DVR capabilities of system build-advice needed

robistro

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Jan 13, 2013
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Hello all,
I am in the process of selecting parts for my first HTPC build. I am wanting to be able to DVR my Time Warner digital cable, and to be able to DVR one channel while watching another.

Below are my concerns....

1. Is this motherboard/cpu setup capable to achieve what I am wanting to do? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2ICa
2. Do I need to add a separate video card for HD tv to the motherboard?
3. Is this separate external box ok? http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-WinTV-DCR-2650-Tuner-Cable/dp/B005FPT38A

Any and all advice, suggestions is appreciated!

Thanks

 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
First off, the correct way to post a link is:

[cpp] Descriptive Text[/cpp]

It will appear as: Descriptive Text

So for any others that follow:

CPU and Motherboard
Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650

As for your questions:

1) Excellent choice for an HTPC. That set up will do what you want and more.
2) No, you will not need to add a discrete graphics card.
3) That external Cablecard ready box will work just fine for you. I hear plenty of good things about it over at The Green Button

-Wolf sends
 

robistro

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Jan 13, 2013
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I would like to keep the build under 400....even cheaper would be great! :D
I dont need a monitor, and I have windows 7 32bit but have access to 64bit as well.
I really dont have the need to play games. My main concern is streaming HD netflix, hulu etc and a DVR function so I can record while at work.



Thanks
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
Not a bad build, IceClock, but the OP is looking to record Digital Time Warner Cable. If s/he wants to record HD content, then a cablecard ready device (like the $99 Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650) is required.

-Wolf sends

 
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJJm
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJJm/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJJm/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus F2A55-M LK PLUS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($47.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.49 @ Amazon)
Other: Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver ($99.99)
Total: $430.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 11:58 EST-0500)

theres my rebuild revised build with the recommanded tvtuner box :)

 

robistro

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Jan 13, 2013
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Thanks for taking the time to put together a shopping list Iceclock! One question.... I like the Dual-Core because of the cost difference savings, but I didn't know if a dual core would be adequate for a dvr setup. Can you please confirm.

Thanks again...
 
hmm, good point if u wanna render stuff from one side to the other, maybe ill adjust it to this:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJX8
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJX8/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJX8/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A8-5500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($104.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus F2A55-M LK PLUS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($47.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.49 @ Amazon)
Other: Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver ($99.99)
Total: $485.39
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 12:29 EST-0500)

there that should do it a bit more but i guess u do bring a point, now ur quadcore ready :)

 

robistro

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Jan 13, 2013
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very helpful! thanks wolf. couple of questions for you.....are you using windows media center? are you using windows 32bit or 64bit? reason I ask is that it seems everything I've been reading implies that wmc seems to be the best for dvr and I'm not sure which windows would be best for my purpose
 
thats good i guess than i could revert to a dualcore, im not used to making htpcs for specific needs of recording thats why :(,

heres the revised 2core recording monster :D

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJJm
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJJm/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xJJm/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus F2A55-M LK PLUS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($47.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.49 @ Amazon)
Other: Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver ($99.99)
Total: $430.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 13:29 EST-0500)

 
and with windows, 64bit home premium will do u justice, theres no need for windows 8 tbh,

windows 7 does a great job for mediacentering.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKuj
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKuj/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKuj/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus F2A55-M LK PLUS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($47.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.49 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver ($99.99)
Total: $520.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 13:31 EST-0500)

64 bit versus 32 is simple, 32 bit ur capped at 3.5gigabytes of ram and os in 64bit is 64gigs+ :) so its alot more advantageous.

 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
Yes, I am using Windows Media Center. It does everything I want it to do except play blu-ray discs (you must use third party software at a cost). Other people say they love XBox Media Center for Windows (XBMC) even more than Windows Media Center, saying it's more capable/flexible. Again, I've never needed it, so I've never bothered to look into it.

I'm using a 64-bit OS for the simple reason that I could. It may have saved me when I was doing a ton of DVRing (thanks to the additional memory address space), but technically, I don't think it matters. If you have the choice, go with 64-bit as it does give you the option to upgrade memory if you ever need to.

-Wolf sends
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
BTW IceClock. I took another look at your build. There is no way that Hyper 212 EVO is going to fit within that Silverstone case, better to save $30 and stick with the stock heatsink/cooler for now. It's not like you'd want or need to overclock the CPU.

-Wolf sends

Edit:

I don't believe you can get Windows Media Center separately. You could with XP as a download, but since it was included with XP MCE and later 7 Home Premium, that was the only way to get it. Now, it's only included with Windows 8 Pro (if you were thinking of going with 8 instead of 7).

Edit 2:

And swap out your motherboard for one that has a native HDMI port.
 
revised new build with wolfs recommandation.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKGB
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKGB/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKGB/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus F2A55-M/CSM Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($47.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.49 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit) ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Other: Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver ($99.99)
Total: $539.40
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 13:55 EST-0500)

 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
IceClock - Looks good, but why did you switch from 7 Home Premium to 8 Professional? Windows Media Center (WMC) is included in both operating systems. I just meant you could not get WMC as a stand-alone product.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $89.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 14:07 EST-0500)

-Wolf sends
 
coolio just tought u meant win8pro was better for mediacenter.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKOV
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKOV/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xKOV/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus F2A55-M/CSM Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Case: nMEDIAPC HTPC 1080P HTPC Case ($66.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver ($99.99)
Total: $544.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 14:10 EST-0500)

:)
 

robistro

Honorable
Jan 13, 2013
53
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http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xIsQ - Hows this setup look Wolf? I could even lower the cost a little more if I found a compatible mb....
 
that looks fine rob, but i dunno if i trust that generic powersupply.

thats the only issue there.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article905-page8.html

the powersupply is inneficient.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xL1L
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xL1L/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xL1L/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A4-3400 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($33.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-ITX Mini ITX FM1 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($38.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.90 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $320.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 14:36 EST-0500)

theres my revision of ur build there ;)

 
I have been running Windows Media Center on a Dual-Core Intel (6 year old box), using a SiliconDust HDHomerun Prime Cable Card Tuner with Timer Warner Cable - 4GB RAM. All works great - can watch/record up to 3 HD Programs at once - and have an XBox360 as an extender.

The only drawbacks I have noticed - hard drive speeds when 3 HD programs are in use at the same time. SATA III drives are the way to go. With only 2 tuners you should be ok with SATA II.

Avoid Windows 8 and digital cable cards - the forums are full of pixelation issues, problems with the tuners being found, etc....

Happauge, Ceton and SiliconDust are the only tuners to use....they all perform well. Each has the strengths/weaknesses, but you can't go wrong with them.

If you are only using this for HTPC, and no extenders are used, 4GB RAM may save you a little money - even with 1 XBox360 connected - 4GB is plenty for my system.

Make sure to only use Microsoft Security Essentials - the other anti-virus/anti-malware/firewall programs create a bit of havoc with the tuners.

Last item - Time Warner Cable requires you to get a cable card AND a switched video converter in 99% of their markets....they are familiar with the term "TiVo Adapter" (ask for it that way), and when you call for activation, you may need to use the same terms....TWC support for cable card tuners is very lacking....it took 5 support calls to finally get it fully working - and I told them I was just "hooking up my TiVo box....no mention of cable card tuners....
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
@robistro - I took a look at your build and there were three things that I didn't care for:

1) CPU - You went with older tech AMD FM1 Llano vs. AMD FM2 Trinity. Trinity has the better graphics. Probably not that much of a deal, but for only a few dollars more, go AMD Trinity.
2) Motherboard - This is probably the biggest issue. You upped your cost by at least $40, by going with a Mini-ITX motherboard. Go with a MicroATX board and save money (if not space).
3) Case w/Power Supply - While you're not really pushing the power supply with this build, I would definitely prefer to go with a case where I know the power supply (even if purchased separately) comes from a reliable company. The last think you want to happen is getting your build put together and the power supply fails, taking out your other components as well. Yes, it will cost you more, but if the unknown power supply takes out your other components, it just cost you everything.

-Wolf sends
 

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