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Hi, I just put together a new PC which is intended to be used as a media server to host my DVD collection, music collection, pictures, and more. I've just finished assembling the computer (ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe, 2.6C Overclocked, Radeon 9600XT, M-Audio Revo, WinTV 350) and need some advice on how to setup the following:


My home theather system is a multi-zone setup. I have IR and HD cables installed throughout the home to feed each zone. The central hub is where I'll have a KeyDigital 8 input/3output matrix component switch where it'll feed 3 different digital sets (Panny ETV plasma, Pioneer 630-HD Rear Proj, and Toshiba HD Rear Proj). I have the DVI to Component dongle which will feed the component cable into the switch, and out to the respective monitors.


My question is, am I living in a dream world, or is it possible to feed TV's which might all have different native resolutions, one of which isn't even true HD? The only thing I've been able to test is my Panny ETV plasma, which was able to get pictures of most resolutions (some fitting the complete desktop, others not), but could only get video overlay at the 850-something x 480 resolution. Obviously I was hoping the plasma would downconvert a higher resolution so I could distribute HD resolution to the other monitors. Is this possible? Or will I have to feed 480p to all?


The other challenge is figuring out how to handle the XP desktop on a standard LCD (1280x1024) monitor attached to the RGB input to configure software, and feed the UI through the TV monitors out the DVI. I'd like to use the Cinemar suite (DVD Lobby, etc. ) as the GUI. I can't output my desktop as a clone to the 2 monitors (LCD and Plasma) without one being a partial desktop, which requires you to scroll the mouse to view the remaining desktop resolution.


I'd love some basic input from those who might be able to help me with these challenges. I'm not a moron when it comes to computers and electronics, but I definitely need to learn a lot when it comes to running an HTPC, and configuring software like Powerstrip, Girder, etc.


If you need more info about my setup, let me know. Thanks in advance for your help!


Rick
 

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This suggestion would be going a slightly different direction but you might want to at least investigate. There is a thin media client just appearing in the market from a company called Roku. It might not be a low cost strategy but for $500 each you would have a unit for each screen and all the signals would be distributed over ethernet, including HD transport streams. I don't have one yet so I don't have any direct experience but the company was started by the same fellow who started ReplayTV. Besides possibly cost another possible drawback is that it seems that component output is the only HD option in the current unit.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SBryan
This suggestion would be going a slightly different direction but you might want to at least investigate. There is a thin media client just appearing in the market from a company called Roku...
Tried that, returned it to Good Guys. In my opinion, Roku isn't ready to be a true media player. They just now started testing streaming video, but it's not working for anyone yet. Even the hardware is buggy... the SPDIF output isn't compatible with B&K receivers (music is just static, known bug), and the component passthru didn't work. The GUI also doesn't give a lot of options, but it has potential. I bought it to play with it, and see if it was capable of more than what I read about, but it didn't do the job I desired.


I know there are a lot of hurdles and incompatibilities to deal with on the HTPC route, and I may not even get to set everything up the way I want, but I'm sure you experts can help figure out some ways around it... I appreciate the help.
 
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