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Anyone built a vista based blue ray media centre with HDMI?

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QRM
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Anyone built a vista based blue ray media centre with HDMI?

Postby QRM » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 8:38 pm

Just been clearing out my cupboards and found

2x 250gb sata drives
4gb of RAM
core 2 duo 6700 chip

So I thought why not try and build a media centre, in the past I have tried and lets just say the resulting picture and sound quality was not so great.

Things have moved on with motherboards with 5.1 outputs, vista controlling remote controls, HDMI video cards, hidef TV, and blueray PC drives.

Has anyone tried to build one?

Any ideas which video cards will work with the TV (HDMI) and monitor?

Is it easy enough to use via the remote (need to satisfy the other half)

OR I am better off putting the dosh towards an all in one home theatre system?

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taxico
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Postby taxico » Sun, 29 Jun 2008 8:38 am

i think it's easier to put the money towards a home theatre system but i would build the computer because it's more fun.

my only concern is the difficulty in embedding an IR controller since i've not seen any suitable off-shelf units in singapore in the past.

i also think HDMI-capable video cards, blu-ray DVD writers/readers and a GOOD cable-ready digital tuner won't be cheap to buy!

vista will cost some money too (and it sucks)! see if you can snag the media edition of XP.

i would see if i can snag a 2nd-hand media PC just for the casing and controller and OS then upgrade the heck out of it...

i don't know how big processors are these days and if they'll fit though. wait for tech gurus like durain to chime in with more opinions.

but i hope you build it! i think you can google for home-made/DIY controllers too!

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Bremen
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Postby Bremen » Sun, 29 Jun 2008 10:09 pm

For the video card, I highly recommend the ATI 4850.
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
- Terry Pratchett

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Postby xernstx » Mon, 30 Jun 2008 5:08 pm

Silverstone makes some nice cases with IR receivers/remotes that you can use to easily control a Media Center.

Careful with BluRay drives - currently you need a specialized application (like PowerDVD) to actually play the movies.. Vista/Media Player cannot do it.

AT 4850 is overkill for a home theater - the new 3650 for S$140 will be fine for just movie/music/tv show playback. For gaming, it's not so hot.

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Postby sillingw » Fri, 04 Jul 2008 12:31 pm

I have a vista ultimate 64bit media center machine, but I'm using DVI rather than HDMI, since i'm using HDMI for PS3 and DVD player. I have MyMovies+AnyDVD plugin for manageing DVD's and although I do not have blu-ray on the computer, I believe anydvd manages blu-ray (I play blu ray on PS3). I am using Auzentech sound card which is awsome, but this feeds the signal to a high end amp which drives a 7.1 surround sound system, I was playing with TV Tuner, but since I have a HD cable box, I was not too happy with the support right now, maybe I'll try later. I have no problem with IR Remote - Firefly and also have a wireless keyboard that recharges (Logitech) - I go against the trend, had XP media center for a few years - I actually prefer Vista - have it on my HTPC and also the 32 bit version on my home office PC

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Postby sillingw » Fri, 04 Jul 2008 12:33 pm

I also use Silverstone for my casing, and forgot - the HD TV box also has HDMI out

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QRM
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Postby QRM » Thu, 10 Jul 2008 10:08 am

As with all things PC not so straight forward, I also read people attach the media centre to an AV amp, which means another expense, and remotes lying around I was hoping to avoid the amp bit, and just plumb the media centre direct to a set of active speakers.

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Postby sillingw » Thu, 10 Jul 2008 1:10 pm

you can certainly get a good sound card and drive the speakers from the PC - You do not have to use an amp, it's just that the sound card I'm using does DTS 5.1 encoding on the fly and my amp has 7.1 speakers connected so to get the best out of the system I use a good sound card and a good amp

envision

want to play a Beatles CD
soundcard upgrades the sound to 5.1 DTS
digital signal goes to amp
amp upgrades to 7.1
Like listening to the Beatles Live in my living room

If you get one of the programmable remotes, you only need one remote control, my son, who is not yet 5, can drive the system


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