Hello fellow NV'ers. It's finally time for me to start putting together my first HTPC and I would like to share the experience with you all. So let's get started.
1. Be able to watch all analog and digital channels provided by Comcast.
2. Record/Schedule Record TV shows.
3. Play both DVD discs and movies backed up on an internal hard drive.
4. Play backed up music from both my collection and the future wifey's collection.
5. Eventually play HD-DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, or both.
6. Be able to access any content above on any trusted PC/Laptop on my network.
7. Be able to access any content above using XBOX 360's extender.
What I Have So Far
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4300
RAM: 2X1GB Corsair XMS DDR2-800
Video Card: MSI 8600GT Twin Turbo
Hard Drive: TBB (To be bought)
Power Supply: Rosewill 450 Watts
CD/DVD Drive: Old DVD-ROM Drive, will be replacing
Operating System: See Below
Case: See Below
Planning on Buying
1. 4x250GB Hard Drives (No RAID right off the bat, don't see the point)
2. New SATA DVD-ROM Drive
3. Copy of Windows Vista Home Premium (I only have Vista Ultimate x64, no product key)
4. CoolerMaster Elite 330 Case
Ok, so now you know the basics of my project. I basically want to build not only a HTPC for my main TV, but I also want it to be a media server that serves all of my PCs and Laptops on my network. Later on in the future, I would like to have this connected with speakers that run through the entire house.
Doesn't sound too hard of a project, HOWEVER, getting everything the way you want it takes quite some time.
What Have I Done So Far?
First, I bought a Hauppauge HVR-1600 TV Tuner card and to be honest, IT SUCKS. I was really hoping on better quality out of this card but all I see is cheap parts with cheap, useless software. I tried using Vista's MCE to configure the card and scan for channels using my Comcast Motorola STB, but it's a no go. Once it is manually configured, I get no digital channels, only analog. Even a simple Firewire cable and VLC captures my digital channels in 1080i!!! I'm taking it back tonight and replacing it for Visiontek's HD 600 Wonder PCI-e solution.
I did manage to test out Vista's MCE TV capabilities today and I'm stunned. I'm really digging the interface and the ease of recording, playback, TV guide and movie guide. Can't wait to get everything set up the way I want it.
This process will take a bit of time because money is short. I will be getting a new case probably this week, following with a copy of Vista HP right after Christmas time. Then a new hard drive will be in the mix in January.
Hope you guys enjoy this worklog, I've never done one before so keep an eye out for updates. Thanks guys!