your going into a home theater amplifier?
and if so your using optical inputs?
(just checking, it affects the soundcard choice, if you answer yes, do not buy Creative Labs' cards, as they are known to have issues with this, otherwise go Creative, if you do answer yes though, i'll suggest some equivalent cards that shouldn't give you problems)
as for a CPU
i'd suggest an Intel Pentium D 820
as it will be easily fast enough for any sort of audio/video (ripping/rendering/editing/playing) operation
and it's very competent at multi-tasking, which is something you'd want in an HT PC
i'd also suggest a RAID 1 array with a pair of 400GB disks (you'll have 400GB of storage, and a 2nd 400GB drive that automatically backs up everything w/o you having to do anything, so if a drive fails you have all your media right there, and you just deal with it then, but you still have all the media)
in addition to that i'm going to say that 256MB for a video card doesn't make it good, it just means it has 256MB of RAM (128MB is fine, 256MB isn't bad, the GPU matters A LOT more)
i'd suggest looking at the following:
in addition i'd suggest considering 2GB of DDR (my reasoning on this, in addition to the dual core CPU, is to remove any issues with having too much open as this will serve as your TV reciever, so you want to make it almost limitless in terms of what it can do as far as multi-tasking)
i'd suggest either a Hauppage or ATi TV Wonder Elite card (Hauppage idk what model, but from ATi it'd be the TV Wonder Elite (considered one of the best))
if you just want to make all this super simple
you could just grab an ATi AIW card
but it won't have SM3.0 which makes gaming in the future nearly impossible (it's a feature that is starting to appear in games, and w/o it you can/will run into issues)
I'm looking at purchasing the parts and building a computer designed as a control center for a home theater.
I currently have a 62" DLP rear projection TV and want to be able to use my computer to play games, watch movies, act as a DVR etc.
Currently I don't know much about digital signals or converters or anything else. Does anyone have any advice as to what sort of set up I would need to play high end computer games and watch movies on my TV?
Currently I am thinking:
Dual TV tuner (don't know which one)
256 MB video card (don't know which one)
5.1 or 7.1 soundcard (don't know which one")
1GB of RAM
Fast CPU (don't know which one")
Any advice/help would be appreciated. Please keep in mind I am mostly a noob at this, and while I have the help of a computer tech to build the machine, neither of us knows what sorts of specs/signals we need to make it work.