HTPC/Video Integration

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Bobbi, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Bobbi

    Bobbi Auditioning

    Nov 24, 2003
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    I've just begun a toe dip into HT. I'm trying to figure out what role if any my PC should play in addressing my video wants/needs.

    My main interest in video is Film Noir--mostly films from the 30's to '50's--occasional recent films like L.A. Confidential, The Usual Suspects--drama, mystery, suspense. I have no interest in special effects and other stuff that goes boom/flash in the night. Nothing with anybody named Arnold--thank you very much. I watch practically no TV.

    I do have a nice audio setup on my PC. I use J. River's Media Center to manage my library of +/- 10,000 MP3, APE and OGG tracks--blues, jazz, Latin, classical mostly. The audio is stored on a 120GB HD Ghosted to another 120GB HD for backup. I output the tunes through a Stereo-Link 1200 USB device to an HK stereo receiver that drives a pair of Meadowlark Swifts in a studio apartment--main room roughly 14'x14'. I'm very pleased with this rig. It plays all the time. No problems.

    I'm always reading on the Media Center forum about these guys who have incredibly complex linkages between their PC and HT/TV/DVD. Maybe I'm dense. But I don't get it.

    The main advantage of the music thing is the organization/ sorting/playback of a large library equivalent to maybe 500-1,000 CD's without ever having to touch a disc.

    I have no collection of videos--zero. The films I would like to see I would like to see as they were filmed--in B&W if that's how they were shot. I don't even know if B&W films are available on DVD.

    I suppose I will rent the DVD's through NetFlix unless, of course, I find a legal online source that sells/rents the films that interest me. I do have a fast cable connection. My PC is a [email protected], 768MB RAM, Windows XP. My VGA card has an S-video output (unused). If there is an online source for DVD quality video it might make sense to link the PC to the video? Any recommendations on this would be helpful.

    My plan for the moment, however, is to buy a new 27"-32" Toshiba/Sony TV and a generic DVD player. Maybe at some point I would add a Dolby 5.1 speaker system dedicated to the video--nothing to do with the audio. Among other reasons for that is that the audio "sweet spot" is 90 degrees off the axis of the TV "sweet spot." This can't be changed because of the location of my work station, desk, TV, etc.

    My main question is am I missing out on some benefit I don't understand by not integrating my PC/Video systems? What can the PC do for me given my interests?
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

    Feb 29, 2000
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    Not much. Most use their HTPC to:

    - scale 480p DVD video to the native resolution of their projectors
    - function as a PVR (like a TiVo but free)
    - audio jukebox
    - videogames (emu or otherwise)
    - when watching a movie they can quickly go to to check out an actor they vaguely remember but can't place their other performances offhand [​IMG]
  3. Jeff Blair

    Jeff Blair Second Unit

    Apr 30, 2000
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    I use mine as a TiVo/MP3 server. I have all of my CD's on one HD, and I use one of the others to record shows. I dosn't look too bad on my 32" TV. But, I wouldn't want to surf the web all day. [​IMG]
    I have a wireless card in it, so my other PC's can see the music from anywhere. So far it has worked well for me. I am running Linux on it, so the PVR software is free.

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