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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,


I am going through the list of cables I need to buy. I am wondering if i should put $200 towards a new HDMI DVD player or if I should put it towards a HTPC. I am not planning on Blue Ray (just a regular vanilla DVD). I dont watch DVD's often. Mostly kiddie movies & a few blockbuster rentals (4 per month).


Some of the kids movies might repeat for a few hours (its easier to leave it running).


I guess if i go the HTPC route, I definately need a Microsoft Media Center remote & IR transmitter so the wife can figure it out.


What prompted this is I am going through the cables I need for my new setup & this is one of the deciding factors (so i know what cables to buy).


Thanks,

Rich
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichTJ99 /forum/post/14261272


Hi,


I am going through the list of cables I need to buy. I am wondering if i should put $200 towards a new HDMI DVD player or if I should put it towards a HTPC. I am not planning on Blue Ray (just a regular vanilla DVD). I dont watch DVD's often. Mostly kiddie movies & a few blockbuster rentals (4 per month).


Some of the kids movies might repeat for a few hours (its easier to leave it running).


I guess if i go the HTPC route, I definately need a Microsoft Media Center remote & IR transmitter so the wife can figure it out.


What prompted this is I am going through the cables I need for my new setup & this is one of the deciding factors (so i know what cables to buy).


Thanks,

Rich

If your going to get cables, IMO avoid overpriced ones. Monoprice gets my vote...


I do like the OPPO dvd players, but for me the convenience of having my entire dvd library stored without compression and categorized through media center is priceless. Although I don't know if that means anything to you as you don't seem to be an avid movie watcher.
 

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Do you already have a DVD player?


I ask because it doesn't seem like you have the viewing habits to rationalize an expensive upconverting player. In fact, many HDTVs have the same or a better internal scaler than many of the pricey upscaling DVD players.


It sounds like you just want to buy something new. If that is the case, what improvement or new features are you interested in. I would also suggest that you take a look at some of the new HTPCs being sold by Acer (there is an article on the main page now). A nice one, albeit with limited storage space, available for a mere $450.


Ultimately a new DVD player may or may not improve image quality for a $100-200 cost. A HTPC can do the same, but add all of the PC-based features for about 2-3x the money. It is your cash, but I recomend that you determine exactly what you want before spending.


Oh, and yeah, go to Monoprice for the cables.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi,


I am definately going to Monoprice for the cables & the mount! No doubt!


Basically my DVD player has component cables, my TV has two inputs for Component (one for my xbox, one for my cablebox), my DVD is also component. I figured i would buy a HDMI DVD player & use one of those 3 ports. Then i thought I could use existing PC parts (I just need a HTPC case - I guess I could use one of my older cases instead).


While I am not an avid movie watcher, I was planning on some sort of HTPC for web/email on the TV. That PC will have a DVD player. I guess i could go either DVI-HDMI or HDMI in terms of the PC.


The TV doesnt have enough component slots for my current setup is all. I thought I was saving money



Thanks,

Rich
 

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For "regular" DVDs, even a 5 year old PC will be fine. If you want DVI/HDMI connectivity, just get a cheap video card. SD DVDs take very little processing power.
 

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If you are just interested in the web, email, and DVDs the cheap Acer HTPCs would work well. They also provide lossless 7.1 HDMI audio which can handle BluRay if you should choose to add that. A BluRay drive for a HTPC costs a bit over $100 now, so that could be an easy upgrade path in a year or two.


You are going to love the Internet on a big screen (if you have one). My wife and I have always jousted for the only seat in front of the computer in the past. Now with a 61" display the Web becomes a family experience. Even simple stuff like playing Popcap games becomes fun again. Oh, and if the computer is moving to the living room be sure to budget for the wireless keyboard, mouse, and IR remotes. The Egg can help with those.


And for cables, you may or may not need a DVI to HDMI cable to connect the Geforce 8200-based HTPC to the TV. I can't recall if it comes with an adapter so a plain-jane HDMI male-male cable can be used.


Oh, and I almost forgot. Be sure to get good measurements on where you are going to put it. The HTPC case might extend fairly deep and the semi-inflexible HDMI cables will only extend the depth. I had to cut the fiberboard out of the back of my entertainment center where my HTPC sits.
 

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For what you want to do, I don't see the need to get an HTPC. They certainly are neat to put together (especially when they work and do what you want) and are obviously much more flexible, but take a good chunk of time to set up and cost more. If you have an old copy of Windows lying around you can use, you might be able to get a barebones PC that would work from TigerDirect.com for around $200.


However, rather than $169 to $229 for an Oppo, how about a Toshiba HD-DVD player for around $60 off eBay? The Toshibas are supposed to be roughly the equivalent of an Oppo for upconverting standard DVD's and are very well made - they were supposed to be $300+ players, prior to Toshiba's ultimate loss in the hi-def DVD price wars. Most of the Toshiba's on eBay come with at least a few movies. You can now pick up HD-DVD's for around $5-8 and while I've been pretty disappointed with the selection out of the 400 or so title s on HD-DVD, there are probably a few HD-DVD's out there that almost everyone wants and why not get them in HD? Biggest disappointment I've got with my HD-A3, aside from getting screwed on the 5 free HD-DVD's after rebate (they lost my first rebate submission, by the time I re-sent it in, I ended up getting 0/5 of my choices, got two disks I had already bought and only one I really had even a tiny bit of interest in keeping) is that it takes around 45 seconds or so to start up when you first turn it on.


Honestly, though, for what you want to do with this player, you should think about spending even less and maybe get a cheap Philips upconverting DVD player. I picked up a DVP-3960 at Wal-mart for $30 and it has a surprisingly good picture upconverting via HDMI to my Hitachi plasma HDTV. It is super thin (weighs next to nothing though, seldom a sign of tremendous high quality in audio equipment) but does DIVX. For around $20 more there is a Philips with a USB port that will play photos or video content off a flash drive. Philips has mediocre at best quality control and even worse customer service, though, has a fairly slow start-up and the remote on my DVP-3960 is among the worst I've ever used - it has a range of no more than 10 feet and needs to be pointed pretty straight-on at the player. But for $30, it's worth the inconveniences and if it only lasts two years, it's still not a bad value.
 
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