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Anyone ever build a "Home Theater" built around a computer? (1 Viewer)

I guess I'll start off with a little bit of a back story. I'm currently in college and I have three semesters left to go. I'm a single guy with a little bit of disposable income and I'm in the market for a new computer. I've been interested in home theaters for quite a while and I've actually been browsing this forum for a couple of years, though I never posted much, I can't even remember my old account name. While I can't justify going out and buying a projector or a huge TV, I can justify building a computer geared towards a home theater setup.


My laptop is almost three years old, but I've treated it as a desktop and its literally been on 24/7 as long as I've had it (except for the rare occasion when I actually do take it with me somewhere) so its beginning to show signs of failure. I bought a netbook a couple of months ago so I'm thinking it would be a better idea to build a PC instead of replacing my current laptop.

I don't have enough money to buy everything all at once, and I'm not about to put myself in debt by putting all kind of stuff on my credit card, so I'd like to be able to get a new PC for a reasonable price and upgrade it as I have the money. So I guess what I'm looking for right now is a starting point.


Here is a list of what I'd like to ultimately have on my PC in the future


- A dual TV tuner so I can watch and record at the same time

- A good bit of storage (2 TB+)

- A sound card that supports surround sound of some kind (don't know much about this area)

- At least two monitors, if not three (using two at the moment and I don't see myself downgrading)

- A good speaker system

- A Blu-ray burner


Here are some of the things I'd like to have as soon as I purchase the PC, if at all possible


- SSD drive for OS/progams

- Video card that supports dual/tri monitor setup and allows for some gaming (though the gaming part isn't a necessity)

- Motherboard that supports future needs (don't know much about this)

- Above average processor (don't know much about this, but I'd like to get something I won't have to upgrade for awhile)


As far as accessories/peripherals go, I already have a keyboard, a mouse, speakers, and a monitor that I'm using with my laptop. So that will save me a little money starting out.


I guess thats everything I can think of for now. Like I said, I want to space out my purchasing a little bit so I'm not hit so hard financially all at once. I'm hoping this laptop will last me through this upcoming school year, but I want to start doing research now in case it does fail on me and I need to buy something in a hurry.


So can anyone make any suggestions as a good starting build? I guess this may be better suited for a PC forum, but I'm sure some of you have experience with this and I know you all are more likely to give me suggestions from a HT point of view.
 

Robert_J

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They make quad TV tuners now that accept M (multi-stream) cable cards. I think the ATSC tuner cards are only dual tuner.


My motherboard comes standard with 7.1 surround sound and an HDMI port.


The problem with spacing out purchases is the ever dropping price of equipment as well as spec changes. What you buy today may not work with your next purchase in a few months. Save up and buy everything at once for the HTPC.


What is your budget on audio? Will you be using a receiver and home theater speakers or are you looking at powered PC speakers?
 

PC Speakers most likely. I'm definitely not an audiophile by any stretch, but I'd also like something more than the cheap $15 dell speakers I have. I guess I'd be willing to spend around $100 on a decent set of speakers, though I'm assuming that won't get me a whole lot. I really don't want to spend more than $200 at max.
 

Robert_J

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I suggest you go to the Computers and HTPC section here and see what you can find. Most people come to this section wanting to know how to connect their DVD player to their TV.
 

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