Media Center Keyboard W/ Optical Trackball 10M
All this for only 460$ CDN Tax and shipping included.

Any comments are welcome!

Thanks to everyone for you help
 

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Very good choices megab - if you want to make it as quiet as possible you may want to replace the CPU fan with something like a Ninja mini and also replace the case fan(s) with Nexus or Scythe fan(s). The Antec power supplies are ok, but not extremely quiet - the leader there is now Enermax - I would suggest the Modu 82+ 485 or Pro 82+ 385. I now wish that I purchased the case that you got rather than my Silverstone case which was more expensive and has two small exhaust fans. I also bought a Gyration keyboard+mouse but they are rather expensive and I don't think it was worth it.
 

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jvincent: My first idea was to buy a Samsung SH-S203B DVD-R. But I decided to wait and see if price for blue-ray drive would drop down a bit. I'm also planning to add a tuner card for PVR functionality.


Wayne: Thanks for the tips! I'll see how everything works out of the box. But I’ll keep what you said in mind.
 

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The only thing with the Antec cases is the Silver face. I don't like the black drives in them. Silver face plate DVD can be found but I have only found one Blu ray drive which is the Lite ON Blu Ray Rom only. Which means I have a silver DVD RW and Silver Blu Ray. I have found no HD dvd drives in silver. I wanted the LG dual format but had to settle for the Lite On.

Maybe a concern for you maybe not.
 

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Q: I totally agree with you. I'd really prefer to have a silver drive. In fact this is one of the reasons I didn't buy a DVD or blue-ray drive yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #332
I am still out on whether I dislike the black drive in my NSK2400. It is FAR better looking than a beige drive and with the black on the rest of the case, it sorta blends. Sorta.

The case that we all need to be the most hyped up for is the upcoming Antec Fusion MAX.
 

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Discussion Starter #334
For a total media solution, the generally best choices are Windows Media center (In Vista and MCE 2005), SageTV and MythTV. Other choices include GBPVR, Beyond TV and Mediaportal.

My personal opinion from using SageTV, MythTV, Media Center and Beyond TV is that SageTV offers the best overall solution that is also the only one that has compatability for Mac, Windows and Linux. It is also the only one that has a full lineup of media extender devices so you do not have to install a full PC at each TV.

SageTV is what I use in my house. It is installed as 1 server and 2 client PCs. I use Microsoft Media Center remotes at all PCs to maintain a homogeneous user experience. Nearly 2 TB of media content is managed by the Sage server.
 

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I should note that Beyond TV is not a media solution but a TV/PVR only solution.
Not really true. Beyond TV is only a PVR solution but Snapstream does also sell Beyond Media.

There has been a lot of complaints about this and I think when BTV5 gets released it will be a AIO solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #337
Q said:
Not really true. Beyond TV is only a PVR solution but SnapStream does also sell Beyond Media.
Hence exactly why Beyond TV is NOT a Media solution. Beyond Media is a totally separate product that is nearly an abandoned child of SnapStream. It has been without major updates and improvements for a very long time.

The question was not "What combination of software creates a Media Center Software". The two products from SnapStream don not, on their own, constitute a Media Center Solution. And although the media content other than TV is very important, TV is very typically the more important and sought after. Hence why I only mentioned Beyond TV and pointed out its flaw.
 

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Megab,
I see the CPU you chose is 45W. Will you be able to make the PC fanless? I was picking parts for an HTPC last fall and liked the thought of the AMD BE-2350. I read several articles that it wouldn't need a fan though I couldn't get a clear indication how it would handle 1080i using onboard GF630 or ATI690g graphics. It seemed to be boarder line but the extra horsepower in the CPU you suggest should do the trick if no fan is needed.
 

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random: The pc is not fanless. I kept all the stock fan and it's very quiet as it is. I can watch a movie wihout noticing the pc is running. It runs always under 40C .
 
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