Building a HD Media Center PC (Home Theatre Use)


Oct 4, 2008
Hey guys,

I’m looking to build a high-end computer to supplement most of the equipment in the home theatre room (projector, Blu-ray player, HD-DVD player, etc.) so that I can stream HD content via my computer.
My budget is about $1000-1200 (keep in mind I don’t need a monitor) to act as a HD media centre PC. When I was younger I used to be quite a gamer so I have a general idea of what sort of parts I’d be looking for, but as I’ve been out of the loop of the latest and greatest technology for a while, I’m not sure how to approach building this comp (especially since it WONT be used for gaming).

What do you guys suggest?

Here’s what I’m looking for:

High-end Processor (I was thinking of picking up a quadcore – I hear the new i-7 processors are coming out?)

At least 4gb of RAM (As far as I know, standard DDR2/3 should be sufficient – if not lemme know!)

High-capacity hard-drive (I think 1TB should be sufficient – anything you can suggest that’s cost-effective/can handle prolonged periods of use?)

Here’s where I really have no idea what to do…

I need this computer to be able to support full HDMI for BOTH audio and video. Is there something that can process this information and send it out to my home theatre system (e.g. can there be full motherboard support?)? Or is my only option to buy an HDMI compliant video card and sound card (what would you guys suggest that would fit my price range?).

The last thing I’m curious about is whether I can completely control my computer remotely. I know media center PCs (e.g. by HP) allow it – is there an after-market solution that I can pick up (it can be either a remote – or something like an integrated keyboard and mouse) that can do something similar with HD streaming? The ‘media center’ software needs to be able to support and output full HD audio and video (Windows Media Player sucks – it can only output stereo as far as I know, or PowerDVD that doesn’t always work properly).

I apologize for the long post. Thanks for taking the time to read over my post! Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!




OK first HDMI is Audio and Video by default.

RADEON X1300 Pro Graphic Card will do a good job.

Quad Core CPU
Two 500GB SATA Drives RAID1 Config.

Windows MCE or Windows Vista premium which comes with MCE option.

Bluetooth Wireless keyboard with built in mouse ball.

Blueray ReWriter Drive

108 Mbps Netgar Wireless card with MIMO N Router