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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of building a HTPC. I've read the forums and am more confused than ever. What I'd like to do is watch and record TV with the HTPC, listen to music, and watch my movies and photos on the TV. I would like to us Skype on the TV if possible as well. I currently have a Bell 6100 and usually only watch HD tv. I live in Kingston, so I 'm not sure on the availability of OTA HD channels. I would like to have this connected to the internet as well.
I also have basic cable available near the TV but it's not connected. What are my options to build a system that will allow me to record TV as well as the other needs.
Thanks
 

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yes I did read that forum thread. It appears that there are some HD channels from Watertown and possibly Syracuse. Is there a way to capture satellite to the HD of a HTPC. Also, has anyone tried using Skype with their system or does the software interface not allow it
 

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You can use the Hauppauge HD-1212 HD-DVR device or the Avermdia equivalent.

Personally, I would upgrade to a 6141 receiver, and just plug an HDD into that and use its DVR features.

I see no reason youwon't be able to use Skype on an HTPC. I might not look pretty though.
 

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The easiest way is just to buy Mac Mini. The new Mac Mini comes with HDMI out put, and digital audio output also. You may connect it with your receiver and enjoy TV, movies, photos, music, etc.

There is one software called EYETV for MAC to watch and record OTA HDTV programs. It's much easier to use compared with MCE in Windows, especially if you are in Canada.

If you want to build your own HTPC, you may choose Intel i3 CPU and MB, DDR3 RAMS. And most important thing is to have ATI 5000 video card. If you don't play games, 5450 is enough, and cheap. The HDMI port on 5000 series card can output DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Master audios. Hardware accelerator is another benefit if you use correct software to playback. However, this Windows based computer will be much larger than Mac Mini for your living room.
 

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installing a mac is the quickest way to get something done half way

build a linux box, or win7 if you want a proper HTPC
 

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Forget about building or buying an HTPC. It will never meet all of your needs. And frankly, I don't think you'd enjoy fiddling with the hardware and software to make it work. Instead,
  • Upgrade to a Bell PVR to record and watch HD TV
  • Buy the smallest, quietest computer you can find to hook up to your TV. Use it exclusively for music, photos, Web, Skype.

The Acer R3610 Revo or Mac Mini are good choices.
 

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We love Win7 media centre in the bedroom. I also have one hooked up to the TV downstairs with a Blu-ray HD DVD combo drive with PowerDVD that integrates in the Media Centre strip. We watch movies downstairs and record and watch TV upstairs. I am only doing Analogue cable hooked directly the Win7 box so no HD or HD PVR in the bed room but no set top box to deal with either. I use a Logitech diNovo Mini keyboard as the remote upstairs and a Harmony downstairs. I have a USB IR pickup hooked up downstairs so the harmony works with media center, the diNovo Mini is blue tooth.

I am hoping to purchase a new Windows Home Server to tie it all together once the new one comes out.

There can be lots of tinkering with a HTPC to say the least. Oh and both HTPCs have HD2400 and a HD2600 Pro. You don't need a 5000 series for HD quality TV. The HD2600 Pro works fine with Blu-ray.
 

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some people need to remember that a HTPC isn't just for recording TV

it's for playing back all of your media

why buy a PVR that ties you to a specific service provider?

building your own is a much more versatile solution
 
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