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Building a Media PC

Discussion in 'IPTV Hardware' started by Jazz308, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Jazz308

    Jazz308 New Member

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    Apr 22, 2013
    East...
    I would love to build a PC that handles our household wireless network and sends streaming video to the various locations but, I have not won the lottery yet!

    If you have any hints or tips please share them with those of us who are not techno-geeks! I think that lots of people need the "How to..." info but in a manner that is easily understood and that does not have links to hardware costing $2K and up! We have HDTVs', Xbox 360, PS3, Roku but need to learn how to pull it all together with a Media PC in a simple straight forward manner.

    If you can help or advise...please do so! I look forward to learning!
     
  2. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    Jan 21, 2003
    Couple things:

    1) Wireless? Bad idea. You can try it but streaming 1080p over wifi? Ouch in most cases. Wire the locations with ethernet.

    2) As for an HTPC...what is your budget? Certainly don't need 2K. $500-$600 for a high end is all you'd need hardware wise.

    3) And last, what is it you want to do with it? Only the 360 can act as a WMC extender. You could stream video files to things like the PS3 with something like PlayOn. Roku can stream some video file formats from a PC as well. So a lot of what you want to do with it (DVR, Internet streaming, ripping DVD/BR, etc) really defines what you can do with your other stuff.
     
  3. cygnusloop

    cygnusloop Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 26, 2007
    I agree with bonscott... It really depends what you want to do. What do you have that you want to stream across your network? do you have a collection of DVD rips? Do you want to use it as an OTA DVR? Blu-ray player? Blu-ray ripper? You certainly don't need $2k to accomplish any of these things. But, the nature of your application will help determine the hardware (and software - don't forget to budget for software) that you need. Oh yeah, +1... if it is at all reasonable, run wired Ethernet.
     
  4. GGarman

    GGarman New Member

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    Mar 17, 2011
    This is Jazz's better half. I'd like to be able to use it as a cable box/dvr (tired of paying rent for crap), play ripped moves and internet video from a server, and stream internet video like MLB.TV (yeah, I know the Playstation does it but it sucks at it).

    BTW, I'd also like to be able to watch anything live or recorded on any of the three HD TV's in our house.


    As she said, we're not wealthy, but I am handy and have been building my own for years.

    Any suggestions?
     
  5. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    9,809
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    Jan 21, 2003
    Well, if you plan to keep cable then the expense goes way up. It'll cost you $400 or so for the 4 tuner Ceton card and you'll still rent a cable card from your cable company.

    As for ripped movie storage, you can certainly do that in the main HTPC itself, just add as many 2 TB drives as you want. However if it's a lot most people will keep the HTPC itself small and build a separate file server with RAID drives (which adds expense of course).

    MLB.TV would be simple on an HTPC, just launch Firefox and you're done. :)

    As for watching anything live on other TV's...only possible with Xbox 360's as I understand they are the only WMC extenders.

    A suggestion here might be to investigate Sage TV. You run the Sage TV app on your main PC and then you buy Sage extenders for your other TVs. However the Ceton doesn't work with the Sage the last I saw.

    And doing all this...you definitely need Ethernet. Wireless isn't going to cut it.

    Let's put it this way...when you go beyond 1 TV it gets a lot more complicated and expensive. Sage may be the way to go if you can cut the cord with cable. If your main desire here is to avoid renting a cable box, not sure if the payoff is really there.
     
  6. brant

    brant Icon

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    Jul 6, 2008

    there are others, but I don't think any of them are in production anymore. The most popular is the Linksys DMA2100 and DMA2200 (which has built-in DVD player). You can find them at online retailers and on ebay.

    the xbox is the best though, in my opinion.
     

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