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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I ask my questions, can someone steer me to the correct forum to ask for help on things I need in order to play DVD's on my computer and watch them on my TV?


I currently have an "ATI RADEON SDR" card installed and an "ATI ALL-IN-WONDER" 16MB [in the box] and a DVD drive.


I have a very basic 31" tv with only a coaxial connector and DirecTV with a Philips Tivo cosole.


I am hoping at the most to buy a new, more capable, tv.


Thanks...
 

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Yea, This is the right forum. However, If your display is limited to composite video input, You won't get much out of a HTPC. The HTPC really starts to shine at higher resolutions and better interfaces (RGBHV, Component, DVI, etc)


If you're limited to composite or s-video and still want to use a PC, Consider the older Hollywood + or a interlaced set top DVD player. You'll get better results with out the hassle and $$.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback Dave. I am very new at this, but I assume HTPC stands for Home Theater PC.


Going on that assumption, I would assume - interfaces (RGBHV, Component, DVI, etc) - refers to my video card.


I am on a limited income so I would like the best quality for the lowest price. I don't necessarily mean the cheapest, but I would like to go for a balance between quality and price.


My Radeon card was a replacement for a burned out G-force card and so has no documentation.


I believe it has 32MB, it has s-video-out and a 24 pin socket which I can't identify. My tv just has the coaxial connector and my TIVO machine has s-video-in.


I am hoping that s-video is acceptable. Until now, I thought it was preferable. Do you know if I can use the s-video-out from the card to go in through the s-video-in on my TIVO box? I guess I probably still have to be able to run an s-video cable from my TIVO box to my TV.


So with all this in mind, do you think I could get by with a new TV?


I don't quite understand getting a set top DVD drive. If I were going to do that, couldn't I just bypass the PC all together? The only motive for using the PC is because I already have DVD capabilities.


It all boils down to I just want to be able to watch DVD's on my TV. [A remote control would be nice].


Do you think I will be dissapointed with s-video?


Please advise.


Thank you.
 

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I used to watch DVD's using the S-video connection. Now I use VGA to the FP (Front Projection) TV. In my case, a DLP projector (basically a Data Projector; the kind you see in a business conference room hooked up to a laptop, so some software salesman can show you a demo up on the wall). There is no comparison: VGA rocks! (sorry for the silly Wayne's World like euphuism). I think dlarsen summed it up when by saying that without RGBHV or Component interfaces to a display device that can't handle higher resolutions you are not going to get much from an HTPC. At this point it is very much a hobbyist domain, and you may be giving yourself more headaches than benefit. But, if you are willing to upgrade your TV as you stated in your initial post, you might want to consider getting something that can handle a VGA input so that you have the option of using an HTPC to its fullest functionality. You can Surf the Net, you can play MP3's on a visual jukebox, watch DVD's with stunning all digital progressive output (candy for the eyes), play the greatest PC video games, look at family digital photos, etc., etc., etc. (sorry, I didn't realize I was being so Yul Brynner until I read it after I posted it - just saw The King and I recently!).


If (and when) you are ready to start checking out displays options (or TV's for that matter) you should check out the Display Devices forums: CRT Projectors , DLP, LCD, D-ILA Projectors , Plasma and LCD Displays .


And before you think, "I can't afford that stuff", realize that good XGA resolution display devices like DLP projectors and LCD projectors have become more considerably affordable than they were just one year ago. And, are giving RPTV's a run for their money (price-wise).


From a depreciation standpoint, I know from experience :( -Pat
 

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Hey guys, don't scare him off ;)


Raj-Dynel:

While it's true that you can get a lot more out of an HTPC with a better TV, it sounds like you could do some experimentation with what you already have. I don't own a Tivo, but if it will convert s-video->coax then you're all set to start watching DVDs without spending any cash (which from what I understand is your initial goal.) It's at least worth a try!


InfraRed control is possible using an IRMAN ( www.evation.com ) and girder ( www.girder.nl ), or by other methods. I won't go into details here - I'm thinking that you need to do more background reading in this forum first.


Go back to the main topic list page, and click the 'search' link that is directly under the 'post new topic' button. Search for 'meta faq', posted by miksmi. Be prepared to lose some sleep. :D

If you have trouble finding it, let us know and I'll post the direct link, but I don't have it to hand, and knowing the search feature in this forum is a useful thing ;)


Just watch out for the HTPC bug though....it can bite hard.
 

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I guess I did sound a little too difficult. Sorry. genixia is right about experimenting. What the heck. If you don't have a DVD player and you want to try using the PC... why not try it?!!!


But, the "lose some sleep" warning is a very valid warning. This whole AV arena is very addictive ;) -Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really appreciate ALL the feedback as I really know very little about this subject.


paddy - I am not sure what you meant. If I get a more functional TV as you suggested, what would I be using as a DVD player?


genixia - I will do more research as you suggested, however, I am wondering. If Tivo has an s-video connector, is it just a matter of getting the appropriate connecting cables to get it to interface with the coaxial cable on my TV?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys weren't kidding about losing sleep :D I 'started' reading the meta faq and I am overwhelmed!! No, I mean I am really overwhelmed :eek:


How do I turn on html so that I see the formatting rather than the codes?


I notice they recommened The ATI Radeon DDR. Is SDR with 32MB sufficient?
 
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