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Old May 24, 2008, 09:37 AM
misterlarry's Avatar
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My System Specs

Question New to HTPC - Need lots of help.

I've read most of the threads here, but it almost amounts to sensory overload. I'll explain the current situation first and then go onto the intended end result. Any help that people can give to get me from start to finish would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Sony Grand Wega 50" LCD Projection TV - No HDMI - w/DVI-HDTV Video & Audio - 1080i (Manual says DVI input uses EIA-861 Standard - is not intended for use with PCs - QUESTION: Could I use a converter from HDMI to DVI input to overcome this?)
Star Choice HD Satelite
No Existing HT System
No Starting HTPC Equipment

Primary Goal: (wife wants)

1) TIVO functionality (Star Choice TIVO - almost $600 I think)
2) Surf Internet w/wireless connection to home network
3) Image slide shows

Optional Goal:

1) Blu-Ray recording and playback capability


Under $1000 for basic system.

Time Frame:

By next winter

I just want the chance to build another rig with my wife's blessing and house money rather than personal funds. We won't be replacing the TV for quite a while, so if it we can't get past it's limitations then there's no need to waste too much time on this. Thanks everyone!

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Old May 24, 2008, 12:41 PM
sswilson's Avatar
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Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 17,309

My System Specs


I'm not an HTPC guru, but I'd think the most important question is if you've got a spare component in hook-up on the TV.

Also keep in mind that without a cable card (and it's still not looking good for getting legal ones in Canada) TiVO functionality is limited to what channel you leave the set-top box on.
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Old May 24, 2008, 02:26 PM
CMetaphor's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 5,086

Presumably (like most newer and/or hd set-top boxes) you can use one HD output and out SD output at the same time. Therefore, I'd recommend to use your Regular Satelite box in combination with the Windows Media center kit (remote and IR reciever/repeater). In this way, you can watch your regular shows in hd or sd on your tv, and use the sd output to go to the capture card of your HTPC (many have S-video in). Im not certain but im fairly positive that you can still use DVI from your computer to your tv direct, so long as you stay within the resolution and frequency contraints of the TV (I.E.- for 1080i input on the tv, use 1920x1080i/60Hhz from your PC to match the TV). With this way you get your #1) (provided you dont mind record in SD *SD recording via s-video are Far Superior to older sd recording via a coax cable in my experience*) #2 and #3 can be done by just about any system, so no worries there. For the Bluray recording you just need a bluray internal drive (sell for around 160 now on ncix) and for playback... well that depends on your system..

-breathing heavily, im not good with paragraphs apparently-

Okay for the system, I know I may be a bit of a fanboy for AMD but the fact of the matter is the 780G chipset is unrivaled in terms of inexpensive hd playback, cheap integrated graphics and low power usage. For that reason I'd recommend a AMD based-system, using a lower power (low TDP) processor, Maybe add in an extra discrete graphics card from the 3400-series from ATI to take advantage of a lil extra graphics horsepower and hybrid crossfire. And beyond that?... Don't skimp on a good Tv Tuner, try to get a good chunk of RAM (at least 2gigs) and put it all in a sexy sleek case. If you need more suggestions please feel free to ask me, Ive been building HTPCs for friends, family and clients for several years now. Hope all the info Helps! Hope my bad paragraphcs dont suck too much to read! hehe.
"Backed by common sense and physics!" -Squeetard
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