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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To start I just want to get a few simple questions out of the way. When I upload movies to my future HTPC do I need a special device for streaming audio/video to my AVR?

Meaning do I need a DTS-ES decoder or any other decoder for my computer if my AVR has the capability?

And is what graphics card is recommended for 1080P streaming such as BR movies and any other HD type programs?

I think gigibit was suggested but not sure if there is a specific one or not.

I will have some more questions but for now these will be the start for now. I am getting a case soon because of a great deal I got from a friend. Not sure what mother board because this will only be used for some internet activity and 75% of the time uploading and streaming audio and video.

Thanks everyone.
 

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I recommend a AMD HD6xxx series graphics card and use the HDMI out to your pre/pro. In my experience they handle HD video better than the HD5xxx series.
 
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I think this was asked not too long ago. Some mobo's have good enough video on board, with HDMI out to support 1080p. Upgrading isn't really needed unless you want gaming. If you want to do 3D, then look at compatible hardware. Seems Nvidia has that market cornered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do I need any type of decoding or will all the information be sent to the AVR for audio decoding?
 
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I don't currently have access to a latest HD codec receiver to test it out. I know that my HDMI output can pass Dolby digital for the AVR to decode it. I can't imagine it not being able to pass anything that is on a blu-ray, but I can't say for 100%
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well that is promising then. I was just thinking about a video card the other day and wondered about needing to decipher DTS-ES or any of the latest codes or not. I know the receiver can so I figured it should not be need but figured it best to ask.

And will anything special be needed for using a projector? Meaning 1080P output is all that is needed yes?

Or do I need a more powerful non mobo video card?

Most of the time the HTPC will output to a 40" HD TV. Then down the road I will be getting a projector. SO that was also a question in regards to the video card.
 
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I actually got hooked on a HTPC because I visited a friend who showed me his setup. I was only going to get a blu-ray player, but went for the HTPC. Anyhoo, he had his hooked up to a projector with a on-board v-card (I too was a little surprised) that is older then my setup. I don't own a projector (yet), but it can output to a 53" TV just fine. Not sure the size of the screen matters as much as long HDMI runs.

My setup is about a year old. Anything new today is just going to be faster, stronger, better. I know Windows 7 has a projector setup tool, but I haven't been able to play with it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What are you using for your GUI to access movies?
 
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I'm using Windows 7 media center. In all honesty, XBMC is better, BUT WMC works with Arcsoft Total media theater (needed for blu-ray playback). XBMC just works out of the box, and you kind of gotta fight WMC. You need the Shark007 windows 7 codecs just to play back all your files. Without some research and a little hacking, XBMC can't play blu-ray disk. My main HTPC uses WMC and I took my old computer, threw in a 1TB drive and loaded the XBMC OS and even the old gal can play back 720P MKV files without skipping frames.
 

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Start with your on-board video. If that doesn't pass HD Audio, $20-30 at newegg will get you a quiet, power efficient card that will.

Also, with that in mind, don't pay $20-30 more for a mobo just because if has HDMI onboard. You'll do better investing that same $ in a dedicated card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok so I am going to start my simple HTPC/media server build now. I just need some more suggestions on a motherboard.

I have know idea which one to get. I want something that will work but be MORE than enough for streaming movies, music, and occasionally playing games and allow everyone(2 other people) to be able to stream music/movies and save files.. Not going all out on the gaming part. I just want to see if I can get my son interested in playing some games on his computer and we can play against each other over a lan connection or other.

This is usually where I go to look at prices on mother boards. I know people mention newegg but I wont be buying from them.
http://www.jantech.com.au/Categories.aspx?page=2&cID=27

I also would like to do something similar to StereoClarity's ultimate HTPC. I want to have the OS on a SSD drive but also dont know which one would be recommended.
http://www.jantech.com.au/Categories.aspx?cID=3590

This will be my case. Nothing special but it was cheap, had plenty of room, and Silverstone has alot of good cases so I am hoping that their PS series will be no different


I have a friend getting me a 550watt powersupply already. I figured that is all I would need.
 

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Gaming, if you're talking 3D, is all about processor power, first the graphics card, then the CPU. HTPCs, on the other hand, tend to benefit from cool/quiet parts (because you want to hear your movie, not your computer) that draw little energy (since you machine will likely be on more than it's off, and you don't want to go broke on electricity).

For your build, you're going to have to decide which end of the spectrum to lean towards. I'd suggest reading up at Maximum PC, they have many builds with gaming benchmarks.

To answer your specific question, anything with a 16x PCI-E slot will accommodate a single, powerful graphics card, and you'll probably want something that supports the Intel i3/i5 family for a good balance of energy efficient and powerful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This will be a 85/90% HTPC. I just try and think of ways to do things with the 10 year old boy and thought maybe I could play some first person shooter games with him. He could be on his lap top and I on the HTPC.

We aren't big into games. He reads and I play sports. I used to play PS3 games all the time but then the games are just too easy. SO for me I would need to go online but just haven't got back into gaming. Just a once in awhile I would try and game online. Not very often unless I find a new game that I cant stop playing.

Either way I was thinking about 85/90% of the time my computer will be a HTPC/media server.
 

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Most parents have the opposite problem, too much video games and not enough reading. Consider yourself lucky.

I'd go with an i3 processor for the CPU to give you moderate power with only moderate energy usage. Figure out what games you'd like to play and read up on some maximum pc benchmarks to see what Graphics card would suit you. Do you play strategy games like Starcraft? Your son might like those as well.

This will be a 85/90% HTPC. I just try and think of ways to do things with the 10 year old boy and thought maybe I could play some first person shooter games with him. He could be on his lap top and I on the HTPC.

We aren't big into games. He reads and I play sports. I used to play PS3 games all the time but then the games are just too easy. SO for me I would need to go online but just haven't got back into gaming. Just a once in awhile I would try and game online. Not very often unless I find a new game that I cant stop playing.

Either way I was thinking about 85/90% of the time my computer will be a HTPC/media server.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What is the difference between WD Caviar Green and Blue?

I was looking at getting a WD Caviar Black 2TB But couldn't help but look at getting three 1TBs of the Green I think it was for the same price. It might have been blue but I cant remember.

I have read alot of the Max PC magazine now and need to try and NOT to read so much. Starting to see what I CAN get and what I need are starting to blur. I will search the MOBO's and might just get a Gygabyte MOBO. Will look to see what they have and come back with a reply and see what everyone thinks.

And seeing that DDR3 memory is so cheap what amount should I get? 8GB?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
http://www.jantech.com.au/Product.aspx?pID=284613
This is the MOBO I think I am going to buy. I have tried to imagine all the things I might want to add in the future and this board has just about everything I would want ......I think. The CPU is a bit of a difficult thing for me to decide. I could go with the i3 or the i5. These are the two I was looking at:

http://www.jantech.com.au/Product.aspx?pID=277849
http://www.jantech.com.au/Product.aspx?pID=281753

The i3 appears to have a very low power usage which would be good but will the i5 be vastly better than the i3?

And when I was looking at doing the SSD hard driver for OS and apps I wondered will the SSD be faster than a 10Krpm 150GB hard drive?

I would like to get the SSD but this is all new to me. They seem to be all pretty close in price. SO just wanting to figure out that also. I am slowly making at list tonight and will actually be able to start buying most of the hardware over the next day to week.:bigsmile:

I thought it was going to take alot longer but I am putting another project on hold so I can build my computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK I am just going to go with the ASUS P8P67 LE MOBO. I am going with the i3 2100T 2.5 also. Not sure which manufacturer of 4GB ram, corsair or something. Dont have a HDMI output but dont know if I really need it.

Afer reading the Max PC alot lately it appears I should be fine with my choices for any game I want and worse case scenario I just need a graphics card.

Is 60GB enough for my OS and apps?

I was wanting to go with the OCZ Agility 60gb SSD. After reading the fine print I am going to go with the NZXT H2 case. Has everything I want and enough room for my future wants.

Seeing that alot of the tests I read on the MOBO where not 1080P resolution do I need a Graphics card to output movies/BR to my 40" HD LCD?

And lastly will I lose anything by not connecting with HDMI?

I have used it for so long I wondered is all if I dont use it with my computer. HTPC will probably go straight to my AVR if possible but I was going to use HDMI so I dont know how now.

Thanks eugovector, All the reviews have helped alot.
 

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These new MMO games...I think I might see one I will buy.:spend:
 
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