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Old 22nd June 2013, 07:42 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brisvegas
Default Help required setting up HTPC

After tossing up the pros and cons of several different technologies I decided to build myself a fresh PC dedicated to HTPC use.

The parts accumulated so far are:

Nanoxia deep silence 1 case
Nanoxia - Turn on German Engineering
Seasonic XP-760 Platinum 760W Power Supply V2
Welcome to Seasonic USA
Asus Z87 Deluxe motherboard
Z87-DELUXE - Motherboards - ASUS
Intel Core i5 4570
4th Gen Intel® Core? i5-4570 Processor Benchmark
8 GB Cosair DDR3 RAM
Dominator® Platinum with Corsair Link Connector ? 1.5V 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit (CMD8GX3M2A1866C9)
4 x 3TB Western Digital Red NAS
WD Red
noctua NH-U9B CPU fan
Noctua.at - sound-optimised premium components "Designed in Austria"!
AverMedia A825 AverTV Twinstar Dual DVB-T USB Tuner
AVerMedia AVerTV Global - TV Tuners, Live IPTV Streaming Encoder, Video Capture Card, Media Player and Multimedia Products - AVerTV TwinStar

Probably a bit late to be asking now but am I on the right track for a media centre? what other bits do I need to turn this into a really really decent all in one multi media centre?

The Asus motherboard has a optical out and my GroundSound DCN28 active xover has an optical in, so that is the planned method of data transfer so far. The DCN28 also has a high quality DAC built in.

Suggestions... thoughts on software / hardware are welcome.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 08:14 AM   #2
just another
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I was going to ask what software you are planning on running, but it looks like you haven't decided yet...

I run mythtv (mythdora release which is now rather dated). However any linux based solution you need to be fairly careful about the TV tuner card and the motherboard chosen, to make sure it is workable.

I think what you have there is more than adequate, both cpu and memory wise. I think I have a dual core AMD 2.7Ghz with only 2GB of ram and 1TB (mirrored) disk (though more disk would be nice).

Tony.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
For software I am a huge fan of xbmc
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Old 22nd June 2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brisvegas
Thanks for the suggestions, I bought a 3 pack of Windows 7 licenses a while back and used only 1. Been a very long time since I last used Linux but I could relearn it. For now I might use Windows but could look at a dual boot. I was looking to stripe the drives for quicker access and use a spare 128GB SSD for the OS.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 03:54 PM   #5
JRace is offline JRace  Canada
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Location: Vernon, BC
That looks good.
Is your win software 64 bit?
Otherwise you only need 4gb ram.

If you only use optical output you will not be able to decode dts-hd / dd true.
The mobo has hdmi so if down the road you get an AVR you can use this pc with it.

XBMC is a good all around front end.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 11:37 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brisvegas
OS software is FPP and comes with both 32 & 64 bit disks for install. I was tempted to pinch the MB out of my rarely used existing games box which has the previous generation 775 based quad core proc and 4 GB of RAM, but the GTX280 video card adds significant noise to the overall system, so I decided to start afresh with new quieter components. I only use 64 bit these days and let the OS take care of any legacy 32 bit apps.

I already have a Rotel RSP-1570 which I recently put back in the box because it wasn't being used. I have been piping my audio direct from my Oppo BDP83SE direct into the DCN28 to avoid any extra DAC activity. But when I go true multi channel I might need it back to do Master Audio etc.

Is there a better device / higher quality to convert HDMI to seperate channels / video?

Not heard of XBMC before now will need to investigate.

Last edited by Silent Screamer; 22nd June 2013 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 25th June 2013, 01:00 PM   #7
nertia is offline nertia  Scotland
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+1 for XBMC, swiss army knife of multimedia with a huge user community. Can be used with Windows or Linux. Buy a cheap usb remote (check wiki for compatible models) or control with android smartphone/tablet.
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Old 25th June 2013, 01:59 PM   #8
InSides is offline InSides  Macedonia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Screamer View Post
I was looking to stripe the drives for quicker access and use a spare 128GB SSD for the OS.
I was going to suggest an SSD anyway since it was missing from your original list. The suggested components look good, and I would always go for as much RAM as you can manage, both because it is cheap nowadays, and also because you can never have too much of it - especially if you decide to do video post-processing in the vein of madVR or similar approaches.

That said, seeing you already have Windows 7, why not go ahead and use Windows Media Center and see how it feels? I have been using it for years, tried XMBC and MythTV, but returned to WMC. In combination with a few other items such as Shark007, MCERemotePlus and YAMMM, it covers all my requirements.

I use a i5-3570K, by the way, and the HD4000 built in is quite sufficient even moderate gaming. The Haswell you want to use comes with HD4600 which should be even better.

Both offer audio bitstreaming via HDMI which to me is the preferred method for getting audio off of the box. Meaning you would have to add the RSP1570 back in the game though...
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Old 25th June 2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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Location: Brisvegas
Yeah figured since I already have the SSD spare seems silly not to use it. Has anyone tried Pure Player that seems to have potential as an audiophile grade player?

Nothing stops me trying various players to begin with. Got given a WMP remote years ago should drag it out of the box. Hoping the parts will turn up tomorrow. Already bought the extra HDDs and a replacement CPU fan.

Will try both optical and HDMI to see which I like. I believe there is also a digital RCA on the mobo but not accessory to rear of case (optional extra).

Last edited by Silent Screamer; 25th June 2013 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 1st July 2013, 02:47 AM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brisvegas
Finished putting all the hardware in and fired up the HTPC over the weekend. Had some issues with the USB Tuner software. At first I couldn't get it to pick up any channels but eventually got it to find them. The software seems quite buggy and was falling over all the time so I went out and purchased the HomeFree Duet Network Tuner AVerMedia AVerTV Global - TV Tuners, Live IPTV Streaming Encoder, Video Capture Card, Media Player and Multimedia Products - HomeFree Duet

The software that came with this has been around a little longer and seems more stable, it does however make integration with some of the 3rd party software a little more tricky as it is not picked up as an attached device.

It does however offer streaming of the second DVB-T signal to another device (great for when the better half hogs the remote). Was just trying to install the latest version of the software when it got too late.

I think the answer is in there somewhere but I need some time to play with the various software to see which I like best.

Speaking of software I downloaded XBMC since it was so hotly suggested. After all of two minutes of looking it seems like a decent bit of gear... Don't like the file manager but everything else seems very simple to use.

Also compared it against the Pure Player which does have audibly better sound, but might try use XBMC for all the visual related materials.

Can anyone comment on the stability of XBMC?
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