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Hey guys, been a long time reader on this forums and finally registered today.


Long story short, I got the go ahead from the wife and for Christmas, a gift for our home will be to buy a BluRay player for our upstairs movie room- (Optoma HD72 w/ Elite Screens 120" motorized screen). I currently have to shuttle the PS3 up there to watch quality movies.


Anyways, I have a much older computer I had from my college days that I had built and upgraded along the way. A light bulb went off and was thinking it could possibly be a good candidate for an HTPC for upstairs.


Roughly, here are the hardware specs off the top of my head:


TYAN Intel 875P ATX Intel Motherboard w/ HT

Pentium 4 2.8ghz

G.Skill 2x1gb DDR400

Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 AGP 512MB GDDR3

Windows 7 Pro


I believe my graphics card is one of the best you can get for the AGP interface, and should help alleviated the P4 w/ video decoding


The Optoma HD72 is only 720p/1080i capable, but it would be nice to have this HTPC be capable of 1080p to futureproof it.


If you were in my shoes, should there be any hesitation on my part to add a BluRay Drive to this setup?


I figured if I was able to make this work, the BONUS would be that I could upgrade the hard drive and start ripping movies for keeps.


Any thoughts or questions?


Also a side note, this computer NEVER gets used, as myself and my wife have laptops and smart phones, so finding a use for this PC is a HUGE bonus!


Any comments would be much appreciated!
 

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Blu-ray players have become a lot cheaper and a stand alone player is probably the least expensive quick solution.


Netflix on the PS3 is attractive now and ahead of the picture quality of netflix on a HTPC. I think you should factor Netflix in as a entertainment source.


I like time shifting blu ray movies to hard drive and using 7MC for TV and Media Browser/MPC-HC for playing movies. However, the HTPC is a big hobbyist step up in time consumption and complexity.


I am not sure there is such a thing as future proofing. I don't think much of 3D, (3D animation looks to me like a two dimensional pop up book and 3D movies with real scenery and people has noticeable ghosting and then the glasses, (yuk). Go to Best Buy and see what you think. Bitstreaming audio is not worth the cost to me vs. lpcm. So far I am future proof because nothing available in the last year and half since I built my HTPC is worth spending the money.)


I think you would need a motherboard with a PCI Express graphics card slot or one of the latest processors to get into HDMI and the latest audio. I do not know the limits of AGP. However, others may know of a work around. Anyway, I am guessing that you might need a new motherboard, processor, possibly a graphics card, maybe a new power supply and other things I have not thought of. Since you are dragging a PS3 upstairs I am assuming you current set up does not drive your display the way you want. Give the HTPC more thought before jumping in.
 

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IMHO you really need an overriding reason to jump into HTPC with SA BD pricing these days. You'll spend a lot more time/money than just running down to Costco and plunking down your $80.

I hate getting rid of working equipment and always want to reuse what I can, but computer stuff often isn't worth the trouble. (I've probably got 10 HDs in a closet somewhere between 200gb and 1tb)


I had a machine similar to yours that I turned into an unRaid media server pretty easily though...
 

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I don't think your PC has the power to handle Blu-ray playback. Check out the minimum requirements for ArcSoft Total Media Theater here: http://www.arcsoft.com/estore/softwa...=TMT5P#submenu . The price of the software alone is $100, about $30 more than the entry level Blu-ray players out there. Like the previous reply states, give it more thought before jumping in because you'll definitely need to drop some serious cash and time into it in order to make it work.


FWIW, I do use Windows Media Center as my primary source (live & recorded TV, DVDs, Blu-rays, music, web content, etc). When you got it all set up working the way you want, it's great but it does come at a price. The ones that do it is more for the hobby aspect of it than anything.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM RICE /forum/post/19621145


TYAN Intel 875P ATX Intel Motherboard w/ HT

Pentium 4 2.8ghz

G.Skill 2x1gb DDR400

Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 AGP 512MB GDDR3

Windows 7 Pro

I believe my graphics card is one of the best you can get for the AGP interface, and should help alleviated the P4 w/ video decoding

The Optoma HD72 is only 720p/1080i capable, but it would be nice to have this HTPC be capable of 1080p to futureproof it.

Those specs are (almost) exactly the same as my first HD HTPC.

I have a P4 2.4GHz and 3.06GHz with AGP HD2400 Pro and AGP HD2400 OC.

Both of them ran 720p Blu-Ray and HD-DVD without any problems to an Optoma HD70. I have since built a couple more HTPCs and upgraded to a 1080p PJ. The P4 is no longer connected to the 1080p PJ so I can't check it for you.

But 720p is guaranteed to run fine if you use a software capable of using the 3850's Hardware Acceleration.

I did have problems with a couple of titles (Broken Arrow & Commando) where the CPU was not enough even with the HA. But other than that it ran just fine.

If you don't want to spend any money, install MPC-HC on your PC and hook it up. It should run fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by seang86s
I don't think your PC has the power to handle Blu-ray playback.
My Athlon64 3400+ does OK, better than a P4 2.8 "Woody" I tried.

Quote:
The price of the software alone is $100, about $30 more than the entry level Blu-ray players out there.
I paid $65 for my copy of TMT3 via an online coupon. And Arcsoft has sales regularly.
 
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