AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being in the filed of computers I am able to build a PC for a pretty cheap price. Which leads me to ask; what is the point of building a HTPC? (I do not mean this in a sarcastic remark) From what I can guess the main reason would be to make use of the different input on the projector, or in short a HTPC would present a better picture.


Do HTPC offer better quality then a DVD player within the same price range?


Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,099 Posts
The key reasons for an HTPC:


1. Outstanding picture quality and has the ability to scale the image to perfectly match your display device unlike a stand alone DVD player. Also is capable of using DVI outputs so the signal can remain in the digital domain, no D-to-A and A-to-D conversions which induce errors and noise.


2. Can store and play all you music files, media jukebox.


3. Can surf the web or play games on the big screen.


4. Can be used as a tuner/scaler for standard TV or cable.


5. Can recieve HDTV.


6. Can act as a TIVO type device (not as convient as a real TIVO).


7. Can act as a Pre-amp (very limited though).


8. Extremely upgradeable, so new formats won't obsolete you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Unified control architecture. It does everything. No more BS universal remotes, any device i can manage to jury rig in or duct tape on to my computer becomes universal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Myren
Unified control architecture. It does everything. No more BS universal remotes, any device i can manage to jury rig in or duct tape on to my computer becomes universal.
Myren,


Do you have any links on how to jury rig the pc to control the lighting of the room?


Basically, I want to put the PC in sleep mode, walk into the room, hit a key and have the pc turn on the projector, dim the lights and give me a list of movies to play.


Any idea how I can accomplish it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
. Outstanding picture quality and has the ability to scale the image to perfectly match your display device
First off thanks for the reply. You pretty much summed it all up in one message. Having said that, how difficult are people finding it to tweak the output? What I mean by this is, I have an ATI TV Wonder and find the output to TV awful. I am using the RCA output as the source to a regular 36 inch TV. Is it possible this due to the low end TV tuner card?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by TheSensFan
First off thanks for the reply. You pretty much summed it all up in one message. Having said that, how difficult are people finding it to tweak the output? What I mean by this is, I have an ATI TV Wonder and find the output to TV awful. I am using the RCA output as the source to a regular 36 inch TV. Is it possible this due to the low end TV tuner card?
Tuning may help the picture some what, but from what I have read (and experienced), regular TVs just don't display well. The convergence issues and the scan rates for regular TVs just don't make them condusive as TV monitors.


Today's Plasma TVs and LCD projection TVs don't have the convergence issues of regular TV. If you really want to do spectular TV out. you need a set with perfect convegence and a high scan rate. A 1:1 pixel mapping is also an important feature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,638 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Jonmx
Outstanding picture quality and has the ability to scale the image to perfectly match your display device unlike a stand alone DVD player.
Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. An HTPC is particularly valuable if you have an projector. Either digital or CRT. With digital, the HTPC can scale a DVD to the pj's native resolution better than anything save extreamly expensive scalers. With CRTs, you can scale to a much higher resolution and while it doesn't increase the resultion, it yields a much smoother picture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
q3131q,


if you want to know about controlling lights, etc. I strongly suggest you investigate Girder (at www.girder.nl ).


As long as your lights (and other equipment) can be controlled by X10 modules or via IR, girder can work wonders.


Of course, as girder is a piece of software, you'll need some hardware to interact with the physical world. One solution, if IR is OK with you is to get an IR transceiver such as the UIRT-2 or USB-UIRT (see girder for details). these devices can receive, and most importantly send IR to almost anything. Note that you'll also need a device such as the IR543 to convert IR codes into something that X10 (aka plug and power @ ratshack) can understand.


If you want to go the RF route, there are various cheap serial to X10 interfaces (Firecracker is one...).


Finally, some of your devices might be controllable via serial interfaces (some projectors, receivers, etc.)... these won't need more than a cable, and access to the programming manual...


Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by TheSensFan
What I mean by this is, I have an ATI TV Wonder and find the output to TV awful. I am using the RCA output as the source to a regular 36 inch TV.
Kinda like trying to hammer a nail and doing nothing but hitting you thumb. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
"Today's Plasma TVs and LCD projection TVs don't have the convergence issues of regular TV. If you really want to do spectular TV out. you need a set with perfect convegence and a high scan rate. A 1:1 pixel mapping is also an important feature."


Thats a very important point. The bottom line in my mind is that the benefit of having an HTPC truly becomes apparent when you are using it with a projector or HD monitor with DVI inputs and can get 1:1 pixel mapping. Then you can make your DVD movies look amazing. This is not always possible even on high end DVD players. This is possible on a HTPC thanks to the software available (powerstrip, D scaler, zoomplayer, etc). I never bother hooking up my HTPC to my regular TV...for me there is no point. I have tivo and just use that. The added benefit of an HTPC in that arena is not noticable. But when I want to see an image that really shines, I hook up the HTPC with DVI to my PLV70 to get the 1368x768 1:1 pixel mapping and get a great picture. For great mp3 jukebox type sound, I use an audigy2 plat with an optical out to a receiver. Using software DVD players, you can even change the aspect ratio of the movie to fill your entire screen and eliminate those black bars. Getting an image this good, is just not really possible using set top boxes because they cannot be customized to this degree.


And, this isn't even beginning to discuss what you can do with HD and WM9. If the whole WM9 catches on, we can all watch HD DVDs on our PCs...not on your standard DVD players. Nor, did I mention the H3D cards which can also be used to improve your image. All farily high end apps, but only available on an HTPC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,534 Posts
After converting to HTPC about a month ago, I have only one question:


Why did I wait so long?


Get into HTPC, sell your stand-alone DVD player, sit back and enjoy a vastly improved picture.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top