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Well I decided to take the plunge and build an HTPC (probably Win98se or would you recommend something newer?) and I was unable to find an answer to this basic question thru search... can I just use any ol' DVD drive for my HTPC? Is there any difference in picture or audio quality with more expensive drives? I thought when the DVD drives first came out you needed a special "decoder" card to acutally play movies, is this still the case? I was looking at a combo DVD reader w/ CDRW (I think Samsung or maybe it was Toshiba) because I have been meaning to get a cd burner as a more effective way of backing up files. Right now I have no interest in burning DVDs so I don't need that capibility.


If there is a difference in performance can you try to explain it so someone just starting out will understand?


I will be using this to drive a CRT front projection system (to be determined).


Thank you!
 

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The DVD drive is not going to change the quality of the video and audio.. However, I have noticed that when using my old 5x Sony DVD drive the video would jump every once and a while.. I just got one of those Panasonic black slot loading DVD drives and the jumping went away.. Nothing else in the computer changed..


The quality will not change as the drive is strictly reading digital data... It can either read it or it can't.. There is no in-between..


I would not buy a combo drive... Why put all of your eggs in one basket..?? Also (I'm not sure of your situation) do you really want to use your HTPC to do backups or are you going to use another computer to do that...??


-Matt
 
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