Monday, June 18, 2007

New Project

After much reading and pontificating I am starting a new project (home not work).
We are planning on moving house sometime in the next year so that we can be closer to both Serena's and my work, and we could do with at least one more bedroom if not two with the forthcoming family expansion.

Because of the planned move I am not buying any of the technology I would like until I see what space I have to set it all up in. The items on hold include a new gaming PC or Laptop, Amp and Speakers for the TV / DVD and Sky HD.

However I am going to go ahead and start speccing up a media centre. Budgets are still tight so soon after a holiday, so I don't expect to place any orders for a couple of months but this is one part of our home setup I want to get up and running sooner rather than later.

My initials thoughts fall along these lines:

  • Antec Fusion Media Centre Case.
  • Core2 Duo Processor.
  • 2 GB RAM (Single DDR2 SIMM so I can double up later).
  • 2 Hard Disks - One fast for OS and Apps (likely to be a 10k Raptor) and One Big for Media (~500 GB as these are best value atm). I'll add a second media drive later as the case has space.
  • A MicroATX motherboard - undecided atm as I need to see what is out there.
  • A Video Card - undecided atm but must be HDCP compliant on the the video output - doesn't need to be an HDMI output though (DVI is fine) and I am not intending to blow a huge amount on this component as we are not talking high end gaming rig.
  • Creative X-Fi soundcard - for hooking up to an Amp in the future.
  • Wireless LAN if not onboard on the MoBo.
  • Bluetooth (could be rear USB dongle).
  • InfraRed - want this for a remote control - need to do more research on this though.
  • DVD RW (replace with HD drive in future).
  • Wireless Media Centre Keyboard and Mouse.
  • Windows Vista Ultimate Edition.

I'll run ideas for each component past you on here and once it is up and running I'll show off here as well! Feel free to interject at any stage as advice on anything listed is more that welcome.


GF said...

Remind me, is your Media Center going to be the main source of your viewing?

What I mean is if you forego the HDMI then what you going to watch HD films on?

Jase said...

PC HDMI is different...
To get that to work you need a videocard which is capable of receiving the sound signal internal to the PC AND a soundcard capable of outputting the sound signal to a video card, internal to the PC.
It is possible, but it isn't either cheap or flexible.
You can still watch HD on DVI using a DVI to HDMI cable - you just need to feed the sound from the soundcard onto the HD sound input on your TV. All HDMI inputs on a TV also have at least a stereo sound input linked to them for separate inputs.