New Media Room - HDTV, HTPC, Home Theater

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Peter F F, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Peter F F

    Peter F F Auditioning

    Dec 31, 2004
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    Hello. Glad to have found this forum.

    I'm moving into a new house soon and I have the opportunity to do some work on it, ie, put cables behind the wall, place the outlets where I want, etc. Also, I'll be getting a new computer and we're gonna go HDTV for a new TV as well. In short, pretty much a clean slate. Except for the home theater audio system, which is a JVC RX-6022V receiver and a JVC progressive scan DVD player.

    It looks like the HD signal will come from a Comcast HDTV tuner (cable), and I'm leaning to getting a designed Home Theater PC (HTPC) and run a network cable in the wall the 20-25 ft to the desk area where my current computer will be. I've used computers since the 80's, but I'm new to the idea of a media computer and have never had an HDTV before.

    But I still have questions about HDMI vs DVI vs Firewire or whatever and digital audio, and how it would be set up incorporating: HDTV, HDTV Cable box, HTPC, and Audio receiver. Thanks.

    And then, there's the choice of which HDTV... But that's a topic all to itself.
  2. Jonathan Smith

    Jonathan Smith Stunt Coordinator

    May 26, 2002
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    I have been considering building an HTPC to use with digital cable (including HDTV). I am also still fairly new to the idea of a media computer, but I have done a fair amount of reading, so here is my best attempt at addressing your questions...

    The typical setup would connect the HTPC video card to your display device using DVI. There are converters available for DVI-component if your display does not have DVI input, but I have not come across any setup using HDMI or firewire for video. On the audio end, the typical setup would be a digital coaxial connection between your receiver/pre-processor and the an S/PDIF output of a sound card or motherboard with on-board audio.

    As far as I know, there is no good way to hook up a cable box to an HTPC; however, there are TV tuners available for PCs. My understanding is that these tuners work quite well for analog cable and over-the-air HDTV, but solutions for digital cable are fairly limited. HDTV on the PC is still new, so be prepared for a struggle if you end up going this route.

    Personally, I think I am going to hold off on my purchase for awhile until the HD tuners for PCs become a little bit more mature. If you end up getting an HTPC designed and built for you, I would make sure that whoever you use will provide good support to you after the sale.

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