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I've been a home theater nut for about 9 years. About 3 years ago I saw a gateway htpc setup in one of their stores and fell in love with the idea. Since then I sold my HT setup and moved to vegas. I'm in the process of building my HT again. I dismissed the idea of having a HTPC only because I really haven't heard that much about it. I stumbled onto these forums from ign.com asking questions about the xbox. I'm sure you guys have newbies coming in here all the time asking very basic questions without doing any researching themselves. I've read through alot of the threads and I guess I'm wondering how much a decent HTPC system would cost and how much better (if any) it would be compared to a normal HT setup. I already purchased my Dolbly Digital receiver and speakers and right now I'm looking for a HDTV dislplay, and a new computer. What kind of resoultions can I except from a dvdrom in my computer hooked up to a HDTV using windvd software, and is it alot better than a standard progressive scan player? What are the advantages of owning a HTPC versuse a regular HT. Can I use a HDTV video card for my comoputer to receive HDTV signals from a satelite dish? Any comments or suggestions and prices will be greatly appreciated.
 

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I think after all the specialized gear. You are lookin at around $1000-$1500. The most expesive parts are usually the sound card (since for HT most people use a dedicated 24/96 card) then a high end Radeon or Geforce card. Of course if you want to watch tv you need a tv tuner card. So that adds. OF course that figure I gave you is very high but better going over than under ;)
 

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I'd go with the $1500 figure if you want to include HDTV capture, and a pro-level soundcard.


It is possible to save about $150 by going AMD vs Intel on a high end model, but Intel solutions tend to have more stability out of the box - several Athlon chipsets have quirky problems assosciated with them, especially the earlier Via chipsets. The other thing to consider is that getting good and quiet cooling on an AMD solution can be difficult.


The resolution that you can expect is effectively the maximum resolution that your HDTV supports - the graphics cards today tend to support higher resolutions than then displays. Obviously DVDs have a limited resolution anyway - you should be able to hit this easily..


Use the search feature and search for 'meta faq'. This wonderful post written by miksmi is the jumping point for just about every FAQ and important thread in this forum. Be prepared to lose some sleep.
 
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