A few HTPC concerns for a possible buyer

Discussion in 'Computers' started by dubignon, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. dubignon

    dubignon Auditioning

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    Ok, I am planning on buying a new computer pretty soon and I am interested in a home theater pC. I am trying to figure out if this is the right solution for me.

    I would like to use the pc as first and foremost a PC (spreadsheets, word documents, e-mail etc.) I would also like to be able to play my PC's music collection on my home theater set-up. I would like to be able to play my ripped dvd's from my collection on my home theater as well. Finally I would like to be able to use the PC as a PVR to play back on my home theater.

    Let me first say that I am fairly new to the pc market as well as home theater and all of the new technologies. So I apologize if my questions are over-simplified. But, I am concerned about the quality of audio and video that would be played from my PC.

    1. Does the graphics card determine the quality of video playback on both my monitor and my television? I have read that there are issues with windows media center and video quality.
    2. What types of connection options are there via sound cards? Will I be able to send 5.1 DTS or Dobly Digital sound to my receiver from the PC?
    3. Assuming there are no issues with video quality with a direct (wired) connection from my PC to TV, what about with the media center extenders (wireless) that I have heard about?


    Thanks in advance for any help,
    Jason
     
  2. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    Sound and video depend on the display device and PC you buy. What type of display are you using? If its a projector, SDTV can look crappy. DVD's and HDTV will look good if you connect via the vga connection or have a card with a component dongle. Dont use composite ot svideo. Depending on the PC you need either a Optical or coax digital output so that your receiver can handle the decoding duites. Some PC's have 7.1 outputs that you can connect to the multi channel inputs on your receiver. But that means you are only using it as an amp and the PC is controlling the decoding and effects. That would not be the way I would go. If your display is small enough and you sit far enough away, SDTV is watchable also.
     
  3. dubignon

    dubignon Auditioning

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    ok, As far as the graphics card goes, should I buy the best graphics card I can afford i.e. NVIDEA 6800 or comporable?
     
  4. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you want to game? or just have a good feature set for TV-output?

    Just an FYI, the 6800 series does not have component output.

    If you want to game get a 7800GT, if you just want a nice card for general HTPC type uses get a GeForce 6600, look for one that has the component output dongle included.
     
  5. Anthony Moore

    Anthony Moore Supporting Actor

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    I have the 6600 GT running with my Dell 2405 Widescreen 24" LCD. I play all types of games and watch lots of movies.

    Never has is stuttered or not been able to handle anything ive thrown at it. All at full 1920 x 1200.

    I also use the 6600GT to run componant cables to my television and use it as a media center (w/o mce).

    So I say the 600GT is a great choice for the price.
     

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