Author Topic: Building a Media PC.  (Read 1458 times)

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Offline CoraginTopic starter

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Building a Media PC.
« on: March 04, 2010, 08:20:39 AM »
This is from the original post I started...


This is all due to my PS3 Dying, I need a new laser and cannot afford it.

I have probably 3 extra pc's layin around here from when I used to do everquest, they are 4gb 2.0-3.0 single/dual amd processors.

I want to build one of them into a media player.  Im having a problem with my main PC showing blu ray video on my TV since the TV is on a different video card (vNidia GeForce 9800+ 1gig video ram) and not on the main screens video card.  idk why.

So what I want to do.

Media Player w/current codecs
connected to tv
USB remote for media center (That can be used to bring pc out of sleep/heibernate mode, power on pc) I own this, need help with bios settings.

Now my questions:
Can anyone suggest any single media program over another?  I would love just an OS for something like this.
Would Linux be a good OS?  XP Media Center?  XP x64, Vista 64, Win7 64?

I have...

TV Tuner w/AM/FM Tuner and PVR
Asus MB
1TB HD Sata
Blu Ray Drive
GeForce 9800+
HP Windows Media Center Remote (USB IR Sensor)
PC Case
20/1 Card Reader
550w Fanless PS
Dolby Digital 7.1 Sound Card
37" HDTV Vizio
Sony Home Theater System
Logitech Harmony 590 Remote (booyah!)
Linksys wmp54g wifi card
HDMI Cables
DVI Cables
DVI to HDMI Cables
TV has these inputs, RGB, Composite, HDMI, VGA, DVI, Svideo (I know which ones are best and which ones suck)
Wireless Keyboard w/mouse touchpad

So basic operational abilities I want...

1. Using my remote to "power on" the media center pc (I know this is a bios setting)
2. Using the Remote to put PC to "Sleep", "Standby", "Hibernate".  (This is a remote setting I know)
3. Ability to play .mkv, avi, mp3, wmp, mp4, mov, rm, files.  And Blu Ray/DVD discs.
4. Open the media center program I choose on boot in full screen.  (I know how to put this in startup)

So here is my list of questions...

1. What is the best OS?  Is Linux even a logical choice?
2. Is there a Media Center OS?  Like what is used for PS3 and Popcorn Time and other hdd players?
3. Best setup in terms of resolution?  (TV is capable of 1080p)
4. Best cable to use?  HDMI to HDMI, is not possible as best I have is DVI and VGA output.  But have DVI to HDMI.  VGA however allows the tv to "sleep" and act much more like a monitor.
5. I want software capable of playing music and movies, that can also do playlists.

So, is windows media center considered the best?  Or are there others out there that are better, with more functionality?  Right now I am researching, I will be googling media center pc design after I post this, but I trust my friends here in their opinions and suggestions.  I look forward to reading this.

also good "Free" or "Free-ish" Software to rip blu rays to HDD and re-encode to mp4, mkv ect.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 08:33:40 AM by Coragin »

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Offline Pyargy

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Re: Building a Media PC.
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 02:26:35 PM »
Welcome to the world of HTPC.  If you like to tinker with computers you will enjoy yourself, if you just want something to work you will not be happy.

First thing is to point you to the most knowledgle place when it comes to HTPC

I just quickly went through you list of parts but I think you going to have trouble with that processor and running HD and Blu-Ray but I could be wrong.  Poke around in the website I listed above you should be able to find everything you need and branch into more OS's availible.

Oh and with the new changes with Comcast it makes it a pain to work with HTPC but there are work arounds.  Seems like I am always trying to work around something these days hehe.