New to HTPC...need assitance - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I am in the preliminary stages of setting up my current pc as my HTPC in my living room. These are my specs:

OPERATING SYSTEM:
Windows 2.6.1.7601 (Service Pack 1)
CPU TYPE:
IntelĀ® Core2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
CPU SPEED:
2.42 GHz
SYSTEM MEMORY:
8 GB
VIDEO CARD MODEL:
ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series

Here are my questions:

1) I understand that my graphics card does not have HDMI out so can you recommend a card that does?
1a) If I get HDMI out video card, does that include sound as well or just video?
1b) Can I plug the HDMI from my computer into my Receiver (Onkyo 609) "Input" port and then have it on my tv like I would an xbox or ps3? Meaning, I don't have to connect a VGA cord or DVI to the back of my tv? And yes, my receiver has an HDMI going to the tv.

2) I want to rip my blu ray copies to the hard drive but I want to make sure that I am to rip HD audio for select titles (Dark Knight, Saving Private Ryan, etc). How would one go about that?

2a) Would an MKV or a disc image be better for this?


Thanks for all your help. Tried searching for a few things but my issues are very specific I think so I would appreciate any and all help you can provide.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 08:49 AM
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I guess 'Windows 2.6.1.7601' is Windows 7 and you are planning on using Windows Media Center.
Do you plan on leaving this running 24/7?
If so, it is going to drink a lot of power, the CPU has a 125W max TDP while the 5750 too is a middle-to-high end graphics card.
Which model is it? I can't believe that a 5750 came without an HDMI port.
If it doesn't, then the DVI port should transmit HD audio & video using a special ATI branded DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

Here, also read this:
HD Video on a PC

HD Audio on a PC
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

I guess 'Windows 2.6.1.7601' is Windows 7 and you are planning on using Windows Media Center.
Do you plan on leaving this running 24/7?
If so, it is going to drink a lot of power, the CPU has a 125W max TDP while the 5750 too is a middle-to-high end graphics card.
Which model is it? I can't believe that a 5750 came without an HDMI port.
If it doesn't, then the DVI port should transmit HD audio & video using a special ATI branded DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

Here, also read this:
HD Video on a PC

HD Audio on a PC

Thanks for the quick reply! Yes, I do have Windows 7 but I am not necessarily planning on using Windows Media Center. I was thinking of using just VLC to play the files or trying XBMC. I am not planning on leaving it on all the time. In fact, I am just planning on turning it on when I am going to use it to watch a move or something. I really don't think it can with an HDMI port I do recall when I first got the computer (it is an XPS 8300 I think) it came with a DVI to HDMI port. I didn't think Video Cards transmitted audio as well?

And am I able to just plug that into my receiver and I should be able to change the input to the assigned HDMI port? Will the computer treat the TV as a monitor or as a tv? I have a plasma tv so I know it doesn't look great as a monitor.

Thanks again for your help!
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 02:06 PM
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Still not clear to me which ATI card you have? You do need to have the right ATI or Nvidia card, that has a HDMI port and can pass through HD audio to your receiver via the HDMI port.

You can then use this software to rip the BR disc with HD audio.
http://makemkv.com/

You will still need appropriate software for Playback, free or otherwise, such as
TMT, Windvd . There are ways to configure your system to play HD audio with free software/codecs, you need to search the forums and look at those threads.
Lot's of good info there.
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortey View Post

Thanks for the quick reply! Yes, I do have Windows 7 but I am not necessarily planning on using Windows Media Center. I was thinking of using just VLC to play the files or trying XBMC. I am not planning on leaving it on all the time. In fact, I am just planning on turning it on when I am going to use it to watch a move or something. I really don't think it can with an HDMI port I do recall when I first got the computer (it is an XPS 8300 I think) it came with a DVI to HDMI port. I didn't think Video Cards transmitted audio as well?

And am I able to just plug that into my receiver and I should be able to change the input to the assigned HDMI port? Will the computer treat the TV as a monitor or as a tv? I have a plasma tv so I know it doesn't look great as a monitor.

Thanks again for your help!


Post the Service Tag Number from the back or the side of the case. Also, if possible take a picture of the rear ports and post it.
My guess is you are reading the information from AMD's CCC. It won't list the chip except as 5700 series. There are two chips in the series; 5750 & 5770.
All ATI HD series video cards come with an onboard audio chip. So all you need to do is install the latest driver package from AMD's website which will contain the audio driver too.

As to how your TV will respond; no one will know except you, until you hook it up.
If it came with a DVI-HDMI adapter, hook it up and see if you can get audio through the
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey thanks all for the VERY valuable information. Really, you guys are amazing!

So I just got home and looked up what I have and I have the Radeon HD 5770. I went ahead and took a picture of the back of the video card as well http://i.imgur.com/AwkV8.jpg . It seems like it has an hdmi port and I also found a DVI to HDMI adapter that came with the card. I assume straight HDMI out would be preferable?

Also this is my Device Manager with my different audio drivers: http://i.imgur.com/32qRJ.png . When I hook up my computer should I uninstall one of them? I assume the AMD High Definition Audio Device is the one for my graphics card?

So far it is sounding like all I need to get is a decent blu ray drive to rip my copies and some decoding programs.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortey View Post

Also this is my Device Manager with my different audio drivers: http://i.imgur.com/32qRJ.png . When I hook up my computer should I uninstall one of them? I assume the AMD High Definition Audio Device is the one for my graphics card?

So far it is sounding like all I need to get is a decent blu ray drive to rip my copies and some decoding programs.

Yes.
Simply connect the HDMI port from the card to your AVR using a standard HDMI cable.
Select the AMD HD Device as the default audio device and configure it in Playback Devices (Right clock Vol Control).
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-23-2012, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tardis26 View Post

You can then use this software to rip the BR disc with HD audio.
http://makemkv.com/

Seconded. Makemkv is about as easy as it gets. It will let you choose whether to keep the HD audio or not.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-24-2012, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey! Thanks all for your absolutely fantastic help. Thanks to you guys I was able to successfully hook up my PC to my Receiver -> TV with an HDMI cord I had lying around. The scaling was a few pixels off but I was able to go ahead and fix that through the Catalyst Control Panel. I installed XBMC as well and had a blast messing around with that.

Now comes the tricky part of getting the right blu ray drive to rip copies of my blu rays to my computer and watch them with HD audio. I've read a ton about the different programs, AnyDVD HD, Makemkv, ffdshow, TMT, Dvd fab, Passkey, but I am not really sure to begin. It sounds like I can just use Makemkv to rip the Blu Ray to an MKV format with HD audio but I thought you needed something to get through the copy protection? Do I need TMT if I am using XBMC? Thanks for all your help again!
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-24-2012, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortey View Post

Hey! Thanks all for your absolutely fantastic help. Thanks to you guys I was able to successfully hook up my PC to my Receiver -> TV with an HDMI cord I had lying around. The scaling was a few pixels off but I was able to go ahead and fix that through the Catalyst Control Panel. I installed XBMC as well and had a blast messing around with that.

Now comes the tricky part of getting the right blu ray drive to rip copies of my blu rays to my computer and watch them with HD audio. I've read a ton about the different programs, AnyDVD HD, Makemkv, ffdshow, TMT, Dvd fab, Passkey, but I am not really sure to begin. It sounds like I can just use Makemkv to rip the Blu Ray to an MKV format with HD audio but I thought you needed something to get through the copy protection? Do I need TMT if I am using XBMC? Thanks for all your help again!

Makemkv will remove the copy protection. XBMC will play the mkv's natively, so you don't need TMT. If you want to bitstream the HD audio, you will need the HD audio patch for XBMC. You can get them packaged together here.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-24-2012, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent! I think I will try that first. Do you have a good blu ray burner recommendation? I looked at Assassin's thread and he suggested a few blu ray drives with the Samsung looking the most appealing but I worry about riplock, or however you call it. Want to make sure I will be ok.

Also, if I decide that I want to go the full Folder or .ISO route, would Anydvd HD be preferable? Does it make MKVs as well with full HD audio? Meaning, are the interchangeable?
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-24-2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortey View Post

Also, if I decide that I want to go the full Folder or .ISO route, would Anydvd HD be preferable? Does it make MKVs as well with full HD audio? Meaning, are the interchangeable?

No.
AnyDVD won't do that.
Get DVDFab, it will do everything.
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-26-2012, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok update:

I got my blu ray drive and have made a few copies of my movie, making sure to select the DTS-HD tracks if applicable. When I play the tracks in XBMC, I go to Audio Settings and it shows that it is displaying DTS-HD but when I look at my receiver, it just says DTS. Is there something I am missing here?

The file is a 1080p MKV ripped with MakeMkv. I have the Onkyo 609 and the PC hooked directly into the input in the receiver. I know my receiver supports it because I've seen the option before on blu ray movies. Also, I can see the "HD" next to the DTS glow greyed out.

Thanks for your help!
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-27-2012, 08:36 AM
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Did you install the XBMC version that lockdown571 mentioned on #10??
The other version won't work. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=121877

Your settings should be similar to that.
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-27-2012, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tardis26 View Post

Did you install the XBMC version that lockdown571 mentioned on #10??
The other version won't work. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=121877

Your settings should be similar to that.

Wow! I completely missed that. Was so focused on setting up the HTPC that I forgot to download the correct file. Thank you for re-pointing that out! It fixed it.
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