Home Theatre/Media Centre Build


Waynos_Face

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Hi all,

So Xmas is only 93 days away


My Dad has asked for a Media Centre for xmas, so instead of getting the one he wants from PCWorld for £600, i am going to build one instead.

My budget will be £250 - £300 at very most.

It needs to be as user friendly as possible.

I have never used a TV card/Tuner so don't know where to start with those, i read that Hauppage or Wintv are good???

This is my proposed case, is cheap, but then again so am i, ha ha, it will fit full height cards.

http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=853495

Looking at putting in a TV Card, Sound Card and Wireless Card, Graphics card and AMD based as they are cheap as chips.

Starting early as i have 5 weeks off, before i start me new job and am looking to grab what bargains i can.

Edit: Oh i already have the RAM and O/S, not included in budget.
 
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floppybootstomp

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Hauppage make the best TV cards, I have a twin tuner digital version with remote control, it's good. It did cost £70.00, but it is good.

Main thing with Media Centre PC is use either Vista Home Premium or Win XP Media Edition, it's worth it. Media software is actually the same in both OS's.

I think it's worth spending money on the case but the rest of the system can be modest. Motherboard; CPU; video card and memory don't need to be top of the range.

Lots of storage is ideal as if it's a media centre presumably it will be storing music and recorded TV programs and movies?

A small HDD for the OS and a 750Gb/1Tb HDD, maybe partitioned, for storage is the norm.

May as well go AMD dual core as not worth spending huge amounts for a Media Centre PC.

Those are my initial thoughts, this is the case I use for my Media Centre PC, I like it a lot, but it's expensive. It all runs on a lowly Jeantech 350W PSU as well. Bach Cases
 

Waynos_Face

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Hi Flopps,

If it was for me then i would get one of those cases, however my dad isn't fussed on appearance.

Yeah am going to need a lot of storage, with Hauppage can i record Sky Tv as well?

I know Sky+ does this but he doesn't want Sky+ and so on.

Yeah am using Vista, 32bit HP as i have two left from builds that didn't happen.

So if i get that TV card, will he be able to run everything of the remote? Or will he still need a mouse and keyboard???

Like i said not a clue about TV Cards.
 

floppybootstomp

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Waynos_Face said:
Hi Flopps,

If it was for me then i would get one of those cases, however my dad isn't fussed on appearance.

Yeah am going to need a lot of storage, with Hauppage can i record Sky Tv as well?

I know Sky+ does this but he doesn't want Sky+ and so on.

Yeah am using Vista, 32bit HP as i have two left from builds that didn't happen.

So if i get that TV card, will he be able to run everything of the remote? Or will he still need a mouse and keyboard???

Like i said not a clue about TV Cards.
There is a remote control you can buy to go with Win XP Home Media edition which I think does a lot more functions than just access the TV Tuner but I honestly don't know for sure, sorry. It probably works within Vista Home Premium as well but I don't know for sure.

I don't know a thing about Sky, I've never used it. Not a sports fan you see.

He will still need a mouse & keyboard. This really isn't a problem, just use a good wireless combo or wireless keyboard with integrated trackball for mouse substitute. I have a Logi desktop combo mouse/keyboard that cost around twenty five quid which is really rather good with my HMPC.
 
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Waynos_Face

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Okay thanks again for the info and advice.

Have been reading a few reviews on various hauppage cards, will probably go over budget but will see what i can find on ebay.
 
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