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Old March 2, 2011, 07:58 AM
Pukka's Avatar
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My System Specs

Default HTPC Build Suggestions

Hey Everyone,

I've been asked to look into HTPC builds for someone I know.

It's use would be as an all-in-one HTPC: PVR, ripping, storage, etc, and it would need to receive Over-The-Air HD. As I'm pretty inexperienced with HTPCs, I referred to Ars Technica's HTPC Guide as a basis. Since my friend won't be needing the HTPC for a while, it would be Sandy Bridge i3 (which should actually be available by then) instead of Clarkdale i3. This isn't solid, of course; other build suggestions are welcome.

The main problem thus far is deciding what tuner to get. He wants to be able to record a channel while watching another simultaneously. From what I understand the tuner would need to be able to receive ATSC for OTA HD. It would probably use the integrated Windows 7 Media Centre as the front end.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old March 2, 2011, 09:05 PM
biff's Avatar
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Sorry can't help with the recording bit... but maybe some stuff to think about.

Anything modern will be lots of power if it's just for actual HTPC stuff except as I said I don't know about recording. I have 2 HTPC's, my main one has a e6300 and the other an Athlon II 440 or something. I just tried watching a bluray and CPU usage was less than 10% on both. One has a 4670HD card and the other uses the onboard video which is 4200HD IIRC, and both are perfect. I handle my audio separately so the 4xxx graphics is fine.

Have a good plan as to how you want to connect everything together. As in vid and audio all on HDMI, or separate audio - analog, digital coax, optical - etc.. It could make a difference on what hardware you buy.
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