giantjoebot
2006-11-01T04:27:00Z
O.K. I'm switching to cable from DirecTV to save money. If I get basic cable then it will only cost me $7 a month, after the dicount I'll get on my internet, as opposed to $50 for DirecTV. The only problem is my TiVo is DireTV only so it won't work on cable. So I am considering building in the near future a HTPC to record the few show that I watch.

I have a few options on this. I could just add a tuner card to my Media Server, and just access the files with my modded xbox and PC, or build a separate machine. The benefit of building a seperate machine is that I would be able to use mythTV, where as if I use my media server I either have to use media portal or the software that comes with the tuner card. I think that it might be a bit to much of a load on my media server to add a tuner card to it along with all the other stuff that its doing.

If I do build a separate machine then I do have the choice of which HT software and OS that I use. MythTV uses Linux so it would probably run better, but then I need hardware that has Linux drivers, and it would porbably be harder to setup. So no ATI cards. If I use Media Portal then I need a DX9 card, but it does have a Web UI plugin that would be great. Not sure if MythTV has a Web UI or not.

I already have some parts. I figure I can pull the 80GB HDD out of the TiVo and use that. I could use the parts that I was planning on using on my IPCop box, since I was kind of going overkill on that as it was. I was thinking that I could either buy a cheap CPU and Mobo on ebay for my IPCop box. I am also planning on upgrading my Media Server's case, and I could use the old one for the IPCop machine. Its a mid tower case.

The parts that I have for that are:
PC Chips SIS socket A mobo
AMD Geode CPU 1.4GHZ
2X256MB=512MB DDR266 RAM
Sparkle 250W PSU
AMS Micro tower (which will actually fit in my TV stand)
I would just need a tuner card, and a Graphics card with S-Video out

Oh Yeah, My TV is a CRT type, so no HD, or anything like that. I tryed to do something like this before, and had problems with the picture on this type of TV, and its hard to find out which cards have good S-Video outs. For example I tried a XFX 5200, and it had a horrible picture from the S-Video out. I also tried a Saphire radeon 9250, which had a great picture, but I could not get it to cover the whole screen. There was a inch or 2 at the bottom that was just black. It also did not display unless it was in windows, so if I had to do an adjustments in the Bios then I had to pull out my spare monitor.

I have some other parts lying around as well. I have a AMD Athlon XP 2200 with a heat sink, and I have a ASUS A8N SLI 939.

So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Especially on Graphics cards with good S-Video out and tuner cards.
nelsoncp21
2006-11-01T04:52:14Z
For SD tuner's I'd recomend a hauppage pvr. If using a STB than you'll more than likely need an IR blaster also. for video cards try to find something passive cooled to eliminate noise. You could also try snapstream for your software which i know works well with the firefly remote. There are alot of options out there so keep looking. good luck
Jordan
  •  Jordan
  • 50.75% (Neutral)
  • Advanced Member
2006-11-01T04:54:13Z
Wow, first time I've seen someone use a Geode! How much did it cost you and where did you buy it?
giantjoebot
2006-11-01T06:32:25Z
I got it at newegg. Its a combo deal and comes with the motherboard.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813185076

As far as the HTPC thing goes, I'm considering just getting a 1 year package deal through comcast that would cost just $20 more a month than what I was looking at paying with internet cable and phone. Its suppose to be for new customers, but they are easily swayed to cut you the deal if you threaten to leave or not take what they are offering. Its $99 for phone, digital cable, and internet. I got the upgrade on the internet which is $10 more, and the DVR rental is $10 a month more. Plus the modem that you have to use for the phone is $5 a month. I just hate the Idea of using their modem, but have to get everything if I want the deal. But the alternative is the HTPC, and using voice stick. The problem is that I shouldn't be spending any extra money for a while. My now X-girlfriend is moving out. We were splitting the rent and all the Bill, but next month I'll be paying them all on my on. So I got a second job, and am trying to reduce the bills so that I don't have to jump into a roommate situation that I'll regret latter. For the price of the hardware that I would be putting into the other solutions it would be about a year until I saved any money, and I can use the money now more than latter. Plus this means a lot of work, and with the second job, trying to find a roommate, and possibly dating, I don't think that I will have a lot of time to spare.

I thinks its kinda funny because I posted similare threads 2 or 3 times in the past couple of days, and the deleted them. I was about to do the same thing to this one, but you guys posted replys, so now its stuck here. Sorry about that, I'm kinda stressed right now about all this stuff. Oh Well.
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