Build Your Own Silent HTPC – Blu-ray, HD DVD and HDTV Combined

Shopping List

As mentioned above, most companies have decided only one of the new high-definition video formats. Samsung and LG are the only manufacturers to offer optical drives supporting both Blu-ray and HD DVD, with LG being the one with the widest range of optical drives for both types of discs.

The following table details our configuration in two variations :

ComponentManufacturer / ModelStandard VersionLight Version
CaseSilverstone GD01S-MXR (incl. remote control) €180 €180
Power Supply Silverstone Nightjar ST30NF (passive cooling, no fan) €130 €130
ProcessorAMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 (2100 MHz)€80 55 €80
CPU CoolerZalman CNPS9500 LED€45 €45
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS (500 GB) €95 €95
MotherboardMSI K9AG Neo2-Digital€60 €60
Graphics CardSapphire Radeon HD 2400 XT with HDMI adapter (passive cooling, no fan) €70 €70
Optical Drive for Blu-ray and HD DVDLG GGC-H20L€300 €300
Memory2x MDT 1024MB DDR2-800 CL5 M924-800-16 50 €50 €
TV-Tuner Card 1KNC One TV-Station DVB-S2€150 €150
TV-Tuner Card 2KNC One TV-Station DVB-S2€150 €150
Common Interface (CI)KNC One CineView-Module50 €
Conditional Access Module (CAM)Alphacrypt (Classic)100 €/ ₤80
Adapter5.25” to 3.5” front-panel Adapter 6 €
Total1.466 €1.160 €

The “Standard” Version costs roughly €1.466 and allows you to receive and decrypt Pay TV stations if you’re a subscriber and own an appropriate smartcard. Additionally, you can watch one programme on one tuner card while recording a different show no a different transponder using the other.

The “Light” Version for around €1.160 still lets you receive HDTV stations, but only unencrypted ones. Also, while you can still watch one show and record another with this configuration, both need to be on the same transponder. If not, you’ll have to decide between either watching or recording.

DIY Silent HTPC – Blu-ray, HD DVD and HDTV Combined

In the following section we’ll discuss our choice of components and the fundamentals of the silent HTPC. We will also warn you of potential snares and share our experiences from the test phase. If you’d rather skip the details, click here to go straight to our step-by-step guide.