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New Home Theatre System Build?

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Hi All
I have been looking through the posts on this and other sites for advice and information to get me started for the creation from scratch for a Home theatre system. There are several posts in these pages which I have found to be helpful. But they are 18 months old now.
Tom's Hardware have posted this recently which is most helpful.


But to be honest, I actualy want to rewind a bit, i want to understand the acronyms better for the different components and also the specs of each. I don't just want to use well written guides, then buy the same gear and assemble it.
I have made a good start reaserching this from various sites, but I'm after a simple break down on what the component is actualy used for, how best to be sure it will match up with other components. This is so I can be sure of my self before handing out the visa number.

What I have in mind is.
A nice stereo case, to match my Yamaha surround Amp with remote
2 dvd drives
2 HHD, 1 x 50 gb for OS and software, 1 x 3 - 400 gb partisioned for tunes, pics, movies
HDTV video card for both analog and digital signal
good sound card for output to amp, surround capabilites perhaps
gaming isn't a big thing for me, the LCD TV screen is about 1000mm across, so the video card just has to show nice clear pictures on the screen.
Main thing that I need to avoid is noise of the machine, I will spend the extra $ and time to ensure rattles and noise is kept to a minimum, which included the cabinet it sits within.
So large prossesors I guess should be avoided.
And I have seen the new Linux Unbutu work so well, I want to give it a go. So i hope to use it for the OS

So what I am asking for here is if any one can steer me to a site with descriptions of the products and how they work together so I can be sure what I buy is correct.
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Hello and Welcome to Geeks To Go!

I'm just looking at what you are thinking of buying.

A case is very easy to pick up, I advise a media center case (they are a lot shorter and wider, like a digital reciever but bigger).
2 DVD drives sounds fine, but I'd recommend two DVD-RW's (if thats what you didn't mean)
I think you should go with a larger hard drive and partition that all out, and I don't think there are many modern 50GB drives even around!
HDTV graphics card, practically all graphics cards will have analog and digital, but I'd still advise either nvidia or ati when going for a graphics card.
Nearly all new motherboards come with built in sound, and most are very good at that, although if you are looking for crystal sound I do recommend a Sound-Blaster X-Fi (expensive but worth it!).
Large processors don't really have to be avoided, if you get a good, well insulated and well sealed case you shouldn't get much noise from it.
As for Ubuntu, it's very good but do prepare for software incompatabilities, just for compatability I'd choose Windows every time. - Hey, if I could game on Linux I wouldn't own a PC running Windows!

Edited by SuperSam, 07 January 2007 - 05:26 PM.

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Thanks for that.
I'm looking at a case now, thought I'd better start there.
Here is one I like....


Given, I'm an Aussie, I'll try to buy in Aus, this is from one place.
Your correct with what you assumed with the 2 dvds, hence this case.
The 50 gb HHD, was just a guess, I was thinking that the larger ones with everything on it runs a bit slower.
I should add also, this will be for checking emails, net, Messenger with camera.
I don't have a need for lots of software, this is why I am considering the Linux. My work is done on the laptop. So this system is just tunes, films pics and emails, with skype also.

Edited by divetechdave, 07 January 2007 - 05:31 PM.

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Ubuntu Linux is a great idea, couple it with myth TV its a great Media centre and PVR. Cases media centre cases at least specialised ones are expensive but have features that normal cases don't like media controls and controls that work even if the PC is off you can also get them with built in touch screens things like that. Depends on how much you want to spend, a proper HTPC will cost more.

For silent cooling you'll want to get some zalman kit its good cooling and quiet large copper heat sinks and big slow fans to reduce noise its larger than allot of cooling equipment but the bigger it is the less noise it makes.

CPU a core 2 duo or one of the 65nm low power AMDs, i might probably go for the low power AMD you don't need all the power of a core2 and you'll have less to cool and more money to spend on the rest of the system.

The tuner will be the hardest find, you should go to the ubuntu and mythtv websites to get a compatibility list all the better tuners are compatible so youll probably be fine, Hauppage are the best ones. You might want to budget in a decent remote logitech makes some nice ones.

Edited by warriorscot, 07 January 2007 - 06:03 PM.

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Thanks for the info, it had given me the heads up I needed.
I found a dictionary site which i needed to help me understand the meanings.


I have found comflicting info on which is best, 1 small and 1 large HDD. Or as SuperSam suggests the 1 large one.
I'm undecided, at the moment I keep large files on an external HDD which i need from time to time with work for my lap top. This methods seems to keep the laptop running faster. Or is this just my imagination.
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