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HTPC and Blu Ray...

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  • Blu-ray
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November 27, 2008 4:28:36 AM

Hey guys,

I have a few comments and am also looking for some advice on a few things. I just purchased a 42" 1080p tv and am in the market for a HTPC. Thing is, I have a ton of spare parts but I'm not too sure if they are juicy enough to handle Blu Ray play back. Part of the reason I decided to build a new HTPC is the cost of blu ray players. I am dead set against the Insignia brand, with them being the lowest cost of around $180. After pricing blu ray discs, I was appalled. They are near twice as expensive as normal DVD's, but I guess you get what you pay for.

Some of the parts I have just sitting around the house are:
Athlon 2400+
Athlon M2500+ (Great overlocker to 3200+ and more speeds)
2gb of old ddr ram
3 or 4 80gb HDD's
an old ASUS A7N8X mobo
NV 6800gt vid card

Now I've checked the Cyberlink website as far as minimum CPU recommendations, but I can't seem to find anywhere where it takes into accounts the GPU as it offloads some of the decoding work to the GPU. The minimum they recommend is the 3800x2. I would really like to not have to purchase an entire new setup...
but I would just like to get some advice from someone with a HTPC.

I'm also looking at running UBUNTU with MYTHtv so I would be purchasing a tuner card, and I would like HD capability, so if I could get some recommends on that as well that would be great. Thx fellas!

More about : htpc blu ray

November 27, 2008 4:38:03 AM

Quote:
To play Blu-ray Discs
Operating System

* Windows XP or Windows Vista

Screen Resolution

* 1920 x 1080

Screen Ratio

* 16:9 widescreen recommended

Processor

Intel Minimum:

* Pentium 4 541 (3.2 GHz),
* Pentium D 840 (3.2 GHz),
* Pentium D 930 (3.0 GHz), 935 3.2GHz or 940 (3.2 GHz),
* Core Duo T2400 (1.83 GHz),
* Pentium M 755 (2.0 GHz),
* Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8 GHz or T5600 1.83 GHz

Recommended:

* Pentium EE 840 (3.2 GHz) or 955 (3.4 GHz) or 965 (3.73 GHz),
* Pentium D 945 (3.4 GHz), 950 (3.4 GHz) or 960 (3.6 GHz),
* Core Duo T2500 (2 GHz), T2600 (2.16 GHz) or T2700 (2.33 GHz),
* Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.8 GHz), E6400 (2.13 GHz), E6600 (2.4 GHz), E6700 (2.66 GHz) or X6800 (2.93 GHz), T7200 (2.00 GHz), T7400 (2.16 GHz), T7600 (2.33GHz) Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz, Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66 GHz, or X6800 2.93 GHz

AMD Minimum:

* Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (2 GHz) or 4000+ (2 GHz),
* Turion 64 X2 TL-50 (1.6 GHz), TL-52 (1.6 GHz) or TL-56 (1.8 GHz)

Recommended:

* Athlon 64-FX, FX-60 (2.6 GHz) or FX-62 (2.8 GHz), Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2 GHz), 4400+ (2.2 GHz), 4600+ (2.4 GHz), 4800+ (2.4 GHz) or 5000+ (2.6 GHz), Turion 64 X2 TL-60 (2.0 GHz)

Memory

* XP: 512 MB
* Vista: 1 GB

Sound Card

* PCI sound card or on-board audio.

Graphics Card

* Intel: 965G, G33, G35 graphics software decoding (with Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66 GHz) processor or AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 (2.8 GHz) processor or above recommended) Recommended driver version: 15.8 or later Video RAM: 256 MB or above.
* NVIDIA: GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 7800 GTX 512, GeForce 7900 GX2, GeForce 7900 GTX, GeForce 7950 GX2, GeForce 8400 series, GeForce 8500 series, GeForce 8600 series, GeForce 8800 series Recommended driver version: 174.53 or later Video RAM: 256MB or above.
* ATI: Minimum: ATI Radeon X1600 series, X1800 series, X1900 series Recommended: ATI Radeon HD 2400, 2600, 2900 series, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400, 3600, 3800 series Recommended driver version: 8.44 or later Video RAM: 256 MB or above.

Hard Disc Space

* 150 MB

Optical Drive

* Blu-ray Disc drive for playing Blu-ray Discs and DVDs

Internet Connection

* Internet connection required for product activation and some upload/download features.

Cyberlink PowerDVD requirements

I am using an HD3450, and it works fine. It's $30 @ newegg. Only problem I have with the HD3450 is that my audio does not go through the HDMI since I updated from Catalyst 8.2.
November 27, 2008 5:15:37 AM

I looked at the same site, but from everything I've searched says they stamp requires a little on the high side, I just can't seem to get a definitive answer from someone who has a HTPC. But how do you have your HDMI configured? Do you have it HDMI into receiver then receiver into TV or...

I have a 2 or 3 yr old Kenwood 5.1 receiver which is still nice and suits me well so I have no need or want to upgrade, but I was curious about that as well as my Upconvert DVD player has HDMI, as does the TV, but the receiver doesn't.

And I've hooked my main machine to my TV just to test things out, and maybe I'm blind but I think my upconvert is better quality than my PC. I assumed that since media players matched desktop resolution that they would upconvert, but it just doesn't look the same as the player. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. If I could get my old parts to match the quality of the upconvert, I probably wouldn't upgrade to BD just yet. Maybe I'm just blind. >.<



AND after much research, it seems that BD is one of a extremely limited ways to view programs/movies that are 1080p supported for any type of video broadcasting. (Sorry if I seem ancient, wow has taken wayyyy too much of my time until recently) So if I can find a player/hardware that will at least gimme 720p with minimum hardware purchase, I'm all set in that area.
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November 27, 2008 11:22:52 AM

I don't think 6800 has harware acceleration for HD. And none of those cpu's will handle HD on their own. Your best bet is to go with new AMD 790 M/B and low end AMD cpu. Or if You want intel the GF 9200, 9300, 9400 M/B an low end intel CPU. Also will need new RAM
November 27, 2008 2:10:04 PM

My HDMI is going straight to my HDTV from my PC (HDTV has 3 inputs).
It worked before, with Catalyst 8.2, but hasn't since then. If I downgrade to 8.2, I can get Audio out over HDMI. I have the HDMI for ATI installed, and when 8.2 is installed, it works, anything higher...nope.

You GPU will not run BD. I tried running it with on-board 630i nVidia, and no go. Like I said, my GPU, HD3450, might not be the best for gaming, but it is HDCP ready and plays BD fine. It is lacking hardware acceleration, but what do you expect for $30?

*edit*
system 2 is my HTPC system. It doesn't have the best components (minus CPU). Oh, and I'm using a Hauppauge TV card (I wanted to upgrade to HD card, but it costs too much).
a c 85 à CPUs
November 27, 2008 3:08:43 PM

there were some reviews recently which compared picture quality with low end nivida cards, turned out they were not capable of doing enouigh processing, and much better results were gained from the higher end cards. I think that ATI-AMD cards were also tested.
November 27, 2008 5:47:16 PM

If you are just going for a HTPC system then go for a low end ATi 4xxxx series card, ideally passive.

I have an AMD 4200 X2ee with an ATi HD3450 on a 690G mobo in a 1U high case that I use to play back Blu-Ray. It works well but does not support multi channel video decoding which some new Blu-Ray discs may eventually come with. You need to use something like PowerDVD to use the graphics acceleration and dont expect meida player or VLC to be able to play Blu-Ray with a low end CPU as they do not support acceleration.
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