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Dreaming

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by TWD, Jul 22, 2001.

  1. TWD

    TWD
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    I've been putting off buying a DVD drive until I can get a HTPC made up.

    I currently have the following sitting around with no current use :

    Celeron 466 (o/cs to 525 stabily)
    Abit m/b (can't remember model - PM6?)
    S/B awe 64 or S/b 16 PCI
    Voodoo 3 3000 or ATI Rage (Pro?)32MB
    256MB PC133 SDRAM
    8GB Maxtor HD (can't remember model no)

    Would this make a workable spec for a HTPC and if so what would be your recommendations hardware and software-wise?

    It must be mutli-region and reliable for me to have the incentive to go down this road

    I already have a DD/DTS amp etc.
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi TWD,

    Your machine is just about viable for a HTPC, though you may need a faster processor. (try the current processor first, then upgrade if you have too).

    PowerDVD may give you a better frame rate over WinDVD, but for better quality playback, you should get a GeForce2 or Radeon DDR graphics card (Radeon gives better quality, but GeForce is better for games if you play them).

    You will definately need a new sound card with optical or SPDIF output (depending on what your amp takes). Asus do a card for about £19, or you could go the SB route with the Live! Value card - though you may need the Hoontech adapter to bring the output voltage down to an acceptable level your amp can live with. I believe later SB cards have cured this problem. You could also look at the Fortissimo 2 card.

    For a real bargain, you could try these people in the USA:
    http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SQ1500

    I got one for $12.50, plus $15 postage - about £18. This deal is much cheaper ($9.50)!! The cheap air-mail can take up to 6 weeks, but I got mine in less than 2. here's a url for some info:
    http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/010620.html

    As for multi-region, you can either buy a known region free or firmware moded DVD player that can have its region changed ad-infinitem, or you can buy two DVD drives (seen them for about £36 each now) and set one to region one, and the other to region two.

    You must be able to set them to DMA enable for bets performance. I'm sure you mobo drivers will allow you to do this.

    I think that's covered what you're after.

    HTH.

    Gary.
     
  3. TWD

    TWD
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    Thanks.

    After posting this I had a bit of a deeper delve into some of the other topics and discovered that by setting the s/b 16 pci to digital output I will be able to get an output to feed my amp.

    Got to admit I'm worried about the display side of things more, but I guess I'll just try it and see. I'll probably buy the DVD drive, throw some more RAM at it and see how it goes.

    Eventually I will be wanting to use it as a digital video recorder also so I'm a bit wary about spending too much on it now, as when the time comes that will require a new video card and hard disk or DVD-RAM (or whatever format wins).

    Now why is finding a decent and attractive desktop case so hard these days? Time to get out the spray paint!!!
     
  4. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    TWD,

    I seem to remember reading something about using the SB16 card and getting digital out, but never persued it. How do you connect it to your amp? If it can be done easily, it sounds like a good card for the job. Soundblaster being the industry standard, I would prefer to use it instead of an SB compatible.

    TIA
     
  5. jason t

    jason t
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    hi guys i posted a topic about enabeling spidf on the soundblaster pci 16
    i use a 75 ohm phono lead connected to a mono rca - 3.5 mm jack plug which plugs into green socket on soundcard

    hope this helps

    jason
     
  6. TWD

    TWD
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    Right, the time has come for me to finally purchse the DVD drive.

    I normally buy my hardware from one seller. Here is a link to what they have available in the DVD drive line. Does anyone have any opinions about which would be the best buy (under £60)?.

    <a href="http://www.microdirect.co.uk/pricelist/dvd-drives.htm" target="_blank">http://www.microdirect.co.uk/pricelist/dvd-drives.htm</A>

    Thanks.
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I have the Pioneer mentioned here. I actually find it a bit noisey though it works well, is well support and is easy to convert region wise.

    I am thinking about the Hitachi as a replacement and it is popular in the HTPC community. It is supposed to be quieter.

    Ideally we want a 2-4 x DVD drive (in black in my case) but these are viewed as old spec but they are quiet in comparison.

    Anyone know a good source?
     
  8. TWD

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    Thanks Nic,

    The hitachi it will be. It was my favourite spec/price wise and if it is commonly being used it can't be that bad for HTPC.

    I will have a look around but have little hope of finding a slow DVD these days - when was the last time you saw a sub 8x CDROM for sale???
     

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