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just how good?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by dts_boy, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. dts_boy

    dts_boy
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    i am looking towrads a HTPC and am wondering how would it compare to an arcam dv27 running to a denon ac a1se with a sim2 ht300? i guess the picture will be better on the pc but what about sound? having never heard/seen one running am a bit dubious. i am reasonably literate with pcs but have been told there is lots of tweaking everytime you put in a disc. can someone put me right with REAL facts rather than C**P that salesmen tell me when tryin to sell me something!:confused:
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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    There is no doubt that a HTPC can match or exceed anything else on the market. Neither picture or sound quality is an issue. Put to one side anything you currently know about PCs and do a lot of reading (The HTPC forum at AVScience being a good start). With a PC it will be as good or as bad as you make it. Choice of components and configuration are crucial. With something like the Arcam you know what you are getting.

    Jeff
     
  3. dts_boy

    dts_boy
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    i have downloaded and intalled dscaler and it won't work. i have a geforce 3 at the moment (my all in wonder radeon 8500dv hasn't arrived yet!) and as far as i can tell, i need a tuner card? is this right, if so, just a tv tuner card?

    thanks in advance!
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff
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    For DScaler you need a TV card based on the bt8x8 chip. The IDS Falcon is a very good card, but its not cheap at around £185. You can get cheaper cards from the likes of Hauppauge, ATI and Pinnacle.
     
  5. Shockabuku

    Shockabuku
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    Hi dts_boy. I was a little worried about the sound side of things when I built my HCPC too. Being from a hi-fi background, I was rather sceptical that a PC could generate a decent sound, what with all that EMI & RF floating around the case.

    Well, I'm now using the HCPC exclusively for both movies and music (I rip CDs onto the HD using lossless compression). The sound quality is very good, the only weakness being a slight amount of background hiss (the PC is doing all the pre-processing too - the hiss would be eliminated if you were feeding a digital signal out of the PC), though this is not audible from the listening position, even in the quiet bits. I'm using pretty decent kit...Cyrus power amps & Sonus Faber speakers, which are very intolerant of a bad feed. I've just taken the final plunge & sold my Musical Fidelity X-Ray CD player...basically, I'm a total PC convert. Do make sure you buy a good sound card though...I have the M-Audio Delta 410, for example.

    Save the dosh & build a HCPC! :D
     
  6. dts_boy

    dts_boy
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    how much should i be looking at, i am gonna do it a bit at a time, but i was thinking in the lines of around £150-200 if its worth the extra. what do you reccomend?
    i have/on the way at the moment:

    P4 1.5 ghz cpu
    512mb pc800 rdram
    60ide hdd (seagate, i think!)
    ati all in wonder 8500 dv graphics
    Asus p4t -m
    this has on-board sound and nic, but am open to suugestions on soundcard.
    d scaler software

    thanks for the help guys!
     
  7. Shockabuku

    Shockabuku
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    The M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 can be had for £150 online here. If you're planning on passing the digital signal to an offboard processor/amp, then this card is a good choice. If you want to do the pre-processing on the PC, then the Delta 410 (a bit more dosh) is a good bet, particularly as the new drivers provide bass management etc.

    For most people, the Audiophile is the one to get. It's worth noting that the M-Audio cards have minimal game support. If your HCPC will also be used to play games, you'll probably have to use something like an Audigy or similar, but you'll be compromising on sound quality. Depends on your priorities really.
     

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