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Whats the best hardware and software for HTPC ?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by MrLover, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. MrLover

    MrLover
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    Hi guys,

    I am going to building HTPC myself, just wondering what is best hardware (sound card, video card, main board...) and best software to running HTPC ?

    I am Mac user, but can build HTPC myself. My Equip: Marantz Receiver, Marantz DVD, Sanyo Z2.

    Guys please comment.

    Cheers,
    Danny
     
  2. Drew2

    Drew2
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    Don't do it. I bought a 900quid PC with DVI out and loved the upscaled image to my AE500 using 1:1 pixel mapping - I have now achieved the same thing with better sound using a 180quid DVD player.....

    The noise from the PC fan was driving me Bonkers
     
  3. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Which DVD Player?

    I've not built myself a HTPC specifically, but rather use my normal PC via powerstrip to achieve 1:1 pixel mapping which I undertsood was when you needed for the very best image quality.

    I also would find it easier to drive my projector from a DVD player, but I always understood HTPC was the best route to currently take.
     
  4. Lucas

    Lucas
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    Danny, if the role of the HTPC will be to play DVDs from its DVD ROM drive then I will tend to agree with Drew2.

    An HTPC needs a lot of twicking and mucking about to get the best picture quality. The noise can be kept to a minimum if one installs the right fans.

    That said, I have an HTPC BUT it is not only for DVDs!
    It is a media center. I record all my TV on it, store my movies, the whole music collection and it also acts as a server for client HTPCs in bedrooms.

    The sound is the same as from any dvd player since I route the digital SPDIF out to my receiver.

    The cost for me is justified but it took me quite a few hours every week for the first 3-4 months to get everything streamlined as I wanted.

    For the past 8-9 months my wife and I are just enjoying our new found freedom in watching what we want at the time we want with minimal ad interruptions!
    My config is as follows. (It was made one year ago)
    Silverstone LC03 case with papst fans and zalman fanmate controllers.

    ASUS P4P800 E-DELUXE, P4 2,8e, 1.5Gb RAM
    Disks 2x80Gb,1x250Gb, 1x300Gb,
    ATI 9600XT
    Hauppauge PVR250, PVRUSB2
    USBUIRT Infrared receiver transmitter

    WinXP-SP2
    SageTV 2.2.8, XMLTV plug-in with EPG Data from Radio Times
     
  5. robzter

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    can you help?
    i have a sony vaio pc with dvi out socket,do i connect this to the PJ? What else do i need ? need to know??how do i get 1:1 pixel mapping?and is a dvd much better wuality thru a pc than played on a dvd player? sorry but im a new new newbie !!
     
  6. Drew2

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    Robzter,

    Yes - you connect your DVI directly to the projector try using a quality AV cable rather than a PC one but if that is all you have it will suffice! :smashin:

    Next you'll need to change the output of your audio jack too spdif, this will give you co-axial digital out for plugging into your amp or does the VIO have optical out? Either way you need to establish some sort of digital out to get 5.1 sound. ;)

    To get the 1:1 pixel mapping you need to install a program called "Powerstrip" which will establish the proper resolution for your display device ie. projector
    this will be registered into your video card - talking of which you need to set your video card too dual view, that will save having to install different drivers each time you swap from your screen to projector. :eek:

    You can download powerstrip from here:

    http://www.entechtaiwan.net/ps.htm

    As for PQ from a PC well I've asked a few people about whats the best DVD drive to use for playback and the general answer is they are much the same. What counts is the hardware its connected too. My PC has a BenQ 1620 pro drive an MSI 915p motherboard with a P4 3.0eGhz HT with 1Gb RAM interleaved and a NVidia PCX 5750 video card - the picture was superb when upscaled to 720p and got better when I swapped to 1:1 :D

    Tempest,

    However, I managed to pick up a Momitsu V880 DVD player very cheap from a local 2nd hand dealer. :clap:

    This player has a DVI socket and upscales the signal upto 1080i. Through a special custom menu you can enter the values from Powerstrip and it will then do 1:1 mapping - it can also be made multi-region and switch macrovision off through another menu. :thumbsup:

    The PQ is stunning and unlike the PC it is very easy to change settings ie.contrast,brightness and saturation :smashin:

    So you certainly don't need to go down the "road" of a HTPC if you want digital connection and 1:1 mapping as there are now a few DVD players which have this function. :cool:

    Hope that helps
     
  7. fallwood

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    I think the most important factor about the htpc route is being forgotten, the all powerful and mighty ffdshow, as far as I am aware no dvd player can give you the image post processing features that ffdshow supplies. The most important aspect of building a htpc is which software you use to play dvd's, practically any half decent graphics card and cpu over 2gig will give superb dvd playback results. Theatertek and ffdshow combined give an amazing picture that i've not yet seen matched by any stand alone dvd player. Another benefit is the ability to play the growing library of hi-def material now available. Definately worth the extra effort and you will end up using it for sooo much more than playing dvd's (windows media center edition spring to mind) .
     
  8. robzter

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    thanks guys.its still a bit of headache for a newbie.so what i thought was instead of the pc route how bout if i track down a dvd player with DVI out?
    what else would i need? or would that be it?can i forget about powerstrip etc?
    im trying to find the easiest way to set up this.the next questions will be what cables id need. :rolleyes:
     
  9. robzter

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    his dvd any good? Toshiba SD350E
     
  10. Anim

    Anim
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  11. n0s

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    GUYS the only DVD player worth getting is the OPPO Digital - OPDV971H - DIVX DVI DVD Player. It has gone head to head with almost every player out there even the 1000 pound ones and has beaten them hands down, its costs nothing and is almost every home theater goers choice. Seriously go check it out!

    http://www.oppodigital.com/opdv971h.html
     
  12. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Any UK suppliers of the Oppo? Wouldn't mind trying one myself. Cheers.
     
  13. Anim

    Anim
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  14. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Plus vat I see. So £164 all in. Not bad if the quality is as good as everyone says. Hmmm.....
     
  15. Drew2

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    I've read the review about this machine and it certainly sounds the biz! But they did find issues with it like macroblocking! Also the list of players ain't really extensive compared to the amount of players out there. Maybe next month another machine will hold the top spot!!

    What I don't like is reports of the Faroudja having lipsync issues and can this machine be set up for 1:1 mapping ?

    If someone does get one please start another thread telling us their opinion about it and how they find it on their system!

    Benchmarking in a studio is different from everyday use in the home.
     
  16. robzter

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    ive e-mailed http://www.itsupplies.net as i get the VAT knocked off being here in Jersey for a while.so im getting all the expensive stuff sent to me here while i can.like the PJ !!
     

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