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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,


My current PC has a P4 3.06 ghz processor in it (not hyper-threading). It has 4 GB of PC2-4200 memory.


I want to be able to play 1080p ripped Blu-Rays and other 1080p/720p videos I have on it, from it onto my 1080p TV. I also want it to have at least 5.1 surround output. I don't plan to do any capture or anything else.


Two options I'm considering:

1) Connect it directly to my TV via HDMI. Two questions for this option:

_____a) I don't a free video card slot so it has to be an external solution to output the hdmi. Do you have a recommendation?

_____b) Is the processor powerful enough to do this?


2) Purchase a Popcorn hour or PS3 and stream to it over my gigabit Cat 6 network. My main question for this are:

_____a) Are there reasons why this solution is a bad one?

_____b) Is the processor powerful enough to do this?


Thanks!
 

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i'm not an expert but i'm certain that you will need a new video card be able to handle 1080p video on that machine. Does it have an AGP or PCI-e slot for video?


Before I moved any further I would test the capabilities of the PC to see how it performs. HD test videos can be found online.
 

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What video card does it have now?


You need to free a slot for a card. External is not the way to go.


Its possible to use that machine but your gonna want a graphics card to offset the video processing to.


What types of slots do you have? Do you have agp? Or just old school pci? Thats all my P4 has.
 

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You can definitely play HD videos if you have the right card.


I have 2 desktops which can do this.

[1] P4 2.4 GHz HT 800 FSB - VisionTek AGP HD2400 OC video card (700MHz)

[2] P4 3.06 GHz 533 FSB (not sure about HT) - VisionTek AGP HD2400 video card (500MHz)


Both are working PCs, have only 2GB DDR400 ram and running Windows Vista. Both can play Blu-Rays & HD-DVDs without a problem. Although my TV is only 720p (1360x768) and the other one drives 2 LCD monitors @ 1680x1050. I don't have a 1080p display to test but 1920x1080 shouldn't be a problem (can't say for certain without actually testing it).


You have to make sure that you have an AGP/PCIE slot and you have to get the video card right. ATI is great in that respect since they have AGP cards with HD video decoding.


What do you mean by 'no free slot'? What is in the slot now? Since you have PC2 4200 memory, you should also have a PCIEx16 slot. Replace whatever is in there with a HD capable card and you are set.


Need more info before any specific card suggestions.
 

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PC2 = DDR2 SDRAM means Intel 915 Express chipset? Then the mb should have a PCI Express x16 slot. Why don't you have a free video card slot? Do you have a non-free video card slot?
 

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Quote:
Notice it only has PCI slots, but no PCI-E or AGP.


So, does that pretty much mean this machine is a no go for this project?


Thanks!

Yes, you are correct. The board has a 915 chipset which can support a PCIEx16 line but HP has chosen not to have one in there.

There are PCI HD cards but don't know if they will be effective in HD decoding.

Save your money and put it towards a new build.
 

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Actually Intel 915GV is a value chipset that lacks PCI Express x16 controller.
 

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I have a 915 board and it only has regular pci slots. There are some options out there. I checked once. But would rather upgrade then use that old thing for HD.


I use it as my media server/seedbox and it works great for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Darn...I was hoping some external solutions would work for the HDMI output.


Ok...so instead, if I had a uPnp client like PlayOn running on it, do you think it would be powerful enough as is to stream 1080p content to a media box like the Popcorn hour or PS3? I know PlayOn doesn't support HD yet, but they say they will shortly...I think by January. Or is even streaming out of the question?


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullqwerty /forum/post/16852091


Darn...I was hoping some external solutions would work for the HDMI output.


Ok...so instead, if I had a uPnp client like PlayOn running on it, do you think it would be powerful enough as is to stream 1080p content to a media box like the Popcorn hour or PS3? I know PlayOn doesn't support HD yet, but they say they will shortly...I think by January. Or is even streaming out of the question?


Thanks!

I think it will stream just fine. That is more on the network then the PC. You shouldn't have any issues there but maybe someone might chime in on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks!


I'm totally fine with it being a dedicated media "streaming" server...Actually it's kind of preferred. But two last follow up questions before I make additional investments in this PC:


1) If I throw in a Blu-Ray drive, will it be able to rip my discs to store on the PC (and later stream)? Also will I also be able to convert them to divx/xvid? I mean...is the PC up to these tasks?


2) You mentioned "transcoding on the fly". Under what situations would this occur and could I avoid it altogether?


Thanks so much everyone...This has been really helpful!
 

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You could run SageTv on this computer as a server. You would use the HD200 as a video extender. You can watch & record TV, stream DVD movies & even Blu-ray movies. This would require the use of AnyDVD though. I do this quite often on the bedroom Tv..
 
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