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PC Home Theatre

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Sgt.Colon, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. Sgt.Colon

    Sgt.Colon
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    I was just wondering. Why you choose to use your PC for home theatre instead of just a TV and DVD player? :)
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
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    Mostly for ultimate picture quality on your projector or plasma display. Advantage lost if you use a conventional TV
     
  3. Sgt.Colon

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    OK thanks MAW :)
     
  4. Desmo

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    But it doesn't end there. Although the use of the PJ is the main answer there are many things you can do with an HTPC.

    I've not yet got a PJ and just use my 32" Widescreen. The reason I use one is for HD recording of TV, MP3 jukebox and ripping my DVD's to HD for a DVD jukebox.
     
  5. MAW

    MAW
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    Desmo, you are obviously born to tweak! And you must have the largest HDD in the world. I use mine as a tivo, of course, but I have never had much success with displaying on TV. I'm looking at getting a large LCD panel to stick on the wall for that reason, not to mention how cool they look! Just trying to decide what I can sell to pay for it. The Jota finally had to go for the projector.
     
  6. Desmo

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    Yeah, I've been tweaking all my life :)
    I'll hopefully be buying a PJ when I move into a house I'm currently buying so it's not a complete waste of time. As for the HD side of things, I've only got 260gig of space so it's enough to keep a few thousand MP3's and approx 30 of my fave DVD's. You don't need loads of space unless you are going to put on your whole collection which I think is pointless.

    My TV recording isn't as good as I'd like though is still as good as, if not better, than a VHS recording. This is more down to the el-cheapo capture card I've got but it's fine for the sort of stuff I want to record.

    I'm also after a flat screen for the HTPC. My brother in law is getting hold of a 15" one for me FOC :)

    As for the Lavy Jota, I'm too young to remember those :confused: :p
    It had to be orange though, surely. Or are you talking about something completely different? :)
     
  7. MAW

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    Course it was orange, an early 120 degree crank. My sedate surrey neighbours just loved it! It was louder than my HC!
     
  8. Caveat

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    Desmo, I spent a year with the htpc and a TV.
    £500 got me a Barco and £few more built me a screen - its an utterly different experience with a 7ft wide screen and progressive scan.
    Have you thought about a DTTV card Nova-T etc for PVR?
    Alternatively hardware compression is what makes the Tivo such a success - is it MAW whois offering the WinTV PVR??

    Sgt, Most people do some or all of what desmo suggests, plus games on a big screen and DD are immersive in a way a TV can never be, seriously scarey!
    And ofcourse the entry cost of an HTPC is way below that of a standalone/scaler set up - most start off re-using an existing PC, many end up with a dedicated PC.
    Using the HTPC purely as a scaler/deinterlacer with a standalone DVD player is not uncommon too. HTPC's really are that cost effective!

    What is less often mentioned are the downsides:
    Major effort + expense to get the PC quiet let alone silent
    Major effort + moderate expense to get usability - remote etc
    Less reliability - when was the last time your TV Crashed??? (I trust the new RAM cured your problems Desmo?)

    **Off Topic**

    Well good grief, a posse of italphile bikers with htpcs.
    My 748 has recently had to go for too little money :( and its years since Ive wabled around on a jota (well a 3c to be precise) just cant stop smilling on those.
    I'm thinking about a 450 desmo single now - more suitable for my slowing reactions and somewhat soiled licence and oh so pretty.

    BTW as one gadget fiend to another - my gps keeps a record of my speed to .1mph every 6 seconds and sits happily in a map pocket of a tank bag - fun to download a good burn over sunday lunch just dont let nice mr plod download it for you!!!
     
  9. Desmo

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    Caveat, I'm sure I'll be getting a PJ soon. Trouble is this is my first house I'm buying and it needs some work doing to it that will swallow up some money. But I'll put off some stuff and get the PJ first :D

    Like I said earlier, I'm too young for Jota's. Worked my way through a few Gixer 600's and the got the 996.

    I mainly use it on the track now and haven't been out on the road for ages.


    On the road she looks like this:

    [​IMG]


    And on the track she looks like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MAW

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    Having spent my hard earned on a boat, I too have a GPS, hadn't thought of that use! Still got a bike, a YPVS, getting the acne transplant next week!

    Agree about the HCPC on all points, prepare yourself for a lifetime of fiddling, but then the rewards are real integration of your home entertainment, almost a 1-box solution, apart from the STB, the processor, the amp, the speakers and subwoofer, the projector, the flat screen.......not to mention the Linn, I still play vinyl, it goes with my advanced years and retro tastes.

    I have got a spare wintv pvr usb, yes. I ended up with 2 after a warranty claim went pear shaped, it was just the power supply. It works well as long as you use a very short USB cable, which for me is a bit of a nuisance layout wise, I'd hoped to have it on the rack with the rest of the boxes, networking, etc.

    V.sexy, Desmo. I just can't afford all the toys I'd like, I have 2 drains on the finance that I can't sell, ages 7 and 10.
     
  11. RecoilUK

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    Hi guys

    Desmo...

    I,d be interested to hear what setup you have and how you have it all connected, as I to will use a widescreen tv until I get a pj.

    L8rs

    Recoil UK
     
  12. Desmo

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    Recoil, the main spec of my HTPC is an XP1600+ on an Epox8KHA motherboard. 256MB DDR RAM, 260Gb HD's and a Radeon 7200 running XP Pro.

    I use an IXOS S-VHS to Scart cable to go from the Radeon to the TV. Most, if not all, graphics cards will limit you to 800x600 on the TV output. This is fine for watching films but the desktop is quite a strain on the eyes sometimes. You can make it better by changing everything to larger text and it's not too bad for web surfing.

    I'm happy to use the TV until a PJ comes my way. There are still ots of benefits.
     
  13. RecoilUK

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    Hi

    Thx for the info.

    I,m wondering, do you still need a PC Monitor?

    Thx
     
  14. Desmo

    Desmo
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    Not with my Radeon. Although I'd assume it's the same with other models don't quote me on it.

    It sends a signal to the TV right from booting up, all the normal BIOS stuff. So once it's in there's no need for a monitor at all.
     
  15. RecoilUK

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    Hi Thanks

    Just what I wanted to hear. The only drawback being the 800x600 resolution

    Thx again

    Recoil UK
     
  16. RecoilUK

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    Hello again

    I,m curious, what resolution does a widescreen set run at, anybody?

    Thx guys
     
  17. Caveat

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    Recoil
    Like Desmo I used a TV at 800x600 for about a year and for films I found it fine too.
    One advantage of a CRT projector is that you dont have a fixed resolution like you do with an LCD or DLP projector (where you match the HTPC output to the physical resolution of the lcd panel typically 800x600).
    With the a CRT projector its a matter of increasing the resolution until the projector just manages to focus the beam tighter than the pixel - otherwise adjacent pixels overlap. This is a function of the projectors electronics (bandwidth), but more importantly its focusing (electrostatic = cheap nasty vs electromagnetic = expensive nice). My BD800 is electrostatic and in theory will do about 1024 x 768 ish, in practice it looks best around 800x600 and mostly I run it at 720x576 50Hz to avoid any scaling from full DVD resolution.
    Dont be fooled by the apparently low resolution, on a 7ft wide 16x9 screen the image is deliciously smooth and looks very "filmic".
    Reckon on about £2k for a second hand electromagnetic crt proj, mine was £500 to give you an idea of the differences.
    All these wierd resolutions are created in a shareware app called Powerstrip.

    Desmo: Thats a v v v impressive piece of hardware! I trust those are fully synthetic oil stains on your pavers. Doubt you could buy your disks for what I got for my 748
     

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