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Building a HCPC - What componets would I need?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by wyerd, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. wyerd

    wyerd
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    Hi Guys,

    I’m thinking of building a HCPC but I’m not sure what components I’ll require. I’ve been browsing the messages on this forum for advice, but it’s all a bit confusing. The main problem I have is the size of the overall PC case – it has to fit into my current hi-fi cabinet, 38cm (w) x 42cm (d). Is this a good idea for a start as the cabinet is enclosed by a glass door at the front, but it has plenty of ventilation at the rear?

    Next is what I want it to do and how it should integrate with my current equipment.

    Equipment list:-

    Sony KD32DX40 Integrated Digital TV (Freeview) 2 scarts (1 RGB)
    Sony DVPNS905 DVD Player 2 scarts
    Sony SLVSE810 VCR 2 scarts – to be made redundant – see below
    Amstrad DRX100 Sky digital satellite receiver 2 scarts
    Sony STRDB2000 receiver when it arrives from HiFiBitz (Originally ordered STRDB1080 but just has been discontinued)

    HCPC requirements:-

    To be able to record/playback Freeview programs via an EPG
    To be able to record/playback Sky programs via an EPG
    To be able record/playback MP3/WMA files & copy to CD & MP3 player
    Not used for playing games or DVD playback – maybe in future.
    Connection to home network for Internet etc.

    I looked at the Shuttle case but it only has 1xPCI &1xAGP slot, but does have USB & firewire. As I understand, I would require a Digital TV card such as the Nebula, a capture card for Sky and a decent graphics card with svideo for displaying on the TV.

    I know it’s all down to budget, but what I’m after is something that fulfils my requirements at a reasonable price. Any assistance and advice is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    David.
     
  2. Kramer

    Kramer
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    The main benefit of a HCPC is derived from using a VGA or DVI output to feed your display device, either a projector or plasma.

    Using the s-video output to a "normal" TV will result in a very poor picture.

    Something you should be aware of before continuing ;)
     
  3. wyerd

    wyerd
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    I've only just invested in a widescreen TV, so a projector or a plasma is really out of the question.
     
  4. wyerd

    wyerd
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    I've just run a test from the PC I'm using now - a Presario with a G-Force MX/MX400 graphics card with TV out to a Sony portable and the Svideo picture displayed on it was not brilliant. Once I reduced the resolution to fit the screen the text is difficult to read (could improve I expect if i changed the fonts) but the overall picture was acceptable - better than from a VHS recorder. Basically that's all I wand to do - record & playback video & audio. I'm not really thinking of using it as a "Live" source.
    The only other issue I found during this test were near vertical lines scrolling from left to right. Could be the graphic card or the cheap cable I was using.

    Am I just gonna waste my time and money if I go this route?
     
  5. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Yep! TV's are normally interlaced displays, which are completley unsuitable for PC use.
     
  6. wyerd

    wyerd
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    I just performed another test on the main tv, a Sony KD32DX40 - the other was a 14" Sony.

    No scrolling lines at all - rock solid display and the text was fairly legible. DVD playback using WMP9 was as almost as good as through the DVD player - although not what I'd use if for.

    I don't think it's "completely unsuitable" - maybe it is after a while living with it. Has anybody else gone this route?
     

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