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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would any of the x1-htpc users please list how they have the projector hooked up and what they're using in the computer? I'm hoping to build a pc that can do it all, play dvd's, watch tv, record tv, and eventually watch and record HD. Also, could you please mention any dscaler or other settings that you might have. Any help would be appreciated!!
 

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I got an X1 and a HTPC. ..


Chip: AMD 2500+

Video Card: 9700 AIW

Hard Drive Space: 160 G

RAM: 512

Sound: Revolution 7.1


If your watching HDTV through your computer you'll probably need at least 2.7 Ghz chip and if your recording HDTV a big hard drive since it takes up monster space. An HTPC is really neat but it can be really a hassle getting everything to work! But I’m glad I got it, DVDs look noticeable better then when I using a progressive scan DVD player. Its kinda pricy, but the best thing about it is that you get a computer out of the whole deal in addition to get TIVO, DVD player, CD & MP3 player and making your life a little easier by having everything in one. However, its not perfect. I few problems I have run into is that I get cable, but its not digital, and the TV tuner on the 9700 AIW is TERRIBLE. Plus I’m outputting my sound digitally to my receiver using the Revolution which sounds good, but not as good as my DVD outputting it to my receiver. I got all my stuff through newegg.com, I’m not sure If I can say that, but its much cheaper then buying it through Dell, and if your good with computers it can save you $. Overall I’m glad I did it, but its not for everyone, takes a lot of time, effort, and money but if you got that, go for it, its a great hobby.


If your using other component sources such as Xbox or Gamecube, get an VGA switcher, but make sure you get one at a local store just in case you get ghosting on it. VGA switchers are really cheap which is an advantage with having a projector with VGA input and a video card with VGA as well.


Also with whatever you get, its probably obvious and doesn't need to be said but get a remote and wireless mouse and keyboard, there the best.


I always set my computer display to 800 x 600 @ 60 htz, any other setting softens up the image too much for my tastes.


The easiest solution is to get one of those Microsoft Media PCs, your going to pay more for what you get, but building one yourself takes a lot of time and effort, if I wasn't a college student I would have done that from the start.


Make sure you have a good DVD software since it can effect how smothly the image will play. I have PowerDVD which for me, has worked great, I'm sure there are others that work fine as well.


If you aren’t going to be using/viewing HDTV in the next 6 months don't go all out and spend a whole bunch of money and get top of the line everything. Just upgrade, that’s the beauty of HTPCing! If you aren’t using HDTV you can easily get away with a system which less then mine and it is by no stretch top of the line. But if you are make sure you get fast processor, lots of RAM, a pimp video card, and a monster hard drive.


If you have any other specific questions feel free to ask.



The ladies at college love my PJ by the way ;).


Chris
 

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Athlon XP 2400+

512DDR333 Kingmax

Asus A7V 333

3 Seagate Barracuda V 60gb's (2 running in Raid 0 array)

ATI radeon 9600 Pro.


I use this for DVD and both HD and SD Digital 16:9 TV both for recording and timeshifting.


As I run a 16:9 screen and all content is 16:9 i run 1024 x 580 resolution which gives me a widscreen destkop (ie not stretched) and allows all 16:9 video to fill the screen. Leaving DVD software in "keep aspect" sees 16:9 full screen, 2.35 letterboxed and 4:3 pillar boxed so ALL aspects are correct.


My above system config has 20% CPU usage with 1080i MPEG HD streams with DD 5.1 sound and can play 1080p Windows media 9 HD demos perfectly smooth.


As stated above it is a bit of a fiddle, but when i compare even DVD quality on the S-Video input to the computer feed it is substanitally cleaner (ie the computer is).


Once I have all my software sorted I will look at full remote intergration an automation but with the DTV software about to change im hanging back on that at present.


While the DTV does have standard remote control that does worth for other windows stuff I use a Gyration mouse and keyboard, the mouse can be used in mid are, ie hand movements move the cursor, very handy when lying back in ones chair.


D
 

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Athlon XP 2100+

512M PC133 SDRAM

1 WD 10G 7200RPM HD (Upgrading Soon!)

Geforce2 MX (VGA to PJ)

MIT MDP-100 HD Card

Fortissimo 4.1 Audio

Power DVD

Running at 1024X768 - Do not like 800X600 for desktop.


Yes, this game can be played on a budget. Be ready for some headaches. HTPCs are worth it, but they get frustrating at times.....like trying to get T2 Extreme to work.


Notes:

1. Above vid card adequate for all applications, except for running HD DVDs and/or files. However, setup works fine for displaying OTA HD via the MDP. I am considering upgrading soon so can display all HD.

2. Sound card works fine via digital out to receiver.


Good Luck! Welcome to the club.
 

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AMD Thunderbird 900

512 PC133

Geforce3 (VGA to PJ)

SB Live Value (SPDIF coax to Onkyo 5.1)

PowerDVD, ZoomPlayer

Windows XP

I run at 1024x768


Runs pretty darn good for using an existing computer. I want to upgrade before I get an HDTV card though (HD, Processor...)


I keep the X1 and HTPC at 4x3 AR just to keep it simple and I like 4x3 material displayed larger and I don't have to switch between native and 16x9 on the X1 this way.


I use a VGA switch box between 17" monitor and X1.


I don't get surround sound in games with this setup but thats OK for now.
How to get multi-channel games to work.


I went from cheap DVD player using SVID to HTPC using VGA and I think it looks much better now
 

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Quote:
DVDs look noticeable better then when I using a progressive scan DVD player.
Again, so no one is confused, NOT ALL progressive scan DVD players look better on X1 (Not HTPC but stand alone). Some cheaper DVD players look better letting the Faroujda on the X1 do the line doubling.
 

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I have a progressive scan dvd player, and even though it looks better using progressive with vga-component over interlaced svideo, using a HTPC still looks better. I use a pioneer progressive scan dvd player, and a p4 3.2ghzC w/ 9700pro for a HTPC
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the info! Those of you using the pc for viewing/recording sdtv, which tv tuner card are you using?
 

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I have a Vision Plus from Twin Han (DTV Card) this is the first of its type and developed for Australia first (7mhz channel sizes) and will be expanded.
 

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Can any of you recommend a less expensive video card than the ATI 9600 or 9700? What about one without a built in TV tuner?


How important is the SPID audio output feature on some of the ATI cards like the 8500dv?
 

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Computer DVD Playback - Find a Real Magic Hollywood Plus Card on ebay - EXCELLENT quality DVD playback with a decoder chip built in - you can watch on just about any computer for perfectly smooth playback (works great on a PII 266).
 

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This discussion really has little to do with digital projectors and everything to do with HTPCs, so I have moved the discussion over to the Home Theater Computers forum.
 

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Hello...

I probably have one of the less expensive systems in this forum, but it works like a charm for my divx playing.

My htpc is intel celeron 1.2gh cpu, soyo tisu mobo, crucial 512 pc133 ram, western digital 120gb special edition hard drive, pioneer 106 dvd drive, and ati aiw 9000 pro video card. The aiw9000 has the remote control with mouse control, tv in, etc... I'm just using the onboard sigmatel audio codec from the motherboard to logitech z340's (2.1 channel). I'm outputting video to the venerable infocus x1.

My mount and screen are home-brewed. The mount was ~$8 from Lowes. It's a 3/4" pipe nipple with a 3/4" floor flange at each end. The top is screwed into the ceiling and the bottom is screwed into a piece of plywood. The plywood is screwed into the projector. The screen is a 4'x3' sheet of plywood, painted white, covered with some bright white fabric from Wal-Mart, and then edged with black electrical tape for contrast. The price for the screen was ~$10.

Note that I ordered the x1 from Dell, getting a 10% instant rebate and a stackable $25 coupon, which brought the price to $875 (x1, mount, and screen for
 

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I have just slapped together a a box with express purpose of hooking my X1 and IF5700 to it. It's a dual purpose PC, ie. games and DVD viewing, so some components are probably overkill for DVD only purposes. I second the previous poster's comments about it being a cow to setup at first and some apps like Girder and Powerstrip are a steep learning curve. All in the name of fun though and so far I am very happy with just the basic settings that I have done so far. Thanks to the great FAQ put together by AVS members I am learning all the time.

My box:

P4 3ghz HT

1 gig Transcend DDR400 (2 sticks of 512)

Gigabyte GA 8KNXP mobo

Radeon 9800 Pro

Revo

80gig Seagate drive

Winfast TV2000 XP tuner

XP Home
 

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Athlon XP 2100/Asus A7N8X/Radeon 9600

Connected to X1 VGA input through a Linksys KVM switch (used as an IR-controlled VGA switch).

Desktop/DVD-watching settings: 800x600, 75 Hz


I also have a Zenith HDTV box, HiPix HDTV board, and Digix VGA-output DVD player connected to the X1.
 

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ChrisW6ATV,


Question about your Linksys KVM switch: Do you run your Zenith HDTV feed through this switch as well? I'd like to hook my server into my X1 along with all of my other HT components which include a Zenith HDTV OTA box. The crappy Belkin KVM switch I had lying around would not pass the HDTV 720p signal through it. Does your switch allow this and if so what model switch do you have exactly? Thanks in advance!!!!
 

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I've got:

- Compaq Presario 1.3Ghz Celeron, 40GB HD, 256Mb

- Radeon 9000

- Samsung DVD drive, region-free

- Win98 SE

- PowerDVD 4.0

- StreamZap remote

- Wireless keyboard and mouse

- PCI CMI8738 Sound Card SPDIF out via optical cable

- Sony SDP-EP9ES digital surround processor

- Infocus X1 SVGA DLP projector, [email protected]

- Technics SA-TX50 5.1 THX receiver (100watts/channel)

- Technics THX matched 7 speaker system ( 2 subwoofers)


The HTPC sits with all the sound gear in a European style dining room cabinet with our 42" plasma on top, and is connected to the pj at the back of the room with a 10m (30ft) VGA cord.


Good luck with your project - it's actually easier than you believe... just don't get caught up in all the conflicting hardware/software decisions as I did early on. I found by getting a basic computer and fitting a decent video card, that has given hugely satisfying results.


Ken Silver
 
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