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Thread: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

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    Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    Hi, its been a while and I'm out of touch with the latest hardware so need some advice or even if someone has the time to put together a build for a home theatre PC, or at least something that will work as a media centre.

    The requirements are:
    The budget is £550
    It needs to be small if possible and have a ok looking case (a shuttle is perfect but not sure which one!)
    Needs a BR player and be able to play HD media from the HDD
    Needs an optical out to plug into an amp
    Doesn't need multiple drives, I have a back solution already so no need to raid it up.
    I already have two spare 8800GT's so it doesn't need onboard video or a video card
    I have a spare Vista 64 Home premium edition so doesn't need an OS.

    Thanks!

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    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    I don't know/ think Blu-Rays will let you play the surround soundtracks over optical out as they aren't HDCP.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    I don't know/ think Blu-Rays will let you play the surround soundtracks over optical out as they aren't HDCP.
    If you just use AnyDVD HD you won't have to worry about HDCP.

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    SiM
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    Re: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    You can play surround sound over optical regardless of HDCP... but you still won't get HD audio, it will be downmixed to plain DD or DTS 5.1

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    Re: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    Did some builds for the OP

    mATX from scan



    Shuttle from ebuyer




    This doesn't have Optical out, but you can add a sound card of your choice.

    Mini-ITX from CCL Online



    + this This blu-ray drive.

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    Re: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    Just to let you know that my 8800gt wont decode vc1 (which is almost all of my bd collection) outside of powerdvd or tmt3, it uses the cpu instead, I think because the older chips dont have that ability (VP1???), not sure if the current 8800gt's use a different chip which supports vp2/3.

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    Re: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    Thanks for the replies and the builds.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: Home theatre PC on the cheap.

    I would just use an X4 630 with a cheap 780G/785G board.

    The integrated graphics is good enough for blu-ray and the X4 gives you more raw power than the i3, in case you need software based decoding.

    Using a 8800GT is just wasting electricity. The 8800GT in idle use at least 20W more than the integrated graphics.

    My HTPC use 49W idle, 85W with x264 encoding @ 90% CPU and 99W with Prime95.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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