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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been on the HTPC bus for many years now and with over 700 rips, an UnRaid NAS, and a really hot HTPC running TT2.4 and ffdshow I have been a happy camper. I purchased the $200 add-on drive to the XBOX360 along with the VGA adapter cable and I can now watch HD-DVD's when I want for near no cost. Life is good right....! Naw not really...!


I would like to be able to play HD-DVD's using the PC so I have the one box solution but the baseline PC requirements are crazy as detailed in the awesome sticky post from "renethx". I would need to totally build a new machine and my current one was top drawer just one year ago.


So now comes the confusion, the XBOX360 is more powerful than the old XBOX but in reality it's a light weight computer for sure. So why is it possible for the X to play HD-DVD's flawlessly with such a low power computer when you need the biggest hotrod PC to do the same thing.


At the cost to do HD-DVD playback on the HTPC I'm thinking I will just stay with what I have. I was one of the lucky ones that already had the 360 but even if I didn't the cost of a 360 and the add-on drive is less than buying or building a new HTPC capable of HD playback. So tell me what am I missing here....?
 

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It is puzzling, after all the Toshiba HD-DVD players are undoubtedly less powerful than the average HTPC (although they may be using some special-purpose hardware, I don't know).


I think part of the problem is that the general-use, multitasking nature of Windows makes it more difficult to play back these discs. In other words it's not just a matter of having a certain amount of processing power but making sure the playback can get steady, continuous attention from the CPU in order to keep the audio and video streams running and in sync without any 'hiccups' that could cause momentary stuttering or other symptoms. And even though the XBOX-360 is essentially running Windows it's a stripped down version without a lot of the overhead a regular PC has to deal with.


My suggestion to anybody wanting to get HD-DVD playback on an HTPC, put your money into the CPU, more than the video card. The hardware acceleration seems to be pretty buggy right now (in fact it doesn't work at all in PowerDVD HD with ATI cards), but with a Core 2 Duo you should be able to get smooth playback in software mode.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_P_Harvey /forum/post/0


So tell me what am I missing here....?

It looks like you are fine with what you have. I already had a Shuttle box with an FX60 connected via DVI to my Sharp 45. I upgraded my video card to a HDCP model and got the Xbox add-on to get 1080p playback of HD-DVDs. I think most people go the HTPC route because of the flexibility for playback on projectors and other panels with different refresh rate/resolutions.


By the way what is your current HTPC setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Originally Posted by Ned Nederlander /forum/post/0


By the way what is your current HTPC setup?

It too is a Shuttle mini, with a 3.6Ghz P4 with Hyperthreading enabled, 2GB of high end Corsair Ram and an Nvidia 7800GT video card (which I know is not HDCP capable). So for a year ago this was a rather hot machine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKohn /forum/post/0


It is puzzling, after all the Toshiba HD-DVD players are undoubtedly less powerful than the average HTPC (although they may be using some special-purpose hardware, I don't know).


I think part of the problem is that the general-use, multitasking nature of Windows makes it more difficult to play back these discs. In other words it's not just a matter of having a certain amount of processing power but making sure the playback can get steady, continuous attention from the CPU in order to keep the audio and video streams running and in sync without any 'hiccups' that could cause momentary stuttering or other symptoms. And even though the XBOX-360 is essentially running Windows it's a stripped down version without a lot of the overhead a regular PC has to deal with.


My suggestion to anybody wanting to get HD-DVD playback on an HTPC, put your money into the CPU, more than the video card. The hardware acceleration seems to be pretty buggy right now (in fact it doesn't work at all in PowerDVD HD with ATI cards), but with a Core 2 Duo you should be able to get smooth playback in software mode.

The Toshiba HD DVD player uses a hardware decoder, the "PC" side is more for things like iHD.


Chris
 

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Most of the reason HD DVD and BD DVD and upcomming Cable card require HDCP, AACS, ect.... most of the CPU power is runing the DRM management tools in real time and causes alot more stain on the system which is why a beefy sysetm is needed.


here's some good reading on the whole DRM, HD DVD, Vista thing (its LONG, but worth the read):
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut00...ista_cost.html


That article explains exactly why it takes a beefy system is becuase the whole DRM piece takes up much of the CPU cycles, but then you have VC-1 decoding needing to be done and if you don't have a powerful GPU that part is also off loaded onto the CPU so hence where a powerful cpu is needed for staable, reliable playback.


Do a search on google (Peter Gutmann, vista and DRM) for more info and what others think of Vista, DRM, and all that fun stuff.


BTW if you say "well im running windows xp" well the dealings we are having with HD DVD playback are the what came out of the DRM process for Vista, they just ported it to XP so you can get HD DVD playback running. Wait till Cable cards come into play, that will even be more fun to deal with.


- Josh
 
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