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Thread: Home Theatre PCs

  1. #1
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    Default Home Theatre PCs

    I've jumped on the Home Theatre PC bandwagon, so I thought I'd open up a forum to cater for this emerging sector of the PC market - more to follow!

  2. #2
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    I really don't mean this as faseciously (spelling?) as it might sound but...

    What's a 'Home Theatre PC' then, Marc? As opposed to an ordinary PC I mean.

    Does it mean you watch your DVDs on it?

    Got any links?

  3. #3
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    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, you take a bog standard PC (normally a small form factor, ultra quiet one), include a hefty harddrive, a TV card and DVD ROM, leave it to simmer for a few hours before finally adding a lovely GUI. The aim is to replace a video, DVD player, hifi and provide a PC for the living room.

    I've been using this GUI/frontend: http://myhtpc.net installed on this little cutey: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatal...barebones.html connected up to my widescreen TV.

    That's the theory. I''ve spent the entire day not getting anywhere whatsoever, and screaming like a little girl when I get it do something simple like launch a N64 ROM.

    As ever, I thought I'd share my first steps and maybe write a guide or two. My initial thoughts were: this is fantastic. I then promptly packed up my VCR, DVD player and set-top box. After 10 hours I'd got myself a PC hooked up to a TV. Not that exciting. Then I stumbled accross myHTPC and almost wet myself. Then I had a something approaching a complete entertainment system.

    So, you see, now i don't know how anyone could possibly be without one

  4. #4
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    Greetings,

    sounds to me like the local tea-leafs will be much happier with only one box of bits to carry off. Still... must create more space on the coffee table with all those remotes gone, I take it you can operate this new combi-couch-potato thingy remotely from your new enthralled and presumably comfortable position?
    Are we talking less cables and connections here or more?
    Must admit I do have pc, tv, stereo, vcr etc all nestling together and sometimes I get annoyed that I can`t always have enough of them connected to each other at the same or right time. PC requires me to do things with it though, `stead of just sitting back watching or listening, am I doing something wrong? (I got it outputting to tv nicely thanks to your advice somewhere on "tvtool").
    Equipment freak who must learn that technique and opportunity are the key elements to success - not credit card balance!

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately that old chestnut of "well, it works in theory", most definately holds in this case: the PCs remote only works with the MSI software (which is AWFUL), the front LCD also only works with the MSI software (did I say that was awful?) and the sound of the fans whiring around is a tad too loud for playing DVDs .

    Its definately more compact, and you can sit back with your wireless keyboard and mouse The myHTPC also works well as a front end...

    All in all, it's more novelty than practicality at the mo. Once I've ironed out the bugs, I'll write a better guide...

  6. #6
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    By the by... a recently received ram upgrade had a flyer in the package with all "their" new pc`s (obvious sales pitch) and one section on HTPC machines, or at least I think they were (I`ve thrown it I think), very high spec units and definitely aimed at replacing all the standalone bits of kit in your lounge. This from a top-level home & business manufacturer in UK, reckon this market could take off very shortly, could be a useful forum you`ve opened up here.
    Equipment freak who must learn that technique and opportunity are the key elements to success - not credit card balance!

  7. #7
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    Between you and me, that was the theory

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters
    Unfortunately that old chestnut of "well, it works in theory", most definately holds in this case: the PCs remote only works with the MSI software (which is AWFUL), the front LCD also only works with the MSI software (did I say that was awful?) and the sound of the fans whiring around is a tad too loud for playing DVDs .

    Its definately more compact, and you can sit back with your wireless keyboard and mouse The myHTPC also works well as a front end...

    All in all, it's more novelty than practicality at the mo. Once I've ironed out the bugs, I'll write a better guide...

    Solution to all you're problems:

    Mac Mini (quiet as a kitten, powerful as a bulldog)

    Keyspan Express Remote





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  9. #9
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    the remote's minging compared to the MCE2005 remote. Pity MCE turned out to be pretty unstable...

    Still, the remote works in other apps.
    AMD Athlon 1700 (@2200mhz from 1466 sod the noise!) - 768mb pc3200 - 200GB Maxtor - Pioneer 106 - GF4 Ti4200 - twinhan/visionplus pci dvb-t - random pci analogue tv tuner - A7v600-x (to replace the a7n8x-d that died...) - random 17\" CRT
    Sony STR-DE425 & Eltax c205s;
    xBox w/20GB HDD- executer 2.3b;
    xBox - standard;
    Konica/Minolta dimage z10 w/2x512mb SD;
    iRiver h340;
    A silly amount of Cat-5 and usb cables

  10. #10
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    Ive found xp media centre with the media centre remote works a treat... Instant access to music,dvd and TV, can stream divx from main pc upstairs, SKY+ type features for Freeview channels, its wicked!

    Connected to a decent set of surround sound speakers and its a really nice entertainment system.

    I do have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse as the remote is great for navigating the "media centre" menu, but not for internet browsing etc...

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