Sorry if this isn't the correct place for this.
Work in IT in a school. To re-improve my basic computing knowledge I've given myself a project to build a "simple" media PC to sit under the television. Its a standard TV at the moment but I'm thinking I'd get an flatscreen one in the near future.
I'd like a computer that looks nice because it will be in the lounge under the TV, which also means it needs to be quiet. My primary use for the PC will be to store digital photos and be able to look at them from the comfort of an arm chair. In addition I might as well put the software for my MP3 player on it. It can have internet access - why not.
It doesn't have to be a PVR or be able to play DVDs - I have other suitable equipment for that and don't watch much TV anyway.
My budget is only about £200 quid at the moment.
I just need a list of suitable components. Some of which I might get on auction sites, some kit that work might be chucking out - so free. I'm struggling to identify a suitable case. I think once I've got that the other components will be easy to decide upon and locate.
Any suggestions welcomed---
As I'm a BIG media PC fan (min costs about £1100+ home built), I have just made a budget one for a friend, but please bear one fact in mind. Almost all media PC's are built to connect to HDTV's, and tube based TV's are on the way out. However, I will give you a list of 'recommended components, but you will be pushed to make a media PC on less than £200 for all components.
I've missed out the CPU, but I would advise at least a Core II 2.0Ghz and above and if you are really serious about watching blu-ray and HD DVDs then any ATI HD4350 series (passively cooled models) and above, but trying to do a media PC on a budget is IMHO a false economy, becuas eyou pay a LOT for silent components (my fanless PSU was £120!), and the case £400+, but the components above, particularly the case and mobo are a great base for a media system, in fact I still use that mobo in my media PC.
depending on what type of TV you have will depend on how you connect your desktop to your TV, CRT will most likely be an s video cable with 3.5mm audio jack to RCA ( left and right audio ) and you can get scart converter to convert s video and the rca ( left and right audio ) into one scart socket.
If it is a HD TV then you can get a DVI to HDMI cable and which ever relevant audio cable you require depending on if you have an amp or just connecting directly using 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio jack or whatever.
I have my mac pro connected to my HD TV via a DVI to HDMI cable ( ensuring its the correct DVI connector type ie DVI-D or DVI-I or whatever they are )
and my audio is 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio jack and it works great.
To re-improve my basic computing knowledge I've given myself a project to build a "simple" media PC to sit under the television.
Without being rude (I really tried not to be).... If your looking to reimprove your basic knowledge, maybe you should of asked for specs rather than components. As half of the battle of building a pc is in buying the right components that are compatible and work in the right way for the job you have in mind (even if the spec is given to you). A ten year old could put the parts together...
I know this defeats the purpose of the activity of building your own, but I have got two of the netgear Eva8000 media players in the house. They are silent, slimline, and awesome. Since the newer model got rreleased they are down to about £150. I recommend checking them out.
Or a second hand PS3 is a good option. This is what I've got. Stream media from other computers in the house. Freeview TV tuner available. Blue Ray Player. And web browser to access iPlayer and 4OD. See my http://www.edugeek.net/forums/blogs/...nvergence.html blog for more details.
If you want to build a system for £200, then look at AMD processors such as the Phenom X3. The processors/motherboards are generally cheaper for good enough performance. Hard Drive space and RAM are more important than Processor speed or Graphics Card (on board will likely do).
Personally I think RAM is cheap and for this system there's little need to go for 64bit (especially if you're using Windows). So I'd aim for the maximum 4Gb and then spend as much as I can on the Hard Drive.
If your're are building take a look at Mythbuntu and Myth-TV. Cheaper thanpaying out for a Windows license.