AVS Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,


I recently bought a 54" Panny plasma and am considering making a foray into the HTPC realm.


I have a Dell XPS M2010 "laptop" that I bought over three years ago, and is starting to show its age. (Actually, it's not really... but in my head three years sounds old.) It's got a 20" screen, a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, a 256MB ATI Radeon Mobility X1800 graphics card, and a detachable bluetooth wireless keyboard. I'm thinking that once I get a new computer, I might try to dedicate this one to being a HTPC. It seems especially well-suited given its compact size, its built-in screen (which might help with troubleshooting issues), its gyration remote, and the fact that its bluetooth keyboard (with built-in trackpad) charges when attached to the laptop.




The only thing I have to figure out is the best way to run the audio/video to my TV. The laptop has a DVI video output and an S/PDIF audio output. My TV does not have these inputs, but of course it has HDMI. I've found various converters online that seem to be able to combine the S/PDIF audio and DVI video feeds into one HDMI feed. Here are some examples:
http://www.lightinthebox.com/HDMI-Co...9-_p29691.html
http://www.amazon.com/DVI-I-Dual-Con.../dp/B0015YYOQQ

These are about $50.


I'm just wondering how well these solutions might perform, and if anyone has any experience. Will the computer sense automatically that the TV is running at 1080p resolution?


I'm also wondering if anyone has an opinion on this whole idea in general. The computer was originally pretty expensive (about $3.5k) so repurposing it into an HTPC might be silly since you can buy/assemble decent HTPCs for under $500.


What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I also found some interesting items from Atlona ( http://www.atlona.com/ ) that might work, like this: http://thehdpix.com/ that does 1/8" L/R and USB to HDMI.

But it looks like that costs $150, and I don't know how I feel about the processor wasting precious megahertz having to drive the display over USB, plus the audio quality is limited to stereo.


TL;DR - Bump! (My first and final.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
885 Posts
I would think for Dolby Digital 5.1 audio bitstreaming and a picture signal it would not be hard to convert. You would likely have to set your display settings to 1080p on your computer. Not hard.


Another idea would be to just adapt the video side of things and then connect the audio separately via spdif to your A/V receiver. Even a DVI to HDMI cable might work for that. But if you have only a TV right now, that won't work since you need audio to be combined into the HDMI signal.


Perhaps check this one too: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the response!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Tech /forum/post/18234797


You would likely have to set your display settings to 1080p on your computer.

Yeah I guess my concern is whether or not 1080p is even a resolution option, since the Display Properties box in Windows just has a slider bar with pre-set resolutions. The native res of the built-in display is 1680x1050, which is smaller than 1080p, so I don't know how I could get it to offer a larger (or custom) resolution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Tech /forum/post/18234797


Another idea would be to just adapt the video side of things and then connect the audio separately via spdif to your A/V receiver.

Yeah, no receiver now. Still clinging to my gorgeous-sounding classic Pioneer SX-737.



Thanks for the link.


So do you think it is stupid to dedicate this machine to my TV?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I lied. One last bump.



I found out my laptop's graphics card can support 1080p and beyond. So the only question for me is whether or not, once I've connected a DVI-HDMI converter box, '1920x1080' will show up as a resolution option on the Display Properties resolution slider.


And I'm just hoping to get anyone else's opinion on whether you think it might be silly to dedicate what was once such an expensive machine to HTPC-dom. I just figure it fits because of the bluetooth keyboard and RF gyration remote.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top