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View Full Version : media center PC, build? or buy?



robsonde
26-01-2010, 07:52 PM
I now have a 50-inch TV.

if I want a media centre PC, HD playback, no recording needed...


should I build my own?

can I buy?
from where?

Speedy Gonzales
26-01-2010, 07:53 PM
Probably be cheaper building one

robsonde
26-01-2010, 08:11 PM
It's been many years since i last built a system..

getting very out of touch with the hardware reviews...
where do people go for hardware info?
is tom's hardware still good?

big questions are:
where do i get a case that looks good in a TV cabinet?
is there a video card with HDMI output?
should i look at water cooling? (to reduce noise)


all the questions about CPU/RAM/MB should be easy.

Speedy Gonzales
26-01-2010, 08:24 PM
There's lots of cards with HDMI. Which also inc VGA and DVI. I've got 2 here (the ATI HD 4350 and 4550). Both have DVI/VGA, and HDMI on them. Not the best cards around, but they work with the monitor here, which has HDMI, and both work with the DVB-T tuner

Depends what you want. ATI or Nvidia. Some cards that have HDMI onboard, you just connect it to something with HDMI on it, and its all go. But there are others, that need a SPDIF connection (on the mobo), for the sound to work (you have to connect the cable to the SPDIF header inside the case). Actually I think I'll build another media PC, once I get another mobo

plod
26-01-2010, 09:25 PM
If your not recording, you might be better off with what chill got or ps3 or similar

robsonde
26-01-2010, 09:34 PM
If your not recording, you might be better off with what chill got or ps3 or similar

can a PS3 play divix from a samba share on the network?

nofam
26-01-2010, 09:37 PM
Yup - just like Plod said, set up a NAS box away from your TV room, get a WD TV Live like Chill has, and stream everything to it, either over your LAN (if you have one) or wirelessly.

There's no way you could build an HTPC that plays 1080p silently for $250, and you can re-purpose an old P4 box as a NAS device for nothing. If it were me I'd actually spend a little on the storage and get a 1TB NAS box with RAID 1 and a gigabit NIC.

:2cents:

plod
26-01-2010, 09:48 PM
can a PS3 play divix from a samba share on the network?
samba, not sure. divix yes. PS3 uses Upnp I think.
The point was unless your recording, htpc is overkill.
Another one to look at will be the boxee box being released shortly.

psycik
27-01-2010, 05:38 AM
I now have a 50-inch TV.

if I want a media centre PC, HD playback, no recording needed...


should I build my own?

can I buy?
from where?

What are you wanting to play? The WD TV and WD TV Live are good options, the Egreat, and one o fthe popcorn hour machines (popcornhour.com)

They probably work out a little cheaper than buidling a machine, but their downside is you don't have 100% control over them like you do a pc (codecs, formats etc). But in any event their range of formats is pretty large.

Chilling_Silence
27-01-2010, 05:58 AM
Definitely the WDTV Live: http://chillingsilence.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/my-thoughts-on-the-wdtv-live/

Didn't quite realize the fan club I (or my blog) had ;)

nofam
27-01-2010, 08:08 AM
Definitely the WDTV Live: http://chillingsilence.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/my-thoughts-on-the-wdtv-live/

Didn't quite realize the fan club I (or my blog) had ;)

Never under-estimate how important concise, well-written, local tech information is to people in New Zealand.

:thumbs: