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2 Parts Fusion Model DMS 501 HTPC Review

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Parker Clack, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I recently received a Digital Media Server (otherwise known as a HTPC) from a new company that has joined our community here on HTF. The model that I picked is their DMS 501 unit. Click here to read my review.

    Then jump back to this thread to discuss this unit or any other unit they offer.

    Parker
     
  2. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    Excellent review Parker. It really looks like a high quality unit. I have a couple of questions.

    1. It appears that the unit you reviewed is not equipped for wireless internet. In my case, I do not have a network connection near my home theater rack. Can 2 Parts Fusion configure the unit for wireless LAN?

    2. In the picture showing the side views of the PCI cards, the large fan on the media card appears to hang over the adjacent PCI slot. Is this the case? The concern is that you would then loose that slot and an upgrade opportunity.

    These are questions that immediately came to mind. Thanks again for the review. I now have something new on my wish list.

    Jeff
     
  3. Harris_C

    Harris_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    To answer your questions.

    1.) Yes, the DMS-501 model can be configured with a Wireless card. Each model has 1xPCI-Express x16 and 4 PCI slots for add-ons cards such as an HDTV card, wireless, additional TV tuner, sound card etc.. These can be added during online configuration.

    2.) Parkers review model has a Leadtek 6600 as the card which uses a fan, however by default the DMS models are equipped with a passively cooled Gigabyte 6600 card which does not impede the use the adjacent PCI slot(their should be a picture on the review of this card).

    If you have any other questions please let me know.

    Hope this helps..
     
  4. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the quick reply, Parker. Your answer do help.
     
  5. Harris_C

    Harris_C Stunt Coordinator

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    No problem. Glad it was helpful.
     
  6. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Harris. I just noticed that you answered and not Parker. Thanks for the reply.
     
  7. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Jeff:

    I already had a Linksys ethernet wireless print server in place that I used with my ReplayTV. If you already have a wireless router/hub like the Linksys you can also use their USB wireless network adaptor. Then as Harris said you can also use a wireless card.

    I got one of their earliest models so my configuration has the most fans. As I stated in my review the models that they are shipping out as a standard unit have fanless card and a heatpipe for the CPU.

    They are build the real deals here with high quality parts at very competitive prices to give you the best bang for your buck.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Parker: Found your review sitting in a banner ad area atop one of the forum pages. I read it, last night, with GREAT interest.

    I just took part in this thread over in the Music forum which began as a discussion of media storage. As an advocate of "slimming down" DVD packaging (see this thread if interested), I was intrigued by The Ted's question about slimmer CD storage. Realizing I'm decades behind the technological curve, it seemed to me that it should be a simple thing in the age of iPods to have a device connected to your HT that could "store" all your CDs and recall them easily upon demand (with digital coverart and liner notes) and make physical storage of one's CD collection in your living or HT area unnecessary.

    Your review of the DMS 501 made it clear to me that such devices really DO exist. (Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.) It just didn't make sense to me to store your music on your main PC (probably located in another room) and try to network it to your HT. It seemed like a great inconvenience for a number of different reasons.

    While all the other features of your unit seem "over the top" to me because I am currently focused on the CD storage, I am (I hope) bright enough to realize that all those features would probably quickly become sensible conveniences.

    Am looking forward to re-reading the review today and getting more familiar with the unit. I would love, as well, to learn more about such devices if you had any recommendations about how to do so. (The 2 Parts Fusion website, unfortunately, doesn't yet seem to be up & running.)

    And here I was just thinking I could make my wife happy by clearing off some shelf space by moving several hundred CDs out of our living room...
     
  9. Harris_C

    Harris_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    Due to a few unfortunate setbacks the website launch was delayed a week longer than expected. We hope to have it up within the next couple of days. I sincerely apologize for the inconvience.

    If you have any questions concerning the DMS Server please post it here and I will answer them for you.
     
  10. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Harris,

    Do you guys have a configuration with a high definition tuner card like the MyHD-130 or the Fusion HD3?

    I've been researching HTPC's but want one with a QAM capable HD tuner card. The system in Parker's review looks very nicely configured. I have a Hauppauge 250 card with SageTv which works well but now I want to start recording HD.
     
  11. Harris_C

    Harris_C Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Yes we do. The DMS models will allow for add-on HDTV card of the new FusionHDTV5 Lite. In addition, if someone prefers they can have SageTV instead of MCE 2005 as option.

    Here is a link to the new card if you want to take a look

    FusionHDTV5 Lite
     
  12. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Great. Thanks for the reply Harris.
     
  13. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    The great thing to me about these units is the fact that are non propriatary computers that can have features added and changed without any problems. You can start out with a dual tuner card and then add an HDTV card later or change out sound cards and so on.

    Mike:

    I was floored by the ease of use to archive my CD collection. You know how when you load a CD into your PC and if you use something like Media Player it will go and grab all the titles for the CD from the net? Well then imagine you load your CD into your HTPC it goes on the net and grabs the coverart and the song list (if it is available from the net. Some titles aren't yet) and archives it to your HD. You now can load all your CDs on to your HTPC and play them back at any time. Now that is just for your CD collection.

    On top of this now you can also record your favorite TV shows, playback your DVD collection and surf the net all from your easy chair.

    And with the added cability of adding on with external HDs, additional wireless devices and on and on you have endless possiblities with one of these units.

    Thanks for the kudos guys on my review. I don't write reviews, as you can tell, but I wanted you all to know what a great piece of hardware that 2 Parts Fusion put together and how I LOVE it in my system.

    Parker
     
  14. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Premium
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    Is it possible to set the resolution differently for the DVI output and component output? I have a Benq projector with DVI and a Toshiba TW40x81 RPTV with component in the same room. I wouldn't need to drive them at the same time, I would be watching one or the other, however it would be nice if I didn't have to keep switching resolutions for each display.

    Another question, how do dual tuners work? For example, on my stand alone Tivo box, it has one tuner and switches the channels on the cable box for me. Do these tuners somehow work with the cable box or are they for OTA signals only?

    How would you rate the noise level with the box as you have it configured now with other equipment in your rack?

    Thanks,
    Keith
     
  15. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Keith:

    Imagine your PC setting in your HT rack and you have a pretty good idea of what they case sounds like. As I said in my review my setup has the fan on the video card, a Zalman fan on the CPU and then more fans on the case and power supply. The standard configuration of the units they send out has a fanless video card, and a heat pipe for the CPU. So fan noise is a lot less.

    I am not sure if you can use the DVI and the Video Out at the same time. You would have to keep the resolution to the RPTV set to no higher than 480p if you wanted to watch DVDs over the component outs of the breakout cable.

    I will let Harris answer your questions about the tuner card controlling your cable box for you. He should be able to tell you if you can use both the DVI and Video out at the same time.

    Parker
     
  16. Harris_C

    Harris_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,

    I will get back with you on this shortly.

    Thanks--
     
  17. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Guys,

    Long time lurker, big fan of the DVD reviews done here.

    I am a tech consultant for Harris helping him with 2partsfusion.

    First one:
    Dual tuners work very much like TiVo or just about any other DVR solution. If tuner 1 is already in use the second will be used instead, etc. Also much like TiVo, MCE uses its' own IR blaster (IR emitters) to control cable boxes or satellite receivers.
     
  18. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Premium
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    Thanks for the information.

    I was checking out your web site just now and had to switch to IE 6. It looks a little messed up under FireFox 1.04. You gonna fix that right? [​IMG]

    -Keith
     
  19. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm afraid I am not the web developer of the site, but yeah we will try and get those issues fixed over the next few days.
     
  20. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Keith:

    I checked out their site with IE, Firefox 1.04, Opera 8.01 and Netscape 8.0 and it loads and works just fine for me.

    Parker
     

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