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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. After more than a year of reading this forum, I've decided to join.


I just bought myself a notebook (Apple iBook) and I've decided to use my old PC (AMD Duron 650MHz/Abit KT7/384MB RAM/Win XP) as a HTPC (replacing a Pioneer DV-333 and serving as a MP3 jukebox).


After a disappointing first test (picture shudder :( ), I realized that my processor wasn't up to the task, it was only good to play MP3s. Abit says that the KT7 don't support anything beyond an Athlon Thunderbird 1400MHz w/ 100MHz FSB. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find one for a reasonable price :mad: . Then I found on the net on how to get an AMD AthlonXP 2100+ Tbred-B to work on a KT7. After some research, I bought the last one around here for $150 Canadian for the box version (~$100US). Bingo! Now my computer is running @ 1.7GHz (until I buy a better fan than the one from AMD (should be able to go up to 2.3GHz if I want to)). Now, my DVD playback is smooth :cool: .


Now I'm ready to upgrade something else.


I'm currently using a Matrox G400MAX (Svideo out) to connect to my Sony Wega KV27FS100 (non-hdtv). Would an ATI Radeon 8500LE with the component adapter give me a better picture quality on the TV? Or should I save my cash to upgrade something else (more memory, better sound card, bigger HD...).

HTPC

AMD AthlonXP 2100+ @1.7GHz 200MHz FSB

ABIT KT7 MoBo (Socket A, VIA KT133)

384MB SDRAM PC133

Matrox G400MAX 32MB

SoundBlaster Live! Platinum

Pioneer DVD-104S

MS Windows XP Pro

PowerDVD XP

MusicMatch
 

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There will be a HUGE difference in picture quality between S-video out from the PC and component out, with component being better.


If you go for the 8500 or better your HTPC will be able to support HDTV in the future.


One word of warning, the ATI component adapter is somewhat finicky and doesn't generally have a good reputation. It may or may not support 480i output so I'd double check that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replies.


ADU: My TV is a non-hdtv 4:3 (with 16:9 mode) Sony Wega KV-27FS100 with component(480i), svideo and composite inputs.


jvincent: I thought that, at 480i, there wasn't much differences between Svideo and Component. I didn't see a drop of picture quality between my Pioneer DV-333 (via component) and my HTPC Matrox G400 (via svideo).
 

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The difference between S-video and Component may be more pronounced on a progressive digital HDTV than on a 480i set.


However, if your Pioneer has S-video out, try this test. Connect the Pioneer to both the S-video and Component inputs on the TV. Then switch back and forth between the two, looking both at the menus and movies. This may give you a better idea of the improvement you'd see with a component connection for your computer.


If you don't see much difference, then why not save for perhaps a nice flat panel or rear-projection computer-compatible HDTV dispay?
 

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Maybe HUGE is an exaggeration but on my old DVD player which had both S-Video and component outputs there was a noticeable difference between the two.


The S-video output of some video cards is also notoriously bad, although I can't speak for yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After some tests between my Pioneer DV-333 (using component) and my Matrox G400 (using Svideo) to my Sony Wega, I don't see any differences. I think I'll save my money for upgrading something else.


Thanks you all for your help!
 
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