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Home Theater

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Mike0409, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Mike0409

    Mike0409

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    Alright I want to build a Home Theater box..

    I have an idea for part's and was going to go mATX or take my old 939 Chipset and slap it into one of those HTPC Case's.

    This is what I'm trying to accomplish. First thing is it's going to be my DVR, so I need a HDTV tuner card (Any recommendation's would be great on this...I've found some but I didn't like the prices..has to be 1080p). I also want it with Hi-Def audio, which i believe my board has a SPDIF out so i should be fine with that..I think its 7.1 or 5.1 audio on it (Can't remember at work right now).

    The main goal...Keep basic cable and watch Hulu and any other TV/Web based TV show through the Vista Media Center, and record shows. (Or another type of Media Center, Possibly Windows Home Server?)

    I have never done this before and I have some questions:
    How do I setup a TV Guide on the HTPC? Do I still need Basic cable, or can I use Digital Ear's to pick up HDTV and record those shows, like on Fox ect?

    If I get a TV Tuner card, and have an internet connection only with no cable, can I get Live TV through either Vista Media Center, or a website that is linked to the Media center?

    How does power management work, I don't want this thing cranking 24/7 while I'm not home, and I would still like my show's to record, can i set it up to act as a DVR in a low power state?

    What is the best way to hook this up...HDMI to my TV, and run it on a separate input? Or run it to a media extender which i have but it is a 360, and I've heard some horror stories about using this as an extender.

    If I plug this thing into my TV and use it as my cable box with a TV Guide setup..can I leave it running with Media Center all the time, and use the Remote that comes with the case to change channels/record show's ect?

    If anyone has a good tutorial that would be great as well, I've looked but just found the basic's not some specific questions.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    department76 says thanks.
  2. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    Media center is a fun project!

    For a tv tuner card, this is the one I use http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116015 and it works great! You can pick up over-the-air HDTV and the picture quality is awesome!

    When you first get into Vista Media Center setup, it will walk you through setting up the Guide! Watching TV, recording live tv, etc depends on your setup. If you have basic cable and your cable sends QAM cable single, then you will be ok. Power management? You can set any PC up to go in sleep or hibernate. And this actually works very well compared to MCE 2005

    Make sure you get a video card with HDMI out, and connect it to your TV this way. You can pass the video and audio single and this would be the best way. You can control the PC with the remote after its connected to the TV. Change channel, volume, etc ...

    Make sure you get or have the right hardware!!
     
    Mike0409 says thanks.
  3. Mike0409

    Mike0409

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    Awesome Thanks Morrison!

    The Tuner card only does 1080i, is there one that does 1080p?

    So when i setup the tuner card and run VMC, I just turn the PC on, and it will auto load the media center at startup so I can just go right into the channel guide?

    Will i still need a cable box by any chance?

    Also, any special plugin's I can use for it? Such as Netflix plugin. Or hulu plug-in ect.

    Also..should I get a wireless keyboard/mouse for configuration purpose's? I want this setup easy as possible so in case the girl want's to watch TV or something it's really easy for her to control.

    Also these are a couple cases I was looking at:

    Thermaltake

    Apevia (This one more so because it has a PS built in)
     
  4. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    The Apevia case you are looking at is awesome! That is the one I have, Grey and black. The 500W power supply is great. I can't hear it! Its sitting in my TV stand with my cable box. You don't have to have a cable box, but if you want to watch HDTV from the cable box, there are a few tweaks and hacks you have to complete first. I'm running Vista MC with Media Center TV pack which allow's you to watch and record the QAM HD channels. When you install the TV card and first go into MC, it will detect your TV card and walk you through the process of setting up the channels, etc ... There are some really great wireless keyboards/mouse and remote controls. I got this remote (http://www.xpcgear.com/remotevista.html) but basically i'm just using the IR reciver and using my logitech harmony remote control.

    I'm sure that there are 1080p TV tuners out there, i've just never check because I'm at 1080i

    what are the specs for the PC you will be using for the media center?
     
  5. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    oh, and as far as plug-ins go... there are some pretty cool ones out there. my favorite one is My Movies (http://www.mymovies.dk/)

    My media center PC doesn't have a blu-ray drive, I d/l all my movies and store them on a few 1TB HDD

    btw, you gonna be running MCE 2005 or Vista MC?
     
  6. niko084

    niko084

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    I doubt you will find a station that broadcasts 1080p signals...
    The bandwidth requirements are huge, even though they are compressed.

    Now to get onto the question, media center with the remote and running an hdmi cable would be a pretty solid option considering you want to practically use the tv as a monitor.
     
  7. Mike0409

    Mike0409

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    The PC I plan on using is a AMD 3500+, A8N-SLI Deluxe mobo with an ATI 1900XTX, DVD Rom drive, 3 GB of ddr 400 mem. 1x 160GB drive for OS and 2x 500GB drives for Data/Movie's.

    I plan on using Vista MC, or if I can get my hands on Home Server i MIGHT run that...but I havn't decided.

    I'll have to check that link out later..work blocks everything..
    Nice to hear about that Apevia it was cheap and it came with a PS so im glad you have it and like it lol!

    So when I get the tuner card and everything setup/running..it programs the channels etc, Now does it record show's if it is in stand-by or hibernate? Will Vista MC know to wake up and record a show?

    Like that remote! And it comes with the infrared receiver..


    So i guess that's it eh? Run my Digital audio out to my receiver setup my HTPC to run to my TV..and then just roll with it whenever i wanna watch TV.

    Now i know with older TV Tuners you had to purchase a TV guide...this isn't true with Vista MC Right?
     
  8. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    Yes, the case is Great! The guide is included with Media Center ....

    If the system is in stand-by or hibernate mode, and you have a program scheduled to record, it will still record. Just like you can actually EXIT out of media center and the show would still record. I've got my audio/video running from my HDMI port on the PC to my receiver and the sound is awesome!
     
  9. Mike0409

    Mike0409

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    Can't run HDMI to my receiver it's a little old...But i can still run optical. Which will be just good for me.

    Alright this is awesome, ya cleared a ton of question's up and I'll sure I'll have more, once i start this build..which will probably be as SOON as i get that card.

    I don't watch a whole lot of live TV..and I'd really like to get rid of my Cable box, and just stream TV right to the PC using Vista Media Center. Plus I'd like to watch Hulu/Fancast on the TV with a nice digital picture. Been looking for plugin's most of my day at work, to find a lot of them still in beta.
     
  10. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    Mike0409 says thanks.
  11. niko084

    niko084

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    HDMI vs Optical for audio wont make a difference.
     
    Mike0409 says thanks.
  12. Mike0409

    Mike0409

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    Thank's again guys I'll let ya know how this work's out!
     

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