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Growing Cost Of HTPC

371 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  vrindner
I am concerned with the growing cost of HTPC.

To me the HTPC offers an affordable alternative to expensive scalers.

Every time I visit this site there is a new mod for sale, overkill cpu suggestions and an array of overkill video card, and processors being suggested.

The problem I see is a growing lack of affordable options that provide strickly high quality DVD playback.

The mods are getting more pricey and in greater number. I see less affordable options praised. Perhaps you guys just have more money to spend than I do.

I am using an unmodified ATI Radeon 7200 and TT with scoped video output on a PIII 866/maudio 24/96/iomagic pvr svideo capture card and I am very pleased with the performance for DVD playback. What affordable must do upgrades for better picture quality?

For strictly DVD playback why are these lower cost more affordable options not talked about and praised for there Picture Quality?

Does the ATI 9000 warrant an abandonment of the 7200/7500 use for a strickly DVD playback system with high picture quality?

If the answer is yes to the above question,

when a user comes deciding to upgrade does the person spend money on a modified ATI 7500 or does he save some money and upgrade to an ATI 9000?

If you got a modified ATI 9000 card, would you be better of getting an unmodified 9000 instead and with the money saved from the cost of the mod upgrade video cards in the future to the latest and greatest?

Every time I turn my head around there is a new mod, and expensive at that. I am after good picture quality and a reasonable price, am I the only one who wants to see more discussions about affordable options and mods?

There is a ton of affordable sensible talk going on in the screens section with the talk of the Parker Plastics home made high quality screens.

I would like to see more dialog like this in the HTPC forum area.
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The problem I see is a growing lack of affordable options that provide strickly high quality DVD playback.
I guess I don't see the trend you're talking about. Just over the last day there's a discussion of:
$80 motherboard
$39 capture card
Some cheap cases
a self made case
$30 sound card
200 GBytes for $200

Certainly there are some great, expensive choices that didn't exist before. Holo3d, mp modded radeon 9700, atech case. But you still can get the old cheap stuff.
If you are happy with your HTPC, why upgrade?

As for cost effective upgrades, how about the $12.95 price to go from TT 1.0 to TT 1.5? I upgraded to 1.5 a few weeks ago and feel the upgraded filters were worth the money. About the video cards, it has always been like this. I originally joined the AVS forum in 1999 and the Chromatic Research MPACT2 cards were the king. I believe at the time it was a $150 card. Then everyone bought $300 Gforce2s (or the Matrox G400) plus spent extra on either WinDVD or PowerDVD software players. After that came the Radeons. I look at buying a new video card every 18-24 months. Within that time frame, siginificant enhancements would have most likely been made and major bugs worked out. Besides, I personally like to spend more time watching movies than upgrading/tweaking.
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