HTPC Build with Freesat - Hardware choices


Recommended Posts

robyholmes

Hi,

I have been given the task to produce a HTPC for my parents, as we live out in a sticks it needs to have a Freesat receiver. The ONLY one I can find that works with Windows 7 Media Center is this:

Black Gold BGT3540 (Which is also out of stock in a lot of places)

Here is a list of hardware I am thinking of:

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5400

Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L

4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2

512MB Gigabyte HD 4550 (HDMI)

320 GB Western Digital WD3200AAJS Caviar Blue (File server will hold all the media files)

LG GH22NS50 22x DVD?R (Blue ray was ?80, to much)

400W Corsair CMPSU-400CXUK Power Series PSU

Akasa Nero AK-967 Intel LGA 1366 (S775/1366/939/940/AM2/AM2+) , Heat Pipe cooler, 120mm PWM fan

Case is:

Lian Li C33B

Is this looking good? Any better choices to make here? Also anyone got freesat working with MCE and what card do you use?

Thanks

Rob Holmes

Link to post
Share on other sites
+InsaneNutter

Why not make the media pc use as little power as possible and go for an Nvidia Ion / Intel Atom based motherboard?

It will be capable of playing 1080p content such as Blu-rays perfectly as all the intense processing can be offloaded from the processor to the graphics chipset (basically a Geforce 9400)

An ASUS Motherboard with the Dual Core Atom (64bit) and the Nvidia Ion http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173797#

2gb of ram will also be more than enough, 4gb is a bit over kill for a computer thats just going to play media.

Use the money you save on ram to go towards a Blu-ray drive? ?50 at ebuyer: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172638

To me personally the case is huge and quite expensive, for my HTPC i got the Antec Minute:

BT2AANMINUET350EC.jpg

Its about ?75 at scan atm, other places look to sell it for about ?50 however ive never heard of them: http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductID=866128

Ofcourse as this case is smaller it means you could only go for a low profile tuner.

I have found a low profile DVB-S2 tuner i plan to get for my media center at some point so we can get HD free sat: http://www.prof-tuners.com/eng/prof7301.html you would need to replace the bracket on that card though if you went for a smaller case as its full height.

Hauppauge make great tuners: Full height DVB-S2 tuner: http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/site/products/data_novahds2.html

Hope that helps you a bit, again its really down to what you / your parents want. We couldn't fit a full sized pc case in our living room however the Antec Minute was perfect and has room for a 3.5" hard drive and optical drive.

Edited by InsaneNutter
Link to post
Share on other sites
Vice

Great choice on the BGT3540 that is easily the best card out for Freesat (Y)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Axel
How about these ultra slimline cases/barebones?

http://www.hipergroup.com/products.php?lv=1&cate=2

88b5081fdef20399a4b5cab27db9e199.jpg

Just to add that if you went for the case there is also a standard list of equipment here which shows you what fits etc:

http://www.hipergroup.com/products.php?lv=...&action=Diy

From what I can see, there is a single slot available via a riser card to add your freesat tuner. Everything else would need to be handles on the motherboard but as far as I can see, you can get HDMI out and all sorts on boards nowadays. Might take a little more research but that's my input. Personally I think it's a fantastic looking solution, as I'm not a fan of the large clunky unless hidden really well but it's all personal preference.

Hope it helps :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
robyholmes

Thanks for the feedback.

I was thinking about the ION but felt it wasn't quite ready, but from the look of it I might be wrong. The problem is the motherboard needs to have PCI-E for the Black Gold DVB-S2 card. The reason I choose that card was its support for Windows 7 Media Center.

Do you know of any ION motherboards that have a PCI-E slot?

I like the case, with a ION that would be great, the DVB-S2 card is low profile to so shouldn't be a problem.

Now question on wifi streaming now. I haven't tested the speed, but I have a 300Mbps Wireless N linksys router, will this be enough? Remember I am to store all the media on my server which is connected to a 1000mbps switch, but the WRT300N wireless router is only connected with 100mbps. Would it be best to put a 1000mbps cable down?

Thanks for help guys!

Link to post
Share on other sites
robyholmes

I have been looking for a good 3 hours now. I am stuck with these problems:

The Asus ION motherbaord doesn't have a PCI-E slot.

The DVB-S2 card all seem to need PCI-E

Can't find any low profile DVB-S PCI cards.

Anyone got any idea's?

Link to post
Share on other sites
robyholmes

Ok, back again. Here is a little update:

Found this card: Pctv Dual Sat Pro Pci 4000i

We can currently watch recorded programs on our Sky+HD box as it sends image sent to the TV via HDMI through the analog line which goes to a splitter which then sends it to all our TV's (2 more around the house currently). This does mean that if you want to watch a recorded program the sky+ box has to be showing it to watch it in other rooms.

Could we use media extenders to on the 2 TV's to watch recorded programs without needing to set the media center to play it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+InsaneNutter
Do you know of any ION motherboards that have a PCI-E slot?

Now question on wifi streaming now. I haven't tested the speed, but I have a 300Mbps Wireless N linksys router, will this be enough? Remember I am to store all the media on my server which is connected to a 1000mbps switch, but the WRT300N wireless router is only connected with 100mbps. Would it be best to put a 1000mbps cable down?

I carnt think of any Ion motherboards that have a PCI-E slot, i will post back if i ever come across one.

You should be able to stream over wifi with no problems as it sounds like you have a pretty good wireless setup, using a cable is always better though especially if you want to stream to multiple devices at the same time.

The DVB-S2 card all seem to need PCI-E

Can't find any low profile DVB-S PCI cards.

The Prof Revolution DVB-S2 7301 is a PCI card, prof also do a USB and PCI-E version of it. Unless you want DVB-S over DVB-S2 (not sure why you would?)

Link to post
Share on other sites
robyholmes

@InsaneNutter

Thanks for the info. No I said DVB-S as most DVB-S2 card were PCI-E. That cards looks good tho. The problem really is the streaming to other TV's now. Its costly. I will have to work this all out with my dad after Christmas before we get the freesat installed. Thanks for your advice tho!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.