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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Without the money to build a dedicated box for a HTPC at the moment, I am wondering if I should even attempt to dabble in using my main computer as the center of my theatre, instead of going out and purchasing a standard dvd player.


My workstation is in the next room from the living room. I assume that I could use the video out on my video card, and run an IR device like IRman to the computer, to control it.


I plan on using the device for tv capture, dvd, mp3 etc.


What do you think? Is it feasible? Do most HTPC's use a gui that is made strictly for a dedicated box? Will the serial/comp outs be able to reach the 20-30 feet to the box?


Thanks for your help.
 

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What sort of display do you have? Since you're thinking of using the video out of your video card (rather than the vga output), I doubt you'd see any improvement in image quality with an HTPC orver a dedicated dvd player. I wouldn't use a home computer in place of a dedicated dvd player. You can get a dedicated dvd player for $100..If you watch a lot of dvd's, you would probably want a dedicated player even if you decide to use your computer as an htpc.


Are your mp3's stored on your home computer? It may be fun to dabble with using your computer for that. Keep in mind if your tv can't display vga resolution, your choice of GUI's is somewhat limited. You could also use an Audiotron to play mp3's that are stored on your home computer.
 

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Keep in mind that the Irman is IR. And such, has to be in line of sight. If the room is within 20 feet without and blocking walls (I doubt it is), then the Irman would work. You might think of running a KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) cable from your computer to the projector or TV (given it will take a VGA input). But if you plan to use the computer for capture as well as DVD playback, you'd have a ton of wiring running both to and from the computer, so I'd agree with alex and suggest you look for another option.


If you are using a set that is not HDTV ready, then HTPC is a hassel and will not give you any noticeable increase in picture quality (as Alex has stated).


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, I have come to the conclusion that the HTPC must be a dedicated box. Thank you.


What are typical minimum requirements for tv capture, and dvd playback as far as video card, processor and ram?


I would assume atleast a 500mhz processor, and 128mb of ram? More or less?


Thanks again.
 

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I use a next room HTPC for the moment. I brought a 25-meter long cable from the PC to TV with 2 Audio and 2 Video Connections (all in one cable). 2 Audio for Stereo and 2 Video for TV-out (ATI) and DVB-out (Technotrend). I have an x10 RF Remote (it was bundled with some DVD Anywhere Kit in Germany) so I can control everything from the living room with Girder.


What I do with the HTPC:


- Digital TV and Digital Video Recording in the Hard Disc with WatchTVPro

- DVD and DIVX Player with Zoom Player and PowerDVD as DVD engine

- MP3 Jukebox with Winamp and Albumlist plug-in


everything works great except of course that I have to reboot everytime i want to change the PC-function from HTPC to Work-PC and the opposite.
 

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You can go several routes with the dual usage pc. A device like a Nicklock or a Romtec Trios will allow you to set up separate boot ide drives which you can select or you could simply set up a dual boot drive for either function. Of course, you'll want suitable hardware to cover all functions that the pc performs.


As for the other room, an active usb repeater cable(s) and usb hub could get a mouse and keyboard to the remote location.


It's abit of work and planning but it can be done.
 
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