Solved: HTPC Build - Ideas/Help?

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carrothersju

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May 21, 2005
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Hello!

I'm considering building a home theater PC with some extra holiday cash. My roommate's been anxious to cut cable television as an expense, and switch instead to a Hulu plus membership, Netflix, or something more cost effective.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts, here are some things I'm looking for:

- HDMI: Very important. My roommate's television is a 40ish inch flatscreen 720p television, and I'd like the computer to have HDMI outputs on the graphics card.
- Price: Important. Cheaper the better, looking to spend $300-$500. Suppose I can be flexible here.
- Games: Marginally important. Girlfriend plays WoW, I kicked the habit. It'd be a neat surprise to her if I installed it to the HTPC to play it on a big screen, though!
- Size: Not very important, as I can hide even a large case. I suppose the smaller, the better, just in case I had to move it.

My first action was looking at barebones kits. I came up with this one, which has provided a nice launchpad:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7108918&Sku=B69-0285

That system has things I like, and it has things I don't care for. If I went for something like that, I'd probably be investing in a nicer graphics card, one with an HDMI out and some power. If so, which graphics cards should I be looking at? Here's one I'm considering: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6023358&CatId=3670

I'm not adverse to buying the parts independantly of one another. I simply used the barebones as a starting place. Unfortunately, I get a little lost with what I want/need above and beyond that.

This is only the second computer I'd be assembling totally from scratch. If you've got any good ideas or suggestions, or have completed a similar build recently, I'd love to hear your input!

Cheers!
 

DoubleHelix

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Dec 9, 2004
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That's a HUGE case for an HTPC. A true HTPC is small, quiet, and blends in with the rest of the home theater setup. What you've linked to is a very cheap desktop computer.
 

carrothersju

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May 21, 2005
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112
Again, that barebones system was only a guide for parts. I realize the case is huge. Case size isn't an issue to me, because I can hide it behind my entertainment center very easily.

Smaller cases are preferred, yes. But in my case, they aren't necessary.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
3,455
That's a HUGE case for an HTPC. A true HTPC is small, quiet, and blends in with the rest of the home theater setup. What you've linked to is a very cheap desktop computer.
The term "HTPC" sure has degraded over the years from referring to a specific appliance to handle media...

...to simply hooking up any old desktop to a TV and parking one's self on the couch with a mouse and keyboard.


I don't even bother with the distinction any more. Call it what you like, I guess.
 

carrothersju

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May 21, 2005
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112
Would everyone prefer it if I renamed the thread to accurately reflect the content we're discussing?
 
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