What is HTPC ?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Anim, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. Anim

    Anim
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    Ive seen it mentioned all over the place and know it has something to do with the computer outputing dvd but thats it. Any more info ?

    Thanks
    Anim
     
  2. jrwood

    jrwood
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    HTPC=Home Theatre PC
    HCPC=Home Cinema PC

    Basically its the same just different ways of saying it :). Its basically using a PC to drive the projector for DVD/TV/Media Playing and imho the best picture quality thanks to the digital nature of PC's.

    checkout

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&forumid=46

    and

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=26

    are worth reading before you splash out...however as you have a PC now there is no harm seeing what the picture quality is like from your own pc....athough Radeon is the best card for projectors..

    HTH (hope that helped or happy to help :)
    James
     
  3. Anim

    Anim
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    Hi James

    Thats good news for me as I can build a pc to do all this from parts knocking about the house :D

    Thanks for replying.
    Anim
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Anim

    Its a device built by guys, mostly, who cant wring any further performance out of there Doom 2002 special edition PC!!!

    Seriously though; I have a few customers who claim to be able to out perform any big name DVD brand for a fraction of the cost of a high end DVD player - one of my customers claims to have put his £2K UK built DVD player into the dustbin since he spent £550 on the parts and self assembled his own HTPC.

    Regards

    Joe
     
  5. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Since the best most DVD players can do is interelaced video, and even progressive scan players can only do 480p (480 lines resolution), a HCPC outputting progressive scan video at, say, 1280x720 (HDTD resolution) is bound to look better.
    And it does by a considerable margin. Hardly surprising, really, when you consider that a PC has more processing power than a stand alone DVD player by some degree.

    Joe - who are your customers? Please disclose who you are or who you represent in your signature. We prefer people in the AV industry to be open about who they work for.
     
  6. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    I don't know why thats assumed to be fact.

    Surely DVDs themselves only have 720x480 pixels encoded. So any scaling will involve creating pixels that weren't in the original.

    The question is whether PCs can do that better than a projectors internal scaler (probably) or an external scaler box (not necessarily).

    I think one of the advantages of HTPCs is that they can drive fixed panel projectors at their native resolutions.

    Has anyone come up with a box that works like a DVD player (remote, play/stop buttons etc, small form factor), but has a VGA output and adjustable settings (perhaps by connecting a keyboard and monitor)?
     
  7. Anim

    Anim
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    I will start putting together a specification that has the following stats (in order)

    1. Quietness
    2. Looks
    3. Cost
    4. Accesibility (infared keyb, mouse + remote)
    5. Parts

    See what I can come up with.

    Thanks
    Anim
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    The main advantage of HTPC is that the video decodeing and processing is all done in the digital domain. In order to get similar results with a standalone player/scaler combo you need very high quality digital-analogue and analogue - digital conversion or they would need to be connected via SDI.
     
  9. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Richard
    The theoretical benefits of scaling are really well described in the thread below.

    Ignore all the 'which resolution or scaling factor is best' posts and look out for the post by Bjoern Roy halfway down the second page with the screenshots of the word 'building'.

    It is very well written and gives very good examples of how scaling is beneficial to PQ

    Here is the link.

    Hope that helps

    Regards
    Alex
     
  10. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    There are a couple about although they aren't anywhere near as small as standalones. Jenz on these forums does something like this I think.
    Also www.DigitalConnection.com do some pretty well sorted ones.

    However, because margins on PC components are slim, the prices for these specialist devices are usually quite high. You start to approach the price of some half-decent standalone dvd/scaler solutions so you would probably want to dem these units to satisfy yourself that they offer you what you're after. This all adds to the price.

    Some of the main reasons why we create HCPCs is that we
    a) get to choose the functions we put in the box (dvd/tv/mp3/pvr/cd/dd decoding/security control/slide shows/etc/etc)
    b) learn an awful lot about pq in a short amount of time
    c) get truly high-end performance for about £600
    d) can make incremental upgrades whenever we want and
    e) have fun with our hobby

    I started going the HCPC route to gain the best affordable pq but I've also been surprised at the amount of fun I've had:)
    Pricing up and ordering all the bits, getting them through the post, putting it together, seeing my creation in action, tweaking, adding functionality. All highly enjoyable.

    Regards
    Alex
     
  11. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    The sigle biggest advantage of a well set up HCPC is that it can be set to match the ideal resolotion of the diplay device.

    But like all PC's there is pain before the gain.
     
  12. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Spectre

    Apologies for not having my info on the post - I normally do.

    Its quite difficult you know trying to remember which forums want you to remain anonymous and which ones don't.

    Anyway, I run my own AV business in Edinburgh - The Media Factory and as we have been selling, integrating and installing Plasma, AMX, Crestron etc for the last seven years its been a fairly natural progression over the past year to branch into the Home Theatre market in the UK and Europe.

    Best regards

    Joe

    [email protected]
    www.tmfsolutions.co.uk
     
  13. Anim

    Anim
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  14. pegFACE

    pegFACE
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    Hi Joe, as you'll have noticed in my sig, i'm local to you...

    if you ever have any offcuts you want rid of, i'm your man :)
     

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