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Home Theater PC Built from scratch.
Well this article has been a long time coming after several hardware delays we are finally ready to go. Before I begin this second build let me info you on the reasons for the delay. It started when I final had all the hardware minus the case so I wanted to at the very least get familiar with the hard ware and drivers before the actual build. That being said I also wanted to do a preload to make sure Windows XP Media Center would work with the ATI TV Tuner 650 PCI. So what was don is I setup the entire PC in out Test bench and loaded XP Media Center edition. Then I loaded the ATI media center software not knowing what would happen. The ATI software found and used the TV Tuner very well the Microsoft mouse was able to control the ATI software but my intent was to use the Windows Media Center not ATI so after firing up the application when going into Live TV all I got was Decoder error. So I went on the web and found nothing about incompatibility. Rather the admit defeat I then decided to load all the latest Firmware on all the new hardware to make sure everything was up to snuff. Now the motherboard I used was the ECS ATI based 754-socket motherboard with the X200 onboard chipset. I downloaded the windows flash utility and the latest firmware. After running the flash updater I rebooted the system, now mind you the utility said everything updated fine. Wouldn’t you know it the board was hosed no soup for me. The flash did not burn properly for some reason. Now I was forced to do an RMA and wait the two months to get the board back. During that time I was able to get used to Windows Vista Ultimate and the use to the ATI TV Tuner 650 on a different system so you might say it was an exercise in ECS’s support. On that note I would like to mention ECS did a good job of replacing the part for me the time delay is normal and unfortunately a down side to online purchasing.
ATI TV Tuner 650 PCI Photos
Microsoft Mouse Photos
Now back to the build. Here is a list of parts we are going to use in the build.
What I will try and do is break things down into hardware installation, software installation, performance, cost, and if time a little how to on the Media Center aspect of the HTPC. I hope this process give other ideas on how to make a low cost solution for DVR and Home Theater solutions.
Test Bench Trial install
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