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HTPC or Harman Kardon DVD25 ?? Dilemma!

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jumpt_upmunky, May 29, 2003.

  1. jumpt_upmunky

    jumpt_upmunky
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    Hi,
    I've got a panasonic ae100 projector.

    I've spent the last week in turmoil trying to decide which option to take.

    Option A
    buy HK DVD25 for £270 feed via component into the projector and make use of pal progressive.

    or

    Option B
    Build myself a HTPC based on the shuttle case (Slix model) and stick a decent radeon card in it. I've built a few pc's before so that's not a problem.

    I suppose my basic question is which will give better dvd playback picture quality?

    And I may be being stupid but does a HTPC give pal progressive playback?

    oh and if it makes a difference I watch mainly region 2 dvds.

    So any input would be most appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  2. sounddog

    sounddog
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    From what I understand (I've never built a HCPC) ...

    For ultimate picture quality ... a HTPC will win out over most DVD players.

    However ... with the HTPC ... you have to consider ease of controlling it, usually making it quiet enough to have running during quiet films, etc. Ultimately a good HTPC will cost you both time and considerably more than the HK DV25 player would.

    Its a balancing act of spending time and money on the HTPC ... vs ... the better picture quality you'll get.

    Vikki
     
  3. Branxx

    Branxx
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    I agree with sounddog. Picture quality via HTPC will be better, but it would cost more, Shuttle case is cooled by small and noisy fans. Consider using a different case.
     
  4. gallus23

    gallus23
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    But with a properly configured HCPC you can . . . .

    Listen to you Media Library of MP3's.
    View your Digital Photos, and PC games via the projector.
    PVR functionality via a suitable TV card.....
    Watch DIVX and other films tha you can download from the NET...

    and

    Do the DVD thing with Progessive Scan like images....

    Granted all this comes with a fair bit of tinkering and cash...
    but I know where my money is....
     
  5. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I think your definitive words were properly configured HTPC you can... but a lot of people think just bunging a DVD drive and a Radeon in a pretty case is sufficient.

    As to what you can do ... (1) prefer uncompressed CDs; (2) playing games on the HTPC isn't a good idea as you risk making the HTPC part unreliable (IMO); PVR fuctionality ... get a Tivo or Sky ... and a HTPC makes a DVR (like Sky) not a PVR; and I've never found a DiVX that was high enough quality to watch on a 32" ... let alone a projector.

    But as you say ... it's down to what you want and what effort you're prepared to make. Oh and you forgot that a HTPC can act as a very good scaler with addition of "DScaler".

    Vikki
     
  6. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    If you don't mind tweaking, and HTPC can be just as easy to use as a dvd player - I'm controling mine wiyh an old Samsung 709 remote control so it's just like using a normal dvd player.

    I'm very happy with my current setup using PowerDVD XP 4 which gives a smooth detailed image with less digital noise than the other players I've used previously.

    However, you may find that an htpc can bring out too much detail, and highlight any digital 'noise' in the image. Depending what software player you use, you may find the image a bit harsh in comparison to a good dvd player like the HK or Pioneer via component.

    I think you'll really need to see both in action so that you can decide.

    Gary.
     
  7. jumpt_upmunky

    jumpt_upmunky
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    thanks for the input guys.

    I've decided to get a radeon 9000 (non pro 128mb) card and stick it in my normal pc (XP, 512mb ram) and do a bit of work to quieten the bugger down! (comments welcome!)

    It's a duron 750, is that powerful enough? I watch divx and svcds on it (using powerstrip) and it seems more than capable. Would there be any benefits in doing any major upgrades?

    ...and get me the lovely HK DVD25!
     
  8. Dalwinder

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    You may wish to conside HUSH ITX PC which is as quiet as it gets (no fans)

    Hush ITX

    and it looks the part.

    I have been advised on the Progressive scan forum to use TheaterTek v1.5 software dvd player software. Apparently you will not even need to purchase any additional graphics cards.

    I was considering the same thing but I have heard some bad things about DVD playback stuttering on HCPC setups therefore I will probably buy the Philips 963sa dvd played.
     
  9. theritz

    theritz
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    Mini-itx is a very interesting platform, but not suitable for mainstream hcpc (if such a thing exists) because for lack of expandability - one PCI slot, (2 PCI using riser), no AGP, very limiting in terms of graphics card access (think you can get a limited range of Radeons in PCI, but then limited to PCI bus speed, little/no upgrade path), dependent on onboard sound, and limited processing power - no way to deal with HD or WM9 stuff. Definitely wouldn't invest in this - it's more "boutique" kit, imo. (no facility for capture card...... the list goes on....)


    It depends on what graphics card you've already got..... The graphics card is the bit that does the scaling - outputting the picture at a resolution which is a perfect match for the panel size in your projector, or at the optimium resolution and frequency for a CRT, so it is, imo, critical for a hcpc. There's also the issue of using hardware acceleration with the software player, so the graphics card is important both from a quantitative and qualitative respect.

    Radeon rules !!

    As for hcpc to the AE100 1:1 pixel matched (856x480), you should be pleasantly surprised................... Duron should be ok, use hardware acceleration to get the Radeon to do some of the work.



    All the best,


    Sean G.
     
  10. Dalwinder

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    I was considering to use the SigmaDesigns XCard to handle the mpeg 1/2 and Divx decoding in hardware leaving the processor free.

    If I was to build a HCPC them I would not want a huge ugly noisey pc sitting next to rest of my AV equipment. I have a another general use PC which has all the expanability room I need
     

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