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Do-It-Yourself Guide: Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC

Do-It-Yourself Guide: Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC - PCSTATS
Abstract: Computers are a perfect fit for the entertainment room, and building a home theatre PC is not more difficult than assembling a standard system - as long as you have the right components for the task.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jan 20 2006   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS DIY Guide

Identifying and connecting the rear ports

Now that the HTPC is fully assembled, it's time to hook it up for testing. Let's take a look at the back of the Aopen XCube-encompassed HTPC

Quite a few ports here. Most of these will be instantly familiar to anyone who has setup a home PC before. For now, connect the power cord, mouse and keyboard (either to the PS/2 ports or the USB ports) and the monitor to the video card.

Powering on the computer to test the components

Time for a quick test to verify that everything is working as it should be. Ensure that your monitor is on, flick the power switch on the power supply at the back of the case and turn your new HTPC on.

Things to watch for:

That the computer turns on and the monitor shows an image.

That the correct amount of memory is displayed during the POST process.

That the hard drive and DVD writer are present during the POST process.

Installing windows XP

It's time to install the operating system. We're not going to go through the procedure of installing and updating Windows XP in this article, but you can follow the procedure outlined in our guide to installing Windows XP if you need help.

Once you have finished installing the operating system, install the drivers for your wireless (or wired) network adaptor and connect to the Internet to update your HTPC with the latest Windows patches and Service packs.

Installing drivers and VIVO components.

Now it's time to make sure the HTPC has all the necessary drivers installed. First install any drivers that came with your motherboard or SFF PC case (with the Aopen Xcube, the included CD contained the necessary chipset, audio and LAN drivers for the motherboard).

Next, connect to your video card and TV tuner manufacturers website(s) and download the latest driver versions for both. Assuming your video card has VIVO functionality as ours did, you will also want to grab the latest WDM (Windows Driver Model) drivers which enable this function. For nVidia cards, these drivers can be found under 'multimedia software' in the drivers section, while for ATI they are included with the company's Catalyst driver package.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS DIY Guide
 Pg 1.  Do-It-Yourself Guide: Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC
 Pg 2.  Ingredients for a Good HTPC
 Pg 3.  Choosing The Video Card
 Pg 4.  Installing the processor
 Pg 5.  Installing the CPU - Continued
 Pg 6.  Installing the heatsink
 Pg 7.  Installing the DDR Memory
 Pg 8.  Installing hard drives and optical drives
 Pg 9.  Connecting data cables
 Pg 10.  Installing the video card and tv tuner
 Pg 11.  — Identifying and connecting the rear ports
 Pg 12.  Connecting the computer to the TV
 Pg 13.  Connecting the Television signal to the TV-tuner
 Pg 14.  Tweaking Windows XP for TV display

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