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How To Build a Budget Media Center PC and HD-DVR: Page 6 of 6

Introduction By Matt Whitlock

The Bottom Line

All together, the base cost for our budget Media Center PC (including Windows 7 Home Premium), rang up around $500 after sale prices and rebates.

Total: $509.92*

From there, the kind of tuner you need to buy influences the remaining cost. Using the tuners mentioned above, your total costs* would be:

(*Prices accurate at the time of submission. Sale prices and promotions subject to change)

If you're cutting cable, you'll make up that $589 within the first year alone. If just replacing your cable company's crappy box, your break even will take a while, but you'll enjoy the flexibility and features a lot more.

Compared to TiVo's offering it's still a great deal. Their top-end DVR is $399 at retail, but quickly balloons to $900 when you tack on lifetime service. Sure, you could opt to give them $15 per month instead, but going right back to where you started just seems silly now, doesn't it?.

Related: "Why You Want a Home Theater PC in Your Living Room"

Have you built or used your own Media Center PC? Got a different suggestion for the budget build? Share it with us in the comments below.

About the Author

Matt Whitlock's picture

Matt Whitlock is online director and technical editor for

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