I am building another computer for personal use.  I have posted on this blog a few years ago about building a server optimized for virtualzation. I have converted my existing desktop tower into a machine that is running virtual desktops, but it is not very fast.  I desperately need a DVR to get back into recording media from televised broadcasts. I am going to use this blog post to take notes for my next Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC).

  1. Premium Home Theater PC Case – Antec Fusion Remote Max. With support for Standard ATX motherboards, the Fusion Remote Max is spacious enough for dual graphics cards, enabling you to build the ultimate home theater PC, perfect not only for enjoying digital media, but for playing the latest games. This case features a stylish aluminum front bezel with an LCD, a built-in IR receiver and a remote control to work the included iMEDIAN HD software. If that weren’t enough, the quiet-running 140mm fan and noise-reducing design provide whisper-quiet operation. Tom’s Hardware has a good review for the Fusion 430 case. Mike Chin also has good things to say about this case. Amazon has this for $194.19
  2. Power SupplyAntec HCG-900. Making quad rail power and highly advanced power supply design available at a popular wattage, the HCG-900 features special High Current connectors and heavy-duty cabling, earning it NVIDIA® SLI®-Ready and ATI™ CrossFire™ certifications. At the same time the HCG-900 is also 80 PLUS® Bronze certified for efficiency, and features active PFC with a swift, quiet 135 mm double ball bearing fan so you know you’re getting not only High Current, but also high efficiency and excellent cooling. If loads of power, High Current engineering and exceptional efficiency are what you’re after, the HCG-900 is the perfect PSU for you. Amazon has it for $149.
  3. Tuner CardThe Ceton InfiniTV 4 is the world’s first multi-tuner PC card for watching digital cable TV on the PC, including support for premium cable channels. It enables Media Center PCs to play or record up to four live channels of HDTV at once, and stream live HD channels or recordings to multiple HDTVs throughout the home, all from a single cable connection and a single CableCARD™. Replace your cable set-top boxes and their costly monthly rental fees and enjoy premium cable TV throughout the home, all from a single PC. With the Ceton InfiniTV 4 your Media Center PC becomes a complete entertainment platform for all your media, including premium cable TV. Here is a review from PC World. Fluid Digital has it for $399.
  4. Main BoardAsus P6TD Deluxe Intel X58 Socket LGA1366 Motherboard

    The Asus P6TD Deluxe Intel X58 Socket LGA1366 Motherboard is the ideal foundation for a powerful PC. It delivers awesome power, dependable performance and unparalleled multiple I/O scalability for the most demanding tasks and future upgrades. Also, the Asus P6TD Deluxe Intel X58 Socket LGA1366 Motherboard provides extreme power saving experience. The Asus P6TD Deluxe Intel X58 Socket LGA1366 Motherboard intelligently reduces operation noise and dissipates heat through advanced and environmentally friendly methods to accommodate user needs. Don’t change yourself for a computer. Instead, let the Asus P6TD Deluxe Intel X58 Socket LGA1366 Motherboard improve the quality of your work and life. Tiger Direct has this for $559.99 which includes the processor.

  5. Processor – Intel Core i7 950 Processor BX80601950 – 3.06GHz, 8MB L3 Cache, 4.8GT/s QPI, HyperThreading, Quad Core, Bloomfield, LGA 1366, Retail, Fan. Intel Core i7 950 Processor BX80601950.  Check out the most significant architectural change in the x86 architecture in 13 years, the Intel Core i7. Intel has completely reinvented their CPU design, removing the antiquated Front Side Bus and replacing it with the new Intel QuickPath Interconnect, delivering up to 6.4 GT/s. Also new to the Core i7 line is the integrated memory controller, supporting Triple Channel DDR3 Memory allowing for more maximum memory, up to 24GB on some boards, and faster access times. Located directly on the CPU die is 256KB per core of L2 cache and 8MB L3 cache shared across all four cores means the CPU can do more without having to access the main memory, further increasing performance. Amazon has this for $289.99
  6. Memory – Corsair CMP12GX3M3A1600C9 12GB 3X4GB Kit DDR3 1600MHz Corsair Memory is specifically designed for rock-solid stability in demanding applications. Data lines are carefully engineered for noise immunity; clock lines are optimized for minimum skew. All modules use JEDEC-compliant six-layer. Memory4Less has this for $578.24
  7. Hard drives – The case can have 4 drives. Seagate Barracuda low Power Hard Drive, 1 TB, SATA, 5900 RPM, 32 MB Cache ST31000520AS. Amazon has them for $122 each.
  8. Blue RayPioneer Internal Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer BDR-206 (Black). The DVR-215D DVD/CD Writer supports 20x write speeds on both DVD-R/+R along with the capability to write at 10x speed on DVD-R/+R dual/double layer media. This Internal DVD/CD Writer has a Serial ATA Interface.The Quiet Drive Technology reduces the noise level of audio and video playback while also delivering increased writing reliability. Liquid Crystal Tilt/Blur Compensator plays and records to discs more reliably – the Pioneer technology that compensates for warped discs. Dual/Double Layer recording provides nearly twice the capacity of a single layer recordable DVD-R (8.5 Gbytes vs. 4.7 Gbytes). Amazon has this for $118.18.

Commercial skipping products

  1. VideoReDo – AdDetective™ Commercial Detection takes the pain out of finding the best places to cut advertisements from your videos. AdDetective will scan your files for likely places where advertisements start and end. Cost is $96

The total cost of this media server as of this writing is about $2,500. This is enough research for now.