I've used my ATI Mobility-P equipped laptop to play DVD's at 600p anamorphic on my HDTV, with SPDIF Dolby Digital sound routed through my sound system. To use dScaler, you need a bt878 card, but they do have USB versions, though I'm not sure if they work with dScaler. Many laptops' video chipsets are not happy about custom resolutions. Obviously, a laptop is not the preferred platform for a HTPC.
___The Nvidia GeForce2 Go Video chipsets have been released in the high end Toshiba Satellite as well as the Dell Inspiron notebooks. This particular video chipset should have custom T&R capability. The Dell offers S/PDIF capability as well as a 15-pin RGB monitor I/O out of the box. It will not be â€œBest in Classâ€ but it will certainly be close http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
I have the Dell Inspiron 8000 with the Geforce2Go video card and WinDVD 2.1 installed from the factory. What tweaks and/or utilities such as Powerstrip would you suggest to enable use as a HTPC with a JVC G11 DILA?
___You should consider using a custom T&R to output a proper 16:9 (1360X768) or a 2.35:1 (1360X580) desktop to the DILA with the help of Power Strip 3.0.xxx beta. Take a look at the DILA users! Perfect 1360x768 (16:9) and 1360x580 (2.35) â€¦ for more information. These particular custom T&Râ€™s are just 2 of many built into the all encompassing list of T&Râ€™s available with the click of the mouse once you have PowerStrip setup properly.
My backup HTPC is a Quantex I1410 (clone of the Dell Inspiron 7000) I've been using for about three years now. It features the Rage Pro LT video chipset and a 2x DVD and a 300mhz processor. It also has a hardware DVD decoder but I abandon it years ago in favor of software DVD playback. I highly recommend the RAGELTMAN (available at rage3d.com) drivers if you use this chipset. This "old" laptop produces a quality image that is roughly 85% as good as my Geforce 2 GTS full blown HTPC. It never studders or complains and CPU usage is around 70% with HWMC off.
The biggest drawback is that it has no SPDIF output so I have to run a stereo mini plug into my marantz processor. The results are still very good.
I personally feel that the current generation of laptops leave little, if anything, to be desired in an HTPC. Nowadays, you can get GeforceGO chipset, SPDIF output, Firewire inputs, S-video TV output, tons of ram, infared ports, and CDR/DVD combo drives. All this in a super quiet package that weighs 6 lbs. SIGN ME UP!! Small harddrives and relative expense are some of the drawbacks at this time.
PCI cards like AccessDTV obviously won't work in laptops. One of the main advantages of a HTPC over stand-alone consumer products is that HTPC's are upgradable, and you sacrifice a lot of that upgradability by going with a laptop.
[This message has been edited by Abdul Jalib (edited 05-22-2001).]
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