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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!
 

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Wrong forum - but here's my 2 cents:


Yes, an HTPC can offer superior resolution to a DVD player, but at the expense of being much more difficult to operate. How many times do you have to reboot and configure your DVD player before you watch a movie?


It is a hobbyist and enthusiast project. And yes, you can build a cheap PC, but can you build it cheap while going for high quality and performance parts?


Then again, you'd get a different answer if you asked in the HTPC forum!


Randy
 

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Htpc is mainly for for scaling. As for quality, a dvd player does 480P at best and a htpc can do 1080P if your display and video card can handle it. Two routes to a htpc: Software dvd player based and a Holo3Dgraph input card that uses an external dvd player. There also is other uses for a htpc such as MP3 player, uncompressed wav file digital jukebox being among the more popular uses.
 

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Some other uses would include HDTV tuner and Tivo / HD-Tivo. The more features you add the more complex and difficult the setup. Building a DVD-only machine is well documented and fairly straightforward (if you are familiar with installing computers).


HTPC will definitely offer better picture quality if you are using a projector (assuming proper component selection). For RPTV the difference may not be worth the effort (depends on the set).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I would use the HTPC for basically two reasons.


1) DVD player

2) HDTV (I am under the assumption a HTPC can act as a HDTV receiver. Is this true? or are there additional hardware that is needed?)


Building the PC is not an issue... Know what to purchase and then knowing how to use it is? :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheSensFan
Building the PC is not an issue... Know what to purchase and then knowing how to use it is? :)
Building it isn't the issue. Configuring it is the issue! Dialing it in with the proper scan freq in Power strip, correct driver revision levels etc blah. Otherwise you get picture stuttering, occasional audio dropouts etc. I take the convenience of an outboard scaler over the improved PQ of a HTPC anyday (and have) IMHO. I have yet to try the Immersive 3D Holograph that Tedd mentions which is a scaler that apparently requires little configuration in the HTPC sense. If you don't have a front projector that is capable of 1280 * 720 I wouldn't even consider HTPC.
 

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I would take Randy's advice and hang out in the HTPC Forum for a while.


While someone in this forum may happen by with the info you need, a little reading & searching and a couple of questions over there will probably get you the answers you're looking for that much faster.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CptnRandy
Wrong forum - but here's my 2 cents:


Yes, an HTPC can offer superior resolution to a DVD player, but at the expense of being much more difficult to operate. How many times do you have to reboot and configure your DVD player before you watch a movie?
Wrong forum, you're right, but I'll reply anyways: it's not true that an HTPC DVD player is harder to use than a standalone. But to make it at least as easy to use as one, you'll need to invest some time and play around with IR receivers and Girder. When you're done installing things and setting up the IR, you'll have a rock-solid machine that's indistinguishable from a standalone in usability, yet probably much higher in quality.
 

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one thing . DOn't expect miracles once you go HTPC . Even though your image will be upscaled to the resolution that you project, you are still upscaling 480i source . Meaning there is not much data to take advantage of 720p or 1080i resolutions . However as many people have said before me , HTPC produces better picture quality than high end DVD players, so its worthy purchase .


And they are ROCK SOLID, unless you use your HTPC for daily task , and you install loads of Crap software that will make your HT unstable . Whatever you do, if you know BASICs about PC you should not have problems .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Two additional questions that came to front after some of your answers...


1) Do you use your DVD ROM as the DVD player? Or are people using a DVD player and feeding the input into the PC? I may be out to lunch but it looks like the scaling takes places with video being fed into the HTPC.



2) Seeing that the projector is connected to the PC I would like to use the HTPC to play the odd game (who wouldn't with that big screen). However, would this mean that each time I switch between a game and a movie there would be tweaking with the video configuration and settings?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheSensFan
Two additional questions that came to front after some of your answers...


1) Do you use your DVD ROM as the DVD player?


2) However, would this mean that each time I switch between a game and a movie there would be tweaking with the video configuration and settings?
1. Yes for performance and useability reasons. You don't want the additional A->D and D->A stages, and the HTPC can automatically change format depending on how the source is flagged (4:3 sections of a single DVD get window boxed, 16:9 chapters fill the entire 16x9 screen, and on letter boxed sources the HTPC pulls the middle 360 lines out and scales them to fit the screen).


2. You could run a square pixel resolution that works for games that don't change the resolution, or abuse power strip in some way to do it automatically.
 

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1): A Holo3Dgraph based htpc can use the 480i output of an external dvd player. Or a DVD playback software based htpc can use an internal dvdrom drive.


2): Depends.... If the pj uses a standard Windows resolution then you can easily switch on the fly. If the pj uses a non standard resolution, then you'll need Powerstrip installed. The pc would be set up to boot into that resolution. Alot depends on the actual pj.


Might also add some games are now in widescreen....
 
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