Questions for you HTPC buffs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim Knapp, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. Tim Knapp

    Tim Knapp Agent

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    I'm considering an htpc to improve my movie watching. I currently use a standard toshiba 1600 dvd player via s-video, into a mitsubishi xd200 projector on a 7ft wide screen, for good results. The mitsubishi xd200 has a biult in line doubler which is probably helping.-I guess. However, i believe there is room for improvement. The back ground scenes and pans could clearer I think. Will HTPC really offer a noticable picture improvement? I realy dont want to spend $ if it's not a noticable improvement. The abilty to display a movie in the projectors native xga resolution via an htpc is intruging. If yes, here is what I have to work with to make an htpc.

    An Asus cusl2 mother board, Pentium3 733mhz, 512 sdram, 10gig hard drive.

    The rest of the components I will have to purchase.-If this is a go. I will use this as strictly a dvd player. So give me your wisdom htpc pros [​IMG]

    Tim
     
  2. Jeff Peake

    Jeff Peake Supporting Actor

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    I have a very similar PC. Pentium 3 800, 512MB Ram, 27 GB hard drive. It works well for DVD playback.

    I bought a Radeon 9000Pro video card, a cheap $30 Philips soundcard (capable of passing DD and DTS via a SPDIF connector) and TheaterTek software as the DVD player.

    I think you would notice a big difference with a HTPC. Just running at your projectors native resolution will be a big improvement.

    I am not familar with the Toshiba 1600. I went from a Sony 500D to my HTPC, the improvement on my Pioneer HDTV was stunning.

    I have some screen caps from my HTPC: http://www.jeffpeake.com/theater/htpc.html
     
  3. Tim Knapp

    Tim Knapp Agent

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    Thanks for pinging in Jeff. That sounds encouraging. I'll just have to take the plunge I guess and try it. Those screen shots look great. I shouldn't have to put to much money into it. My surround reciever does not have spdif-in, so i will have to stick with an anolog output from a dolby compatible sound card.

    The rest:

    9000 series radeon card
    pioneer 106s dvd-rom
    sound card- unkown at this point.
    Theatertek software based on it's poplularity on this forum.
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    If you are satisfied with the resulting image, you could also try adding the ffdshow filter if you decide to upgrade to a faster processor (1 GHz or more). The latest Theatertek software supports it, and many people on avsforum.com are stunned by the improvement in picture quality.
     
  5. Tim Knapp

    Tim Knapp Agent

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    Thanks for the tip Max. I'll take advantage of every possibilty when I can. I'll be upgrading to a new 2.8gthz system shortly.-Which will be my multi-purpose system. I've read on these boards it is better to run a dedicated htpc system rather then one which has a lot of other stuff running on it. Otherwise I'd consider using the new system instead of the old 733mhz. Can't have my cake and eat it i guess. [​IMG]Could you slap a link to where I can obtain theatertek and ffdshow filter? Thanks
     
  6. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    Why don't you just hook up your present computer to your projector and see if you think it would be worth spending the money on a stand alone HTPC?
     
  7. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Theatertek: www.theatertek.com , the price is $70 US. If you order it, you can download an eval version, and as long as you don't register for a hardware key, you can get a refund if you decide against it. Keep in mind that Theatertek will only work on one computer...you cannot transfer it to another PC! I suggest you try WinDVD or PowerDVD first if it came bundled with your videocard or PC first, just to ensure you got the basics working.

    ffdshow: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffdshow

    It is recommended that you get the December version (ffdshow-20021213.exe), as it is faster than the latest alpha: http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...group_id=53761

    ffdshow is rather difficult to setup though. Once you install it, you need to run its configuration app and turn on Raw Video, otherwise Theatertek will crash when you enable ffdshow. Yep, it's kinda complicated...
     
  8. Tim Knapp

    Tim Knapp Agent

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    Chris, I could do as you say, but I've got a lot of baggage on this current system. I'm afraid it would not perform with all the apps I have on it. I only have a gforce2 gts. So i'm not sure it would be a fair assesment via that card verses a radeon. Correct me if i'm wrong. Perhaps the G2 would be good enough with theatertek eval to make a preliminary assesment?
    Max, I figured setting up an htpc would require tweaking. I don't mind that end of it. Thanks for the links.
     

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