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Who has built a dedicated computer for their entertainment center?

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Who has built a dedicated computer for their entertainment center?

Old 10-27-02, 11:58 PM
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Right, that's what I don't understand why its spinning that fast even if the DVD playback is only at 1x. Maybe i'll run Nero's drive speed tests to see what's its doing.

I was thinking about the Liteon16x dvd drives for $42, my LiteOn 40x cd burner is pretty quiet even when writing at 40x.

I do think all of the newer models of dvd drives would be much better, and that AOpen would have fixed that bug. Thanks.
Old 10-28-02, 09:37 AM
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The M-Audio DIO 2496 is available for $189 from Digital Connection.

RD
Old 10-28-02, 03:53 PM
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Good find there, I really like that card, but I can't see myself paying almost $200 for a sound card. Maybe near $130-150 at the very most.

Plus another thing about my dvd drive that concerns me is that it would be draining and using too much power than it should, which is why I feel its almost time to get another one since I'd build another rig next summer or fall so might as well get a better dvd drive.
Old 10-28-02, 09:05 PM
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I was thinking of purchasing some kind of projector (I checked out the ones over at AVS forums, but those > $5K are a little out of my price range right now.

What should I be looking for (spec-wise)? How much? Good brands? Any suggestions? I'd also like to use it for my computing. I do a lot of programming and thought this way would be much easier on the eyesight (and more fun ) I'd probably also need a good wireless keyboard/mouse set up also
Old 10-29-02, 01:47 AM
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I got the DIO 2496 because I wanted to put together a player that could best the set-top units, and the Soundblasters and other low-end units wouldn't do that.

The pain of poor quality lives on long after the thrill of low price is forgotten.

RD
Old 10-30-02, 06:19 PM
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I have a few questions.

1) is anyone trying to use linux for their htpc? It doesn't have the support of windows ... for the moment, but I'd still like to hear what ppl have done with it.

2) does anyone have PVR (tivo) capabilities working with AT&T Digital Cable or DirecTV satellite? I think this is the most appealing feature of an htpc, but when I tried to get the PVR functionality to work with a DirecTV system I found that there is no way to control the channel for the cable box, and so u can't do scheduled recordings

3) does anyone run any software that trys to integrate all the features of an htpc into a single interface? So rather than running your dvd player software, and mp3 player, and PVR software, etc. You would just use 1 program that controlled all these features.


To be honest ... I am really excited about the prospect of an htpc, but I was disappointed when I implemented it. Seemed to me that it was a bit overpriced for the features you get, and most of the real advantageous elements don't work properly. Right now it feels more like a home theater enthusiats hack job than a real component of a home theater. I would like to see more work on the interface.
Old 11-14-02, 04:23 PM
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I currently have a 32" direct view non-HD. I want to get a new Progressive DVD player and a PVR, and thought that the HTPC might be the best route for the money. I do not plan on upgrading the tv til next year when the DLPs come down. Should I wait for a better TV or go ahead and start it now? Thanks
Old 11-14-02, 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by Cusm
I currently have a 32" direct view non-HD. I want to get a new Progressive DVD player and a PVR, and thought that the HTPC might be the best route for the money. I do not plan on upgrading the tv til next year when the DLPs come down. Should I wait for a better TV or go ahead and start it now? Thanks
I'm still using the computer I built 2 years ago. The 800MHz P3 is still plenty powerful enough. I have upgraded the OS, video card, and storage since then, but it's pretty much the same machine. Add into the equation that it will probably take a few months of screwing with the system and learning how to best use tools such as PowerStrip, so you might want to get a head start.

I was so disappointed for a couple of months in the picture quality. My Sony non-progressive player looked better. But slowly, with learning and tweaking, the HTPC's picture started getting better and better and then I hit the point where I never touched the Sony again. It pained me to see how inferior its picture was compared to the HTPC!

It's hard to imagine getting memory much cheaper, CPUs will be a little cheaper, video keeps dropping, and storage will come down of course. So maybe the way to go would be building a minimal system that you can get used to and then tool it out when you know what you are doing and are ready to drive your new display.
Old 11-15-02, 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by agilliland

2) does anyone have PVR (tivo) capabilities working with AT&T Digital Cable or DirecTV satellite? I think this is the most appealing feature of an htpc, but when I tried to get the PVR functionality to work with a DirecTV system I found that there is no way to control the channel for the cable box, and so u can't do scheduled recordings
There is no way around this one. From what I have read, even Tivo's IR blaster doesn't work that great. I have basic cable and am using an ATI All In Wonder RADEON.
I use it for Tivo and playing mp3's. I don't really like using it for a DVD player, since the video quality really sucks. I think its due to the input's on my TV. Especially watching TV through the PC, it just doesn't "look right". Over all it was a fun experiment, but looking back, I should have dumped the cash into a TIVO instead.

Also I'm stuck with the old ass A/B cable system. There is no way to automate this either. Unless I can make my own IR blaster? Since I have an infared switcher for the A/B.
Old 11-23-02, 02:06 AM
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ook around for it -- I got a few for around $20 after rebate at CompUSA a while ago. Last time I looked they were around $50 there.
I got a new capture card, a Pixel View XCapture, to replace the noisy TV Wonder. The alpha version of the latest dScaler supports it, and now my noise problems are over.

Now that I have proper deinterlacing, it's too bad so many of my laserdiscs have images so trashy they make Madacy DVDs look reference quality in comparison. Strangely enough, one of the best has been Tony Rome, the 1967 detective drama starring Frank Sinatra.

RD
Old 11-23-02, 03:40 AM
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Originally posted by DivxGuy
Now that I have proper deinterlacing, it's too bad so many of my laserdiscs have images so trashy they make Madacy DVDs look reference quality in comparison.
Old 08-18-04, 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by X
I'm still using the computer I built 2 years ago. The 800MHz P3 is still plenty powerful enough. I have upgraded the OS, video card, and storage since then, but it's pretty much the same machine. Add into the equation that it will probably take a few months of screwing with the system and learning how to best use tools such as PowerStrip, so you might want to get a head start.

X, What would you build today to replace what you have?
Old 08-18-04, 02:54 PM
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About the only thing I'd change is adding much more CPU power so I could use more powerful filters and display newer DVDs that have HD-quality movies such as Terminator 2 Extreme.

The problem with using a more powerful CPU is that it needs a lot of cooling and fan cooling is expensive. So I haven't thought too much about it. I don't know whether I'd go with an AMD or Intel CPU, but I have heard that Intel may be better for this type of application. If it isn't I would probably go for the newer AMD CPUs. And then I suppose I'd have to explore water cooling.
Old 08-18-04, 03:05 PM
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my P3 500 that I currently have is going to become an mp3 player for my home theater once I build a new system
Old 08-18-04, 05:40 PM
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Holy moly

Who brought this thread back from the grave

BTW if anyone is interested I dumped my PC years ago for a Replay TV 5000 with a 160 GB drive

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