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couple newbie questions (1 Viewer)

Tim Brewers

Jan 14, 2001
Hey people, just a couple questions. I am completely new to the HTPC area and was wondering about a few things. If there are any newbie guides out there that you could point me to that would be great. I am somewhat fluent in the computer building department, so I thought I might give it a try.
1. I was wondering what the advantages of a HTPC were.
2. Can you make it to receive HD?
3. Can you make it a personal recorder type? (IE. TIVO)
4. If you can use to record, can you use let's say a Divx type of code to compress and burn to a cd for future watching? I have been looking into a Tivo unit a little bit, but I would like to be able to save the recordings to watch later.
5. How about Dolby Digital? Can you hook up your sound card to your receiver?
6. Can you do progressive scan on dvd's and the such?
7. Generally what speed does the processor need to be, how much memory, etc.
I think that is all I can come up with right now. I really appreciate any help I can get, and as I said, if there are any newbie guides you can point me too, tips, tricks, or reccomendations, I would appreciate them too. Thanks much


Stunt Coordinator
Feb 3, 2001
1. First off, HTPC is generally not to view your dvds on a really big computer monitor. Usually HTPC are best for front projection systems because they, with the proper software, can allow you to scale the resolution to whatever size...essentially a great scaler at a fraction of the cost of a stand alone unit.
2. yes it can do HD with a proper display (front or rear projection) unit and a HDTV decoder card. can't name any off the top of my head but they are out there, and cheaper than settop boxes.
3. Yes, it can essentially become a TIVO device providing you have a lot of drive space and a capable video card. I know the ATI All in wonder Pro has these capabilities as well as others.
4. I magine you can, but haven't done it. Depending how the device records, which if had to guess would be MPEG. Not real sure on this one.
5. Yes, there are some sound cards that can do DD and DTS output. My older Creative Encore with DxR2 had a DD output stream via coax. But this was on the decoder card, not sure if its the sound cards responsibility now.
6. Not sure.
7.To do video recording and DVD playback I would get at least a Pentium III around 900Mhz, 256MB ram, and a 20GB hard drive. Don't skimp on the CPU,HD, or RAM or you'll definately take a performance hit.
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