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Hardware needed for low cost HDDVR replacement

SithSolo1

Diamond Member
Mar 19, 2001
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Primary purpose is HDDVR replacement for a single TV, ideally able to record at least two shows at once. Their current DVR is some box from Charter with a 250GB HDD @ $15/mo.

Will not be used for watching/ripping DVD or Blu-rays, they have a stand alone player.

Hardware I have sitting around:
4GB(2x2GB) DDR3-1333
64GB OCZ Agility 4 (OS drive?, will purchase larger drive for storage)

OS to be used:
Windows 7 Home Premium

I guess my primary question is what core hardware should I be looking at?(no HTPC experience)
CPU, mobo, capture card?

I was thinking a G860, H61 mobo, and a Ceton InfiniTV 4.
Is this overkill? Alternatives?
 

SithSolo1

Diamond Member
Mar 19, 2001
7,741
11
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Looking to buy:
Windows 7 Home Premium
G1610
MSI H61M-E33/W8
500GB WD Blue
SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME
Rosewill RRC-126

Currently Own:
Logitech K400
4GB Crucial DDR3-1333
64GB Agility 4
M-Atx Case
500w PSU

Thoughts?
 
Apr 21, 2012
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500W PSU seems a bit overkill, but if you got one laying around why not I guess. Beware on the H61 that you'll need to update the BIOS before installing a G1610 since it's Ivy Bridge, so you'll need a spare Sandy Bridge laying around before you do that, but if you don't the G530 Celeron would be perfectly good for that and I think you can get it at Microcenter for around $40 after tax.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
Puma is pretty much right on. I was going to get a H61 board for my HTPC, but I got the 'new and improved' H75 board that's all ready for Sandy/Ivy Bridge. In the end it may have cost me another $10 or something over the old tech H61.

A simple Corsair CX430 PSU will get the job done with ease... no need for a 500W. The 430W is probably overkill... but that is just about the best value for a quality PSU going.

I don't know how much media you plan to store, but you may want to consider at least a 1TB HDD, if not larger.... but, as I say, that depends on how much you wish to store... a 500GB will hold quite a bit.

The 64GB Agility4 is a fine SSD for the OS, I used my old Agility3 in my HTPC, currently at 20GB used.

The Celeron should be OK for your purposes, understand this isn't an encoding processor. I tried to rip a DVD with my G620 and it took over an hour vs about 8 minutes for my i5 system. I would probably spend the money and get a Pentium, but that's me. Very often you can get a Pentium for just a few dollars over a Celeron.

4GB RAM is fine, my HTPC rarely goes over 2.5GB in use.
 

SithSolo1

Diamond Member
Mar 19, 2001
7,741
11
81
Thanks for the replies. I don't have a sandy handy so I'll either look at getting a newer board or an "older" cpu.

I'll price out a larger drive though I doubt they'll fill out the 500GB.

I have a 500w unit I'm not using though its about 4 years old at this point. I may end up getting a pico unit.
 

SithSolo1

Diamond Member
Mar 19, 2001
7,741
11
81
So thinking some more it looks like I don't need a whole lot of cpu HP for DVRing. I bought a my mother a Zotac ZBOX UD-61 last year it it appears she hasn't used it in the past few months. It has a 1.3ghz dual-core sandy celeron, Kingston Hyperx sdd, 4gb ram, and windows 7 home premium already in it. If I I just buy the HDHomeRun Prime, an external HDD, and a network switch could I just use the Zbox as the DVR pc?
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
So thinking some more it looks like I don't need a whole lot of cpu HP for DVRing. I bought a my mother a Zotac ZBOX UD-61 last year it it appears she hasn't used it in the past few months. It has a 1.3ghz dual-core sandy celeron, Kingston Hyperx sdd, 4gb ram, and windows 7 home premium already in it. If I I just buy the HDHomeRun Prime, an external HDD, and a network switch could I just use the Zbox as the DVR pc?
I don't see why not. It won't be a powerhouse or anything, but I don't think you will have a problem streaming.

It might be just what the doctor ordered... :biggrin:
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,636
268
126
FWIW you might need more cpu than you think. If you're recording 4 streams that isn't that cpu intensive, but throw on watching a streaming show on top of that you you can choke a cpu. My e8400 stutters the streaming playback with that load. If you look at performance monitor you can see the cpu pegged. You'll probably end up doing more than you think at once.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
Primary purpose is HDDVR replacement for a single TV, ideally able to record at least two shows at once.
If you're recording 4 streams that isn't that cpu intensive, but throw on watching a streaming show on top of that you you can choke a cpu.

Whoa... I missed that part... :$

Theoretically, could you just upgrade the CPU on the Zotac Zbox...? All the other components are good.
 

SithSolo1

Diamond Member
Mar 19, 2001
7,741
11
81
Whoa... I missed that part... :$

Theoretically, could you just upgrade the CPU on the Zotac Zbox...? All the other components are good.
The cpu is soldered on on. What I meant by two streams at once was recording what you are currently viewing while recording one other stream on a different channel. Thats what the current DVR can do. Even though the Prime can run 3 streams I don't see my parents using more than two. For that reason I've started looking into the Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,636
268
126
The cpu is soldered on on. What I meant by two streams at once was recording what you are currently viewing while recording one other stream on a different channel. Thats what the current DVR can do. Even though the Prime can run 3 streams I don't see my parents using more than two. For that reason I've started looking into the Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650.
If its available they will use it at some point. I know when I built mine I thought "I'll never run out of tuners with 4!" And now most sunday nights I have shows not getting recorded because so much stuff is on at once. The recording isn't really a huge issue though. Its the other stuff.
 
Apr 21, 2012
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Yeah that Zotac box has a Celeron 847 which is a laptop part. You can actually buy ITX motherboards like the Asus C8HM70 for about $80 with a celeron 847 already built in, but for the same price you could get a Foxconn H61S ITX board and a more powerful desktop Sandy Bridge variant.

As far as the streaming......I had trouble with an E8650 Core 2 Duo when it came to recording and streaming simultaneously as well, I know the new Celerons and Pentiums are about equal in performance so the result may be similar but idk.
 

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