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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do not have a HDTV or a Projector. Is it worth building a HTPC for dvd playback. I do have a nice Sony Trinitron, albeit a few years old.


I understand other reasons to, but will I get any added (or lessened) dvd function or quality?


This may be too oversimplified, but I'll take a shot.


obvious newb to the HTPC idea here, bear with me.


Add any other great benefits you can think of if you feel like it. I know about media server for music and movies and possible Tivo-like functions.



edit- added a little and corrected some poor typing.
 

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Probably not if all you are interested in is DVD - one TV, one DVD Player. In addition to driving larger screens, HTPCs shine as One Box solutions to DVD, Music, HDTV, PVR (rather than seperate boxes and all that cable mess).
 

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I really enjoy the benefits of the htpc – especially the media server option. Being able to seamlessly run thru clips from 3 or 4 different films that I have on the hd and then go right into some audio is a great way to demo the system. With a highly configurable player like Zoom, a pronto, and an vhd display my htpc takes no more brain power (sometimes even less) to run than any settop box.


However, I have never read any positive comments on the quality of the s-video output from a videocard – I would imagine that if you are currently using component with a settop player s-video from a pc would not be an improvement. I think that the ati cards and dongle support 480i component, but really don’t know about pq or limitations on os/dirver combinations.


good luck. You could always start the htpc now and have it ready to go when you get your hd display.

-jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
True.


Thanks for the replies.


I plan on doing it for a media server and I guess I'll set it up for DVD as well. But seeing that a HDTV o projector isn't in the near future because of cost, I'll hold on to my stand alone dvd for the time.



Thanks again.
 

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Don't plan on any improvement in dvd playback. Your tv can only display 480i. This is what is recorded on the dvd and what the dvd player decodes and plays direclty out the composite/s-video/component output.


By playing dvds on the pc you are introducing unnessarcy processing. People use the pc becase of its ability to "fill-in" the blanks. This only makes sense for displays that are higher resolution than what is stored on the dvd. In your case, the best picture you are likely to achieve is an unprocessed 480i directly from the dvd using a standalone player.


Matt
 

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The main/prime reason (at leasty to me) to use HTPC is because of its scaling ability. Mainly, people with front projectors which resolve higher than 720x480p resolution of deinterlaced dvd would really benefit from HTPC. Well-tweaked HTPC can be as good as expensive scalers costing much more.
 

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Another possible alternative for you could be a very large monitor. I've had a 36" Gateway monitor for the past 3 years and it has served me well. The 800x600 isn't as great as HDTV or most projectors, but it allows you to experience the full resolution of DVD. I'm personally going to move onto a projector this spring, but perhaps obtaining a monitor like this will fulfill your needs in this area for awhile. You can find them used on Ebay every once in awhile and they usually go for $500 - $700.


-Sean
 
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