That's is just simply not true, any card with moderate GPU power, DVI out, and HDCP ready will work, although with AnyDVD the HDCP requirement isn't needed. However it's almost impossible to find a card these days for even $50 that doesn't have at least 256 MB of memory, but a dedicated graphics card isn't even needed. Many HTPC's are built with boards using only integrated graphics solution which don't have anywhere near 256 MB of memory. Video playback is 2 dimensional and as a result are surprisingly undemanding for video HDMI is not needed if DVI is present, there is absolutely no video quality difference between HDMI and DVI, because except for the fact that HDMI also feeds sound through it they are the same connection. A DVI connection will play full 1080P. That's why a lot of video card manufacturers claim HDMI compatibility because they include a small adapter. Completely true since a $50 card will do just fine. The link below is to a popular HTPC card for $37.00 which will do just fine with it's DVI out. Many HTPC's are built from PC's that people no longer use as their main rigs or using motherboards with integrated graphics such as the AMD 780G. Integrated graphics can even be desirable because they don't add any fan noise to the system. Where I do agree is with the minimum system memory of 512 MB, in fact my minimum would be 1 GB just because of the current low prices of memory, and because Windows XP is going to be the minimum operating system requirement. His motherboard is more than good enough to build an HTPC from. HE's using a dual core CPU which is also probably good enough. Here is a link to $72 motherboard with integrated AMD780G graphics probably with less than 32 MB of graphcis memory that with a decent processor will play blu-ray like a champ. If http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131289R Don't want an open boxed unit then here it is again for $89.99 of which both prices fall within your "shot in the foot ranges." Here's another for $76.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186141 Note that these boards include HDMI out, and both will make a decent HD HTPC. A problem in the thinking of many regarding graphics is often made because of gaming requirements which causes some to believe that HD Video requirements must also be just as demanding, and that is nothing more than an internet myth. Two dimensional playback with even HD conetent is remarkably undemanding. I have 5 home built desktop systems and a laptop, and one of them has a socket 939 A8N SLI deluxe motherboard, opteron 170, with an $37 HD 3450 Graphics card and it plays blu-ray in full 1080P flawlessly. ThadiasJ Your motherboard and graphics cards are just fine and probably so is your processor, although if you can find a few bucks now might be the time to pick up a 939 dual core before they're all gone. Your LCD is less than perfect for HD playback but it will play HD content back until you can upgrade, but your picture quality will be no better than your monitors quality and pixel density. I'm using a $119 Lite-On blu ray player which has thus far proven to do an excellent job. I also have an Xbox HD player used on my PC and it too works just fine. The best bet for good playback is for you to optimize what you have. Riggin Your system is largely ready to go. Yes DVI is all that you need. I hope I didn't cross reference either of your specification but I'm trying to answer two questions at once while clearing up a little misinformation.