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HTPC or Domestic DVD

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by (GTV)Chris, May 23, 2002.

  1. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    What benefits does an HTPC have over a prog scan DVD?
    I am seriously considering it but I am clueless as to which kit to buy on a budget.
    Bear in mind that I was going to go for the Tosh 510E!
    It would have to equal this for performance.
    Would I be able to put SKY thru the PC?

    Cheers

    Chris
     
  2. reefer

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    Hiya,

    The HCPC feeds your projector with its native resolution, at optimum refresh and generally using dscaler software its better than any dvd player. Building one myself shortly. People seem to go for the Radeon cards.

    Yes you can also input sky or laser disc etc by the use of a capture card so then running it through your dscaler again it gets progressive so improving the pic, plus you can endlessly figgle wiv da pic setting & use tons of software filters!

    Oh, one extra dvd donus is you get to access all those dvd rom fings on the dvd too!

    Cheers:D

    edit: forgot to add that you get the progressive 3:2 pulldown (NTSC) and 2:2 pulldown (PAL) in dscaler.... try finding a dvd player that does all that :eek:
     
  3. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Chris,

    The best image for DVD is via an htpc. You can also use a tv capture card such as the WinTV Go or PCTV Rave card and use DScaler software and play your standalone DVD player through it. If you get a good image that way, then that's probably the most user friendly way to do it.

    For a cheap htpc, use these components:

    ECS K7S5A mobo £51
    Duron 950 £36
    fan £4 (£19.50)
    memory 128 100 £17.34
    case £18 (£16.45)
    floppy £7
    HDD £49 (26)
    DVD £36 (multiregion)
    Radeon VE 32meg £36 (64ddr £10)
    KB/Mouse £4.50
    SB 4.1 £24
    Optional capture card £35

    All prices are from ebuyer.com, and you have to add the bracketed price for a quietpc (except in the case of the Radeon, which I added just for the sake of it).

    A pc's vga output is progressive anyway, but the added advantage of the pc is its' ability to scale the image to how and where you want it to be on the screen. With a standalone player it's fixed.

    HTH

    Gary.
     
  4. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    Excellent.
    I think I may go for the PC option.
    Will I need a specific sound card or DVD player to output both Dolby Digital and DTS sound?
    Will I need a monitor or will a mouse and the projector suffice. Also, What software will I need for it, I have heard of power strip.
    I need to get it correct....as I have been saving up for a home theatre for ages..
    I'm like a silly excited school boy waiting for Christmas :blush:

    Thanks for all your help.

    Chris
     
  5. Timh

    Timh
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    You dont say which display device you will be using, you will only usually benefit from using a HTPC with a Front projector or Plasma display.
    Hers a link to recommendations on this forum click
     
  6. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    I will be using the PTAE100 front projection.
    Building a pc is going to be a little more expensive but if the results are far better then I won't moan too much about the cost.
     
  7. Timh

    Timh
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    AE100 :) great PJ if keeps running ;) I must add you to the owners list.
    I use the Toshiba 510 with the AE100, it gives very good results with region 1 with progressive scan, its also pretty good with r2 and interlaced, but when I briefly set my PC up with powerstrip and wide480, I immedietly saw what I was missing, no video processing was visible like when using a dvd player like the 510.
    I will soon be upgrading my pc to run for dvd playback and then maybe routing Sky through a tv card.

    no video processing is visible :) because you are using the scaler built into the computer instead of the scaler in the projector.
    Hence great image through the vga port which uses the computers scaler. Then again there should not be any scaling when the pc is set to wide480 :confused:
     
  8. Kramer

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    Yep, HTPC is the way to go.

    You'll get great pics very easily, but you should be aware of the time & tweaking required to maximise it.

    You should have at least a reasonable understanding/working knowledge of, PC software.

    It's no where near the simplicity of a stand alone DVD player, but, as Tim has said, infinitely better, particularly on DLP/LCD PJs, especially the AE-100.

    You'll find plenty of help here, with most willing to offer advice & details of their experiences ;)

    Guaranteed, you'll be like a kid on Christmas morning when you finally get it where you want it.

    Me, not there yet, &, if truth be told, probably never will, but I must say, when people come to see my set up, I take as much enjoyment from watching their faces, as the PJ on it's own provides :D :D

    Enjoy!
     
  9. Guest

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    What DVD playback software are people using that is stable? I'm using TT and it's not stable for me at all and is making me want to go back to a standalone player! Are people finding TT stable and trouble free (ie is it my configuration) or would I be better using WIN DVD (is the latest version any good?).

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  10. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    TT gives excellent picture quality and has other features built in.

    WinDVD works great for me on everything, but the the picture quality isn't as good. It's close using harware acceleration, but the ATI player (5) gives excellent images. The sound seems to be a bit dubious.

    I'm Using WinDVD 2.6, but upgraded the sound to 2.8 by renaming the video filter, installing 2.8 then removing the new (2.8) video filter and renaming the older filter back. Works better for DD/DTS playback in Zoom player. I use Zoom with the ATI video filters and WinDVD audio.

    Have you tried a completely new install from scratch?

    My htpc was just a bare bones install so there are no conflicts etc by having more programs than I need. I got the system running with all the necessary components and then made a ghost image. If anything I do later goess wrong, I just format and ghost it back.

    Gary.
     
  11. Dangerous

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    Andy
    I'm using PowerDVD XP which seems to work fine most of the time. If I mess about with the controls it will sometimes crash the pc but on the whole I don't have any problems. My OS is Windows ME.
    Dave
     
  12. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    Will a normal DVD rom drive output DTS?
    Or is it the soundcard I need to worry about.
    I like the sound of the Radeon All in One card...is this a good choice over the Geforce 2. Considering putting my SKY thru it.
    C
     
  13. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    You will need a sound card that is capable of outputting the digital data via spdiff or optical.

    The Soundblaster 4.1 and 5.1 range are able to do this, but there were some problems with the 5.1 range I believe - not tried them myself, so I can't comment. Someone on this forum is using the 4.1 with good results, so that seems to work.

    There are other cards which will dio the job such as the Fortissimo (not sure which model) but others here can point you in the right direction.

    The Radeon is the best card for DVD (I'm using a Radeon VE), but if you want to put an external source through the PC and get a good de-interlaced and progressive signal, then you need a tv or capture card that uses the Connextant BT8x8 chipset, along with a free piece of de-interlacing software called DScaler. This will give you the best results for watching an external source on your projector.

    I don't think the All in Wonder uses this chipset, so although you will be able to watch external sources, the line structure will be evident in the picture.

    HTH

    Gary.
     

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