Firstly, hello all, and secondly what a great site this is. I hav done some research here (read the FAQ etc) and have come to the following conclusions thus far:
- Amp: Technics SA-DX930 supporting Dolby Prologic, Dolby Digital AC-3 and DTS
- Plasma: Panasonic TH42PWD6 (non-HD) with SCART and VGA connections
- Auto switch-box that my DVD player, Sky+ and Wii plug into, as my plasma only has a single Scart input
- 5x B&W speakers for surround sound, no sub-woofer
- Will transfer all my DVDs and CDs onto a local internal HDD so I can pack them away in the loft and have a tidy/smart living room again!
- HTPC to be future-proof in terms of being HD-ready, as I shall be upgrading my poor old plasma to an HD one in the near future
- May install freesat card or carry out the Sky+ mods to watch TV through the HTPC, again sometime in the future
- Budget of below £500
- Case: Antec NSK 2480 MATX Desktop Case Black & Silver - With 380W EarthWatts PSU
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H GeForce 9400 Socket 775 onboard VGA DVI HDMI 7.1 channel audio mATX Motherboard
- RAM: Corsair 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memory Kit CL5 1.9V
- Optical Drive: Sony BDU-X10S Blu-Ray BD-ROM SATA Black Internal - Retail Box with Cyberlink Software
- Hard Drive: Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache - OEM Green Power
- CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300 2.6GHz Socket 775 800FSB 2MB L2 Cache OEM Processor
- Keyboard/Mouse: KeySonic 2.4Ghz Wireless HTPC Compact Keyboard with Integrated TouchPad - USB
- CPU Cooler: Scythe Mini Ninja Socket 478/775/754/939/940/AM2 Heatpipe Cooler
- Am I wasting my time as I only have an old plasma? Some specs I found online are here (may be inaccurate):
- Aspect Ratio 16:9
- Number of pixels 852 x 480
- Contrast Ratio 3000:1
- Brightness 400cd/m²
- Pixel Pitch 1.08mm
- Displayable Colours 16.77 million colours
- Colour System NTSC, PAL, PAL60, SECAM, Modified NTSC
- Scanning Format 525i (480i), 625i (575i), 525p (480p), 625p (575p), 750p (720p),1125/60i,50i,
24p, 24SF (1080/60i, 50i, 24p, 24SF).....SMPTE 274M
- PC Signals VGA display, VGA, (SVGA,XGA,SXGA,UXGA compressed)
- Horizontal scanning frequency 15.5 - 110kHz
- Vertical scanning frequency 48 - 120Hz
- I think the motherboard has SPDIF output which I can use to connect directly to my amp. Is this the best way to go with my setup?
- Does the rest of the hardware look ok, it should do as it has been cribbed from here hehe!!
- I have various options with O/S and can install licensed copies of XP, Vista or Windows 7. Basically I do not mind, but want a great looking frontend software install, any recommendations? Was going 32bit O/S as 64bit drove me driver-mad on my gaming PC.
- Am I better off connecting my HTPC via VGA to the plasma or via a composite/scart connection which would have to go through my switchbox.
- Have I missed anything?