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Suggestions on HTPC


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   erew99

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Posted April 27 2007 - 12:40 AM

HI all,
I am looking to build a HTPC. One that will have the ability to record HDTV, and playback later (PVR). I would like to use HDMI and 5.1, either optical or dig coax- whichever.
My main goal here is to play HDTV on my plasma Dell W4201C (1024x768).

Also,
Is there a certain program I should get/use for the media center OS? Linux, or Windows? Any suggestions will be a great help.

Thanks,

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   ! agapko !

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Posted April 29 2007 - 05:09 AM

I prefer Windows

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted April 29 2007 - 07:05 AM

There is an HTPC section in this forum, so this thread should probably be moved there.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#4 of 9 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 29 2007 - 05:20 PM

To be quite honest, I would probably just get a PVR. HTPCs simply aren't worth the headache anymore to setup and maintain compared with consumer products that are out there now.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   erew99

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Posted April 30 2007 - 02:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
To be quite honest, I would probably just get a PVR. HTPCs simply aren't worth the headache anymore to setup and maintain compared with consumer products that are out there now.

Normally I'd agree with you. The thing is I'd like to watch HD material w/o having to purchase a HD DVD player. I have PS3 for blu ray. I have succesfully setup LINUX on it, to use as a HTPC, but you cannot play HD material, it is too slow for that.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   joseph westcott

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Posted April 30 2007 - 03:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
To be quite honest, I would probably just get a PVR. HTPCs simply aren't worth the headache anymore to setup and maintain compared with consumer products that are out there now.

I agree. Not very good video quality, very expensive, and loud.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted May 01 2007 - 05:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by erew99
Normally I'd agree with you. The thing is I'd like to watch HD material w/o having to purchase a HD DVD player. I have PS3 for blu ray. I have succesfully setup LINUX on it, to use as a HTPC, but you cannot play HD material, it is too slow for that.


Well, I'm confused. You said you wanted PVR capabilities, not HD-DVD playback. So why not just buy a PVR? Certainly you could build a PC that would have PVR functionality, but it would be a lot less user friendly, and it wouldn't be any cheaper. This doesn't have anything to do with HD-DVD playback. Using a PC as a source right now is really only warranted in my opinion if you want all your movies on a networked server or something like that, similar to the Kaleidescape system, and if you're just going after basic PVR functionality, why not just buy a PVR? That's what they're for.

Quote:
I agree. Not very good video quality, very expensive, and loud.

I would definitely disagree with the "not very good video quality" part of that statement.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Rory Buszka

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Posted May 04 2007 - 01:50 PM

Loud? Only if you don't know about the multitude of quiet cooling solutions that are now available. Take a look at SilentPCReview.com for the best of the best when it comes to silent computing -- that's where I've found the most comprehensive information about silencing the modern PC. The gist of it is that big, slow-spinning fans are what are needed. If you already have a HTPC, swap all the fans for Evercool Evergreen fans. I've found them to be a very cost-effective solution for minimizing audible PC noise. The case you choose has a bearing on it as well. I'd almost prefer a tower case for a HTPC since the larger 120mm fan form factors are available only in tower cases.

But don't call HTPCs loud just because you've never gone to the trouble of seeking out quiet cooling solutions.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   joseph westcott

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Posted May 04 2007 - 02:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rory Buszka
Loud? Only if you don't know about the multitude of quiet cooling solutions that are now available. Take a look at SilentPCReview.com for the best of the best when it comes to silent computing -- that's where I've found the most comprehensive information about silencing the modern PC. The gist of it is that big, slow-spinning fans are what are needed. If you already have a HTPC, swap all the fans for Evercool Evergreen fans. I've found them to be a very cost-effective solution for minimizing audible PC noise. The case you choose has a bearing on it as well. I'd almost prefer a tower case for a HTPC since the larger 120mm fan form factors are available only in tower cases.

But don't call HTPCs loud just because you've never gone to the trouble of seeking out quiet cooling solutions.

You can add all you want to a computer including water cooling to try to make it quiet but there is not much you can do about drive noise. And the expense to do so still gets you mediocre video quality, no matter what software you use to try to make it better. Just can not compete with dedicated video processors for mpeg decoding, scaling, and deinterlacing.


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