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multimedia pc

Discussion in 'Technology' started by RoyB, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Oct 3, 2009 at 2:27 PM
    #1
    RoyB

    RoyB [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i am thinking about getting a pc for the tv. i would like to just get the internet and steam stuff like HULU onto it. what is the best route to do this? should i get a wireless mouse/keyboard so i dont have to get up, or is there an alternate solution?
     
  2. Oct 3, 2009 at 2:33 PM
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    JeffRock

    JeffRock Well-Known Member

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    So many possibilities! I use my Hp dv4 laptop to stream stuff to my HD tv. I hook it up with a single HDMI cable, It acts as a second monitor, And does sound as well. I just drag and drop a browser window on to the tv screen, And full size!
    I like HP laptops. So i would recommend a HP.

    but yeah, wireless mouse is a must, And a wireless keyboard would be great too!
     
  3. Oct 4, 2009 at 3:25 PM
    #3
    RoyB

    RoyB [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i just found out i can operate a pc via my ipod....so i DONT need a wireless keyboard or mouse anymore (Sweet). Now I just need a rig. any suggestions? What can i do for 300-400 bucks, anything? mostly just to hook to the net and stream to my tv/stereo.
     
  4. Oct 4, 2009 at 3:36 PM
    #4
    Pitt1552

    Pitt1552 Well-Known Member

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    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&N=40000010&Description=asus&name=Desktop PCs

    Asus has just released a number of new "nettop" products which are geared toward light home theater pc use. I'd suggest going with a pc that has some sort of dedicated video (not intel gma) so that you can stream hd content with no issues. Also, with windows 7 right around the corner (october 22 i think) you might be better off waiting a few weeks as you will get more bang for your buck. You also have the option of picking individual pc components yourself which will give you the best bang for your buck. Any questions feel free to pm.
     
  5. Oct 4, 2009 at 3:55 PM
    #5
    RoyB

    RoyB [OP] Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the tips. I will probably wait for Win7 because ive heard good stuff about it.

    any suggestions on specs I should be looking for? speed, ram, hd, etc? obviously a decent video card would be important, one with HDMI output so I can just pump it right into my receiver and let it take over from there.

    This is going to be dedicated for HT and be hidden inside my rack somewhere. I would eventually like to be able to stream music to the rest of the house through it and my receiver as well. not sure how exactly the remote works though the internet, but i guess it does, and pretty well from what ive read.
     
  6. Oct 4, 2009 at 4:14 PM
    #6
    jtav2002

    jtav2002 Kenny Fuckin Powers

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    Build your own. As far as Windows7, I really liked it when I had the Beta version earlier in the year, I'll be picking it up once it's out.
     
  7. Oct 4, 2009 at 4:17 PM
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    Pitt1552

    Pitt1552 Well-Known Member

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    using your ipod (touch i assume) works over your wireless network, i've also heard it works well, but havent gotten around to setting mine up yet. Because you are only looking to stream video and music, you dont need anything too exciting, but hard drive space will be key if you have alot of media you want access to (downloaded movies, music, ripped content) so your best bet would be to assess how much space you are gonna need and go from there. 2 gig or so of ram, and a dual core cpu would be nice, you dont need to go nuts with video(any of the current integrated ATI chipsets would be fine). if you dont mind having a larger case you could try to catch something on woot.com or samsclub auctions (if you are a member). As the other user above posted a laptop could also do the job just fine, but you will pay the premium to have the screen and formfactor. Your best bet will be to wait for windows 7 and make your decision then. For now you can do some research as new product previews wills tart to trickle out as we approach the 7 release date. Might i recommend anandtech.com, gizmodo.com, engadget.com. Every so often those sites have some info on htpc's, if nothing else you could search their archives to familiarize yourself with things you should be looking for and better judge what your hardware requirements will be. If you go the route of building your own you can use the windows 7 rc to get goin until the actual product release. Also, if you know any one with a valid college email address you can get the upgrade for $30.
     
  8. Oct 4, 2009 at 4:38 PM
    #8
    baildavc

    baildavc TREADING LIGHTLY!

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    X2. the dv4 is a great choice, I have one as well and it works great.
     
  9. Oct 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM
    #9
    dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    If you are going to have the PC in the same room while you're watching TV make sure you invest in a quiet power supply and fans.

    As stated above 2 gigs of RAM and a dual core processor will probably be sufficient. The only thing I would do is invest in a good graphics card. You don't have to go apeshit on this. In fact you can find a good one for around $50 if you look hard enough. I am not a big fan of integrated graphics on motherboards but if that is what you want to do then pick out a good MB that has a solid on board graphics chipset and maybe boost your RAM to 4 gigs.

    As far as Windows 7 is concerned, I would wait awhile for all the initial fixes to come out. I have heard of some issues already with beta testers as far as Media Center is concerned. If you're are just planning to use the machine strictly as a HTPC/Media Center box there is really no reason to wait for Windows 7. Just my .02
     
  10. Oct 6, 2009 at 9:37 AM
    #10
    Chickenmunga

    Chickenmunga Nuggety

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    I was faced with this issue myself, and considered two other options:

    Playstation 3: buy this and get Playon

    Set-Top Blu-Ray with streaming: There's many choices, but the two easiest to find are LG and Samsung.

    I'm a pretty serious computer guy, but when I want to watch something, I don't want to feel like I have to 'operate' a device... I want it to be simple, simple as watching a DVD. After looking at costs and benefits, I went with the LG BD370 for $250. I don't get Hulu, but having a Blu-Ray player, Netflix on-demand in HD, and a simple remote that all worked flawlessly together was all I wanted. The box can also do firmware updates, so I may end up getting hulu in the future anyway.
     
  11. Oct 6, 2009 at 10:41 AM
    #11
    Octane151

    Octane151 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Shuttle XPC that I could recommend. http://us.shuttle.com/ You can buy them built-up, or buy a bareback one and build it yourself. They are small boxed computers that fit nicely in entertainment centers, and most come with nice graphics cards with a built in media cards for recording shows, movies, etc. I love mine... I use it mainly to play my music through through iTunes on my home theater surround. I also often find myself surfing the web on my 50" Samsung HDTV... kinda cool.
     
  12. Oct 6, 2009 at 10:43 AM
    #12
    Chickenmunga

    Chickenmunga Nuggety

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    Unless you have Brokeback Mountain on continuous repeat, I'd say a barebones model might be better :p
     
  13. Oct 6, 2009 at 2:49 PM
    #13
    RoyB

    RoyB [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i was looking into building now....how can you possibly build one for under 500 bucks? seems impossible when you add everything up.
     
  14. Oct 6, 2009 at 3:00 PM
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    otter

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    You can do it, but you really have to know where to spend and where to be a cheapskate. However, when it comes to cheap computers, IMO, you're better off buying a prebuilt, from a cost perspective. I usually only recommend building your own if you're looking to put something together for a very specific purpose and want a high performance level out of it.
     
  15. Oct 6, 2009 at 3:38 PM
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    RoyB

    RoyB [OP] Well-Known Member

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    im seeing that. so i should get a cheapo hp or dell and just buy a good video card with hdmi out? just needs to stream the net to my tv....
     
  16. Oct 6, 2009 at 4:32 PM
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    Chickenmunga

    Chickenmunga Nuggety

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    depends on the TV... your TV might have VGA so you could skip the video card upgrade
     
  17. Oct 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM
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    dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    Yes, this can work. If you're not looking to pick up cable and use the computer as a Media Center pc then this might be the better option. Another thing to check into is some computer stores have old machines for sale that would be quite capable for what you want to do for cheap. Check around.
     
  18. Oct 8, 2009 at 4:30 AM
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    Octane151

    Octane151 Well-Known Member

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    :D

    Like it has been mentioned already, you might be better off with a cheap rebuilt machine. I bought a barebone XPC because I was streaming media and doing other processor-hungry stuff on it too... so I needed a little more power. The XPC's have built in sound and video on the motherboard. I just had to buy the processor, RAM, hard drive, and a DVD/CD burner. I didn't skimp on any of that, and I still only spent $600.

    Check out newegg.com if you buy an already-computer but need specific parts. That's where I've been getting my pc gear for the last 5 years or so.
     
  19. Oct 12, 2009 at 3:55 PM
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    RoyB

    RoyB [OP] Well-Known Member

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    woots computer looks pretty good for what im looking to achieve. thoughts?
     
  20. Oct 12, 2009 at 5:56 PM
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    Chickenmunga

    Chickenmunga Nuggety

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    Haven't really looked at reviews, but if it helps, the video card is a nVidia 120GT, which is equivalent to an nVidia 9500GT
     
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