Off Duty: The HTPC Project

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎03-06-2009 10:11 PM (18,650 Views)

Now you might be thinking, why not get a DVR or TiVo? Those are both perfectly fine solutions, but I thought, “this could be a fun, challenging experiment.” So, I went to my case modding lab and began work on my own personal DVR (with no monthly fees).

The project began by searching online for a small, desktop PC-like case. I found a great one that looked like a stereo receiver I currently have in my house. When the case arrived, I installed a 320GB hard drive (for video storage) and 1.5GB (for memory).


Next, I had to choose a special graphics card. I needed one that would be powerful enough to display my picture on my 40’ Samsung LCD TV. I went with the ATI graphics card, the X1650 Pro.


Finally, I installed Windows XP Professional so I could control everything.


Upon my initial test drive, I was impressed. I quickly I realized this machine is far more capable than just recording and playing back TV. So I decided to install a Blu-Ray drive I had bought recently, as well as an HD card and digital reader. This means I can watch high definition content from my moded DVR.


I also installed a wireless adapter, so I could use the DVR to play my iTunes library and have access to the World Wide Web on my TV.


The final touch, installing a program called Snapstream Media so I can use my phone to tell my DVR what to record – just in case I forget to manually set it, or decide last minute I need to record something. 


All in all, I am really happy with my moded DVR. It was fun building, and really lets me enjoy my technology to the max. Next up, a Sega Saturn mod. Stay tuned…

Welcome to our Best Buy Community Forums.

Please review posts and solutions posted, as this may assist you in answering your questions.

For further help please visit Best Buy Support.
Geek Squad Videos

Visit our Channel on