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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering where I can find a list of essential harware and software for a HTPC, especially just released hardware and software that defines the latest and greatest. Also wondering which mods, tweaks are essential for best performance depending on which solution/method is chosen. In my case, I have a Dwin HD700 CRT projector, so I'm just looking for 720p RGBHV output.... Please correct me or add comments as nothing is final, but I'm trying to come up with a final solid plan ASAP.


In my case, since I will be using a very distant HTPC controlled by either a Pocket PC or a touch screen of some sort using Main Lobby Suite and/or the pocket PC versions of DVD Lobby and Music Lobby. I am planning on running a 65' run of Coax to connect a 7.1 revolution which will be in the HTPC in the bedroom and to the Meridian 861 processor in the HT room.


I am trying out J Rivers Media Center and am really enjoying it, so I guess that will be integrated with the Main Lobby suite.


As far as best choices for a HTPC hardware in which silence is not an issue and playback of WM9 such as "Coral Reef" is a must, I would imagine just get the fastest CPU and about 512 MB ram and that should take care of it. I currently have an Intel Motherboard = D850EMV2 which currently has a 1.6 GHz CPU and 256 MB of 400 RDR RAM I believe... Can I just upgrade to a 3.0 Hz CPU and add another 256 MB of RDR RAM? I tried looking at Intel's Website to see what the fastest CPU I could fit would be but it just says it supports 478 pin P-4 and PC 800 RDR RAM, although I thought I had PC400... Anyone know what CPU I can put on this?


Also the Intel MB I have says it supports AGP 4X... is that ok for the latest Radeon 256 MB Graphics card? What is the best Graphics card to get? What is the difference between that and an H3D card? In other words, what is the highest quality of scaling a HTPC can achieve and what hardware and software are required to do it in my case? Again, I'm looking for 720p RGBHV only... no other resolutions matter to me.


What exactly is the H3D card vs a Radeon card? Do people still have to modify the Radeon cards and take off high frequency filters and such? Should I get TheaterTek or Zoom? How does a Radeon card compre to MP-1 modded video card with 5BNC Immersive Holo3Dgraph card?


What card is recommended for viewing HDTV? Is MY HD the best? Is version 2 any better in my case (I cannot accept SDI, only RGBHV), what about Hauppage?


For a Router, I imagine D-Link xtreme G router is the best/provides the best range? How much is that and where do I get that?

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As for controlling everything, you may want to look at the MainLobby suite from Cinemar along with some sort of touchscreen and/or a PocketPC. My preference is for a touchscreen, a la Crestron. The touchscreen can be a regular monitor, connected to the server PC, or it can be a stand-alone unit like a ProGear tablet PC. Because the Lobby suite is designed for client/server applications, it is flexible enough to accommodate most system configurations. In my case, I use a ProGear (10" 1024x768 screen) running Remote Desktop to connect to my server. The server, in turn, runs the MainLobby suite and MLServer (the back-end for the Lobby suite). The HTPC runs MLServer and Girder (eventually Girder will be replaced as MLServer's features increase). Commands are entered on the ProGear and activate events in MLServer on the server, which in turn sends commands to MLServer on the HTPC. These commands either control software running on the HTPC directly, or send commands to my connected hardware via USB-UIRT or direct serial (RS232) control. Despite the complicated-sounding pathway for each command, the response is instaneous.
I'm still trying to figure out if I should use: 1) a Pocket PC with DVDLobby and Music Lobby and also use Main Lobby for pocket PC when it comes out in Beta next month 2) Use a touch screen LCD as a secondary monitor. if that is possible from a Radeon Graphics card, just run a long length (65') cable?? And that way run regular DVD Lobby suite. 3) Progear tablet? But how would that differ from just adding a touch screen LCD ?


My head hurts, I need to pick up tomorrow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Since I have never gone the HTPC route before, I am totally unfamiliar with the best harware and software. I need to ask this again also:


How does a Radeon card using Theatertek or Zoom player compare to Holo3D-2? Is there any way to use Holo3D-2 card instead of a Radeon card? What exactly is a Holo 3D-2 card and what advantages does it have over Radeon card and vice versa?
 

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you might be better off using the search funtion on here (one question at a time) than waiting for someone to reply to all of your questions. I tried to read through your post, and my head now hurts too.
 

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Get theatertek if you are not *really* into tweaking, get zoomplayer if you love to tweak every last thing. TT has optimised Radeon settings too - very handy.

If you want the cleanest possible picture from a radeon, get a MP modified one with true BNC connectors, cleaner output stages, correct voltages etc. etc. It will be a must with long cable runs.

No you cannot just drop in a 3.2GHz chip into your system.

Get a new mainboard and RAM, check out www.tomshardware.com for good articles on which boards are best.


Or get an AMD 3200, with an NForce chipset mainboard? Why? Because it (Nforce audio) can convert the audio on the new WMV discs (like coral reef) into dolby digital 5.1 on the fly - very handy if you want to run into your receiver via the digital input.


All new boards have AGP 8X support, I would get an MP modded Radeon - a 9600Pro would be fine, get something bigger if you are a gamer, otherwise the 9600 is the magic point. Or grab a matrox card.


I would put the PC as close as possible to the screen, long cable runs should be avoided where possible, and you can always control the HTPC via a wireless network.
 

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And oh year, get 1GB of QUALITY RAM, cheapo ram is the biggest cause of instability in my experience. If in doubt, you can't go wrong with crucial ram www.crucial.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What I am seeing is that the H3D-2 card uses Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing whereas TheaterTek software DVD players use something like Bob and Weave?


In any case, it is my understanding that you get all digital scaling with Faroudja de-interlacing with the H3D-2 card, basically you end up having an outboard version of the Sony 7700 with Cinematrix PSM-1 with superior de-interlacing...


So, I imagine, correct me if I'm wrong, that a TheaterTek software DVD player with a Radeon graphics card is about identical in performance to what I have now with the Sony 7700 Cinematrix: All digital de-interlacing/scaling with average de-interlacing quality...


Then comes the point between Zoomplayer which allows infinite tweaking and TheaterTek... I don't think I have time to deal with Zoomplayer, but likely Zoomplayer is more powerful with its ability to tweak. But again, what de-interlacing method does Zoomplayer offer and what quality does it offer? Probably not much different than Bob and weave or something simple... probably not much difference, unless you have the time and knowledge to tweak the hell out of it...


I guess my question for those who might have some experience in comparing these products, would be: Am I likely to get the same quality with a Radeon and Theatertek out of the box as I get now with the Cinematrix PSM-1? I would think so...


The only appeal for me to go HTPC at this time would be if I could totally replace my Sony7700 and not look back. I don't have the money right now to get a different SDI modded player, a Holo3D2 card, and an upgraded PC...


Perhaps I could get a Holo3D2 card, but that would be to use the Holo3D2 card for its 'superior' de-interlacing in comparison to a Radeon with TheaterTek... I guess I could output the Radeon to the Theatertek if you guys think the Holo3D2 card offers $800.00 superior de-interlacing over just Radeon and TheaterTek...


I was going to get a My-HD card also, but not sure how that plays a part of it... I only care about two sources: My HD-OTA feed from my UHF antenna on the roof, and DVD... well, perhaps my NTSC cable if that's possible? Damn this is really hard figuring out what to do! If anybody has any suggestions or clarifications, even if it is just putting things in perspective, just let me know...


Remeber, for me, I have a DWIN HD700 CRT projector, so I can only use RGBHV and 720p ideally...
 

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MyHD 120 offers great DVD PQ out of the box but the software is still beta. My TV has Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing active on the component jacks (using my STB DVD player. But the picture from MyHD is way better. Thats using DVI but I think its close to the same from VGA which you can split out to RGBHV. (Yoy need to get the beta, bot the software drivers shipped.)Don't consider the MyHD card as a NTSC Cable solution. You can watch - its a really good picture, but you can't record, pause TV or any of that. You'll want a seperate card for this. I like the WinTV (Hauppage card you asked about, its not an HD card.) card with Sage. Doesn't the Sony offer SACD? Can't replace that with a PC.

jb
 

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It sounds like my setup would be almost exactly what you want. I am running a Sony G70 projector, so we are both in the CRT camp, and I run it at 720P as well.


Here are my specs.


ASUS P4S800 motherboard

P4 2.6ghz

512MB DDR333 ram

MP-1 modified radeon 9500 pro

MDP-100 MyHD

WinTV-PVR-250 TV tuner card

USB-UIRT

M-Audio Revo


For software

TheaterTek

XP Pro

J River Media Center

Girder

Netremote


With this setup I can run the WM9 stuff pretty well, I get the very occasional stutter, but they are few and far between (I have only tried the Terminator 2 disk though) You could easily avoid this by getting a bigger processor.


I went with the MP-1 modified video card because of all the great things I have heard about here and I got a good deal on a used one. I am very happy with it. The RGBHV connections are a big benefit for us CRT folks.


The USB-UIRT handles all my IR stuff to control my external devices (receiver, SACD/DVD-A player, Laserdisc, etc.) I actually don't use it to receive, I do all that via TCP/IP with netremote/girder.


I got the MyHD card used as well, and have been very happy with it as well. I chose the MyHD because it seems from reading here to be the most stable and also the most popular, it didn't hurt that I got a really good deal on it either. I don't watch a whole lot of HD stuff but it has been very stable for me and setting it up was pretty easy. I am running the output of the MyHD to a separate input on my projector so that I can utilize the MP-1 modification for DVD. I also use the MyHD card to scale my laserdiscs by inputing the S-video output of my LD player into the MyHD card, works great, but I don't think that really applies to you.


I got the WinTV-PVR-250 TV tuner card with Sage. I use it for all my cable TV watching and of course it also acts like a Tivo. Once again, I found this all pretty easy to setup and I am very happy with the hardware/software combo.


I got the Revo, since it seems to get good reviews everywhere, M-Audio is a name I trust when it comes to fidelity and since there were a lot of other users here with the same card I knew if I ran into trouble I could get help. I have been very happy with the card.


I went with TheaterTek because I didn't want to be tweaking all the time, I really liked the look of the interface and I knew there was a large and loyal fan base. I think the picture quality is great and the ease of use and setup is a piece of cake. I have never tried Zoomplayer.


Netremote is fully integrated into Media Center as well, and it's free. I have never used the lobby products, but I am extremely happy with Netremote. I run netremote on a Fujitsu Stylistic LT tablet with a wifi card in it. Performance is excellent and I can control everything with it. This takes some girder though, all pretty easy if you do your homework. Lots of software already has girder GML files that you can download and most of the work is already done for you. I was able to download girder gml files for Sage, TheaterTek and MyHD.


I went with Media Center mostly because it is fully integrated into Netremote and because of all the positive things I had heard about. After the free trial I was convinced that it was for me. I have a large selection of songs (~20,000 songs) and it has been great for organizing my collection.


For my wifi router, I found a Siemens Speedstream on eBay, and it has worked flawlessly.


Sorry I have kinda rambled on here, I think you are really making this too hard. Do some searching here and do lots of reading. I have had my HTPC up and running for about six weeks now. It has been super stable and very easy to use. I stick a DVD in, TheaterTek launches and starts playing. If I want to listen to music, I turn on Media Center via netremote on my tablet and music plays, if I want to listen to something different I can browse my entire collection on my tablet. If I want to listen to an SACD, press one button on my tablet and everything is ready to go, just stick a disc in and hit play. Want to watch a Laserdisc, one button configures the entire system via netremote. It's great!


Basically if I were you. I'd get a nice fast CPU, 512megs of RAM, a MP-1 modified video card (especially since you have a CRT), a Revo, and if you want HDTV a MyHD card. If you want cable and Tivo functionality get the Sage hardware bundle. You can do either Mainlobby or Netremote for control (I am partial to Netremote).


If you want to see check out my Netremote screens see http://www.netremote.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=729
 

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Deinterlacing is not a big deal on Film based DVDs, it's Video stuff (TV shows, recorded TV, etc) that would make use of the advanced deinterlacing like DCDi. For film simple 3:2 pulldown that software players like TT use.


For DVD playback TT with an unmodded Radeon 9600 would give you a good taste of what an HTPC can do.


Current state of the art PC hardware would be either the Athlon 64 or the upcoming Prescott based P4's from Intel. However from reading your posts in the CRA thread a nForce2 board and Athon 3200+ would probably be your best bet. That way you could take advantage of the nForce DD encoder for WM9.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm thinkng now about simply upgrading my current PC since it can be as noisy as it needs to be and will be located in the bedroom.


My Intel Motherboard, after talking to Intel (D850EMV2) can support a P-4, 3.06 GHz processor with the latest bios. I alreadyhave 512 MB of PC800 RDR ram onboard already... so perhaps I can simply upgrade to a 3.06 P-4 chip and perhaps add another 512 MB of PC800 RDR RAM and be fine for flawless 720p playback...


I'll just throw in a few big fat Seagate IDE hard drives using the Primary and secondary IDE controllers. I have a Cheetah SCSI as my main HD currently.


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MP-1 modified radeon 9500 pro
Where do you recommend getting a modified Radeon? Can you get 5 BNC outputs or is it still an HD-15 connector? I see no reason not to get the modded card.

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MDP-100 MyHD
I'll pick up one of those... maybe I can pick up SAGE TV later... but it would at least allow me to get my OTA HD stuff... ok great, done.

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WinTV-PVR-250 TV tuner card
I guess I can always add that in...

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USB-UIRT
Well, I would not have ANY other sources if the HTPC is going to take care of DVD, CD, and OTA-HD, so I am thinking mainlobby would be all I would need. Although there is no Main Lobby for Pcket PC right now... Let me continue.

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M-Audio Revo
Ok, got that sitting here, internal version. Debating on getting USB version, not sure... seems to be no big difference, I'm using the coax SPDIF output anyway.

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For software

TheaterTek

XP Pro

J River Media Center

Girder

Netremote
Wouldn't I need other software? What about Power Strip or XXY or something like that? I don't know because I've been out of it for a while now...


I am going to go stricly with the Cinemar suite: MainLobby, DVD Lobby, and Music Lobby because I heard the learning curve is much less, and I need all the help I can get. Mario has been tremendous with his phone support already and I haven't even bought anything. Your Netremote screens are killer!! But I'm afraid, as a resident I don't have the time to do much heavy duty stuff... But I still can do the heavy duty stuff If I need to later with Main Lobby. I have no experience with any of this, so I'm just going by what I've heard so far. J Rivers Media Center is awesome! And it is J Rivers that set this whole concept of migrating stricly to HTPC....

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With this setup I can run the WM9 stuff pretty well, I get the very occasional stutter, but they are few and far between (I have only tried the Terminator 2 disk though) You could easily avoid this by getting a bigger processor.
I would have thought for 720p you should have flawless operation! That being said, I think I should be OK if I upgrade my current PC to 3.0 GHz and 1 Gig Ram just to top it off...

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I went with the MP-1 modified video card because of all the great things I have heard about here and I got a good deal on a used one. I am very happy with it. The RGBHV connections are a big benefit for us CRT folks.
I have to find out more about where to get this... it sounds great! Do they dangle a cable with 5 BNC out the back or do we have to modify the case ourselves?

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The USB-UIRT handles all my IR stuff to control my external devices (receiver, SACD/DVD-A player, Laserdisc, etc.) I actually don't use it to receive, I do all that via TCP/IP with netremote/girder.
In my case, I guess I won't need USB-UIRT? I'm just trying to figure out how to control MyHD-- be able to switch from watching DVD to watching OTA HD and then change channels, etc... I'm assuming I can do this with Main Lobby.

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I got the MyHD card used as well, and have been very happy with it as well. I chose the MyHD because it seems from reading here to be the most stable and also the most popular, it didn't hurt that I got a really good deal on it either. I don't watch a whole lot of HD stuff but it has been very stable for me and setting it up was pretty easy. I am running the output of the MyHD to a separate input on my projector so that I can utilize the MP-1 modification for DVD.
What do you mean by output of the MyHD card? I have only one input on the DWIN HD700... oh no... you mean I have to by a switch box or do manual changes?? For some reason I thought the MyHD card would utilize the graphics card for output ???

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I also use the MyHD card to scale my laserdiscs by inputing the S-video output of my LD player into the MyHD card, works great, but I don't think that really applies to you.
Well, come to think of it, I have a friend with a Playstation-2 that brings it over, but nahhh forget it, besides the PC is in the Bedroom, so won't work. I'm just going to give up on the thought of playing games on the 100" HT screen... just not worth it forthe next couple years... besides I have no time for games anyway. For the next two years and because I'm on a budget, I like the idea of a single HTPC with 800 Gig storage space in the bedroom, which keeps the HT as quiet as possible... As long as I can do DVD, CD, and OTA, and perhaps analog cable, I'm good.

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I got the WinTV-PVR-250 TV tuner card with Sage. I use it for all my cable TV watching and of course it also acts like a Tivo. Once again, I found this all pretty easy to setup and I am very happy with the hardware/software combo.
I'm sure I could use Main Lobby and SAGE to control WinTV-PVR, but I can always add this later... However, would this card ouput through my graphics card? Again, I only have one RGBHV connector on the DWIN HD700 CRT projector.

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I got the Revo, since it seems to get good reviews everywhere, M-Audio is a name I trust when it comes to fidelity and since there were a lot of other users here with the same card I knew if I ran into trouble I could get help. I have been very happy with the card.
Apparently we won't be able to get Dobly Digital 5.1 or discrete surround sound from playing Terminator and Coral Reef WM9, which is dissapointing... but something has to give. Microsoft needs to do something about that... they can;t expect everybody to buy an NFORCE board and AMD processor to have discrete surround sound, that is GOOFY!!!

Quote:
I went with TheaterTek because I didn't want to be tweaking all the time, I really liked the look of the interface and I knew there was a large and loyal fan base. I think the picture quality is great and the ease of use and setup is a piece of cake. I have never tried Zoomplayer.
Considering my time contraints, I think a modified Radeon and TheaterTek is all I need. I'm sure it will look great. Don't you need Powerstrip and other software for proper 16:9 display? Hell if I know...

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Netremote is fully integrated into Media Center as well, and it's free. I have never used the lobby products, but I am extremely happy with Netremote.
It sounds great, but I've been told that the Main Lobby/ Cinemar suite has a less steep learning curve... Quite frankly, I need all the technical suport I can get, so for my situation, I'm guessing that both products would work equally well. ??

Quote:
I run netremote on a Fujitsu Stylistic LT tablet with a wifi card in it. Performance is excellent and I can control everything with it. This takes some girder though, all pretty easy if you do your homework.
I will need to control with Main Lobby: right now apparrently it is not in pocket PC version, only DVD Lobby and Music Lobby. I would need main lobby to control MyHD and be able to switch betwwen watching DVD and watching OTA HD and switching channels... How about this: Can I use a second Touch screen monitor running off the bedroom main PC using a 65 foot run of SDI cable or something???
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Assuming I can't run a second monitor from the moddified Radeon what about adding a secondary graphics card? Is the 65 foot run too much? Better off just getting a tablet I guess?


So, if I got your tablet and put Main lobby on it, It would be a very big remote... Anything like an oversized PPC or small high res tablet? Something 'in-between' a tablet and a PPC?

Quote:
For my wifi router, I found a Siemens Speedstream on eBay, and it has worked flawlessly.
This is cetainly one area I need to clear up. What device will I need on the HTPC end? I called USB tech support to learn what I need, and they confused me saying a router is only to connect to the Internet? I just need to interface a tablet or Pocket PC with the HTPC, does this require a router? The transmission is by RF I imagine, so to reduce the likelyhood of having to get a booster piece or whatever you call it... How do I know what to get for a 'router' ??


Thank very much...


Chris
 

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Quote:
Where do you recommend getting a modified Radeon? Can you get 5 BNC outputs or is it still an HD-15 connector? I see no reason not to get the modded card.
I really don't know to tell you the truth, I bought mine used. Here is the homepage for it http://www.wisdom-technologies.com they have links on where to buy it from.

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Wouldn't I need other software? What about Power Strip or XXY or something like that? I don't know because I've been out of it for a while now...
I am in fact using Power Strip, left that one out by accident.

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I have to find out more about where to get this... it sounds great! Do they dangle a cable with 5 BNC out the back or do we have to modify the case ourselves?
The 5BNC hook up is in a blank PCI slot cover, so your video card will in affect take up two PCI slots.

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In my case, I guess I won't need USB-UIRT? I'm just trying to figure out how to control MyHD-- be able to switch from watching DVD to watching OTA HD and then change channels, etc... I'm assuming I can do this with Main Lobby.
No it sounds like you will not need a UIRT, since everything will be self contained in the HTPC. You will change the channels and switch from DVD to HDTV, via girder controlled by Main Lobby.

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What do you mean by output of the MyHD card? I have only one input on the DWIN HD700... oh no... you mean I have to by a switch box or do manual changes?? For some reason I thought the MyHD card would utilize the graphics card for output ???
There are two ways to hook up the MyHD card. Optioin one, you can plug the output of your video card into the input of the MyHD card, and then plug the output of the MyHD card into your TV. Option two, plug the output of your video card into your TV and the output of the MyHD card into your TV. I went with option two because of the MP-1 modification on my video card, I wanted a straight shot from the video card into the TV and didn't want to loop it through the MyHD card. See this page for more details http://www.digitalconnection.com/Sup...ffnotes_14.htm


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I'm sure I could use Main Lobby and SAGE to control WinTV-PVR, but I can always add this later... However, would this card ouput through my graphics card? Again, I only have one RGBHV connector on the DWIN HD700 CRT projector.
The WinTV card does output through your normal video card, the MyHD card doesn't do to bandwidth limitations of the PCI bus (I think?)

Quote:
Apparently we won't be able to get Dobly Digital 5.1 or discrete surround sound from playing Terminator and Coral Reef WM9, which is dissapointing... but something has to give. Microsoft needs to do something about that... they can;t expect everybody to buy an NFORCE board and AMD processor to have discrete surround sound, that is GOOFY!!!
While it is dissapointing, it is not something I am really to worried about. The selection of titles currently available in WM9 is tiny, and to me it's just not that big of a deal.

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I will need to control with Main Lobby: right now apparrently it is not in pocket PC version, only DVD Lobby and Music Lobby. I would need main lobby to control MyHD and be able to switch betwwen watching DVD and watching OTA HD and switching channels... How about this: Can I use a second Touch screen monitor running off the bedroom main PC using a 65 foot run of SDI cable or something???
You got me about the monitor, seems like an awfully long run, but it might be possible.

Quote:
This is cetainly one area I need to clear up. What device will I need on the HTPC end? I called USB tech support to learn what I need, and they confused me saying a router is only to connect to the Internet? I just need to interface a tablet or Pocket PC with the HTPC, does this require a router? The transmission is by RF I imagine, so to reduce the likelyhood of having to get a booster piece or whatever you call it... How do I know what to get for a 'router' ??
Main Lobby and Netremote communicate to your htpc wirelessly through TCP/IP protocols, pretty much they do it over the internet. So essentially your remote (tablet pc or a pocket pc) will have a wireless card in it and access the internet from your wireless router. When you are running main lobby you will send a message via the TCP/IP to your htpc which will then talk to girder or media center and the required action will be taken. I am being very general here but that is essentially what is happening as far as I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank-you!


I called and left a message for the MP-1 Modification.

Quote:
There are two ways to hook up the MyHD card. Optioin one, you can plug the output of your video card into the input of the MyHD card, and then plug the output of the MyHD card into your TV. Option two, plug the output of your video card into your TV and the output of the MyHD card into your TV. I went with option two because of the MP-1 modification on my video card, I wanted a straight shot from the video card into the TV and didn't want to loop it through the MyHD card. See this page for more details http://www.digitalconnection.com/Su...iffnotes_14.htm
This really hurts because I really REALLY want that modification. Wonder how much it costs and do I have to send the card or do they just ship you a modded card...


I'm really dissapointed about the fact I have only ONE RGBHV input on the Dwin HD700... although it was hard enough fitting one cable through the ceiling mount 'pipe'.... Damn that sucks. I don;t see a way to have the mod and use the pass-thru... although maybe they can do the mod, but I won't have the luxury of 5 BNC connectors... that may be the compromise to make. To bad I can't loop the MYHd through the graphics card...


Wow, I'm so close... I can almost pull the trigger. Just need to figure the above out as well as what to get for a router and tablet PC... By the way, is a tablet PC something in-between a laptop computer and a Pocket PC, or is it closer to a small laptop? Is there anything in-between, or a very cool high resolution small tablet PC?
 

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Chris,


I also posted this in the Coral Reef Adventure Forum, where you asked the question.


For your issue with only having one RGBHV connector on your projector, I would suggest getting the normal MP-1 with the 5 BNC connectors, a DSub to 5 BNC RGBHV breakout cable for the MyHD 120 and using a high quality RGBHV switch that can be controlled by the computer, and waiting until Feb. 2 to gett a 3.2 Prescott setup with duel channel DDR. RDRAM is expensive, and that 3.06 is not exactly cheap. You should get better performance this way, and the cost should be quite similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How about this:


Use a small 5BNC RGBHV to DSub cable and just use the MyHD card pass-thru. While I am a perfectionist and cringe at the thought of "adaptor cables" and butt connectors/Gender changers, I'm thinking that this is the best way to go... Sure I would love to go direct to my projector with 5 BNC, however, assuming the MP-1 modification is worthwhile, then at least I would have the MP-1 modification, and I REALLY doubt the pass thru on the MY HD can introduce anythng bad, and for all intensive purposes would be no worse than a high quality (expensive) Extron Switcher... At least this way I could get the MP-1 modification? Better than no modification and using the pass thru??


What do you think? I'd like to know more about the MP-1 mod itself, and if anybody has done serious comparisons between modded and standard Radeon...


On the other point, if you think replacing the motherboard with integrated LAN and getting rid of my current 512 MB RDR and re-buying a new MB, 3.2 Prescott, and 1 GIG memory is aout the same price, than that sounds good... just hard to believe... The other point is that since I only need to run WM9 titles at 720p, maybe I should just get a 3.06 GHz processor and be done with it... 512 MB PC 800 should be enough I imagine...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, I did some reading on the MP-1 and 1.3 modifications. I didn't realize that it was such a simple modification. Check this out:

Quote:
The MP-1.3 is flexible. It can not only be used with the HOLO3DGRAPH, but virtually any PC card that has RGB or Component (Y, Pr, Pb) outputs.
That means you could instead modify the MyHD card.


That also means that the best compromise might be to use a Standard Radeon card and then use the pass thru to the MyHD card with the MP 1.3 mod on the MyHD card... this certainly beats spending $1,000 on an extron switcher and is a more integrated solution, assuming the pass thru on the MyHD card is a quality connection/switcher...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I basically have it figured out what would be best for me if I go the HTPC route, but need to find out how to deal with the MyHD card and a Radeon Card. Then there is the Mike Parker MP-1 modification, which I'm wondering if it is worthwhile. I know there are some people here who know whether it is worth it or it is not and I'd love private email of their opinion. It is a simple modification that seems like nothing much more than a line driver by adding op amps and perhaps optimizing the output resistance. Hard to believe it would make any visible difference unless you had a 50+ foot run of RGBHV cable in which case it would be mostly due to adding gain.


So you have a Radeon Card output and then there is the MyHD card output. I only have one RGBHV input for the Dwin HD700 with a 13M (about 40 feet) run of RGBHV cable.


While you could take the output of the Radeon and loop it thru the MyHD card, it would have been much more appealing to loop the MyHD card output thru the Radeon. I'm concerned about taking the Radeon output and using the pass-thru on the MyHD card.


Apparently there is a 1.3 Mike Parker modification which is on the website which describes essentially the MP-1 mod which can be done to any other card such as the Holo3D card. Likely that means they could perform the MP-1 modification to the MyHD card. If you used the MyHD modification you would in essence be modifying the output of both the Radeon and the MyHD card. Assuming this modification is worthwhile.


One could say: "Well just buy a high quality switcher, like an EXTRON" Sure but they are like $1,000... and maybe the pass thru on the MyHD card is just as good. Maybe the MP 1.3 mod to the MyHD card is beneficial to both... not sure. Would love opinions.


I would also assume that Mike Parker takes the high frequency filters off the Radeon card while he is in there...


I could easily live within the capabilities of a HTPC for the next couple years because I have too many trees to care about sattelite, so all I need is DVD, CD, OTA-HD and I'm fine. I could always add a capture card if I wanted to display my cable.


Then I would just rely on Theatertek, Powerstrip, and Mario's Cinemar Suite with Main Lobby, DVD Lobby, and Music Lobby and use a pocket PC for control, waiting for the Main Lobby version of Pocket PC to come out in beta in a month or two. J Rivers Media Center and Music Lobby will take care of the music.


The trickiest part would be how to control My HD, which would likely require main lobby and guirt. I heard MyPC can be controlled by IR, but I'd be out of range and would likely just wait for main lobby pocket PC version. The who plan is to have the HTPC in the bedroom 40 feet away.


Anyway, off to get this figured out on whether to pull the trigger, or simply do a music server only and live with a Zenith STB, and Cinematrix for another 2-2.5 years.
 
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