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Discussion in 'Computers' started by Mark Fitzsimmons, May 25, 2002.
What do you use your HTPC's for? I don't quite understand the concept.
Many people use them to scale the image on their HDTVs, others use them for the virtually flawless PAL-NTSC conversion and easy region hacking
Also useful because you can play hundreds of MP3s through your sound system
I watch DVDs in 540p or 1080i and the quality is near HDTV. HTPCs are cost effective when upgrades become available through either hardware or software. They're also highly adaptable. You can use the same HTPC for most display devices. If I ever upgrade my HD RPTV to an FPTV, I can make adjustments to accomodate the new FPTV. You can also record HDTV, if available, for timeshifting. Also for archiving if you have the funds. Plus it's fun and rewarding when you've tweaked the HTPC to your liking. If you're into DIY, you'd love HTPC.
Want to PVR your HDTV shows? Tivo doesn't allow it, but an HTPC will.
HTPC is the way to achieve a scaled output for real projection equal to $10,000 scalers at 1/10th the price. If you have a projector that supports higher than NTSC resolutions- then HTPC is the absolute best choice for achieving ideal picture quality without breaking the bank.
for some of us a pc is the only thing we have
An HTPC has the best image quality you will get your hands on. Some might argue that a DVD player and a $10,000-$20,000 scaler is better, but I heartily disagree. The image from an HTPC is incredibly saturated and rich. It's VERY close to HDTV.
For digital projectors then HTPC is most likely the best, once you set them up to be "pixel perfect", ie use a resolution that exactly matches the resolution of the projector. I wouldn't be so sure about a CRT projector coupled with really high grade scalers and quadruplers though.
But as has been mentioned in the thread already, it's a great "convergence device"... ie, you can use the HTPC to display DVD's with great quality, you can play MP3's through them, you can use an inexpensive TV-in card and line-double and scale TV-transmissions (or indeed any video like from a video game or a VCR), you can connect a HDTV decoder card to the HTPC and use it as a receiver... or even to view digital photographs or digital video you yourself have shot on a bigger screen.
Also, games at 100+ inches is quite something.
Most of all these things are only really useful if you have a data grade display like a front projector or something similar.
Oh, I was never even trying to claim you could get the same kind of price/performance ratio out of expensive scalers/quadruplers as a HTPC, and as you say, it's not even proved that you can best the picture quality with those expensive boxes. Just pointing out that though HTPC is a great way to get maximum performance out of a projector, it's not necessarily the only great way to do it - at least if you have tons of money.
If I had tons of money I'd hire Vince M to worry about it for me and hook me up! As is I can only search online for his gems of advice and maybe send him a Blue Mountain Thank-you card.