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gino
February 23rd, 2011, 10:03 PM
Hi,
I would like to build a HTPC and I was wondering if anybody could provide some specs.
Requirements
* I would like to record programs automatically from my FIOS box (not sure how to interface to it) and from the internet
* I would like to play recorded stuff in my flat screen TV
* I can spend ... I would say no more than 800 dollars
* Easy interface (probably via remote control and a wireless keyboard)
* HD quality a must
* An HTPC case (not a regular computer case)

Any help greatly appreciated

Gino

fjgaude
February 23rd, 2011, 10:36 PM
So many ways to go! I recently built what one could call a HTPC using the Lian Li PC-Q11 box, a small little piece I have sitting on my desk. The whole affair cost about $800.

It uses a mini-iTX MB and there are several makers of such. I use the Intel built-in graphic processor for HD movies without issue. It's small and quiet, my main concerns. After much digging around I did what I did. The key to that small box is the 450W power supply from SilverStone, SST-ST45SF. Using a normal ATX power supply makes the PC-Q11 box a nightmare to work within.

Any questions?

gino
February 23rd, 2011, 11:31 PM
Thanks for sharing. The case you mention is a mini tower case, so I guess it does not fit my requirements. I guess to focus the specs maybe is better to have an initial spec point, I found the following web site http://mymediaexperience.com/guide-to-build-optimal-htpc-in-2010/

In short they recommend
- Case : Antec Fusion Remote Black HTPC Case
- Motherboard: Asus P7H55 Intel H55 LGA1156 microATX motherboard
- Power Supply: Corsair cx400w ATX power.
- CPU: Intel Core i3-530 2.93GHz LGA1156 processor
- Memory: Kingston valueram 4GB (2x2Gt) 1333MHz DDR3, CL9
- Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5″ 8.9ms SATA2 7200RPM 32MB
- Blue ray: Samsung SH-B083L/RSBP Blu-Ray Combo 8X Black Sata Retail

Now I did some digging and there are complaints about the case and I did not see a tuner TV card(??)
Also I still do not see how this would talk to my cable (FIOS) box or what is the interface to the HDTV
Any comments greatly appreciated

Gino

fjgaude
February 23rd, 2011, 11:54 PM
Well, Antec includes a remote control that takes care of setting the cable box. I assume the cable box controls the TV. The HDMI of the computer goes to the TV. Most modern flat-screen TVs handle the HDMI connection from computers. I'm not sure if the FIOS box you mention is the same as a Comcast cable box?

This box is much bigger than what I was looking for. But it might be what you are needing.

gino
February 24th, 2011, 12:06 AM
well...the FIOS box I mention is what Verizon offers as an alternative to cable, as I understand is Fiber Optic and presumably faster than cable but at the end of the day is just a coaxial into a box and from there to the TV. When you say the HDMI form the computer...which component from the list above has this output? and is there a way to check that all this hardware is compatible with Ubuntu? ( I mean are there drives?)
Finally the tv tunners card seem to take coaxial...not hdmi...so I am a bit confused
I know is a lot of questions... thanks in advance

fjgaude
February 24th, 2011, 01:13 AM
The H55 MB has the HDMI connector at the back of the board. A cable will run from there to the TV's backside.

A TV tuner takes in the channel and then the output will go to your TV set, or just to your computer monitor.

That FIOS box will likely be just like a Comcast setup box. You have to check to see if the remote control from the Antec case can handle FIOS.

I wish I had more direct experience with what you wish to do. Maybe someone else can fill-in any blanks.

cascade9
February 24th, 2011, 02:55 PM
You could probably save some cash by using AMD instead of intel.

I'd get an nVidia card for VDPAU as well, no matter if you go AMD or intel. Probably a GT430.

gino
February 24th, 2011, 10:53 PM
...so what would be the AMD equivalent of the
Intel Core i3-530 2.93GHz LGA1156 processor

cascade9
February 26th, 2011, 10:23 AM
Depends on what you mean by "AMD equivalent"