Htpc and dvr

My brother wants to build an uber cheap dvr + htpc for his living room. I wouldnt ask for help normally but I have never used capture cards.

His cable is clear qam, He wants to be able to watch tv while he records on another channel


1tb hdd No more than $60

cheapest mobo+ cpu you can find

4gb ram - no more than $45

gpu that has hdmi output that will play 1080p videos from netflix and recordings 

cheapest case you can find. No more than $40

cheapest decent psu possible. rig will prob. use 200w so I will buy a coolmax 700w 80+ psu for $40 If I dont like the price of the psu. I'm pretty shure an overrated 700w psu can handle 200w 

windows isnt needed 


An APU build will probably work alright.  Perhaps consider a A10-5800k in a relatively cheap motherboard.

HDD: WD Blue 1TB

Case: Something like a Cooler Master N200.

Even though the Coolmax PSU is rated at 700w, ripple and voltage control still vary greatly depending on the design and quality.  An Antec Basiq or Corsair CX430 would be much better in terms of quality.

TMI for your way of obtaining windows.  Next time, just say "I have windows" or something.

which decent apu motherboards has an hdmi port? I am mostly asking about capture cards!

This should suit your needs. Low-cost but still very capable dual-core Richland APU, FM2+ motherbord that has everything you need, nothing more or less (has HDMI), and will accept AMD's new CPU/APUs should you ever decide to upgrade at some point. Also included a very clean-looking but inexpensive case.

I did not include a capture card because, quite simply, I don't know much them. :P

i would avoid seagate hard drives


I have that exact 1TB HDD and I would recommend it. It's quick and I've had no issues, thus far. 

May I ask why you would avoid them? 

I've heard the rumors about their reliability and recently found out that was actually the result of flawed test methods. I'll see if I can find that information... Will post a link later.

also all the seagates i've own, using them as the torrent drive(much use), have died within 2 years.

I personally love WD Blues and Blacks.

Here's one of many articles that addresses the backblaze drive study.

There were several flaws and factors at play in that study that should deem the results as inaccurate. I remember hearing Logan or Linus talk about this during The Tek or WAN show not too long ago. Based on the research I've done on this, I would not and cannot discount any Seagate drives because of this study. As with many things, it's not just about the numbers on a graph.

While I can't speak for the 2 Seagate drives you claim failed after 2 years, I have several 10-year old IDE Segate drives that still work, and seeing as how the backblaze study was inaccurate, I had no problem making the decision to buy a new one, nor do I have any reason not to recommend them for builds.

If you've had two fail, then I can understand why you wouldn't recommend them. I'm just pointing out that that study should be taken with a grain of salt and all factors should be taken into account at the very least. 


Were they the 1.5TB drives? The ones known to have issues? (just curious)


Well there you go. ;)

I wouldn't recommend those particular drives either. They were known to have problems, but the same cannot be said about their other drives.

i suppose i can live with the seagate data being skewed but can the hitachi vs western digital comparison still have some validity?

Not one single seagate drive I have ever owned has died.  I have literally chucked them at concrete and seen the work just fine afterwards.

just kidding

Thats my own build and seems to be the best here. max budget for this is 350 w/ capture card. I found a nice haupauge card for $66 total. 

Hitachi drives are shit. Every single one I have ever had Is dead.

The data on the Hitachi drives very well may be valid, but I didn't bother researching those, so I can't say either way. From personal experience and from what I've heard from many other sources, WD and Seagate are the most popular and reliable.

Currently have a Hitachi drive in my laptop and it's been working great for about two years.

Depends on the Hitachi line, I think.  Ultrastars are complete crap, as far as I know.