Quantcast DVRs: my New Htpc - digitalFAQ.com Forums [Archives]
  #1  
10-29-2005, 11:25 AM
incredible incredible is offline
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As in here is no HTPC section I do post in here.

Today I got my HTPC working and its verrrry nice!
No more unsupported containers or codec issues

I bought a black coolermaster cavalier2 case at ebay (coolermaster4 wheren't available) for 40 Euros.
http://www.coolermaster-europe.com/i...02Cavalier%202

The case comes original with a good 300W PowerSupply and its very silent.


I got an ASUS P800-E Deluxe Mainboard (incl. SPDIF) from a good friend and also one of his old Celeron 2.0Ghz Cpu's including an used Arctic Cooling Heatsink (temp.Controlled - rpms about only 600-1400!! needed).



I "still" do use Win2000 in combination with "CDBremse" (CD Break) a little tool which forces the CDRom Drive to spin at low rpms.
http://www.cd-bremse.de/cdbremse.htm

All these compounds together do result in a verrrrry silent HTPC (the old 40GB HD from Hitachi I can hear a bit but maybe I can found a software for the acoustic management).

The Graphics card is a simple passive cooled Radeon 9250 connected to my 32" Panasonic 16:9 using s-video connection.

How does it look ???? -----> .... Nice!

Plays back everything I tested (mp4,mkv, xvid, divx, nero....) and also anamorph mp4 is supported! Theres no mp4 player available which supports that.



To Do:
- Maybe switching to linux or using a HTPC Environment for Windows like MyHtpc or something similair.
- Lower the acoustic from the HD using a acoustic-management software?
- Replacing the Radeon with a Matrox G400 connected using a VGA-ScartRGB adapter to the ScartRGB-in of my TVset. --> Best Quality
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  #2  
10-29-2005, 12:38 PM
Prodater64 Prodater64 is offline
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Do you need a mouse, keyboard, etc. or its so simple as load the drive and close it?
Has it RC?
Does it support chapters?
How much it costs?
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  #3  
10-29-2005, 08:49 PM
incredible incredible is offline
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Good questions ...
Quote:
Do you need a mouse, keyboard, etc. or its so simple as load the drive and close it?
I think a simple function in a HTPC environment like MyHTPC etc. could do that but anyhow ....
Quote:
Has it RC?
... it would need a Remotecontrol for seeking, chapters etc.

Two options I do have in mind:

1. "Streamzap"
http://www.streamzap.com/products/pcremote/
Supports MANY Windows Programs, also Linux port is available ad sourceforge for that RC.
http://www.streamzap.com/products/pcremote/apps.php

2. " Living Room Keyboard"
http://www.jbmedia.de/mambo/index.ph...mid=35&lang=en
A nice mini Keyboard ...


Quote:
Does it support chapters?
If you play back DVD (as we know) and mp4- or mkv-containers then: YES. In case of simple Avis: NO
(mkv for me is my favorite related to mpeg4)

Quote:
How much it costs?
Depends on the codec you want to play back.
mpeg1, mpeg2 (HDTV 720p) and mpeg4-ASP dont consume that much power, so an old XP2000 or a Celereon as shown above are far enough, even if using a moderate count of FFdshow filters while doing the playback.

If you want it to be able to decode mpeg2 HDTV 1080i or even (AVC) h.264 HDTV then ... well, go and get one of the most recent CPU available on the market.

BUT! More power means more power consumtion, so 300-400watts per hour will be a significant cost resulting point if using that HTPC the whole year only!
Also More power means more cooling, and more colling means a) more noise or b) higher costs as a watercooling would be necesary

So for the "beginning", go and get cheap used compounts at ebay, a desktop case, a motherboard (incl. SPDIF! for AC3 Bistream output), a CPU, a HD ... well just things which are needed.

In case of a graphics card, do choose an old Gforce2 MX400! Which does have a Bt869 TV-"decoding" chip on board (ask the seller before bidding!). These are known for an even better output via s-video compared with even the latest Radeons! and cost used about 10-20€
Tomorrow I'll change my Radeon9250 to the MX400 in the HTPC.
TvTool will manage the whole Tvoutput of that MX400 card in an excellent way:
www.tvtool.de

Hall of Fame related to TV output supporting cards quality:

1. Matrox G400 with a VGA-ScartRGB adaptor = RGB!
2. Older Nvidia cards with a Bt869 or a Connexant Chip (llok at the tvtool Site!)
3. Older Radeons like 7500
4. Newer Radeons
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  #4  
10-30-2005, 04:38 AM
Prodater64 Prodater64 is offline
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Very, very interesting.
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  #5  
10-30-2005, 03:54 PM
incredible incredible is offline
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Quote:
In case of a graphics card, do choose an old Gforce2 MX400! Which does have a Bt869 TV-"decoding" chip on board (ask the seller before bidding!). These are known for an even better output via s-video compared with even the latest Radeons! and cost used about 10-20€
Tomorrow I'll change my Radeon9250 to the MX400 in the HTPC.
TvTool will manage the whole Tvoutput of that MX400 card in an excellent way:
www.tvtool.de
I installed that card today and the quality is AMAZING in case of s-video output!
The HTPC also shows the whole DOS startup process, means the TVset shows you all processes as it would have been a monitor connected.

As Player I decided to use ZoomPlayer Professional as for Windows it seems to be the best HTPC player. I did set it in a way that all anamorph streams wont be "letterboxed" before in the htpc, so I receive on the 16:9 TV the FULL vertical Video information = The Quality is excellent ... FAR better then the Cyberhome505 which isnt bad at all.

Zoomplayer gots also a nice HTPC like directory listing for the hd content and also it can be set to autoplay if a DVD or Media-CD is inserted.
So I made Zoomplayer to be the autostarted-permanent Appl. in that HTPC.

A little moderate sharpening in FFdshow while doing the Playbacks does it subjectively more lovely to the eyes.
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