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Are you upgrading your HTPC to HD or just getting a standalone player for now?

  • I am upgrading my HTPC

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  • I am going standalone and done with HTPCs

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  • I am holding off on HD for some time.

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Discussion Starter #1
I am faced with the daunting task as many are of upgrading to HD. Do I upgrade my HTPC now or just get a standalone until prices fall in line and technology is perfected on the PC. What I have now does do some HD. It upconverts SD to HD very well with the CCCD codecs. It also has an HD tuner that I recently installed. But it cannot handle hdm at this point.


We all have different needs and such. different upgrades needed. So what are you doing?


I decided this month that it was best for me to pick up a cheap Toshiba HD-A3 for 149 shipped with 9 movies from VE. I plan to upgrade when the dual drives fall under $150 and the software is working 100% for both formats.

My current SD HTPC.


Celeron D 356 (3.33ghz 533 fsb)

XFX 256MB 6200 nvidia AGP via DVI to acer ph530 720p projector

turtle beach riviera via optical out to onkyo

1.5 TB total storage

LG 16x DVD+/-RW DL

and more


not enough to run HD media. I have tested with a download and it stutters.. runs but not smooth. I believe an hd2600 pro or xt would do it..... but I would also need atleast another 2TB storage and dual drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
bump
 

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I've already upgraded my HCPC, although at the price of that standalone and the hassle I've had with my PC, I wish I hadn't bothered.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by NaTT /forum/post/12882937


I've already upgraded my HCPC, although at the price of that standalone and the hassle I've had with my PC, I wish I hadn't bothered.

That is what has swung me for now. After reading all the questions on here that people are having problems getting certain disks to play, I have come to the conclusion that it is still too early for me to consider an HDM upgrade for my HTPC. I still have the upgrade bug with it but calm myself back down telling myself to just hold off a little longer and stick with your HD-A3 for now.


Who knows, given a year I may very well only have to add a bluray only drive. I could always pick up a super cheap 360 addon by them to load my HD DVDs onto my HDDs if HD DVD does die out by the end of the year unless the LG drops down enough as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think when the prices come more inline, more people will upgrade their HTPC
 

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My current HTPC can definitely handle HDM I just have no desire to use it for HDM. Too much hassle and I really enjoy the simplicity of my XA-2 and BD30 bitstreaming to my Integra 9.8


My HTPC is currently relegated to SD, music, pictures, and internet radio. Next year, who knows...
 

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Like ChicagoTC, I've gone the BD30 Panny to an Integera 9.8 route. The 9.8 is feeding a Panny a2000u. My HTPC is an older one and would have required a forklift upgrade. I just wasn't interested in tinkering for weeks to get 1080p working and still not have support for bitstream audio and the uncompressed audio formats.


I plan to use the HTPC to play SD stuff from disk if I can figure out how to get the old AIW 8500 to display something over VGA that the Panny can display. Anyone have any pointers?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini /forum/post/12883047


That is what has swung me for now. After reading all the questions on here that people are having problems getting certain disks to play, I have come to the conclusion that it is still too early for me to consider an HDM upgrade for my HTPC.

It does seem an awkward time with the HD disk playback software not being ready for prime-time (despite the prime-time pricetag).


I'd really only started looking at the commercial disk side of HDM recently and had ordered one of the LG dual-format drives, but while it was in mid-shipment, the Warner annoucement broke and the resulting furor tipped me back from planning to upgrade my HTPC when the LG drive got here to my current feeling that it's probably more trouble than it's worth right now.


I have a collection of Shuttle SFF systems set up as HTPCs and I have been upgrading or replacing those. I'd been using Celeron / Athlon XP based systems in the 2 - 2.8 GHz range with ATI 9600xt video cards for several years, and I'm migrating to an assortment of Athlon 64 x2 and Core 2 duo systems with either Nvidia 8600gt or ATI 2600pro/xt cards. I don't expect to put HDM-capable drives in those machines until the prices drop substantially, so they are just going to be playing media from hard drive (or, possibly from external optical drives occasionally).
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC /forum/post/12890607


My current HTPC can definitely handle HDM I just have no desire to use it for HDM. Too much hassle and I really enjoy the simplicity of my XA-2 and BD30 bitstreaming to my Integra 9.8


My HTPC is currently relegated to SD, music, pictures, and internet radio. Next year, who knows...

Yeah, I definitely know what you mean about the audio. I only have a 5.1 but I think I may upgrade to 7.1 in a year. I don't understand how Cyberlink can charge for a product that is only partially working. Nothing like 80-100 to be a "beta tester". I decided to go HD DVD for now for the file sizes, I figure that once I do transition, it will be easier and more economical in terms of storage as most of their disks use VC-1 instead a 1/3 using Mpeg-2 like BR. I prefer to keep mine on HDD so Storage cost is another concern right now. You can fill up a HDD quick with HDM.
 

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i built my HTPC for HD to begin with.


The only thing I keep upgrading now is just hard drives. Can't ever have enough.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storme /forum/post/12891302


i built my HTPC for HD to begin with.


The only thing I keep upgrading now is just hard drives. Can't ever have enough.

Yeppers. +1.
 

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I would have to get a new projector (or a much larger TV) and a new video card (high-end gaming card) and a blu-ray drive to do make the shift to BluRay. I think for now I'll stick to using my 360 HD-DVD add-on until HD-DVD is completely dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidryder /forum/post/12892647


I would have to get a new projector (or a much larger TV) and a new video card (high-end gaming card) and a blu-ray drive to do make the shift to BluRay. I think for now I'll stick to using my 360 HD-DVD add-on until HD-DVD is completely dead.

You shouldn't need anything more for BR. If anything less. 1/3 of the movies are in mpeg-2 which is easier to decode.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini /forum/post/12893841


You shouldn't need anything more for BR. If anything less. 1/3 of the movies are in mpeg-2 which is easier to decode.

BluRay drives require HDCP, no? Neither my video card nor projector are HDCP capable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Favelle /forum/post/12892280


Yeppers. +1.

+2. I have 5 HTPCs at this time, and 3 laptops between me and the wife, and all the HTPCs are HD capable (Live TV from 3 HDHomeRuns, Recorded TV on the server, HD (Both BD and HD DVD)/SD movies from my storage server, Video files, Music/Pictures/XM Radio/Internet TV/Streaming Internet Radio/etc..), all laptops are SD capable and can do HD TV, but not HD Movies.


The server by far is the most expensive part of the equation, and just keeps growing.
30 drives and counting.. ~15TB raw, ~10TB RAID 5 (and a few mirrored volumes) at present.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidryder /forum/post/12893890


BluRay drives require HDCP, no? Neither my video card nor projector are HDCP capable.

There are ways to get around that.... anydvd hd. Besides. HD DVDs have HDCP protection as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The biggest doesn't seem to be so much processing power now as a sub $100 vid card with HWA will let most systems within the last several years run. It seems the storage is the biggest issue by far... both optical (200-300 for a drive) and HDD space. And the software to run the disk as well.


The xbox addon still seems to be the most economical, but I hate the idea putting that next to my system. I would rather opt for a drive that will go in my case and have quicker data transfers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini /forum/post/12895032


The xbox addon still seems to be the most economical, but I hate the idea putting that next to my system. I would rather opt for a drive that will go in my case and have quicker data transfers.

You can take out the drive and mount it internally, connected to either an internal USB header or, with a bit of extra work ( http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/11/8303/ ), to an IDE connector. One of the later pictures in the "show your HTPC setup" includes a picture of someone's system where he mounted the xbox drive internally.
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by trygve /forum/post/12895612


You can take out the drive and mount it internally, connected to either an internal USB header or, with a bit of extra work ( http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/11/8303/ ), to an IDE connector. One of the later pictures in the "show your HTPC setup" includes a picture of someone's system where he mounted the xbox drive internally.

Yeah. I know. I really don't feel like mickeying the drive to get it in. When I do eventually upgrade more toward the end of the year or beginning of 2009, I think, I may either just a get a bluray drive and buy an xbox addon, load on my isos and resell it back on ebay or just keep it in the closet. Or I could get the combo if the price was low enough. As of now the BR roms are falling under $200. If the LG fell under $200, I would probably pick it up.


I am also hoping that 1 GB drives will get more in line. I already have over a TB and don't have room in my HTPC case to really expand any further without building a seperate server which I really don't want to do... I already have too many computers going (7 at last count). I have already been thinking about stacking drives in external cases via external sata connectors


I like to upgrade my drives every year or so usually with whatever is running about $99+/-. This seems to be the breaking point for the best value per GB. Currently the 500GB is the most econ... maybe soon the 750s will fall there
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini /forum/post/12898605


Yeah. I know. I really don't feel like mickeying the drive to get it in. When I do eventually upgrade more toward the end of the year or beginning of 2009, I think, I may either just a get a bluray drive and buy an xbox addon, load on my isos and resell it back on ebay or just keep it in the closet. Or I could get the combo if the price was low enough. As of now the BR roms are falling under $200. If the LG fell under $200, I would probably pick it up.

Could be any minute now. I'd picked up the LG Blu-ray / HD DVD combo drive for $204, but that was with a $20 off coupon. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we were seeing prices fall below $200 a lot sooner than 2009.

Quote:
I am also hoping that 1 GB drives will get more in line. I already have over a TB and don't have room in my HTPC case to really expand any further without building a seperate server which I really don't want to do... I already have too many computers going (7 at last count). I have already been thinking about stacking drives in external cases via external sata connectors


I like to upgrade my drives every year or so usually with whatever is running about $99+/-. This seems to be the breaking point for the best value per GB. Currently the 500GB is the most econ... maybe soon the 750s will fall there

Yeah, at $90 apiece, the 500GB drives are usually the best price per gig these days. Occasionally the 1tb single-drive externals have been going on sale for $199, though, so they're coming down. I picked up a few at that price to use the drives in an internal RAID array and figure that I just get a few free USB2 enclosures out of the deal.
 
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