SONY VAIO XL201 - Answer to my dreams?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by SportiveUK, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    Almost a year has passed since I considered buying as media center PC but once the Xbox360 arrived I thought this would be the answer I was looking for. It could have been but it's not. So I am back researching again and this time the XL201 looks just about perfect in every way and has wireless "a" which I need to stream anything in my house without interference from all the other gadgets and wireless networks around.

    However despite reading loads of other posts there are still some questions I am hoping someone can help with. I currently have Sony Bravia 50" LCD Rear Pro TV (720p) which is fed video via HDMI from my Yamaha amp. The amp upscales to 720p and DVD playback from my "cheap" Toshiba SD350 using prog output via the amp is absolutely brilliant.

    How do these devices get on with video output in terms of resolutions etc and am I likely to run into issues with the amp not knowing what to do with the signal? Or will it output proper 720p and make a good job of it so that neither the amp or the TV have to do anything? It can be connected to my amp via either HDMI or component. HD-DVD is currently satisfied by the Xbox add-on.

    If I get this, I can stream from my NAS, link the Xbox to it and seemingly do everything I have wanted but to fit it in I'll have to ditch the DVD player... but unless I can be sure it gives excellent quality SD DVD playback, I can't risk it!

    One last thing, I assume that just like in normal XP, if you have the right codecs, you can output anything (DivX, H264 etc etc)?

    It looks like Comets are selling these for £850 at present so I might just go and take a look and would be grateful for any advice or assistance.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Justin@UH

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    Its designed to output as you require anyway, so you would just connect it via HDMI either direct to your TV, or via the amp, but with the amp just switching (no upscaling required for the XL201 input).

    Bear in mind, you can easilly upgrade this to XL202 spec in terms of bluray by grabing the drive via ebay.com or any half decent us supplier - many of the reviews of this tell you the part number you need to change the drive over at a fraction of the cost of the £800 step-up sony want to charge.
     
  3. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    Thanks for the response. What I am trying to understand (not very well) is how good the hardware/software combo is at outputting decent quality to the required resolution (720p in my case) from SD material.

    Currently my amp upscales from SD so that it is outputting 720p and it makes an excellent job...the picture is 100% better than just passing the image through the amp and letting the TV upscale. Is the XL201/2 likely to output at 720p a picture that is as good? We have to get from 720x576i to 1280x720p somehow and I don't want my TV making those kind of decisions!
     
  4. Justin@UH

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    As per original post, this is designed from the onset for connection to HD ready Tvs, hence the only connection via HDMI.

    Theres a ongoing thread on these forums where members have bought the XL100, and newer 201/2 models. For what its worth, I`m thinking of junking my exisiting HTPC and going for one of these anyway as it will fit in better - case is a lot shorter depth wise! These 2 reviews may also help you:

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/pcs/review/2006/10/18/Sony-Vaio-VGX-XL202-Media-Center-PC-with-Blu-ray-Drive/p1

    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/83662/sony-vaio-vgxxl100.html
     

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