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Newbie Needs Help!

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by EddyHorn, Aug 20, 2001.

  1. EddyHorn

    EddyHorn
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    I will be moving house shortly and will be setting up a dedicated HC room.

    Just a quick question to start with, I have an LCD projector with a resolution of 800x600, will I benefit from using a HCPC instead of my standalone player?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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    The trick is to use the projectors native resolution, so yes a HCPC will help. My HCPC is connected to a Loewe Aconda TV (VGA enabled) and only runs at 848x480. As well as using the maximum resolution of your projector it also allows you to select the optimum refresh rate which is 72Hz for NTSC and 75Hz for PAL. Beware that creating a very good HCPC is very difficult even for those who have been building PCs for years.

    Jeff
     
  3. EddyHorn

    EddyHorn
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    Thanks for the quick answer, it looks like I will be going down the HCPC route then.

    You mention that it is difficult to put together a HCPC, what are the things to look out for? I have built PC's before but would like some advice on the exact spec. Below is what I have in mind:

    Athlon 1.4Ghz<br />256mb<br />40Gb 7200rpm HD<br />Hitachi DVD drive

    As for the graphics card I was thinking of the Radeon 32mb ATI all in wonder as it offers DVD playback as well as inputs so that HD recording can be carried out. Would this card also be suitable for scaling. In an earlier post I noticed that someone warned against this card. If this card is not suitable would the radeon 32mb DDR be a better choice. If so what card could I use for scaling and HD recording of TV progs?

    Also should I pay the extra for a DDR motherboad and RAM?

    Sorry for all the questions at once but I want to make sure I get it right.

    Thanks,
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff
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    My advice for HCPC setups is to stay clear of AMD solutions, it could work out but you are much more likely to run into problems. A Intel PIII 1GHz and an Intel 815 chipset motherboard like the ASUS CUSL2 would be an excellent choice for HCPC. BTW if someone asked me to spec a games machine I would go AMD all the way. Any of the Radeons would be a good choice except the VE and the AIW. I had the AIW for about a week before I set it back, I hate this card. For sound cards the M-Audio Audiophile or the Terratec EWX 24/96 are very good, if you only have a low range amp a cheap Sound Blaster Live 5.1 would do. For HD TV recording I'm not too happy with some of the current solutions, but if you want to feed TV, Sky, cable, VCR etc though the PC so that it can scale and deinterlace to 800x600 you will need a bt8X8 based capture card such as WinTV or ATI TV Wonder. The main problem with these cards is video noise and general lack of quality, much better cards are the IDS Falcon and a Zoltyrix TV card modded by a guy called Ken who lives in Canada! Even these cards probably don't guarantee great results, but at least you stand a much better chance. The program that you use with these cards is DScaler, which I believe now has HD recording facilities but I haven't checked it out yet. The results a good Dscaler setup can give you are very good indeed and should be a match for some fairly expensive standalone scalers. The best advise I can give you is that the PSU is VERY important in HCPC applications and you should get the best one you can. Examples of good PSUs are Evermax and PowerPCCooling, don't be afraid to go for 400W+.

    Jeff
     
  5. EddyHorn

    EddyHorn
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    Thanks again for the quick response. Is a PIII 1GHz the minimum spec proessor I should go for or would a Celeron 900MHz but suitable as there is quite a step in price between the two? The HCPC is to be used for HC only and will not be used for games or music etc.

    I have a Yamaha A1 amp so require a card that can output DD/DTS 5.1 through a coax connection. What card would you recommend for this?

    Also are there any particular suppliers that you would recommend for the parts?

    Thanks,
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    DSCaler is starting to get quite CPU hungry, I wouldn't go too low. I'm not sure about the current Celerons but a PIII 850 would be fine. I buy most things from <a href="http://www.dabs.com," target="_blank">www.dabs.com,</a> but you might find cheaper, a good site to check prices is <a href="http://www.pricewatch.co.uk" target="_blank">www.pricewatch.co.uk</a> For the PSU <a href="http://www.overclockers.co.uk" target="_blank">www.overclockers.co.uk</a> sell Evermax PSUs. For the sound card I would recommend the M-Audio Audiophile (Terratec EWX is Toslink), you can buy it here <a href="http://www.makingwavesaudio.co.uk/comps/soundcards/audiophile.htm" target="_blank">http://www.makingwavesaudio.co.uk/comps/soundcards/audiophile.htm</a> if your worried about the price a bod standard Sound blaster 5.1 will do, you will need a mono RCA - mini jack converter which you can buy from rswww.com.

    Jeff
     

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