Alan’s Building Log Episode #2


As I mentioned in Episode #1 , I spent sometime integrating the XPS 420 and accessories into my home theater. I decided to snap a couple pictures from my build log to show. Other then that, I really dhaven’t spent much time on my HTPC except to watcha few music videos from Yougle .

I had intended to use the HD DVD version of Digital Video Essentials this weekend to calibrate my TV but I did not get through it. I expected there to be a nice audio prompt to step me through it but I was very disappointed to find out there was none. I am by no means an expert on video calibration and I will have to read what the various patterns do.

Cabinet with HTPC Full Cabinet shot

The XPS420 is about 2 inches too deep for the cabinet. Armed with a box cutter, I cut out a slot for the back to fit in. The lines aren’t very straight and I will go back in someday to fix it. The crooked cuts are really bothering me even though they are not visible.

I was short a shelf in the end, so I robbed some wood from an old desk and voila I now have an extra shelf for the HD DVD player and soon-to-be Blu-ray player. The USB hub on the HD DVD player came in handy for plugging in both digital cable tuners.

Per advice from the TGB, I hooked up each DCT on at a time and updated the firmware. This is a really painless process. Kudos to ATI for eliminating any sort of painful firmware upgrade process. The call to the cable co. goes out tomorrow.

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Home Theater – Current 3.1 setup Close up shot of EMUCenter

 Close up shot of Yougle

Hooking it all up

DVD Player – Component out to TV, Digital COAX S/PDIF to Receiver

WII – Component to TV/Stereo to TV

Playstation 2 – Composite/Stereo to TV 


Keyboard/Mouse – 2.4 GHz wireless with receiver hooked up via back USB ports

Digital Cable Tuner X 2 – Hooked up via USB hub on Xbox 360 HD DVD drive

DVI-HDMI Cable to TV

Optical S/PDIF to receiver from onboard mobo sound to receiver

HD DVD player hooked up via back USB ports.

MS Remote Receiver – Hooked up via back USB ports

GigE ethernet