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#1
dsmith402

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hi all, i'm looking to build a new machine from scratch. my goal is to have it streaming into a tv, so my goals for building is strictly based upon having enough storage for vasts amount of space along with easy access to all the media files. i've never actually built my own pc, so i'm relatively new as to what i need to accomplish this.

however, i have thought of couple ideas that i would like to hear opinions in regards to as well. first i don't know if its best to have a laptop hooked to the tv while it receives files over a wireless network vs. having the actual media machine in place. next, do you think having a touch screen lcd would be a good idea for something like this? and finally, what would be the most effective operating system to run?
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#2
Granz00

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First off, can you clarify a few things for me? What is your specific desire for this machine? For example, I would think that you would be happy with a computer that you are able to store media on, and to be able to play that media on your TV. If that is the truth, then you should be able to build pretty much a normal computer, and use the TV as your monitor.

As for size issues, what kind of media will you be dealing with (EX. DVD backups, downloadable media, saved TV programs, ext...). If you want to save TV programs, then you will want a Video card. If you plan on keeping saved TV shows, and DVD backups, then this will greatly increase the amount of disk space that you would want. How much stuff do you think you would keep saved on the computer?

I do not suggest using a laptop as the interface to the TV. This will be slower, and will lack quality audio and video. For the sake of quality, what kind of TV do you have, what kind of connections does it have, and what kind of surround sound system do you have (If you have one)?
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#3
dsmith402

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after some consideration into what you've said, granz00, i think what i need are several things. 1st my desires, stream media files directly to my tv. like you said any normal built cpu would do the trick.

2nd for size, i would mostly have downloadable media. my next question would be, if i have it hooked to my tv (as we've been discussing) am i able to record it to the pc?

the conclusion i've come to is, i'm more so looking for a very easy interface to run the media. i've heard of 'windows media center', although i know nothing about it.
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#4
Granz00

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Hello again,

Windows Media Center is pretty much a single program made for specific Windows Operating Systems. It is used to bring all of your media to one place for easy control. Operating Systems that contain this software are Windows XP Media Center Edition (this turned out to be a mistake to invest in), Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows Vista Ultimate. There are no benefits for the average user to buy Ultimate, so I would suggest getting Home Premium.

To take full advantage of the computer, then you would want a good Graphics Card, and a good Video Card. Don't get these two mixed up. A graphics card will pretty much be a driving force for your video, while a video card will actually be mainly for a cable input. With that said, you might not need a video card if you do not plan on using it to record TV. You would however have the benefit of Remote Control to control Windows Media Center. I will leave that up to you though.

Another thing that would be useful to know is the kind of TV you have, and what kind of connections it has. Mainly, what resolution it is, and does it have a S Video, VGA, HDMI, or DVI connection. Also, how close will your PC be to the TV? Finally, will you be playing CD's/DVD's through the computer at all, or even Blu-ray? Do you plan on attaching a surround sound system to the computer?

A few more things... Do you care about the looks, size, and noise level of the computer case? Do you have any kind of media cards for like cameras and other things? Are you worried about backing anything up? Finally, will you use this computer in any other way besides for media?

Sorry if I overwhelmed you with too many questions.
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#5
kamille316

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To take full advantage of the computer, then you would want a good Graphics Card, and a good Video Card. Don't get these two mixed up. A graphics card will pretty much be a driving force for your video, while a video card will actually be mainly for a cable input. With that said, you might not need a video card if you do not plan on using it to record TV. You would however have the benefit of Remote Control to control Windows Media Center. I will leave that up to you though.

Video card is also called graphics card. Most graphic (or video) cards would have the cable input at the back (mostly 2 DVI and TV-Out, some cards would have 1 DVI, 1 HDMI and TV-Out).
There's also a TV tuner that you can use if you want to connect your Digital Box (or whatever its called) to your computer, some would let you record TV programs onto your hard drive.
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#6
Granz00

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To take full advantage of the computer, then you would want a good Graphics Card, and a good Video Card. Don't get these two mixed up. A graphics card will pretty much be a driving force for your video, while a video card will actually be mainly for a cable input. With that said, you might not need a video card if you do not plan on using it to record TV. You would however have the benefit of Remote Control to control Windows Media Center. I will leave that up to you though.

Video card is also called graphics card. Most graphic (or video) cards would have the cable input at the back (mostly 2 DVI and TV-Out, some cards would have 1 DVI, 1 HDMI and TV-Out).
There's also a TV tuner that you can use if you want to connect your Digital Box (or whatever its called) to your computer, some would let you record TV programs onto your hard drive.


Not too long ago, I remember some sites would have a link for Video and Graphics cards. The video card links lead to items such as video capture devices, while the graphics card links led to graphics cards of course. It seems that they have fixed this. Yet that is the reason why I believed that the video card and graphics card were two seperate items.
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