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Thread: Building a Home Audio/Video system




  1. #1
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    Nov 2001
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    Hey guys I am about to build a AV system just for my Home Theater. It will be in my entertainment cabinet attached to my tv and receiver. It will be used for playing MP3's, watching DivX on my TV and as a Personal Video Recorder, and Gaming sometimes.

    Gimmie some suggestions on what to put in it. Remember it is going into a small Antec desktop case.

  2. #2
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    If it was strictly for mulitmedia applications - I would say have a look a cyrix CPU (don't laugh)
    they run extremely cool & you could probably get away with passive cooling only - no fans - absolutely silent

    not much good if you going to do some gaming with it too.


    If it's going to be an MP3 server look inot a DAR (digital audio receiver) - there's a thread to look at in the Audio/Video forum - much better sound than just running RCA's from the line out of you sound card to your Amp. The Extigy may be an alternative as well - I haven't looked into it enough to know - yet.

    I plan to set up an MP3 server myself - once I finally get the addition on my house finished...it's only taken 6 mos. so far

    :rolleyes:
    :hammer: :hammer: :hammer:

  3. #3
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    Do you plan to have a monitor and keyboard right there?

    I would network it and then use VNC viewer or similar to access it. I would use two hard drives, one for the OS and the other for files in a removable hard drive bay. I would buy a used Radeon VE on ebay, and use it for TV out.... sure it can handle 2 monitors and a TV and you don't that capability, but its TV out software is very easy to use. You can get them on ebay used for around 35$ shipped.

    If you have some high end audio compoents, I wouldn't hesitate getting an Extigy, simply for the optical out. That would be the only reason, I dont think I would be able to hear the difference with my ears, but it saves you the cables headache.

    As I started to say before, get two removable hard drive bays, and stick one in your regular computer, so that when you have stuff to add, etc, you can move the HD around easily without dismantleing your audio shelf. The OS HD only has to be 500 meg - 2 gb range... having two hard drives eases the load considerably on a slower computer. While the OS HD is loading programs and drivers, etc the other is accessing the media you want.

    I wouldn't worry about cooling noise, you can get it pretty quiet without too much effort. I'd use a P2 400 range. I stay away from any AMD product Pre-athlon... I'd go with any pentium 2. P3 of course as well if the situation presents itself.

    Good luck, projects like that are fun.

  4. #4
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    Well this is what I have been thinking about so far. Get a desktop case and fill it with a CPU/Board (don't know which yet), a NIC so I can access my network and cable modem, ATI All in Wonder Radeon ( this way I can connect to TV using s-video) plug cable box into ATI for the Personal Video Recording. Add a Sound Blaster Audiogy Plat with breakout box (for pure digital out using optical and coxial), and a fast CD-Rom for DivX and VCD. I already have a great stand alone DVD and a THX certified 7.1 system on my TV now

    Will that get the job done?

  5. #5
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    Well you don't need a fast CD-rom for Divx..... remember the movie lasts an hour and a half... so i'd say don't get a fast, loud cd-rom... something in the 20x range is plenty. And remember.. if it has a network connection, it doesn't need a cd-rom ! but yea, i'd still put a slow on in.

    And remember, with an all-in-wonder, you will be paying for alot of features you won't use. Thats why I suggest getting any a radeon VE.. it has s-video out, and there simply is not much of a market for them (unlike an all-in-wonder) so they go CHEAP on ebay.

  6. #6
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    Add a Sound Blaster Audiogy Plat with breakout box (for pure digital out using optical and coxial)
    Get the sound blaster extigy if you are willing to spend that much.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the all the help so far guys keep them coming.

    If I just put a PII 400 on it would that be enough?

  8. #8
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    Really anything from a P233MMX would be ok for that type of job and have ya seen a Shuttle SV-24 Barebones System? With a 5.1 soundcard and VIA C3 CPU would be just ideal for that purpose and look good plus be very silent. :smokin:
    <center>:cheers:</center>

  9. #9
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    Because the C3 has an extremely anaemic FPU, make sure the video has onboard DVD motion compensation, or else your movies will jolt around like a drunk kangaroo

    But the C3 is probably your best choice - silent, and cheap to run :thumb:
    What came first - Insanity or Society?

  10. #10
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    I might give that a try Wiggo.

    I can't find how much they are, does anyone know how much they cost?

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