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Thread: Small HTPC Help Needed.

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Question Small HTPC Help Needed.

    I am new to the world of computers,my great grandson got me interested,so no complicated is him who said you lads would sort me out,so here go's.
    I want to build a small computer just to record from the television and then copy to dvd disc,and also transfer video from video tape in the VCR,the computer will not be used for gaming.
    Also how would i conect it to my television?.and as it will only be used for the above ,will i need a keyboard and mouse or is there another way of controling it ?
    Can someone help me out and advise on what hardware to use?
    and anyother thing that i should no before tackling the above?.
    I also have a digital freeview set top box,can it be conected in to a set up as above ?.or would i have to change this ?.
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by OLDBOY; 05-01-2004 at 09:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Hi there, welcome to the forums!

    By the sounds of it you will want a lowish end shuttle. They can be boguht from all sorts of online stores and something like a Shuttle SN45G which will be around £150.

    This is the basis to which you need to add a processor and with this box it has to be an AMD, I would have thought an AMD Throughbred 2200 XP would be enough.

    RAM wise, 512Mb of DDR ram would be plenty, Twinmos do a dual channel kit (which is two separate 256MB sticks, then when put in the two slots in the shuttle enable it to run faster than if there was just one 512Mb stick) which can be had for about £55.

    You'll want a big hard drive if you want to use it to record and store TV. A 120Gb would do, the Samsung SP1213N 120GB 8MB Cache is fast and quiet and about £70.

    For burning DVDs the Pioneer DVR-106 4x DVD±RW is very good value at about £90 and you can use pretty much any media with it.

    Now graphics and TV cards are where it can get a bit complicated and pricey! I would personally go for one of ATI's All in Wonder Cards as they are a good all in one solution as they are both graphics cards and TV tuners and have good software to act as TV recoreders so you can pause live TV like with Sky Plus. And they come with a remote so you wouldn't need a keyboard and mouse to control it (though I think you would need one attached otherwise it may not boot, I'll get back to you on that!) and being a radio rather than infra red remote you don't need a direct line of sight to the receiver. A really good card to get is the Hercules ATI All-in-Wonder 9800SE, though at £160 it might be a bit expensive, but I'm not sure what the AIW 9000 (the lower version) is like and they aren't much cheaper (about £50 cheaper). Oh and it comes with a breakout box so you can connect your TV etc. up to it.

    Hope this helps.

    The Last Man Standing Stands Tallest

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    0 times in 0 posts
    I'd take a look at the Hauppauge digital freeview capture cards :

    That way you should be able to record a channel on the PC and watch a different one of the TV using your exsisting freeview. (As far as a I know anyway - you might want to check up with Hauppauge )

    Might not be the cheapest method but it is designed for what you are trying to do so should be simple to setup.

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