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HTPC idea


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted October 24 2005 - 02:11 PM

I am toying with this idea for building an HTPC. I want to take a PC and put it away in a cabinet where it will be silent and hidden. From this PC, I want to run a USB2 cable through a wall to a remote unit in my HT rack which I will build out of an old gutted DVD player shell. Inside this shell, I will install a USB hub, to which I will connect a USB DVD-ROM drive, a USB wireless keyboard/mouse connector, and a VFD panel. For video and audio I can run a DVI & coax cable through the same wall. Anybody done anything like this? Are USB2 DVD-ROMs fast enough for good video playback these days? Will I perhaps need to run two USB lines (one for the DVD-ROM, another for the other components)?

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted October 24 2005 - 02:30 PM

Are USB cables limited to a certain distance? I don't think I've ever heard of one, but it's something you should look into. You might also consider firewire if your run is short enough -- while it is theoretically slower than USB2.0, it doesn't share its bandwidth like USB does.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted October 24 2005 - 05:17 PM

Everything I've read says 5 meters/16 ft. is the max for USB cable length. That's more than enough.

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted October 25 2005 - 02:07 PM

Interesting idea. I have a similar space, where I could put an HTPC behind a wall from the TV & receiver. My thought was to rip all my DVDs to the PC and only have a keyboard & mouse interface to control the PC with.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Matt Wright

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Posted October 25 2005 - 04:42 PM

I've seen it done once or twice

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Sami Kallio

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Posted October 26 2005 - 02:15 AM

USB2 is 480 Mbps and DVD total bitrate including video, audio and subs can be max 10.08 Mbps so the transfer speed should not be a problem, in theory. I will test how well this works with USB 1.1 (~11Mbps) hub sometime soon (external USB HD).