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Topics - nonc

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Users / What do I need for my plan?
« on: June 03, 2010, 03:07:13 pm »
Hey all,

I'm thinking of taking the plunge and building a media centre. I've done some research and think I've figured out exactly what I'll need, but before I buy anything I would like somebody to check that my plan is sound and the hardware I'll need to buy is fine to do what I want to do.

Just to point out, I am in the UK, and I'm not sure how this will effect things for TV.

Firstly, what I expect my set up to be like. I have a Ubuntu computer in my bedroom, and a HDTV in the living room. I'm expecting to build a basic 'PC'/Core/Hybrid thing which will sit beside the TV and be the LinuxMCE box. With both My computer, and two others (which are windows laptops) and the LinuxMCE being into the network.

Secondly, what I want to be able to do is watch, record and pause live TV (including the new HD channels that are available on freeview). Play DVD's, Copy DVD's to the hard drive. Play videos (HD and non-HD) from the hard drive on the TV as well as my computer. Be able to edit the contents of those folders from my computer, and ideally have them accessible from the other two computers, and any changes syncing with the media centre. Also I like to have music videos on when using the living room for other things (such as playing board games) so having a playlist(s) which will continuously play on random. I understand that LinuxMCE will be fine with all of these.

So I think, all I need to purchase is;
  • Case
  • Motherboard
  • CPU
  • Graphics Card
  • RAM
  • Blue Ray DVD drive
  • HDTV tuner
  • Gyroscopic Remote (+ dongle)
(I have enough hard drives already) and perhaps a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Some specific questions I have:
  • Is it better to get a motherboard with a built in graphics card - how can the quality be as good, and would it affect watching HD stuff?
  • HDTV tuners - Is there a difference? or are all TV tuners HD? How do I tell the difference?
  • I already have a user account on my Ubuntu box (obviously), can I have a merged user experience across both? is it worth it? is it better to keep it separate?
  • Should I go to any extra lengths to keep the LinucMCE box running quietly? such as buying better heat sinks and fans, and how much do you think I might need to pay to get reasonable noise reduction?
  • How much space does it take to record TV? i.e. how much room on hard drives should I need to leave available for it to record automatically? And the same for pausing live TV?
  • Is there anything else I have forgotten? Either that should be on my list of things to buy, or in my set-up.

Thanks for reading all that, and for your help.


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