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Table Of Contents

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Before Taking a PC System Tour
First Tour Stop: The Big Picture
The Case Is Home Base
Power Makes the PC Go
The CPU Does All the Real Computing
Everything Lives in Storage
Wrapping Up
What’s Different About an HTPC?
Elements of HTPC Design
Making Trade-Offs
Taking an HTPC System Tour
Touring the HP m7070n
Touring the Hush MCE 2005 PC
HP and Hush: Compared and Contrasted
Windows Media Center Edition Basics
HTPC: At Home in the Entertainment Center
A Tour of Two Cases
Silverstone LaScala LC14 HTPC Case
Origen x15e HTPC Case
HTPC Case Logic
Form Factor
Noise Control
Materials and Construction
Picking Proper Power Supplies
PSU Cooling Approach
PSU Noise Output
PSU Power Connections
PSU Electrical Efficiency
How Much PSU Wattage Is Enough?
The Barebones Alternatives
Shuttle SB83G5
AOpen XC Cube EA65-II MCE
A Guided Tour of Two Motherboards
Chaintech VNF4 Ultra
ASUS P5AD2-E Deluxe
Front-Side Bus
Graphics Card Support
Expansion Sockets and Buses
Storage Support
Cables and Accessories
What About the BIOS?
A Two-Horse Race
CPU Packages
LGA 775
478-Pin Package
479-Pin Package
939-Pin Package
754-Pin Package
Key CPU Parameters
Dual-Core Processors
High-End Single-Core Processors
Thermal Limits
Midrange CPUs
Powerful Computing, Low Thermals
Heat Sinks
Memory Terms and Operation
Memory Organization and Structure
One Bank or Two?
Channeling PC Memory
Memory Modules
Memory Timing
Where Does Memory Go on an HTPC?
Memory Tools
PC Wizard 2005
When Is BIOS Tweaking Safe?
HDD Overview
HDD Options
HDD Performance
SATA versus PATA
Thermal Issues
Acoustics and Vibration
Notes on 2.5" Drives
External Drive Options
USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394
Network Attached Storage
External SATA
Optical Storage Basics
˛Optical storage basics
Compact Disc
DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD
DVD Format Race
Optical Drive Types
Optical Drive Software
Ideal HTPC Optical Drive Qualities
What About Performance?
Graphics Cards and Media Center PCs
Microsoft Graphics Subsystem Requirements
Graphics Chipsets, HTPC Needs, and Recommendations
TV and HDTV Cards for MCE
Microsoft TV Card Requirements for MCE 2005
TV Signals Versus PC Signals
Regular TV Tuner Cards and Signals
Top Choices
The State of HDTV and Media Center PCs
Top HDTV Choices
DVD Decoders
Check DVD Decoder Status
If You Need a Decoder, Get One!
Introduction to Digital Audio
Digital Audio Formats
What You Need to Play Digital Audio
Sources of Digital Audio
Digital Rights Management
Receivers and Amplifiers
What a Sound Card Does
What You Need in a Sound Card
Types of Sound Cards
Going Pro: Audio Interface Cards
Installing Your Sound Card
Hardware Installation
Software Installation
Best HTPC Sound Card Options
A Loudspeaker Primer
PC Sound Outputs
Connecting to Output Gear
The Entertainment Center Still Rules
Making the Sound Connection
Decoding Multichannel Sound
Speaker Placement
Wiring Is Key
Matching Speakers to Your Needs
Best HTPC Speaker Options
The Input to the Display
How Big?
How Much?
Display Technology
Standard CRT
Rear Projection, CRT
Rear Projection, Micro-Display
LCD Flat Panel
Plasma Flat Panel
Who Sells What?
The Network Interface
MCE and the Internet
Network Speeds and Feeds
Internet Link Speeds
Local Area Network Speeds
Wired and Wireless Networking: Pros and Cons
Wireless Considerations
Wired Considerations
Best Home Networking Practices
Your Internet Link
Networking Tools
Best HTPC Networking Options
The Remote: A Couch Potato’s Best Friend
IR and RF Signals Explained
Media Center Remote Control Features and Functions
Finding and Buying a Remote
A Tale of Three Remotes
Microsoft Media Center Remote
Logitech Harmony 680
SnapStream Firefly
IR Blasters: Controlling a Set-Top Box
Wireless Keyboards and Mice
Building a Budget
Picking Core Components
Picking (a) Hard Disk(s)
Choosing an Optical Drive
Making the Network Connection
Selecting Sound Sources
Handling Graphics
Remote Control and Other Inputs
Making the TV Connection
Missing Miscellany
Adding Up the Bill
HTPC Build Checklist and Budget Counter
Vendor Information
Prepare to Build
Eyeballing Pieces and Parts
Start with the Case
Unpack the Motherboard
Plan Your RAM Deployment
Visualize Drive Placement and Position
Check Expansion Card Requirements
Inspect the Ventilation
Ponder Case Cabling
Step 1: Motherboard (and PSU)
Step 2: Installing the CPU (and Cooler)
Step 3: Installing the Memory
Step 4: Installing Drives
Step 5: Installing Expansion Cards
Step 6: Working with Cables and Connectors
Step 7: Addressing Ventilation
Step 8: Testing and Burn-In
Step 1: Basic Core Component Check
Steps 2 through . .
Initial Build Test
Burn-In Test
Step 9: Cleaning Up and Closing Up
Pre-Installation Tips and Caveats
Gathering Drivers
Preparing Your Motherboard BIOS
Loading Installation Media
Character Mode Install
Graphics Mode Install
Finishing Up Installation
Starting Media Center for the First Time
Making Music, Videos, and Pictures Work
Making TV Work
Making Radio Work
Integrating Your PC with Home Entertainment Gear
Component Selection Rationale
Pre-Build Preparation
Initial Build-Out
Installing Expansion Cards
Installing Drives
Cabling Up
Final Build Components and Costs
Saving More, Spending More
Installing MCE and Media Attachments
Testing and Burn-In
Clean-Up and Close-Up
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Build Home Theater

Build Home Theater

Ratings: (0)|Views: 2,835|Likes:
Published by Sourav Mukhopadhyay

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Published by: Sourav Mukhopadhyay on Jul 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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