Should I get into HTPC with current setup?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Mig, May 28, 2002.

  1. Mike_Mig

    Mike_Mig Stunt Coordinator

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    I was looking for some advice regarding my current setup and whether or not to do a little work with my computer. First let me list my setup.

    Monitor: Mits Ws-65819
    DVD Player: Panny RP-91
    DSS: Standard DirecTV, no HD
    Computer specs: Asus A7V motherboard
    AMD Thunderbird 900Mhz
    Western Digital 20 GB Hd
    Soundblaster Live Platinum 5.1 Sound card
    Leadtek GeForce 2 GTS Video card
    256 MB Crucial Memory

    Right now I just have the PC hooked to the TV via S-Video because that was the most feasible with my old tv. The sound card is hooked up with coax to the receiver through the front IO accessory card that comes with the sound card, for some reason I never could get the sound to work through the mini plug in back. I just had the TV calibrated by CraigM, anybody who spends much time at the HTSpot would know his work. I was just wondering what all would be required to get up to the level of some of you in here in terms of an HTPC. I am really happy with the picture from the RP-91, especially after Craig was here. But if the improvement would be dramatic on top of what I have now I wouldn't hesitate. And I do want to get into HD now, but have concerns about the whole DVI firewire thing that I don't even understand. Anybody who has some advice it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Mike
     
  2. Mike_Mig

    Mike_Mig Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone have any advice? I really am interested in a HTPC.

    Mike
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I have an older P3-733Mhz machine with a Geforce 2 GTS, a new Athlon 1800 XP with geforce 4 Ti4400 and nForce motherboard (real-time Dolby Digital encoding), and an Audio Authority 9A60 VGA-to-component-video transcoder. My RPTV is a Toshiba TW40X81 attached to the same DVD player as yours, the RP91.

    The RP91 still blows my HTPC away in terms of video quality for DVD playback...better color saturation, excellent mosquito and block noise control, and better sharpness. I just cannot get the software DVD players (WinDVD 3 and 4, the different PowerDVD versions, etc.) to come anywhere near the quality of the RP91.

    Now, I haven't had the time to properly configure my RPTV to see if I can brighten up the colors, but it doesn't look good at this point.
     
  4. Mike_Mig

    Mike_Mig Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Max. The reason I was really asking was because it looks like With a HTPC you can do 540p. Which I was thinking would be better than 480p. Maybe this isn't necessarily the case though.
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Yep it is quite easy to get 540p. Just download and run Powerstrip and make your own 540p resolutions.

    I have a setting for 1536x540p, 960x540p, and 848x480 (with 540p timings to eliminate overscan). The first 2 resolutions are actually not bad for surfing the web and reading text. Games look very good too. Just DVD playback isn't up to snuff.

    Maybe an ATI Radeon 7500 would be better for image quality with regard to color saturation (don't consider the 8500 yet...there are major problems with gamma correction apparently).
     
  6. AllenD

    AllenD Second Unit

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    Replace the GeForce2 w/any ATI 7200, 7500, 32/64MB DDR vid card and purchase TheaterTek DVD player, and you've got yourself a sweet HTPC. I used to have the GF2 and replaced it w/a 7200. The improvement was obvious. The GF2 had combing and all sorts of video issues that I almost gave up. Once the 7200 and TheaterTek was installed, my jaw hasn't left the ground. Add an HD card for viewing and a large hard drive for time shifting and your HD needs will be covered.
     

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