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HTPC newbie

Zek Avatar
2y, 2m agoPosted 2 years, 2 months ago
I'm thinking about building a HTPC, but don't know a great deal about them. I plan to have it under the Sky box by the TV. Could I record things from Sky (I guess some channels are encryped?) and or Freeview onto the HTPC? (Just need a low profile tv card?) What OS do people use? Do people still use XP MCE? Any free options? I've heard of XBMC but is that an OS? I have a bluray/dvd writer drive Im assuming you can play blurays and possibly burn recordings onto dvd's.

Oh is it also possible to stream live broadcasts to other computers on a network? (maybe need a fast wifi card?)

Any ideas on cases etc? I like the idea of a micro atx case using a regular power supply and a case that is wide and not too high, like silverstone ml03/ml04. Also saw one called xcase q4.
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Zek Avatar
2y, 2m agoPosted 2 years, 2 months ago
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#1
I'm not a expert but I have two HP microservers which I use as HTPC's.
Could I record things from Sky (I guess some channels are encryped?) and or Freeview onto the HTPC? (Just need a low profile tv card?)
You can with freeview, if you get a tv tuner card. For sky I think you'll need to use some kind of interface for the viewing card or have access to the encryption keys but I'm sure you can find more via google if neccessary.
What OS do people use? Do people still use XP MCE? Any free options? I've heard of XBMC but is that an OS?
XBMC is a media centre program which you can install on any OS - I use it with windows server 2008 and have it set to boot on startup for the HTPC experience (because I use mine as actual servers too), however there are streamlined OS's for xbmc such as xbmcbuntu (linux OS). You can try xbmc on your computer to see if you like it before you set it up on the HTPC.
I have a bluray/dvd writer drive Im assuming you can play blurays and possibly burn recordings onto dvd's
Yes, although you'd need to exit out of xbmc to burn dvds.
Oh is it also possible to stream live broadcasts to other computers on a network? (maybe need a fast wifi card?)
Yeah it's possible, why not stream via ethernet though?
Any ideas on cases etc? I like the idea of a micro atx case using a regular power supply and a case that is wide and not too high, like silverstone ml03/ml04. Also saw one called xcase q4.
I'd be inclined to buy a prebuilt htpc like the acer revo (you can get ones that have a tv tuner card built in already too), wasn't worth the effort building something when I set mine up.

Hope this helps
#2
Use Media Portal it's much better than XBMC.
#3
bobjohnson
I'm not a expert but I have two HP microservers which I use as HTPC's.
Could I record things from Sky (I guess some channels are encryped?) and or Freeview onto the HTPC? (Just need a low profile tv card?)
You can with freeview, if you get a tv tuner card. For sky I think you'll need to use some kind of interface for the viewing card or have access to the encryption keys but I'm sure you can find more via google if neccessary.
What OS do people use? Do people still use XP MCE? Any free options? I've heard of XBMC but is that an OS?
XBMC is a media centre program which you can install on any OS - I use it with windows server 2008 and have it set to boot on startup for the HTPC experience (because I use mine as actual servers too), however there are streamlined OS's for xbmc such as xbmcbuntu (linux OS). You can try xbmc on your computer to see if you like it before you set it up on the HTPC.
I have a bluray/dvd writer drive Im assuming you can play blurays and possibly burn recordings onto dvd's
Yes, although you'd need to exit out of xbmc to burn dvds.
Oh is it also possible to stream live broadcasts to other computers on a network? (maybe need a fast wifi card?)
Yeah it's possible, why not stream via ethernet though?
Any ideas on cases etc? I like the idea of a micro atx case using a regular power supply and a case that is wide and not too high, like silverstone ml03/ml04. Also saw one called xcase q4.
I'd be inclined to buy a prebuilt htpc like the acer revo (you can get ones that have a tv tuner card built in already too), wasn't worth the effort building something when I set mine up.

Hope this helps


I would be careful with using a pc with a sky card not sure if the technology even exists however it is actually illegal to use a sky card in any other advice other than the box sky provide you. I know this because I was reading up about the dodgy skybox that get all the channels for next to nothing.
#4
Chidmas
bobjohnson
I'm not a expert but I have two HP microservers which I use as HTPC's.
Could I record things from Sky (I guess some channels are encryped?) and or Freeview onto the HTPC? (Just need a low profile tv card?)
You can with freeview, if you get a tv tuner card. For sky I think you'll need to use some kind of interface for the viewing card or have access to the encryption keys but I'm sure you can find more via google if neccessary.
What OS do people use? Do people still use XP MCE? Any free options? I've heard of XBMC but is that an OS?
XBMC is a media centre program which you can install on any OS - I use it with windows server 2008 and have it set to boot on startup for the HTPC experience (because I use mine as actual servers too), however there are streamlined OS's for xbmc such as xbmcbuntu (linux OS). You can try xbmc on your computer to see if you like it before you set it up on the HTPC.
I have a bluray/dvd writer drive Im assuming you can play blurays and possibly burn recordings onto dvd's
Yes, although you'd need to exit out of xbmc to burn dvds.
Oh is it also possible to stream live broadcasts to other computers on a network? (maybe need a fast wifi card?)
Yeah it's possible, why not stream via ethernet though?
Any ideas on cases etc? I like the idea of a micro atx case using a regular power supply and a case that is wide and not too high, like silverstone ml03/ml04. Also saw one called xcase q4.
I'd be inclined to buy a prebuilt htpc like the acer revo (you can get ones that have a tv tuner card built in already too), wasn't worth the effort building something when I set mine up.

Hope this helps

I would be careful with using a pc with a sky card not sure if the technology even exists however it is actually illegal to use a sky card in any other advice other than the box sky provide you. I know this because I was reading up about the dodgy skybox that get all the channels for next to nothing.
Using your own subscription card in another device isn't illegal - sure it may be against skys terms and conditions but that's a civil matter, card sharing is different and is illegal though. I didn't want to get into the legalities of each option hence why I said they can find more on google.
#5
Giving it a second thought now, as added up some things and it comes to around £400! Still may do it though. I have Sky HD box for recording though.

I was thinking of a A6 6400 as it has a GPU inbuilt and is 65w tdp, some cheapish micro atx, corsair 430w 80+ power supply, 2 or 3tb HD (maybe sdd for boot later) RAM 4gb or 8GB? (do people use 32bit or 64bit Windows?)I think AMD has a max of 1866mhz memory? nova pci tv card,silverstone ml04 case.
#6
Zek
Giving it a second thought now, as added up some things and it comes to around £400! Still may do it though. I have Sky HD box for recording though. I was thinking of a A6 6400 as it has a GPU inbuilt and is 65w tdp, some cheapish micro atx, corsair 430w 80+ power supply, 2 or 3tb HD (maybe sdd for boot later) RAM 4gb or 8GB? (do people use 32bit or 64bit Windows?)I think AMD has a max of 1866mhz memory? nova pci tv card,silverstone ml04 case.


acer revo would be a lot cheaper

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