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Windows 7: What do I need to make a cheap Media centre/server?

07 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 
What do I need to make a cheap Media centre/server?

Basically I'm looking to turn a cheap Netbook or a old laptop into a media center/server that would do the following:

connect to the TV at minimum 720p
Be able to play video's on my laptop's drive at full rez (720p)
Possibly synchronize videos to it`s hd
Be able to act as a printer server for all computers in the house
act as a file server that the computers in the house can use as a backup drive
can access the internet for web browsing, youtube, eta.
be able to play dvd`s even if from an external drive.
be able to be run by a remote for most stuff

following this, what would you say would be the minimum specs needed and would This one work?
Model Eee PC 1001P
Microsoft Windows 7 Starter
Intel Atom N450 Processor (1.66GHz)
1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM
WLAN 802.11 b/g
160GB
Audio Hi-Definition Audio CODEC
Stereo speaker
Digital Mic
1 x Mini VGA Connector
3 x USB 2.0
1 x LAN RJ-45
2 x Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Feb 2010   #2

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

You can try it but the Atom I don't think is suited for a DVR

Depending on how much serving you are planning on doing.....

If trying to do all those things at once? Probably not.

The Atom is a low end purpose driven processor.
Mainly along the lines of a low end Netbook for surfing and word processing/email.

Here is an article on the Atom....
Intel N400 Pine Trail Atom technical documents released | Netbook Choice
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

that eepc doesn't have the power to do all that.
The best thing is to build a small AMD based nvida 8300 system, Entire machine will cost at least $250 with no OS and a small Hard drive.
I have an Intel based machine but with Intel, but you pay a bit more for the mobo and processor.
My HTPC media machine consists of the following,
Intel E5200 processor
Asus Nvidia 9300 based mobo with Gigabit Ethernet (try to get Gigabit and upgrade your network since this will make large file transfers much faster)
4GB DDR2 ram (bought when Ram was really cheap), 2GB is enough.
Silverstone SG-02 case
Antec 380watt PSU
500GB and 400GB Seagate Drives
LG Blu-Ray/HD-DVD/DVD-RW Drive
HP Media Center IR Receiver
MS Wireless Keyboard
Logitech MX1000 wireless mouse
Logitech 670 Media Remote
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Image before I bought the LG Blu-Ray drive,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Feb 2010   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

yes,, agree with zepher. That is more to what you are looking for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zepher View Post
Entire machine will cost at least $250 with no OS and a small Hard drive.
I can get a dedicated system for under $300?


That'll work


Truth be told I never built a system. Is there a specific build to order site or does one just pick up parts at newegg eta?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 

And technically I'm not looking for something that does DVR but will act as a light duty intranet server, and also will be connected to a tv so I can watch shows on other computer's hard drives via homegroup (or a workaround if it's running XP)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #7

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by IceFire View Post
Basically I'm looking to turn a cheap Netbook or a old laptop into a media center/server that would do the following:

connect to the TV at minimum 720p
Be able to play video's on my laptop's drive at full rez (720p)
Possibly synchronize videos to it`s hd
Be able to act as a printer server for all computers in the house
act as a file server that the computers in the house can use as a backup drive
can access the internet for web browsing, youtube, eta.
be able to play dvd`s even if from an external drive.
be able to be run by a remote for most stuff

following this, what would you say would be the minimum specs needed and would This one work?
Model Eee PC 1001P
Microsoft Windows 7 Starter
Intel Atom N450 Processor (1.66GHz)
1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM
WLAN 802.11 b/g
160GB
Audio Hi-Definition Audio CODEC
Stereo speaker
Digital Mic
1 x Mini VGA Connector
3 x USB 2.0
1 x LAN RJ-45
2 x Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in)
I have a Samsung N210 which is an atom N450 of a similar spec to the one above and it just doesn't have the power to be used as a media center.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #8

Win 7
 
 
Try Asrock ION 330

Asrock 330 ION highly recommended !
- low power
- great graphics performance (1080p) thanks to Cuda technology
- built in DVD drive , even BD if you wish
- $350 ish


See ASRock ION 330 as Media Center for a review
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #9

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Again,, he is wanting more than a Media Center.

The Atom will not work for what he wants to do.

The 330 might be a hyperthreading dual-core atom,, but it's still only 1.6Ghz and I do not recommend overclocking it.

He needs a full C2D or dare I say an AMD processor to handle the load of serving video, printers and storage sharing at the same time.

However,,, if all you want to do is serve video and that's pretty much it. Then this ASRock ION 330 will probably work. Might get away with a bit more,, because of the dedicated video card
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #10

 

My solution to above is a Windows Home Server. With Windows 7 you can configure WMC to archive your recorded TV to it, and your other home PC's and extenders can stream that content. It does backup quite well inluding full images of XP Pro, and Vista and Windows 7 pro/Ultimate.

The system requirements are not extreme and hard drive prices have dropped significantly. Before proceeding with this or any of the above make ure all technologies involved are licensed and available for your region.

My first WHS was a Compaq 5012US, added a SATA/IDE card and two 320GB HDD's. The PC was leftover after upgrades and unused. I have since upgraded my WHS as I do more with it now. The WHS OS can be purchased from MS. My net cost using my oldest PC was less than $200. Also WHS is a headless system so all you need is a decent mobo in a case and some large Hard Drives. Why everyone does not have one is beyond me...It was easy to install and configure and did not break the bank.

There are also many OEM's who make WHS's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What do I need to make a cheap Media centre/server?




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