newbie with newly built inexpensive HTPC

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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:25 pm
Location: Manchester UK

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newbie with newly built inexpensive HTPC


Post by andy74 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:01 pm

Hi I've just signed up after my first (of my own, have helped other's put HTPC's together) HTPC for my bedroom, is to replace a capable but sluggish Acer Revo R3610 which while it could cope with anything I wanted to play on it (apart from BBC iPlayer HD!!) was too sluggish when in the MCE menus's etc, esp compared to our Asrock Vision 3D in the lounge.

I wanted something cheap and cheerful but with enough cpu power to be respnsive when say watching a HD channel and then going into the videos section to watch something else, the poor Revo with its Atom cpu would just lockup for a few seconds, took ages bringing up the guide etc etc

I decided on the new AMD A6 APU's as they are cheapish and seem a good balance of cpu and gpu performance, esp for HTPC use as they do HD sound bitstreaming via HDMI etc

my setup is -
AMD A6 3500 APU
Asrock A75m mini itx mobo
2X2gb Corsair Vengence Blue DDR3 1600mhz
OZC Vertex 2 64gig SSD and a 500gig 2.5" Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm HDD's (both of which I already had & used with the Revo, the Segate was used in an esata enclosure)
X-Case GT101 mini itx case which includes a 120w external psu
I also bought a quieter 60mm case fan and manual fan controler.

I am so happy with this liitle, cheap machine, it runs VERY smoothly, very responsive and is extremly quiet, have to get my head right next to it to hear it, runs very cool, infact I think I could do without the case fan, the cpu fan has yet to ramp up from its lowest speed even after playing a blu ray (is set to stay on lowest speed until cpu hits 60c, which it obv hasn't yet).

I dont need an optical drive as we have a server in the garage with 9tb raid in it which has all our dvd's, blu rays, tv backed up to etc and the Vision 3D has a blu ray drive which is used for "backing up" our films.

TV is also supplied via the server thanks to 2 PCI DVB S2 tuners with 2 tuners on each (one's a Black Gold, cant remember the other one!), which is run via DVBlink and a networked Dreambox for doing erm "things", the server also runs our home cctv system and has an XP virtual machine running HomeSeer home automation SW, but the server and networking (2x 8 port TPlink gig switches, Draytek 2920 router and BT Infinity broadband) side is more my housemates thing tbh.

My little bedroom HTPC cost me about 270 quid and I have sold my Revo to a mate at work for 130 quid so I am a pretty happy camper, my hose mate is a bit put out by how quiet and nippy my machine is compared to the, granted smaller, prettier and blu ray equiped, but much more expensive Vision 3D!

oh and its hooked up to an LG 32" 1080p LCD and an Onkyo HTX-22HDX sound systen. :D

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Post by holidayboy » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:04 am

Nice :)
Rob. - the one stop shop for the more discerning Media Center user.


Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:25 pm
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Post by andy74 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:20 am

Thanks, oh I have found out the other tuner is TBS one, if (when!) the Blackgold one dies, which we expect it to as we have already had two dead ones (one out of the box, the other after a day of working!), it is going to be replaced with a TBS quad pci-e tuner, we've got a octo output LNB and sometimes run out of tuners if multiple things try and record when we are watching TV so having 6 tuners will cure the issue!

Oh and our thrid HTPC is an Asrock BD Ion, in my housemates bedroom


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Post by tommo » Wed May 02, 2012 11:33 am

Never even heard of the TBS DVB-T2 cards, thought it was just blackgold.

I'd rather pay the extra £20 for the blackgold as it seems to be the one everyone talks about however this one looks fine and on amazon gets good reviews.

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