New to HTPC - General advice

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Dodgey, May 3, 2002.

  1. Dodgey

    Dodgey
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    Hi all, I posted a similar question a wile ago, but it's been some time until now and I now have all the kit I need to go. Here's the question..

    I now have a Panny PTA100E , a PC (P41.6, Geforce 3 200ti, 512Mb, DVD, SB Audigy Platinum - the one with optical outs etc). Separate dts/dd surround hi-fi system). I'm going to get stuck into the HTPC side of things because it sound good and fun! I already have a component-out DVD player but I want to see how much better HTPC is. What I dont' really want to do is waste too much time using the wrong software. I'd like to glean knowledge from someone with a similar setup. What I want to know is...

    And bear in mind i intend only to use this for DVDs (not TV etc, that's what my tv is for!)

    1. PC to PJ connection - SVGA lead or S-Video? (I'm assuming SVGA)
    2. I guess I get a long optical lead and just run it from my SB optical output to my DD/DTS amp?
    3. Powerstrip sounds like a must
    4. Recommended DVD software (I can work out the hack bits)
    5. Dscaler? Worth it? Progresive scan sounds cool.
    6. I have a pioneer remote (came with the Audigy) and it looks like it will do the job.

    Any other things I have missed? (Noise is not an issue, the PC is an HP Vectra VL420 which seems to be the quietest I have ever come accross)

    Thanks in advance

    p.s. I'm very PC aware (IT manager, used to be programmer), so don't need too much spelt out, I'm just being lazy and don't want to go through too much trial and error - especially when it comes to spending money on leads and software! :)
     
  2. nutcase_1uk

    nutcase_1uk
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    One thing comes to mind. If you want the absoloute best output video output, then I'd consider changing the GF3 for a Radeon 7200.

    Yup, you want to use VGA output.

    As you'll be using external decoding for the audio (using the optical lead u mention), then I'd reccomend the Theatertek player.

    Dscaler is for use with TV tuner cards etc, as the DVD output is already scaled and progressive scan (de-interlaced).

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  3. Dodgey

    Dodgey
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    Thanks for the info!

    The dscaler bit is interesting. I take it that because the output is from a PC VGA port then it is de-interalced by default?

    With a regular dvd player you would have to make sure you had a progressive scan model? (after all, PS is the same as non-interlaced?)
     
  4. nutcase_1uk

    nutcase_1uk
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    Yup, that's about right.
     
  5. Pootle

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    If you are using the VGA connection from the card to the projector then it is progressive already. the detail of the DVD source changes depending on its origin - film, NTSC TV programme or PAL programme, but as long as your refresh rate on the PC is OK the player should sort it out OK
    I've found 100Hz best for PAL DVD's and 60 Hz for NTSC ones
     
  6. Dodgey

    Dodgey
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    OK, I have kind of got stuck at the powerstrip stage!

    Do I manually create a custom resolution for my Panny PJ. The closest to wide480 (which I'm assuming is the best res to go for) I can find is not quite a perfect match. I tried manually creating a res but did not touch anything else. My XP install went a horrible 4 bit 800x600, powerstrip refused to play and I had to remove the display adapter from the device manager, let it re-detect and put it back to my normal res!

    Touch confused!
     
  7. Timh

    Timh
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    To set powerstrip up for the AE100 go to the link at the bottom. Hoglet has done a full explanation on how to setup powerstrip for the AE100, its worth printing it off and following it step by step, I could not copy and paste his settings for power strip so I manualy inputted them.

    Good Luck

    here
     
  8. Dodgey

    Dodgey
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    Thanks Tim, you are a star. That's exactly what I'm looking for.

    p.s. Ran the Panny for the first time from my normal dvd player last night via s-video and that was already a huge improvement on my old data projector. What a difference it makes without the grey bars above and below the picture! And the colours are much more "real"

    Wicked
     
  9. Dodgey

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    Guys, can anyone tell me if the powerstrip settings (linked from above) work with a Geforce 3 2000Ti?

    I paste the settings into powerstrip, it insists on a reboot and then boots up in 4 bit colour 800x600 and I have to remove the display device and re-detect to get things back to normal. Powerstrip refuses to run saying there is a proplem with my primary dislplay device, until I revert all back to "normal"?

    Win XP pro by the way
     
  10. Timh

    Timh
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    This also happened to me with my Creative gforce 2 nvidia graphics card, but after downloading the latest nvidia drivers it worked alright.
    www.nvidia.com
     
  11. Dodgey

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    Thanks Tim. Am using the latest. Guess I'll have to run some diagnostics :(
     
  12. Dodgey

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    Just to let anyone know who has similar problems... i installed the latest version of PowerStrip last night and hey presto - 856x480 now works AOK!
     

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