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Would Anyone Be Interested In My HTPC?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by plague1392, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. plague1392

    plague1392
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    I wanted a 1:1 pixel mapping for my HS20 and the only option was a HTPC. Personally I’d much rather have a stand alone player, but as it was my only choice I went for it. Last week I ordered the parts and put the PC together on the weekend. I got it set up with Powerstrip and gave it a go.

    I was extremely impressed with the image quality on DVD playback. Games looked fantastic, especially first person shooters. MAME gives a real arcade experience on the big screen. Everything is great, but I just don’t like it.

    First I don’t like the sound. While it’s actually quieter than the HS20 the sound is at a different frequency so it increases the overall amount of noise. Either of them on their own are tolerable but both together is a little too much for me.

    Next, I don’t like the way PCs play DVDs. I’ve tried PowerDVD, TheaterTek and WinDVD and they all produce the same look on every PC I’ve tried them on. I’ve always used NVIDIA cards so I was hoping the Radeon I got for the HTPC would be better, but it’s very much the same. The playback with the Radeon is actually a lot better in software mode than with hardware acceleration on, though I have no idea why.

    Next I just don’t like the general idea of having a PC as a DVD player. I’m not sure why but I just don’t.

    If I was loaded I’d keep the PC just for MAME on the big screen, but unfortunately I can’t afford both the HTPC and a standalone player. I think I’d rather have a slightly lower image quality but a silent player that doesn’t have to start Windows before I use it. However, I don’t want to loose too much on the HTPC so I thought I’d see if anyone would be interested in it.

    It’s about a week old so it’s not been used a lot. You can see what’s in it from the list below which I made when I was deciding what to order. I’ve also put a few pictures of the PC here:

    PC case:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/PCF1lash.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/PC1NoFlash.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/PC2.JPG

    Back of PC:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/Back.JPG

    PC and boxes for components (you’d think I’d have noticed one’s the wrong way up):
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/PCBoxes.JPG

    Gengar modelling the nice shiny case:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/GengarNoFlash.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/GengarFlash.JPG

    Here’s a few pictures of the output on my HS20, though it hasn’t really been configured at all for a decent picture. The best results were actually with first person shooters but I forgot to take a picture of any.

    Vampire Saviour 2 Running on MAME:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/MAME.JPG

    2 Fast 2 Furious DVD:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/2F2FA.JPG

    Some pictures from Metropolis DVD:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/MET1.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/MET2.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/MET3.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/MET4.JPG

    Some pictures for Ghost In The Shell DVD:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/GITS1.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/GITS2.JPG
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/GITS3.JPG

    FLCL DVD:
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/FLCL.JPG

    Windows Desktop (think it was too bright for the camera):
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/HTPC/Desktop.JPG

    A seagull which pecks on my skylight day after day (not included in PC):
    http://www.richard.craig.dsl.pipex.com/Seagul.jpg

    So, I’m just trying to get an idea of whether I should sell it. The total for the orders comes to £660.93. Would anyone be interested and if so what would you consider paying?


    -=Overclockers.co.uk=-

    Case: Antec Overture Piano Case - £90.36
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Antec_Cases.html

    Motherboard: Abit NF7-S V2 - £67.56
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Abit.html

    RAM: TwinMOS 512MB DDR PC3200 - £58.75
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_TwinMOS_147.html

    Hard Disk: Samsung SP1213C 120GB Serial ATA Hard Disk - £67.56
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Samsung.html

    Aerocool Deep Impact 101 (Socket A) Silent Cooler - £23.44
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Aerocool__Scythe___Other_Coolers_18.html

    Overclockers.co.uk order shipping - £9.75

    Overclockers.co.uk order total - £317.42



    -=Komplett Order=-

    Processor: Athlon 2500+ Barton - £57.26
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?action=info&sku=116244&p=&t=&l=&AvdID=1&CatID=&GrpID=&cks=SER

    Graphics Card: Hercules 3D Prophet 9600SE - £62.28
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?...p=&t=278&l=2&AvdID=1&CatID=24&GrpID=1&cks=PRL

    DVD Drive: Sony DDU1521 Black - £26.72
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?...&p=&t=775&l=2&AvdID=1&CatID=3&GrpID=3&cks=PRL

    Floppy Disk Drive: Sony Black Floppy Drive - £10.79
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?...1&p=&t=85&l=2&AvdID=1&CatID=8&GrpID=1&cks=PRL

    Monitor Cable DVI-DVI M/M 2m - £19.16
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?...p=&t=161&l=2&AvdID=1&CatID=34&GrpID=9&cks=PRL

    Komplett order shipping - £12.53

    Komplett order total - £188.74



    -=KustomPCs=-

    Sound Card: M-Audio Revolution 7.1 - £77.00
    http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/product.php?view=4009

    KustomPCs order shipping - £2.95

    KustomPCs order total - £79.95



    -=Overclock.co.uk Order=-

    ATI Remote Control - £25.45
    http://www.overclock.co.uk/customer/product.php?productid=17230&cat=416&page=1

    Overclock.co.uk order shipping - £6.45

    Overclock.co.uk order total - £31.90



    -=TheaterTek Order=-

    TheaterTek DVD 1.5 - £44.92 ($82.91)
    http://store3.esellerate.net/store/catalog.aspx?s=STR473523819&pc=

    TheaterTek order total - £44.92
     
  2. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    have you not used an HTPC interface/GUI with this? that should make it better. and for the noise go to www.quietpc.com

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. damn Vampire Saviour2 look good on a PJ
     
  3. Kramer

    Kramer
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    How long did it take you to post all that? :eek:

    I can understand your frustration & would advise you to stick with it a little longer. Plenty of advice on hand here - should get many of your issues sorted in no time :smashin:

    This really sounds like a for sale add. Any items for sale must be placed in the hardware classifieds section of the forum (after reading the rules). I'm sure members will be interested though so suggest you repost it there.

    I'll leave this open for now but don't expect it to turn into a treading thread.

    Best of luck anyway :)
     
  4. plague1392

    plague1392
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    Oops, sorry about that. What I meant to ask is what you think I'd get for it, but it never came out quite right.

    I can't make up my mind whether to keep it or not. There are things I really like about it (games on MAME are absolutely fantastic), but I'd just prefer a stand alone player.

    Another thing I don't like about it which I forgot in my original post is with the 8 pixel boarder on HS20 the visible image doesn't seem to be precisely 16:9, though I'm not completely sure about that. It's also a pain to have to zoom in and out to fill the screen every time I switch between the PC and a games console.

    Nah, I know I don’t like it so there’s no point trying to convince myself to keep it. I think I'll give it a go on the classified forums and see what happens, and if nobody wants it I’ll just break it up and sell the components.

    I knew I should have just gone for an 868avi to begin with. Oh well, and least I’ve tried the HTPC thing now.
     
  5. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    For me, the big attraction of the HTPC is it's versatility - a media player/jukebox, dvd player, high definition source, web server, games console, etc. But I sympathise with the noise issue.

    It seems like quite a good machine. I might consider paying £500 for it, if I didn't already have one. It would benefit from a sweetspot/nebula card, for completeness. And any potential buyer should consider the cost of Windows too.

    I agree that an HTPC is not for everyone. Equally, there are some things that only an HTPC can do, without spending a fortune on components.
     
  6. plague1392

    plague1392
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    The noise isn’t really that bad. It’s definitely the motherboard chipset fan that makes all the noise and it would be pretty much silent if I replaced that.

    I put the PC together entirely to use as a DVD player and I think I’d have got better results spending the money on a standalone player. I use my main PC for most of the other stuff, so the versatility isn’t really of any benefit to me. I wouldn’t have even considered a HTPC if HDMI players were available that could scale to any resolution instead of just 720p and 1080i. I don’t understand why they’re not available now.
     
  7. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    I thought your HS20 was designed for 1080i and 720p sources? Is your beef that current HDMI dvd players only scale to high definition output? I'm confused.

    I think you are making an interesting point. It seems like you are saying that HDMI renders the HTPC redundant for dvd playback. I could believe that.
     
  8. plague1392

    plague1392
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    With all current HDMI players that only scale to 720p and 1080i the image would be scaled once by the DVD player and again by the projector. If there was a HDMI player that could scale to any resolution I could set the HS20 display mode to full through and it would only be scaled once by the player.

    Unfortunately no such HDMI player exists and no announcements have been made of one coming out. This left a HTPC as the only option to get a 1:1 pixel mapping with the image only being scaled once.

    I was just saying that if you could get a HDMI player that could scale to any resolution I wouldn’t have considered a HTPC because I could have had the 1:1 scaled once image without all the hassle of a HTPC.

    I still don’t understand why there isn’t a HDMI player coming out were you can’t specify your resolution, or even better why they didn’t make HDMI so the display could communicate its optimum resolution and refresh rate to the player which could then produce a picture accordingly.
     
  9. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    Cheers. I see the problem now.

    But what does the seagul think you should do?

    :)
     
  10. Donnacha

    Donnacha
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    If you do post this for sale, following the correct rules etc. I may be interested, but some of the software and components i already have.

    Still will take a serious look at it if you go down that route.

    Best of luck with your decision
     
  11. plague1392

    plague1392
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    I've put it up for sale in the classified forum here
     

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