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Need Advice and Tips For A HTPC Please :)

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by nero0410, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. nero0410

    nero0410
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    First of all this is my system:

    • 120gb maxtor hdd
    • 256mb radeon 9600 pro graphics card
    • adsl broardband modem/router bt voyager 200
    • 1gb ddr pc 2700 333mhz memory
    • 3000+ 333mhz amd athlon xp processor
    • 5.1 dolby digital/dts surround sound card with optical in and out (SonicXplosion)
    • 8port mini Ethernet switch
    • msi tv@nywhere master card
    • Logitech Mx 700 cordless mouse
    • 16x duel layer dvd writer/re-writer (NEC)

    The programs I have installed for dvd playback are:
    dvd x player pro 3.0
    Power dvd 6
    and win dvd 7 (just bought this)

    1. I would like to try to get into using my pc for watching dvd movies (via a vga cable as I have no dvi on my projector) to my projector, which I know how to do but not sure what the best programs to use would be from the above.?

    2. I would also like to connect my pc up to my goodmans 32" crt tv for watching video files like real media etc....? (normal video connections)

    3. I would also like to know if there is anything more I should buy for my pc to increase audio/visual pleasure?

    4. What is the best way to connect my pc up to my av amp and why?? Would it be best to connect it with a optical cable (like I have at the moment with sp/dif) and let the av amp do all the sound processing, or, should I connect it with analog and get the pc/programs to process the sound for me??

    Any help, comments, advice and wisdom would be a great help. I have done a search but dont understand very much that I find.

    Please help

    EDIT: My amp is a 7.1 sony str-de697 and is connected to 7 speakers and a sub

    tris
     
  2. nero0410

    nero0410
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    I would also like to make it quieter. I have 2 fans in the bottom at the front, one in the side window, 2 more on the rear and an Aero 7 for the processor. And my pc runs at 45 in the warmer weather and around 30 in the colder weather.

    I run it almost all day and evening every day and evening. I would like to get rid of a few fans and still have it stay under 50 if i can

    EDIT: The box is located inside a computer cabinet with doors that are closed (like the ones in argos that look likt a box)

    tris
     
  3. nero0410

    nero0410
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    Any answers/advice??

    :lease:

    tris
     
  4. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Never really liked powerdvd myself. I use Theatertek 2 and find it head and shoulders the best software dvd player in terms of both quality and reliability.

    You could use an svid output from your graphics card to watch on your TV, it won't be great quality but then neither are real media files so shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    Get a fanless nvidia 6600, should be the best DVD quality you can get at the moment. Audio wise, I'm not familiar with your soundcard but something like an Maudio Revo 7.1 might be a good choice, if you're willing to spend more then have a look at RME HDSP 9632 and Lynx soundcards (£350-600 for multichannel but superb sound quality). These card connected via analogue outs to your sony should be better than using the DAC on your processor but theatertek doesn't currently support 7.1 (only 5.1) and the RME card will only do 5.1 (not sure about the Lynx).

    As far as silent cooling goes have a look at www.quietpc.co.uk and www.silentpcreview.com

    HTH
    owain
     
  5. nero0410

    nero0410
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    I would really like to find a software dvd player that supports 7.1

    Thats what I use at the moment an s-video cable, I was just wondering if another way would have been better?

    I cant afford to get another graphics card at the moment:(

    It would be quite a long time before I'd be able to afford to buy a sound card for that much :eek: , that's scarey

    I have seen a audigidy 2 and a couple of others, really I only wanna spend about 100 max on a sound card capable of 7.1.

    I could really do with an answer to question 4 too, anyone?

    tris
     
  6. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    In that case just get an MAudio Revo 7.1, they are about £80 new and do what you want. when you get one you can try out the analogue output compared to using digital into your amp, see which you prefer.
     
  7. mikeaitch

    mikeaitch
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  8. nero0410

    nero0410
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    I'll take a look, where's the best place to buy one? I had a look at ebuyer (which is where I usually buy my pc gear) but they dont have one. Any recommended uk sites?

    Thanks I'll take a look, do they work?

    Will there be a version of Theatertek that supports 6.1/7.1?? Where can I buy it?

    thanks for all this help and advice, it is greatly appriciated and needed. I dont want to go and buy somthing that isnt going to suit my needs

    tris
     
  9. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/Kustom_PCs_Shop_Sound_Cards_30.html have them for £77 but are out of stock. www.overclockers.co.uk also do them I think.

    I'm not sure if there are plans to make TT 6.1/7.1 but there's nothing stopping you using the digital output if you really need more channels for a particular film, suppose it depends on whether you find the analogue outs on the maudio significantly better than using the DACs in the Sony. Have a look at www.theatertek.com for more info.

    owain
     
  10. branny

    branny
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    Not in relation to one of your questions but I would change your DDR to 3200 (PC400) as this is normally the same price/cheaper and is a little more future proof. This is normally backward compatibile so don't worry if the Mobo says it don't accept PC 400.

    In terms of supplier, I always used to use ebuyer but I find Scan & Aria are just as cheap (and the Aria guys really know there stuff!!)

    Cheers
    Branny
     

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