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HTPC or Desktop


Established Member
I'm struggling to keep up to date with what's out there as I've not upgraded in 6 years.

I'm interested in an HTPC or a Desktop that can be used in this way. I currently just run a cable from the desktop to the tv for watching movies but would like to have better HD options and a decent media interface.

I've a few questions I'm hoping someone can help me with around HTPC.

I occasionally do some programming from home - mostly .NET / Microsoft suite. Any drawbacks to doing this on a HTPC build?
I would like to retain my current monitor to allow for surfing while the TV occupied - any drawbacks to duel display? Can sound be split between the two sources?
Is there anything else I should be considering?

Any pointers appreciated. thanks


Established Member
A htpc is basically a desktop in a different case but there are some things to consider..

Sound can be split easily through y leads or other ways. I use my digital out for cinema use and analogue for pc use.

Duel displays work perfectly for most things but wont for hd material, so you have to remove the desktop from windows to do this, although anyhddvd may cover this I dont know.

Otherwise as I said its plain sailing..


You can use dual display with HD, but you can only watch HD from the primary display. So, for instance, if you want to watch an HD movie while surfing the net, you can do this by watching the movie on the primary display and doing the websurfing on the secondary, this will work fine.

Just bear in mind if your CPU is handling all HD decoding you may find doing other tasks quite slow as HD is very CPU-intensive. If you plan on doing other tasks on the HTPC while watching HD then you're best getting a graphics card that supports HD hardware acceleration, this will free up your CPU for other tasks.

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