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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:51 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:36 pm
Posts: 1087
Location: The Netherlands
Well, I've snapped up some HP computer from a customer who had 5 of them and one failing (harddrive kaputt and out of warranty). It's one of those slimline Pavilion models (the s7730.nl).

It's uber-quiet!! And has a 1.6GHz Dual Core CPU and comes with Vista Home Premium, that's got Media Centre included already :-) I've put in 2GB of RAM and a new 320GB harddisk and stored all of my CDs and all of my DVDs on it... I have to say it works like a charm, got me one of those Microsoft remotes for MCE and hooked it up to my Philips LCD.

Well, for something I got for free I have to say I'm really really happy with it and can't say it's slow or anything, although I hear a lot of people say you need more CPU power and more RAM to use a Vista MCE. But then again, I don't use the TV or radio in MCE so maybe that makes a difference. Bottom line is, it was free and that little slimline computer is really really REALLY quiet. Sometimes I don't even know if it's on or off ;-)

So, hope it helps...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:36 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:19 pm
Posts: 1102
Location: Brisbane
For some reason stuff like our HP workstations at work run really quietly. Good choice.

silentpcreview.com is useful, if anybody else is looking at this stuff.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:40 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 14
Location: SE UK
Probably not the cheapest way of doing it, but I've got a QNAP TS-209 ProII with 2 x 1Tb drives (RAID-1) on which I store all my movies & MP3s. The server runs 24/7 (as it also hosts a few websites) and is pretty much silent.

It's cable linked to my PC by wireless-N router, which also allows the server to stream wirelessly (via Twonky, an app running on the server) to my PS3s, which in turn are linked to nice big Sony LCD TVs.

As the server also runs torrent software, it'll sit and download films all day as well, adding to my collection. And because the PS3 performs upscaling, a 700mb movie file downloaded from the net, streamed from the server through the PS3, looks as good as watching freeview on a 40" screen.

I can still access all my music & films from my PC and watch them on there as the PC (which runs XP Media Center) is linked to a 19" widescreen monitor. I can also access my server from anywhere with an internet connection.

Forgot to say, the PS3s also run PlayTV which allows me to record digital TV directly onto the PS3 hardrive.

All that and I probably watch about 2hrs of TV a week :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:02 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:48 pm
Posts: 5111
Location: Out here in the perimeter...
Windows Media Center or Vista Media Center is good, been using it for years, now hooked up via HDMI to a Samsung Series 9 LCD panel, shortly to have an Onkyo 606 and Tannoy Arena Lites plumbed in :twisted:

Noisy PC? You've never come across Nexus then? :wink:

www.nexustek.nl

The bottom line is you don't need anything special, just a good chunk of memory and a big hard disk (1TB drives are under £100 now). You can even buy a Blu-Ray/HD DVD player for £60 now.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:33 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:52 pm
Posts: 277
I use an old HP desktop. Pretty much the same one that on my desk at work until they were upgraded 6 motnhs ago. It's got a 320Gb drive, which is fine for me at the moment. Sound-wise I'm using a Behringer UCA202 (I think) external USB soundcard, and the standard onboard video. Paid about £80 for the machine and a similar amount for the drive, about 18 months ago (eBay).

All I use it for is playing downloaded movies, listening to mp3's, surfing the net and watching BBC iPlayer/SkyPlayer etc.

The machine is completely (well, almost) silent, and is the right kind of size to fit into a home media setup.

I used to have it hooked up to my Plasma, on one shelf of a glass TV stand, but now it's in my cinema/playroom (in the right hand cabinet, on it's end), as shown below.

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:34 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:52 pm
Posts: 277
Oh yeah, I'm using MCE 2005 on XP 'cos I already had it. I've got vista media center on the laptop and it does seem better, but I don't really need the extra features.


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