the mediapc

My Media PC “FastMF”

This is my mediacenter, I can record Comcast cable (including unencrypted HDTV) and play DVD’s and other video (mostly HD) off the network, etc. Since I’m a bit of a mediacenter nut, I have this as the ONLY source attached to my tv, so all of my entertainment comes through this computer.

The MCE and the receiver are mounted in the basement, so all you have in the TV room is the TV itself and the speakers. The speaker wire runs through the floor, and the flat screen is mounted on the wall. Since the remote and keyboard for the mediapc are RF, I don’t need any receivers for that visible in the TV room, but I did run a USB extension cable up and hide it just so I could hook up a real keyboard, mouse, digital camera, etc if needed. The only bad part is that if I rent a movie, I have to run downstairs to put it in the drive, but that’s a small price to pay for the neatness of the setup.

AMD Opteron 175 dual core processor

Thermaltake Venus heat sink/fan

ASUS “A8N-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset Motherboard

upgraded chipset fan because of the crappy ASUS one

CORSAIR XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series 4GB(1GBx4) DDR PC-3200

ATI Radeon 4850 PCI-X video card, 512 megs

Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro

gigE connected

1 Western Digital 500gb sata drive

Silicon Dust HDHomerun network based dual tuner card

Enermax Noisetaker 650 watt power supply

Gyration MCE remote mouse and wireless keyboard (RF)

Silverstone LC16B case (looks like a piece of audio equipment, and this doesn’t matter because the pc is in the basement)

Monitor is a Panasonic 50″ 720P plasma display – Th-50px75u

This machine runs Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Here are some crappy cell phone pictures of this machine. (It’s in the bottom of the rack.)

The audio is interesting.. I am doing D/A conversion inside the mediapc, so it is outputting the discreet audio channels as analog. This goes into a series of amps.

Kenwood KR-V6060 – this is an older amp that does pro-logic (yuck) but I am using it in stereo mode to drive my front speakers. Specs say it’s 100×2 that way and are driving two Boston Acoustics vr950’s. I have put a “kill a watt” on this thing when driving it pretty hard and It draws about 300 watts continuous and spikes up to about 480. If you figure 70% efficiency (I think that’s about right) then this amp is decent.

Hafler TA1600 amplifier is used to drive the center channels. I have two Boston Acoustics CR55’s.

JVC RX-208 – This one is very old, it was free, I had it given to me many years ago. I’m guessing it’s 55×2, but I cannot find specs to be sure. Anyway, this one runs the rear channels which are DCM CX-17’s.

The subwoofer amp is a Crown Comtech 210 amp in bridged mono mode (got this from the auction when the startup I used to work for went under for a steal).

The subwoofer itself is a Swiss audio 12″ sub, I can’t find any specs on it, a friend had it and let me “borrow” it when my old faithful JL 12W6 finally gave out on me. The sub lives in a 7.5 cubic foot 3/4″ MDF custom box that is very well braced, built by me of course. This thing sounds better than any commercially available sub I have run across in person. I’m sure there is something better, but not for near the total actual cost of >$400 that I have in this thing.


One Response to “the mediapc”

  1. » vista sound for htpc Says:

    […] have spent quite a bit of time on my vista media center’s audio setup. (Too much time really.) One of the things I am doing that most folks do not is that I […]

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