I tried to answer my question by searching prior posts but there were just too many posts in the past six months that had the keywords I was using. I want to build a htpc - as usual, on a tight budget. I want to be able to do the following:
- play and record internet radio, even while performing some other task
- play and record tv programs
- watch and record internet tv programs
- play and record fm radio
- play CD's, VCD's, SVCD's and DVD's
- do video chat online
I will not use this pc to edit or render files, only to capture them. It is important, though, to be able to do 2 or 3 tasks simultaneously, i.e. watch something, record an audiocast online and record a program on tv. I have not made the linux/windows decision yet either so would appreciate any opinions you have on this subject - especially pertaining to stability. I will be leaving this pc on 24/7
Thanks in advance!
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Well...this is kind of a broad subject, and probably can't be answered. Your demands have as much to do with software as they do hardware. Personally, if you are trying to keep cost down, I would go with an amd athlon processor. (low heat = less power req's = less noise). RAM is so cheap these days, it doesn't make sense to go with less than a gig. Do you have an old machine that you want to cnovert, or are you purchasing new? I don't think there is a software package that will do ALL of what you want, but GBPVR will do most. If you want it to 'look & feel' real nice than mce is the way to go(more $$$ though). gbpvr is free.
watch & record internet tv programs? Not sure how you would go about doing that...guess you would have to grab the stream with streambox or something like that.
Yours is a very ambitious goal. Your multiple task requirements call for at least a dual core cpu (high end AMD like AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ or an Intel Pentium D 830) if you're looking for smooth operation. Or you can look into a dual cpu motherboard like the ASUS K8N-DL Dual Socket 940 running dual AMD Opterons. Add to that something like an ATI All-In-Wonder X800 XT graphics card and the Radio Shark and you'll be on your way to a good start.
I disagree with the 'high-end' part. No need for a great graphics card either. Do you have anything lying around? With the exception of recording internet video, I do all of what you want at the same time, with an athlon64 3500+ and a geforce 6600 (heat sink, no fan = no noise). Does it need to be silent? Sounds like Haopeng needs to do some more reading. Kind of a general post.