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hcpc vs xbmc

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by lei179, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. lei179

    lei179
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    Hi first post here,
    Could anyone tell me the advantage of a dedicated hcpc against a modded xbox running xbmp or xbmp ?? I know noise levels are really important and the xbox is not exactly quiet,but through a hi def kit and component lead i hear you can get pretty good results.I ask because recently purchasing a plasma i stumbled across this forum and discovered a whole new world to pour my money into :laugh: would i see major benefits running dvd through hcpc,or should i stick to my modded box ???

    cheers.
     
  2. oreoboy13

    oreoboy13
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    The biggest draw back i find is the ability to use FFdShow. But i am going to get round that by buying an external scaler. But saying that there is a MOD available to replace the P3 733 with 1.4Ghz CPU allowing you to run movies at 720P.

    Audio quality is not a problem as you can run DD out into an external DAC. I rip all my music to FLAC - q8 and keep it on my study PC and share it to the xbox.

    The only thing i wish i could do is have a netremote solution for it, the HTTP server + PDA thing is cool. However it means i have to switch to a normal remote to control the rest of my gear. With a HCPC i could use a PDA + Netremote + USB-IRT to control everything from the PDA.

    But for £100 + chip it brilliant, so easy to use and setup.

    I am running XBMC as the dashboard and there is an option to reduce the fan speed, or you could replace it with considerably quiter one.

    I also use SMBs to share 400gigs worth of music, movies, pics etc from my study Pc. Allowing me to use the 150gig of local storage for games.

    For the money i think it beats a HCPC handsdown.

    All i need now is the scaler, and a DVD+A/SACD player.
     
  3. NaTT

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    XBMC is a very good tool. I ran it up until getting a plasma and then moved to a HCPC.
    at the mo the that PC is on a par for noise with the xbox.

    XBMC is nowhere near as good or as configurable as a piece of software called Meedio essentials for PCs.

    If you're running SPDIF into a HC amp then remember that not all digital signals are the same and a HCPC has the potential to sound much better than an xbox. i can sure hear the difference when using an ASIO driver for my sound card over the output from my xbox.

    a HCPC can run digitally (DVI) into a large screen giving.
    I've had a few probs with the M$ high def kit, playing some UK games.
    with a HCPC you can capture and record analogue and digital TV and for the former vastly improve the picture quality in the process (can't have that in an xbox)

    but if you've a chipped x-box (solderless kits cost £30-50) and you consider the 80/20 rule, then an xbox is a hard act to follow...
     
  4. owain_thomas

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    I'd agree with all of the above, having used a chipped xbox via component output to my toshiba CRT and then upgraded to a fully blown HCPC.

    There is a definite step up in terms of quality with the HCPC but it does cost money. If you really go for it you can have amazing sound and picture quality in a stylish box with no detectable noise. The crux is that each of those elements costs quite a bit - £300 for a strata (now claritas) case, £350 for a CPU/memory combo that can deliver on the post-processing front, £100 for a silent PSU alone, not forgetting quiet HDs and a silent CPU cooler.

    I think the bottom line is that if you are matching it with good output equipment then a HCPC can have some real quality benefits, it's imensely configurable and can do a lot more than an Xbox. BUT it will cost you about 10-12 times what the xbox costs for a bells and whistles HCPC, is it worth it? I think so, but maybe not for everyone.

    The other aspect of HCPC is the sense of satisfaction of setting it all up and getting it working, with the xbox its much more a case of setting things up and then leaving them, the PC route is much more dynamic. Again this a personal thing - for some people what I've just described is a pain in the butt, for others its the only way to go.

    If you have decent sound equipment and good display, a few hundred quid to spare and a LOT of time then it can be very rewarding, if not save yourself the cash to spend on some beer and DVDs :)

    Owain
     
  5. lei179

    lei179
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    Thanks for the replise guys,it sounds an interseting "hobby" to get into,although an expensive one.one question to ask,when i ran a dvd through my desktop pc running at 1280x1024 using theatertrek,i dont see the wonderful displays i thought i might see,through my 19" TFT,am i missing some secret here,or is it that i am only sitting about a foot from the screen?
     
  6. oreoboy13

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    I am sorry but i cannot agree with the idea of their being a considerable increase in quality.

    a £150 xbox(inc chip) + a good external scaler = pretty close.
     
  7. SeaneyC

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    Yes but Xbox + Good Scaler costs more than an HTPC and way less customisable, anyone agree with me? My HTPC cost about £400.
     
  8. oreoboy13

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    But then you could argue its harder to setup.....its swings and roundabouts.

    Dont think you cannot customise the xbox media center; more so than you might think; GUI, remote control mapping, HTTP remote server, Scripting.

    Any suggestions of what the AVERAGE user misses out on by having the xbox over a HCPC?

    I would suggest that the price of your HCPC is lower than average, but all i was arguing is that a xbox + scaler is not a considerably drop in quality over a HCPC.
     

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