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Commercial HCPC - opinions please

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by TobyC, Sep 19, 2002.

  1. TobyC

    TobyC
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    Hi all,
    Firstly id just like to say thanks to you all for being such an inspiration!
    I don’t know if you have heard of my company or not before but basically we are looking into developing a HCPC system to supply to our clients and also to the general public through a separate website. I have been amazed by the picture quality we have achieved in our tests and so we are not hesitating to offer the system to our clients instead of a standalone DVD player and scaler.
    Obviously I have studied the threads here and over at the AVSforum and used the help to make the spec of the HCPC. Our own tests have enabled us to tweak the system as much as possible but I would appreciate it if you could comment on it’s specification.
    Basically id just like your approval! We haven’t yet started marketing the new design on its own yet and the website might be changed slightly in the near future.

    Our website is at:
    www.crayston-web.co.uk

    Thanks for your help,
    Toby
     
  2. SeaneyC

    SeaneyC
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    Very promising product - don't take this the wrong way, seems a weeny bit expensive for a Eden based product. Also a massive use of my HTPC is as a scaling solution for my projector, which i don't think is implemented in your product. I'm sure people will gladly throw ideas at you if you're prepared to take them on board. Personally i'm going to build my own HTPC, as i have built qutie a few PCs in the past, but then again, i'm sure there is a big market for a ready built product for the less technically savvy or patient of us! All the best with the product, i'm full of ideas if you'd like suggestions of any more features, but won't fill up the thread if you're not interested (i mean that in a nice way honest!)

    Marketing wise - i'd aim for the people with plasma screens - all the money for such a tiny screen! (2nd hand CRT projector man here, once you've had true black you'll never go back..... oooerr :) plus i can laugh at the rich students with their "big screen" TVs then explain i have a 92" widescreen that cost £500 :D call me childish, but everyone loves a bargain.)
     
  3. buns

    buns
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    I would agree that, if you market with scaling mentioned, you may as well consider having a capture card in there.

    How have you done your UI? Have you manged to remove windoze from the equation to give a UI navigable by monkeys or are you still assuming windoze knowledge?

    but it looks nice i must say :D

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  4. nutcase_1uk

    nutcase_1uk
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    I've found one word I really don't like in there: Preinstalled. Do you get the original disks/license documents for the computer? Maybe additionally, but NOT instead, a restore disk to return it to teh original configuration. There's nothing worse than buying a PC and finding you can't re-install teh programs paid for with it to how you want it. Aprat from that, looks great. What kind of sound codec is it? Is it possible to use analogue outputs?

    Not too bad price wither IMO if it's properly set up to begin with.
     
  5. buns

    buns
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    agreed....... if you had all the discs and stuff the way the avs pcs were done, you would have a much better feel to it all.

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  6. eeek

    eeek
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    Nice idea its a shame it can't support scale or anything (Eden chips are scarely underpowered).

    Have you seen this silver ITX cube http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/product.php?view=1063 with a suitable silver DVD drive (say the pioneer slot) it would make a nice displayable on bookcase say player.
     
  7. Lem

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    Looking for a hifi-spec HTPC with scaling and full crt/proj/plasma support, DAB tuner, timeshift TV, HDCD and 7.1 support? - watch this space!
     
  8. TobyC

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    Thanks for the feedback!
    nutcase/buns - The machines will come with the windows XP cd and registration documents, as well as a recovery CD. We dont want to encourage people to mess around with the programs installed too much to keep it as a basic HCPC. Sound is from the onboard coaxial out of the Eden which we have found to be a perfectly adequate solution. Buns you mention the AVS pcs - we didnt want to go the same way as AVS because i think that it is easy to get a PC like that custom configured from one of the big manufacturers like dell who we obviously cant compete with . We wanted to make something a little different, which doesnt need any PC knowledge to just turn on and use.

    benji - We did actually look at the aluminium cube but we came to the conclusion that it wasnt as good as the slimeline case we have now mainly because of noise. The case we have now has a rather nifty external PSU with no fan and is very quiet. I have heard reports that the aluminium cubes have noisy power supplys. Plus IMO the cubes dont really suit other AV hardware. Actually i am surprised that more people havent looked into this mini(it really is small!) case if all you want is a DVD player.

    I didnt realise how important the video scaling was to you all! We really wanted to include a capture card but didnt see any way to do so without completely redesigning the system. Firstly as someone rightly said, the Via C3 800 isnt really up to deinterlacing with DScaler so we would have to use a different motherboard and case (more expense). Secondly there isnt actually any physical space for a capture card (the eden supports 2 PCI cards with a riser but the small case we are using can only hold one which is being used for the essential radeon PCI.
    I think well look into making another version in the future with all the other features HTPCs can be used for.
    The user interface does still rely on windows. However after going through the setup procedure it can be controlled entirely through the ATI RF remote like any other DVD player.

    Any other questions / suggestions will be greatly appreciated :)
     
  9. eeek

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    Actually the mini case has been recalled to fit a quiet powersupply to it. To all intents and purposes its now supposed to be quiet enough.

    Personally I'm going for a Shuttle SS51 to site beside the hardware that will be left when its installed. As that merely going to be the amplifer, a sky box and a video I think it ends up being roughly the same height and can easily slot in beside them.
     
  10. TobyC

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    Thanks for that i had no idea. It certainly would be usefull to have access to the AGP port of the SS51 rather than relying on the PCI radeons... however I still think that the SS51 is too expensive. (plus the s/pdif out is on the front which i think would be a pain to work with).
     

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