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Old 27th February 2009, 09:54   #31
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
And playing video using mplayer can work from console, and mp3blaster / emacs + mpg123 mode is wonderful for audio. So, the system speed / resources will never be an issue.
Not really sure about that part. My old PC was Athlon 2 GHz and struggled to play newer codecs.

MP4, DivX/XVid, newer Flash these things require significant CPU power.
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Old 28th February 2009, 13:35   #32
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http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/gadget...tml#post626884 (best home speaker system under 10k?)

That is the speaker which got me thinking.

My logic in using the old PC -

1. Any dedicated HT system would have far less processing power.
2. Most video would be processed by the graphics card anyway. (True for nvidia at least, afaict, but may be wrong).
3. If PC is underpowered, I can put the cards into a new PC. ;-)
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Old 28th February 2009, 14:24   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
meh, i think unless you really, really want surround , stereo is the way to go
Quote:
My logic in using the old PC -

1. Any dedicated HT system would have far less processing power.
2. Most video would be processed by the graphics card anyway. (True for nvidia at least, afaict, but may be wrong).
but their codecs are implemented in hardware , while you will need to use the processor/GPU, and you will need to get a recent series GPU to handle most of the recent formats
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3. If PC is underpowered, I can put the cards into a new PC. ;-)
i think an 800 Mhz pentium is still a significant bottleneck
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Old 28th February 2009, 14:47   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/gadget...tml#post626884 (best home speaker system under 10k?)

That is the speaker which got me thinking.

My logic in using the old PC -

1. Any dedicated HT system would have far less processing power.
2. Most video would be processed by the graphics card anyway. (True for nvidia at least, afaict, but may be wrong).
3. If PC is underpowered, I can put the cards into a new PC. ;-)
Backseat driver whatever you say is feasible , Actually you need to cut the Linux Distro to get enough juice for running codecs , Look at g-Streamer site for G-Streamer based players and you can get a lot of plug-ins there as well.

So before you buy any thing just do experiment of installing any linux distro
may be Ubuntu if you don't have sound card run the decoder
and pipe the Sound output to a file instead of audio device.

If you are comfirtable with Linux then start removing all unnecessary components
until you have a fast enough system If required remove the X and GUi itself and work from
shell.

If nothing hangs or slows down then your audio rendering is proper and you can buy and attach and cheap card and speakers.

Last edited by amitk26 : 28th February 2009 at 14:49.
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Old 28th February 2009, 20:59   #35
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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
If you are comfirtable with Linux then start removing all unnecessary components until you have a fast enough system If required remove the X and GUi itself and work from shell.
For me, operating system = linux.

No offence meant to other OSes; but Linux is what I am comfortable with. Started using in 2000, made a 100% switch over in 2002/3, and have never looked back.


Quote:
If nothing hangs or slows down then your audio rendering is proper and you can buy and attach and cheap card and speakers.
I have seen, rather heard, first hand, audio is better on a well configured GNU/LInux system. At my far, far away office, (I am in charge of 2 other offices in North Kerala,) when I have to stay in the office itself, I carry a USB stick live distro to play audio to keep me company during those looong night.

And finally, I can simply put the cards into a new machine if the processor is too slow.

I actually do not intend to have X. mplayer will work and play video without X at all.
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Old 1st March 2009, 04:35   #36
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hey guys time out ......

Need help here from the gurus.........its 4:28 AM and I have still not found a solution to my problem (i don;t really know what is the solution here).

I have a AMD Athlon 2800+ with 1.5 GB RAM with creative sound blaster 5.1 Live & Creative Inspire 5200 5.1 speaker system. Now the speaker are connected to the back end of the pci card leaving the line in jack empty.

Now I have a 42 plasma (Pana 42PV8D) with Tata Sky for DTH. I wanted to connect the Audio out from tata sky to the line in jack of the sound card to get full use of the 5.1 speaker system (obviously the center speaker will not work) - the problem is there is output from the front 2 speakers only, the rear speakers have no output.

Am I missing something (at this odd hour my mind is B.L.A.N.K).

What is the way out?
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Old 1st March 2009, 05:34   #37
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does the sound blaster live offer any sort of upmixing from stereo to 5.1? else you wil hear it only in stereo
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Old 1st March 2009, 07:26   #38
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Probably, your software / OS has something which will do this upmixing for you?
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Old 2nd March 2009, 12:38   #39
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[quote=BaCkSeAtDrIVeR;1193378]For me, operating system = linux.

And finally, I can simply put the cards into a new machine if the processor is too slow.

I actually do not intend to have X. mplayer will work and play video without X at all.[/quote]

Aah then you already have all the answers and you know very well that PIII is sufficient ,
So why posting questions here ? playing games ehh ..
By Video without X I assume that you will not render video on PC Monitor or is there any non X method you plan to use ( DirectFB ?? )

Just a bit from my side for Full HD (740P) may be you need to do some experiment so that you ensure that system does not hang I heard that codecss in OS are reference codecs and not optimized.

Last edited by amitk26 : 2nd March 2009 at 12:43.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 18:55   #40
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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
Aah then you already have all the answers and you know very well that PIII is sufficient ,
Hmm... not so sure. My amd64 1.8Ghz is already creaking. (uh - it is 4 years old already!!!)

Quote:
So why posting questions here ? playing games ehh ..
Absolutely clueless about hardware, and what is availabel in the market.

And as they say, god lies in the details.

What happens if you buy a speaker set and find that you cannot connect it to your player ue to incompatible connectors? If if your player has only hdmi output (I have not seen this HDMI thing yet), and the TV does not? Asking here gives me some clues. Not that it will be a problem, but people with experience will tell what they faced.

Quote:
By Video without X I assume that you will not render video on PC Monitor or is there any non X method you plan to use ( DirectFB ?? )
Yes. Framebuffer. Mplayer playes amazingly well on FB. What I plan to do is write one line scripts (like "playdvd" "playaudiocd") which family members can easily identify with.

Quote:
Just a bit from my side for Full HD (740P) may be you need to do some experiment so that you ensure that system does not hang I heard that codecss in OS are reference codecs and not optimized.
See?? I have not heard of 740P so far. ;-)

Now, I will go and ask google guru what that means.

One gyan I got from asking in a public forum - something which I completely overlooked - a 22 inch TFT monitor costs around 13K; a 22 INCH LCD television costs 25K.

It is really not worth going for a dedicated HT system.

And another thing I realised only because I asked here. 5.1 or 7.1 is not really required. I may not use it even for 5% of the use. A good stereo will do.

And yet another I noticed I went window shopping after asking and reading here.

Altec Lansing 5.1 are available at around 4 K here - not the 5021 model. I would never have considered that brand, because I have never heard of it outside this forum; and even then, I was thinking it was a very expensive brand.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 2nd March 2009 at 19:01.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 19:04   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post

One gyan I got from asking in a public forum - something which I completely overlooked - a 22 inch TFT monitor costs around 13K; a 22 INCH LCD television costs 25K.

It is really not worth going for a dedicated HT system.
Ohh you have understood the utility of HTPC all wrong then my friend.
HTPC is not about monitor part but on the player part. So It it to replace DVD player and various decoders to play all sort of media in one box on your nice shiny 32 inch LCD TV and output sound to 5.1 sourround speakers with an amplifier in between.
BTW LCD TV these days have HDMI input so you do away with dedicated computer monitors.
Think of it blue ray is already out and in couple of years blueray disks will be norm now you just need to plonk in a blueray drive and download codecs for all the new formats to utilize the 25 GB of data.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 21:21   #42
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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
Ohh you have understood the utility of HTPC all wrong then my friend.
HTPC is not about monitor part but on the player part. So It it to replace DVD player and various decoders to play all sort of media in one box on your nice shiny 32 inch LCD TV and output sound to 5.1 sourround speakers with an amplifier in between.
I am now scratching my head. What did I say to deserve that?

Yes - I know HTPC is not about video alone. This thing I am planning is going to go into a small room; and I think a 22 inch monitor will do. Right now, it will use a 21 inch normal CRT television. But that is due to budget constraints.

I immediately want good sound. With the would be HTPC, I can build things modularly.

I mentioned the price diff between a 22 inch monitor and the corresponding size TV just for a comparo sake.
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Old 4th March 2009, 01:22   #43
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i would also ask you people to look out for WD TV media player.

at about 7k its a steal.
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Old 14th May 2010, 13:47   #44
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Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
Guys, sorry for the delay in posting this update. The home theater PC (HTPC) has been built and deployed successfully. I purposefully delayed the purchase till Nvidia 9 series is launched to ensure that I won’t be getting any nasty surprises as far as price/performance are concerned, and built the PC with a spec that is different from the one that I mentioned in the first post of this thread – the current spec is given below:

I made a tone-down in the selection of the all-important graphics card; The original plan was to buy an 8500, instead I opted an Asus Nvidia GS8400 PCIe graphics card.
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (instead of 4200+ of the original plan)
Asus M2N MX-SE mobo
Transcend 800Mhz DDR2 1GB * 2
Seagate 250GB SATA HDD
Lightscribe DVD RW SATA
Zebronics Adonis cabinet with an additional chassis fan
Also bought a 3-meter component video cable with “gold” plated male connectors from the Takaraparambu road. No KB/mouse/speakers/monitor were included in the purchase.

The reason for this last-minute-change-of-spec is some intense googling. I learnt that Nvidia has released a new iteration of the humble 8400 GPU in September 2007. It features the third generation PurevideoHD and it is purpose-built by Nvidia for HD playback. The card has limited (only 8 stream processors) 3D capability but it is very cheap to buy and own. The card consumes only 25W power so no fancy power supply or cooling is required.

So if you are looking for a HTPC with HD playback only, look no further go for the 8400GS; if you want a HTPC that can do HD as well as 3D gaming with élan, take a look at 8600GS or GT (or the new 9600 ).

Since I saved some bucks there, by opting for 8400GS instead of 8500, I put that money into the CPU and bought the 4800+.

You can see more info on 8400GS here:
Born for HD: first review of G98-8400GS - Expreview.com (3)

However, be aware that NOT all graphics card vendors bundle the HDTV cable with their 8400s; Asus does, so is Gigabyte. But the market is flooded with XFX, Sparkle, Big, Galaxy etc and are all bundled with S-Video cable only. You can’t connect that for a HD playback. You need either HDMI/DVI with HDCP for 1080p or you need component for up to 1080i.
The Asus EN8400GS offers DVI with HDCP and bundles a HDTV-out cable.

You can see the difference between an ordinary crappy S-video port and the 7-pin HDTV port of a newer graphics card here (albeit labeled confusingly):
http://techpubs.sgi.com/library/dyna...es/s.video.gif

Here is a picture of the a HDTV-out cable:
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/2457/d2091cv2.jpg

An XFX bundle, with S-video cable only:
http://images.gideontech.com/img/xfx_xfx_parts.jpg

You can see more info on the Asus EN8400GS here:
ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

I will post an update about the setting up and software configuration ASAP.
Reviving this thread for onward development.

@Sandeepmdas:
How are you extracting the audio for your HTPC? Why do you need to use the HDMI cable for HD video, isn't the VGA cable supposed to give you HD image?

Need some help for my PC (ASUS P5KPL-CM mobo, C2D 2.8 GHz 7400, 1x2GB DDR2, 320 GB HDD):-
The G31 chipset gives onboard HD Audio in 8 channels. Two ways to extract: one being the analog output (stereo 1/8" sockets x 4) at the back panel and the second being an internal s/pdif internal connection for digital audio. Only trouble is, the manual says that I need to buy an additional audio module (size of a small card, with some circuitry on it) which will connect to the internal connection and give me an optical and a coaxial output at the back panel.
The trouble is, I am not able to find this module. So, only option is the analog output. But how do I know if this onboard Intel HD audio supports DTS or Dolby Digital? Or does it support these decoders by default? Why I need to know this is because I really don't want to buy an AV recevier if I can avoid it. Already have an old Sony system with 50W x 2 bookshelf (planned for surrounds) and also have a good sub-sat 50W x 2 (planned for fronts) which I plan to pair to a stereo amp for retaining a decent stereo option. Was planning to use this setup with my PC (with a planned monitor upgrade to BenQ 24" full HD monitor and a Blu Ray player) to make an HTPC at minimal additional cost. Would add remaining audio components after seeing how the setup works out. How much are blu ray drives retailing for? Gurus please help. Thanks.
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Old 17th June 2010, 15:14   #45
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I'm scoping a dedicated HTPC + Media Storage/Server build. I'm currently using my Panasonic Toughbook to drive a 42" LCD but I guess the Toughbook should be put to better use than being used like an HTPC.

Looks like the Intel i3 530 is a good candidate as far as the processor is concerned but need your suggestions on selection and approximate cost on compatible motherboards.

Minimum requirements:
# HDMI Output
# Fluid 1080P HD playback without additional graphics card
# TrueHD and DTS-MA, Optical Output
# eSATA & Onboard RAID (optional since I already have eSATA + RAID PCI card which I can use)
# USB 3.0 support (optional)
# Minimal power consumption during idle: This rig would be ON 24/7 since it doubles up as a NAS/Media Server. (1TB x4)

Which mobo do you suggest for the above. I'm open to AMD solutions as well but I read that i3-530/540 is the best bet now for HTPC's due to native support for TrueHD and DTS-MA.

Also any suggestions for a decent HTPC cabinet...I saw a few ones from Thermaltake, Silverstone... but they are insanely priced (~6-8K).

Last edited by Digital Vampire : 17th June 2010 at 15:16.
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