Maximum TV: How to Build a Hulu Desktop + Boxee PC



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Ron Macin

3D has consumed the world, damn you 3D. The only 3D tech i like is the 3DS




Thanks for the article just about this good topic and buy custom essay papers about this topic at trustworthy paper writing service.



Close the cover,


Boot up,


Install Hulu desktop.


Aren't we missing something?



I stream thru my 360 with windows media center and am very happy with my set up, however i would like to be able to stream from network websites like abc cbs bbc etc. any idea how i can do that?

L. Future


So Say We All!



I hooked up an old computer to my 52 inch LCD and it's fine for watching DVDs and DVD-rips but it chokes on anything that uses flash video or h.264 because it's only a P4 1.7.

I upgraded the video card to a GeForce 6200 (mainly so I could get HDMI output) but that doesn't seem to help.  I tried using CoreAVC but the system still wasn't fast enough for h.264, so, fail.

OTOH I can record cable TV on it using a TV tuner card but it's 640x480 analog, standard def.



can I use these instructions for Dishnetwork as well?  this is over satellite and a DSL connection.  If not how would I proceed?  I want to get away from Dish Networks DVR stuff.  I'm also somewhat technology illitterate, so please be specific.


thanks much



I've been a MPC subscriber since Boot and one thing has been consistent... they are always showing how people with a lot of money can have the collest toys.

Come on guys, it sure would show more balls and less BS to show what a low cost solution would be for this kind of thing. I'm running XBMC on my XBOXen and it works just great. Can't stream hulu (the pluging has never worked for me), but so what? That's what bit torrent is for. It can't handly HD, but then I'd be downloading/ripping files that are too significantly larger to keep a collection (until xbox360s become cheap second hand ;) ).

Nice article,  as always, but really. :)



 You guys said you could run the OS from a CompactFlash card or a USB thumb drive. How do you do this?



In case you haven't noticed, there is no boxee capability on windows. This means that unless you dual-boot, the only system you can run this on is shutter OS X!!! 


destroying the world, one comment at a time



Have you taken a look at page 4? It specifically mentions the Boxee Alpha for Windows, granted that's not the ideal solution, there is Boxee capability on Windows.


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than (conjunction) \'than\: denotes comparison
ex., 1 is first, THEN 2; but, 2 is more THAN 1.

shutter (noun) \ˈshə-tər\: one that shuts; a usually movable cover or screen for a window or door

shudder (intransitive verb) \ˈshə-dər\: to tremble convulsively


Mr. Small

Sounds like a good build but why didnt they consider the new ion boards from zotac. They have just enough power for HD video and work well enough for Hulu and the best part is... there PASSIVE which makes it well suitable as an HTPC mobo. Also they have pcie 1x slots allow 3rd party sounds cards such as the X-Fi Forte and in the near future The X-Fi home theater HD which would make it perfect for Extensive blue ray playback (DD Truehd, DTS HD, etc) and essentially make it the ultimate HTPC. Now if only there was a slimline blue-ray rom drive to fit in that fabulous case.



Nice article, if you are building a HTPC ... or you can send a big phat fiber to where hulu don't offer services ;)



I am assuming that you have to install an OS on this build and have the system connected to a broadband cable.  No mention of installing the OS in the article.  Also the cost of the build did not mention an OS.



That works, but there's something to be said for having a dedicated system to handle your home theater needs.  Call me crazy, but sometimes (read: all the time) I like to surf the web while I'm watching tv.  I could pause the show and use the computer hooked to the tv, or I could walk across the room and use my gaming rig.  I find the most convenient thing is to just have my laptop on the couch with me so I can watch the show and surf at the same time.


.a nut for a jar of tunA



Agreed - usually my GF's laptop is sitting on the coffee table if we're watching Hulu on the tv - and (when she's actually home) she's not a multitasker, so I use hers :)



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yea I think a laptop may be cheaper, of course if you kept an eye on NewEgg you could probably cut the cost on this one down.

 Then install Veoh Player and Miro so that you can get some channels or using hulu to watch shows online.



Why not use Laptop with Dock station?



for us windows slobs who didn't get in on the private alpha!


digital demon

If channels like The Science Chanel, History Channel, National Geographic, Spike, Discovery Channel and NFL Network offered online programming I would do this in a heartbeat. Besides sporting events I only watch one network TV show: 24.



Leave it to Comcrap to charge an additional $45 bucks for the Science Channel, History International, and Nfl Network. Funny those are exactly the same channels I watch. I on the other hand am partial to Heroes for my network show


digital demon

Yeah, typical Comcast bullshit. We almost lost NFL Network completely, but thanks to their "positive negotiations" it's still available...for more money, of course.

Always wanted to check out Heroes, but it's on during Monday Night Football. Which I'm not missing.



Has nobody heard of the awesome ZINC program from It is in Beta3 & I think it works pretty well compared to the Boxee Alph for Windows. I have it running on my Win7 RC machine right now & it pretty cool. Especially since it lets you add your favorite networks & shows newly added shows in the "New"section for you to watch automatically. Give it a try!




I've been looking for boxee alternatives for a while now and never stumbled across this.  Thanks man!



You're welcome. Zinc also allows you to add apps to its Apps menu. So I've added Windows media center, itunes, Boxee, & the new HULU Desktop player to my list of Apps to open from the Zinc program as I have Zinc in my startup folder of my Media Center PC. Pretty sweet setup if you ask me.





Just a heads up, but you don't need to leave your media center on 24/7 to record TV programs with a TV tuner card. PVRs like MythTV allow you to set up automatic wake and shutdown for your scheduled recordings.



That comment also thru me for a loop.  My HTPC with Media Center wakes up and sleeps all day long recording over the air HD shows which look 400% better then any HULU shows.

So a TV Tuner card is an absolute must!!!




The AMD Phenom X4 9350e isn't listed anywhere on Newegg.... Did AMD stop producting of this CPU already?  If so what NEW CPU does Maximum PC recommend?



I just bought the 9350e from Newegg 2 weeks ago.




I have always wanted a laptop connected to a TV (keeps things clean) running ether mithubuntu or a version of windows with media center (not media player) and klite codec pack with another computer on the network to actually hold all the movies I have and keep from having to hear noise... yes I know the "maxpc" way is probibly better but can anyone else tell me what they think?



This is pretty sweet and would do it, if I already did not have a ps3 in the tv room. I can play hulu right from the ps3 browser, stream torrented movies from tvversity, and play netflix through playon, which is all ok, it works, but is not pretty. This looks kick ass. Never had cable, never will, as long as people keep seeding dexter.


Is Hulu desktop a response to boxee or the reason they were breaking it? 



This is totally awesome! If I were the one paying for cable in my home, I'd seriously consider this!



I simply love this idea.  However, I don't care about the size of the case.  The sound I may care about, but really guys, to me (the hardcore hardware guy) I don't care how big it is.  Is it possible that you guys do a write up on something that has a normal case?  I am thinking of something that is a NAS/Media Player blend that is hooked up to the T.V.  It will be on almost 24/7 and will have a large contingent of hard drives for all of that media I have. 

 I don't mind having a full tower.  I want it to be able to handle all of the video options you guys have here, as well as the sound options.  Could you possibly create a guide for this? 

 FYI, I really appreciate the $500 dollar gaming PC (that plays Crysis).  Using spare parts and some of the parts you guys recommended, my friends and I successfully created a gaming rig for our one broke friend.  He is in love.  Thanks again!



You don't really need a guide to do what you're looking for - just modify this guide to suit your needs.  For example:

 1.  Do you want a very energy efficient system or more power for games?  If you want efficiency, mirror this build's hardware, if you want power then just configure a standard desktop system.

 2.  How much storage do you want?  Will you use RAID 5?  If so, will you want a discrete or host-based adapter (discrete = fast but expensive; host-based = slow but super-cheap)?

 3.  Do you want a media super-box?  Add a tuner,an HD-DVD/BD drive and a solid sound card (Auzentech makes some media-centric sound cards, much better than Creative).  Prepare yourself for ffshow configuration if you want top-notch HD playback and upscaling.

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