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PC+Nebula+Denonav-10se+ruark+TH42PWD6BX

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jrrs1, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. jrrs1

    jrrs1
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    Hi guys... :hiya:
    Hope some of you of one of you at least can help me put and give me some solid advice... before i start apologies for the lengthy post and the # of questions.


    I'm up for getting myself connected and sorted in a AV way.. ( i'm IT literate and work in IT support and ops) i also have some legacy kit i'd like to use which i believe is good quality...
    To start with a have a Denon AV-10SE amp + Ruark VITA 5.1 speaker system ( in boxes but ready to go in my new houses front room[room is 21"x13"]) I have good quality speaker leads and RCA to the sub. :smashin:
    I have a budget for a plasma of about £1500 ( i know, but the wife’s had to replace her car).. I’ve looked around at the Daewoo and LG etc, but come across the Panasonic TH-42PWD6 which i can buy through my friends company ex VAT at about the 1300 mark so it seems a bargain ( any comments on the plasma whilst were at it?) I can get a variable input board included in the price and initially thought of s-video (you’ll know why later) although now i'm leaning towards a DVI connect (can i get a DVI board for the Panasonic?)
    I want to use a PC for all the work but have lots of q's....
    Firstly i'd like to use fanless to keep noise down. Comments?
    It'll be a cheap P4 or AMD on the motherboard as don’t believe there’s any big deal in going mad on it unless i can be convinced otherwise.
    The case will be black, plain, small and non braded preferably, i can get a few nice ones from www.ITX-warehouse.co.uk.
    The HD will be as big as i can afford 200 GB + assuming bios is happy? As it will be my recording medium of choice.
    Ram i'm hoping for 512mb or 1 GB if i'm lucky?
    DVD/Cd multi format writer (any progressive scan ones out there for PC?? :D i'd like a recommendation of anyone has a preference, I’ve personally used Yamaha and LG and found them both very good.
    Now my main dilemmas, i want to run freeview and have virtually been sold on the Nebula pci DVB card, using there own software although i do have MS media center available to me (i’m sticking with MS OS route as its what i know best), this card seems to get good reviews and has a remote for £120 that means i can use it as a PVR and it also has a pass-through to go to my other TV’s too. Comments?
    I'll match this with a video card which I’ll take advice on...but i guess it'll need 64mb + (i’m not a gaming man) i'd prefer silent if your looking to recommend, but what’s important is s-video out to go to the plasma or DVI if you think its better (advice?) assuming the model of plasma has a DVI board available for it.
    Nice thing here is that i only have one connection to the plasma to channel into the wall- anyone want to recommend a s-video or DVI quality cable?, it'll need to be about 4-5m? at most.
    The audio to my amp is best being either rca digital or optical i believe, correct me if i'm wrong?, my question is what audio card will give me best audio performance with the correct rca/optical connect, and what cable will i need, I keep seeing the SPDIF mentioned but didn't know if there was a SPDIF to RCA or OPTICAL?
    The PC will also have 802.11g wifi via USB or a pci card if i have enough slots, this will allow me to stream mp3/divx that i have on my server...
    but will also allow me to surf via the pc on the plasma :D
    The icing on the cake will be the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and accompanying USB dongle to give me the means to surf and manipulate the pc via the keyboard whilst sitting anywhere in the room without wires.
    :smashin:

    I've been told i can run i high res out of the video card then have multiple windows formatted so i can slide the screen around e.g. run a browser window and freeview and just jump between them if i want..? true?
    The only downside with all this i can see is that with the model of plasma i'm speccing there’s no speakers, so i have to have the amp on just so my wife can watch 'Corrie' ( don’t say a word!) in surround sound!!!!!

    :lease:

    ALL your help much appreciated as i'm looking to get this all going in the next 2 weeks....Really sorry about the length and number of questions..

    Cheers JRRS1 ( john)
     
  2. fabricado

    fabricado
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    I'd question the choice of plasma to use with a PC as it's only 852*480 (0.41 MPixels)! You should ideally be looking at displays of either 720*1280 or 768*1280 (0.98 MPixels) which would give you more than twice the resolution. You can get 30" HD LCD displays for £1k or expect to pay at least £2k for a 42" HD plasma display. I expect the price of HD plasmas to continue to fall though as 480 res panels become obsolete.

    Steer well clear of s-video. PCs and plasmas/LCDs are inherently progressive so linking them via an interlaced signal is not a good idea. VGA or DVI will look much, much better.

    Keeping your system completely fanless might be tricky and/or expensive. The VIA EPIA MII 12000 mini-itx motherboard/cpu (the only epia capable of running the Nebula software) does have a fan but is supposedly very quiet. You can always use SpeedFan to keep fans to a minimum.

    The Nebula is the best choice of DVB-T card out there.

    As you're not a gamer the choice of graphics card isn't crucially important, 64Mb is more than enough. Although you might want to check it is capable of outputting a 50Hz signal which you would probably have to do with PowerStrip.

    S/PDIF is just the name for the digital audio signal, it can be sent via an optical link or a coax cable with an RCA connector. Coax/optical converters can be bought for under a tenner so interfacing the 2 standards isn't a problem.
     
  3. jrrs1

    jrrs1
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    Fabricardo,

    Appreciate your advice, and i hear your concerns over the PC display at the relativley low resolution- its just the wd6 panasonic is such a great deal.... what plasma would you reccomend in terms of Higher resolution?
    I relaly like the Panasonics, but it has to be no more than 1500 ( ex vat) maybe i'll wait till January and see if http://www.av-sales.com/ have any great new year deals?
    Good advice reference to s-video , i'll stick with dvi or vga- is one better than the other??
    Yes fanless is ideal but may not be practical, i'll be building it myself and already have one in mind but it only has 1 slot so no good really , shame as its a VIA EPIA board too, i'll have to work on this and look to get a neat unit that doesn't look like a PC, ( dont want shuttle casing rather have desktop form factor)- the 64 mb graphics is ideal as i expected so that bits fine and i'm glad you rate the nebula DVB card- i'll be ordering tomorrow.

    Also happy with the SPDIF output now to my denon but not had any reccomendation on a £50-£90 audio card.

    Finally i guess theres no such thing as a CD/DVD writer ( multi format) that has progressive scan?, am i asking too much?

    Cheers John
     

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