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Thread: Media Centre PC

  1. #1
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    • Firejack's system
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    Question Media Centre PC

    I've been looking around at buying a DVD Player/Recorder for my Sony widescreen TV to replace the VCR.
    Prices are a lot higher then I expected. For a DVD Recorder with an internal hard disk can cost £400. Now my thinking is for that sort of money I could build a SFF PC with all the bits I need to do that same job and have the convience of being able to plug the PC into my home network for internet access.

    Looking around my bet option appears to be either a Shuttle Barebone system or MSI Mega PC. I'm new to these SFF PC's and could do with some guidence.

    Requirements
    DVD Playback
    TV recording to HDD
    Wireless network adaptor
    Remote control
    Stylish design in either black or silver

    Questions
    How exactly do I connect the SFF PC to the TV and do I need a TFT monitor also?
    How about sound... do I just use a digital connection from the back of the SFF PC straight into the TV?

    What hardware would you recommend
    TV card (ATI 9200 AIW enough?)
    Amount of memory
    Speed of processor

    Please bare in mind this computer will solely be used for watching/recording TV/Audio and some web browsing. I already have a powerful machine for video editing and gaming.

  2. #2
    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
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    I can answer the connection problems ... SVideo is the usual method, allways get an ATi card for this sort of application as you can force most of them (because they use the Chrontel chip) into native DVD (and TV) resolution which obviously gives better quality results ... you can do it with PowerStrip. You won't need a TFT.

    Audio, if you have a decoder then digital is probably the best. Otherwise take it via analogue to preferably a hifi but if you don't have one then you can obviously use a SVid/Phono to scart cable and feed it into a spare scart cable ... probably the easyest.


    Bear in mind a TV Card will never be as good a quality as a standalone recorder ... this is due to the nature of how they capture the image.

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  3. #3
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    • Firejack's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus PRIME X470-Pro
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
      • Memory:
      • TG Dark Pro "8pack Edition"
      • Storage:
      • Crucial 250GB SSD, Sandisk 128GB SSD, Samsung 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire RX VEGA 56 8GB Pulse
      • PSU:
      • SeaSonic Focus Plus 650 Gold
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define S
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2719DGF
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 2
    How much of a quality difference as we talking? Is it noticable? I'm not going to be archiving what I record. Just TV shows I miss like Frasier and the Football.
    I imagine the quality will be of at least VCR quality. Am I wrong in this?

  4. #4
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    If reviews are anything to go by, then Shuttle's Zen might be what you're looking for:

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/news346.html

    http://www.systems.pimprig.com/barebones/shuttle_xpc_zen_(st62k).php

    Don't know if it's selling where you are, but Gemma is showing them available — http://commerce.uk.sage.com/GEMMA/
    70 hours a week is not enough

  5. #5
    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
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    Well as far as normal TV goes then I suppose there isn't a great difference, although if you want to read any text below about 12pt then your gonna need to use SVid or better.

    I've heard good things about that Zen thing, not too bothered myself.

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  6. #6
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    • Firejack's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus PRIME X470-Pro
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
      • Memory:
      • TG Dark Pro "8pack Edition"
      • Storage:
      • Crucial 250GB SSD, Sandisk 128GB SSD, Samsung 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire RX VEGA 56 8GB Pulse
      • PSU:
      • SeaSonic Focus Plus 650 Gold
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define S
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2719DGF
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 2
    I didn't know there was another choice but S-Video. What other options are there?

  7. #7
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    Dont know if I should be pimping this but my m8 is selling an MSI Mega PC which will o all of what you wnat plus FM Radio and CD playing while the actual PC is switched off....
    He is wanting in the region of £360.....
    If u email ma at : paul@marss.freeserve.co.uk or MSn at fragdor@hotmail.com I can introduce you....

    If its against any rules for me to be doing this then I apologise and will rmeove my post...

    Mars

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    • Firejack's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus PRIME X470-Pro
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
      • Memory:
      • TG Dark Pro "8pack Edition"
      • Storage:
      • Crucial 250GB SSD, Sandisk 128GB SSD, Samsung 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire RX VEGA 56 8GB Pulse
      • PSU:
      • SeaSonic Focus Plus 650 Gold
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define S
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2719DGF
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 2
    Thanks for the offer but no thanks. I've build up my entire network by myself. Building the systems is half the enjoyment from buying such items

  9. #9
    Spodes Henchman unrealrocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firejack
    I didn't know there was another choice but S-Video. What other options are there?
    You can use convertors from VGA, and I've seen DVD Hardware cards with component out ... these are expensive and not allways worth it. I was just saying there are other options. I should have really said - use SVideo as RGB not composite (all the pins, not just a convertor that uses a phono connector).

    G4 PowerMac - Tiger 10.4 - 512MB RAM
    MacBook - 2Ghz - 1GB RAM - 120GB HDD

    Rotel RC970BX | DBX DriveRack |2x Rotel RB850
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  10. #10
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    NP's !!

    Good luck !! I loved switching to my Shuttle !

    Mars

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