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noob htpc questions


Standard Member
I currently have a wdtv live connected to my my panny th50pz80, which is fantastic, but am looking for something I can connect to the internet with, and that has inbuilt storage so I don't have to hook up my media portable hdd's every time I want to play a film.

My main pc is connected to a 42" samsung in another room, a PS42B451, via an ati radeon hd 4550 through hdmi.

Whenever I play media on it (wmp, vlc player) the quality is rubbish compared to, if I play the same files through the wdtv on my panny.
Granted, the panny is a much better tv, but I presume the wdtv live is doing a great job with the media, and the hd4550 isn't.

This leads to my first/ main question, just how good a graphics card do I need for playing media through a HTPC?

I have an old system running xp with a sempron cpu. less than a gig of ram, would this be sufficient for a htpc which won't be downloading or converting media, or streaming it from another pc, it will only be used to store and play content?

That's it for now, but recommendation on cases, fans, cables, software and the like would be much appreciated to help me started on my project :smashin:


Active Member
The HD4550 should give you a decent image quality. I have an HD3200 and although my TV is only 720p, the image quality is quite nice. I'm playing my movies through PowerDVD10 (Blu-Ray ISO). Are you using standard windows codecs? On XP, you might have to look at some external codec packs.
RAM is definitely short, I'd say 2Gb of RAM would be minimum for good general behaviour on Windows. Sempron paired with the 4550 should be ok for media duties.

Hope this helps.


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