Stupid newbie questions

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Mike_Cat, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. Mike_Cat

    Mike_Cat Auditioning

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    I have just recently found out about HTPC and have been reading the message board to absorb info. I am still a little confused on how everyone is incorporating there computer.

    Do people put DVD into computer and play it thru the video card to the tv. If this is the case wouldn't the picture be of less quality then a stand along dvd player.

    I am not sure of the purpose of using computer with HTPC instead of stand alone players.

    I can see the point of copying dvd's using the computer.Can someone please give me the advantages of using HTPC and explain how most people use this in their home theater.

    Sorry to ask such a stupid question but I am a little confused.


    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    The main point of a HTPC is when you use a HD-video capable display like a video projector or something like that. Then you can connect the computer to it using the normal graphics card output and get extremely nice and crisp images.

    Then, using the built-in DVD-ROM in your computer and a software DVD player like PowerDVD or some such, you get the video line doubled and scaled digitally "at the source" so to speak, which gives you a superb video scaler/linedoubler for peanuts.

    By adding a TV-card with the right s-video input and using a program called Dscaler you can also get the video signal from other external devices like a VHS into the computer where Dscaler then does line-doubling on it, again improving the original non-doubled video image considerably; check out http://www.dscaler.org

    Then add to that the ability to play games, listen to music and even surf the web on a big screen and you have plenty reason to get a HTPC - but it all hinges on being able to connect it to something like a projector for it to be truly worth the hassles, IMHO.
     
  3. Mike_Cat

    Mike_Cat Auditioning

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    Thanks so much for the reply. That cleared up alot for me. I only have a rear protection 60" big screen so I gather it will not be good for me. The quality will not be good enough.

    Thanks so much though. The subject is very interesting to me
    and I will keep reading for my knowlege.



    Mike
     
  4. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    I beleive there's a write up on this subject somewhere in the forum, as this is quite a commonly asked question. Anybody know where that may be (Vince?) ?
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  6. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    It took a bit of searching, but I found a bunch of links that Vince Maskeeper shared with me about six months ago. He's been suspiciously absent from this thread for a while; Must be burnt out on chatting up HTPCs. Too bad, because he wrote most of these and is the GURU of HTPC as far as I'm concerned.

    Here they are:

    HT General and Basic info, Including HTPC
    HTPC and Image quality
    Theatertec (HT software) review
    HTPC suggested hardware
    More about scaleing
    HTPC vs Stand alone DVD players
    Different ways to use a HTPC
    Vince tells a story about HTPC
    Purpose of HTPC from the AVS forum (courtesy of Vince)
    Mark, Vince's AVS Forum pal, chats about HTPC advantages

    According to Vince, the AVS forum guys get pretty hardcore in their discussions of HTPC.

    Thants all I could find. Good luck.
     
  7. Jeff Blair

    Jeff Blair Second Unit

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    Right now I am using my HTPC to hold all of my CD's, about 20 or so. I am also using it as a TIVO. It's really nice. I bring up the scheduling program, tell it I want to record all of a show, and that's it. I am using Divx 5.05 to encode it on a 100gig drive. I can record about 100 hours or more. Now all I need is a DVD-R/W and I'll be set. [​IMG]
     
  8. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Some more advantages of the HTPC:

    Region-free

    Plays PAL and/or NTSC

    Cache in DVD-ROM drive eliminates pause at layer change

    Software can eliminate "user prohibition" therefore allowing you to skip FBI warnings & menus, change audio tracks on the fly, pause supplements that won't let you do so otherwise, etc.
     
  9. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>Region-free
     
  10. Jim Tressler

    Jim Tressler Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Jeff.. If you dont mind what software and hardware are you using? I have been contimplating building a htpc to function as a tivo, mp3 player, divx player. I have looked at sagetv and a huppage mpeg card... and it seems like it may work

    thanks!

    jim
     
  11. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Mike_cat, a simple answer would be this:

    A limitation for images on large screens is often the resolution. Quality scalers cost hundreds, or thousands, of dollars for the hardware. A HTPC can be built much cheaper than this. A PC with the right software upconverts video as good as an expensive scaler at a much cheaper price. With the right video card, it can output this his-res, upconverted image to an HD source for very good results.
     
  12. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Isn't that what I wrote in the second post in this thread? [​IMG]
     

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