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HTPC / MCE and Sky *Set-up*

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by DoblANy, May 24, 2005.

  1. DoblANy

    DoblANy
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    Hi All,

    I've been reading all sorts of threads and web-sites to try and work out if building a HTPC is worth it or not. Basically I would like to be able to my HTPC to play music / view photos / watch movies - recordings / and record from Sky. My main concern is the connections between the Sky box / TV and the HTPC. oh and speakers!

    What I have:

    TV with 2x SCART sockets (TV/Video)
    Sky - Panasonic with no S-Video connections.


    What I what to do it:

    Connect a HTPC witch will have VGA / SVideo out to my TV and sky so that I can use the HTPC to record one channel and watch another channel. I have been looking at the Hauppgauge PVR-500MCE card as this has two MPEG decoders for duel channels.
    Playback movies from my HDD through my TV and 5.1 speakers.

    Quertions:

    What cables do I need to connect my TV / HTPC and SKy together?
    What is the difference between Composite / VGA / S Video / RGB?
    Will the quaility been any good on the TV for movies and maybe Firefox / Thunderbird?
    Will the record quailty be TV like?
    How do I connect a 5.1 speaker system up (With SPDIF) Does it need to be from the SKY box over RCA cables into my HTPC? (I don't have RCA connections?)
    Will the sound be in 5.1 or just stereo?

    Any help / advice / thoughts or expierances will be really appricated as it's driving me mad!

    Cheers

    DoblANy
     
  2. Sandman

    Sandman
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    You can get a graphics card with two VGA outputs in it then buy a VGA-Scart converter to connect it to your tv. You could also use a s-video-scart cable but the picture wouldnt be as good.
    You can connect your sky box to your tv card with a standard coaxial cable and tune you tv card to recieve the signal. This will carry both the picture and sound from sky into your computer. SKY boxes do not have a 5.1 output (unless you have SKY+) so sound would not be in 5.1.
    To connect to a 5.1 system you will need a sound card or motherboard with a spdif output and a 5.1 system with a spdif input. This will enable to you watch dvd's on your computer and get the sound track in Dolby Digital (sky will only be in stereo though).
    The picture quality you will get watching sky via your computer will not be as good as as you are used to but it perfectly acceptable for recording and playback (better than vhs). If you only want to record sky then get sky+, if you want to view your photo collection on your telly, keep and listen to your music collection and select albums/tracks/artists/playlists via remote control on your tv screen then get MCE2005.
     
  3. WBC

    WBC
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    Sorry for hijacking the thread but where can you get a vga to scart convertor????

    Thanks
    Stace
     
  4. Kramer

    Kramer
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    Hi & welcome.

    You'll need 2 Sky boxes connected to your PVR500 for that or a Sky+ box.

    :smoke:
     
  5. DoblANy

    DoblANy
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    Thanks for your response Sandman and Kramer. It's all coming together now.

    Stace - This was my next question.

    Whats the best way to connect PC to TV. I know the order of quality goes like this:

    DVI
    VGA
    RGB
    S-video
    Composite

    As my TV doesn't have DVI I'm looking the VGE method. Will this converter work ok? http://www.cableuniverse.co.uk/cata...e=product_info&cPath=104_113&products_id=1014

    Any idea's of the picture quality?

    Also I've heard about making your own VGA to SCART converter but it sounds abit risky to me.


    Thoughts?


    Cheers
    DoblANy
     
  6. DoblANy

    DoblANy
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  7. bigtim

    bigtim
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    The Keene cable is best, but you will need a Radeon graphics card in your HTPC and have to do some fiddling with software (an app called powerstrip will be involved) to get a picture.

    The first convertor you mentioned only had S-video or composite output (it used the composite line in a SCART instead of the RGB that gives the best pic).

    Zillions of threads on this subject on XPMCE.com and green button. Also google for more info.

    The easiest way to do it though will be to connect an S-video to SCART lead to your TV - the quality won't be as crisp as RGB scart and you'll only be able to have 4:3 ratio images (not widescreen) but it'll mean next to no fiddling about.

    Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a simple solution to getting a widescreen image in good quality on a CRT. Though several perservering folk on here and other boards have had excellent results, many opt for a shiny new LCD or plasma to have less hassle (these have DVI or VGA inputs and the HTPC recognises them as a monitor).

    I'm still planning to have a crack at VGA-SCART myself though!
     
  8. DaveP

    DaveP
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    That link doesn't actually point at anything specific, for me at any rate!

    Dave
     
  9. DoblANy

    DoblANy
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