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post #91 of 186 Old 08-05-2010, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

I have been noticing some "flutter" (if I understand that term correctly) in my surround sound setup since upgrading to non-HTIB speakers. Could this be solved by putting some absorbent materials up on the wall behind the speakers? I don't mean to hijack this thread, so if one exists for such basic sound treatments, just point me in the right direction.

Well, I don't believe I've ever read a basic thread about room acoustics and sound treatments as it usually always devolves into a long drawn out affair. That said, head over to the Dedicated Theaters Forum and read around over there.

Further, once you get a quick primer on some of the discussions, feel free to ask there or in the General HT Room forum as that is mostly where the room treatment gurus hang out.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...aysprune=&f=19

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...sprune=30&f=15

That said, as you can see in the picture below, I made some DIY acoustic panels out of 2 thick OC 703 insulation and hung them at the first reflection points for the basement TV and it did make a noticeable difference.




-Suntan
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post #92 of 186 Old 10-29-2010, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMR View Post

You misread. Modern displays are low res, much lower than the eye can resolve. Monitors need to be about 5 times the dpi (= 25 times the pixels) or more to be indistinguishable from infinite resolution at monitor viewing distances*. Therefore downsampling to 720p has a signficant negative effect. This is not true for audio, where even old 44khz has been shown to be indistinguishable from live feed in good tests, and good modern cards typically use 96/192khz.
*Very approximate, taken from comparing screen and print dpis.

I'm onlly going to comment on the audio, and only to make a single point.
This is true where systems incorporate D/A converters with all their sonic limitations. That is, eliminate the D/A converter and new levels of sonic realism take effect.
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post #93 of 186 Old 10-29-2010, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How can one make an object measurement of the clutter of their system?

Increased clutter increases the probability of poor connections, unpredictable grounding effects and the opportunity for each cable to act like an antenna.

So count the number of components, number of wall warts, and number of cables going to the wall.

After upgrading from separate components each of my three systems has a small, low power, (yet powerful Intel i3 based ) pc, a Samsung 700 Receiver, Belkin PF60 power conditioner, the display and speakers with subwoofer.

First there are no wall warts.
then:
One A/C power connection to the wall
One Gigabit Ethernet connection to the PC
One connection to free OTA HDTV, using an coaxial RG6 cable
One HDMI cable between components

Since I started this thread the new Samsung 700 receiver has eliminated the previously thought essential D/A converter, resulting in a startling sonic dividends. (It may still be half off at Newegg.)

ATI released their improved 10.1 drivers and MicroSoft also updated Windows Media Center. The glaring faults have been corrected. It only took a year guys!

The result is the ATI 5000 (6000) series offer the best picture and bit-stream sound quality, better than any stand-alone player. When used with PowerDvd 10 Ultra MKII of course.

So reduce your component count/clutter, play less and enjoy extraordinary picture and sound quality.

Who else needs to work toward reducing their rats nest?
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post #94 of 186 Old 10-29-2010, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

That said, as you can see in the picture below, I made some DIY acoustic panels out of 2 thick OC 703 insulation and hung them at the first reflection points for the basement TV and it did make a noticeable difference.




-Suntan

I like how you call that your "basement TV". Master of the understatement.
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post #95 of 186 Old 10-29-2010, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I'm onlly going to comment on the audio, and only to make a single point.
This is true where systems incorporate D/A converters with all their sonic limitations. That is, eliminate the D/A converter and new levels of sonic realism take effect.

The point everyone is trying to get you to understand is that when sampled at a high enough rate, D/A converters have no sonic limitations. Basic calculus tells us that sampling at twice the highest desired frequency will give us all audio information up to that frequency. Since even cheap D/A converters now can sample at up to 192KHz, I think the human hearable audio will be preserved. Bit depth is another field, but 24-bit recordings give 16.7 million possible ampltiude values. Can the human ear pick up more differences? It's accepted that the human ear can hear between 0 and 130 dB (SPL), and that a 1dB step is the smallest increment the ear can consciously differentiate. Basically 130 steps versus 16.7 million possible values. I think that's plenty.

Does analog music sound better? Yes, in most cases. But it is not due to the digital to analog conversions that happen along the way with digital music. It's the horrendous modern mixing and mastering practices that suck the dynamic range out of music ("Loudness War").
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post #96 of 186 Old 10-29-2010, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

I like how you call that your "basement TV". Master of the understatement.

What can I say?

(Although in reality, my basement is pretty tame compared to a lot of them found in the dedicated theaters forum.)

One thing I will comment, jumping from the limitations imposed by using a livingroom with a TV measured in inches, to a dedicated room with a TV measured in feet gives you an appreciation for the things that *really* make an impressionable difference to the media viewing experience.

Let's just say I don't waste too much time worrying about the advertised sampling frequencies of this component vs that component. ...or the number of wall warts plugged in over in the mechanical room.

-Suntan
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post #97 of 186 Old 10-30-2010, 12:53 PM
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I built my one and only dedicated HTPC last week. I've experimented with temporary setups in the past.

It is my only source component now.

I use it as a HDTV DVR,Bluray/DVD player, and a Netflix/InternetTV client. I'm using Windows 7 Media Center with Total Media center 3 as my only add-on.

I set this up for my live in elderly father, who is very technology challenged. Now it's no longer required to switch inputs on the tv and the receiver. It now just works ,which my father really appreciates and makes my life easier as well. No more calls at work for "tech help".

So far I'm pleased at how easy Windows 7 made it happen!
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post #98 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davestarbuck View Post

I built my one and only dedicated HTPC last week. I've experimented with temporary setups in the past.

It is my only source component now.

I use it as a HDTV DVR,Bluray/DVD player, and a Netflix/InternetTV client. I'm using Windows 7 Media Center with Total Media center 3 as my only add-on.

I set this up for my live in elderly father, who is very technology challenged. Now it's no longer required to switch inputs on the tv and the receiver. It now just works ,which my father really appreciates and makes my life easier as well. No more calls at work for "tech help".

So far I'm pleased at how easy Windows 7 made it happen!

Great to hear!
Not discussed, but very relevant is the extreme inflexibility of the poorly designed HDMI interface. After being through hell with each new reversion it was clearly time to seek alternative approaches.
Once again, the best solution is to simplify by reducing component count and highly integrate those that remain. Contrast this with the usual human tendency to keep on adding more and more gadgets.
Did I ever discuss the benefits of reducing the number of remotes? (If I didn't, I should have!)
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post #99 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to update this thread since I've progressed in updating my distributed household system.

First I've built another Intel i3 based HTPC with the excellent Silverstone (but too many fans and to high of rpm) horizontal cases. It has the most room inside and looks nice. I selected the AsRock M58 motherboard with USB 3 and eSata:


A new vendor HTPC Cyberpower looks a lot more interesting than Dell or HP:
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/C...enter_PC_9000/

Ati is introducing new 6000 series video cards which claim:
* Enhance image quality significantly
* Add new multimedia (video) features for improved performance and new capabilities

ATI: still no progress on 3D blu-ray playback.

I also found a 16 port Cisco Gigabit business switch for $122 (discontinued) at Amazon I had run out of ports at the network head-end. I also had to enable 9K packets and disable Interrupt moderation in each pcs Ehernet card properties.

It turns out the HDHomeRun dual OTA HDTV tuners with Ethernet output are a lot less useful than originally thought, and for several reasons:

Sharing is Difficult
---------------------------
a) sharing tuners makes family member upset when no tuners are available
b ) DVR's should always use two local, internal dedicated tuners. Otherwise your favorite shows may not be recorded with the WMC warning: no tuner available
c) HDHomeRun's creates ALOT more external clutter with the box, wall warts, splitter and cables.

Solution: enter the AVerMedia HDTV tuner Duet, a low profile dual pci-e card with just one coaxial input.
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post #100 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 04:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here are a couple good threads:

HDTV dual tuner selection:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...304&highlight=

streaming media in your house:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...908&highlight=
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post #101 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMR View Post

Good for you! Yes, HTPCs continue to improve and become easier.
Just some points re: audio.

There has to be DAC somewhere. Often these will be flexible in sample rates but there may be an optimal rate nevertheless. I take 96khz. So it may even be ideal to resample in software rather than let hardware do it. But it's moot anyway because re-sampling to a high resolution imposes no audible loss even theoretically, and good DACs are indistinguishable from perfect at any high resolution.
It's certainly better for software to use a fixed sample rate, as we've had since Vista.

Because the resolution is high, the compression is good, and the filming and processing are good.

That's different because displays are low res and making them even lower res is very harmful. Displays have a dot pitch that is many times below the limit of visibility, whereas 96khz and 192khz are well above the limit of audibility.

This is exaggerated. Good lossy compression doesn't make much of a difference if any. Upsampling and DACs don't either. Everything else does make a difference.

Since Windows Vista, you set a master rate and everything is resampled into this rate. No user intervention or thought required subsequently.

Digital video looks super-sharp because the pixels stay in digital format from camera to display. There is no video D/A converter.

Now lets look at the latest technology in audio. The Samsung 700 receiver eliminates the "formerly necessary" audio DAC. The result is a startling increase in sonic realism:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882676164

It offers increased sonic realism over other audio gear at any price (because they all use D/A converters, which degrade the sound quality).
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post #102 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post


I've set up a disturbed network in my new house.

Never heard of a disturbed network..........

Is it the kind that is always pissed at you or something?
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post #103 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I wanted to update this thread since I've progressed in updating my distributed household system.

First I've built another Intel i3 based HTPC with the excellent Silverstone (but too many fans and to high of rpm) horizontal cases. It has the most room inside and looks nice. I selected the AsRock M58 motherboard with USB 3 and eSata:


A new vendor HTPC Cyberpower looks a lot more interesting than Dell or HP:
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/C...enter_PC_9000/

Ati is introducing new 6000 series video cards which claim:
* Enhance image quality significantly
* Add new multimedia (video) features for improved performance and new capabilities

ATI: still no progress on 3D blu-ray playback.

I also found a 16 port Cisco Gigabit business switch for $122 (discontinued) at Amazon I had run out of ports at the network head-end. I also had to enable 9K packets and disable Interrupt moderation in each pcs Ehernet card properties.

It turns out the HDHomeRun dual OTA HDTV tuners with Ethernet output are a lot less useful than originally thought, and for several reasons:

Sharing is Difficult
---------------------------
a) sharing tuners makes family member upset when no tuners are available
b ) DVR's should always use two local, internal dedicated tuners. Otherwise your favorite shows may not be recorded with the WMC warning: no tuner available
c) HDHomeRun's creates ALOT more external clutter with the box, wall warts, splitter and cables.

Solution: enter the AVerMedia HDTV tuner Duet, a low profile dual pci-e card with just one coaxial input.

Hey, I'm running the same case and tuner card. I must say you have good taste. I only run one of the case fans and its more than enough, as soon as I get my zacate mobo/cpu I'm guessing I wont need to run any of the case fans. My power source sucks air from beneath the case and shoots it out the back so it doesnt move any air inside the case at all. I agree the case fans run at to high an rpm.
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post #104 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

I like how you call that your "basement TV". Master of the understatement.

Holly crap, now thats a home theater. I might be buying a townhouse that so far only has the basement pored. If I do it I will be able to run all of the home theater wiring in the walls before the sheet rock goes up. It would be a cool opportunity for in wall speakers and a home theater setup with no visible wires or protruding speakers anywhere. Plus I can run gigabyte per second ethernet cable from the router to the computer room and the HTPC. Being a townhouse the room is small enough to where I cant pull off what you did though, very cool. One thing with a smaller room is that you sit closer to the TV so you can get aways with a smaller tv and have the same effect, the downside is I wont be able to seat many people in the room.

P.S. is that a false ceiling?
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post #105 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

Digital video looks super-sharp because the pixels stay in digital format from camera to display. There is no video D/A converter.

The light going into a video camera and the light coming out of the TV is analog.
Quote:


other audio gear... they all use D/A converters, which degrade the sound quality

They don't degrade sound quality. See my post #87.
Quote:


Now lets look at the latest technology in audio. The Samsung 700 receiver eliminates the "formerly necessary" audio DAC. The result is a startling increase in sonic realism

But conversion to and from digital 16/44 brings no audible change. So if there is a "startling increase in sonic realism" it must be from some other source.

Maybe there is a new approach to amplifiers here. It isn't explained in your link as I can see, but maybe it relates to what Sony came out with with a few years ago, a type of class D amplifier that combined DAC and poweramp functions, bypassing a line level signal. (Something like conversion to a 1-bit signal, and switching at that rate. It was related to its SACD format.) The amplifiers that it produced were OK and better than many but worse than good modern class D amps that use line level signals (line level input to power output); these Sony amplifiers had rather high output impedance (it should be close to zero).

In any case amps shouldn't be outside the speaker, they should be inside the speaker after a line level or digital crossover. So all of these approaches to amp design are really second best. (Although if you really wanted to, you could build a speaker with a digital input, a digital crossover, followed by this "power-level dac" type of amplifer. It would be rather pointless though.)
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post #106 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Holly crap, now thats a home theater. I might be buying a townhouse that so far only has the basement pored. If I do it I will be able to run all of the home theater wiring in the walls before the sheet rock goes up. It would be a cool opportunity for in wall speakers and a home theater setup with no visible wires or protruding speakers anywhere. Plus I can run gigabyte per second ethernet cable from the router to the computer room and the HTPC. Being a townhouse the room is small enough to where I cant pull off what you did though, very cool. One thing with a smaller room is that you sit closer to the TV so you can get aways with a smaller tv and have the same effect, the downside is I wont be able to seat many people in the room.

P.S. is that a false ceiling?

Thanks.My build thread is here if you want to see more: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1183349

If you do go for a HT in the basement of a townhome, take solace that you are not the first person who had plans to do big things with a small space. Have a look at this thread for a good listing of inspiration: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13163330

Have a look around in the dedicated theaters forum if you're thinking about building a true "home theater" to put with that "HT"PC. As I said, mine is actually quite tame compared to a lot of others shown over there.

Lastly, yes they are drop ceiling tiles available online at ceilume, but they are mounted flush to the rafters with ceilinglink grids.

Anyway, not to get too far OT. I believe the conversation was talking about the merits of digital-this and wall-wart count that...

-Suntan
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post #107 of 186 Old 10-31-2010, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMR View Post

The light going into a video camera and the light coming out of the TV is analog.

They don't degrade sound quality. See my post #87.


Maybe there is a new approach to amplifiers here. It isn't explained in your link as I can see, but maybe

The Sony S-Master Pro was inferior.
The Pulsus Samsung technology takes PCM audio and converts it directly digital PWM to drive the class D output stage.
All the other Class D amp go through a D/A conversion then then then analog signal is converted to a PWM signal. Analog signals are easily degraded in a noisy RF environment.
Many novices who hear the Samsung 700 HDMI 1.4 3D receiver comment on the excellent sound quality. It contains the worlds first digital to digital converter. The results are audibly superior, the cost is way less and is extremely power efficient. What more could anyone possibly want?
I feed my Power DVD 10 Ultra compressed bit-streams audio signals directly to the Samsung 700. I own Krell and Denon separates guys, and have put them in the closet (along with my wall warts)! Get it now?
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post #108 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

It turns out the HDHomeRun dual OTA HDTV tuners with Ethernet output are a lot less useful than originally thought, and for several reasons:

Depends on the "use". It would be really difficult for me to place all 7 of my QAM tuners inside the PC case so 4 of them are from two dual HDHRs. No tuner-sharing/tuner-not-available issues here.
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post #109 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 05:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMR View Post

The light going into a video camera and the light coming out of the TV is analog.

Technically, at the base level, everything is digital. Electrons only exist in discrete energy levels..they literally vanish from point A and arrive at point B instantaneously, not existing at the energy levels between those two points.

We know that energy is quantized. We are very sure gravity is quantized. We are starting to accept that time is quanitzed.


But all of this is, realistically, not an issue.
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post #110 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 05:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

I
Ati is introducing new 6000 series video cards which claim:
* Enhance image quality significantly
* Add new multimedia (video) features for improved performance and new capabilities

ATI: still no progress on 3D blu-ray playback.

I read the review of the first two 6000 series AT1/AMD video cards and am not very impressed by the changes.
We will need to wait for the other cards to be released to see if anything is better suited to low-power quiet HTPC use. The game performance has actually taken a step backwards. The only reason I would "upgrade" is for the Blu-ray 3D playback.

The question for 5000 owners remains: will ATI support 3D blu-ray playback?
(Maybe they can't as it involves firmware and H/W changes.)

The 5000 series 10.1 drivers solve the black level and overscan issues. All that remain is stunning picture quality.
Tom's tested the new 6000 series and they aced the video quality tests:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...s,2776-21.html
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post #111 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davestarbuck View Post

I built my one and only dedicated HTPC last week. I've experimented with temporary setups in the past.

It is my only source component now.

I use it as a HDTV DVR,Bluray/DVD player, and a Netflix/InternetTV client. I'm using Windows 7 Media Center with Total Media center 3 as my only add-on.

I set this up for my live in elderly father, who is very technology challenged. Now it's no longer required to switch inputs on the tv and the receiver. It now just works ,which my father really appreciates and makes my life easier as well. No more calls at work for "tech help".

So far I'm pleased at how easy Windows 7 made it happen!

Sorry I initially missed the Pied Piper marketing strategy which you both realized and smartly rejected!

Can anyone else see that Blu-ray manufactures are adding/changing Internet sites in an attempt to keep consumers purchasing Blu-ray players each year? This the most blatant example with receivers and media streamers following. Any marketing fool could keep adding "new features" for the next dozen years.
Why bother when your PC has it all integrated for free today and tomorrow?

Now go over and read the Blu-ray forum and grin like a cheshire cat.
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post #112 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 07:07 AM
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I too am in the process of streamlining. I've made the step and cut the cable. No more paying Dish $100 month for the 5-7 channels we actually watch. HUZZAH!

Bad side. I cut the cable before I had a complete solution to provide content to the Living room. Necessity is the great motivator. I've also been swept up in cutting clutter, remotes and components.

Question though. I currently run the Xbox, Wii, WDLive (and formerly Dish 622) into an Onkyo 702 which then feeds the audio to my Rotel 1095 via the pre-outs in the 702.

Now that the IR receiver in the Onkyo has died and my recent scramble to provide a total solution I'm at a crossroads of sorts. I was going to simply jump the Boxee Box bandwagon but now I'm considering the HTPC route. And if I do that could I realistically cut out my Onkyo and feed the Rotel from the HTPC?

See.. Now this has got the wheels turning.. I'd be spending $200 on the Boxee Box and then another $70 or so for the add on IR receiver to the Onkyo to try to get it working again. (If that's even the issue).. So do I merely add another $100 or so and build up a cheaper HTPC? If I could feed the Rotel with no loss in quality that may be the big push in the HTPC favor..

OOOoOOOOoooo.. ideas ideas ideas..
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post #113 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

The Pulsus Samsung technology takes PCM audio and converts it directly digital PWM to drive the class D output stage.
All the other Class D amp go through a D/A conversion then then then analog signal is converted to a PWM signal. Analog signals are easily degraded in a noisy RF environment.
Many novices who hear the Samsung 700 HDMI 1.4 3D receiver comment on the excellent sound quality. It contains the worlds first digital to digital converter. The results are audibly superior, the cost is way less and is extremely power efficient. What more could anyone possibly want?

OK, I remember reading about this a long time ago. See:
http://www.audioholics.com/education...s-d-amplifiers
The author has designed some of the best class-d amplifiers and published papers on it.
This approach is several years old, has been done by several companies, and is the wrong approach to Class D amps.

On why active speakers with active crossovers are better than passive speakers with passive crossovers:
http://sound.westhost.com/biamp-vs-passive.htm
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post #114 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I too am in the process of streamlining. I've made the step and cut the cable. No more paying Dish $100 month for the 5-7 channels we actually watch. HUZZAH!

Bad side. I cut the cable before I had a complete solution to provide content to the Living room. Necessity is the great motivator. I've also been swept up in cutting clutter, remotes and components.

Question though. I currently run the Xbox, Wii, WDLive (and formerly Dish 622) into an Onkyo 702 which then feeds the audio to my Rotel 1095 via the pre-outs in the 702.

Now that the IR receiver in the Onkyo has died and my recent scramble to provide a total solution I'm at a crossroads of sorts. I was going to simply jump the Boxee Box bandwagon but now I'm considering the HTPC route. And if I do that could I realistically cut out my Onkyo and feed the Rotel from the HTPC?

See.. Now this has got the wheels turning.. I'd be spending $200 on the Boxee Box and then another $70 or so for the add on IR receiver to the Onkyo to try to get it working again. (If that's even the issue).. So do I merely add another $100 or so and build up a cheaper HTPC? If I could feed the Rotel with no loss in quality that may be the big push in the HTPC favor..

OOOoOOOOoooo.. ideas ideas ideas..

We should start Gadgets Anonymous

The main reason for this clutter is technology companies want to sell their proprietary solutions. The industry/web/press/magazines are eager-beavers to recommend, as it keeps the advertising revenue rolling-in.

There is a learning transition period as you must design for what is best for your family in each room, with no help from hardly anybody. Initially you may spent more. You might follow my posts and succeed!

For example a fabulous $200 receiver which is obviously being dumped in America to gain market share. That would be my first choice, as this deal is not going to last forever.

I wrote a user review in Consumer Reports a few weeks ago how I ditched my dedicated Garmin GPS (reducing component count) in favor of my Verizon Google/Android Droid X phone* (with its live traffic and local restaurants ratings).
As a result they wrote an article comparing the on-line cell phones to dedicated GPS devices. It was a decent first article (but many CU reviewers are too young and inexperienced). Several astute members took exception to their findings. How nice to see intelligent Americans waking-up to too many rats nest gadgets.


*AT&T iPhone owners should keep their GPS. Drop!
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post #115 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 08:30 PM
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Talk about reducing component count, I went from having a standalone BD player, DVD recorder (with 2 ch DVD-A), CD changer, 360, PS3, Uverse box, needing a seperate HDMI switch, to now having my HTPC do all of that (well not the DVD-A part but eh I'm not really concerned about it at the moment). I play games on my pc, watch movies on my pc, listen to music on my pc, heck in fact there's not much my old setup could do that my new 1 component system can't do (and better). I didn't go with a standard HTPC case as I like the tower look but I'm a total convert and won't ever go back to standalone equipment anymore.
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post #116 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakwing View Post

I too am in the process of streamlining. I've made the step and cut the cable. No more paying Dish $100 month for the 5-7 channels we actually watch. HUZZAH!

Bad side. I cut the cable before I had a complete solution to provide content to the Living room. Necessity is the great motivator. I've also been swept up in cutting clutter, remotes and components.

Question though. I currently run the Xbox, Wii, WDLive (and formerly Dish 622) into an Onkyo 702 which then feeds the audio to my Rotel 1095 via the pre-outs in the 702.

Now that the IR receiver in the Onkyo has died and my recent scramble to provide a total solution I'm at a crossroads of sorts. I was going to simply jump the Boxee Box bandwagon but now I'm considering the HTPC route. And if I do that could I realistically cut out my Onkyo and feed the Rotel from the HTPC?

See.. Now this has got the wheels turning.. I'd be spending $200 on the Boxee Box and then another $70 or so for the add on IR receiver to the Onkyo to try to get it working again. (If that's even the issue).. So do I merely add another $100 or so and build up a cheaper HTPC? If I could feed the Rotel with no loss in quality that may be the big push in the HTPC favor..

OOOoOOOOoooo.. ideas ideas ideas..

Don't forget when you cut the cable you don't have to stream everything. You can go with an antenna on the roof and get a super high quality HD signal for network channels. I do this and use hulu for cable stuff.
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post #117 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

We should start Gadgets Anonymous

The main reason for this clutter is technology companies want to sell their proprietary solutions. The industry/web/press/magazines are eager-beavers to recommend, as it keeps the advertising revenue rolling-in.

There is a learning transition period as you must design for what is best for your family in each room, with no help from hardly anybody. Initially you may spent more. You might follow my posts and succeed!

For example a fabulous $200 receiver which is obviously being dumped in America to gain market share. That would be my first choice, as this deal is not going to last forever.

I wrote a user review in Consumer Reports a few weeks ago how I ditched my dedicated Garmin GPS (reducing component count) in favor of my Verizon Google/Android Droid X phone* (with its live traffic and local restaurants ratings).
As a result they wrote an article comparing the on-line cell phones to dedicated GPS devices. It was a decent first article (but many CU reviewers are too young and inexperienced). Several astute members took exception to their findings. How nice to see intelligent Americans waking-up to too many rats nest gadgets.


*AT&T iPhone owners should keep their GPS. Drop!

One thing to remember is that our android phones get their maps from the cell towers. I drive a truck and would never drop my garmin for my android phones gps, as its just not as good for gps. That being said I love how you can look something up in the yellow page app, and just click on navigate from there. I use my phone for gps when I'm not in the truck, its fine for casual use.

How's this for reduced components. I'm getting ready to buy a townhouse with a room that I'm going to dedicate to home theater. I will be using my htpc as a tuner, dvr, dvd/bray player, and will be using my android phone for the remote. There will be no switching back in forth between video inputs as the htpc will be the only component. Of coarse I will still need a audio receiver to process, distribute, and amp the audio, but there is no way around that unless you go for a sound bar.
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post #118 of 186 Old 11-01-2010, 10:36 PM
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I'm not as fancy or advance as some of you guys. But I did get take out the dedicated DVD, CD, VCR players, and cable box. Since I do like console gaming, I didn't take those out. I haven't totally cut cable yet--internet and limited basic cable. I have the HTPC, component/toslink switch (I have a ten year old 55" RP HDTV with only one HD component input), Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and power conditioner, and external HDD attached to the HTPC or PS3, and receiver.

I haven't put the Blu Ray in the HTPC because it's a Mini, and I prefer to have it internal and very limited slot loading drives. With the PS3 having blu ray, it's not a priority. At some point, I will add NAS (maybe something like a drobo FS because I don't really feeling like building one and don't have an old PC to fiddle and learn FreeNAS OS). I never had a PVR; I did use Windows XP MCE here and there. Streaming is so easy and getting better. I do have HDHR. I have no cable running into the HDTV, but rabbits ears attached for the OTA HD signals. I do use the HDHR quickTV to watch live local broadcasts when I can't get a signal.

I do most gaming on the consoles so I prefer to a controller to the mouse and keyboard. I got tired of having to fiddle drivers and the constant hardware changes for PCs. Although, I do use OnLive service which is pretty impressive technology.

I still have a bunch of remotes. I have remotes for the 360, PS3, HDTV, universal (Pronto 2000), Logitech DiNovo Mini.

Like anything else, the usefulness and benefits derived is what you make of it. For me, I got tired of the lack of value of cable tv from my use. My challenge was getting sports. Through VPNs and EPSN3, I'm a happy camper.
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post #119 of 186 Old 11-02-2010, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post


One thing to remember is that our android phones get their maps from the cell towers. I drive a truck and would never drop my garmin for my android phones gps, as its just not as good for gps. That being said I love how you can look something up in the yellow page app, and just click on navigate from there. I use my phone for gps when I'm not in the truck, its fine for casual use.

Until we can download the phone gps software to our phone, it will never be completely dependable. I can use my sprint nav most of the time, but I keep my garmin on me when I business travel because I can't depend onsignal/network/sprint nav server issues.

If the gps companies were thinking ahead, they'd program there gps software for android/iphone as a sd app and sell it.
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post #120 of 186 Old 11-02-2010, 09:42 AM
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If the gps companies were thinking ahead, they'd program there gps software for android/iphone as a sd app and sell it.

The problem they face is that Google is pretty much willing to give people all of that for free...

Pay TomTom $40 a quarter for updated maps < Google Maps loading updated maps everytimg I start it.

-Suntan
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