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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Frankly, I'm not the least bit interested in HD.


I'm an old fart have a ton of DVD's, mostly classics, and the Marx brothers or Young Frankenstein would look downright stupid in higher definition.


My current setup mimics a traditional film "movie theatre" so well, that I'm still amazed by it. I use an Optoma H31 to watch the DVD's and it's native resolution is a perfect fit....add 5.1 surround and I'm very happy.


I've found most of the HD movies are really geared toward the "video game generation" anyway.....action packed BS, with 30 minute car chase scenes.


I do enjoy Sports in HD, however....but again the Optoma is damn close and a ton better than a conventional broadcast and I'll just use my cable box HDMI output for that.


SO --


My question is....with these needs in mind, what would be a good HTPC that would do the job perfectly, without overkill?


I'm going to put all of my DVD's on the hard drive, watch the VOB's with media player or Gom and that's pretty much it. Thought also I could try out one of these USB windows remote controls you can get for 15 bucks....but even that isn't necessary.


Don't want a media extender, I'd rather have a complete HTPC "control center", right there in my living room.


AND --


My optoma has a DVI input, so that may save me money as well as I really want to put it all together with either new or used bit and pieces off Ebay.


Or an entire PC would be a time saver.


THANKS so much for any answers.


Once again, NO friggin' HD !
 

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I think the problem you might have is trying to get the native video resolution out of the pc to the projector.


What I would do first is try and find other H31 users and see if they are using it with a pc directly connected and see if they were able to get it hooked up via its native resolution.


- Josh
 

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I think you are going to find that most of the solutions out there are going to be HD capable anyway.


Are you planning on watching OTA TV content by adding a TV Tuner card?

Do you have any other source material that you are going to watch? Online content?

Are you trying to hook up cable TV as well?
 

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A lot of old computers (2~4 years) would do the job, provided they have the necessary output. Seriously, almost any new computer you buy now would have at least a modicum of HD support. I have an Intel Celeron 430 + ECS 945GCT-M/1333 that plays any DVD, OTA 720p/1080i MPEG2 and so far, all 720p x264 stuff I've thrown at it.


If you want to save yourself the trouble of building your own, you can buy any new PC from an OEM (the Dell Studio Hybrid looks very nice) and be done with it. Just make sure whatever you buy has a DVI port for your projector and whatever output you use for audio.
 

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Quote:
I've found most of the HD movies are really geared toward the "video game generation" anyway.....action packed BS, with 30 minute car chase scenes.

WTH? I havent seen a movie with good LONG car chases since the 60s and 70s. ****, only one of the last 2 Bond movies even had a car chase and Bond should always have some good car chases.


Please, let me know what movies you are referring to so I can get them in HD.


PS get with it man, there's no reason to gip yourself the HD experience. Especially with what it costs to do HD these days. You would have to purposefully buy some old ass hardware to NOT be able to do HD. OPEN YOUR EYES! and stop smoking that old schwag, I think its messin with your head.
 

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You won't really have to build a dedicated htpc.


Maybe I don't understand the dilemna -- just use any old videocard with s-video or something, connect it to your vcr and off you go!
(Okay, I'm teasing about the s-video and vhs.)


Really though, most any decent videocard should be able to output whatever standard def content you want to watch to your display. I'm not familiar with the Optoma unit you mentioned, but it should be pretty straightforward to connect it to a pc. Enable it as a 'monitor' in display preferences, and drag your media player over to it. Fullscreen, voila.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's what I was thinking. Hence, my asking to be sure though.


I see plenty of P4 single core PC's on Ebay with 1 gig of memory and a DVI video output.


I was, however, thinking of getting a "top notch" (see, I even speak like an old fart)...video card. Either the geforce 8500 or 8600. (or radeon hd).


NOW --


If I get the geforce card, it seems to me that with all the hardware processing on the card itself, the CPU becomes less important? So, a single core at 1 -2 ghz would be fine for standard DVD? (probably even less).


And, if I want HD in the future, at least I have the video card for it.


By the way, with these new hardware processing video cards, wouldn't the CPU requirements be less for HD as well? What bare minimum CPU could you use for HD with a geforce 8600 or a Radeon HD2600?


Young Frankenstein in HD?


I didn't know it existed.


I may do it eventually....who knows.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphcramdon /forum/post/15507929


My current setup mimics a traditional film "movie theatre" so well, that I'm still amazed by it. I use an Optoma H31 to watch the DVD's and it's native resolution is a perfect fit....add 5.1 surround and I'm very happy.

Either you've got great theaters where you're at, or your setup is nothing special (no offense), read around and you'll find most on AVS with HT's find they're much better than the local multiplex.

Quote:
My question is....with these needs in mind, what would be a good HTPC that would do the job perfectly, without overkill?

First off, what job would that be?

Quote:
I'm going to put all of my DVD's on the hard drive, watch the VOB's with media player or Gom and that's pretty much it. Thought also I could try out one of these USB windows remote controls you can get for 15 bucks....but even that isn't necessary.


Don't want a media extender, I'd rather have a complete HTPC "control center", right there in my living room.

If all you want to do is watch ripped DVDs, why do you want an "HTPC 'control center'"? HTPCs are a means, not and end.

Quote:
My optoma has a DVI input, so that may save me money as well as I really want to put it all together with either new or used bit and pieces off Ebay.

IMO trying to save money by getting used stuff will probably cost you in the long run as you have to upgrade/replace prematurely later. It's always best to just buy good (not necessarilly expensive) right away.


If you just want to play DVDs off a hard drive, get an extender/network media player and be done with it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphcramdon /forum/post/15509571




I was, however, thinking of getting a "top notch" (see, I even speak like an old fart)...video card. Either the geforce 8500 or 8600. (or radeon hd).


NOW --


If I get the geforce card, it seems to me that with all the hardware processing on the card itself, the CPU becomes less important? So, a single core at 1 -2 ghz would be fine for standard DVD? (probably even less).


And, if I want HD in the future, at least I have the video card for it.


By the way, with these new hardware processing video cards, wouldn't the CPU requirements be less for HD as well? What bare minimum CPU could you use for HD with a geforce 8600 or a Radeon HD2600?


Young Frankenstein in HD?


I didn't know it existed.


I may do it eventually....who knows.

Now you're getting it, the hardware you are looking at is HD capable,

AND if you pick up a AMD be-2300 or 4050e and a 780g mobo you don't even need a gfx card, it's already got a built in HD 3200.

You have a capable projector, so stop trying to avoid HD.


Why bother with a p4 when a athlon x2 can be had for
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
By the way deltronik, I'm going to build up something using the exact pieces you mentioned.


I have an old case with power supply that would work fine.
 

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Seriously, is there something you want to do that an extender can't? Do you just want something to tinker with?


I'm definitely not anti HTPC, I've got one in my HT, but it seems like you've ruled out "extenders" for no reason.


$200 will get you a small, quiet, solid, stable device that will do everything you've asked for in this thread.
 

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Beware the pitfalls and unexpected costs of a HTPC.


1. Longish cable (to reach the PJ)

2. remote control for the HTPC

3. Wireless mouse and keyboard

4. Things to make the PC cool and quiet


That right there will add $200 to your build.


Soon after you will want to add an HD tuner (to watch sports)


Then you start to think, I might need to record this stuff....


You may even want to go super-thin as an HTPC and also build a media server. Large DVD collections eat the terabytes. Do not re-encode or compress your DVDs. Just rip the VOBs into TS folders. Storage is cheap and spending time, CPU power, and degraded quality to save a little on storage would be foolish. You will also discover that a HTPC (with the help of FFdShow) can upscale and sharpen an old DVD into a near-HD image. Play around with it a bit and I guarantee you will never touch your DVD player again.
 

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Quote:
Hey "Stanger89"....


anyone ever tell you you'd make a good mall cop?

ROFL.... I'm going to start calling him that, our resident mall cop.


anyways he does make some good points though, as I said earlier getting a 480p rez ouf of DVI/HDMI is pretty hard, anything under 1024 x 768 is hit or miss when it comes to digital video output from a pc.


an extender would be a great solution, and is very high on WAF, when it comes to stability and ease of use.


Also you don't have to worry about EDID issues, driver issues, crashing, ect.. that all comes with the HTPC world.


But for me I wouldn't trade my HTPC for an extender, there are just some things like codec support you can't fully accomplish with an extender/stand alone network streaming device like you can get with a dedicated HTPC.


also yes a 780G system is a great solution, that is currently my choice of hardware, running a asus 780G mobo, with a 5550e x2 amd, 4gigs of ram and works like a champ. I have 10 tuner cards, BD/HD DVD drive, and can pretty much play back anything I throw at it.


- Josh
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnabney /forum/post/15510319


Beware the pitfalls and unexpected costs of a HTPC.


1. Longish cable (to reach the PJ)

2. remote control for the HTPC

3. Wireless mouse and keyboard

4. Things to make the PC cool and quiet


That right there will add $200 to your build.


Soon after you will want to add an HD tuner (to watch sports)


Then you start to think, I might need to record this stuff....


You may even want to go super-thin as an HTPC and also build a media server. Large DVD collections eat the terabytes. Do not re-encode or compress your DVDs. Just rip the VOBs into TS folders. Storage is cheap and spending time, CPU power, and degraded quality to save a little on storage would be foolish. You will also discover that a HTPC (with the help of FFdShow) can upscale and sharpen an old DVD into a near-HD image. Play around with it a bit and I guarantee you will never touch your DVD player again.

Yes, obviously the sky is the limit when it comes to cost and if he's like most of us here, he'll come up with plenty of things to add to the 'base' pc later.

But $200 will get him what he wants now, while giving the room for expansion in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Let me understand something correctly....


With a media extender, it's all in the streaming technology, right?


And it doesn't matter diddly squat (see, that old fart lingo again)...what type of PC the host files are stored on?


It's all about the streamer, what it does and the convenience it offers.


Wired or wireless capability, etc.



I did delve into this a bit last week but was running into some negative info....as in the inability to play VOB files....and quality that IS NOT? as good as a dedicated HTPC?


I think it was the Western digital WD TV that I was reading about.


??
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Or no...not the WD TV....different animal.


I know, Linksys and others do the media extenders.


Expensive last time I looked.
 
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