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Discussion Starter #1
I need some advice about HTPC stability and installation.


I've recently purchased all the parts to construct a new HTPC. I want to make this just a DVD and internet searching/viewing system. My "old" HTPC was an Athlon XP1800+ and was used for gaming, internet, and movies. Therefore all kinds of software was installed. It worked but often suffered breakdowns and hang ups because of my constant changing of software. This time around, i want to make it more reliable.


Here is my new specs for my new computer and TV:


- TV: Grand Wega III 50"


- Computer:


Hardware:


Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz

1Gig Crucial Ram

120 Gig Maxtor Hard Drives x 2

ABIT 865PE Motherboard Model "IS7"

ATI 9800 Pro

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro hooked to PC surround sound speakers

Net Gear Wireless Card


Software I use:


Zoomplayer

Power DVD

Win DVD trial version

AC3 Filters

FFDSHOW



I have a bunch of questions and I hope they could get addressed here.


1) What would be the best software to use for best video result?

-- Is any one viewer significantly better than another? I really like zoomplayer and it would have to be a lot better to switch.


2) What audio and video filters will give the best results?


3) Whats the optimum install order? I have the XP install guide found under the free killer HTPC applications but after that, whats install order?


4) What settings for these filters?


5) I wasn't able to use VM9 overlay, will i able to use it now?


6) Last question, i've never been able to figure out how to use a lobby, whats the advantage of them and whats the best one? Are there any free ones?


For the record, money is slightly an issue so I'd prefer free software over ones that cost hundreds of dollars.


Thank you all in advance for your help and time. :D
 

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This is a great step by step guide:

ABXZone Operating System / Software Installation Guide


Make sure you get the basics of OS, video, sound, and network up and stable before you move on to DVD playback, ffdshow, etc. Set a System Restore Point so you don't have to redo the initial setup.


XLobby and myHTPC are both free frontends, both very easy to use once you get past the "how do I" stage. For DVD playback, I think XLobby is a little slicker, a little easier than myHTPC. For an amazing variety of everything else, myHTPC is awesome.


You might want to add Powerstrip to your software list.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oh yeah, i forgot to add that I was already using powerstrip. It is a necessity to have the GWIII work with ATI. Thank you for a link to that guide however, I already had it. :) I was wondering if the order of the software such as ZP and WinDVD Power DVD mattered.
 
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