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Htpc

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Quietman, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Quietman

    Quietman
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    Hi,

    Im planning getting rid of my TV, and using a LCD TV instead, but i also want to use it as a monitor. Im also getting a AV receiver to connect to my Audigy soundcard, and i will be getting speakers for the surround system.
    Im gonna be using the system to play DVDs and games, i know that i cant get 5.1 using a digital connection from av to soundcard, so i will be using analogue.
    Is there any noticable difference between the two?

    Can anyone recomend a good LCD TV which i can connect to my PC, obviously it has got to have a low response time(i play counter strike etc).

    Would some people not recomend having a TV as a monitor, would i be better off keeping them seperate?
    The problem is i want 5.1 for my movies and my games, so i need the tv and monitor in the centre of the room, obviously i cant do both.
    I cant really see anyway around this.

    I would really appreciate any advice on this.

    Cheers
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Why can't you use the digital connection? Analogue will work fine but you'll need more wires. Which is best will come down to whether the DAC in your AV amp is better than the one on your audigy. I don't have an audigy so can't really comment but I'm not sure why you couldn't use the digital out if you wanted to.

    As far as a TV goes, do you need it to have a tuner or will the HTPC be supplying the TV picture as well? If the latter then you could get something like a Dell 20" TFT for about 385 quid delivered at the moment, just ordered one myself having read great things about them. From the LCD TVs that I've looked at it seems you have to spend a bit more and their performance as monitors suffers a bit (much lower resolutions compared to straight monitor TFTs).

    HTH
    owain
     
  3. Quietman

    Quietman
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    Hi,

    According to Creative their cards will only output a 2 channel stereo signal if using the digital out, but will output a multichannel signal when using analogue.

    With regard to the Montitor, are TV tuners any good? I mean i suppose they work, its just ive never seen one in action.

    I know what ur saying about the LCD, alot of the decent ones seem to be quite pricey, and determining the response time is nigh on impossible.

    Another idea is having the TV and monitor next to each other, but then im not in the centre of the room, so obviously one side of the speakers will be nearer to me, would i notice this alot?

    Thanks for help
    Im taking my time on this, i want to get it right, so im gonna look at every possible idea.
     
  4. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Which Audigy card do you have? Might be worth looking at getting something different if it can't output DD/DTS via its digital output, I know you can get a cheap philips card which will do that job for less than 30 quid.

    As for TV tuners there are a few different ways you could go. You can get a freeview card such as the nebula (www.nebula-electronics.co.uk) which will give you crystal clear, high qulaity TV for about 100 quid (sorry still in america at the moment so no pound sign!). If you watch sky you can get a capture card for between 25 and 100 quid which will take the output from the sky box and display it, scaled on your monitor. Let us know a bit more about your proposed setup (what TV you watch, how much, sky?, freeview?) and I can probably be a bit more specific.

    owain
     
  5. Quietman

    Quietman
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    I have the Audigy 2, but apparantly they are all the same, i think they do the movies in 5.1 but not the games(where applicable). Im used to having surround in games so i couldnt do without that.

    That DigiTV looks quite cool, the only thing is i would have the pc on all the time to watch TV, doesnt matter i suppose its just a strange thought :)

    One problem with it maybe if the pc goes wrong i will have no TV at all.

    I cant get freeview where i am, and i dont have sky, maybe in the future though.
    I have to make do with the basic 4 channels.

    Im trying to make the best outa my room, its not a bad size(10ft x 12ft), so i have room for plenty of things.
     
  6. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Right, understand a bit better now. I thought you meant there was a problem passing DD/DTS from DVDs to your amp via the digital out on the audigy. didn't realise you meant games. they're not my strong point I'm afraid (tend to stick to my xbox for them), maybe someone else knows if theres a way round this or if you'll have to use analogue.

    The DigiTV is great (I've had one for a while now) but if you can't get freeview in your area it won't be much use I'm afraid. Might be worth checking back with this website: http://www.freeview.co.uk/canireceivefreeview/index.html if you haven't had a look in a while, they are supposed to be increasing the coverage all the time.

    If you really are just stuck with the four analogue terrestrial channels then I'd suggest looking for a packard bell PCTV100. These are simple TV tuners with a very good Svideo capture input (in case you want to add sky at a later date). They can be bought for about 30quid so won't break the bank and give a decent picture if fed with a good quality signal.

    I have my HTPC on 24/7 at home (although its had a bit of a rest for the past 3 months while I've been living in america), I suppose it uses a bit of electricity but it is much more convenient to have ready to go whenever I need it.

    HTH
    owain
     
  7. Quietman

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    I saw another post which would solve my multichannel sound to the reciever problem for games
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199447

    Ill have a think about the PCTV100, theres no rush so im gonna spend a while deciding.
    Ive gotta decide which TV/Monitor i need aswell as a receiver and speakers.
    Too much to think about! :)

    I appreciate u taking the time to give me advice on this.

    Many thanks
     
  8. lisag

    lisag
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    Hi,

    Just want to suggest a couple of things... firstly (a bit obviously) why not have Windows MCE, this will take care of your tv, dvd, music, photos and be a PVR..... this means that you can buy a tft monitor with a fast response time and with a decent graphics card can play games too.

    Bit puzzled about the sound issue, seems odd as if you have an AV amp you really just want to passthru the audio untouched so the amp gets the pure signal - I would have thought?. Seems a bit of a waste of a quality soundcard.

    I just use spdif out on my nforce2 motherboard and my amp automatically detects if the sound is AC3 / DTS / Stereo, whatever and processes it accordingly. I do use the AC3 filter software (free), and make sure all the sound settings are set to spdif passthru.

    lisa
     
  9. Quietman

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    Ill have a look into the Windows MCE option.

    With regard to the sound, creative cards cant output a multichannel signal for games when connected to the digital connection, it works for DVDs only.

    Thanks
     

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