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http://www.ibm.com/news/au/2004/08/2004083101.html

Disregarding the price - which should be about a 1/2 of the $1,499 ripoff theyre charging here, what do people think of something like this as a htpc.

Supposed to be pretty quiet compared to a normal. Small form factor (27.6cm wide by 27.3cm deep by 8.9cm high) plus its black (not to obtrussive in the lounge room)

has the "Ultrabay Enhanced Drive Bay, allows users to swap optical drives without opening the S50’s case"

only one pci slot :blink:

god only what type of grphics or audio?

if this ones a dud - any other ultra quiet small form factor pcs out there with htpc aspirations?

Or do you really have to put one together yourself and make your own

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alebonau,

Small = Hot

Hot = More fans

More fans = more noise

Small = Noisey :-)

I dont know about you, but my idea of HTPC is:

Live Scaled SD DTV

Live HD DTV

Scaled & Enhanced DVD Playback

Scaled & Enhanced Media Playback

1 PCI is not good. You need at least 1 PCI (for your HDTV card) and 1 AGP or PCI-E slot for your Video card.

To do those things, you need a fast CPU (P4) and fast Graphics card (high end ati or nvidia) - both of which put out over 100 watts of heat each (I think :blink: The best cooling is large 120mm (slow rotation) fans - they move a lot of air and are very quiet - you simply cannot fit these into small cases.

I still think you need to build your own HTPC for the job YOU want it to do.

If you just want to watch DTV then a ultra-small box might be ok with an external DTV solution (USB for example) and use the internal graphics capabilities (if theyre up to the job).

Cheers,

Bitey

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39dB = Noisy!

How about this?

Antec Overture HTPC case $195

AMD mobile athlon 2500 $150

Silent Boost HS (moded to run on 7V) $40

Nvidia Nforce2 MB (eg. Asus A7N8X-X) $99

2xKingston 256Mb PC3200 DDR Ram $156

Seagate Barracuda 200Gb 7200 8Mb cache Hard Disk $170

ATI Radeon 9200 128Mb Video Card $75

Pioneer DVR108 16X DL burner $150

Nebula DigiTV $289

All up $1324, cheaper than the IBM you've mentioned and almost completely silent.

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39dB = Noisy!

How about this?

Antec Overture HTPC case $195

AMD mobile athlon 2500 $150

Silent Boost HS (moded to run on 7V) $40

Nvidia Nforce2 MB (eg. Asus A7N8X-X) $99

2xKingston 256Mb PC3200 DDR Ram $156

Seagate Barracuda 200Gb 7200 8Mb cache Hard Disk $170

ATI Radeon 9200 128Mb Video Card $75

Pioneer DVR108 16X DL burner $150

Nebula DigiTV $289

All up $1324, cheaper than the IBM you've mentioned and almost completely silent.

Cool system (and price) .... but .... it's basically an SD HD* 200mb PVR - minus the remote, minus the second tuner, minus a few output choices, minus a wicked user interface!

Better get [another?] Toppy with a 250mb drive fitted at the factory for $800+. :P:blink:

[edit]

* Just put brain back into gear ... sorry :P

Edited by ijd
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Cool system (and price) .... but .... it's basically an HD 200mb PVR - minus the remote, minus the second tuner, minus a few output choices, minus a wicked user interface!

Without trying to start up another round of consumer electronics devices vs HTPC debate, ocujas' system does have a remote, can play all sorts of media besides handling Digital TV (DVD, MP3, DivX, etc), be used to surf the internet/email/play games, etc, can have a second tuner added later, can be used to edit and archive recordings (subject to copyright of course!), and DigiTV does have a wicked HTPC user interface. Oh, and it can stream Digital TV to other computers in the house, has a web interface for remote control, be used to serve up digital content to network media players like the Neuston MC-500, MediaMVP, for other TVs in the house, etc, etc.

The only downside is that it takes somewhat more time to set it up than the ~5 minutes it takes to set up a traditional consumer electronics device (and admittedly, it is running Windows (which can be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective) and ocujas didnt appear to factor it into his costing). :P

Besides, it will probably fair to compare it with the upcoming HD Toppy wouldn't it, which I'm guessing will be a lot more than $800? :blink:

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Thanks for correcting my thoughts, HR! It seems that even after getting my brain into gear, it only got into first gear!

At least we have summarised both sides of the equation into a few paragraphs for others to consider. I plan to do both (get my HTPC ticking over smoothly *and* get another Toppy when the HD version comes out).

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At least we have summarised both sides of the equation into a few paragraphs for others to consider.

Agreed.

There is a middle ground as well that is being used with success by quite a few people - a mix of a PC based media server/digital TV recorder (often the PC in the study with digital TV tuner(s) in it), combined with a mix of consumer electronics devices such as a network media player, dvd player, and non-PVR STB for live TV, connected to the display and streaming data over a computer network.

So there is a solution for everyone, which can meet every budget (or existing mix of devices). :blink:

I plan to do both (get my HTPC ticking over smoothly *and* get another Toppy when the HD version comes out).

The best of both worlds, eh? :P

The other thing I forgot to mention in my previous paragraph about a home grown HTPC was the phrase: "all without the draconian DRM (and lacklustre features) that you get as part of a Windows MCE based PC"... :P

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Guest Gizmomelb

my $0.02

brand new XBOX with a modchip $270

XBOX DVD remote control kit $ 40

HD TV connector kit $ 40

200GB IDE HDD $169

KWorld V-Stream USB1.1 DVB-T $236

MYTHTV for XBOX $free

total $755

disadvantages:

capable of SD DVB-T reception only

advantages:

can hardware upscale all video to HD 1080i/720p

can play almost every known video and audio format currently known

can play media through a network connection

probably not as appealing as a HTPC or a Toppy, but certainly do-able.

Gizmomelb

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brand new XBOX with a modchip $270

XBOX DVD remote control kit $ 40

HD TV connector kit $ 40

200GB IDE HDD $169

KWorld V-Stream USB1.1 DVB-T $236

MYTHTV for XBOX $free

Doesn't the Kworld + MYTHTV require a PC running Linux?

Also isn't the V-stream thingy the same as the VisionPlus? Which everyone seems to say is not that good?

And what about all these boxes and wires hanging around?

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Guest Gizmomelb

nope, the USB plugs into the XBOX (which is running MYTHTV)

yes as portable TV tuners the VStream/VisionPlus USB aren't that hot.. but when connected to a 'proper' antenna they're pretty much the same as every other SD card or STB.

usb tuner sits on top of xbox. not that much of a cable snag.

once again, probably not as appealing as a HTPC or a Toppy, but certainly another alternative.

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Guest Gizmomelb

Supposedly - got rid of mine ages ago so I can't test it sorry. But there is definate support for them in the DVB-T linux drivers.

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the xbox setup seems to come close to the ulra small form factor pre-requisite.

brand new XBOX with a modchip $270

XBOX DVD remote control kit $ 40

HD TV connector kit $ 40

200GB IDE HDD $169

KWorld V-Stream USB1.1 DVB-T $236

MYTHTV for XBOX $free

total $755

disadvantages:

capable of SD DVB-T reception only

pity it can'tdo hdtv only sd dvb-t. And why only usb1.1 can it do usb2.0. Can it burn dvds of the hdd. Also how does the new slim ps2 compare.

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Guest Gizmomelb

XBOX only has USB1.1 connections, otherwise you could go with a USB2.0 HD tuner (when they come out next month).

I've been able to play pre-recorded HD signals through the XBOX (admittedly downscaled to a standard SD TV) through the network connection and it played fine.

If you're running MYTHTV / Linux on the XBOX then I can't see no reasons why you couldn't burn DVDs off the XBOX HDD and an external USB DVD burner.

(heck, you could possibly replace the XBOX DVDROM with an IDE DVD burner and it'd work)

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Guest Gizmomelb

I figured I could plug in a USB webcam, have the XBOX run some colour gradient comparison software and then it could tell me when the paint was dry so I can apply the next coat :blink:

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sorry in my books the x-box would be a very low powered htpc if it can't have a HD usb 2.0 tuner plug into it.

what about this thing. Read a review in melb age green guide. anyone have some thoughts on this?

http://d1.com.au/hmc/

http://d1.com.au/downloads/HMC_APC_review_s.pdf

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[it's come up before, many moons ago (But IIRC it had an analog card in it at that stage ~). AFAIK it's nothing special just a little case running Linux.

And running MythTV, although D1 appears to be trying to put it over as some fantastic software that they've created themselves, rather than acknowledging all of the great work that has gone into MythTV by members of the open source community.

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Hi Gizmomelb,

Could you please forward some links or details of the Xbox setup you've built? I've suddenly developed an irrational need to build a HTPC, however after a little dabbling going down a HTPC route and the complexities of getting everything to work together, I'm now interested your Xbox alternative. Any pointers on what's involved in building a setup like yours?

Ta,

Dave.

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