What components can I eliminate with an HTPC

Discussion in 'Computers' started by peterac, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. peterac

    peterac Agent

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    Hi all,

    I am entering into the plasma HD and surround sound world. I was going to wait and eventually install an HTPC after I was comfortable with the setup.

    Quick background:
    We are in the market for a 42" plasma and a stereo so we decided it makes the most sense to go with a surround sound setup that can also serve as our stereo for music-listening enjoyment.

    However, knowing there are several components I will be able to eliminate it may make more sense to just go for an HTPC right off the bat.

    Here's what I think I can use the HTPC for:

    DVD player/ripper
    PVR
    CD player
    Scaler (I have no idea what this is)
    Basic computer stuff

    I was reading an Internet article that also made a reference that you could eliminate the need for a receiver? Is this possible?

    Am I missing anything on my list?

    Thanks!
    Pete R.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    The receiver would only be included if you bought powered speakers. Those are certainly an option, but would limit you in your search for speakers.
     
  3. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    YiFeng You
    you can eliminate everything except for a SACD, DVD-Audio's 192kHz stereo portion and currently HD-DVD/BluRay and the AVR. SACD because sony doesn't want to license PC's for playback. DVD-Audio is playable but with 24/96 limitations, again licensing. HD-DVD/BR will be available in the future... but in what terms and what you need to upgrade... that part is uncertain. i've read you need a video card with HDCP ROM built onto the video card, a HD-DVD-ROM or BDRom with AACS chip built and finally a HDCP display. there is already a list of HDCP video card. here's a primer on that:

    http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/articl...50aHVzaWFzdA==

    BR/HD rom's aren't affordable yet. the selection of HDCP displays are limited. looks like we're heading towards a DRM-limited future.

    now, if you feel tah you don't want to play SACD/DVDA ever AND you'll wait until HD/BR is affordable... then you'll replace everything except for AVR. powered speakers are very impractical.

    oh if you have VHS tapes... you'll still need a VCR =).

    i've been without a dedicated TV for about 4 years now. i use only my HTPC to playback everything except SACD/DVDA (of which i have a standalone) and VHS on VCR.
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    The scaler part comes in handy with the VHS, though. Hook the VCR up to the computer video input and run the signal through something like Dscaler and you'll clean up, line-double and scale it so that it looks better than it ever has on your HD TV. Needless to say (or perhaps not so needless) the plasma should have a HDMI input, your graphics card should have HDMI output and the plasma should have a HDTV resolution (at least 720P capable.)
     
  5. peterac

    peterac Agent

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    Thanks for the info. Wouldn't it make the most sense to run my VHS tapes through a video capture device and get rid of the tapes and the VCR completely? I want to get a video capture device anyway to convert all my old Hi8 tapes to editable and burnable content.

    Also, Yifeng lost me with the reference to SACD. I'll look that up.

    Thanks again

    -Pete R.
     
  6. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    peter, you can't play SACD on the PC because of Sony did not license it to be. that's why i said if you WANT to play SACD, you'll need a standalone player.

    re: VCR, you can only capture VHS tapes that don't have macrovision enabled. otherwise most capture devices will refuse capture when they see the flag. just FYI. if it's your own content, there is no problems.

    kimmo, i thought most AVR's have built in scalers that does all that when upconverting from analog to digital?
     
  7. peterac

    peterac Agent

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    So, the bottom line is that if I do not have a VHS collection I do not need to be concerned about a Scaler?

    Also, if I am capturing Hi8 video of home movies will the digitized content be HD?

    Thanks,
    Pete R.
     
  8. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    if you have no desire to watch 480i (VHS, SD-broadcast-only, LD, etc.) ever... then yes, you don't really one... but you're most likely going to get a component with one build in either way. you'll have to go out of your way to avoid it. many AVR's that have HDMI/DVI includes one built in and many upscaling DVD players have one built in.

    Hi8's capture is close to 480lines (using S-Video). a long time ago, i had a few Hi8 cam and 1 or 2 home videos. i capped it all to the PC and made a 480p SD-DVD out of it. as long as i can keep the DVD from rotting... i have archived it forever =).
     

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