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HTPC out of the box WTB. Help Needed ASAP.


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   bmrbrian

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Posted January 19 2010 - 08:10 AM

I am probably going to lose my job very shortly and before that happens I want to invest in an HTPC so that I can cut out the expense of cable.

If I had to buy an out of the box HTPC what would everyone recomend.  I have heard Acer and HP make systems, but I can't seem to find them. 

Can anyone point me in the right direction before I lose my ability to purchase?

Thank you!!



#2 of 11 OFFLINE   RyanCC

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Posted January 20 2010 - 04:42 AM

This is a very broad assumption, but lately I havn't been seeing many good products from ACER.  Call me biased, but I wouldn't buy anything from them if I had a choice.


#3 of 11 OFFLINE   bmrbrian

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Posted January 21 2010 - 12:17 AM

Well Acer was my last choice for sure.  I tried HP's website, but they wanted me to buy a system for almost $1000.  I have heard a good system can be had for around $600. 

Any more thoughts?

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 21 2010 - 06:41 AM

I've never used one personally, but I've heard good things about the Dell Zino HD.


#5 of 11 OFFLINE   bmrbrian

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Posted January 21 2010 - 07:20 AM

I tried to assemble a Zino, but the tuner you can get for it is limited and does not get a favorable review on Dell's website.  The Zino itself also seems to have some shortcomings like a noisy fan.  People say to go with the MacMini if you are going to buy a Zino.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted January 21 2010 - 06:23 PM

Brian:

When you say you want to buy an HTPC what do you want it to do? Act as a PVR? Record more than one show at a time? Play back DVD/Blu-ray? Play back Hulu, etc. via the web? You said you want to get rid of cable. How are you going to get on the net or are you? Are you going to connect via OTA?

You can get a basic HTPC for around $600 that records just one show and doesn't play back Blu-ray. You can buy extra tuners and a Blu-ray drive later if those aren't important to you.

I picked up an HP e9220f that I added a couple tuners and a Blu-ray drive to. Their s5260f slim line is out of stock right now but comes with a Blu-ray player and tuner for $819.99. I have had several HTPCs and for the money my HP HTPCs have been some of the best out of the box.

Parker

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#7 of 11 OFFLINE   bmrbrian

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Posted January 22 2010 - 01:57 AM

Yes I want to be able to record at least 1 show while I am watching something else.  I am going to keep my internet connection and just drop cable, as they are two seperate providers.  I don't know if I care about Blu-ray.  I don't have one now and I have only watched 1 dvd movie, since my daughter was born 2 years ago.  I am figuring on getting Netflix and doing the rest on Hulu.

I really want HD if at all possible.  Which in most systems it seems like they come with HDMI support. 

I will loook at the HP you recommended.  Are the HP's slimline's expandable? 

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 24 2010 - 05:01 AM

Just so we're clear, you know you need some sort of television provider right? An HTPC won't magically get the cable channels for free over the internet. If you don't need all of the extra channels, you can get your local stations free in HD using an antenna but that's it. You can also use services like Hulu to stream TV and Netflix to stream movies to your HT, but you won't be able to tape off of them.


#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted January 24 2010 - 06:00 PM

Brian:

Like Adam said you are going to need to have some source for your channels like cable, Dish, OTA. You aren't going to get this over the internet. All Hulu, etc. will allow you to do is to watch the shows. You won't be able to record them. If you want to watch TV and record shows you are going to have some sort of provider for that or at a minimum an antenna to get your local channels.



"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#10 of 11 OFFLINE   bmrbrian

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Posted January 25 2010 - 01:20 AM

I am fine with just having the local channels via an antenna.  The only thing I think I will truly miss will be ESPN, and I even hear they broadcast quite a bit on ESPN360.  Watching shows via Hulu, etc is fine.  Really the goal is to watch less TV if possible and stop spending $100+ on cable every month. 

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   bmrbrian

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Posted February 01 2010 - 04:19 AM

To update.  I still haven't made any decisions, but have just been doing more research.

Has anyone used a PS3 as a media center?  If so has anyone used it as a tuner/DVR?  I hear it is possible in Europe, but that it might not be available here in the US.