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Getting started in HTPC's


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#1 Rupp

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:02 AM

Guys,
I want to build a HTPC which will set in my computer closet upstairs ~50 feet from the TV I intend to watch the content on. I want to start our simply recording over the air hi-def content and grow from there. My goal is to have the ability to have 1080P content as well. Any suggestions as to what hardware I would need from minimum CPU to graphics cards and TV Capture cards would be appreciated. I would like the card to output HDMI as I have found the HDMI cable for this distance. TIA

#2 CollinR

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:05 AM

Abit IP35 motherboard (not Pro or V or whatever just the standard IP35)
Crucial memory
Intel Q6600
Hauppauge TV cards (PVR500s and HVR1800s)
MSI NX8600GTS Diamond Plus HDCP HDMI display adapter


That should get you off to a good start. :)


EDIT:

Oh yeah and XP Pro!!!

Edited by CollinR, 08 January 2008 - 10:05 AM.


#3 Rupp

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 01:21 PM

Abit IP35 motherboard (not Pro or V or whatever just the standard IP35)
Crucial memory
Intel Q6600
Hauppauge TV cards (PVR500s and HVR1800s)
MSI NX8600GTS Diamond Plus HDCP HDMI display adapter


That should get you off to a good start. :lol:


EDIT:

Oh yeah and XP Pro!!!

Thanks for the info Collin. Let me ask this question. The MSI NX8600GTS has HDMI out. How does the sound get to the graphics card? Does that question make sense?

#4 bfisher

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 01:27 PM

Another option... build a HTPC server - leave it in your closet running Sage, run Cat5 to your TV, buy a HD Extender and connect it to the TV via HDMI.

Works brilliantly :lol: (I have 5 extenders running off of my server... with 6 tuners in it. Awesome)

#5 CollinR

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:52 PM

Abit IP35 motherboard (not Pro or V or whatever just the standard IP35)
Crucial memory
Intel Q6600
Hauppauge TV cards (PVR500s and HVR1800s)
MSI NX8600GTS Diamond Plus HDCP HDMI display adapter


That should get you off to a good start. :D


EDIT:

Oh yeah and XP Pro!!!

Thanks for the info Collin. Let me ask this question. The MSI NX8600GTS has HDMI out. How does the sound get to the graphics card? Does that question make sense?


It includes SPDIF leads and the IP35 has an SPDIF output so no need for a sound card.

The IP35 Pro also has an optical SPDIF input which might be interesting, more $ though. I am not sure what you might use that for but it might be nice to have around.


Another option... build a HTPC server - leave it in your closet running Sage, run Cat5 to your TV, buy a HD Extender and connect it to the TV via HDMI.

Works brilliantly :) (I have 5 extenders running off of my server... with 6 tuners in it. Awesome)


:lol: I thought that was a given! :unsure:

EDIT: I see now, why would a headless server need an HDMI video card, Point noted. B)

Edited by CollinR, 08 January 2008 - 02:53 PM.


#6 gwww

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:24 PM

Another option... build a HTPC server - leave it in your closet running Sage, run Cat5 to your TV, buy a HD Extender and connect it to the TV via HDMI.

Works brilliantly :lol: (I have 5 extenders running off of my server... with 6 tuners in it. Awesome)


Which HD extenders are you using?

#7 Rupp

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:28 PM

Sorry but I said I was new. What is an extender?

#8 bfisher

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:51 PM

An extender is a small device (size of a paperback book) that connects to your network and streams videos from your server. It then converts/upscales and connects to your TV. It's very reliable... no drivers to install... no tweaking and fiddling with your PC. Very simple and elegant.

They are offered both in HD and SD varieties.

http://www.sagetv.com/hd_extender.html

#9 Rupp

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:44 PM

An extender is a small device (size of a paperback book) that connects to your network and streams videos from your server. It then converts/upscales and connects to your TV. It's very reliable... no drivers to install... no tweaking and fiddling with your PC. Very simple and elegant.

They are offered both in HD and SD varieties.

http://www.sagetv.com/hd_extender.html

Thanks Bruce for the description. Those things are kinda expensive, wouldn't it be cheaper to run HDMI cables from the PC to the TV?

#10 CollinR

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:55 PM

We have it in several rooms in our home. So 5 PC + 5 HDMI cables or 1 Server and 3 $100 SD clients and 2 $300 HD clients.

Not to mention reliablity and power consumption savings.

That provides complete AV control plus in my case lighting controls. I have plain old basic TVs and $100 SD extenders right now but I can add the HD stuff whenever I choose. Right now I only own 1 HD TV so it's not as big a deal.

Edited by CollinR, 08 January 2008 - 05:57 PM.


#11 Sacedog

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:55 PM

An extender is a small device (size of a paperback book) that connects to your network and streams videos from your server. It then converts/upscales and connects to your TV. It's very reliable... no drivers to install... no tweaking and fiddling with your PC. Very simple and elegant.

They are offered both in HD and SD varieties.

http://www.sagetv.com/hd_extender.html

Thanks Bruce for the description. Those things are kinda expensive, wouldn't it be cheaper to run HDMI cables from the PC to the TV?


It depends how you want to distribute video. If you only have one TV, than it would be cheaper to use cables. If you have more than one TV, it would probably not be cheaper; especially if you want to watch different programs at the same time, from both TVs. That would require an HD matrix switch, which are very pricy. The extender is very simple to use (high WAF), and are rather cheap compared to a HD matrix switch.

#12 Helheim

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 06:14 PM

That would require an HD matrix switch, which are very pricy. The extender is very simple to use (high WAF), and are rather cheap compared to a HD matrix switch.


You can get used matrix switch on eBay relatively cheap. I bought an Inline 3808 for just a bit more than the price of one HD extender, but then you are using component instead of HDMI.

#13 Dan (electron)

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:31 PM

Another option... build a HTPC server - leave it in your closet running Sage, run Cat5 to your TV, buy a HD Extender and connect it to the TV via HDMI.

Works brilliantly :lol: (I have 5 extenders running off of my server... with 6 tuners in it. Awesome)

Initially, I was going to go with Flash based fanless mini-itx devices running Media Portal and HDhomerun (network based tuner), but the more I hear about the new HD extender, the more I am intrigued. Are you using the Sage HD extenders, or still using the SD? I am interested in how well the HD unit performs. Thanks!

#14 Rupp

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:59 PM

Good point on the extenders and multi locations. I still have the blinders on and am trying to wrap my brain around this whole HTPC concept and tunneled in on one TV. This is really a confusing "bunch of stuff" HTPC vs TIVO vs DVR vs etc. I really just wanted an inexpensive way to record OTA high def material. It's never that easy is it :lol:

#15 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:16 PM

I really just wanted an inexpensive way to record OTA high def material. It's never that easy is it :lol:

Sure it is, maybe consider just getting one of THESE for about a C-Note if that's all you want to do.




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