HTPC Build Options

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I am tired of streaming my content to my PS3 and other devices with PS3 Media Server (audio not working on most files now, no updates) and Tversity (color issues on most new files).

Any set-top box that I buy will probably have similar issues or will one day because they aren't updated. So the best solution, plug a computer into my tv.

I don't really want to build anything though, very lazy. Are there any HTPCs out there under 300CAD?

Any other ideas, suggestions?


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I basically did the same thing as you -- tried the XBOX/PS3 route for media management, but ended up deciding to get an HTPC.

Once I had the HTPC I tried MCE, and a few other media center software solutions, but settled on XBMC on the client side with a SabNZBd+/SickBeard solution on the server side.

The major difference is that I built my machine. It really comes down to how much you care about what your specific machine is, and how important the price point is to you. I would strongly recommend changing your tune on assembling your own computer -- it really doesn't take very long.

My machine (from April 2009):

Intel BOXDG45ID mATX LGA775 G45 DDR2 PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 PCI SATA2 HDMI DVI Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Dual Core Processor LGA775 2.8GHZ 1066FSB 3MB Retail

OCZ Gold XTC OCZ2G10664GK 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-1066 CL5-6-6-18 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit

Pcusa Vista Remote Control with IR Receiver Silver

Antec Basiq BP500U 500W 24PIN ATX 12V Power Supply Active PFC

Nmedia HTPC-1000B Desktop Media Centre Case mATX Black 1X5.25 4X3.5INT Card Reader No PS

LG GH22LS30 Black 22X SATA Lightscribe DVDRW OEM

The total with shipping and taxes was about $650 from NCIX. It has been able to play everything I've thrown at it --- XBMC is a fantastic piece of software. If you do choose to use XBMC remember to get a high powered CPU as, at least when I built my machine, decoding was not hardware accelerated.

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Yea I could build my system quite fast and easily, I love building computers. The issue is with buying all the parts, waiting for them to get here, maybe having issues with some, etc etc.

And I am probably going to just use Windows to watch my content, with MPC or whatever I feel like. I like how the media centers look, boxee and xmbc but that is part of the issue I have right now, sometimes files don't work with them. Anyways.

Any pre-built sugguestions.

Or anyone want to pick out parts for a $300CAD or less system that will play HD content just fine?

Yes I am being lazy in all the ways I can.

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