[Finished] My Parents' HTPC Build

Nindustries

New Member
Nov 11, 2013
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My Parents' MP Build A XBMC story.
What's the problem?
My parents want a 'one fits all' approach: they want to watch movies & series, watch tv, view images, record all they want and have a nice, little quiet 'black box'. And everything must be commandable by one device; remote, tablet, cellphone. They want to watch their content and TV no matter where they are.
I live in Belgium where digital television is delivered by private, closed 'decoders' what makes it very difficult to implement this. This is why we're going for sat tv. (And the image quality ofcourse!)
The HTPC will also have to share the tuners to the rest of the house. And is has to look slick as hell.

How am I going to solve this?
I will be building a custom htpc that will be passively cooled, look nice, be performant, that doesn't eat power, will contain four DVB-S2 tuners and still be small! In short.. the ultimate htpc! :whistle:
The htpc will contain the tuner card horizontally with a riser card/cable, a slimline BluRay reader and heatpipes connected to the outer case. (Outer USB 3.0 ports would be great, if not directly visible.)
My parents will be able to connect to the HTPC securely from outside the network using a VPN server.
All files will be kept on a 8TB+ NAS that is already here.
XBMCbuntu will be installed, alongside plugins such as Sabznd+, etc... I have ordered the parts (that are not always common here in Belgium) and will update the thread accordingly. I expect visitors to learn a thing or two, especially the Belgians! For the sound.. we have already bought (and are waiting for the delivery) of a high-quality 5.1 +1 (portable speaker, up to 60M) setup. It will be great! The receiver and TV are commandable over CEC.

My Parts list:
Case: Streacom FC5 Evo.
Silent, good looking, 1 full-slot pci slot, (slim) optical drive slot and high-quality build materials. Anything else I could wish for?

Motherboard: ASRock B75 Pro3-M
Commonly used mATX motherboard for htpc's.

CPU: Intel i3-3245 (dual, 3.40Ghz, HD 4000 graphics)
Hasswel is 'too much' for the moment, and HD 4000 will play 1080i fine while 3.4Ghz will give a constant fluid experience while still using plugins.

SSD: Sandisk Solid State Drive 256GB
Ofcourse, a SSD! Altough we could have gotten away fine with 128GB, my dad wanted to spend the extra bucks for the higher capacity. And besides, who knows how much we're going to record simultaneously?:ROFLMAO:

PSU: picoPSU-120 + 60W Adapter Power Kit
Having an external adapter is no problem, while still giving plenty of space in the case. Performant enough imo.

Memory: Corsair Value Select CMV4GX3M1A1600C11
8GB DDR3 memory so we can allocate 4GB for timeshifting, to spare the SSD of the constant writes.

Card reader adapter: Dual USB Header Port Adapter - USB 2.0 Internal Ports
Internal USB header pot adapter to connect our smartcard-reader.

Card reader: Omnikey 3021
Card reader to decrypt DVB-S2 channel.

Tuner card: TBS6985 DVB-S2 Quad Tuner PCIe Card
Bring on the muscles! Quad DVB-S2 tuner card to watch/record at least 4 channels simultaneously.

Bluray Reader: Panasonic UJ240 6x Blu-ray Burner BD-RE/8x DVD±RW DL SATA Drive
Some of the common slim Bluray readers I could find. (WRONG, READ REMARKS ABOUT THIS!!)

HDMI CEC Adapter from Pulse-Eight (Kudos to these guys for this amazing product)

The Buildup
Alright people: I have started the build! :D Oh boy, the rush when tearing all those boxes open.. and noticing we ordered the wrong USB adapter & drive.. priceless!
Guess we won't be playing our blurays this week :D But.. the pictures!

Remarks: I noticed Streacom packs the chassis exotically, BUT delivers only 2 tubes of thermal paste. I only managed to apply the paste to the copper heatsink pipes, so I need to get some moer tomorrow for the CPU blocks. (Imagine forgetting those little guys!)
Also, the power cable of the PicoPSU is too short for the case. Guess i'll be soldering this weekend, ahh well it's been a while. I also read it's advised for the TBS tunercard to attach an additional power cable, so i'll need to order a molex splitter. (In the end, this was proven to be not necessary as the tuner card only needs additional power when using DiSEqC.
Also, I bought the wrong bluray reader.. This Streacom case only supports slim SLOT readers!!!! I'm going to return these to Amazon and have ordered a correct one..

The Photos: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/115864537260396175022/albums/5843725895539753537?authkey=CLbekaCdxZ69Qg


Cross-posted in MediaPortal forum. (but went with XBMC eventually)
 
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PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
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What is your software plan? XBMC based? Linux or Windows? What PVR software?

Very curious about this. I use mythTV on a server for PVR and XBMC players at each TV. My setup is workable but always looking for improvement.
 

Nindustries

New Member
Nov 11, 2013
12
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1
What is your software plan? XBMC based? Linux or Windows? What PVR software?
Very curious about this. I use mythTV on a server for PVR and XBMC players at each TV. My setup is workable but always looking for improvement.
At the moment running xbmcbuntu (ubuntu with xbmc installed), and very fond of it. I used Windows 7 and XBMC before, but it wasn't just 'the thing'.
Also tried 8.1 but had issues with a memory leak in higher resolutions and fullscreen mode. Linux is just awesome, updating everything with just apt-get update and installing everything I want from git.. I love it!
PVR Software will be tvHeadend, for no reason actually. I tried that first, and I like the interface.
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
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Singapore
How will you be playing Blurays ?.

Last time I looked, XBMC was not able to do this natively although that was a while ago.

RB
 

Nindustries

New Member
Nov 11, 2013
12
0
1
How will you be playing Blurays ?.

Last time I looked, XBMC was not able to do this natively although that was a while ago.

RB
Tbh, haven't tested this yet with blurays. (except for ripping)
XBMC can play unsecured blurays, and secured blurays can be played while running something like anyDVDHD in the background apparently. It decrypts the streams.
Not sure if there is a linux alternative
 
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