Home entertainment - project

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Lawr, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Lawr

    Lawr Guest

    I like to set myself an objective / project from an amateur point to
    improve self learning. First idea for 2004 is a home theatre on PC kit.

    I've searched Google and found a few sites but the specs are a little
    old. I've also looked at the home cinema / theater(!) NGs but haven't
    gleaned a lot.

    So the homebuilt guys are the place to come, if you can help?


    I follow a lot of the drift in the NGs and articles - the need for a
    suitable case, cooling, quietness and possibly remote keypad. I'll
    leave those aside here.

    The objective is to have a (small) box alongside the main TV that is
    quiet, capable of providing good picture and 5.1 output and later to
    connect to the existing hard wired broadband LAN by wireless. Primarily
    to feed DVD to screen and audio but I may want to capture video to the
    hard disk later.

    The final objective is to do this at a reasonable price otherwise I may
    as well go and buy a mid/high range home theatre kit :)


    By component:

    Mobo - I intend to go with an Asrock K7S8XE coz I have 2 and they are
    solid. They have no video but AC97 5.1 sound. LAN, USB, etc.

    CPU - AMD, possibly a Barton 2500

    HDD - not too bothered as it's not the prime machine so a Maxtor (or
    Samsung) 80gb will be the mark

    DVD Player - (I wont need a re-writer here unless the Pioneer 107
    tempts) Will use an existing Sony DDU1621


    Now my wonder points:

    Graphics - I have an ATI 8500 with S-video output that the (Sony) TV
    accepts. Is that good enough or do I need to go higher? 9200 or
    better? I need to consider the price points here. (I can't easily move
    the box with the 8500 to check)

    Audio - my major information gap - the mobo outputs 5.1. Is that all
    there is to it - just connect to a 5.1 speaker set? Or would I be
    better with a dedicated card such as the Creative SB Audigy?

    Speakers - What brand will output sufficient sound quality and power for
    the main room? I've looked at Trust 5.1 and one site said - fine for
    the computer but not for TV type use. My inclination is to the Creative
    Inspire 6.1 (6700) but are these up to it?

    Oh, and where do DTS and Dolby Pro Logic come into this (told you it was
    my blind spot!).


    TIA for any help.

    Lawr
     
    Lawr, Jan 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. Lawr

    Lawr Guest

    Opps - wrong group
     
    Lawr, Jan 3, 2004
    #2
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  3. I still haven't figured out why multi-media pc's are gaining in popularity.

    All they do is store video on a hard drive from what I can figure. Hell
    TIVO can do that, albeit at a hefty monthly price. I imagine though in the
    long run the TIVO might be cheaper considering how fast the computer
    technology advances and outdates just released computer hardware. TIVO's
    can also be networked together and have a broadband connection for
    downloading and remote activation via the internet.

    I read once where a guy was at a baseball game and a flyball came right near
    him so he took out his internet activated palm pilot and instructed his TIVO
    to record the highlights of the game on the news.

    Now not to be misleading but I am not promoting TIVO. I just got one for
    xmas for use with my Sony 65" HD television and I had my g/f return it a few
    days later because the image was not that great and I didn't feel like
    forking over the $13 a month on top of all my other bills just to use it.

    CaptainKrunch


    "Lawr" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I like to set myself an objective / project from an amateur point to
    > improve self learning. First idea for 2004 is a home theatre on PC kit.
    >
    > I've searched Google and found a few sites but the specs are a little
    > old. I've also looked at the home cinema / theater(!) NGs but haven't
    > gleaned a lot.
    >
    > So the homebuilt guys are the place to come, if you can help?
    >
    >
    > I follow a lot of the drift in the NGs and articles - the need for a
    > suitable case, cooling, quietness and possibly remote keypad. I'll
    > leave those aside here.
    >
    > The objective is to have a (small) box alongside the main TV that is
    > quiet, capable of providing good picture and 5.1 output and later to
    > connect to the existing hard wired broadband LAN by wireless. Primarily
    > to feed DVD to screen and audio but I may want to capture video to the
    > hard disk later.
    >
    > The final objective is to do this at a reasonable price otherwise I may
    > as well go and buy a mid/high range home theatre kit :)
    >
    >
    > By component:
    >
    > Mobo - I intend to go with an Asrock K7S8XE coz I have 2 and they are
    > solid. They have no video but AC97 5.1 sound. LAN, USB, etc.
    >
    > CPU - AMD, possibly a Barton 2500
    >
    > HDD - not too bothered as it's not the prime machine so a Maxtor (or
    > Samsung) 80gb will be the mark
    >
    > DVD Player - (I wont need a re-writer here unless the Pioneer 107
    > tempts) Will use an existing Sony DDU1621
    >
    >
    > Now my wonder points:
    >
    > Graphics - I have an ATI 8500 with S-video output that the (Sony) TV
    > accepts. Is that good enough or do I need to go higher? 9200 or
    > better? I need to consider the price points here. (I can't easily move
    > the box with the 8500 to check)
    >
    > Audio - my major information gap - the mobo outputs 5.1. Is that all
    > there is to it - just connect to a 5.1 speaker set? Or would I be
    > better with a dedicated card such as the Creative SB Audigy?
    >
    > Speakers - What brand will output sufficient sound quality and power for
    > the main room? I've looked at Trust 5.1 and one site said - fine for
    > the computer but not for TV type use. My inclination is to the Creative
    > Inspire 6.1 (6700) but are these up to it?
    >
    > Oh, and where do DTS and Dolby Pro Logic come into this (told you it was
    > my blind spot!).
    >
    >
    > TIA for any help.
    >
    > Lawr
     
    CaptainKrunch, Jan 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Lawr

    Lawr Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > I still haven't figured out why multi-media pc's are gaining in popularity.
    >
    > All they do is store video on a hard drive from what I can figure. Hell
    > TIVO can do that, albeit at a hefty monthly price.


    Exactly - got it in one (not). This was about output (not input) until
    I recalled it a minute later.

    Just because this is a rec group don't assume the world knows what
    'baseball' or 'flyball' are. I don't but I live in the bigger world
    outisde the US. PCs are something you'll learn about :)
     
    Lawr, Jan 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Lawr

    Bugsy Guest

    Sounds like you could do with a copy of XP Media Center Edition. The bad
    news is that I believe this is only available to approved OEM manufacturers.

    If you subscribe to certain levels of the MSDN program it is available for
    download but please check the licensing.

    I know I looked at doing this a couple of uears ago and didn' get very far
    with it.

    Dave

    "Lawr" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Opps - wrong group
     
    Bugsy, Jan 3, 2004
    #5
  6. Lawr

    Tim Anderson Guest

    You couldn't go far wrong loocking at MyHTPC :) very nice software but if I
    haven't got you worng I think you slightly aiming off the mark.

    You wan't to watch films with computer speakers? This seems like a bad plan
    to me, much better off investing in either a seperates system (like I did)
    or an all in one system. Then adding your media PC.

    Oh and to the guy who says the TIVO can do it all, I've got one and UK
    TIVO's don't do all that my media pc can & does. Can you play games on your
    TIVO? nope, but I think the rest of what my media pc does att can be done by
    a TIVO in the states.


    Tim
     
    Tim Anderson, Jan 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Lawr

    Lawr Guest

    In article <3ff73bd0$0$25967$>, t-dot-
    says...
    > You couldn't go far wrong loocking at MyHTPC :) very nice software but if I
    > haven't got you worng I think you slightly aiming off the mark.
    >
    > You wan't to watch films with computer speakers? This seems like a bad plan
    > to me, much better off investing in either a seperates system (like I did)
    > or an all in one system. Then adding your media PC.
    >
    > Oh and to the guy who says the TIVO can do it all, I've got one and UK
    > TIVO's don't do all that my media pc can & does. Can you play games on your
    > TIVO? nope, but I think the rest of what my media pc does att can be done by
    > a TIVO in the states.
    >
    >
    > Tim
    >
    >
    >

    Tim,

    Even though I withdrew the post within minutes you haven't addressed a
    fraction of what I asked.

    My shame is I posted to the wrong NG. The experts are elsewhere and not
    on this NG.
     
    Lawr, Jan 3, 2004
    #7
  8. Lawr

    George Kerby Guest

    On 1/3/04 2:36 PM, in article ,
    "CaptainKrunch" <> wrote:

    > I still haven't figured out why multi-media pc's are gaining in popularity.
    >
    > All they do is store video on a hard drive from what I can figure. Hell
    > TIVO can do that, albeit at a hefty monthly price. I imagine though in the
    > long run the TIVO might be cheaper considering how fast the computer
    > technology advances and outdates just released computer hardware. TIVO's
    > can also be networked together and have a broadband connection for
    > downloading and remote activation via the internet.
    >
    > I read once where a guy was at a baseball game and a flyball came right near
    > him so he took out his internet activated palm pilot and instructed his TIVO
    > to record the highlights of the game on the news.
    >
    > Now not to be misleading but I am not promoting TIVO. I just got one for
    > xmas for use with my Sony 65" HD television and I had my g/f return it a few
    > days later because the image was not that great and I didn't feel like
    > forking over the $13 a month on top of all my other bills just to use it.
    >
    > CaptainKrunch
    >
    >

    If it wasn't for the about-face just before Christmas concerning
    subscription fees, I would recommend a ReplayTV unit. Better product and
    does all you say without add-ons. Plus the 50XX series can act as servers
    and you can share your recordings with friends and strangers as well
    (newsgroups). Only problem is that the Management of the company is so
    fu--ed up that TiVo will most likely take over and become the Micro$oft of
    that industry.


    _______________________________________________________________________________
    Posted Via Uncensored-News.Com - Accounts Starting At $6.95 - http://www.uncensored-news.com
    <><><><><><><> The Worlds Uncensored News Source <><><><><><><><>
     
    George Kerby, Jan 4, 2004
    #8
  9. Lawr

    Tim Anderson Guest

    > Tim,
    >
    > Even though I withdrew the post within minutes you haven't addressed a
    > fraction of what I asked.
    >
    > My shame is I posted to the wrong NG. The experts are elsewhere and not
    > on this NG.


    Nope, most of the experts are on the MyHTPC site. And if you re-read my
    post, I answered your speakers question, your software choice AND gave you
    other places to look.


    Have you have more luck ignoring/annoying all the other people that have
    built there own media pc and are willing to share knowledge :)


    Tim
     
    Tim Anderson, Jan 4, 2004
    #9
  10. Lawr

    Azzz1588 Guest

    In article <>, Lawr
    <> writes:

    > My inclination is to the Creative
    >Inspire 6.1 (6700) but are these up to it?


    NO !

    You will need the Caimbridge Soundworks SB system.

    The Creative Inspire series (I have the 6.1) is good for games,
    and watching DVD's on the computer. It wont even begin to
    fill a large room with sound at any decent volume level, nor
    when turned up have a decent S/N ratio.
    For my flight sim's, it does very well :)
    But compared to real stereo, it is noisy, and dosnt recreate sound
    accurately that well.
    Listen to a high quality music CD on it sometime, and you
    will be just as dissapointed as I was/still am.....
    (I have a serious stereo system for music, so np for me :)

    Personally, I would go for the Klipsch 5.1 system. Well worth the cost !!!
    For a computer. this is a decent loud, and quality sound system.
    If you go this route, you will want the SB Audigy sound card, again
    you will be disspaointed quality wise with anything less !!

    If you want real quality sound, than go with a dedicated surround
    sound reciever, and a REAL speaker system. This however could
    get VERY expensive in a hurry. But once you listen to a good
    surround sound system (not a computer based one) you will see
    how much better it is than any system you can buy made for
    a computer sound setup. NO comparision !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    A decent sorround sound reciever (NAD for instance) will set you
    back around $500 alone....................

    Just keep in mind that no coumpter sound system will compare to a
    dedicated stand alone surround sound one !!


















    "Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
     
    Azzz1588, Jan 4, 2004
    #10
  11. I am sure the US version is the same as the UK one for the most part.

    As far as games go I prefer to play my Xbox, even though there are more
    games available for the computer obviously. Besides I have a 65" HD Sony tv
    and I prefer to play my games on that connected to my surround sound as
    opposed to playing them on the computer.

    I think it is the worst of both worlds when people try to combine everything
    into one thing. Kind of like the copier/printer/scanner all in one deals.
    They do it all but only at a mediocre performance level.

    CaptainKrunch


    "Tim Anderson" <> wrote in message
    news:3ff73bd0$0$25967$...
    > You couldn't go far wrong loocking at MyHTPC :) very nice software but if

    I
    > haven't got you worng I think you slightly aiming off the mark.
    >
    > You wan't to watch films with computer speakers? This seems like a bad

    plan
    > to me, much better off investing in either a seperates system (like I did)
    > or an all in one system. Then adding your media PC.
    >
    > Oh and to the guy who says the TIVO can do it all, I've got one and UK
    > TIVO's don't do all that my media pc can & does. Can you play games on

    your
    > TIVO? nope, but I think the rest of what my media pc does att can be done

    by
    > a TIVO in the states.
    >
    >
    > Tim
    >
    >
     
    CaptainKrunch, Jan 4, 2004
    #11
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