Building or buying a multi-media system 7 replies

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cg_fin_007

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13th November 2004

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#1 13 years ago

Greetings all! Does anyone have system suggestions or reference resources for buying or building a media system? A colleague of mine would prefer to buy one that would be excellent for transferring VHS to DVD and cassettes to CDs.

Any suggestions for where such a system may be purchased pre-built or suggestions on components required for a system would be greatly appreciated!!

Thansk again, :cya:




carl4286

Revenge was here.

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14th December 2004

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#2 13 years ago

Shuttle (im addicted to them now) makes a small form factor (sff) barebone specifically for media center PC's. It has an IR receiver on the front, aswell as a little monochrome display that acts just like the display you would find on a DVD player or CD player, but can also tell you case temps, CPU and RAM speeds, whatever you want. It's all customizable in the software that they include. It all comes in a package the size of a toaster. http://global.shuttle.com/Product/Barebone/SB83G5M.asp




cg_fin_007

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13th November 2004

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#3 13 years ago

Wow! Thanks for the info. I'll check them out!




Agentlaidlaw

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21st February 2005

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#4 13 years ago

If you just want a multi-media system do to only DVDs, TV, and music heres some good hardware to use. Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.0ghz Or a AMD S939 3200+ 1GB of ram ATI 9800XT or a X800 All in wonder Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS Pro 200GB harddrive Thats manly all if you want to build one. Heres some links to some pre-built ones: http://www.alienware.com/product_pages/media_center_all.aspx http://www.ibuypower.com/mall/media-center.asp http://www.cyberpowersystem.com/mediacenterhome.asp




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

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14th February 2004

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#5 13 years ago

Big bucks. You want to spend big bucks, right? AFAIC, building an HTPC requires a significant cash outlay, if only for the case (which will run you $200+ for a nice aluminium piece that looks like it belongs in a component stack). If all this "colleague" wants is a box to transcode, then you can skimp on some stuff--like the case--without a second thought. So which are we looking at, a true media PC, or just one to digitise stuff on? Either way, I wouldn't buy a complete system unless you handpick the parts. Yes, it's more work, but you're liable to wind up with lame parts (like sound being provided by an A2--sorry for all you Creative fans, but that's a subpar card for audio fidelity). If I were to do the whole HTPC thing right now, here's a quick barebones sketch: -Pentium 4. Don't go too high end--keep it below 3.2GHz or you'll hit issues with heat and noise. For an HTPC case, cool it under a Cooler Master Hyper48--they're damn near silent. The only reason I suggest a P4 over an A64 is that they still hold an ecoding advantage for video until you get into the very high end, at which point AMD is doing well at closing the gap. -A quality motherboard with passive northbridge cooling. Active coolers have tiny, loud fans. If you can score an S478 CPU, a member ASUS P4P800 or P4C800 families would be an excellent choice. -2x1024MB memory. You'll probably not be overclocking, so load up on the memory if you can afford to. -Seasonic S12 power supply. They're quiet and efficient. If you really value silence, consider an Antec Phantom 350. -One optical drive. Make it a DL DVD±RW--the latest and greatest do DL for both +R and -R. -Seagate hard drive(s). They've got a good rep for being unusually quiet. Available in sizes up to 400GB. -Nexus fans. You can get them in 80, 92 and 120mm versions (the 120's are modified Yate Loons and bright orange, too boot). Expensive for fans, though. -Audio should be provided by a "prosumer" level card: an M-Audio Audiphile series, or and EMU 0404 or 1212, for example. Avoid anything from Creative: they're decidedly poor for precise audio recording and playback. -TV tuner(s). Hauppauge has a dual-tuner card out that can accept two signals at once. Very nice, IMNSHO. -Graphics card. Get something that comes in a VIVO edition (that means no 6800-series). A 6600-series is a good choice here: they're excellent performance-per-dollar, relatively cool and are HDTV-ready (or something like that, I'm not entirely sure how you hook one up properly, since I have no HDTV to test it on). Shall I continue on, or is that a good enough starting opinion?




carl4286

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#6 13 years ago

C38368 is giving you some good advice and most people would probably go with his reccomendation over mine, but the Shuttle PC I linked to has a socket 775 motherboard (for that Pentium 4), and it has an actively cooled chipset, but under normal load the whole thing is guaranteed to operate at under 32db from 50cm away. It's only 7 inches by 7 inches by 12 inches deep, and if you get a passively cooled 6600 (gigabyte, aswell as a few others make them) the noise level wont go up at all. If the passive heatsink on the 6600 is small enough, you can still but a PCI tv tuner to go next to the video card, and if not they make external TV tuners that are quite small that could simply sit on a shelf behind the computer itself. The whole barebone (the case, power supply, motherboard, heatsinks...) is only around $350 and it has a nice mirrored finish that looks like it belongs with all the other componants in your home theater. I would still reccommend the shuttle system, as it is cheaper, smaller, cooler looking (in my opinion), and quieter (only 32db with a passively cooled video card).




cg_fin_007

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#7 13 years ago

Greetings all! I will pass this info on to my colleague. He will be very pleased I am sure. He's currently paying for his kids' weddings as he says, but he is interested in putting such a system together in the next 6 months or so. I'll be sure to pass this info on as well as any future postings.

Thanks again! :beer:




Guest

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#8 13 years ago

If you want to buy I suggest www.cyberpowerinc.com ... i have friends who used them and loved the systems... also www.ibuypower.com is pretty good, but maybe not QUITE so much as cyberpower if your gonna build I mught reccomend going with one of those stachable cases that are the same size as a dvd player so u can fir it in a media tower. the cases run about $125 and can hold a 400watt psu i think.