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A Super User’s Complete Guide to Building an HTPC: The Hardware

July 29, 2011 by kronos. 3 comments

With more and more media turning digital, Home Theater PC’s (HTPC’s) are making a larger presence within the homes of PC enthusiasts. Whether your starting from scratch, or upgrading an older pc, this multi-part guide is meant to help you in building your new HTPC.

Missed part 1? Check it out here.

Once you’ve purchased your system, it’s time to build it. I’m going to go over the specific specs of the system that I built (as well as some other options), and the overall price of it, but this doesn’t meant that you have to build the exact system I did. There are plenty of other opinions out there, and the goal of this guide is for YOU to build YOUR system. As I go along, I’ll give you hardware specific tips that will hopefully help you in building your customs HTPC.

The Case

In my opinion the case is one of the most important things to select for your HTPC and its entirely because of show. This is the one thing that other people are going to see (or not see) of your HTPC and it needs to look good. What you need to look for is either something that you can hide away, or something that will look natural with all your other devices.

I had a very difficult time figuring out what I wanted to get and even looked into getting a touch screen case but decided against it due to lack of funds. (If you are looking for a touch screen, Tom’s Hardware has a great review of three.)

I finally ended up purchasing the SilverStone LC13-E Case:

 

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A Super User’s Complete Guide to Building an HTPC: Planning and Purchasing

July 22, 2011 by kronos. 8 comments

With more and more media turning digital, Home Theater PC’s (HTPC’s) are making a larger presence within the homes of PC enthusiasts. Whether your starting from scratch, or upgrading an older pc, this multi-part guide is meant to help you in building your new HTPC.

Determine What You Want:

HTPC’s can take care of ALL you media needs which can even ultimately either replace or add to your current media experiences:

  • Dvd/Blu-Ray Player
  • Central Audio Stations
    • Whether a PC, iPod, audio receiver, etc, you can replace all of these with a central HTPC (including streaming to those other devices)
  • Internet on TV devices
  • Internet Streaming Services (Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, etc,.)
  • DVR
  • Cable receivers
  • Photo Viewers/Servers