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Thread: budgeting hard on a media center

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    budgeting hard on a media center

    Hi guys... Student here. Our DVD player recently died and we thought we might try being a bit more adventurous than simply buying a new one, and eventually decided to build our own media center, running Windows MCE... I think I've come up with the plan, and I thought I'd check with you guys to see how feasible it is and if you had any suggestions/comments/criticisms (also if you know any good deals around and about on the parts ).

    The base would be on an ASUS S-Presso P112... thats the budget one (from http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatal...Asus_101.html). It'll be going into a TV, so no point in getting the P111 model as most of its added features aren't TV-OUT compatible.

    CPU: A celeron 2.6/2.8 ghz/whatever socket 478 I can get for around £45.

    RAM: I've got a 512mb stick lying around somewhere.

    HDD: Again, whatever I can get for £40-50... At least 160gb, I'm hoping I see a good deal knocking around to maybe squeeze 200gb out.

    Disk drives: no real need for any sort of writer, so just a standard DVD drive. My friend might have a spare one, else it shouldn't cost more than a tenner, should it?

    GFX: I have my old Elsa Gladiac 920 (GeForce 3). Cost £350 at time of purchase, but that was a long, long time ago. It's got the TV-Out though, and I don't see too many games being played on the system... Probably mainly old emulators and roms, so it should cut the mustard, right??

    Tv Card: I have two... One is a Hauppauge WinTV USB, which is far easier to set up than the other one. Hopefully it will work with Windows MCE fine.

    Soundcard: Again, from my old computer I have a Videologic Sonicfury, which I remember being the bees knees back 4 or 5 years ago. Would it still be any good these days? Either way, the ASUS only has 1 PCI slot, so I'll have to forfeit it if the USB tv card doesn't work and just use the onboard sound.

    Network: USB Wifi dongle. You can get them for £10-15 right?

    Other stuff: If I'm not being absolutely stupid thats just about everything other than input devices... I think the plan will be to have a standard old keyboard and mouse combo plugged in and then buy a Microsoft media center remote for about £25.

    Am I missing something? Are any of those choices for components flawed?

    Cheers for any help!

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    If you haven't already got it, you'll need a copy of Windows MCE, OEM is around £80 but you have to buy this with hardware, which you're doing anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evergrey
    GFX: I have my old Elsa Gladiac 920 (GeForce 3). Cost £350 at time of purchase, but that was a long, long time ago. It's got the TV-Out though, and I don't see too many games being played on the system... Probably mainly old emulators and roms, so it should cut the mustard, right??
    Im sure someone will correct me if im wrong but, if you go for MCE 2005 you will need a DX9 gfx card... which the GF3 isn't.... you may be able to get away with it running MCE 2004 though.

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    • shaithis's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8Z77 WS
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      • i7 3770k @ 4.5GHz
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    Even a GF4MX is not enough, need GF4 Ti or above I beleive.

    It does seem to work on less but you will hit problems with screen corruption at times.
    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
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    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

  5. #5
    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Well if you're after doing it on a budget. Get a modded xbox. It'll play DivX, DVD, mp3 etc etc etc. Plus you have the added advantage of playing 4 player console games after a night out on the beers.

    It's what I use, and it's absolutely wicked.....

    Tom

  6. #6
    Senior Member JPreston's Avatar
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    I've just built a similarly bargain bucket HTPC and TBH, it would have been cheaper to have bought a DivX compatible DVD Recorder with/without a hard drive. They are becoming very cheap now, and it's less hassle than having to boot up a PC everytime you want to watch TV.

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