AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sold on using a PC software-based scaler for the LT150.


I'm told that this would give the best rendition of images on the 1024x768 LT150.


However, the concern of long boot times and fan noise have me thinking about an HTLT (Home Theater LapTop?). A laptop offers the ability to go into hybernation and resumes quickly as well as lower fan noise.


I'm told that there are such laptops available, but where -- anyone? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif



------------------

- Balance Between

- Quality & Price!

------------------


Editor of the AVS Skyworth FAQ and Official Panasonic RP91 Firmware Upgrade Request from OWNERS pages.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
807 Posts
Try Dell. I believe they have an optical out on some models.


Someone here was saying they used one


Larry


------------------

G15 D-ILA

Lexicon MC1 7.1 system

Radeon Based HTPC

NHT, velodyne & bag end speaker systems
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
I have a Dell Inspiron 8000. It has coax digital out. I don't know if it passes DTS. Given the problems with software dvd players and DTS in the past, I'm not optimistic.


Heck, when I tried to drive my VT540 with the laptop, I couldn't even get a picture. I tried with VGA out and S-video out from the laptop. I could get a picture of the desktop, but when the movie started playing, the window with the movie in it showed on the laptop, but was black on the projector.


I should call Dell, but why bother, now that my stand-alone dvd player (skyworth) has arrived?


HTPC's are not for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Just a couple of caveats. Video quality is highly dependent on the graphics card. The Radeon and Geforce2/3 graphics card are generally considered much better at scaling than other cards. Unless it uses one of those chipsets, the laptop may not offer that great of video quality (ATI RAGE mobility chipsets are supposedly not as good). Also, some of the newer laptops with the faster CPUs (800+ MHz) are pretty loud. My brother has the latest VAIO and it is as loud as my desktop, and definitely louder than my HTPC. For the price of a new laptop, you can get a custom built desktop that will be MUCH quieter than the LT150. You can do hibernation on a desktop as well with WinME or Win2k.


You can find a lot of info on the Home Theater Computers forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I have seen that problem with the laptop not displaying the VGA screen for Full Screen DVD vs. Windows Desktop. I fixed it with a setting on the laptop or I think it was a key combination. I first tested my NEC LT154 on a laptop.


I am ready to throw my HTPC out of the window since it is so noisy. I bought quiet fans, quiet hard disks, P/S etc.. and it is still noisy even inside my Sony TV cabinet.


I really like the laptop idea since they are so quiet. I would look at Dell Refurbished
http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/default.htm


They have awesome pricing for used laptops w/warranty. My friend got one and it was just like a new one, packaged all clean and wrapped. I know they do have digital audio out, but not sure about DTS.


John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
I have a DVD player on my Compaq laptop, and it does a pretty good job driving my LT150, but all I have out is 2-channel sound. If fan noise is your major concern, they do make PC cases that are very quiet and even specifically made fot HTPC applications. The problem with laptops is they aren't that really upgradeable. With the rapid advancements in computers (hard drives, graphic processors, HDTV turners, audio cards, etc.) being upgradeable is almost a neccessity.


I got my laptop before I thought about having a projector, but it does make a super portable set up, which is cool.


[This message has been edited by Jonmx (edited 08-09-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Yes, I hear Dell has been selling laptops online for $1.27. Unfortunately, they took it off their website and you have to call to get the special deal. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Seriously, I'm interested in this solution, too - although it's not as good a deal or completely ideal, I'm intrigued by a mobile high-quality home theater solution which I can carry with me in one hand and weighs less than 10 pounds total... Don't want to come and see my home theater setup? No problem, I'll bring my home theater to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by dsspotato:


I really like the laptop idea since they are so quiet. I would look at Dell Refurbished
http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfb/default.htm


They have awesome pricing for used laptops w/warranty. My friend got one and it was just like a new one, packaged all clean and wrapped. I know they do have digital audio out, but not sure about DTS.


John
You should have seen the prices at the end of July, when they were trying to make their sales numbers. I bought my refurb Inspiron 8000 Cel600 DVD 14.1" TFT 128MB NIC/56K Firewire - basically everything you could ever want, and s-video and digital audio out, with a free printer - for $1039. That same laptop will now cost you 1250 to 1400.


I like this laptop very much, too. Very quiet.


A side note about laptops - they don't have to be fast to be loud. It's all in the design. My old Toshiba 433 Celeron with dvd was deafening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by lmo:
Yes, I hear Dell has been selling laptops online for $1.27. Unfortunately, they took it off their website and you have to call to get the special deal. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
You joke, but you were not that far off. Dell did have a mistake on their website many months back where they were selling $1700 laptops, I think for $127. Not sure how many were snatched up, but Dell did honor the orders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Dell is definitely on my informal "price watch" list - I'll always keep an eye out there for a good deal.


Question -- do all the Inspririon 8000 models have a digital audio output? It seems they only come stock with a standard audio card. Just wondering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by lmo:
Dell is definitely on my informal "price watch" list - I'll always keep an eye out there for a good deal.


Question -- do all the Inspririon 8000 models have a digital audio output? It seems they only come stock with a standard audio card. Just wondering.
I don't know, and it's very hard to find out. Their descriptions leave a lot of information out. I didn't know my laptop had firewire, s-video, digital audio until it arrived. Though I was convinced that it at least had s-video because a friend has a recently purchased 3800 or 4000 or something, and it has s-video out. I just assumed (hoped) that the 8000 would have it.


The way to watch Dell is to bookmark the page for the refurbs, and every visit to the page, click on the Price column to sort ascending. Then click on CD-speed dropdown to select DVD. For me, that put my price range/features on the first page of listings. I just kept checking back until the model I wanted appeared in the list. But you have to act fast, or shop very late at night. When prices are good, the model you want may not stay in the list for long.


I might wait until about the 20th of the month. Should be some better deals by then. Certainly by quarter's end, if you can wait that long.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not trying to be picky but only OPTICAL will work with my system right now.


Everytime I try to connect anything to my receiver it creats a faint transparent banding that traverses up the LT150 screen at about 5"/second. This only happens when physical wiring is traceable between the receiver and the LT150. I've already tried changing the outlet to the same one the receiver uses and still doesn't work except when I use optical it works with no banding.


I think I'm going to post this in a separate thread also just in case someone has the answers. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


------------------

- Balance Between

- Quality & Price!

------------------


Editor of the AVS Skyworth FAQ and Official Panasonic RP91 Firmware Upgrade Request from OWNERS pages.


[This message has been edited by Yahoo (edited 08-09-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by rickforrest:
I don't know, and it's very hard to find out. Their descriptions leave a lot of information out. I didn't know my laptop had firewire, s-video, digital audio until it arrived. Though I was convinced that it at least had s-video because a friend has a recently purchased 3800 or 4000 or something, and it has s-video out. I just assumed (hoped) that the 8000 would have it.
rick,


That is the situation I'm faced with right now. I cannot get the detailed information to know who has digital optical out on these laptops. The issue with graphics chipsets comes next, since it is pretty hard to find digital out in the first place on laptops. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


------------------

- Balance Between

- Quality & Price!

------------------


Editor of the AVS Skyworth FAQ and Official Panasonic RP91 Firmware Upgrade Request from OWNERS pages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nice system...so the ATI Mobility is no good for HT compared to GeForce2 Go?


Anyone tried this with DTS/WinDVD...?


Even at the price they are asking it is a good value.... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


The extra RAM is a killer...$900 for 512MB???? Is this RAM readily available everywhere or it has to be special RAM?


What about the DVD ROM drive...region-hackable? Or even the CDRW/DVD Combo drive?


Will be keeping an eye on this.... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


------------------

- Balance Between

- Quality & Price!

------------------


Editor of the AVS Skyworth FAQ and Official Panasonic RP91 Firmware Upgrade Request from OWNERS pages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
My inspiron 8000 has an 8mb ATI mobility chipset and WinDVD pre-installed. It's the best looking, most filmlike image for dvd I've seen to date (though I haven't seen anything other than my vt540, a compaq mp1600, and my Hitachi CRT 36" tube (hdtv ready).


But it does comb at times. Very badly, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
I've compared it to a Radeon running the ATI player. I think the reason it looks so good on the laptop is that it's running at 1400x1050.


I haven't done extensive comparisons because I just haven't had the time. I just know that I like the picture on the laptop very much (when I didn't have a standalone dvd player, and couldn't make video out work from the laptop).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
re: "I could get a picture of the desktop, but when the movie started playing, the window with the movie in it showed on the laptop, but was black on the projector."


This is a known issue with the ATi Rage Mobility graphics chipset and all laptops that use it. You can only get an overlay signal when only one display is being driven. So if using an external display such as a projector via the vga output, you need to disable the laptop's lcd display in order to see the dvd video.


Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks to all that replied.


Looks like we have a winner here!


Inspiron 8000 does W2K w/DTS/DD5.1/WinDVD3.0.


The only questions remain...region coding...and cost of memory...I need 512MB...how to get it without breaking the bank.... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


------------------

- Balance Between

- Quality & Price!

------------------


Editor of the AVS Skyworth FAQ and Official Panasonic RP91 Firmware Upgrade Request from OWNERS pages.


[This message has been edited by Yahoo (edited 08-09-2001).]
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top