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Close to pulling the trigger on a new HTPC (DVR, Blu-ray)

MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
13,507
2
81
Our Tivo HD has been locking up, and I'm looking to replace it with an HTPC. I want Cablecard/DVR capabilities, and I am also thinking of adding blu-ray playback while I'm at it.

I've compiled this list of hardware after reviewing some of the guides on this forum. I still need a remote (really just an IR receiver that will work with my Harmony) and blu-ray playback software (TotalMedia Theatre seems like good bet, although it's expensive).

Any thoughts? I want something easy to use and family friendly that will integrate into our living room. We're unlikely to game on it.

UPDATE: New hardware list. Slight update on RAM and added case fans.
 
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MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
13,507
2
81
Also need some case fans? The case supports up to 4 80mm fans, although space is tight so I'm not sure if that's a consideration.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Good choice of hardware. The only suggestion I would make is to pick some low-profile ram. I don't have any experience with that case so I'm not sure if there would be any interference issues but with mATX and low-profile cases it's better to be safe than sorry.

For TotalMedia Theater google for discount. It's pretty much always available for 30% off and sometimes 50% off.

Because you're not using a dedicated video card case cooling isn't really a big issue. The stock cooler is plenty adequate for the CPU and a couple of fans in a push-pull config will keep the case plenty cool. The only thing that will generate some heat is the cablecard tuner. The Ceton tends to get very hot and without some active cooling tends to run close to its threshold. I modded my case to mount a fan that blows directly on the InfiniTV4 and it dropped the temps from the high 50's to the low 40's.
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
I've been looking at that case and downloaded the manual which contains the specifications. Double check the length of the optical drive as it's really a tight fit if your PSU is 140mm in lengths. My HTPC is in a Lian Li PC-Q27B which while small has no problems fitting in a standard Blu-Ray OD. Unfortunately, it's currently sold out on Newegg and I'm waiting on it's availability before building one for my daughter. I'm just not convinced about the space inside this Silverstone case. Will look forward to your comments on the build.
 

MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
13,507
2
81
Ordered the parts last night. I swapped the RAM for a low profile Corsair variety, and I switched my Blu Ray drive to an ASUS that was small depth-wise (hoping it will all fit in the case). Hopefully everything will arrive by the weekend.
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
Ordered the parts last night. I swapped the RAM for a low profile Corsair variety, and I switched my Blu Ray drive to an ASUS that was small depth-wise (hoping it will all fit in the case). Hopefully everything will arrive by the weekend.
Which ASUS Blu Ray drive did you get? I need to build a HTPC for my daughter this month and it looks like the Lian Li PC-Q27B may still be out of stock at Newegg and I'll use this Silverstone case. My concern is that the fit of a standard Blu Ray driver will be too tight in the case.
 

MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
13,507
2
81
Which ASUS Blu Ray drive did you get? I need to build a HTPC for my daughter this month and it looks like the Lian Li PC-Q27B may still be out of stock at Newegg and I'll use this Silverstone case. My concern is that the fit of a standard Blu Ray driver will be too tight in the case.
The BC-12B1ST. It was only 170mm deep which was shorter than some of the other drives I looked at. It's going to be a tight fit in the silverstone case; I'll update this thread once I get the parts.
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
598
4
81
I've been looking at that case and downloaded the manual which contains the specifications. Double check the length of the optical drive as it's really a tight fit if your PSU is 140mm in lengths. My HTPC is in a Lian Li PC-Q27B which while small has no problems fitting in a standard Blu-Ray OD. Unfortunately, it's currently sold out on Newegg and I'm waiting on it's availability before building one for my daughter. I'm just not convinced about the space inside this Silverstone case. Will look forward to your comments on the build.
You could try looking at some pics on google and see if you see one maybe could tell how tight it will be. Also could go with a SFX power supply that has the mounting bracket to fit in ATX hole.

ALso found a post where someone claims that "Lian Li makes a Power Supply Extension Bracket (PE-01), allowing a portion of the PSU to reside outside of the case; thus providing extra room for PSU cables and air flow."....Just a thought.
 

MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
13,507
2
81
Well, all the parts arrived on Friday so I went ahead with the build. The case is definitely a tight fit, but everything fits. Even with 4 case fans, the unit is very quiet and temperatures seem reasonably cool as well. I'm still working out some kinks with Media Center and sleep mode, but so far I'm happy with how it turned out.
 
Sep 12, 2004
16,852
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If you are having issues with Media Center resuming from sleep, grab the MCE Standby Tool. It can resolve a lot of little niggling problems inherent in Media Center.
 

MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
13,507
2
81
I set up MCE standby tool, but I need to play around with it more to get it to work how I want. Since I installed it, my Harmony remote no longer puts the PC into sleep mode. It sleeps after an idle period, but the remote doesn't wake it up.
 

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