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Old 27-06-2013, 11:47
Paddy C
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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I have looked at some HTPC's and quite like the look of them and would be interested in having one myself. I have no idea where I would need to start or what exactly I would need to buy. Can anyone give me some pointers? I know I'll need a case, but what all do I need to put inside it, or would it even be just as easy to buy a good spec PC and add a TV card and use it that way?

Ideally I'd like to watch all of the channels available on Saorview, Freeview and Freesat all in one handy Guide and I can put the channels in whatever order I wish with full 7 day listings. Also, I'd love to be able to record at least 2 channels at once, but 3 or 4 even better.

Would also like to connect up my external HDD (or copy my film catelogue onto an internal HDD) and be able to watch my DVD collection which I have made into .avi's and also play some downloaded .mkv's, .mp4's and .flv's.

I assume it will be controlled by a remote wirelessly connected to the HTPC, but what happens if there's a power outage etc. Will I need to have a spare keyboard and mouse somewhere just in case to get it all back up and running again?

Cheers for any advice!
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Old 27-06-2013, 18:52
Chris Frost
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Have a look at the dedicated HTPC section at AVForums. Read the FAQs at the top of that page first before asking a load of questions that have already been answered.
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Old 29-06-2013, 23:25
kazzabeee
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Location: Manchester
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I have looked at some HTPC's and quite like the look of them and would be interested in having one myself. I have no idea where I would need to start or what exactly I would need to buy. Can anyone give me some pointers? I know I'll need a case, but what all do I need to put inside it, or would it even be just as easy to buy a good spec PC and add a TV card and use it that way?

Ideally I'd like to watch all of the channels available on Saorview, Freeview and Freesat all in one handy Guide and I can put the channels in whatever order I wish with full 7 day listings. Also, I'd love to be able to record at least 2 channels at once, but 3 or 4 even better.

Would also like to connect up my external HDD (or copy my film catelogue onto an internal HDD) and be able to watch my DVD collection which I have made into .avi's and also play some downloaded .mkv's, .mp4's and .flv's.

I assume it will be controlled by a remote wirelessly connected to the HTPC, but what happens if there's a power outage etc. Will I need to have a spare keyboard and mouse somewhere just in case to get it all back up and running again?

Cheers for any advice!
To view Freeview and Freesat you would need 2 separate TV cards. Not sure how you would get to view all channels on one guide.

You can buy a wireless keyboard with trackpad from ebay for about 20

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rechargeab...item5d3c77e7c7

I use one with my Shuttle PC and have never experienced any problems with it. As long as you have USB keyboard enabled in the BIOS, it works nearly as well as a wired keyboard and mouse without the mess.

If you install VLC media player on the PC, you'll be able to watch most video formats including the ones you mention.

If you don't want a PC it may be worth your while looking at a Raspberry Pi or an Android TV stick (which is probably what I will go for if my Shuttle dies on me) as you can use a usb hub to gain extra USB ports but not sure if you could get USB TV cards to work with these.

Good luck with whatever computer you decide to go for!

Karen
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:29
sancheeez
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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I just replaced an Android STB with an HTPC. The Android solution works, but I found it a bit clunky compared to the WDTV it replaced.

The WDTV is also pretty decent but no use for live TV.

If you want to build an HTPC (off the shelf ones tend to be a bit on the expensive side. HTPC's seem to be one area where self build is still clearly better value) I would suggest going with the initial suggestion of heading for AVForums. You'll generally get good advice there.

Getting a media font end set up to your liking is half the battle. If you are going to the trouble of setting up a dedicated HTPC, most folk will go for a slightly more elegant media solution than just using VLC. (I use XBMC myself. Mainly because I bought a case with a built in touch screen so I don't always have to use the TV and the software I use with the touch screen only supports XBMC and Media Portal.)
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Old 01-07-2013, 16:20
cp2
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Location: Standish, near Wigan
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To view Freeview and Freesat you would need 2 separate TV cards.

Karen
Blackgold do a single card with twin Freeview HD and twin satellite HD tuners. Admittedly, it is a bit pricy.
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Old 01-07-2013, 19:25
jcjeffe
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The recording and the playback functions can be on the same PC but can be on separate PCs or the playback can be done on a media player. Most PCs produced in the last 10 years are adaquate to record and play back SD video. Most recent motherboard video chipsets have built in GPU to take over HD video playback processing from the main processor. For HD you dont need a powerful 3D gaming video card ! If the motherboard dosnt have a HDMI video out then a suitable video card with HDMI costs about 20.

To do the recording internal or USB DVB-T/T2 and/or DVB-S/S2 tuners are required plus access to very large internal HD or NAS.

My server which sits in a wardrobe runs NextPVR on Vista and I have two client PCs running the same software. However some people prefer to play back on clients running XBMC which usually runs on Linux.

The channels that are duplicated on more than one tuner can be combined to make one EPG entry. So the software has a choice of more than one tuner to use if a channel appears on more than one tuner.
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