HT-PC...Why?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Blake Bowden, Sep 18, 2001.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Extra

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    I've been in the computer field quite some time, and usually have several powerhouses in the office and at home. I keep seeing people talk about building computers specifically for HT...but why? I know about the pretty good ATI Radeon, DVD players, Soundblaster Live!, and all the good multimedia components...but what's the advatage? I have a DVD player, vcr, camcorder, tvs, and the rest of the stuff for my HT. From my standpoint, a computer would make a nice MP3 jukebox, CD burner, etc...but why go through the hassle? What advantage does it bring? Of course playing Quake 3, or similar game on a 100+ inch projection screen in 5.1 would be neat..heh.
     
  2. Scott Bourden

    Scott Bourden Second Unit

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    My guess is becuase perhaps they can't afford to buy both counterparts, and the PC is all they could get (or are happy with)...
    But, in my opinion, the reason is "because they can"....
    Plus Quake3 @ 100 inch's sounds damn good [​IMG]
     
  3. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    The reason is because a properly set up HTPC can have deinterlacing and scaling quality of film sourced DVD's that equals or exceeds the results of $25000 processors when using a software player and proper graphics card like the Radeon and its player. With a decent capture card and Dscaler, you can deinterlace and scale external sources at least as well as the Iscan Pro and Quadscan Elite, in addition to using a software DVD player if you so choose. Add to that PVR capabilities for both standard and Hi-def broadcasts or sources, and all the other things you listed, and you have what is, potentially, the most powerful and cost effective home theater component ever conceived. Check out the HTPC forum at www.avsforum.com for a sampling of what can be accomplished for a marginal expense (though I'm sure you have a got idea already).
    I personally only use my HTPC as a scaler, though I may add some more capabilities to it later, right now it's like not even having a PC since I never think about it when it's in use. Of course, if you don't have an HDTV (powerstrip and custom timings and refresh are great to get a 1080i scaled image into your set) or a projector, then there's not much reason to pick one up.
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    "Experience is the one thing you can't get for nothing." - Oscar Wilde
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    well i'm a freshman college student with a HT-PC. Cost was my main reason for this. Here's what i have hooked up: Onkyo 595 via digital coax out on SB Live! Value+ card, Marantz CC-4000 CD player, Nintendo 64, VCR, 7200 mp3s + download ability, cd burner, WinTV tuner and capture card, GeForce 2 with s-video out for later addition of bigscreen [​IMG], and a pioneer dvd drive. this is all played on my 19" flatscreen Samsung monitor with a Cambridge SoundWorks Ensemble IV 5-pc set and an SVS 25-31PC. also 2 pair of Sennheiser headphones. Monitors have MUCH better resolution than any TV with a price within reason.
    i had $3000 to spend. the computer i built with my dad's money as a grad present. i spent ~$1300 on my HT equipment. i have about $1700 spending $$ for college now. i'm more than satisfied right now and think i'm doing pretty damn good considering the whole dorm situation!!
    needless to say my room can be heard for miles...you guys in the Dallas area can feel free to have me turn it down if it hinders your sleep [​IMG].
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    -Thomas
    Click here to visit my webpage.
     
  5. DanN

    DanN Agent

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    ok, i will admit that i'm am a total newbie when it comes to HT-PC's - all this stuff about deinterlacing and scaling is way past my head. Is there like a FAQ or HT-PC For Dummies site where I can read up on it? how would I get started on building one?
    i never knew that a projector-based system could display a better picture that your typical widescreen TV with 16x9 mode, etc etc...but my interest is peaked [​IMG]
     
  6. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan, your best bet would be to log onto the HTPC sections either here or at http://www.avsforum.com
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    "Experience is the one thing you can't get for nothing." - Oscar Wilde
     
  7. DanN

    DanN Agent

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    Sean
    thanks for all the info - i appreciate it [​IMG]
    right now, I have a Celeron 633 with an ATI Rage Pro video card, 128 RAM, etc, etc, - i've been using it to watch DVDs but i've noticed some pixelation in some scenes - i've also been using the video out (S-Video) to watch it on my TV but i've been told that it would be better to use a stand-alone dvd instead for picture quality (?)
    in any event, I was planning to get a widescreen TV within the next couple of years but maybe I'll do some more research on HT-PC's? from the little i've read so far, it sounds intriguing
    regards,
    Dan
     
  8. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    Sean, did you mention a sound card? if you decide to do this, make sure your card has a digital output! these are usually 1/8" stereo jacks, but if you call the manufacturer and request it, they'll send you a 1/8" -> RCA adapter cable free of charge. (at least it was like that for my SB Live!)
    Dan- if you're interested in what you need to build yourself a decent HT-PC (that doubles as an AWESOME PC!!), check out my webpage (link's in my signature). also feel free to email me (skiierguy4@hotmail.com) with questions on building/buying components/hookups, seeing as i built my computer a few months ago. i can't help you with all the de-interlacing and a stuff, but i can get you the computer up and running. a sub-$1000 homemade computer will smack anything else (that you can buy prebuilt) around at nearly ANY price!!
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    -Thomas
    Click here to visit my webpage.
     

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