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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,


Pull up a chair and coffee this could be long. Back? Ok here goes. :D


I am totally new to this but have started by reading the articles here and on AVForum, I still have a bunch of questions though.


I'm looking at building a HTPC to drive my Panasonic AE100 (which I have yet to buy, but it will be mine... oh yes... it will be mine). ;)


Seriously though, I'll be buying an AE100 in a couple of months and I want the HTPC to drive DVDs on my Sony KP41DS1 until then. I'd like it to act as a juke-box using EAC and Monkey Lossless and eventually to act as a PVR using Showshifter or something. I'd also like to be able to play some games on it on the big screen, though it won't be my main PC.


Audio fidelity is really important to me and I want the best picture for now on the TV and for later on the AE100. Bearing that in mind, how does the following seem as a starter?


Case - Anything pretty

PSU - Enermax Powersupply ATX 350W (P-4) Whisper Series for P4/AMD (EG365P-VE)

CPU - AMD Athlon XP 1800

Mobo - Abit NV7-133-R RAID nForce 415

Ram - 256mb

DVD Drive - Toshiba SD-M1612

Video Card - I can't find anywhere selling the ATI 7200 But would like fanless. Any suggestions?

Sound Card - Creative Labs Audigy or if I can stretch to it M-Audio 2496

Hard Drives - Maxtor 80gb ATA133 7200rpm (1 initially then more later)

TV Card - ATI TV-Wonder or Haupage Win TV

Combined Wire-free Keyboard/mouse - Any suggestions?

Wire-free Joystick - Any suggestions?

OS - XP or ME


Questions


a) How much of a problem is the lack of Dscaler support for the ATI All in One TV Wonder?


b) Is there a way of getting RGB to the TV or am I stuck with S-Video?


c) I will possibly look to remote control the HTPC from my main PC for ease of use with either PC-Anywhere or SMS. Does anyone have any experience of this or foresee any problems?
 

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If you want something better than s-video for now, your Sony TV supports RGB via a SCART connector, so you would need a VGA to SCART converter.


I think dScaler compatibility is VERY important, get the I/O Magic card and use it's s-video input, it works great and it's cheap (about $49), too ; )


Or hold out just a little longer for the new Conexant CX23881 based capture cards to hit the market, they have a 10-bit ADC that should produce cleaner video.


As far as remote control, I have been using Windows XP Pro's Terminal Services (Remote Desktop), and I would never go back to anything else. However, if you don't want to spend the extra $$$ on Pro, check out WinVNC , it's from AT&T labs and it's free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the heads-up. Any idea where can I get a VGA to SCART converter and how much do they cost? I am using RGB SCART at the moment from my Sony DVP-S7700 and to drop to S-Video would be a pain.
 

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Well I've searched high and low, but found nothing except DIY links for a VGA to SCART adapter. Because you have to use something like Power Strip to set up a custom resolution to make the VGA and TV sync, I doubt many people use a direct VGA to SCART cable. However, it looks pretty easy to make your own if you can solder.


Otherwise, I found this, http://www.scancom.ltd.uk/products/select.htm , it is a scan converter that also has RGB SCART output. This will probably cost much more than making a simple VGA to SCART cable, but may be more flexible since you don't have to worry about sync between your VGA card and TV. I have no idea what kind of picture quality you could expect from a device like this.


Since I am in the US, I haven't had any experience with SCART, but I have hooked a few HTPC's to Mitsubishi RPTV's that have RGBHV connections. The SCART connection should have the same requirements except SCART requires a 5 volt signal to tell the TV that RGB is present, and the HV sync pulses have to be altered from the VGA spec to the SCART spec.
 
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