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Gamertech

HTPC/NAS Build

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Currently designing a new HTPC for live TV that will double as network storage for all media files, not planning any gaming on it. The case has room for 8 3.5" HDD's but I'll only be going 4 atm.

 

Don't have much experience in building HTPC's (I spend most of my time making them go faster, not cool and quiet :P ) so if anyone could take a look and comment that would be great thanks, especially on that tuner card as I have no idea about those and online reviews are kind of lacking in any useful details...

 

Here's the shopping list so far. *Updated 6/6*

 

Case - Silverstone Grandia GD08 Black $159

Mobo - ASRock FM2A85X Extreme4-M $89

CPU - AMD A10 5800K $139

RAM - Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 $75

PSU - Corsair HX-650 V2 $139 - I know it's OP but I want the modular cables

OD - Pioneer BDR-208DBKS 15X Blu-Ray Writer $89

Tuner - Hauppauge HVR2200 MCE PCIe Dual Hybrid $129

HDDx4 - Western Digital WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX $636

OS - Mythbuntu/MythTV

 

Total: $1455

Edited by Gamertech

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Way over powerd for media PC duties. Should just buy a microserver but you want to expand drives.

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some ideas for you as mudg3 is right you dont need anywhere near that much power

 

Intel Pentium G2020 $59 or Intel Pentium G2020 $59

ASRock H77-PRO4-MVP $92

8g 1600 1.5v $72

MSI Radeon 5450 1GB $29 or Sapphire Radeon HD7750 Ultimate 1GB passive $125

 

AMD A4 5300 2-Core Processor $52 or AMD A8 5600K 4-Core Processor $111

ASRock FM2A85X Extreme4-M $94

8g 1600 1.5v $72

 

Seasonic P-400 Fanless Platinum 400W V2 7 year warranty. $199

Noctua NH-C14 $89

Edited by Dasa

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Way over powerd for media PC duties. Should just buy a microserver but you want to expand drives.

I will agree with that. My favourite for an HTPC is the AMD FM1 and FM2 APUs as they have decent graphics built in.

EG

AMD A4-5300 Dual Core APU, Socket FM2, 3.4GHz, 4MB Cache, integrated graphics HD7480D

AMD A6-5400K Dual Core APU, Socket FM2, 3.6GHz, 4MB Cache, integrated graphics HD7540D both 65 watt TDP including the graphics

Couple that with a Gigabyte GA-F2A85XM-D3H mATX mobo if you insist on having 7 HDDs and an optical drive.

http://www.gigabyte.com.au/products/produc...spx?pid=4383#sp

4Gb of the cheapest 1333 or 1600 ram you can get.

A 350w to 400w good quality PSU and HDD and OD of your choice.

Chuck a decent cooler on the APU (check it will fit the Grandia case) and Robert is your mothers brother.

You don't need lots of grunt for HTPC and file server duties.

 

I actually split my systems so I have a separate file server and HTPC. File server is based around the very low powered AMD E-350 1.6Ghz dual core CPU (only 18w TDP). Sadly these low power units have disappeared.

The HTPC is using the older FM1 socket A4-3400 Dual Core Fusion APU, Socket FM1, 2.7GHz

 

Both units handle their task exceedingly well.

I also think you are being massively optimistic buying a 3d tuner card just now. I would wait till the technology matures more and they actually start broadcasting in 3D (god knows how long that's going to be).

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How good are hard drive silencers?

If you get a NOFAN 100 and a passive GPU, this could be near silent.

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for yours, you have chosen a low profile card but the case has the room for a standard profile. could free up choice and $20 dollars.

 

 

 

I upgraded my file server/media centre recently

i3 3220 $118

Gigabyte H77 $69

Win7 Pro $95

Inherited (i upgraded my PC) 4 x 2GB corsair dominator DDR3 1600. (~$85)

retained 550w PSU (~$70)

retained case (Centurion 5 years old with custom side fan) (~$50)

retained coolermaster hyper TX-3 (~$25)

retained GB ATI HD7770 (now upgraded) (~$125)

total = $637 + drives

 

becasue it does get called on to play games it now has a liquid cooled GTX470 with custom fan profiles.

 

for the furture I want to swap it into a Fractal R4 and retire it from gaming duties to be a nice quiet media file server. the partner has already aquired 1TB of TV series. it's a shame the old centurion is rubish for drive bays (compared to newer cases or the R4).

 

-------------------

 

got a question for the team regarding WD Red.

what is the stigma with green drives? I've been throught the WD site and looked at allthe PR on drives and they look quite appealing, considering Red doe snto seem to fit my home data loads.

I even had some one tell me to get WD LP drives and avoid WD Greens.

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In reality, the best setup is below, its simple, cheap, low power, and 'just works'.

media PC = RaspberryPi running RaspbianMCE

Server = HP proliant microserver.

 

 

HOWEVER, since you need bays, that takes the microserver out of the picture.

That said, if all that server is doing is file sharing, you dont need to even build one. a 2nd hand anything will share files well enough.

These days Core2's are easy to find. Install Nexcentastor and be happy :)

Gotta love dedicated OS'; they just work!

 

The next spanner is that you want a TV card.

If you want to watch it real time, OK you'll need to step the game up a little to one of the above suggested builds by aliali or Dasa; however while you may need a more flexible OS, like lubuntu or something; recording while not watching, isnt too taxing, so a 2nd hander will be OK.

 

If, like me, you have a TV for... TV, and want your card simply to record whats on, you can keep them seperate.

I got sick of it all and bought a $20 STB with USB recording for that job personally.

 

So many options out there.

 

Let me rip apart your build, just caus :P

Case - Silverstone Grandia GD08 Black $159

Is it going to be on display or tucked behind a TV like mine is? 'a nice case' isnt needed if you're hiding it.

Mobo - ASUS P8Z77-V $189

Grab an Asrock, they've been stable as a rock for many years and so much cheaper

CPU - Intel Core i5 3470 $193

Overkill much? You have a GPU so you're not using the IGP, drop this to the cheapest modern processor you can get If you want to overkill; dont go above i3

GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD7750 1GB Low Profile $119

You said you werent gaming? Assuming you're only running at 1080p overall, my god! plenty of $30 cards that will do the trick.

RAM - Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 8GB DDR3 $119

Only need half that ram. Halve it, and buy generic. Generic vs brands is a moot point when not overclocking.

PSU - Antec EA-550 Platinum $109

I love a good PSU, but overkill. a 400ish watt Seasonic will be cheaper and more than enough.

OD - Pioneer BDR-208EBK 15X Blu-Ray Writer $89

Planning on writing blurays on it? cheaper to get a DVDburner with bluray reader.

Cooling - Scythe Shuriken Low Profile Cooler Rev B $45

Stock cooling is more than enough when not OCing. with speedstep they're silent.

Tuner - AVerMedia AVer3D CaptureHD $105

Why not.

HDDx4 - Western Digital WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX $636

Is one of these the boot drive alone? Can I suggest 3x Red 3tb, in RAID5; and a Blue or Green drive of much smaller for the OS? Maybe even a 64gb SSD for the OS?

 

 

Hope this gives you some things to consider.

 

Scythe.

 

got a question for the team regarding WD Red.

what is the stigma with green drives? I've been throught the WD site and looked at allthe PR on drives and they look quite appealing, considering Red doe snto seem to fit my home data loads.

I even had some one tell me to get WD LP drives and avoid WD Greens.

Meow meow meow mewmewmew nya mew meow.

For those that dont speak kitten;

 

Green drives have (had?) a 'Head Park' technology.

Basically since the read head floats on air, you cant slow the drive without grinding the heads. So it used to park it on the side untill called on.

When this happened, the drive would 9\10 times, dissapear from a RAID as 'dead'. Windows was OK because it kind of waits and retrys its request. RAID cards arent so patient.

If that wasnt enough, the first (3?) baches (over a years worth of releases!) actually ran SIGNIFICANTLY hotter than the blues, used a little MORE power when in use (idle was better) and right at the beginning they werent the 'cheapest'.

 

 

 

If you want reliable, and power wise; get blues.

Blues have almost all the features of green, without the head park.

They try to stay 'slow' but in peak demand they will speed up to a faster spin than greens, for better performance

Overall, they use less power 90% of the time ironically.

 

If power and heat is an issue, try 5200rpm laptop drives. I was looking at replacing my laptops drive with an SSD, untill I realised no SSD comes close to the 1.5w my 2.5" HDD is rated at!

 

 

Red is effectively an enterprise server drive, without the warranty, and extra testing after assembly.

If its a server for 24/7 on, regardless of your needs, I'd go red. Reliability over all!

Just because they advertise the 'server' style only features, doesnt mean they did away with the desktop dfeatures. They dont cripple their firmware 'just caus'.

It's just that cheap servers are all the rage right now, so push the reds at budget server builders.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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2 years ago I acted on advice and even though I got a 2TB green, I set it to never sleep or Idle. the 750GB document drive aslo does the same.

but with warranty being up, I am looking the replacement that ill come up sooner rather than later.

 

WD greens have intelli spin, which doe snot say it's speed but sugests it's 5000 to 7000rpm (ish) as needed.

I currently use seagate, which had a better rep 2-3 years ago but times change.

 

at this pioint my file management needs will have to be seved by single drives mounted for specific purpose, such as, 500GB OS and programs, 750GB for documents and spill over of anime. 2TB of TV series and feature films. it is expected the 1TB of TV will need to push the feature films on their own drive and in about 3 years the 2TB will either need an A-K or some multi volume solution, be that raid or windows drive spanning.

 

but my concerns are specificaly with drive life and usage. with no raid and allways on single drives that only get read or written to every other day, matching drive type, usage and power management profiles is what I have concerns about.

 

Thak you for your post. I appreciate your time in preparign it.

Meow meow. =^.^=

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Case - Silverstone Grandia GD08 Black $159

Is it going to be on display or tucked behind a TV like mine is? 'a nice case' isnt needed if you're hiding it.

On display.

 

Mobo - ASUS P8Z77-V $189

Grab an Asrock, they've been stable as a rock for many years and so much cheaper

Never really used them, I've always used GB and Asus and haven't had a problem to this day so I'm kind of attached to them.

 

CPU - Intel Core i5 3470 $193

Overkill much? You have a GPU so you're not using the IGP, drop this to the cheapest modern processor you can get If you want to overkill; dont go above i3

Usually hard to find i3's at the local markets and need some grunt to process a live 3D TV channel while recording another.

 

GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD7750 1GB Low Profile $119

You said you werent gaming? Assuming you're only running at 1080p overall, my god! plenty of $30 cards that will do the trick.

1080p that can run 3D and the possibility of running 4K when the TV prices start to come down.

 

RAM - Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 8GB DDR3 $119

Only need half that ram. Halve it, and buy generic. Generic vs brands is a moot point when not overclocking.

As mentioned above, the markets pretty much sell enthusiast level RAM now, can be difficult to find the cheaper stuff, but I will grab it if I come across it.

 

PSU - Antec EA-550 Platinum $109

I love a good PSU, but overkill. a 400ish watt Seasonic will be cheaper and more than enough.

I was going for cool and quiet, with Seasonic's rep for their PSU's squealing under load in the past I prefer to avoid them. Personally I would have gone a Corsair AX series if they had one under 750w due to the fully modular cables...

 

OD - Pioneer BDR-208EBK 15X Blu-Ray Writer $89

Planning on writing blurays on it? cheaper to get a DVDburner with bluray reader.

Again I am more likely to find BD writers now than readers for some reason.

 

Cooling - Scythe Shuriken Low Profile Cooler Rev B $45

Stock cooling is more than enough when not OCing. with speedstep they're silent.

This is Atomic... Stock cooling is never enough o.o

 

Tuner - AVerMedia AVer3D CaptureHD $105

Why not.

Cause I don't know if it's any good or not :P

 

HDDx4 - Western Digital WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX $636

Is one of these the boot drive alone? Can I suggest 3x Red 3tb, in RAID5; and a Blue or Green drive of much smaller for the OS? Maybe even a 64gb SSD for the OS?

I didn't mention I've got an old 120GB OCZ SSD lying around that I have replaced, so the boot drive is a freebie. Plus I need the HDD's for the storage space, cutting down on them kinda ruins it :P Currently got about 15 external HDD's that are all packed full of...um...Linux ISO's...yea that's it :)

The medium term goal is to expand the storage to 24TB and go from there as larger capacity drives come out. Just can't afford 24TB atm :P

 

Hope this gives you some things to consider.

Thanks mate ;)

Edited by Gamertech

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OK so you're set on what you want.... This happens a lot here. Why bother asking and wasting our time and yours?

Case, fair enough. HDD's fair enough. The rest; there was no point in me even suggesting the smarter options.

Everyone above agrees with me in one way or another if you look at it, so I'm not alone; but you're set.

 

Go buy it and have fun, stop delaying it, you've already made your mind. Report your results.

 

2 years ago I acted on advice and even though I got a 2TB green, I set it to never sleep or Idle. the 750GB document drive aslo does the same.

but with warranty being up, I am looking the replacement that ill come up sooner rather than later.

 

WD greens have intelli spin, which doe snot say it's speed but sugests it's 5000 to 7000rpm (ish) as needed.

I currently use seagate, which had a better rep 2-3 years ago but times change.

 

at this pioint my file management needs will have to be seved by single drives mounted for specific purpose, such as, 500GB OS and programs, 750GB for documents and spill over of anime. 2TB of TV series and feature films. it is expected the 1TB of TV will need to push the feature films on their own drive and in about 3 years the 2TB will either need an A-K or some multi volume solution, be that raid or windows drive spanning.

 

but my concerns are specificaly with drive life and usage. with no raid and allways on single drives that only get read or written to every other day, matching drive type, usage and power management profiles is what I have concerns about.

 

Thak you for your post. I appreciate your time in preparign it.

Meow meow. =^.^=

Greens are OK now, but I'd still pick blue's over them just because they have potential if i need it. And red over that, because they're practically enterprise, without warranty. Depends if you have the $20 extra or so.

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You could get an N40L for $199 and a Raspberry Pi + power cable and SD card etc. for $60ish.

4x 3TB WD Green for $550. Unless you actually intent to record live TV, I wouldn't recommend anything else.

I have a very similar setup and it uses extremely power consumption (approx 60W LOAD) and also handles a few server duties. It's quiet and really hard to beat for value. You intend t o spend more on a motherboard alone, which is completely overkill for a HTPC+NAS.

 

Greens are OK now, but I'd still pick blue's over them just because they have potential if i need it. And red over that, because they're practically enterprise, without warranty. Depends if you have the $20 extra or so.

6x 2TB Greens in my N40L and still manage close to 300MB/s read speeds. Gigabit ethernet is ~100-115MB/s max which is all you really need, for a NAS. Reds aren't much more expensive though, so it depends if you're going for ultra low power, or would prefer the slight performance improvement and extra year of warranty on a red.

Edited by p0is0n

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OK so you're set on what you want.... This happens a lot here. Why bother asking and wasting our time and yours?

Well that's not fair, half of the cheaper components are a pain in the ass to actually get hold of around here in the first place... I was just mentioning that so you'd know. I'm hardly wasting time by giving you information that you need to help me...

 

FYI I am looking into AMD gear now, I haven't used AMD CPU's for ages now as I'm used to building gaming rigs around here...

 

I've updated the OP and I am looking for comments, thankyou all that have posted so far.

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CPU - AMD A6 5400K $72

GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD7750 1GB Low Profile $119

 

How about a10 5800 for $135

 

or if you are using the HD7750 an FX chip, they start at about $115. or the better performance of the i3 3220 for $120.

 

you can even go the A10 ($135)and not get the HD7750.

If HD4000 will do the job, a i3 3225 is also $135.

 

what area are you in?

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Newcastle, the local computer fair (we used to have 2 separate fairs...) is now less than 1/4 it's original size and the remaining stalls either sell mid-high end enthusiast level gear or throwaway 2nd hand 10 year old crap.

 

Can the A10 handle 3D processing on its own at all? Will be watching frame sequential 3D videos on it eventually which is why I picked a decent AMD GPU, as Nvidia sucks at 3D big time...

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Newcastle, the local computer fair (we used to have 2 separate fairs...) is now less than 1/4 it's original size and the remaining stalls either sell mid-high end enthusiast level gear or throwaway 2nd hand 10 year old crap.

 

Can the A10 handle 3D processing on its own at all? Will be watching frame sequential 3D videos on it eventually which is why I picked a decent AMD GPU, as Nvidia sucks at 3D big time...

 

looks good for blue ray 3D.

the lower numbered trinity are said to not handle 3D. Lanna above A6 reports no problem

 

PCCASEGEAR ships to Newcastle; it shouldnt be hard to get parts at all.

with a car, $20 of fuel, ARC Hornsby is doable.

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Yea the service is great at PCCG, the problem is every single time without fail I have used my card there, within a week someone else is using it...

 

Started off with my 1st debit card, which I use for all online purchases to limit any damage if it gets compromised, all good everywhere I use it with no problems. After sitting in my wallet for about a month unused I buy 1k worth of parts from PCCG which arrived quickly and nicely packaged, a week after that I start getting charges for prepaid mobile cards in the Sydney CBD...

 

Scrap that card and get a replacement, this one isn't touched at all until a year later when I buy some liquid cooling gear from PCCG... Week later more phone charges in the Sydney CBD... and yes I have had 3 formats on my pc between those 2 times and run Zone Alarm/Kaspersky and Malwarebytes on it religiously as well as clearing the cache before and after the transaction.

 

This was back when they were using an external payment provider, I notice they've since changed to direct transactions with Westpac so it may be different now.

 

Meow, I'll look into the A10's then thanks :)

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Yea the service is great at PCCG, the problem is every single time without fail I have used my card there, within a week someone else is using it...

 

Started off with my 1st debit card, which I use for all online purchases to limit any damage if it gets compromised, all good everywhere I use it with no problems. After sitting in my wallet for about a month unused I buy 1k worth of parts from PCCG which arrived quickly and nicely packaged, a week after that I start getting charges for prepaid mobile cards in the Sydney CBD...

 

Scrap that card and get a replacement, this one isn't touched at all until a year later when I buy some liquid cooling gear from PCCG... Week later more phone charges in the Sydney CBD... and yes I have had 3 formats on my pc between those 2 times and run Zone Alarm/Kaspersky and Malwarebytes on it religiously as well as clearing the cache before and after the transaction.

 

This was back when they were using an external payment provider, I notice they've since changed to direct transactions with Westpac so it may be different now.

 

Meow, I'll look into the A10's then thanks :)

I can confirm I buy regularly from PCCG and haven't had any issues, I am sure a lot of people here also do the same, so hopefully you shouldn't have those issues again.

 

I've also found them very quick to deal with warranty etc, even from WA. I had a DOA pump last year that was replaced in under a week, from me sending it back, to them testing and dispatching a replacement.

 

You can probably find more feedback in this thread:

http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=21733

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Yea the service is great at PCCG, the problem is every single time without fail I have used my card there, within a week someone else is using it...

 

Started off with my 1st debit card, which I use for all online purchases to limit any damage if it gets compromised, all good everywhere I use it with no problems. After sitting in my wallet for about a month unused I buy 1k worth of parts from PCCG which arrived quickly and nicely packaged, a week after that I start getting charges for prepaid mobile cards in the Sydney CBD...

 

Scrap that card and get a replacement, this one isn't touched at all until a year later when I buy some liquid cooling gear from PCCG... Week later more phone charges in the Sydney CBD... and yes I have had 3 formats on my pc between those 2 times and run Zone Alarm/Kaspersky and Malwarebytes on it religiously as well as clearing the cache before and after the transaction.

 

This was back when they were using an external payment provider, I notice they've since changed to direct transactions with Westpac so it may be different now.

 

Meow, I'll look into the A10's then thanks :)

I can confirm I buy regularly from PCCG and haven't had any issues, I am sure a lot of people here also do the same, so hopefully you shouldn't have those issues again.

 

I've also found them very quick to deal with warranty etc, even from WA. I had a DOA pump last year that was replaced in under a week, from me sending it back, to them testing and dispatching a replacement.

 

You can probably find more feedback in this thread:

http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=21733

 

My Ares 2 that i returend too no less then 30mins to get the credit the purchase, and at the moment purchasing atleast 1 item a week now. just bits and pieces really - except for a build im doing for a mate (which was everything) Edited by corky

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CPU - AMD A6 5400K $72

GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD7750 1GB Low Profile $119

 

How about a10 5800 for $135

 

or if you are using the HD7750 an FX chip, they start at about $115. or the better performance of the i3 3220 for $120.

 

you can even go the A10 ($135)and not get the HD7750.

If HD4000 will do the job, a i3 3225 is also $135.

 

what area are you in?

If using an A6 APU you don't need a dedicated GPU, the A6 5400K has a built in HD7540D which should handle any HTPC duties easily.

Actually looking through some AV forums and damn it gets confuzzling, although some good info from renethx on this page.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1240499/faq-for-the-3d-htpc/1170

 

 

It's all terribly confusing actually, no wonder people get tech burnout.

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Yeah you're being keylogged or something dude; PCCG is up to date with security and never had a problem for me either.

 

If you're that stressed; dont use your credit card? They accept direct deposit.

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CPU - AMD A6 5400K $72

GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD7750 1GB Low Profile $119

 

How about a10 5800 for $135

 

or if you are using the HD7750 an FX chip, they start at about $115. or the better performance of the i3 3220 for $120.

 

you can even go the A10 ($135)and not get the HD7750.

If HD4000 will do the job, a i3 3225 is also $135.

 

what area are you in?

If using an A6 APU you don't need a dedicated GPU, the A6 5400K has a built in HD7540D which should handle any HTPC duties easily.

Actually looking through some AV forums and damn it gets confuzzling, although some good info from renethx on this page.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1240499/faq-for-the-3d-htpc/1170

 

 

It's all terribly confusing actually, no wonder people get tech burnout.

 

 

in confirming the 3D powers of these chips I read that trinity A8 and 10 are OK but the lower chips are not, and Llano A6 joined the party but A4 was iffy.

some even said the A4 had BD 3D disabled for the earlier chip. A8 and A10 are safe as far as I have read for smooth BD 3D on 50inch TVs.

no mention I could find of 3D rips bust BD 3D.

I think the scope of APU testing is in it's early days, so some tests have gaps.

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Has anyone here used Mythbuntu/MythTV? I like the look of it but all the info on it I can find says you need 2 seperate pc's. One for the file storage and the other for the actual HTPC.

 

Can you have the file storage and HTPC duties on the same hardware at all? I want to be able to run everything from just the one computer.

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Ah nice, cheers Scythe

 

Currently finalising what parts I can get and what works with the Mythbuntu distro, so shouldn't be much longer now :)

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