Building htpc- tv tuner or video card necessary?


Feb 7, 2009
I am building a htpc for:
-watching .mkvs
-streaming videos
-watching cable+OTA channels
-very light web browsing
-no blu ray drive for now but eventually upgrade to watch blu rays

Here's my proposed build so far:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5050e

Mobo: Narrowed it down to 2 780g mobos
1. [...] 6813128379
2. [...] 6813131324

Ram: G.SKILL 4GB DDR2-800 (already bought)

HDD: Samsung EcoGreen 1tb (already bought)

Case+PSU: waiting for a good deal on case/psu like the antec nsk2480

TV tuner: don't really know anything about them, waiting for a deal on a Hauppauge. (do i even need them?)

Also, do i need this GPU: [...] 6814102819
or just use the hd3200 on my mobo?

Im planning on using the W7RC MC for awhile.

Feel free to make ANY suggestions. I would absolutely appreciate it. (esp the tuner+GPU)

Whats the difference between using the comcast cable box or a TV tuner? Other than not paying for one... It wouldnt be a huge deal to switch inputs. Are there any other advantages worth paying $150 for?



Well, the TV Tuner might be a good add-on for your HTPC. It's not essential though because you have the TV right there. You could probably save yourself 100 bucks on a good tuner by just switching inputs on your TV whenever you felt like watching TV. I would only suggest getting a tuner if you don't already have a TV (monitor instead). If you decide on getting one anyways, choose Hauppauge. They have a reputation for getting the job done.

Good Luck!


It really depends on what channel package you subscribe to. Pretty much anything above basic cable is going to include channels that are not sent in ClearQAM (unencrypted). While Comcast's set top box (STB) will be able to decrypt these channels, a TV Tuner card will not.

If your STB does not include DVR capabilities, this is something most (if not all) TV Tuners cards can do.

-Wolf sends

P.S. None of your links are working.