Newbie question

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by treadstone1, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. treadstone1

    treadstone1
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to HTPC so I'm looking for some help. I wanted to know how I can get started on watching Hi Def on my pc. My hardware list is as follows:
    3.2 gig processor..P4
    1 gig of ram
    toshiba dvd rom SD m1802
    ATI 9800 pro 128 meg ram
    22" nec fp1350 monitor
    winxp professional
    I believe the rig I have right now would be enough to play 720p at least. Do I need to download certain software? Any advice to help me get started would be great. Thank you. :thumbsup:
     
  2. aligebes

    aligebes
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    You can play Hi Def now, I can play HDTV files on my Athlon2500xp(333fsb) and that only has a Geforce FX5200 card. On my system though, It does not like HDTV playback if there are other programs running.

    I use VLC which you can get from www.versiontracker.com/windows and I can watch Euro1080 which is a HiDef TV channel being broadcast from the Astra Sat at 19.2e.

    I plan on upgrading my processor, ram and graphics card for more stability soon. You don't mention what size HD you have, you will need a big drive if you use the HDTV newsgroup.

    Is this what you mean by starting to watch HiDef? I reread your post, but could not decide if you meant watching HiDef TV or just HiDef file playback.

    Hope at least some of this helps.
     
  3. treadstone1

    treadstone1
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    :oops: I should have been more specific. I'm interested in watching dvd's and video clips in hd. Here's another question. Does the dvd/video clip need to be formatted in hd resolution? :confused:
     
  4. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    The source has to be encoded in Hi Def. Upscaling normal DVD won't increase the resolution, so there's no benefit to be had.

    Currently there are only a few pukka HD DVDs, and other than the R1 T2 Extreme, they're documentaries or similar. There's quite a bit of recoreded HD material which has been recorded from American transmissions, but they have to be downloaded from various binary sites or newsgroups.

    Is that what you meant or have I misinterpreted what you said?

    Gary.
     
  5. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    If I can add some small additions to the comments above. :)

    There are 2 basic formats in which HiDef material can be found:

    1) Files in Windows Media Format (WMV) such as the T2 Extreme movie Gary mentioned. Those require you to have the Media Player 9 codecs, which XP Pro has. They also need a hefty CPU (there are no video cards with WM9 support yet), yours will be fine. There are no commercially available theatrical movies in this format outside America AFAIK, the T2 version required an internet phone-home to obtain a license and these weren't given out to non-US customers IIRC.

    2) Files like those mentioned by aligebes. Usually with a .TS file extension, these are usually (and if of commerical movies invariably) illegal recordings of off-air broadcasts by HBO and others regularly posted in Usenet, P2P networks etc. These are uncompressed AFAIK, HUGE files .. the FoTR:EE for example is 15Gb ;) .. and require something like VLC Player aligebes mentioned, or WinDVD version 6 to play them. These require far less CPU power. .TS files can be in 1280x720p or 1920x1080i typically.

    In the future there'll be two incompatible DVD formats, HD-DVD and BluRay, currently still very much work-in-progress and not to be seen till next year, it's too early to know hardware requirements for those.
     
  6. aligebes

    aligebes
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    For some strange reason, I seemed to think FoTR:EE was a lot bigger than 15gig!! I've got The Matrix and that's about 12 gig. I've no idea why I thought that.

    Currently as mentioned you can not get HD films here yet, so If you really wanted to view HiDef TV, you would require a Sat Dish pointed at the Old Analogue SKY sat, I still had mine up on the wall!! a PC Sat card, Card module and Euro1080 card, the channel encrypts 1st Sept. Check out the HiDEF forum for more about this.
     
  7. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    The 1080i version is 18Gb. ;)

    'Fraid I can't help about sat. I don't have it and no plans to do so at present, the sat. forum would be the place, as you say.
     
  8. dsp fan

    dsp fan
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    out of interest and this maybe a stupid question but how do you string together a bunch of .ts files so they play sequentially??

    I have a demo disk which has 20 .ts files on it and i can play them individually or am i missing something ??

    thanks, DVDs are a lot simpler i think.
     

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