I'm a Professional Engineer with a 1999 undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering. I was born and raised in beautiful Puerto Rico (http://welcome.topuertorico.org/index.shtml). Have development history and experience in hardware and software. Started getting involved with Linux based media centers and DVRs through LinuxMCE in March 2009. After a motherboard crash and realizing that LinuxMCE was more than what I was looking for, started looking at other options and found the sexy and solid XBMC for our media center experience. Started playing and setting up XBMC in June 2011. Thank God the motherboard was still under warranty!
Our original intent was 1) to be able to watch some TV in the living room as there was no cableTV connection in that room (bizarre construction arrangement, we know), and 2) to watch DVD (or BluRay) movies. To tackle the sending the cableTV signal up to the living room without having to lay coax cables around the house, I thought, why not sending it through the network. So I started looking at options and that's how we came to Linux based media centers.
I decided to build our own system as we wanted a nice looking "appliance-like" box that would take the place of the DVD player. We'll start with a very simple one-machine setup, with the idea to have one in almost every room in the house. This is my server shopping list from March 2009.
|Case||$58.99||hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7KJ9 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121068|
|CPU||$78.00||AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300|
|Motherboard||$89.99||ASUS M3N78-EM AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8300 HDMI Micro ATX AMD||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131354|
|RAM||$22.99||Kingston HyperX 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104012|
|Hard Drive||$34.99||Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822135106|
|BluRay Player||$99.99||LITE-ON Black 6X Blu-ray DVD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal 6X Blu-Ray DVD ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Model iHES106-29 - OEM||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106270|
|TV Capture||$159.99||SiliconDust HDHomeRun Network-based Dual Digital HDTV Tuner Ethernet Interface||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815327005|
|2nd NIC||$19.99||Rosewill RC-401-EX 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Gigabit Low Profile Network Card 1 x RJ45 - Retail||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166015|
|Remote||$79.99||Logitech K800 Black USB RF Wireless Slim Illuminated Keyboard||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126194|
|Sound Card||---||Realtek ALC1200 - 8 Channels||In MoBo|
|Graphics card||---||NVIDIA GeForce 8300||In MoBo|
|Thermal Compound||$5.99||Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007|
Total: $705.91 Does not include shipping and handling.
2.1 Other stuff
- Connected to a Samsung LN-T4061F 40" TFT-LCD display through HDMI @1080 resolution
- Had to purchase a powerline networking adapter because of the location of the system.
- Also, later purchased the pcHDTV card when realized the HDHomeRun only received digital signals
- Added one 1TB SATA drive for videos
- 2011.08 - Bought two of the awesome Shuttle XS35GT-V2 as clients for a 3-XBMC household setup
|Case||$229.99||Shuttle XS35GT-V2 Intel NM10 1 x 204Pin IDT92HD81 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856101122|
|RAM||$25.99||CORSAIR 4GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 Laptop Memory Model CMSO4GX3M1A1333C9||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145283|
|Hard Drive||$114.99||Kingston SSDNow V100 Series SV100S2D/64GZ 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal / External Solid State Drive (SSD)||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139418|
|Remote||$80.83||Gyration GYR3101US Universal Infrared / RF Remote Control||http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16880105001&Tpk=gyration|
Total: $451.80 Does not include shipping and handling.
- Used XBMCLive 10.1 Dharma release CD
- On server, original 80GB drive crashed. Bought new 360GB drive and partitioned like this:
- 4 GB: Swap
- 5 GB: XBMC (ext4)
- 5 GB: "Factory settings" reset backup (ext4)
- 340 GB: MythTV Storage (XFS)
- Got HDMI sound working by following instructions here: HOW-TO_set_up_audio_over_HDMI_on_nVidia_GeForce/nForce_controller
- Installed XBMCLive 10.1 Dharma on the client's by following this: HOW-TO:Install XBMC from a USB thumbdrive
- Had to manually enable the network interface by editing /etc/network/interfaces
- Installed and configured MythTV DVR on server box
- Using the Add-on:MythBox as mythtv client (super nice!)
- To have a setup of three TVs with XBMCs through the house with synchronized playback.
- To actively contribute to the XBMC community and its progress.
Will be adding more to this page as time permits.