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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 3 year old Dell Inspiron that I am going to be replacing in the relatively near future. I would like the capability to play Blu Ray movies that are saved on a hard drive on my HDTV, which is currently a Samsung LN52A550. I have access to a large library of Blu Ray moves that are already saved on hard drives. What kind of system do I need in order to play these on my TV, and can I use a laptop to do it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb /forum/post/16845666


If ur laptop have component out, use that, if not then VGA out should do it. If your laptop have neither, yer SOL.


Read manual on laptop VGA out capability, sometimes, it's only able to handle lo-rez VGA.

I am looking for a laptop with an HDMI output. Any recommendations on one?


Also, how much hard drive space does a BD movie take up?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummer43 /forum/post/16845678


I am looking for a laptop with an HDMI output. Any recommendations on one?


Also, how much hard drive space does a BD movie take up?

If its just the movie and the best audio track, the most they usually take up is 30-35GB. I have seen 12GB ones though. Average is about 22GB.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by C E Jones /forum/post/16847035


You won't be able to fit many blu-ray movies on a laptop hard drive, even if it's 500GB. It could work if you only want to play SD DVD's but for blu-ray you really need an HTPC.

Laptops can see networks and NAS's and RAIDs just as well as desktops.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Favelle /forum/post/16847718


Laptops can see networks and NAS's and RAIDs just as well as desktops.

Yeah but what possible reason could there be to use a laptop instead of desktop other than portability? What's he going to do take his media server with him to the party?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummer43 /forum/post/16845678


I am looking for a laptop with an HDMI output. Any recommendations on one?


Also, how much hard drive space does a BD movie take up?

I am partial to HP. I have an HP Desktop with HDMI out (Nvidia 8600GT) running to my receiver and I love it. As far as hard drive space, you could always pick up an external Hard drive for cheap.


I have seen HP laptop's with Blu Ray and HDMI out going for under $800 on sale. Stay away from the ATI 3200 video card, I didn't like it at all. The Intel/Nvidia combo seemed to work best for me.


The Nvidia 9600 is a good video card. I think they are calling it a 230 now, not sure though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by C E Jones /forum/post/16848003


Yeah but what possible reason could there be to use a laptop instead of desktop other than portability? What's he going to do take his media server with him to the party?

I can take my laptop to anyone's house that doesn't have a Blu-ray player but has an HDMI receiver. That's pretty damn cool. Plus, if I didn't have my HTPC in my movie room, I could totally see using a laptop as my main player. Especially if space was a concern. Not everyone wants to see a tower sitting beside their TV.
 

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I have an HP DV5-1017nr with a blu ray drive and the Nvidia 9200m... It also has an HDMI output. It plays blu-ray movies great to my HDTV. A blu ray movie iso only takes up about 35gb... Also have a usb ATSC tuner hooked up to media center and it will record and playback HDTV prigrams just fine. I am running Vista 64...

Gary
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Favelle /forum/post/16851935


I can take my laptop to anyone's house that doesn't have a Blu-ray player but has an HDMI receiver. That's pretty damn cool. Plus, if I didn't have my HTPC in my movie room, I could totally see using a laptop as my main player. Especially if space was a concern. Not everyone wants to see a tower sitting beside their TV.

I can see how a laptop HTPC could work for some. In fact, I thought of going that rout before building my desktop about 2 months ago. For using as a main HTPC, it definitely would save a lot of space, but the main drawbacks would be price and quality of components. It looks, though, like laptops are getting very close to being able to deliver full-quality 1080p video, if they're not already there. And as for audio quality, I'm one of those who doubt that those who bicker over it can really tell the difference. All that really matters are speakers and at least CD-quality source.


However, there is still that little issue of price. My HTPC cost me about $400 to build. With a laptop w/ blu-ray you're looking at at least $800 for now, plus you'll have to build a separate media server which will cost at least another $200, not counting hard drives. To me the benefits of a laptop HTPC aren't worth the $600 premium (plus I like the look of my black Silverstone case!
) But if unlike me you're rich and price is no issue, I don't see any reason not to go the laptop rout. You might not be able to carry a huge library of hi-def movies around with you on the hard drive, but if you have a big collection of blu-rays, why not just bring the disc?


To be honest I'm surprised there's not more talk on AVS about laptop HTPC's, even though it's not my thing.
 

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I'm surprised I can't find more threads about laptops as HTPC too.


Last year I hooked up our ancient Del 600 via vga into our Sony KDL-40V2500. I was using PowerDVD 3 or something obsolete like that. The PQ was better than any cable I've seen short of HD. Being able to stream virtually everything to the laptop was a revelation. Being able to use Netflix (I have since then gotten the ROKU) as well as Hulu and YouTube sweetened the pot.


I'm pretty sure that I'll be buying a bluray capable laptop in the next year or so, if I don't bypass bluray entirely and stick to downloads. The flexibility of an old machine without special software sold me on the concept.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by C E Jones /forum/post/16848003


Yeah but what possible reason could there be to use a laptop instead of desktop other than portability? What's he going to do take his media server with him to the party?

It's not for portability at all. I live in a townhouse and can't really run the wires I would need. I figured I would get a 2 TB external drive to store the movies and store that in my entertainment center. Then when I want to watch a movie, I can just just plug my laptop into the HDMI cable that would be plugged into my TV, or home theater system once I get one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummer43 /forum/post/16857386


It's not for portability at all. I live in a townhouse and can't really run the wires I would need. I figured I would get a 2 TB external drive to store the movies and store that in my entertainment center. Then when I want to watch a movie, I can just just plug my laptop into the HDMI cable that would be plugged into my TV, or home theater system once I get one.

What wires are you referring to? The only cables that would come out of your desktop would be the HDMI cable and the power cord, both of which you'd also use with a laptop HTPC. If you're short on space that could be an issue, but I don't see how a laptop would involve fewer "wires."


In fact a desktop could involve fewer cables, since you probably won't end up needing a separate media server, which you probably will with a laptop, as even with a 2TB external HDD you'll probably find yourself running short on space fast as you rack up blu-ray movies. If you're not familiar with media servers, there's a great guide at the following link:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...e+media+server


There's also a lot of very useful info in the HTPC guide sticky-thread in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by C E Jones /forum/post/16859525


What wires are you referring to? The only cables that would come out of your desktop would be the HDMI cable and the power cord, both of which you'd also use with a laptop HTPC. If you're short on space that could be an issue, but I don't see how a laptop would involve fewer "wires."


In fact a desktop could involve fewer cables, since you probably won't end up needing a separate media server, which you probably will with a laptop, as even with a 2TB external HDD you'll probably find yourself running short on space fast as you rack up blu-ray movies. If you're not familiar with media servers, there's a great guide at the following link:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...e+media+server


There's also a lot of very useful info in the HTPC guide sticky-thread in this forum.

I don't really have the space to put a desktop next to my tv, nor do I really want one in my living room. I have a spare bedroom, that will eventually be an office. I understand that a desktop is probably better, but I am just looking for alternatives.
 

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Well the you can go with a laptop but you need to make sure you get a real powerful video card and processor. I use the HP HDX 18t as a BR player currently and have hooked it up to a 1080p Sony LCD. It works fine now that it has all the possible updates. I was able to pass a 1080p signal perfectly with a HDMI cable. I believe you can also have up to 1TB of HDD in the computer with 2 500GB HDD's installed. Or you can do as you plan. Just get an external HDD. That's how I prefer to carry my media anyway since I can hook it up to any other computer when I want to.
 

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Have you looked at a Dell Studio Hybrid? start @ ~500ish and can do everything a laptop can do (its made with laptop parts). its small and stylish, would look good in a living room.


you can add BD player to it. would only have a power cord and hdmi cord to deal until you get an external HDD. comes with wireless mouse and keyboard.


if size is an issue, this is a great alternative (and they look great too) and might be cheaper then a laptop. or look at other small form factors (sff's).


i have a home pc that i use as a media server (have over 3tb of space) and a laptop (dell studio 15) that i use to connect to my tv. it works well. there is some sorta issue about keeping it connected though. when my tv is off the laptop will stop sending the signal so i need to reconnect it often to get audio turned back to hdmi (also happens anytime the laptop goes to sleep). also, it can run very hot which scares me a little, but get paranoid about stuff like that.


i don't know how other laptops will handle the audio switching to hdmi, if it will shut off in sleep or tv is turned off, but can be a hassle having to unplug the hdmi and plug back in to get the audio working. it takes a lot away from a seamless htpc.


i'd suggest a dell hybrid or other SFF pc over a laptop personally. i'm gonna build one this fall and stop using my laptop.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogbuehi /forum/post/16859931


Well the you can go with a laptop but you need to make sure you get a real powerful video card and processor.

Negative. my dell studio 1535 is a intel T5750 (2ghz, 667fsb, 2mb cache) with an ati 3450 vid card and i play BD just fine. it struggles if i play a raw BD m2ts file (ripped BD onto the hd) though, but just convert to mkv file (
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojangles139 /forum/post/16863900


Negative. my dell studio 1535 is a intel T5750 (2ghz, 667fsb, 2mb cache) with an ati 3450 vid card and i play BD just fine. it struggles if i play a raw BD m2ts file (ripped BD onto the hd) though, but just convert to mkv file (
 
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