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HTPC..Much better picture than anything else I've tried!

dekoded

Established Member
As you have probably noticed by my recent posts, I've just been converted to the way of the PJ :thumbsup:

After spending far too much money on various cables and far too much time tweaking with my setup I think I'm finally happy with the results (for now at least).

In my opinion at least, by far the most important factor is the source, I know that doesn't sound very surprising, but what I mean by that is forget about madly expensive cables and dvd-players, GET YOURSELF A HTPC !!

I have just built a quiet,easy to use and (relatively) cheap htpc. It's based on a shuttle xpc and cost about £300.
Even using a cheap analogue graphics card, GF4 MX420, the pictures I'm getting from the PC are MUCH better than from my pioneer dv565 player using component output and high quality cable.

I know my dvd player is hardly top of the range, but I don't even think a dvd player costing 3 times more would be alot better when compared to a PC.

I'm not trying to upset anyone with this post, I'm simply trying to explain how much better the PQ is from a cheap HTPC when compared to most dvd-players.
PS. Shuttle make a remote control for XPC's (PN31) which costs about £22, it's usb and doesn't need any drivers, after about an hour I was very good at using it!
 
K

Kahless725

Guest
Also
Spend another £220 on a sweetspot and you can use the HTPC to upscale SKY to projector image size using SKYs RGB output.

I love my HTPC as well :) Could not go back to sky straight in to the projector now


Robert
 
K

Kahless725

Guest
PS. Also when a new DVD player comes out it only cost about £30 to upgrade to it cos its all software (talking as somone who has spent arround £1500 in the past 5 years constantly upgrading my standallone DVD player)
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
Have to admit, just built my latest HTPC using MCE2005 and it's bloody fantastic! MCE2005 is a revelation, so easy to use with the remote, everything just works and seems very stable. I'm sure I could improve on the PQ by using Theatertek and FFDShow for dvds but the PQ is damn good anyway! High def stuff looks incredible and having no stutters whatsoever playing 1080 WMVHD stuff which is nice! Just need a media extender to get it looking nice on my TV now and that will finish things off nicely..

Cheers
Andy
 

Comer

Established Member
The hassle is definately worth the improvement in picture quality. It's so versatile, and the improvement of watching Sky through a TV card with dscaler is amazing
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
Yeah well since I'm using MCE2005 I don't think dscaler is an option. I'm using a Hauppage PVR150MCE at the moment and the picture is slightly soft I have to admit. To be honest tv viewing (on the projector at least) isn't my main priority with the HTPC and I'm sure once I get a media extender that TV through MCE will look just fine anyway as it will be on a 36" TV instead of the projector.

Andy
 

drummerjohn

Prominent Member
I have to agree with zAndy1. MCE05 floats my boat with the Nvidia codecs. I've been through most things over the last 3-4 years and this is as good as Ive seen and so easy. Even the wifey can do it.
 

KraGorn

Established Member
drummerjohn said:
Even the wifey can do it.
I presume she doesn't read this board .. otherwise you may go without later today. ;)

IMHO though a PC is the least convenient method of playing DVDs even when using something friendly like MCE ... which of course precludes using processing software which IMX is where the PC really scores in terms of PQ.
 

dekoded

Established Member
hmm ffdshow, I did stumble across it whilst looking for software options, from what I could tell it is some kind of codec with adjustable filters.
Looking at your replies I assume that it's pretty good then :D

By the way, I'm no stranger to PC's, in fact I provide a service to help people rescue their PC's !
http://www.rescuemypc.co.uk/

and host a wireless hotspot
http://www.blackpool-wlan.co.uk/

But when it comes to HTPC's I'm a noob, although luckily I've been a silent PC freak for years, and have spent quite a bit of time making PC's as quiet as possible (for as little cost as possible) which is at least half the problem solved :thumbsup:
Just a few simple mods later and my shuttle xpc is now virtually silent, if anyone want's ideas to get make theirs quiet let me know.

Maybe I should have posted this in the pc forum?
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Hi Johnnie,

How about a little web-space for making silent PCs? We can then point to it if someone new needs some ideas. Plus, you migh thave something no-one has tried before. Visuals can be more helpful than trying to explain stuff on here. :)

Gary.
 

KraGorn

Established Member
Johnnie:

Take a look in the HTPC forum, lots of discussion there about FFDSHOW .. to get you started have a read of this FFDSHOW 'how to', that's what convinced me to give it a go, it was the first n00b's guide to using it, everything I'd read up till that point was utterly impenetrable, and like you I've umpteen years experience of PCs and other beats.
 
P

Pete Delaney

Guest
:thumbsup: I am very pleased that I came across this thread!! :clap: I had given up on HCPC as I could not get 960*540 res to run properly. However, I have had a new monitor since xmas so I thought I would try again. No problems achieving the new res and therefore 1:1 mapping on my Z1. I have now ordered some more cables from Andy at TVCables as since a change of address my PC is in a different room (obviously). I did a download of T2 in 1080p on WMHD and showed it to the missus. We were both impressed by the clarity of the image, no noise or artifacts of any kind and a crystal clear picture :)

Looks like my PC is going to be running my projector now (including DVDs). So thanks again for putting the thought into my head and thanks to my new Benq 17" 12ns response time monitor!!!!
 

dekoded

Established Member
I have just written a basic guide to my HTPC building efforts in the
'Entertainment PCs & Computer hardware' forum.
I hope I've not been too patronising, I would just like to help anyone who has little PC knowledge, and because the shuttle PC's are cheap, easy to build and look great I think if people realise how easy it is to make them quiet and use them via remote control, they would be much happier putting one under their TV Iin their living room!
 

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