New (first) HTPC build - a few ignoramus questions. Mainly, HTPC>TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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My biggest quandary is how to get the signal to the TV. I assume I need some sort of HDMI out card, but it can't be PCI-E, because that's what the Hauppauge will use. Is it as simple as that - just getting a PCI HDMI card?

The Hauppauge, from what I can tell, is dual input only, no out.
The TV has USB, Ethernet, HDMI and component inputs.
The Onkyo has the inputs that I suspect really matter most - RCA style coax in, optical and analog audio, components, hdmi, etc.
The MSI MB has onboard video, but only VGA out.



HTPC Parts:

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2250 w/ remote
MSI G31TM-P21 LGA 775 MB (no HDMI or DVI out)
4 gigs of DDR 800
Pentium D 820 2.8ghz processor
Silverstone case
2.5TB WD green drive


TV is a Mitsubishi WD60738
AV receiver is Onkyo TX-NR708
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post #2 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 07:54 AM
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you can find PCI cards with dvi outs. they're pretty obsolete though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161353

after a quick search that was the one that caught my eye. 5450 is considered a pretty good htpc card.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #3 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

you can find PCI cards with dvi outs. they're pretty obsolete though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161353
after a quick search that was the one that caught my eye. 5450 is considered a pretty good htpc card.

Thank you. Unsure whether it will (or if any card will) combine the audio and video for a seamless, single output solution, but I'm going to do some reading and see if I can figure that out. smile.gif

edit: It appears that it does:
Quote:
A system with an ATI Radeon HD 4800 & 4600 Series graphics card can help enhance the HD entertainment experience by providing a seamless connection to an HDTV or home theater system. With built-in 7.1 surround sound audio (AC3 / DTS ), the new GPUs and graphics cards support single cable connection directly to a compatible HDTV, projector or receiver. This single cable carries both the HD video and 8 channel audio for a clean, high definition connection.
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post #4 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 08:58 AM
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I use a PCIe version of that HIS Silence 5450 with a Pentium D machine and it works great with video and bitstreamed audio via HDMI to an AVR. I assume, but don't know, that the PCI version would work as well.

Have you by any chance considered using a USB tuner? That would give you an unlimited choice of current generation PCIe video cards.

Will the Radeon 4xxx series handle DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD? I don't know the answer to that.
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post #5 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 09:05 AM
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Pretty sure it's a spec requirement that if the video card is going to include HDMI out it has to pass the audio signal too.
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post #6 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGFreeh View Post

Pretty sure it's a spec requirement that if the video card is going to include HDMI out it has to pass the audio signal too.

I think the requirement is only for 2 channel sound; anything beyond that is optional. And support for DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD was not provided at all until HDMI Ver 1.3.

I am not at all certain that the Radeon 4xxx supports DTS-MA. I expect Renethx or others here know the answer to that question.
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post #7 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Have you by any chance considered using a USB tuner? That would give you an unlimited choice of current generation PCIe video cards.
.

I hadn't considered it, no. Perhaps I should have, but I already have the PCI-E sitting here.

Honestly, at this point, I'm considering just getting a different MB and CPU for my main build and using this setup for a different (read: kids) TV.
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post #8 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 10:19 AM
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I know it's unfortunate that the PCI version of that HIS 5450 costs $55 while the PCIe version costs $35, but that's what scarcity will do to prices. It's still probably your cheapest option though.
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post #9 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jme5343 View Post

I hadn't considered it, no. Perhaps I should have, but I already have the PCI-E sitting here.
Honestly, at this point, I'm considering just getting a different MB and CPU for my main build and using this setup for a different (read: kids) TV.

Just get a 775 board with PCIe x1 & x16 slots, will run about $40.
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post #10 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hirent View Post

Just get a 775 board with PCIe x1 & x16 slots, will run about $40.

Good point. I could do this board for $55 (I have Prime) and wouldn't even have to worry about getting anything else, no?: http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Core-Intel-Motherboard-G41M-P34/dp/B0044UHK4G
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post #11 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 11:11 AM
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You're using a Pentium D, not a Core2. And most LGA775 boards you buy today will NOT work with Pentium D cpus. They may have the same form factor, but they are NOT necessarly compatible. As I recall, it has to be a 945, 955, 965, or 975 chipset, among other things, while the one you linked is a G41.

You would have to do a lot of checking to make sure any motherboard you're buying will actually work with that chip.

And frankly, even though I am still using a Pentium D machine myself, it's not worth investing much money in one. If I needed a new motherboard for mine, personally I'd throw it away and start over.

I think the confusion between Pentium D and Core cpus that resulted from maintaining the LGA775 package is a big reason Intel changes the pinout physical package now when it releases incompatible chipsets.

Oh, and finally, you'd still need to get a video card; you'd just have a lot more choice.
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post #12 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

...You would have to do a lot of checking to make sure any motherboard you're buying will actually work with that chip.
... If I needed a new motherboard for mine, personally I'd throw it away and start over.
...Oh, and finally, you'd still need to get a video card; you'd just have a lot more choice.

This list "says" it's compatible. Hate to wait on shipping, only to found out that isn't true, though.
http://www.msi.com/product/mb/G41M-P34.html#/?div=CPUSupport

Your point about throwing it away and starting over isn't lost on me, I've started a cart at microcenter as well, looking at a 620, but then I'm probably going over budget with that route.


It has a buit in HDMI port, so I wouldn't need another video card, would I? I'd use the on board.
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post #13 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 11:49 AM
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I see MSI claims compatibility, but it has been my understanding that a G41 was not compatible.

It is not on Intel's list of compatible chipsets (http://ark.intel.com/products/27512/Intel-Pentium-D-Processor-820-(2M-Cache-2_80-GHz-800-MHz-FSB)) and I found this response to a similar question on Tom's hardware addressing the issue:

"Companies like Gigabyte can sometimes offer Bios to give support for other processors but we don't list any "3" or "4" series chipsets as being supported on the Intel® Pentium D 820 http://ark.intel.com/products/2751 [...] 0-MHz-FSB) under compatible products and chipsets.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team "


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/308673-30-lga775-micro-mobo-supports-pentium-8ghz-drive

Maybe the MSI motherboard will work, but that seems pretty high risk for what is already a marginal investment of time and money.

If I were you and wanted to get this to work, I'd try the simple fix of the PCI 5450 video card, and if it didn't do what I wanted, I'd return it and proceed to the "start from scratch" approach. And the 5450 would give you bistreamed audio and better video than the 4500 graphics on that motherboard anyhow.
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post #14 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 12:05 PM
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There are TWO things you need to get perfect bitstreaming

1) Hardware: which is what you guys are discussing, but that assumes that once you put in the H/W, install the drivers, everything is peachy. Its NOT. You STILL need the right blend of software to PLAY the bitstream source.
2) Software: You still need a BD software ($40-100) and you hope that you do not have EDID issues or you have to invest in something like AnyDVD HD ($60?) to override these problems.

OP you are looking to spend anywhere from $100 to $160 on software alone just to get a BD to play properly.
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post #15 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mungee View Post

There are TWO things you need to get perfect bitstreaming
1) Hardware: which is what you guys are discussing, but that assumes that once you put in the H/W, install the drivers, everything is peachy. Its NOT. You STILL need the right blend of software to PLAY the bitstream source.
2) Software: You still need a BD software ($40-100) and you hope that you do not have EDID issues or you have to invest in something like AnyDVD HD ($60?) to override these problems.
OP you are looking to spend anywhere from $100 to $160 on software alone just to get a BD to play properly.

Why is it over $100? Depends what your source is. WMP will bitstream some files just fine and if you're using Windows you already have it. If you want to play bluray disks, WinDVD will do it fine and bitstream perfectly for $50 or less. If you have media files, J River MC is great for $50.

Now if you want to rip disks and defeat the copy protection, then you need to buy something like AnyDVD and your cost goes up (or use MakeMKV for $0)
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post #16 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm using W7 as the OS and don't even plan to add a Blu ray player, so I'll be fine.
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post #17 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jme5343 View Post

HTPC Parts:
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2250 w/ remote
MSI G31TM-P21 LGA 775 MB (no HDMI or DVI out)
4 gigs of DDR 800
Pentium D 820 2.8ghz processor
Silverstone case
2.5TB WD green drive
TV is a Mitsubishi WD60738
AV receiver is Onkyo TX-NR708

A couple of questions

Are these recycled from a PC that somebody gave you, or are you buying these parts?

Hearing that somebody might be purchasing that processor/mobo combination today might actually give me nightmares, but I can understand if you're trying to salvage an old setup for some free OTA recordings.

What kind of TV are you trying to record, OTA, basic digital cable, satellite, comcast, time warner?
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post #18 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

A couple of questions
Are these recycled from a PC that somebody gave you, or are you buying these parts?
Hearing that somebody might be purchasing that processor/mobo combination today might actually give me nightmares, but I can understand if you're trying to salvage an old setup for some free OTA recordings.
What kind of TV are you trying to record, OTA, basic digital cable, satellite, comcast, time warner?

LOL, when I first got hot and heavy about dumping DirecTV and going with OTA digital or Charter (not encrypted), I found a deal for the ram, mobo and CPU - I think I paid $60 total. I'm obviously regretting that now, but I'm hoping maybe I can salvage some use out of it. However, paying another $60 for a PCI card w/ HDMI seems foolish.

So, Charter non encrypted cable is what I'll be watching.

I'm currently trying to put together a decent system using Assasin's guide and see what the cost is.
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post #19 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 02:57 PM
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The Charter tech at my house last week said that un-encrypted QAM will be out within a year as they are going to go to SDV across their entire spectrum to offer more HD channels.

Grandmas with CRT's will be pissed maybe but they also lowering the cost of an HD box to $5/month starting on June 26, 2012.

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post #20 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The Charter tech at my house last week said that un-encrypted QAM will be out within a year as they are going to go to SDV across their entire spectrum to offer more HD channels.
Grandmas with CRT's will be pissed maybe but they also lowering the cost of an HD box to $5/month starting on June 26, 2012.

Yeah, I got an email from them today
Quote:
Our mission is to bring you the very best in video entertainment and we appreciate the chance to do that every day. That's why we're pleased to announce a series of enhancements to your video experience taking place this summer.

Charter TV® expands to include over 100 HD channels. HD picture brings out the best of every story, sporting event, and educational show you watch and now you have more choices than ever before.

In addition to increasing HD channels, Charter is also bringing you a variety of other video enhancements. For example, you can now stream several channels to your laptop, smartphone and tablet such as CNN, TNT, TBS and Big Ten Network, and 1,500 HD On Demand choices – options in 3D available.

I figure the good ol' days will be over soon. Maybe should have waited to spring for this Hauppauge.
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post #21 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 03:15 PM
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IDK. Get an antenna or pay them to maintain their cable and get a cable card tuner.

It is still much cheaper. If you want DVR functionality with that $5 STB add another $20/month up to 4 of them, then another $20/month for 4 more. What if you only need one? $20/month ($25 total) for a DVR. That HDHR Prime will be paid for before my 6-month promo with Charter is up. Jeez, I'tll be paid for before the end of the summer. Then it's gravy.. $300/year for a DVR..WOW!

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post #22 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

IDK. Get an antenna or pay them to maintain their cable and get a cable card tuner.
It is still much cheaper. If you want DVR functionality with that $5 STB add another $20/month up to 4 of them, then another $20/month for 4 more. What if you only need one? $20/month ($25 total) for a DVR. That HDHR Prime will be paid for before my 6-month promo with Charter is up. Jeez, I'tll be paid for before the end of the summer. Then it's gravy.. $300/year for a DVR..WOW!

Tell me a bit more about the HDHR prime - maybe I should return the 2250 and just get that so I'm a little more future-proofed.

From what I read, it works with unencrypted, but will also allow me the option to get a cable card and activate with my cable company if they do ever go to SDV. Is that correct? Seems like a no-brainer if so.

It would also allow me to use the PCI-E slot for an HDMI card.
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post #23 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 04:11 PM
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Get an HDHomeRun as your tuner such that it's on your network. That frees up your PCIe for a video card with HDMI out.
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post #24 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 04:22 PM
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It is network attached, no pci slot neccessary. Any computer on your network can use the tuner if the computer has WMC. The CableCARD allows you to tune encrypted content whether your provider has SDV or not. Charter is going SDV nationwide and is going to digitally encrypted for all content so that CableCARD will be needed. This is to free up bandwidth so they can deliver more HD content.

I have a 2250 btw that is setting in a box after about a year of light use. I need to sell it on eBay or something while it still has some value.

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post #25 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Just printed out the return papers for the 2250 - that HDHR prime over the network looks sweet.
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post #26 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 05:25 PM
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It was $135 on woot recently. Maybe it'll hit near hat again around July 4.

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post #27 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

It was $135 on woot recently. Maybe it'll hit near hat again around July 4.

I picked one up on ebay for $135ish, thanks for the heads up!
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post #28 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 05:53 PM
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Already?

To make your activation easier, I suggest contacting UMatter2Charter by PM on avs forum. They are better CSR's than the chat or phone CSR's. Don't wast your time with them. They hang out on the Charter forum and answer all sorts of questions. Nice people.

The Cable Companies have to let you pick up the CableCARD at the local office or ship it to you (not free shipping) in accordance with FCC rules but will try to charge you for installation. Make sure they don't pull some "remove the signal trap" BS.

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post #29 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 05:57 PM
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Verify the specs of your HTPC on silicondust.com .

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post #30 of 37 Old 06-21-2012, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

..........If you want to play bluray disks, WinDVD will do it fine and bitstream perfectly for $50 or less. If you have media files, J River MC is great for $50.
Now if you want to rip disks and defeat the copy protection, then you need to buy something like AnyDVD and your cost goes up (or use MakeMKV for $0)

Are you claiming that you got EVERY single BD to work with just WinDVD ?? I have had terrible luck with BD playback (with TMT5 and WinDVD) till I got AnyDVD. It not just for ripping its also useful for perfectly legal playback of BD that just refuse to play otherwise.
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