HP Pavilion Slimline s3330f, is it a good prebuilt htpc? - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 336 Old 05-29-2008, 07:38 AM
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alright....I finally have everything working the way I want it to. Herves post as well as downloading Anydvd helped bypass any of the format problems I was having playing high def movies through HDMI.


On to television!!! Anyone watching tv through Windows Media Center? I am confused between the difference of the ATSC TV Tuner Card and a High Def TV Tuner Card. Can I plug in a co-ax coming out of my cable box and sync the channels? or bypass the cable box completely? or can I only get over the air tv?
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post #272 of 336 Old 05-29-2008, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KensingtonPark View Post

Greetings:

I've had this device for a few days, and I just love it! I have the machine connected to my Sharp Aquos LCD in my family room, with a hardwired Ethernet connection to a 3 TB Netgear Network Attached Storage device (Infrant).

Two things that turned out to be a surprise to me:
  1. The customized VMC interface can't be tweaked to show the "DVD Library" feature. When I follow the instructions from the Microsoft website, nothing changes. It's OK, My Movies ended up working. I rip my DVDs to the server there.
  2. Audio out must be toggled between the panel and the SPDIF. Not too bad, but just not something I thought I'd have to do. I suppose if I were passing through the audio from the Sharp LCD, as some people do, then it would be fine.

Great so far, though. I highly recommend it!

Kensington

Hi folks,

I just took delivery of a slimline s3430f (quad-core AMD) and am having the same problem #1 as Kensington. I'm trying to play ripped DVDs on my hard drive using Windows Media Center. I followed microsoft's instructions for the registry tweak (changing value of showgallery to 'Gallery') but the DVD Library option doesn't show up in Media Center.

Kensington, you hinted in your message that "My Movies" worked, meaning that if you store ripped DVD files in the My Movies directory that somehow media center recognizes these files? I tried that, and added the My Movies folder to the watched folders list. When I did that Media Center seemed to recognize the contents but for the life of me I can't figure out how to play them.

Any advice here would be welcome - the ability to make your own DVD library-on-disk was a major selling point for me - !
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post #273 of 336 Old 05-29-2008, 10:48 PM
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I think I just answered my own question - "My Movies" is a plug-in!

Doh!
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post #274 of 336 Old 05-30-2008, 01:26 AM
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Hey folks -- another thread of great info. A lot shorter, so easier for me to get current. I keep learning, hopefully I can give something back.

I've been thinking of a (regular) HP Pavilion for a HTPC, but now that I set everything up after a remodel, I'm back looking at the Slimline, as it will hide nicely in a bookcase.

My initial thoughts weren't 'full-on HTPC' as most folks in this thread. I don't yet have a HDTV, so haven't really been thinking of using the Blu Ray capabilities. What I was thinking was:

1. TV tuner / PVR: I want to play around with connecting an OTA antenna and automatically burning TV shows to DVD so I can take them with me on business trips, watch on a laptop, etc.

2. Move my MP3s / pictures, etc. off my overloaded Compaq Presario next to my HT stuff in the family room.

Until I make the move for a higher-end AVR, I can do internet radio, MP3s, etc.

That said, everyone's given me food for thought.

If I don't want the Blu Ray option, I was thinking I could get a cheaper model with the TV tuner, but no Blu Ray. HP.com has the newest models (haven't seen any refurbs available directly from HP) and I know Office Depot has offered models with the TV tuner for $400 - $500, although the one I saw last weekend in the Bay Area didn't have the tuner.

A while back I was scoping out a refurbed HP Digital Entertainment Center (z???) for ~ $400, but it's gone now. I don't have any Vista pcs right now, nor any Vista knowledge, so I'm not looking forward to introducing another OS.


Any thoughts from folks on this thread or are most people using the Blu Ray to retire / replace other hw in their HT?



Thanks,

Brett Ashton



Full disclosure: I work for HP, but not in this area. I'm on the business side, not consumer, but I've researched the HP consumer offerings pretty well.

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post #275 of 336 Old 05-30-2008, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bashton View Post

Hey folks -- another thread of great info. A lot shorter, so easier for me to get current. I keep learning, hopefully I can give something back.

I've been thinking of a (regular) HP Pavilion for a HTPC, but now that I set everything up after a remodel, I'm back looking at the Slimline, as it will hide nicely in a bookcase.

My initial thoughts weren't 'full-on HTPC' as most folks in this thread. I don't yet have a HDTV, so haven't really been thinking of using the Blu Ray capabilities. What I was thinking was:

1. TV tuner / PVR: I want to play around with connecting an OTA antenna and automatically burning TV shows to DVD so I can take them with me on business trips, watch on a laptop, etc.

2. Move my MP3s / pictures, etc. off my overloaded Compaq Presario next to my HT stuff in the family room.

Until I make the move for a higher-end AVR, I can do internet radio, MP3s, etc.

That said, everyone's given me food for thought.

If I don't want the Blu Ray option, I was thinking I could get a cheaper model with the TV tuner, but no Blu Ray. HP.com has the newest models (haven't seen any refurbs available directly from HP) and I know Office Depot has offered models with the TV tuner for $400 - $500, although the one I saw last weekend in the Bay Area didn't have the tuner.

A while back I was scoping out a refurbed HP Digital Entertainment Center (z???) for ~ $400, but it's gone now. I don't have any Vista pcs right now, nor any Vista knowledge, so I'm not looking forward to introducing another OS.


Any thoughts from folks on this thread or are most people using the Blu Ray to retire / replace other hw in their HT?



Thanks,

Brett Ashton



Full disclosure: I work for HP, but not in this area. I'm on the business side, not consumer, but I've researched the HP consumer offerings pretty well.


Hi Brett

I have both an HP s3200T slimline and a z555. I've modded both with newer video cards that do h.264 HW decoding - but haven't really done any other mods. I love both machines - the slimline runs Vista Home Premium, the Z box runs XP MCE 2005.

If you're looking to save money - go out to UBID and search for slimlines. Sometimes you have to plug in exact model numbers (i.e.; "s3200t"). I got my s3200t about a month ago for a little over $200 shipped. It's a GREAT PC!

Of course, since it's refurbished you might have issues. I had to have my MB replaced. HP shipped it (with a new box) via 2 day Fex Ex and the system is wonderfully stable now. YMMV.

Both boxes are a joy to own, and to work with - although expandability is severely limited by the form factors. If you do end up going with a Z system - BigWorm posted a GREAT thread on modding and upgrading existing Z systems on this forum at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=z555

Cheers!

SF

PS - Anyone know where to get the HP remote and IR Receiver that ships with the s3300F?
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post #276 of 336 Old 06-09-2008, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly'n Brian View Post

As this thread seems to bounce around a bit for all the HP slimline models.

Just posting this as a heads up.

Referb slimlines are showing up on ubid.com.
The Models are s3200t, s3200z, and s3300z (you need to search by the model #, and not for slimline).

They have been going for under $200 to a little over $300.
(someone posted in a different forum about getting a s3200t with the HD/BD combo drive and 8500gt hdmi video card for a little over $300)

I was able to pick up a s3300z w/ an AMD x2 BE-2300, 2gb ram, 500gb HD for under $200. Now I'm just waiting for the low profile bracket for the MSI NX8500GT-MTD256EH video card I got from newegg, to arrive.

Seems like a great way to pick one of these up to use as an HTPC, and keep the price down for it.

I just purchased a s3300z for $328 shipped from ubid.com.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 BE2300 (1.9GHz/128kB L1/1MB L2 Cache)
2GB ram
500 GB HD
ATI Radeon HD 2400
wi-fi

Heavy-duty processing power
Slimline s3300z PCs offer powerful Athlon 64 processors for multitasking and entertainment. In addition, each available AMD processor has been tested for energy efficiency with AMD"s Cool 'n' Quiet technology, which features CPU speed throttling and power saving. AMD's Athlon 64 X2 features a Dual-Core processor for the best performance.

These are the newer low energy chips.

Considering that the refurbs with smaller hard drives go for more than this on buy.com and this one comes with an ATI Radeon HD 2400 I think this was a pretty good deal.
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post #277 of 336 Old 06-23-2008, 04:01 PM
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Hi all,

Read through the issues with the 3330 and I am especially concerned about the videocard noise, but it seemed like the best deal for my new HTPC....

Built mine on HP.com and I feel that I got a good deal at $1300 AI with taxes/shipping/22 inch monitor/AI1 printer

- HP Pavilion Slimline s3400t PC
- Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (32-bit)
- Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor E4700 (2.6GHz)
- 3GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM (1x2048,1x1024)
- 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT DVI-I, HDMI
- No Modem
- 750GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
- Blu-ray / HD DVD player & Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner
- 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, headphone port
- ATSC & NTSC TV tuners with PVR, remote
- Integrated 5.1 Capable Sound w/ front audio ports
- No additional security software
- Microsoft(R) Works 9.0
- HP wireless keyboard and HP wireless optical mouse
- HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope


This is my first HTPC, being using my clunky Dell for 6 years now. I plan on using this mostly for blu-ray player, music playing over stereo, watching and recording TV, internet, basic downloading.

Any issues you think I might run into. I hope connecting the HDMI card to my Sharp Aquos 42D64U will be easy.
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post #278 of 336 Old 06-24-2008, 01:39 PM
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The only problem I've run into with the unit is getting 5.1 audio out of Blu-Ray discs with only TrueHD audio (no Dolby Digital/DTS) with the bundled OEM version of PowerDVD. I only got 2 channel sound. I had to buy the commercial version of PowerDVD 8 and change my audio hook-up from HDMI to SPDIF. It really shouldn't be so hard.

It works great as a Netflix streaming box too.

I can't say I've ever heard the fan but I'm sitting about 10 feet from the unit.
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post #279 of 336 Old 06-24-2008, 10:40 PM
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Does the HDMI cable carry sound too from the video card to the TV? I wish to connect the sound separately to my stereo. Is this done via TV connection to stereo or via another computer connection to stereo?

And I do need to buy additional software to maximize the sound?
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post #280 of 336 Old 06-25-2008, 06:02 AM
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Basically the Realtek audio Contorl Panel applet tells the PC either to put the audio out via the HDMI (with the video) or via the SPDIF output seperate from the video. So, you have the choice.

I only had to buy additional software (PowerDVD8) to get the PC to output 5.1 sound from blu-ray disks that had only TrueHD soundtracks. The bundled software only output 2 channel PCM for TrueHD soundtracks. So, I guess it depends what you're going to be watching whether you need additional software.
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post #281 of 336 Old 06-25-2008, 10:53 AM
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The new series of HP slimline was announced today to be ordered the 3500t (on the same day I just received my new computer the 3400t with specs above). This model is more powerful with E7200 Intel Processor option, the 512MB GEForce9500GS, and Blu-ray writer.

I am debating returning my new one for an upgraded one but I used a $400 off coupon. I paid $770 but the newer version below (no coupons) will cost $1219.

I really want the newer version but not at that price difference. I guess I have 21 days for a coupon to come out for an even exchange.


3500t
Operating system Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit) edit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor E7200 (2.5GHz, 3MB) edit
Front Productivity Ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, headphone port edit
Memory 4GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x2048) edit
Graphics Card 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9500GS, DVI-I, HDMI, VGA adapter edit
Networking No Modem edit
Hard Drive 640GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive edit
Primary CD/DVD Drive Blu-ray DVD writer/player & Lightscribe SuperMulti DVD burner edit
TV & Entertainment Experience ATSC & NTSC TV tuners with PVR, remote edit
Sound Card Integrated 5.1 Capable Sound w/ front audio ports edit
Security Software No additional security software edit
Productivity Software Microsoft(R) Works 9.0 edit
Keyboard and Mouse HP wireless keyboard and HP wireless optical mouse edit
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post #282 of 336 Old 06-25-2008, 01:44 PM
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If it were me, I'd grab a refurb system off of UBID and pay ~ $250, versus the $750 - then slap a decent video card and an eBay BD drive in it.

I got a s3200t, dropped a 8400GS in it, and ordered a 22" LCD for right around $400 - but I'm cheap! LOL!

Yeah - that new system is pretty smoking. A guy over on HardForum is getting 4600 3Dmarks with a 9500 set at 1280x1024. http://www.hardforum.com/showthread....light=slimline

This new system might actually be a decent gamer.

Gotta love these little PCs!!

SF
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post #283 of 336 Old 06-25-2008, 04:35 PM
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is that 9500gs for sale yet? Didn't see anything at newegg...
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post #284 of 336 Old 06-26-2008, 09:24 PM
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Anybody help me force the HD / Blueray dvd player to look for updates... or the link to the website?
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post #285 of 336 Old 06-27-2008, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbi2 View Post

Anybody help me force the HD / Blueray dvd player to look for updates... or the link to the website?

I think mine did it automatically, but try the icon at the bottom left of the screen. If that doesn't do it, I'll look around next time I have that machine in front of me.
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post #286 of 336 Old 06-27-2008, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Karyk View Post

I think mine did it automatically, but try the icon at the bottom left of the screen. If that doesn't do it, I'll look around next time I have that machine in front of me.

Thanks. I will try that, but let me know if you figure anything else out.
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post #287 of 336 Old 06-30-2008, 02:02 PM
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I am considering buying a barebone Slimline with Pentium Dual-Core for recording Clear QAM. Do I need to upgrade the graphics card? Is the stock GeForce 7100 capable of playing video at 1920x1080 over VGA?

If not, would I be better off buying other graphics card then the options offered by HP?
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post #288 of 336 Old 07-01-2008, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

I am considering buying a barebone Slimline with Pentium Dual-Core for recording Clear QAM. Do I need to upgrade the graphics card? Is the stock GeForce 7100 capable of playing video at 1920x1080 over VGA?

If not, would I be better off buying other graphics card then the options offered by HP?

The GeForce 7100 will probably drive a 1080 display fine for your desktop, but when it starts to try and decode a 1080i or 720p mpeg feed onto that display, I'll bet you'll get some studdering. Your CPU will also probably get taxed.

I'd look at a fan-cooled NVidia 8500 or 8600 low profile card that will allow you enough room to drop in a PCI tuner card in the remaining slot. Of course, you could also just use a USB tuner, etc.

Many are putting a low profile NVidia 8400/8500/8600 card in that system to get HW accelerated MPEG/h.264 decoding using PureVideo. Here's a cool article about how it helps: http://en.expreview.com/2007/12/04/b...8400gs/?page=1

You can get a 8400 online for around $30-$40 - which is fine if all you want to do is surf and watch HD content. If you're looking at gaming I'd suggest looking at the 8600 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814145153) - or wait for a low profile 9600.

BTW - there's a great thread over at hard forum that discusses mods to HP slimline PCs: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1224011

SF
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post #289 of 336 Old 07-01-2008, 10:13 AM
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I have the 3330f. Recently my internet explorer keeps crashing (it gives the box saying its looking for a fix and then restarts) regardless of the website I'm on. What's weird is that I downloaded Firefox and it hasn't crashed once.

I was wondering if Vista SP 1 would impact this?

Anybody have experience installing SP 1 on the 3330f?

Thanks,

Rich N.
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post #290 of 336 Old 07-02-2008, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbi2 View Post

Thanks. I will try that, but let me know if you figure anything else out.

Mine did just update a second time after clicking on that icon (in HP DVD Play) at the bottom left of the screen. Not sure if that's just a big coincidence.
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post #291 of 336 Old 07-02-2008, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raidbuck View Post

Anybody have experience installing SP 1 on the 3330f?

Thanks,

Rich N.

I'd run Memtest86 to check for bad memory before installing SP1. You could also do the basics like deleting Temp Internet files and old temp files.

As to SP1, the only issue I had was it activated the built in tuner that I had deactivated, and that meant WMC wouldn't recognize my HDHR until I deactivated it again.
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post #292 of 336 Old 07-03-2008, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk View Post

I'd run Memtest86 to check for bad memory before installing SP1. You could also do the basics like deleting Temp Internet files and old temp files.

As to SP1, the only issue I had was it activated the built in tuner that I had deactivated, and that meant WMC wouldn't recognize my HDHR until I deactivated it again.

Thanks, I just wanted to make sure SP 1 is OK to install.

Rich N.
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post #293 of 336 Old 07-03-2008, 06:10 PM
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My point was more that if you're having crashes, that could be a memory issue, and installing SP1 with bad memory might be problematic.

Stated differently, installing a SP release is not really a good troubleshooting plan.
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post #294 of 336 Old 07-08-2008, 07:36 PM
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I purchased the S3330f about four months ago and have been thoroughly enjoying it.

I have run into 4 BlueRay discs that do not play on this machine (three in a row). Is there a possibility this is being caused with the software? After this happened to two discs in a row, I restored this machine to original software and updated again with no luck.

Error reported on screen after BlueRay disc tries to load is:

Format Not Supported

The Region Coding is set to A, so this should be correct. Any thoughts?
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post #295 of 336 Old 07-09-2008, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHermanator View Post

I purchased the S3330f about four months ago and have been thoroughly enjoying it.

I have run into 4 BlueRay discs that do not play on this machine (three in a row). Is there a possibility this is being caused with the software? After this happened to two discs in a row, I restored this machine to original software and updated again with no luck.

Error reported on screen after BlueRay disc tries to load is:

Format Not Supported

The Region Coding is set to A, so this should be correct. Any thoughts?

There's an update you can get to HP DVD Play from Cyberlink that is not on the HP website. Bring up the HP DVD Play menu and go to Update. It should bring up a browser window with a Cyberlink download. Download, install, and re-start. It fixed my Blu-Ray playback problems.
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post #296 of 336 Old 07-09-2008, 07:16 PM
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Hey folks, I've been off for a while, but I'm back.

Want to make sure I correctly understand how video will work with these HTPCs.

I'm not looking to make this my 'primary' disc player, I'll use it to do some OTA copyings and store my music and pics.

My question is this -- can I drive two displays without switching cables or buying a 2nd video card?

I obviously want to connect the HP Slimline to my tv via S-Video. Can I also use a basic 15" LCD via VGA? I don't want to have to turn on the big tv to do setup, tweaking, or just stream music.



Thanks!

bashton

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post #297 of 336 Old 07-10-2008, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

There's an update you can get to HP DVD Play from Cyberlink that is not on the HP website. Bring up the HP DVD Play menu and go to Update. It should bring up a browser window with a Cyberlink download. Download, install, and re-start. It fixed my Blu-Ray playback problems.

Thanks... I think the software helps, but there is something else wrong as the drive worked yesterday then had a hard time tracking a movie today... I'm calling HP!
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post #298 of 336 Old 07-11-2008, 11:10 PM
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I am happy to report that the on board GeForce 7100 VGA is capable for driving a panel at 1920x1080. My optimizations are:

1. removing unnecessary software like Norton Internet Security, Windows Defender and all the HP craps.

2. changed the power option to "Performance"

3. changed the color scheme to Vista Basic instead of Aero

4. updated nVidia driver via Windows Update

I'm not running SP1 yet. So far watching 1080i or 720p program is fairly smooth. There may be some slow down during start up and when going to/from menus. But overall seems to be very well. Max CPU frequency is at 100% with CPU utilization is typically at 60%.

My Windows Experience Index is very low though: 2.7 for desktop video and 2.6 for 3D.


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Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

I am considering buying a barebone Slimline with Pentium Dual-Core for recording Clear QAM. Do I need to upgrade the graphics card? Is the stock GeForce 7100 capable of playing video at 1920x1080 over VGA?

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post #299 of 336 Old 07-12-2008, 12:25 PM
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This is a great thread! I have a question to those who has the TV tuner. Can you connect standard cable to it through coax? Will it be able to have it's own TV guides and such?

Also, i haven't really seen a firm answer on the HDMI being able to carry 'loss less' audio?
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post #300 of 336 Old 07-13-2008, 09:21 AM
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I don't know if has already been posted or not but here is is just in case. The DEAL that I got was for a refurbished HP s3330f for $563.99 no tax and free shipping. It should be here some time next week.

Since I have just reg. I can't post URL so you will have to find it your self on buy.com. I also found a ecoupon for $15.00 off.
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