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Hey all. Which Vista should I get for the HTPC and why? I see many are choosing Home Premium 32bit over Basic. Is there a reason for that? I have XP Home now? Basicly i want to record TV and play BD using Multi Chanel LPCM over HDMI. Do I need Vista or can i stick with XP?


Thanks, Craig


My System:


A/V gear


Samsung HLN4365WX DLP Connected over HDMI - DVI

Denon AVR2308ci (accepts multi chanel PCM over HDMI)



HTPC:



MSI GeForce P6N SLI

Intel E4600

Zalman CNPS-8000CPU Cooler

XFX nVidia GeForce 8600GT 256mb

2 GB Corsair XMS DDR2

Coolmax 450w Poweer Supply

Western Digital 80GB

Seagate 500GB

will be adding Asus Xonar HDMI audio and BD Drive




Software (will be changing as needed):


Win XP - poss upgrading to Vista

Nero Essentials 7 - changing to the latest Power DVD

Beyond TV - unsure if I'll change it
 

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Some of the differences between Vista Home Basic and Premium is the Aero interface, power management, dual displays and Media Center. Vista Media Center has its fans although the service pack for it is needed to get features the alternative products achieve.


When I upgraded from XP MCE to Vista Home Premium I didn't gain much. One future gain may be protected audio path which means we should be able to hear non-downsamping audio (above 48kHz 16bit). I think this feature is only in Vista but I could be wrong.
 

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I'm of the opinion that there are two front runners for a PC based DVR at the moment. SageTV and Media Center. I haven't looked at the linux solutions as I'm of the opinion that they still require too much configuration and support a limited set of compatible audio, video and video capture devices to be a viable solution for most folks.


SageTV has more diverse support for what I would call the backdoor devices and file formats/codecs where I would say the MS is trying to handle the mainstream TV distribution mediums (cable and satellite) tuners natively along with their codecs.


So... I'd personally recommend Vista for the simple reason that you can run both of the current front runners in the DVR race. In addition, now that true vista compatible drivers have (finally) been released the latest benchmarks point to the fact that most stuff now performs as good or better on vista then it does on XP, Vista has a better audio stack, more stable audio/video playback and it's much more secure than XP.


I do not recommend Vista basic... the small difference in price between basic and premium is more than offset by the functionality you get... Aero, Media Center, better support for HD video and native DVD burning.


I prefer ultimate over premium due to the dead-simple harddrive imaging tool included with it along with the remote desktop functionality. But ultimate is only worthwhile if you have a use for these tools as I do.


I can't speak to blu-ray support in either platform or to 32 vs. 64 bit.
 

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Yes, if you want Vista Media Center, you want Vista Home Premium.
 

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I think what Big Al said is exactly right. Get the Vista Home Premium (or Ultimate if you have a need for those) and then you can have the option of SageTV vs. VMC.
 

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Is there any disadvantage of using 64 bit Vista, besides cost? I know it is probably overkill, but I was wondering if there are any negatives that make it worse than x86?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by davdev /forum/post/14329682


Is there any disadvantage of using 64 bit Vista, besides cost? I know it is probably overkill, but I was wondering if there are any negatives that make it worse than x86?


Let me be the first to reply, I have been using x64 successfully on most all of my machines for years. (desktop, laptop, HTPC, work pc)


x64 is better than x86 (32 bit).


One concern for x64 is codecs and drivers. Check your drivers first, make sure they are x64 compatible. And use quality x64 codecs. You should have no problems and you should find x64 more secure and stable.


The software should cost the same x86 vs x64.
 

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I hate to hijack the thread, but since you said such good stuff, I think I should ask you here.


Where/what are "quality x64 codecs?" Does K-Lite fit this description?


More generally, why is x64 better than 32?


Just curious and trying to learn. Thanks.
 

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Yes, I have always used KLite with great success... Not all will agree, but on a clean install, KLite has always worked great for me.


x64 is more stable and more secure. You will have less virus and adware problems. x64 software (if its native) is going to run better and faster by utilizing all of the x64 platform (your processor, memory etc.)


Just as we've moved from 8 bit on down the line, x64 is the next step towards better technology and innovation.
 

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Yup, with x64 microsoft closed a number of holes in the 32 bit platform. Drivers (if they are available and well tested) should be more stable than 32 bit drivers, there were some holes plugged in 32 bit windows that allowed viruses to hit the OS during bootup and, in addition, 64 bit allows windows to address more than 3GB of RAM. 64 bit vista also support EFI boot if your hardware supports it (EFI replaces the bios we have in today's machines and should allow for faster boot times).


Performance-wise 64 bit is pretty equal or slightly slower than 32 bit if installed on identical platforms.
 

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The big HT app that does not run on Vista 64 is Arcsoft Total Media Theater. However, it appear that will begin to change with the release of version 119.


If you read the Hauppauge WinTV HD PVR thread (which is the first mainstream box to record HD from component), the bundled recording software comes from Arcsoft, and Vista 64 users are unable to use the software.


-Dave
 

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Every benchmark I've seen (which, honestly were a few months old) the 64 bit version was a touch slower unless the application could effectively utilize more than 3G of RAM.


64 bit doesn't speed up instructions on it's own... it actually increases the size of the memory addresses sent into the processor which would actually slow the system down a bit if all other factors were equal. However, the differences are very slight and if even one instance of swapping data to the harddrive occurs (due to the 3G limit in a 32 bit OS) it's going to wipe out any minute difference between the very slight speed advantage that a 32 bit OS might have.


But the ever so slight decrease in performance is more than offset by the better security, stability and memory addressibility... as long as you can find drivers and apps that are 64 bit capable.
 

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What about the 2 channel digital audio issue? I've stepped away for a while but I couldnt get squat to come out of my rears or sub unless it was a DVD encoded with dolby or dts.

I tried Soundmax onboard and Audigy with no luck
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh1ft3rDtCom /forum/post/14338047


Yes, I have always used KLite with great success... Not all will agree, but on a clean install, KLite has always worked great for me.


x64 is more stable and more secure. You will have less virus and adware problems. x64 software (if its native) is going to run better and faster by utilizing all of the x64 platform (your processor, memory etc.)


Just as we've moved from 8 bit on down the line, x64 is the next step towards better technology and innovation.


from my tests the x64 version of ffdshow has always had inferior PQ to the x86 version


the x64 version always had more blocking in dark areas



also, did SP1 fix the issue with some USB devices on systems with more than 4GB of RAM?


have you noticed this or has it been fixed?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb /forum/post/14340749


from my tests the x64 version of ffdshow has always had inferior PQ to the x86 version


the x64 version always had more blocking in dark areas



I noticed this too after I installed the Vista codec pack. I'm not a huge fan really, CPU usage is up 20% when compared to MPC with CoreAVC. And the audio on some videos is off (specifically 16:9 TV shows, but not 2.35:1 1080p movies go figure). If I could use AC3Filter with it, I'd be golden but, at the expense of ease of use (My Movies integration et al) I'll stick with MPC...it seems with ffdshow that I'm staring at the video through a tinted window, whereas before (no display settings were adjusted) everything seemed perfect.
 

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stick with 32 bit for a media center.


64 bit is really jsut about 4GB of ram or more, if you need LOTS of ram (which HTPCs don't, but you might be using this rig for other stuff) then go 64 bit.


64bit is also the same price as 32bit (actually included in the license, you jsut need install media).


Home Premium is the minimum level for vista think of it as XP home, the lower versions are completely nutered and useless.
 

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It's too simple to say that Windows 64bit is faster and more secure than Windows 32bit. The german c't magazine (the best PC mag I know) did extensive tests and benchmarks in March 2008, some of which are commented in this article:

http://4sysops.com/archives/vista-x6...e-than-32-bit/


The difference in speed depends on the individual software. Most of the time the speed is the same under Windows 32bit and 64bit , sometimes Windows 64bit is faster, sometimes slower.


I would only recommend 64bit to experienced users, as it occasionally requires to find workarounds to make 32bit software install and work, and most users will not notice any difference in terms of performance.
 

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my question is this


If I install 4GB of RAM on an x86 system, some of the RAM won't be used, but more than 2GB will be used. But, will the RAM used be identical in performance to a straight 2GB install?


Is there any kind of performance hit for using 4GB of RAM on a x86 system?
 

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x86 can only address 3GB of RAM.
 
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