HTPC novice

Discussion in 'Computers' started by JaredSpencer, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. JaredSpencer

    JaredSpencer Auditioning

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    I am getting ready to start gradschool, and I am looking at purchasing a nice PC. What I want is a functional PC (not something completely geared to Home Theater, but also to Word Processing, scholastic studies, and web-surfing, etc.), but I want to use a HDTV monitor (probably a 30" picture tube model with S-video and composite video jacks). The projection stuff is not for me. What would you guys suggest that I look for, and is it really possible to use a TV like that as a monitor and have all the functionality of a computer. Having a tv-tuner in the comp is a plus but not essential, as well as TiVo like capability.

    Again, I am a novice at this type stuff... Gateway has something linke what I am looking for, but I don't really trust them to give me what I need necessarily.

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. Joe Pak

    Joe Pak Auditioning

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    Jared.

    You might want to investigate the Sleekline 2600 AV home theater pc. The forum will not let me post the url, but here is the important part.

    sleekline.com

    Does anyone know anything about these? I did a search on this forum but came up empty.

    joe
     
  3. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    It can be done, but it might just be easier to go the other way: get a PC with a nice big CRT/LCD and make it into a TV. All you would need to do is either slap in a TV tuner card or get an ATI Radeon All In Wonder card and watch TV on that LCD/CRT. You can get DVD player, Tivo, and all that other stuff out of a standard PC pretty easily these days.

    That way you don't have to worry about configuring all the powerstrip display stuff and the monitor is nice and crisp for any word processing or web surfing. HDTVs can make text a little fuzzy, especially if you are up close and for long periods of time (ie - pulling an all nighter for a paper.) So to avoid eyestrain during those times, I would get a CRT/LCD rather than an HDTV.

    I would suggest checking out the "Deals" forum in the HTF and waiting for a sale on a Dell you want. Make sure it has an ATI AIW card avaialble (choose it) and add a nice 21" LCD monitor. ATI usually ships a software package with their cards that helps you enable tuner/tivo/dvd functionality with a minimum of fuss (or can download it from their website for free.)
     
  4. Joe Pak

    Joe Pak Auditioning

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    Joe Szott

    The Sleekline HTPC has the ATI Radeon 9600 as an option. The standard is a GEforce4 MX440. Sales at sleekline told me the 440 was the best for a wide screen because the 9600 did not do 16:9, but I found out later that the 9600 does do 16:9. Do you know which is better?

    joe
     
  5. JaredSpencer

    JaredSpencer Auditioning

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    Thanks guys,

    No idea about that card, though I have come across the 9600 in other systems similar to what I would like

    Only problem is I do want the monitor to be about 30" (not bigger, not smaller) and a LCD is gonna cost a TON for that
     
  6. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I didn't say it couldn't be done, just that it might be easier [​IMG] Ask for a 30" directview CRT HDTV w/ PC compatibility and ye shall receive:

    digitalconnection.com/Products/DirectView/DM6552SW.asp

    Just put a www. in front of that link. That's as good as it gets for 30" as far as quality/price.

    Joe - The guy was lying, pretty much any of the new cards do the same resolutions. You might need to download Powerstrip to make it match your setup exactly, but the Radeon can most definitely do any HDTV resolution you wish. Just takes a little time and effort.
     
  7. JaredSpencer

    JaredSpencer Auditioning

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    Thanks Joe (both of you)

    Joe S. I didn't mean to sound snippish; if I did I appologize. I do like that monitor (its basically an HDTV compatable big computer monitor, right?) Have you heard good things about it? It doesn't look flatscreen, which I thought was odd but not really over important (had to deal with that my whole life). If I were to get a monitor like that, would it meet my need for the PC stuff (like the word processing problem you pointed out earlier? Papers are always going out from my printer [​IMG] )

    What box would you recomend with that? Gateway has a box that has S-video and component inputs, so I assume that would get around the only-VGA input on the cheap model. Is that something I should go for? Or do you have another option that would work better?

    Thanks again, and this forum is awesome... one of my tech buddies who couldn't really help me with this problem pointed me here, and I have had funn reading all the other threads I have gotten to as well.
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Jared, instead of trying to do everything with one TV, getting crappy text and risking permanent CRT burn-in, why don't you invest on a good TV set for TV and movies, and get a computer monitor too? Best of both worlds. Since most videocards support dual-monitor output (2 VGA and sometimes S-Video too), this should be feasible.
     
  9. JaredSpencer

    JaredSpencer Auditioning

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    Guys, I just noticed Dell's LCD TVs. What have you heard about this tube? It looks very good (if a bit expensive) as both a monitor and as a TV, with all the need I/O jacks, etc... Has anyone heard good or bad about these tubes?
     
  10. Paul_Ptaaty

    Paul_Ptaaty Stunt Coordinator

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    I just noticed someone asked if the geforce mx440 was as good as the radeon 9600 pro....NO WAY the 9600 pro is FAR FAR more advanced, don't even consider the mx440 for a new PC, it will be the bottleneck
     

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