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HTPC as a cd source???

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by ricdiggle, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. ricdiggle

    ricdiggle
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    Hi all,
    Just got a PTAE-100 projector and I'm considering building myself a HTPC to get the most out of it.

    I have an Arcam Dv88 (not a plus or progressive model) at the moment and the picture is OK but clearly is improved using a PC.

    I'm thinking of either:

    Upgrading the Arcam to Prog scan or Plus spec.

    or...

    Building HTPC.

    Trouble is, I want CD replay at least of the quality I have now from the Arcam. Does HTPC do CD playback well.
    I have a Tag AV32R so DACs are unimportant. I just need to know if a PC makes as good a CD transport as the Arcam does?


    Many thanks for any thoughts or feedback.

    Richard.
     
  2. JohnS

    JohnS
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    HTPC can do CD well but its goner cost ya. You really need something like the RME 24/96 PST or PAD which is in the region £200-300, Jeff or Branxx are the ones to ask about this, but it wont stop there as you'll need a high quality PSU like an Enermax or Seisonic, Zalman or Antec and of course the rest of the PC will need to be reasonably quiet too.

    The cheap option is the PS upgrade for the Arcam, the long term best PQ will be HTPC but it will take a fair investment to beat the Arcam with PS. The HTPC will of course be easier to upgrade over time at the expense of a bit of greif to make it user friendly.

    If you sold the Arcam and added the budjet for the PS upgrade then the total would get you quite a high spec HTPC.
     
  3. ricdiggle

    ricdiggle
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    Thanks John,

    I figured that would be the case. Why does everything have to be so expensive??

    Never mind, I just thought I could save myself some grief as I want to use the PC on the PJ as well and this would have proved to be easier in terms of cabling etc.
     
  4. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Have you tried it yet? I had an ae100 and it was a right royal pain in the .... to surf, configure, setup etc with a screen that only does 848*480. Its a nice idea but it doesn't work well, games might be another matter although I haven't tried it myself.
     
  5. ricdiggle

    ricdiggle
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    Yes, I had a quick go but my laptop will not let powerstrip change the resolution.
    It looked bloody awful!
    I'm not terribly impressed with the PJ at all. The arcam via component looks just about OK and that was after a setup with Avia.

    Just e-mailed Arcam to find out the cost of upgrading.

    Richard.
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS
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    I never tried the ae100 I had via interlaced component, I compared a Phillips 962 PS to my HTPC of then and it ran it pretty close although the PC has mature since then.

    If you havent already, buy yourself a Hoya FLD which will increase the black level and contrast ratio slightly at the expense of light output (although thats no bother in a darkened room).

    The Pany produces great pictures via vga as long as your screens not too big, I've got an 8ft which was why I upgrade to a HS10 but at 6-7ft the picture can be great.
     
  7. JSW

    JSW
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    Have to disagree with you there, at 1280 x 720 games are excellent and so is surfing but i surf on laptop so not a concern.
     
  8. JohnS

    JohnS
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    I just dont like the lack of clarity that this gives if your trying to read text. Each to there own.;)
     
  9. JSW

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    Who said anything about text :p ;)
     
  10. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I've always found many CD's harsh sounding, even with an early award winning external DAC ("the little big") and a warm Musical Fidelity class A amp.

    Not so, with a humble m-audio Delta Audiophile2496 and Enermax whisper power supply.

    I use the MAD 24-bit decoder and SSRC upsampling winamp plug-in to upsample my 256Kbps MP3 library to 24-bit 96KHz. This goes out through S/PDIF to my Denon A10SE THX ultra AV amp, (which incidentally switches to Direct when it gets 96KHz music).

    I am amazed on the clarity and lack of harshness this gives, even through a pair of Linn Index II's which were know for being open, uncoloured but a little harsh at the time. I now realise that it was the CD/DAC technology at the time as I've had these speakers 10 years with a number of sources, plus a humble and slightly esoteric twin 10 inch compound isobaric sub kit.

    I don't have experience of TAG or such truly high-end hi-fi kit, and do know that my garage conversion "soft" front wall gives good acoustics by absorbing many behind speaker reflections, but I am pretty sure the HTPC can be a great S/PDIF source.

    Jeff heard it once for a few film clips and complemented the speakers (I don't think we was just being polite!), but I think it's really a comnination of a reasonably good amp with a pretty good source and a kind room in even amounts.

    btw; Beware of ReClock and HTPC for DVD music though, as I'm pretty sure it regularly re-syncs the audio to the corrected video rate. I like what it does for films, but DVD music can sound off-beat!

    Perhaps luckily I don't have the golden ears to feel the need for a higher grade card. I'd plumb for a truly accurate and clean large servo controlled sub before any more cash on my source here.

    regards,
    Rob.
     

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