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Hello all, I am new to the site and need your expert advice sorely...lol.


Ok, I am posting this in a few areas as it has to do with TV, PC, DVR, and PS3/Xbox360 - so I appologize if this is not exactly where it is supossed to be.


That being said, here is my situation/issue:


1- I am about to purchase a 46" 1080p LCD for my living room.

--> I have pretty much decided on Samsung's LN-T4665F.


2- I will also be upfrading my surround sound (have not decided, but want something with ipod support and 5.1 - maybe Denon or Onkyo?)


3 - Hooking up my xbox360 and soon to be purchased Ps3 w/bluray)


4- Also currently subscribe to DirectTV/ HD/ HD-Dvr service, but the dvr they gave me last year is really limited and the satellite was expensive (I will be switching into a new apt. soon and do NOT want to re-pay for satellite So wanted to switch to digital cable)


*** OK, , here are my questions:


1.) I would like to hook up a Vista enable PC ( with TV tuner) to the TV and use it intead of my crappy HD-DVR box. This way I can surf the net, look at pics, movies, television and record all w/o paying $12/month to have the HD-DVR.

1a.) - Is this doable in HD if Samsung is sans DVI port? it does ave 15 pin PC port +3 HDmi

1b.) - I would still need the digital cable set top box to receive programming, right?

1c.) - ** How do I connect the TV to the digital cable box, yet still manage to connect and integrate the whole thing to the PC and have it all work seamlessly with Vista's included Media center?


2.) I will be hooking up the surround sound via HDMI I think... or is better to use optical audio seeing as the sound does not need the video HDMI has?


3.) I have heard that Samsung's LN-T4665F's Hdmi hookups do NOT allow a SD 480i signal to come through?!!!! This would, if true, mean having to hook up the TV with BOTH HDMI and Component and thus, defeat the entire purpose oif cutting down on wire clutter? Anyone know about this... as I would assume an expensive set would at least offer upconversion of SD via HDMI or something??


****** Bottom Line *******


* I want to take the following and hook them all up together and have it work as seemlessly and efficiently as possible, but while I am an intelligent person, I am very new to the audio/visual side of all of this and therefore need to rely on the expert opinions of you guys/gals within these hallowed forums:


- 46" LCD TV = Samsung LN-T4665F (3hdmi, 2component, 1VGA...)

- Digital Cable or should I stick with my direct tv hd service?

- Vista Premium PC with dual TV tuners

- PS3

- Xbox 360

- Surround sound (do not know which yet, but will be est. $400-$500 and have HDMI and iPod support)


- Will a very patient and kind person please explain how to best get this operational the easient way possible for a person with only modertate knowledge and a lot of confusion..hehe?


(example of things I am confused about)

a)- Will my PC as a dvr even be worth it? Or will it be more trouble and more expensive than simply going with a TiVo box supplied by Direct Tv/ Comcast digital cable?


I sincerly appologize for posting this in multiple areas, but I had no odea where to putthis as it is in reference to multiple topics

I also appologize for the sheer length of it and really appreciate any and all help I amy get.... I am SO lost..hehe.


Thanx


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It all depends on what your time is worth.


1a - get a video card with HDMI output (or a DVI/HDMI converter)- or just connect to the VGA port

1b - depends on what programming - encrypted chs yes, clear QAM chs no.

1c - depends on the connection and what chs you can live with or without - if you can live with just the clear QAM chs (check on the local threads what is available in your area) you can ditch the cable box, get yourself a QAM tuner and you're good to go. If you have to have any encrypted QAM ch then you'll need an STB/DVR and having an HTPC at that point is questionable


2 - little diff - whatever is easier/cheaper


3 - look/ask in the flat panel threads


a/ again, it depends on how much your time is worth and what kind of programming you want to watch. If you can live with the basic local chs - then an HTPC makes sense because you can not only do away with the $12 DVR fee but also save another ~$40 by degrading your cable sub to the basic tier. If you have to have that encrypted cable ch it makes little sense to bother with an HTPC - althogh a simple DVDr for archiving might still make sense then.
 
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