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THE STORY:


Thanks for taking the time to look at this post. I am planning on building a new box some time in the immediate future and have decided that I want to integrate it with my home entertainment system. The concept did not seem all that difficult. My original plan was to build a new box with a ATI AIW Radeon 9700 Pro and viola...HTPC. Then someone at my work told me about this DAMN site. THAT WAS MEANT AS A COMPLIMENT. So here I am at home late on a Saturday night after having spent numerous hours over the past several days reading posts with a head full of uncertainty.


THE PLEA:


I believe that in order to really know what I am doing this could take a few months of research. I am also afraid of spending alot of money on say a ATI AIW Radeon 9700 Pro only to find out later that I will have to replace it in order to get the results that I was originally shooting for. But I really wanted to get started on this sooner that that. I know there are alot of both helpful and knowledgeable people replying to posts. So I am calling for their help on this.


CURRENT HT SETUP:


Tv: 62" HDTV supports 480p and 1080i

Cable: Digital component and SPDIF out

Receiver: Denon AVR 2802 SPDIF in & out


HTPC Usage:


1. PVR

2. Gaming(Neverwinter Nights, etc...)

3. DVD/CD playback

4. Internet

5. mp3s

6. other digital audio and video stuff


...so in a nutshell I kind of picture this thing being my multimedia center piece. I not sure if that is an unrealistic expectation. However if I had to prioritize the top three functions are the most important to me. In that order.


OTHER REQUIREMENTS:


Price: $1500 or less


I would like any video signal that can to go out either 480p or 1080i. I would also like any audio signal that can to go out using SPDIF in DD or DTS.


Thanks Again:confused:
 

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I got great deal on ATI build 9500 pro @$197 & free UPS ground shiiping ( http://www.allstarshop.com/ )..

I had asked same question & was told that 9500 & 9700 are same card. If u are planning to use your htpc for gaming then go with 9700 ($399) otherwise go with 9500...
 

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Do a read on the reviews of the 9500 and 9700s at TomsHardware and Anandtech. They are not the same card. Also, there is not AIW for the 9500, not yet anyways.


PVR functions is going to be your most processor intensive operations outside of gaming. Go with the fastest Processor you can afford and as much memory as you can afford.


Digital cable with Conponent output - You are kind of stuck here at the moment. The only component input card is the Holo3DGraph and that only does 480i, and I understand no PVR (I don't have one so I could be wrong). They are currently running $850. There are lots of video capture cards that have SVideo input. You might want to read through this thread "$39 CX23881 Capture Card" for newer cards with cleaner input capabilites with and without tuners.


ATI AIW are not known for great tuners. They are OK, but not as adaptable as seperate video cards and tuners and not supported by DScaler. AIW touts MPEG encoding but it is only 20%, the rest is still done in software.
 
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