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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Setup Advice


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5 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   scottmk

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 10:43 AM

Hi, hoping I could get some advice. Currently have HR-20 w/Tversity and old network adapter. I have enjoyed viewing downloaded and streaming video on HR20 but have had issues (eg, can't ff or rw anything) plus slow playback (old processor + little RAM).
I am now interested in stepping it up a notch. I am going to buy a new cpu and start building a better system. I would like to use Netflix streaming, HULU, TV Tuner, etc. I will have Win 7 on my new cpu.
My question is, should I abort the HR-20 and get something else like a networked BlueRay or PS3? I am just confused because I haven't been able to find any sites that discuss building a nice PC to TV Setup (lots of old stuff on how to feed old PC directly to TV). I would probably keep the HR-20 if I thought I could resolve the issue of not being able to RW or FF AND if I could work Netflix in with it somehow through WIN7 and/or Tversity. I know this is a mess but I would appreciate any advice on how to build this out for someone who is looking to have a nice setup.
Thanks.

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#2 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 01:08 PM

I've had a Blu-Ray drive in my HTPC for well over a year now, and with a bit of setup work, it is nearly seamless with the rest of Media Center (though playing the Blu-Ray requires launching a separate player). The only issue is that there is *still* not a good solution for playing HD/7.1 audio through HDMI. With Windows 7 being released, though, I expect this to finally be resolved soon, as CPU and GPU horsepower continue to increase, making decent integrated motherboards ever cheaper compared to their performance. I imagine that within the next 6 months, there will be motherboards with integrated video and HD audio with HDMI output that will outperform my 18 month old high-end PC, which is more than enough for an HTPC.

#3 OFFLINE   scottmk

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 03:13 PM

Thanks for your reply. I guess what I'm ultimately trying to determine is how to allocate about $500 after buying my cpu to build the best media network to include as much as possible. While it is nice that the HR20 has some features, it seems to me that a PS3 would work much better. That said, does anyone have any suggestions as to which direction I should go? (E.g., XBOX, PS3, Blueray, Dlink Media extender,etc..)Thanks.

#4 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:06 PM

An HTPC with a Blu-Ray drive will do everything except play PS3 or XBox games, so I'm not sure what you're looking for exactly.

#5 OFFLINE   scottmk

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:52 PM

Finally starting to catch on....so I am going to have an HTPC (looking at Dell Studios). My question now relates to audio. Is there a way to work both the HTPC and the DirectV audio into the same Surround System? It seems that if I use HDMI from my PC to the TV than I will be resorting to the TV audio....unless, I could send it back out to my surround system? Alternatively, are there speakers that take two line ins?

THanks again

#6 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:38 AM

Now we're talking about surround sound systems, and there's a HUGE range to discuss.

Most "Home Theater In a Box" (HTIB) systems have very limited connectivity, so you might have to shop around to find something with exactly the connections you need, and thus you'd need to know *exactly* what connections you need for all components you might need, now and in the near future. Limited connectivity is one of several things you have to live with if you go with a lower-priced "all-in-one" solution.

More sophisticated surround sound setups will generally use at least an A/V receiver with separate speakers, and mid-to-upper models will have multiple inputs, including HDMI and component, and can pull HD audio out of the HDMI stream. Obviously this type of system is considerably more expensive at $500-$2000+ just for the A/V receiver, but it solves all of the problems you're talking about.

If you're looking at A/V receivers, note that lower-end models only do HDMI *switching*, meaning that while they will allow multiple HDMI connections to be switched to the TV, the A/V receiver has no access to the actual HDMI data stream, so it can't get to the audio that way, and must be connected via optical or coax and limited to non-HD audio codecs. Higher-end models can pull the audio out of the HDMI stream and support the HD audio codecs, including 7.1 PCM (uncompressed).




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