HTPC newbie questions

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Dodgey, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. Dodgey

    Dodgey
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    Hi all. My dvd player has packed up. I have a very quiet, nice new PC (P4 1.9, 256Mb, Geforce 3 2000Ti, Creative Labs Audigy with digital output etc) and am thinking of going the HTPC route as I have a Projector on the way as well and would like to use Dscaler.

    A couple of questions...

    Best dvd software?
    I need powerstrip?
    I take it you can get extra long fibre optic leads to send the audio to my hi-fi system?
    I know my sound car can do DD streaming, will I need other software for DTS decoding? - or do i leave that all to my hi-fi AMP.

    Don't worry about explaining too much . I know my stuff normall, and am happy to read faqs etc.

    Thanks

    Roger
     
  2. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Hi Dodgey
    You'll probably find more answers from doing a search but here's my 2 cents worth.

    Best software for me is TheaterTek
    The best freely available one that worked without too much fuss for me was PowerDVD 4. However TT looks slightly better and has a less computery feel.
    If you don't mind fiddling than you might like zoomplayer with ati 5 video filters. I've not tried it but reports are good.

    Powerstrip is probably needed but it depends on your projector. If you have a fixed panel pj with a common resolution (800x600 or 1024x768) that only likes 60Hz then you could probably get away without it. If you have a crt pj then you definitely need it.

    For long lengths I'm not sure whether coax or toslink is better. Your Audigy might do both so you should find out which cable is best over long runs (both are possible)

    Leave all decoding to the amp - it'll do a better job. This might even be the case for stereo depending on the quality of your card.

    Hope that helps
    Alex
     
  3. NickBull

    NickBull
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    Theatre tek is quite pricey, so you need to be sure your serious about it before committing I'd say. You can order a copy and then request a refucnd after the 7 day trial but you lose the shipping $16 about.

    Can download WinDVD, and it's pretty good, not tried Power DVD but I have heared it's got the edge out of the two. I assume a downloadable trial version is available.

    Definately let the amp Decode, and don't pay extra for DTS upgrades on any software DVD player, the DTS bitstream will be passed through the S/PDIF on your sound card whatever, the DTS upgrades are just to output the decoded stream to the 5.1 outputs on the card.

    Powerstrip is handy for tweaking the refresh rtes, you may find that 48hz and 50 hz for NTSC and PAL work better for smother pans and motion, but if you're sensitive to flicker the higher the refresh rate the better.

    Also if you want to play R1 and R2 discs you will need DVDGENI or Region Killer and you may also have to FLASH the DVD rom to allow it to be changed more than the standard 5 times.

    I think most links can be found on this forum as I don't know them off the top of my head.

    Nick
     
  4. Dodgey

    Dodgey
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    Thanks to both of you. Between you you have answered all I need for the moment!

    Soon as the Panny PJ turns up I'll be playing :)

    Thanks again
    Roger
     

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