Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Shopping Cart Contents

Here are the system specifications at the checkout counter...
Shuttle XPC SN95G5 SFF Case with nForce3 Motherboard: $288
AMD Athlon 3200+ Processor: $190
Sony DVD+-RW Drive: $52
nVidia GeForce FX5200 Video Card: $53
Seagate 200 GB HDD: $130
1 GB DDR: $110

Frys Electronics
Firewire Cable

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Living on the Edge - HDTV Support

"If you are not living on the edge, you are taking too much space."

To watch shows in HDTV, one first needs an HDTV input. I have Comcast's Digital Cable and get a few channels on hi-def. Some local TV stations air HDTV content terrestrially. This provides me with several options:
  1. Use a TV Tuner card that supports HDTV content from Comcast
  2. Use a TV Tuner card, like pcHDTV or Air2pc that allows me to receive terrestrial HDTV content using an antenna
  3. Use the firewire output from the Comcast receiver containing the decrypted HDTV content.
I decided to go with #3 as it meets the cheap/inexpensive criteria. Firewire support was recently included in the latest 0.17 release of MythTV but is getting better in the top of the trunk. I have decided to use the freshest sources from the CVS repository to build my mythtv.

Very bleeding edge!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice."

My quest for owning/building a Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC) is fraught with challenges. The biggest one of them is about making the right choices. From the overarching solution down to the processor there are multiple options:

Assembled boxes:
TiVo, ReplayTV, Microsoft Media Center for Entertainment Boxes, Comcast DVR
MythTV, SageTV, Microsoft MCE

Intel Pentium, AMD Athlon, AMD 64...

Computer Case:
Dell, Shuttle, Alienware, Mac Mini

TV Tuner Card:
Hauppauge, pcHDTV, Air2PC,

Ultimately, my options will be limited to and selected based on these criteria.

- HDTV Support
- Quiet/Noiseless
- Remote Control support
- Music Library
- DVD Library
- News Feeds
- $$$