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Does HTPC work like this?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jhkanguk, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. jhkanguk

    jhkanguk
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    I got an old 1.6G pc 512MB 80G DVD-RW.
    1. Buy a graphics card with DVI out and a Sound card with DIGITAL 5.1 out.
    2. Install a software which is free or cheap and does great upscaling to output to HDTV.
    3. Now it plays DVD movie from the DVD-RW drive and the software upscale the signal to fit HD resolution and output to DVI to HDTV.
    4. Digital 5.1 signal from DVD is sent to AV receiver.

    Is this possible?
    What do I need to buy? Any recommendations please?
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    That's a good basic description of an HTPC. :)

    Graphics card - any cheap Radeon 9000 onwards with DVI (no fan) (£25+), latest 'must have' is probably an NVidia 6600GT but they're brand new and £130+.

    Soundcard - cheap Soundblaster Live!, anything with an SPD/IF will do as a start.

    Software - TheaterTek (though I detest the activation system) or WinDVD/PowerDVD, don't know what you mean by 'cheap', these will be £50 or so, there are one or two free DVD players but I've never used them and doubt the quality they'll give.

    You'll also probably need Powerstrip to set your desktop resolution to be the same as your display, depending on its' screen size you may be able to use the graphics card's drivers without needing PStrip.

    A 1.6G processor should do fine for this, I used an AMD XP 2000+ and processor usage barely got to 30%.

    What HDTV device are you planning to use?
     
  3. jhkanguk

    jhkanguk
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    Now I understand that encoded 5.1 digital sound will be passed from DVD player to SPD/IF port as it is and fed to digital input of AV receiver.
    And PowerDVD will do upscaling for the resolution of 1280*720 of Samsung DLP TV which I am interested, hence picture quality will be much better than using external DVD player.

    Is PowerDVD's upscaling as good as dedicated scaler box or 'dscaler' software?
     
  4. KraGorn

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    To be pedantic, the scaling actually is done by the video card drivers and hardware, not the DVD player software. The scaling provided by the basic hardware is pretty good, certainly better than many low/mid-range projectors and other displays .. I don't know the Samsung TV you have. However, it's probably not as good as a dedicated scaler like an iScan.

    For that you'd need to use something like FFDSHOW, possibly with DScaler's scaler though FFD's own scaler is usually used. You problem is that you'd need a LOT more processor power than the 1.6G, I have a 3G Northwood and get good results though even that can't apply all the quality filtering that one could use.

    An alternative would be to go for a cheap DVI-equipped DVD player such as the Bravo, Momitsu, Samsung, Yamakawa etc., these can all output pre-scaled 720p via DVI and my Momitsu is damned impressive for the price, the others are similar.
     

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