Use this thread to cover your setup. Including, but not limited to your HTPC. If you have extenders, home automation hardware, a NAS, media server, music client like squeezebox/sonos or whatnot, add that info too.
Be sure to include the sources (SKY\NTL etc) that you are using. The software you considered, the software you ended up using and tell us a bit about your trials and tribulations along the way.
Please keep the chat to a minimum. If you have questions on someone's setup, please create a new thread and discuss it there. Then I would ask the person who wrote the post on their setup to update it with any info that needs to be in light of that discussion. You could also create a discussion link in your post if you wish. I dont have an issue with old posts being dragged up, as long as its still relevant.
I'd like to keep this thread as clean and concise as possible. If you are unable to edit your post (time restrictions), PM me with the content and I'll edit the post for you.
See also the HD benchmarking thread. HD as in High-Definition, not Hard Disk
LG Blu-Ray DVD-burner
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1TB SATA2
OCZ Gold XTC DDR2 PC6400 4096MB KIT,
Hauppauge! WinTV-HVR1300MCE KIT,
Logitech Cordless Desktop EX110,
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.0GHz Socket AM2
D-Link DWL-G510 PCI 54Mbps
Antec Fusion 430 Silver, 430w PSU, HTPC,
Antec Fusion 430 Case:
Excellent Case. Very very quite with two large fans that aren't noticeable on their lowest setting. Also a good PSU is included making it a very well priced unit. Design wise it blends in very well with my setup. Really has an AV look about it.
Not too much to talk about. Plenty of ports and fits well in the case. Use onboard sound and video at the minute. Mainly due to the lack of PCI slots! Does the job fine. Dedicated graphics are probably only required for gaming anyway.
AMD 6000+. Hopefully will future proof my machine for a good while. Hasn't had any problems playing anything back so far. Rips DVD pretty fast and no problem converting various file formats.
4 Gig. With the prices the way they are didn't see much point in getting less. Only using Vista 32 bit at the moment, but plan on upgrading soon.
Never had any trouble with Hauppauge cards before. Very good quality recording and live TV. Great Media Centre support too and easy setup. Comes with a remote also, but I didn't end up using it in the end!
Was going to put in two of these but decided to wait for 2 / 4 Tb drives and then put in two of them instead. With HD rips coming in over the 4 gig mark storage was a big factor for me. The case only supports 2 drives so I will wait until upgrading is necessary and then hopefully i'll be able to get a 2 / 4 Tb drive! Very fast and ok noise wise.
Blue Ray Drive:
Haven't actually used it much! Ashamed to say I don't own a blue ray disk!
I find this setup works excellently. It's my third HTPC. It's not the cheapest setup available but i'm happy it will be able to cope for a nice few years. Can't see it having any problem with HD (i recently put together a quad core system with 8 gigs of ram for a guy who really wanted to have the latest!)
I use it to store all my music, many hundreds of video files, lots of DVDs (although if the menus and scene selection are not vital i tend to convert these to divx. I never convert concerts tho as the menus are very handy for song selection.), full up with pictures too and i sometimes use it to surf the net etc.
Here's my setup This Media Center PC was originally a totally silent pc with passive cooling and was manufactured by http://www.hushtechnologies.com/
The original mainboard blew so I’ve had to install some new hardware as follows;
Mainboard: AOpen i945GTm-VHL Micro-ATX
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T2600 2.16Ghz
RAM: 2GB DDR2 SO-DIMM
Hard Drive: Samsung 250GB SATA (nice quiet drive)
DVD: Teac DV-W24EW DVD-RW
Graphics: Integrated Intel 945GM Express
Audio: Integrated Realtek 7.1
OS: Windows XP Media Center 2005
Microsoft Media Center Remote Keyboard http://www.trustedreviews.com/peripherals/review/2005/11/03/Microsoft-Media-Center-2005-Keyboard/p1
Microsoft Media Center Remote Control with USB receiver http://www.komplett.ie/k/ki.aspx?sku=309575
Digital Everywhere FloppyDTV S2 Tuner http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/info_4348.html
T-REX SuperModule 4.6 Cam http://www.satstore.co.uk/cams.htm
Mainboard has VGA and DVI outputs so I’ll include a DVI to HDMI cable.
Also, the PC has an integrated IR receiver on the front facia so need need to use the Microsoft USB IR Receiver
I’m including the original heat pipes and passive cooling components.
I’m also including a Duolabs Cas Interface 2 Plus CAM programmer. This is needed to program the serial number of your Sky box into the T-REX Cam.
Combine all the above with a valid Sky subscription card and you can watch your Sky channels on your PC.
There are plenty of online resources available with further information on this configuration, see the following links
Feel free to ask any questions.
This is now for sale at the following link
4GB Gskill pc6400
Hauppauge pvr 500 MCE (NTL digital via scart and components cables)
Microsoft Media Center Remote Control with USB receiver
Generic dvd dl burner
xbox HDDVD drive external.
2 external 500mb HD
2 internal 320MB HD
Wanted a quiet enough media pc but one that could also play games. Want to get a blu ray player(or maybe the LG bluray burner/HDDVD rom). Also want to get a samsung f1 750mb HD ina a few months or so. Q6600 is awesome for encoding and ripping.
Dell XPS 420
Evga 8800GTX gfx
2x 500gb 7200 hdd (2x1tb on the way)
4gb of pc6400 ram
LG Bluray burner
Hauppauge winTV hvr1200
Vista Ultimate 64 bit
Logitech Dinovo bluetooth keyboardrunning through a 47" 1080p lcd tv
Antec p182 case
8500GT gfx (dont play pc games)
5x 500gb 7200 hdd
1x 750gb 7200 hdd
2gb of pc6400 ram
Samsung dvd burner
Xbox 360 hd dvd external drive
Skystar HD dvb-s card
Vista Ultimate 32 bit
Windows media centre keyboard and remote
Usually going through an optoma HD65 projector and 92" screen
More ram and a blu-ray burner are probably next on my list
with 512mb ram,
400gig seagate 7200rmp sata
pvr-500 dual tuner, connect to a analogue antenna
in the bedroom i have
a modded original xbox
xbox media center extender as default.xbe on c:\
in front of thread mill
a modded original xbox
xbox media center extender as default.xbe on c:\
only problem i have is the mce 2005 thinks the 2 xboxs are 1, so i only had to set one up for both to work, but can only have 1 on at a time
i'd estimate the setup would cost about €300 to replace, and guestimate that it will use about €50-€70 of esb in a year
i think mce 2005 is still the best way to watch telly
1.8GHz Pentium Dual-Core
2GB PC6400 DDR2
Intel D945GCPE Essential Series
500GB Western Digital SATA
Vista Home Premium
32" LG flat-panel
Microsoft MCE Remote
The case is nicely stylish, while being very quiet even with all four fans turning, and it does a good job of dampening the sound of the CPU fan (stock Intel). Can hardly hear it when it's going. The HD seek sound is a little scratchy but mostly everything is fine. I'll be moving out in a few months so I'll be giving it to my brother who really loves it, and building a new, similar one, with a faster CPU, proper graphics card and a 1TB hard drive. The parts are very cheap to order from Komplett and was no problem to put together. I'm wondering whether I should stick with Vista's MCE or not? Vista MCE's limits are frustrating, for example I can't even select subtitles! Is the Linux MCE any good? What distro should I be looking at? Any downloadable cd's I can have a look at with everything set up?
My setup is a Mac Mini Core2Due 2ghz, 2gb Ram
Apple Time Capsule 500gb, and 500gb and 1tb plugged into it.
Remote apple remote
Software: OSXBMC its a port of xbox multimedia center looks and works great
Mac is completely silent, takes up no space.
Time Capsule streams the Avis around the house to laptop and to a hacked apple tv
For pictures and my build log check the links in my sig
HTPC: HAL 1.0
CPU E6600 w/ Zalman CNPS8000
RAM 4GB Kit Mushkin XP2-6400, CL4
MOBO Gigabyte GA-965QM-DS2 (rev. 2.0)
GFX eVGA 8800 GT w/ Thermalright HR03-GT
HDD 1 500GB WD w/ Vista 32bit
HDD 2 1000GB Hitachi
Sound Onboard w/ Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers
PSU Corsair 620w
Optical SATA DVD RW 18x
CASE Lian-li PC-V300 heavily modded internally
Screen 42" Hitachi 1080i Plasma
M&KB Logitech Cordless Desktop S510
Cooling 2x12cm Scythe SFlex 1200RPM, 1x8cm Lian li slim fan, Lian-li TR3 fan controller
source- a terrestial outdoor about 40element antenna, recieves bbc1,2 utv,ch4, rte1,2 ,tv3, tg4 prefectly
tuner- mce500, had mce 150 at first, then realised that a media canter is soooo much more then a vcr
tuning- none of the irish telly options worked for me,
analogue cable had a guide listing for loads of stations, but couldn't tune in a station,
analogue terrestial had only the guide for rte1,2,tv3,tg4, and could tune in 6 startions
i had to tune the telly to all the channels first, i noted the frequencies for all the 8 channels, and i edited them into mcetuningoverides under the ireland analogue cable heading, i was then able to tune into all 8 stations, and and map them to the guide channels, this has worked for about 3 years now with out a problem
next problem was getting to pc to standy, i found that the best option was to set mce to "ask me what to do" when the remotes power button was pressed and told all user to just close mce( pc was set to standby when idle for 20mins),
setting the button to power off would obviously stop mce taping shows,
setting the button to standby would fail if you were taping something, and if an extender was in use it would cause the extender to go back to the start of what they were playing
setting the power button to sleep mode would mean mce would keep playing what you were watching, and go to standby when it was over, if you were watching live tv it would usually cause an illegal operation during the night and the pc would be frozen in the morning
after a few weeks the pc started to get very rattly, to fix this i set defrag to run as a scheduled task every second night
mce2005 and all updates
think MST is a great app, even just to force a reboot once a week, it now has a new feature to close out of mce if you have not pressed a button in an adjustable ammount of time, that would help with the illegal operations i mentioned in power saving
vnc is a must, saves having a keyboard in behind the telly
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H, AMD 690G+SB600,
Case: Antec Fusion 430 Black, 430w PSU, HTPC
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.7GHz Socket AM2
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint S166 160GB SATA2
RAM: OCZ Platinum DDR2 PC6400 4096MB KIT
Optical: LG DVD±RW burner, GH20NS20, 20x, SATA,
Peripherals: Logitech Cordless Desktop EX110
TV Card: Hauppauge WinTV PVR 350
OS: Mythbuntu 8.04 LTS AMD64
First the warnings. If you get this case and board get SATA cables as well with short connectors. The ones that come with the board won't fit with the case. The ports are parallel and the connecters on the cables are too long - they press right up against the hdd compartment. Apart from the stress on the cables they also push the motherboard forwards so that all screws won't go in and you can't put in a pci card. I picked up right-angled cables in Maplin for €9. Second warning is about the PSU. There's only 1 SATA power cable with two connectors. So if you get a SATA DVD drive you'll need a Molex to SATA adaptor cos it won't stretch between compartments. Or you could just get an IDE one - but personally I'd get a round IDE cable - not a fan of ribbons which is all that comes with the board.
So apart from that:
Case - lovely. Very quiet (fans on low settings - haven't tested on high yet). Manual with case is complete ****e tho. There are some bits that came in a bag and I can't for the life of me figure out what they're for - so mustn't need them . But it is a class case. Looks good, quiet, and has an IR receiver built in. 2*USB and 1*firewire at the front for your cameras/camcorders/usb sticks etc. And front audio ports as well if you need to use headphones.
PSU: Included with case. It's Antec so I expected quality and got it. Very quiet.
Motherboard - excellent. Good layout. HDMI output. 2 PCI and 2 PCIX slots. 4 ram slots in two channels. I'm only using 2 atm - 2*2gb works for me.
CPU: 5200+ is plenty. I was trying to keep cost down and if it plays HD rips I'm happy. And it does - perfectly. Using the stock cooler - it's nice and quiet as well. I've experience with AMD coolers getting louder over time so if that becomes an issue later I'll get a better one.
TV card: Haven't actually tested this yet. Mythbuntu detected it and installed the driver but I've yet to hook it up to the Digibox.
Optical: I've used LG for years and never had a problem. Apart from that - it's just a DVD Writer
RAM: Can't go wrong with OCZ. Excellent CAS and excellent heat spreaders on them. I was going to get the Gold ones but Komplett were out of stock so I got Platinum for an extra fiver.
HDD. Yes it's small. After partitioning the data partition is 135Gb. That's a lot of hours of recordings which is all I'll use it for anyway. All mdeia streaming will be from a file server upstairs using NFS mounts. I've 1.5 Tb of storage there already so didn't need much local storage. I'm using a Netgear Powerline - when I hook this box up to that I'll post the transfer speeds. Over Cat5e I get 10Mb/s transfers. HD needs 800-1000Kb/s. If I get less than 2Mb/s over the powerline I'll be disappointed so I don't expect this to be a problem.
OS: I don't feel the need to pay for an OS so XPMC was not even considered. Still very new to Linux but learning fast. My gaming PC is Ubuntu 7.04 and my laptop is Mint (at the moment - the laptop changes distro occasionally just for kicks). I picked the parts based on Linux support for them. The Hauppauge card is fully supported as are all the rest. The only problem I expected was the onboard ATI graphics but the installer detected it and installed the new open source driver automatically. Very happy with that. In fact everything was auto-detected and installed.
Just saw this thread. My setup is:
TV: Samsung LE40F71B LCD 40" FullHD
DVD: Phillips El Cheapo Region Free with HDMI out and upscaling (not used much)
Dreambox 500S for Sat TV
IstarHD Mini Networked Media Tank with 160 GB external SATA drive modded with jukebox system
Sonos Digital Music System with 3 ZP80 ZonePlayers in separate rooms and 1 CR100 Controller
(Ancient) Sony STRDB940 Receiver
Mission m-Cube Speaker system (high wife acceptance factor )
Buffalo Terastation Live 2TB NAS (RAID 5)
Buffalo Linkstation NAS 250GB
Dell Media PC running XP MediaCenter Edition, Dual Core CPU, 2GB RAM, 500GB disk
Linksys WRT54G router to link the Dreambox, Istar, Sonos, PC and NAS systems together and provide VoIP services too
I've essentially retired the DVD player having ripped all of our DVDs to the NAS and then serve them up over the Istar, all CDs have been ripped to the NAS also and are served over the Istar and Sonos systems.
It took a long time to put this altogether but I learned a lot and now get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
Case: Antec Fusion 430 Silver
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H (780g chipset with integrated Radeon HD 3200)
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
RAM: A-DATA PC2-6400 2 X 1GB
HDD: 2 x 1tb Samsung Spinpoint (RAID 1)
Optical: LG Blu-Ray burner/HD-DVD reader
Sound: Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio
Tuner: Digital Everywhere Floppy DTV DVB-S2 with T.Rex CAM for Sky Decoding
OS: Vista Home Prem 32-bit
Keyboard & Mouse: Logitech DiNivo Edge
Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 5.1 THX
Display: 46" Samsung Full HD
My setup is
Antec Fusion 430 silver case
Asus P5E-VM HDMI Mobo
Intel E8500 3.16Ghz Dual Core Processor
Nvidia 8500GT GFX card
4GB Corsair XMS2 800mhz RAM
LG HD-DVD/Blu Ray combo internal drive
LG HD-DVD/Blu Ray USB Burner
2 x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint HDD's
Hauppauge HVR-4000 sat/dtt tuner
D-Link DWA 556 b/g/n wifi card
Logitech DiNovo mini bluetooth keyboard
Running Vista HP 32bit
Codec pack FFdShow
Video- Nero Showtime, VLC and Vista Media Centre are my preferred programmes. showtime would be better if it could use a remote.
TV- DVBviewer for Sat and Nero Home for DTT
LG 37LZ55 LCD TV
Sony STR-DB780 Amp
2 x Sky HD (1 with sub & 1 freesatfromsky)
PS3 & Wii
Ora 4 port HDMI switchbox
Logitech Harmony 555 remote
My machine running 24/7 HTPC+Folding+FileServer
TV : Sony Bravia 46" LCD-TV KDL-46X3500
CPU : QX9550 @ 2880Mhz
MotherBoard : MSI P7N Platinum SLI
Ram : 4Gig DDR2 800Mhz
Video Cards : Asus 8800GSx2 Going to add a 3rd card to the MB to help fold
Case : Antect P180
Power Supply : 500watt SeaSonic
HDD'S : 2 x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint + 2 x 400Gigs + 1 x 80Gig
OS : Windows Vista Ultimate
Speakers : 4 In 1 Creative " not sure of model number "
Great system i must say im very happy with it. HDMI pluged into the TV and the sound going to my sound system has just made a big differince.