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Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

How To Build An HTPC: Part I : Hardware

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Now that I've decided on an HD DVR system it is time to select the computer components that would make up my HTPC.

I am planning on using the free, open source MythTV software to act as my media center and I plan on running it on Ubuntu using the MythBuntu distribution so my hardware selections factored in compatibility with Linux. The hardware below should also perform well if you plan on using Windows Media Center.

In future posts I'll go into more detail about the hardware and how to put everything together but bellow is my HTPC hardware requirements and the hardware I chose to meet those requirements.

DIY Flexible Fractal Window HDTV Antenna

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Flexible DTV Antenna
When I first got an HDTV I still had SD service from my satellite company and couldn't check out the HD quality. After searching the web a bit I came up with a few DIY HDTV antennas. The first one I built was a fractal antenna. It wasn't exactly to spec. I made the antenna out of some paperclips, staples, cardboard and a balun I had.

It didn't get a lot of channels but it got quite a few and the signal strength of the channels I did get where very good.

I've also recently been checking out the flexible HDTV antennas like the Paper Thin Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna and the Walltenna Clear Indoor HDTV Antenna because I found I get very good reception when I had my RCA ANT1650R HDTV Antenna mounted in a window but it was awkward to keep in place and prevented me from opening the window. Since I went ahead and purchased the ClearStream2 antenna I didn't want to spend money on another one but I wanted to see if I could make a homemade flexible HDTV antenna.

Cheap ClearStream2 Antenna Plus VHF

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ClearStream2 + VHF Temporary Mount
I've been trying to improve my over-the-air TV reception. I'm currently using a diy 4 bay antenna I made out of copper wire that has been doing pretty good but there are some channels I'm missing. One of the antennas that keeps getting recommended to me is the ClearStream2 Complete from Antennas Direct.

The ClearStream2 Complete builds on the ClearStream2, which is a great UHF antenna. The problem with the ClearStream2 is that it doesn't pick  the high-VHF signals which are available in my area. The ClearStream2 Complete adds a VHF antenna to solve that limitation.

The only issue is I didn't feel like spending $120 on an HDTV antenna and I was planning on just making another DIY antenna with slightly different specifications to improve my current one.