It’s finally here! CableLabs finally loosened their reigns and is allowing custom built home theatre PC’s to get in on the digital cable goodness. I’ve got my eye on the Ceton Multi-Channel Cable TV Card which allows up to 6 digital cable streams! The only problem is that it’s projected release date is Q1 of 2010, which won’t come soon enough. Hauppauge is also looking to get one to market a little earlier, by end of 2009. This one looks like a single tuner only, but for those who just can’t wait it seems like it would be a great buy. It’s also good to note that these are alleged to only work with Windows 7, so you Vista users have another reason to upgrade (as if you needed one!)
For those of you looking to build an HTPC for yourself I posted my specs below. The final price tag came to around $1,100, but it was well worth it considering I use it every day. Note that I bought these parts almost a year ago, so the price for the some of the components has most likely went down some. The PC is currently used by 2 extenders, and I also use this machine as a PlayOn server so the PS3 in my house can get on demand content as well.
- ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink – Retail
- ZALMAN ZM – NBF 47 Aluminum Heatsinks only – Retail
- CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 – Retail
- LG Black LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L – OEM
- [2x] – Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drives -Bare Drive
- Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner / Encoder 1229 PCI-Express x1 Interface – Retail
- RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply – Retail
- GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 – Retail
- Zalman Tech HD160PLUS Zalman HTC HD160 Plus Home Theatre PC Enclosure (Black)
- Windows 7
- Boxee – An awesome (free) application that allows you to stream sources (some in HighDef!) like NetFlix, YouTube, Pandora, last.fm, ShoutCast, ComedyCentral, AppleTrailers, Joost, Flickr, MTV and Hulu just to name a few. With 10 minutes worth of work it’s able to be launched completely from MediaCenter.
- ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum – For Blu-Ray playback
One thing I would like to do as well is setup X10 Home Automation software for the media center. I’ll post on it later if I get it setup.