Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 16 of 17

Thread: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Hi there,

    I'm pretty much a newbie to HTPC's (Only started looking at these things today). The reason is that at the moment we are paying around 400-500 pounds for Sky TV per year. So I've been thinking about a PC which we can connect to the TV so we can watch our DVD's, BluRay's and shows from various online streaming services right on our TV instead of paying for lots of stuff we don't watch.

    Looking around, I quickly got lost in the world of HTPC's, so I turned to this forum. If anyone here can help me put together a HTPC I would really appreciate it. I've got everyone at home interested in an HTPC, but they want to know the exact details of how much it will cost and what we can do with it etc. So can you guys help me?

    I am looking for an HTPC which can play and do the following:

    * Region free BluRay's
    * Region free DVD's
    * Surfing the web
    * Watching online streams in browser in Fullscreen
    * Playing Music
    * Watching Slideshows of pictures (Card reader?)

    Another reason I want to switch to HTPC is that some people around here have been looking at getting the Pioneer LX91, an expensive BluRay player, to get most out of their BluRay's. Surely an HTPC would produce a better quality image? Also, the HTPC needs to have quality audio encoding. IF it can be future proofed for at least 5 years, that would be great.

    Anyone have any ideas on the type of hardware I should get? I can try and put it together myself instead of ordering a pre-built one.

    Thanks in advance, guys
    Last edited by Arsalan; 15-07-2011 at 02:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Help re: HTPC

    Ok, so I tried to put together something on my own:

    hxxp://i51.tinypic.com/2z5u1z4.jpg

    Any tips? I know nothing about what should go in an HTPC or whether these are compatible.

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    14,995
    Thanks
    1,187
    Thanked
    2,230 times in 1,835 posts
    • scaryjim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Dell Inspiron
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 8250U
      • Memory:
      • 1x 8GB DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
      • PSU:
      • Battery/Dell brick
      • Case:
      • Dell Inspiron 5570
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 15" 1080p laptop panel

    Re: Help re: HTPC

    i7 2600k and a 6970 for an HTPC? Massive overkill. What you're aiming for with an HTPC is low power draw and minimal cost. You don't need poweful CPU and graphics for playing back Blurays and DVDs - even integrated graphics contains specialist hardware blocks for media decoding.

    Something like an Athlon II X2 250, an AMD 880G based motrherboard, and 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM should more than suffice: total cost ~ £120. Just add a case, Bluray drive and hard disk and you're off

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Help re: HTPC

    Thanks for that insight. As I said I have no idea what goes into an HTPC. I want the BluRay quality to be brilliant, perhaps equalling the Pioneer LX91. Is that possible with an HTPC? Any other tips?

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Help re: HTPC

    Ok, so someone recommended the following:

    hxxp://i56.tinypic.com/15d8cnl.jpg

    What do you think?

  6. #6
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    14,995
    Thanks
    1,187
    Thanked
    2,230 times in 1,835 posts
    • scaryjim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Dell Inspiron
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 8250U
      • Memory:
      • 1x 8GB DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
      • PSU:
      • Battery/Dell brick
      • Case:
      • Dell Inspiron 5570
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 15" 1080p laptop panel

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Unless you're planning on doing some light gaming on your HTPC you don't need the discreet graphics card. You haven't included gaming in your list of planned uses: if you're sure you're not going to game then drop the card.

    The Antec Fusion Veris is a lovely case, but for my money massively overpriced for what it is. I'd look for a decent mATX desktop case at £50 or less.

    A 550W PSU is at least twice the power output you'd need for that system: three times if you drop the discreet graphics card. Look for a good brand PSU rated at about 300W - 350W: anything priced above £30 is likely to be a reasonable bet.

    8GB RAM is massive overkill; 4GB will be more than enough. Also, Intel Core processors don't really gain much from faster memory, so you can save a lot of money going for 1333MHz RAM instead of 1600MHz. The 4GB 1333MHz set I linked to in my previous post is less than half the cost of the set in your new link, and you wouldn't be able to tell any difference whilst watching a Bluray.

    I wouldn't bother with an SSD. This isn't going to be your main computer that you're using for several hours a day; it's going to be turned on, and once it's booted up you're going to leave it alone for several hours whilst you stare at the screen. Chances are what you're actually going to want to do is store lots of music and ripped or downloaded video on it, so what you need is very large mechnical drives.

    The CPU and Motherboard ... are not bad choices actually. But everything else is more of a mid-range gaming PC than an HTPC. At the risk of repeating myself, an HTPC should be as cheap and as low-powered as possible; otherwise you're paying not just for more expensive components that will spend their entire life sitting idle, but also for a much higher power-draw when it's running. Otherwise you might as well just buy a dedicated Bluray player and save yourself the hassle!

    I can't say much about the quality of PC-playback Bluray vs. dedicated players, as I have no experience with either; perhaps someone else will chip in with a thought!

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Thanks man, that's all I wanted to know

    Oh, forgot one thing. That setup you recommended, without a discrete graphics card, will it be fine for viewing Freewview HD with a tuner card?
    Last edited by Arsalan; 15-07-2011 at 01:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    126
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked
    8 times in 5 posts

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Hi, this is to do with PS3, but you will see info about Bluray Picture Quality etc:-


    http://www.avforums.com/forums/blu-r...ay-player.html

    In some ways your talking numbers, or are you going to use a projector, showing a 100" or bigger picture ?
    If HTCP in Living Room, same as Scaryjim + think of size, think of noise. Lots of standalone Bluray Players prob have PC Opt Drives inside the, some can be noisy (I got a Sony 380 for one of my Sisters, only tested, but high pitched whine when playing Blurays, certainy wasn't good. By all accounts, touch wood, it could quieten down, but ? OK with DVD).
    Being HTCP storage might be a point to consider too ie HDD's inside HTCP or NAS etc. HDD's not totally quiet ec.
    As per Jim low power usage, noise etc. One thing to consider maybe, streaming ability, especially if having to decode on the fly, prob especially HD. Whether from Internet or your own Network, NAS's etc.

    This looks good, or something similar or a bit beefier, not sure how it will handle a Bluray Opt Drive or streaming etc ? Or if you can get/ use HDMI from it ? Certainly any type of heavy decoding etc (prob best done on a seperate PC anyway).

    http://forums.hexus.net/current-barg...ld-online.html

    Another thing you can consider, is something like this:-

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=330

    Might not meet all your criterior thou.


    Cheers BOB

    ps TV's now & things like Humax HD boxes, can do a lot more than they did, but not always in a ideal way IMO ie connect to HDD's, stream etc etc. Or PS3, xBox, PS3 certainly ain't quiet thou or good for browsing the web IMO.
    Last edited by bibio; 15-07-2011 at 02:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    I came up with the following build using parts from Scan.



    The 35W G620T does have an IGP which is slower than the 65W G620 so I am uncertain whether it will be up to the task. The Intel IGPs still do have the 23.976 playback glitch still:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/t...-2100-tested/7

    Edit!!

    I just realised you need Blu-Ray playback ability too. I would get this Blu-Ray drive:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sony-...-slim-sata-oem

    It might cheaper to use a PS3 and an external hard disk or NAS.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  10. #10
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In the middle of a core dump
    Posts
    9,719
    Thanks
    479
    Thanked
    994 times in 846 posts
    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 2600X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
      • PSU:
      • 650W Corsair TX
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Fedora 28 + Win 10 Pro 64 (yuk)
      • Monitor(s):
      • Benq XL2730Z 1440p + Samsung 2343BW 2048x1152
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb/20Mb VDSL

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsalan View Post
    Surely an HTPC would produce a better quality image?
    True if you get it right, but that is a bit of a minefield.

    I have a media PC downstairs (linux running MythTV) and upstairs I often use my AMD E350 based netbook for media. Thing is, they work with DVDs but they aren't great (and the netbook can't even play HD BBC iplayer downloads).

    So whilst low powered machines can play video content here are some observations:

    * Basic video decoding is supported in all video hardware, but post processing effects are not. If you want quality, you want enough graphics shaders to apply noise reduction, de-interlace etc well. Something like a GT430 is fine, but look out for small whining fans.

    * A big PSU is not necessary, but as it isn't stressed it may be quieter. Check the site http://www.silentpcreview.com/ for PSU recommendations.

    * A grunty CPU is only grunty when it needs to be. A cheap AMD Phenom doesn't use much power at idle, and 2 throttled cores at 800MHz give more throughput than an Atom at full pelt. Just don't get a motherboard loaded with useless features as each feature probably requires a support chip that draws a few watts and it all adds up.

    Anandtech has regular HTPC reviews on there, so I would start with them.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4380/d...-gpus-shootout

  11. #11
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In the middle of a core dump
    Posts
    9,719
    Thanks
    479
    Thanked
    994 times in 846 posts
    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 2600X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
      • PSU:
      • 650W Corsair TX
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Fedora 28 + Win 10 Pro 64 (yuk)
      • Monitor(s):
      • Benq XL2730Z 1440p + Samsung 2343BW 2048x1152
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb/20Mb VDSL

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Oh, I used an Antec Fusion for my living room PC, but these days I think I would be tempted by:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...ov-vision.html

    just cos it looks nice

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    126
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked
    8 times in 5 posts

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Hi, does look nice that case
    Don't do a lot of streaming etc, as my PC is in same room as TV. Do use PS3 for a few things, Play TV recording etc. But i have put PS3 in another room (being wireless OK, have to go to other room to put Blurays in it etc ), ie cables through wall, so don't hear its noise etc. PS3 not supposedly very energy friendly, i keep hearing, haven't measured its power usage thou.


    Cheers BOB

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Thanks for all the help and information guys!

  14. #14
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    The Last Aerie
    Posts
    10,825
    Thanks
    645
    Thanked
    868 times in 733 posts
    • shaithis's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8Z77 WS
      • CPU:
      • i7 3770k @ 4.5GHz
      • Memory:
      • 32GB HyperX 1866
      • Storage:
      • Lots!
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire Fury X
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX850
      • Case:
      • Corsair 600T (White)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • 2 x Dell 3007
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb Fibre

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    I would strongly recomend reading this thread. Lots of good information there.
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
    HTPC: AsRock Z77 Pro 4 / 3770K@4.2GHz / 24GB / GTX 1080 / SST-LC20 / Antec TP-550 / Hisense 65k5510 4K TV / HTC Vive / 2 x 240GB SSD + 12TB HDD Space / Race Seat / Logitech G29 / Win 10 Pro
    HTPC2: Asus AM1I-A / 5150 / 4GB / Corsair Force 3 240GB / Silverstone SST-ML05B + ST30SF / Samsung UE60H6200 TV / Windows 10 Pro
    Spare/Loaner: Gigabyte EX58-UD5 / i950 / 12GB / HD7870 / Corsair 300R / Silverpower 700W modular
    NAS 1: HP N40L / 12GB ECC RAM / 2 x 3TB Arrays || NAS 2: Dell PowerEdge T110 II / 24GB ECC RAM / 2 x 3TB Hybrid arrays || Network:Buffalo WZR-1166DHP w/DD-WRT + HP ProCurve 1800-24G
    Laptop: Lenovo Flex 2 / 12GB RAM / 240GB Corsair Force 3 Printer: HP CP1515n || Phone: HTC One U11 || Other: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Pro 10.1 CM12.1 / Playstation 4 + G29 + 2TB Hybrid drive

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    777
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked
    35 times in 27 posts
    • rob4001's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte z97
      • CPU:
      • Xeon 1231 v3
      • Memory:
      • 16GB
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 840 256GB SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX980
      • PSU:
      • Sliverstone 500w SFX-L
      • Case:
      • Silverstone SG13 mitx
      • Operating System:
      • windows 10 64 bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus 27" 1440p
      • Internet:
      • Comcast 75MB

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    Loads of good advice too much even! Now I'm confused most people seem to recommend sandy bridge cpu. I was thinking of amd A6/A8 but other threads have said the ati drivers are a pain to use and buggy intel much simpler to setup for HTPC. Then again Sandy bridge has 24p playback issue....arghh now I haven't a clue

    Apologies for hijack as I am also wanting to build an HTPC.
    Last edited by rob4001; 19-07-2011 at 03:33 PM.

  16. #16
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Help a Newbie re: HTPC Build

    I have to agree with some folks and say that you don't need to overkill. my Htpc is running on a sempron (single core, 2.7ghz) using integrated gfx on a ASUS M4A78-VM 780G (hd 4600 or something) and it handles anything. No doubt someone is going to tell me that my 1080 isnt as good as theirs, but I'm not a connoisseur of the extreme fine detail and/sounds. I don't have a £1000 htpc system next to mine to compare to, so the missus doesn't know better

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. htpc OS and Application recommendations
    By smush in forum Software
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 16-06-2010, 07:34 PM
  2. Advice on small and quiet HTPC please
    By elsmandino in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 19-03-2010, 03:18 PM
  3. PS3 / XBOX360 v HTPC
    By djglenn in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 04-03-2009, 12:47 PM
  4. HTPC 4-Way Roundup @ Anandtech
    By Steve in forum HEXUS News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-11-2005, 10:01 AM
  5. Ars System Guide: HTPC edition
    By Steve in forum HEXUS News
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-02-2005, 05:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •