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So what do I need?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Family Guy, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    First time in the HTPC section of the forums but have been around for a while. I am tinkering with the idea of going the HTPC route but not sure whether it will be worth my while.

    I have a pretty ancient PC at home - AMD athlon 500mhz, 128 megs of RAM, NVidia TNT2 32meg graphics card, soundblaster 16. This is mostly used for the internet, hooked up to broadband via Pipex. Never used for games.

    So, the question is, what do I need to go the HTPC route? Is it just a case of buying a DVD ROM and using tha instaed of my DVD player? Or is it (as I suspect) a lot more complicated than that?

    It will be hooked up to a 32" Panasonic WS TV via Svideo. Will I get any benefits over a standalone DVD player, which, at the moment, is a Sony 700.

    Any help much appreciated.
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    Bri,

    I have never personally tried running s video out, but i have been told by almost everyone that this is not the way to go. The major benefits of the pc just cannot be reaped with a standard tv. You need a projector or a plasma to get the real rewards.

    Ad

    ps. i have 2 projectors.... i'd swap one for your lexicon! :D
     
  3. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    Cheers ad - the Lex has gone, hence removal from the board. Sould have offered earlier mate, probably would have taken you up.....
     
  4. buns

    buns
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    I guessed it probably had!

    Im surprised you arent already into projectors..... you should get on in there, its a great toy!

    ad
     
  5. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    I move every 2 years and every place is different. I don't want to splash out big bucks on something that would sit in it's box for 2 years doing nothing. 21/2 years left then I will probably be into it big time - via the DLP route, and probably HTPC.
     
  6. woody67

    woody67
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    I too am in the same boat (??) as Army Bloke, only I am into the concept of getting rid of the clutter of AV gear and only having a PC and a TV in the room.

    There seems to be a lot of info on these boards, but no FAQ. I would like some pointers to the basics that I should be looking for.

    I am not really looking for the best hi-fidelity sound, and at the moment no plasma or projector - I just want a PC to perform the job of my hi-fi and dvd player. I don't want a separate amp if possible, just a PC.

    Any suggestions on a basic set-up would be appreciated - especially something that I could knock together quickly and cheaply next week, and then move on to something better.

    cheers
     
  7. buns

    buns
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    Woody,

    As i said to Army Bloke.... there is little point in considering the hcpc as a source to a normal tv....... from the sources i know who have done it, the results will barely be of budget stand alone dvd standard, really not worth talking about.

    You can probably get better performance and much better value from buying a budget player with built in decoders and then running directly into a power amp.

    ad
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Ad, I Agree. The difference between the VGA and the svideo input on my Loewe TV was incredible. Svideo doesn't cut it, even at low res.
     
  9. buns

    buns
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    Phew! i saw your name and thought that i must have been totally wrong! :D

    You would honestly be better spending your money on a cheap projector..... then at least next time round you will have a good basis to start a hcpc.

    All that said, you could still build a pc as a media server if that interested you.....

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  10. rob_w

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    Just like to add that I've been using my hcpc with my tv for the last couple of months (can't setup the pj til I move) , and I am desperate for a normal dvd player - it's a pita to boot up a pc, mess around with a mouse etc just to watch a dvd.

    The main benefits of a pc is custom res', non-interlaced images, and beautiful looking games. ( 2 of these don't concern TV's)


    hth

    Rob


    woody67 - what hi-fi duties do you want your pc to perform - a decent dvd player will probably do cd better than a pc, and is smaller than a pc. MP3 isn't hi-fi anyway:devil: , and pcs don't really do radio/vinyl:)grin: ) cassette etc....You can get an a/v amp with radio, have cd/dvd on one extra box..
     
  11. woody67

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    I really like the concept of a room without all my hifi separates/video player/dvd etc.

    All I want, is for a PC to perform as the storage medium (perhaps not for dvd) and player for all my audio/video stuff. I want to hook this up to a LCD monitor, and a TV (for now - but later a plasma screen).

    I am not after the ultimate sound or picture, but I do want these to be at least as good as I would get from an average hifi or video/dvd player.

    My priority is really a single unit - sound and picture quality is secondary - but stil important.

    I have read a post about the forthcoming MS XP media centre software. I think this is the concept I was aiming for, but not necessarily using this software.

    I am just a little confused on exactly how powerful the PC needs to be, and what priority I should place on the components.

    Things like :- do I need a dvd hardware decoder card? If so do I need a powerful video card as well?

    I am getting a bit desperate now, as my lounge refurb is coming to an end and I need to get the cabling in for whatever system I will eventually have.
     

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