Build Your Own Home Theater PC Guide Part 1 - Hardware
You might wonder what an HTPC is. It's actually short for "Home Theater Personal Computer" which you can easily deduce is a computer that doubles as a media player. But beyond that, with an HTPC, you can manage your movies easily and even customize it to do more like play games, stream music and the other things you might associate with computers like browsing the web and doing work. While there are out-of-the-box solutions to your home media needs (like various generic Android media boxes), building an HTPC from scratch is something that can be easy, powerful and most importantly one that does not break the bank. For today, Part 1 will focus on hardware. Take note that these prices are from a site called TipidPC and may vary depending on where you get them.
Case: Silverstone Grandia 05 (P4,400)
The case is probably one of the most important parts when you consider getting an HTPC. Some may disagree but we want a case that looks the part and won't look out of place when you combine it with your TV and audio receiver. For this, we recommend Silverstone's Grandia 05. It's not the cheapest HTPC case out there but it's probably one of the most versatile. If you want a headache-free setup with room for future upgrades, this is the case to get.
Processor: AMD A6 6400K (P2,900)
This is one of the cheapest processors out there but it isn't a slouch performance-wise. It is definitely powerful enough for any video playback. Even better, it has built-in graphics that can play older games out of the box. Perfect for emulators or even some League of Legends and Minecraft. Nice!
Motherboard: Asrock FM2A75 Pro4-M (P3,710)
This motherboard is perfect because it supports HDMI-out and 7.1 HD surround sound with optical out so you can connect it to your sound system without any need for additional upgrades. Plus, it has enough expansion slots for a dedicated GPU (Graphics Card), a TV Tuner card and RAM if needed.
RAM: 4GB Kingston Hyper X DDR3 1600 (P2,010)
RAM prices have drastically increased over the past year and going overboard isn't recommended if we want to keep costs down. 4GB of RAM is enough to do videos and gaming.
Storage SSD: ADATA Premier Pro SP900 64GB SSD (P2,690)
SSD will ensure fast-boot times. 64GB if enough to house any OS and some storage space for files.
Storage HDD: 1TB WDXC Caviar Blue (P3,310)
High-def is the way to go and with that, you would expect gigabyte sizes per movie. A 1TB HDD should be enough to store tons of movies.
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 550watts (P2,999)
HTPC need to be silent and one of the noisiest components in a computer is usually the power supply. With the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold, not only is it silent, its wattage capacity is enough for all our components and any significant upgrades you might need. Plus the Gold rating is a major plus.
Blu-ray Drive: Liteon (iHOS104) 4x Blu-ray (P2,950)
With this drive, you can play Blu-rays and DVDs and not only downloaded or ripped media. You could easily forego this and bring the price down further.
Total Cost: P25,019 (approximately USD559)
Total build cost is roughly P25,000 and almost P30,000 if you get a Windows 8 license. Not bad. If you want to be more adventurous, you could install Linux to get an OS free of charge. Additionally, if you are not confident enough to install the hardware on your own, PC shops usually charge a very cheap setup fee.
So what's your take on our budget build? Hit up the comments section if you have some tweaks or changes in mind. Part 2 will focus on software.
Cover Photo: Wallpaper Converter