just wanted to get some advice on what to do? i have a hp p3 right now and want to make it into a media centre or should i go and buy a new media centre. i looked at a hp 360. is it cheaper to up grage my machine or just buy i new one. iam running windows 98. if i did up grage what components would i buy. thanks for the info.
2004-02-09, 08:00 PM
It depends on what you want the media center PC to do. There are lots of options and things you could do and that will determine your configuration.
thanks for the reply. i want it to be like a pvr. so i can record and pause tv programs from digital cable and then satellite tv.
2004-02-09, 08:19 PM
In order to do that you will need to have a capture card to connect the S-video from the dig cable or satellite.
If you get a capture card with builtin H/W endoding you might be able to get by with a P3 but it will also depend on your throughput to disk, so your motherboard might be limiting function.
You can always get the capture card and try it in the current machine and if it runs out of CPU then you can upgrade. You haven't lost anything because you still need the capture card for the new PC anyway.
thanks so what one would you suggest and what soft ware would i use. and again thanks for the help
2004-02-09, 09:26 PM
Lots of options. I'd suggest you check out BeyondTV and SageTV. They will give you recommendations as to H/W.
2004-02-16, 02:34 AM
Very happy with my P3 866 based HTPC. Using it for music, pvr, dvd, photos, weather, etc...
I use a PVR250 with Snapstream, so encoding uses very little CPU.
About the only reason I will have to upgrade, is once I get a plasma display (likely a while away) I will probably want to run FFDShow, a signal processor, which eats a lot of CPU.
You can still drop a lot of money into it... silent power supplies, nice case, large drives, etc...
It can be done and works very well. I'm resolving the last couple of kinks in mine, all audio related. Researched for about 1 month, fiddled for about 1 month, tested for about 1 month, now it's been in the living room hooked up to the TV and Home Theater system and... it's really fantastic!
Once I sort out the remaining audio issues I'll be really happy.
2004-02-16, 11:04 AM
I'll be really happy
We are never really happy :lol:
For the record I have a rather dated HTPC. It is a P3 750MHz with 512Mb PC100 RAM (100 MHz FSB) , and a UDMA33 motherboard driving 5400RPM disks with Windows 2000 and an ATI AIW 128pro with MPEG 2 hardware via RF coax.
I use Guide Plus and ATI Scheduler (came with card). This is all OTS stuff so no tweaking was necessary. But I am at the lower end the HTPC food chain.
2004-02-16, 10:37 PM
I have an athlon 2700+ in mine, but I use FFDSHOW and I also use it to view HD WMV files (I'm outputting via DVI to a front projector).
2004-03-11, 09:25 AM
I've been doing the HTPC thing with different AIW ATI cards for a few years now and quite frankly it's been just for fun. The main goal I had was the PVR function which worked sometimes as long as the cpu wasn't interrupted by a fax or some other thing that pulled its focus.
My HTPC to-day is much more sophisticated (that means expensive). It has a HOLO3D pci vid scaler working with an ATI AIW8500dv on a P4 2gig 512 megs ram. The video stuff is probably worth about $2grand and you can now buy a simple SA8000 digital decoder and pvr for $600 bucks.
To replace the $1000 HOLO vid scaler and a $600 dvd player I can now get an LG dvd HD upconverter to 1080i from component or DVI for $300 and I had a chance to A/B both with my 65" rptv and I have to say the LG looks pretty darn good.
Anyway 4 years ago we really needed the htpc to do alot of things from a video perspective but cheap and efficient black or silver boxes seem to be taking over. Through all of this I am of course ignoring the many other uses of a pc, but many folks have a designated pc strictly for Home Theatre.
2004-03-11, 11:34 AM
I can't recommend it because I do not own one, but read up on the Asus Digimatix. You might get some ideas.
There is a store here in Oakville that has one on display.