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Buliding first ever HTPC, need your input on various topics please!


Golden Member
Aug 20, 2010
I've got some questions about things I'm not clear on.

First, here are the list of components I have ordered, they should be in tomorrow.

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Media Center Kit Dual TV Tuner w/ IR Remote PCI-E x 1

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum Panel & Steel (1.0mm SECC) HTPC 7000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-450-M 450W ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified ...

Intel Core i3-3220 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ...

ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

nMEDIAPC PRO-LCD Media Center Programmable LCD - OEM

Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 997005

ZALMAN CNPS 7500 Cu LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

COUGAR CF-V12H Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing (Fluid) 300,000 Hours 12CM Silent Cooling Fan

Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LG Black 12X Internal Blu-ray Drive 3D Playback & M-DISC Support SATA Model UH12LS29 LightScribe Support - OEM

EVGA SSC 01G-P4-3652-KR GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

Winegard SS-3000 VHF UHF Amplified Indoor TV Antenna

1 x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

This build will be for: Watching/recording TV. Watching my ripped blu ray collection. Pictures. Other Video. Light gaming (Steam big picture). Music. Web surfing. FM radio. Netflix.

I plan on using Assasins guide (for the software part of things)

My first question is, I have Time Warner Cable. However I am only paying for the internet service (20mb/s down). Is there any point in buying a 'cable card' or do I have to purchase basic cable (tv) ?

My second question is, which wireless adapter should I but ? Right now I have an Asus black diamon dual band router (2.4Ghz and 5 Ghz) so should I also get a dual band adapter ? Some adapters I have seen claim to be dual band, but they have to be adjusted manually, are there adapters that will do it themselves ?

Next, I am looking to pass my audio through the GTX 650ti (hdmi) to a reciever for bitstreamed audio, I want the highest quality possible.

Which reciever is considered top of the line, has 3D capability, but won't be much more than 350$ ?

Lastly, I need to choose some badass speakers. I was thinking two giant floor speakers and a subwoofer to start. Is 2.1 considered good enough ? Also, because 5.1 is considered digital, would that be a downgrade from a 2.1 setup ?

I am trying to learn as much as I can about an HTPC/reciever/speaker setup and I know I am a noob so please help me out.

Picking and building the HTPC is the fairly easy part because I have built so many PCs, but everything else is a bit blurry.

Thanks for any input on these questions, and please comment on the build !


Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
TV tuners are all basically the same, but I'd go with the HDhomerun just to keep the additional heat out of the case. TV tuners run pretty warm. Cablecard is great if you subscribe, but it's an additional recurring cost since you have to subscribe to cable TV and you might also have to pay a monthly cablecard fee.

The CPU cooler isn't necessary. Try it with the stock cooler and buy a better cooler later, if needed (probably not).

The hard drive might be a little loud, if that's important. Even a green 5400rpm drive can keep up with two tuners.