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HTPC mostly finished, now what software

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by sticker, May 20, 2004.

  1. sticker

    sticker
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    Hi,
    Thanks to a lot of you guys I've now got my HTPC more or less finished hardware wise, but now I need to look at the software side. To summarise my hardware

    Accent 5 case
    Silnex PSU
    AMD 2500Xp O/C to 3200
    1gb ram
    DFI ultra mobo
    2 x Samsung sata 120gb Raid 0
    Nvidia FX5600 ultra with Zalman fanless cooler
    LG 4082 DVD

    I will be sending the signal via DVI to the Pioneer 503MXE plasma.

    Can anyone tell me what software I now need?

    Regards
    John
     
  2. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi John

    do you just want to play DVD?
    If so then Theatretek is acknowledged as the best software DVD player.
     
  3. philipb

    philipb
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    Also add ffdshow for postprocessing - inproves the already excellent Theatertek picture quality. Instructions how to set up ffdshow are on the Theatertek support forum.
     
  4. sticker

    sticker
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    Hi Guy's
    Thanks for the replies

    Yep I want to pay DVD's so looking at what gives the best image and control and also to multi region the player

    Regards
    John
     
  5. AVMADMAN

    AVMADMAN
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    I think that ffd show is only of benefit to people who are using crt based pj's or monitors. with theatertek.


    notice i said 'THINK' before everyone shoots me down in flames.... :p
     
  6. philipb

    philipb
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    Sticker is feeding a Pio 503MXE. I have the 433MXE, and TT + ffdshow is a great combi.
     
  7. sticker

    sticker
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    Guys
    What would you recommend as a "Wife friendly" user interface?

    John
     
  8. AVMADMAN

    AVMADMAN
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    Maybe you could explain to me philipb what difference using ffdshow + theatertek has on the plasma. rather than just theatertek (when not using crt based monitors/pj's?)

    after taking my hcpc around to a mates house last night and assesing the difference on his Panny 50PV30B using ffdshow or not, i couldn't see any difference at all. (test disks AVIA, 5th element, Artificial Intelligence)


    Could someone clear this up please????
     
  9. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    did you switch ffwdshow on?
     
  10. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    I quite like PowerDVD XP from Cyberlink, and DVD Region-free from DVDIdle.com. They seem to work reliably. But I may be missing out on something quality-wise - not sure.
     
  11. philipb

    philipb
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    Its dangerous trying to generalise - given the range of kit in use. all I can say is that on my set up Theatertek goes from excellent PQ without Ffdshow to awesome with it. Noticeable improvement - better defined, sharper, clearer. Detail levels are higher.

    Ffdshow has a ton of things you can adjust - start with the settings recommended in the guide on the theatertek support forum and go from there.

    IMHO Theatertek is the king of software players - the aspect ratio control and adjustments are alone almost worth the cost.

    Given that ffdshow is free it must be worth a try. If it doesn't work for you then don't use it.
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff
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    One problem with ffdshow is that the TT mpeg decoder is no where near as good in software only mode compared to DXVA on, in software mode it suffers from i-frame pulsing and CUE problems. No matter how good ffdshow is, it is still an artificial enhancement and to use it you have to start from a much compromised position.
     
  13. Underscore

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    Well, I used to have an HTPC and ran with ffdshow for a while on my LCD projector. The advantage (beyond the sharpening algorithms, which are a matter of individual taste) is, I believe, that Radeons use 4-bit fixed-point hardware to do the bicubic resize, whereas ffdshow use full floating point. Hence, using ffdshow to resize to a resolution where the horizontal and vertical resolutions are of the form n/16 from your display resolution results in better scaling than a Radeon used on its own.

    Personally, I did use a little sharpening, denoise, etc. and got a picture that, on most DVDs, I prefered to the non-ffdshow version. However, the lag introduced in the video relative to the audio annoyed me so I ended up going back to straight TheaterTek and, ultimately, a set-top player.

    _
     
  14. AVMADMAN

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    Thanks underscore for clearing that up
     
  15. mr_blah

    mr_blah
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    http://myhtpc.net/
     

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