Help spec a HTPC

24 Jan 2006

Long story short, I have an abundance of storage capacity on my server so I figured I'd store my dvd's there in raw format (no encoding) and have been going back and forth between picking a media streamer or a htpc to draw from this in the livingroom. What it comes down to really is the price difference.

Anyway, current requirements:
  • Fairly silent (doesn't have to be passive though)
  • Looks (looking for a case similiar to or Fusion 430) :)
  • Hardware, handle playing dvd movies
  • Digital out

I'll be using a regular CRT TV 28" and my Pioneer DTS sorround amp/receiver for now.

Would be nice it I didn't have to make major changes for it to be able to do Full HD and it definately needs to have room for a tv-tuner, or two :)

I would prefer it being priced lower than ~380-480£

Really hope you can help me out guys, hope it's the right forum :)
5 Nov 2003
Having tried to get a HTPC to look good with a SD CRT TV for over a year I gave up and got a HDTV. :eek:

If you are only only going to play DVDs, SD and unencrypted HD stuff and no blu-ray then any 690G chipset micro ATX motherboard will do (with on-board graphics, HDMI etc). If you want to ensure that you can play blu-ray/HD-DVD at 1080P then get a 8600GT/2600pro - it also means that you can get a cheaper and cooler CPU e.g 5200+ X2.

2GB of virtually any speed ram will do esp if using Vista. As for TV tuners there are several twin freeview tuners e.g. Terratec, Compro, Black gold (pci-e) and Hauppage (PCI).