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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering which would be better, a top of the line dvd player like the Sony 9000es or 999es (or Pioneer 47ai or denon 3800 etc...) or a HTPC with a Holo3D card and a regular computer DVD player? I'm assuming it would be a waste to have both or no? Would the Holo3D car negate the need for a High end DVD player? If so the DIGN cases look cool, but what other HTPC cases are out there? I'm very new to all this so thanks for your patience in advance.


Fulmitz
 

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The most important factor is to what display device....


The HTPC is really a scaling system, if the display device has good scaling you may or may not see the need...


On the truly high end side I continually read that a well set up HTPC just allows a system to shine that little bit more, but they do take work... The H3D is not a requirement for a HTPC as you can play simply from the DVD drive via SW....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm using a panasonic 50" HD Plasma. I was mainly wondering how the picture quality with a HTPC would be with Holo3D or with WinDVD, etc... compared to a store bought piece like a Sony 999es progressive scan DVD player on my plasma. I also like the idea of using the HTPC as a PVR. With an ATI capture card or one of the other $50 cards would you get as good of a picture as with a TiVo or ReplayTV? If not what computer card would give similar quality? Can the Holo3D card be used to record programming? Can you record off DirecTV with the Holo3D card? What about recording in HD? Thanks again,


Fulmitz
 

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From what Ive gathered in this great forum, here are my opinions:


1. Any type of "native" display SCREAMS for an HTPC because of the scaling ability. Plasma, LCD, DLP, etc. You can scale the PC output to the perfect input for your display, and the display will shine. Ive read numerous accounts (both here and those other forums) about how HTPC DVDs play cleaner, quieter, etc. than regular DVD players. An added bonus: you will most likely never see a layer change again (for the easily annoyed of us, HTPC might be worth that alone).


2. Because you can scale output to a display, you should technically be able to record at 480i (NTSC standard), and scale up to a better res (480p, 540p, 1080i) when outputting what you've recorded. I plan on doing this myself, to scale the 480i output of my sat. box to 480p. Best capture card right now seems to be the Xcapture by Pro-Link, and I think its relatively cheap (30 or 40 bux). dScaler is the s/w to use, but it doesnt support the Xcapture card (just yet....very soon though from what ive read).


2a. As far as I know, there are no cards out there that you can put into a PC that decodes a DirecTV signal directly. After that, the easiest way to scale up your D* signal would be to hook one of the outputs from your receiver to the input of the capture card and run it thru dScaler, then output to your TV. Since most standard def receivers have more than one output (Svideo, composite, RF, etc), you can run it into 2 separate inputs in your TV and give yourself a good A/B comparison. If your TV has a good line doubler, it might match the HTPC, but Im guessing it wont be close.


Unfortunately I dont know enough about the Holo3D card (except its price!!!) to give you more info on it.


Hope this helps, its also working for me to get my ideas into threads and see what the opinions are (I havent even started building my HTPC yet, I want to get it right the first time so I dont mind investing quite a bit of research).


-Chris
 

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These are your options:


HTPC w/holo3d + stb dvd player

HTPC w/dvd drive + software dvd player

stb dvd player


They go in order starting with most expensive to least expensive. It's debatable what will give you better quality between the first two (especially when using sdi). I've never used the holo3d so I can't help. The middle solution would seem like your best bet since it's so much cheaper than the top one.


Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tom,


What is an stb dvd player? By the way will the X-capture by prolink let me record tv shows like TiVo and what about video maker USB by the same company, and will it give a good progressive signal? Thanks,


Fulmitz
 

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stb = set top box just like the sony dvd player you mentioned. The x-capture card will give you a great picture when combined with the latest dscaler source but it has no tuner I believe, so you won't be able to record different shows unless you have an ir transmitter to change channels from a different source. Some of the other cards have tuners like the MSI TV @nywhere and the Asus one. The MSI one isn't too good from what I hear though.


Tom
 

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Have you read the first few references in the FAQ? Some really good and useful info.


In a nutshell a HTPC provides several functions:


- Progressive scan DVD player (DVD & Theatertek, etc.)

- HD Tuner (HiPix, etc)

- HD PVR (HiPix, etc) & SD PVR (whatever)

- Scaler (H3D, DScaler, etc)

- MP3/WAV/CD Jukebox (WinAmp, etc)

- Internet Browser

- Slideshow viewer (impress your friends by scanning in all of your old 60's pics)


I just installed my 3rd HTPC in my house (Theatre, Family Room, Bedroom). If built and configed correctly they are easy to use and stable.


Having tried numerous DVD players I've not seen one that bests an HTPC with a good DVD drive, Radeon, and Theatertek. The diff is noticeable, even on my 43" Hitachi, but especially on a front projector.


You don't need a H3D for DVD or OTA HD, but you might for other inputs.


Again, if you haven't already - Read the FAQ!


Aslan...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
what about the DTV3000 by prolink? They say it can recieve digital satellite signals so I'm guessing I could use that instead of getting another box, and that would be the tuner to go with the xcapture card?


Thanks for all the help so far,


Fulmitz
 

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I don't know exactly what the DTV3000 is but it sounds like a pci card. Most capture/tuner cards don't have composite or s-video out so I doubt this will work. I also doubt dscaler works with this card. You might want to research if the DTV3000 works with your satellite provider.


Tom
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tbdombrosky
These are your options:


HTPC w/holo3d + stb dvd player

HTPC w/dvd drive + software dvd player

stb dvd player


They go in order starting with most expensive to least expensive. It's debatable what will give you better quality between the first two (especially when using sdi). I've never used the holo3d so I can't help. The middle solution would seem like your best bet since it's so much cheaper than the top one.


Tom
Would it still be good to have a great stb dvd player + H3D? Or can you run a ****** Apex $60 dvd through to the H3d card for the same pic?


Personally I have a Panny cp-72(great pq) but I want to up-scale to 1080i through H3D.
 

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I'm not sure you can scale up to 1080i because I don't think the current video cards can output that through the vga port. I could be wrong though. Basically, getting one of those apex players will ruin any video quality you might gain with a holo3d card. What you want is a dvd player with an sdi output. Apparently, it's a digital signal.


You should really let us know what type of display you have so we can find out the best thing for you. You might not need some of the fancier equipment out there if you're only using the tvout.


Tom
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tbdombrosky
I'm not sure you can scale up to 1080i because I don't think the current video cards can output that through the vga port. I could be wrong though. Basically, getting one of those apex players will ruin any video quality you might gain with a holo3d card. What you want is a dvd player with an sdi output. Apparently, it's a digital signal.


You should really let us know what type of display you have so we can find out the best thing for you. You might not need some of the fancier equipment out there if you're only using the tvout.


Tom
Well, I have a Panny 51hx41 HD rptv plus the CP-72. I have heard of others scaling up to 1080i with DVD's. Unless I read wrong, but pretty sure I didn't. I don't recall which graphics card they were using but I'll bet it was a Radeon. Don't some cards have component outs that could do 1080i?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SteroMAdMAn
Well, I have a Panny 51hx41 HD rptv plus the CP-72. I have heard of others scaling up to 1080i with DVD's. Unless I read wrong, but pretty sure I didn't. I don't recall which graphics card they were using but I'll bet it was a Radeon. Don't some cards have component outs that could do 1080i?
Radeon's component out is limited to 480p for DVD's. Don't know about the VGA out though. I know the Hipix and MyHD could scale to 1080i for dvd's but only with certain drivers.


Tom
 

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So, what would you recommend I get? I would like to watch DVD's/ XBOX in 1080i, thats basically my whole purpose of making this HTPC. Plus getting a good capture card for recording HD. Like I said, i'm sure I seen someone getting 1080i through there Radeon from the VGA to component transcoder(?). Not to say your wrong, maybe they where, I dunno. But now i'm confused.
 
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