Friday, 29 August 2008

My HTPC Build

Well i had a few spare PC bit's laying around so a few months ago i put together a HTPC (Home theater PC) which would be my main PC for internet TV, Digital Personal Video Recorder,DVD Player and a bit of gaming plus act as a server to other PC's in the house to stream music and video

The first place most people start is the case which is just like me as wanted something which would look good under my Samsung LCD TV so went for the Antec NSK 2480 Desktop Case - 380W Earth Watts PSU as have had other Antec cases over the years from the P160 and Sonata and there alway great quality plus the NSK 2480 comes with a PSU which save a bit of time and money getting one plus it's a green PSU so good for the environment in a little way

Antec NSK 2480 Desktop Case - 380W Earth Watts PSU

Antec NSK 2480 Desktop Case - 380W Earth Watts PSU

PC Setup

PC Spec
Case: Antec NSK 2480 Desktop Case - 380W Earth Watts PSU
P4 3.2 Prescott
Heatsink: Scythe Shuriken
Motherboard: Asrock P4VM900-SATA2
Memory: 2GB Crucial 3200
Hard Drive: Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 320GB SATA-II 16MB
Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 3650 512MB GDDR3
USB TV Dongle: Hauppauge Win TV Nova-TD Running DVBViewer
DVD Writer: Asus Quie Track 1814BL
WiFi Network card: Belkin F5D7000UK 54Mbps

The reason i went for a P4 3.2 Prescott was because i had one setting around not doing anything so may as well use it and save a little money plus had the 2GB Crucial 3200 setting in a box from an old build also had to go for the Asrock P4VM900-SATA2 motherboard because there the only company still making new Socket 478 motherboards plus it supports pci-express

As for the rest the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 3650 may be a bit of over kill for the setup but i do a little bit of gaming now and then :)and only ever buy Hitachi hard drives as i'm a Hitachi fanboy, the Asus Quie Track 1814BL does book setting out of the book as for the last two bit's of hardware i did have a nebula TV card which i was going to use but it has problems with VIA chipsets which can cause picture breakup when the hard drive is being used hard so went for the Hauppauge Win TV Nova-TD Dongle so last but not least Belkin F5D7000UK 54Mbps wifi card i've fitted a few of these into friends PC's over the years and for just over a £10 it's a bargain

Well the motherboard turned up a day before the case so as didn't have anything to do so i did the install in the lab just to make sue everything was working lol

Asrock P4VM900-SATA2

So when i finally got everything together the case has plenty of room to work with plus air flow with them two big fans running to keep everything cool only thing i changed from pic below is it's showing a Thermalright XP-120 heatsink and Amber fan which was changed to a Scythe Shuriken as the top of the amber didn't leave much room for airflow

Asrock P4VM900-SATA2 Thermalright XP-120

So after a few hours i had a sweet looking HTPC which has been running now for a few weeks 24 a day without any problems well only one little one discussed in Capacitor Noise Asrock P4VM900-SATA2 which was fixed in a few tweaks of the bios

So for TV software (PVR Personal Video Recorder) i run DVBViewer which will handle all the TV playback plus other file formats from xvid, divx and mp4 plus others will also handle pictures and music

For radio i use RarmaRadio if there not on freeview to grab the internet streams for playback like LBC, Vibes 93.8 FM (Daddy Noddys reggae Jam) and others from around the world

Antec NSK 2480 Desktop Case - 380W Earth Watts PSU

More info on Dvbviewer and Hauppauge WinTV Nova-TD USB TV Dongle

More Info on RaimaRadio

Internet Television Shows

It's funny that now we have so many TV channels over here in the UK from digital terrestrial TV to SKY and cable you find that theres less to watch which sounds odd but it true

Theres just not the TV series which i find grab my attention these days as there just popcorn TV as once you have watched you just forget about them unlike the shows i watched as a kid

So now i find i watch more and more shows off the web plus use BBC iplayer and 4OD to watch shows when i want to see them which i feel is the future as most programmes will be streamed to you when and if you want to watch them which is the way all TV will be in years to come

So heres a run down of the shows i watch each week from the web


DL.TV is for tech fans, by tech fans. It features some of the most timely and honest views about what is going on in tech today! Hosted by Robert Heron

DL.TV Link

Cranky Geeks

Cranky Geeks John C. Dvorak, whose crankiness knows no bounds, is a contributing editor of PC Magazine, for which he has been writing two columns, including the popular Inside Track, since 1986.

Cranky Geeks Link

The Totally Rad Show

The Totally Rad Show is the summer blockbuster of geek news shows. Every week, hosts Alex Albrecht, Dan Trachtenberg, and Jeff Cannata rip into the world of movies, video games, tv, comics, and more and pull out what's rad.

The Totally Rad Show Link


Diggnation is a weekly tech/web culture show based on the top social bookmarking news stories. Hosted by Kevin Rose, Alex Albrecht and a few cans of beer

Diggnation Link


Tekzilla embrace digital technology. Join the Tekzilla crew and make your tech work better for you. Or you can go live in the woods with an axe. Every Saturday, Patrick Norton and Veronica Belmont deliver product reviews, computer help, tech tips on everything from iPods to camcorders, HD to the Internet, plus do it yourself projects.

Tekzilla Link


Systm is the Do It Yourself show designed for the common geek who wants to quickly and easily learn how to dive into the latest and hottest tech projects. We will help you avoid pitfalls and get your project up and running fast.

Systm Link

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Chakushin ari (One missed call)

"Is that your mobile ringing well answer it"................"who is it"'s me ??????

Well i just watched Chakushin ari (One missed call) which was part of film 4's horror weekend last week but only just got round to finally seeing it

it's the story of a group of people who all of a sudden start receiving voicemail messages from their future selves a few days in the future which is the time of there death

So the story follows Yumi Nakamura (Kou Shibasaki) as she with the help of Shin'ichi Tsutsumi (Hiroshi Yamashita) try to solve the mystery of who is sending the phone calls in time to save the life of her friends only to get a.............."Hello"

Only thing i not sure of was the ending the bit with the sweet ???

So if you fancy a rent from your local blockbusters or online rental it well worth it :)

Ps i love the song at the end which is by Shibasaki Kou called Ikutsuka No Sora which i found on youtube

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Blaze Handheld Mega Drive

Looks like a handheld mega drive console is coming out for all us retro game lovers which is being made by blaze and comes loaded with games including Alex Kidd - Enchanted Castle, Alien Storm Altered Beast, Arrow Flash, Crackdown, Decap Attack, Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ecco Junior, Flicky, Gain Ground, Jewel Master, Kid Chameleon, Sonic Spinball and Shadow Dancer

The price for the console isn't to bad coming in at £29.99 so may have to buy one to test and bring back some great memories of my first console, just wish they had added some game gear games in there :)

Blaze Handheld Mega Drive Console Retro

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Optical Edge Forum

If your after some help with your PC from hardware to software or just fancy a change from the norm head over to Optical-Edge Forum and find a friendly bunch who are always on hand to help

Or if you just fancy a chat about the latest games, movies, music or for just a laugh you no where to head
PS your even find me over there :)
Optical-Edge Forum

Forum RSS Feed

Friday, 8 August 2008

Britain from Above

Great new series starting sunday on the BBC which takes a look at britain from a birds eye view
The series starts on August 10 on BBC One at 9pm and BBC Two at 10pm.

Info from BBC website
Andrew Marr takes to the skies exploring Britain from above.
An epic journey revealing the secrets, patterns and hidden rhythms of our lives from a striking new perspective.

Join host Andrew Marr as he discovers how each and every one of us is interconnecting making Britain what it is today.

Britain looks very different from the skies. From a bird's eye view of the nation, its workings, cities, landscapes and peoples are revealed and re-discovered in new and extraordinary ways.

Cutting edge technology allows you to see through cloud cover, navigate the landscape and witness familiar sights as never seen before.

More info BBC Home page


Fly Trap

Each and every year the little bush we have outside our house gets covered in a massive spiders web which is huge, funny thing is i've never seen the spiders who are making it for some reason

Spider Fly Trap

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Dvbviewer Hauppauge WinTV Nova-TD USB TV

I just got my hands on a Hauppauge Nova-TD usb TV dongle aka Digital Terrestrial TV Stick :) after having more problems with my nebula TV pci card "dam you via and your chipset"

Dvbviewer Hauppauge WinTV Nova-TD USB TV Dongle

Dvbviewer Hauppauge WinTV Nova-TD USB TV Dongle

Well it was back to WinTv which sucks eggs big time after using nebula's Digitv for a few year which has to be one of the finest bits of hardware and software ever made !!! "shame you went bust or something last year" but it looks like there not in business these days

So have spent the day trying different software which started with nebula's own Digitv as it was installed on the pc and from the nebula site can run other manufacturers cards, but sadly for me it just locked up when trying to run my Nova-TD

So next step was google which when looking for pvr software comes up with GBpvr and media-portal which are well recommend so i had to give then a go

Crash crash and one little crash for good measure i just couldn't get theses two bit's of software to run which just may be down to me more than the software but after 3 or 4 hours i gave up and went looking else where

page 5 or was it page 6 of google in a forum post a bit of software called dvbviewer came up so went to after installing which only took less than a min i picked my usb device and did a scan and was up and running in only a few min's and can say what a waste of a day i had as trying to use other software as i so wished dvbviewer had come up first as it's a great bit of software and for a £10 it's the bargain of 2008

Video of Hauppauge Nova-TD usb tv dongle running dvbviewer

Eyerex's software pick of 2008 dvbviewer

dvbviewer home page

Tip if you do try dvb viewer the only two bits of software you need to install from the wintv cd or download is the Diversity Tool which gives you the option to change tv mode to dual tuner mode which is in the MISC folder and the remote software IR32 folder