Home Theater run by computer

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Matt_Whitehorn, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Matt_Whitehorn

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I hope this is the right forum for this question. I am building a new house and I have designed it with a closet that will be used as a "command center" for my home theater.
    At first I started looking at all the components I'll need to buy: DVD/CD player, Receiver, TV, speakers... Now I'm wondering if all I need is a computer. If I rip all my CDs to MP3 on this computer, there's the music. This closet is where the network panel and network switch will be so there's the internet radio. With a DVD drive, there's your video. I could still hook up a VCR if ever desired I guess. But going with the idea of having surround sound, is the computer idea even possible? I'm guessing that I'd still need a receiver to power the speakers and that the computer would be plugged into the receiver as an AUX input. But could I get something that would allow me to use the TV as the computer monitor? Is this even possible? Any drawbacks to doing this?
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    4,457
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you are going front-end projector (FPTV) then a home theater computer (HTPC) is ideal. HTF has our own section for this subject.

    But yea many people do what you're describing; use an HTPC to play DVDs, as well as a video and music server. However if you are using a plain old TV you may have better luck with a standalone, like the Denon 2200. I have a 32" wega but use an HTPC as a PVR (like a TiVo), music server, MAME games. I can also surf the web and play PC games on an LCD monitor I setup.

    Pic

    I'd really like a folding swing arm to attach the LCD to. [​IMG]
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    YES!

    Lots of people use HTPCs. There are MANY things you can do with them. If you are computer-savvy you can do even more. You can use remotes, have on screen GUIs, and the most important thing that originally got it all started: video processing. This is especially important for high-def TVs, digital projectors, and CRT projectors. DVD blown up really big looks like crap, and standalone video processors can cost THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of dollars. Do it with a computer for 1/10th the price.

    And then everything else, you can do HDTV, send the audio digitally to your receiver for surround, you can do PVR like a TIVO with big hard drives, you can even do it with high-def stuff. You can do video servers, audio servers, all kinds of things. If only I didn't hate computers so much, then I'd be doing a lot more of these things. For me, it's barebones brute force video processing.

    See the HTPC forum over at AVS.
     
  4. Matt_Whitehorn

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for that info, I figured that I didn't have an original idea there! I'm just getting into this, so sorry for my noviceness, but what's AVS?
     
  5. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,523
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  6. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    But stay away from MP3 format. Use a lossless compression like flac. No sense in running degraded and inferior MP3 to your HT when you can have CD quality instead, right?
     
  7. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    4,457
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yea, if your HD can support it! I rip all my favorite CDs to WAV and keep em that way.
     

Share This Page