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Requirements to run computer as Blue Ray player to 46" HDTV

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December 13, 2009 1:51:46 AM

I have an older Sony Vaio VGC-RA710G P4 computer with the following specs. Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 3.20E GHz1 with Intel® Hyper-Threading NVIDIA GeForce FX5200 w/TV-Out 128MB Video Memory (128-bit DDR) TV-Out / VGA-Out / DVI-Out (DVI output: 1280x1024x60Hz max.) 8X AGP 3D Graphics HardwareAcceleration I am looking to upgrade the memory to 2GB that is the max, add a blue ray player, and a video card. However, I have 2 questions: Will this work for this computer or do I need something more powerful? If it will work what hardware specs would work (minimum video card and blue ray player recommendation)? If it won't work, what are the general computer hardware requirements for setting a computer up so that it runs high def (blue ray) on a 46" Panasonic plasma? Thanks, Michael
December 13, 2009 2:32:15 AM

I should add I want to use the computer for surfing the web and generally using the HDTV as a monitor. Didn't want to by a separate blue ray player if the computer solution would work and I was already planning to connect the computer to the TV anyway.

I use a VGA connection from an even older AMD based computer on a 56 Samsung DLP and get very good quality for general computer use like MS office or surfing the web.

I also like that the computer would allow me to access all files (very extensive list on aqn HP server) and run them through the TV or stereo attached.

Thanks,

Michael
December 13, 2009 2:38:24 AM

I would recommend you get an HD4650 for that PC, but not sure how much it would help a P4, IIRC Cleeve reviewed the PCIe versions of HDx and GF8/9 cards not AGP, and didn't include BR performance in his HD4650 AGP review.

Sapphire says it'll work;

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?psn=0...

As for the BR Drive take a look at Crashman's review;
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/blu-ray-dvd,2483-2....

I have an older USB LG which supports BR&HD-DVD and it's done well by me although it looks like nowasays according to Crash's review it's not the top performer anymore. :( 
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December 13, 2009 2:43:28 AM

I tried running a bluray player on a computer with an AMD 3400+ and an ATI 1900gt. It wouldn't run at all with 2 gigs of memory. I think the 1900 is still the fastest agp card on the market, and that processor should be comparable to what you've got, so I'm fairly positive you can't run a bluray player on your computer.

I think the recommended spec is a Core Duo processor (or the AMD equivalent). It's a lot more CPU dependant than GPU as I recall, so you'd probably be ok with anything in the 8000 series for GPU, but once all is said and done, a new processor, motherboard, memory, and GPU is going to cost a lot more than a stand alone player, so unless you were looking to upgrade your computer anyway, that's the cheaper route.
December 13, 2009 3:04:20 AM

Thanks guys, sounds like I am better off trying to find a new computer than upgrading this one or as you mentioned just buying a separate blue ray player.

However, I was also hoping to to steam video from my home server (nothing in 1080 yet but tons in 720) and really don't know how to do that effectively without a computer. I keep looking for a media device that will allow me to tap into my network to play avi or other video files (really would want to be able to utilize all content, MP3, JPGs, etc) I have stored on my home server. Any suggestions for a network device that works?

Also, since I am likely looking for a new computer. What would be the minimum PC requirements to run HD content to a HD TV.

Based on the reponse above, would any GPU rated higher than a HD4650 work? Just like chips, there are so many variations it is hard to keep up with all the specs. I am no gamer but I want HD video. In reading many other articles do I want an HDMI or a DVI output? Seems like a lot of people are having trouble doing HDMI to HDMI. I have not bought the TV yet but was looked in on the Panasoinc 46 G10 plasma if it makes a difference.

Thanks
December 13, 2009 4:26:12 AM

dlantz said:
I tried running a bluray player on a computer with an AMD 3400+ and an ATI 1900gt. It wouldn't run at all with 2 gigs of memory. I think the 1900 is still the fastest agp card on the market, and that processor should be comparable to what you've got, so I'm fairly positive you can't run a bluray player on your computer.


1900GT is NOT the Fastest AGP card out there, the HD3850 is, but this isn't gaming, and the X1950 does not have the UVD transistors to help with BluRay decoding (both MPEG, and H.264 as well as the decrypt acceleration for Commercial discs).



Quote:
I think the recommended spec is a Core Duo processor (or the AMD equivalent). It's a lot more CPU dependant than GPU as I recall, so you'd probably be ok with anything in the 8000 series for GPU...


WTF are you talking about? The HD4650 has way WAY better hardware acceleration than anything in the GF8800 line, and if he upgrades, he doesn't need a GPU if he gets a MoBo with a good IGP that accelerates BluRay, and there are many options;

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/avivo-purevideo-cle...

dlantz, please don't reply if you don't know, you confuse other people with uninformed answers like that. :non: 

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December 13, 2009 4:47:49 AM
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mpettit said:
Thanks guys, sounds like I am better off trying to find a new computer than upgrading this one or as you mentioned just buying a separate blue ray player.


I think it's worth trying the HD4650 AGP, but if you're concerned, then get it from a place with a good return policy, even if it's full credit in stead of cash-restocking-fee, because you can use the credit on the other new hardware.

I've asked a friend about this as he would have probably the most insight on this, he may reply in the thread, and if he does he'd be the person to listen to in this case. Personally I just don't have the AGP part of the equation for this.

Quote:
Based on the reponse above, would any GPU rated higher than a HD4650 work? Just like chips, there are so many variations it is hard to keep up with all the specs.


For what you want to do, the HD4650 has the best hardware, it not only accelerates BLuRay, it can also handle dual stream acceleration for either PIP or BDlive features (which increase the workload otherwise). An HD3850 would likely be slower and the X1950 definitely slower heck even those integrated solutions I just posted above would likely outperform the X1950, it's not about gaming power.

The other thing is that while the P4 is not great for gaming, it wasn't bad for multi-media, so if it can benefit from the HD4650 help, then it shoul be fine, especially since you won't be using HD-Audio as well (which is an additional workload for the system) when plugged into your TV.

Quote:
I am no gamer but I want HD video. In reading many other articles do I want an HDMI or a DVI output? Seems like a lot of people are having trouble doing HDMI to HDMI.


If you get the HD4650 you have both HDMI and DVI (it comes with a DVI->HDMI adapter that carries audio as well). People who have issues, usually it's their TV configuration which makes it hard for the cards to detect settings so manual settings need to be done. But you may need the HDCP handshake for some titles to display at full res, so VGA is unwise without software to circumvent that.

Quote:
I have not bought the TV yet but was looked in on the Panasoinc 46 G10 plasma if it makes a difference.


That's a nice panel (have been looking at the 54" version to replace my old Samsung before the Olympics) they also make the Pioneer Kuro panels nowadays and IMO are the best in the reasonably priced panels.
It does a good job of supporting HDMI signals from a computer, tried the 54" version with my laptop, and the refresh is great for movies and the colour is fantastic.

Hopefully we can get a more certain answer about the AGP aspect here, but according to Sapphire it should work like the PCIe version and as such the HD4650 would be the perfect fit for your needs IMO.
December 17, 2009 3:45:11 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks! I really appreciate your willingness to help me out it is really amazing to be able to come out here to get this kind of support.
Anonymous
April 15, 2010 11:18:54 AM

mpettit said:
Hey guys,

Thanks! I really appreciate your willingness to help me out it is really amazing to be able to come out here to get this kind of support.


Hey man,

did you upgrade your system as you planned? I'm just thinking of doing something similar based on a Celeron D (2.6GHz) machine, equipped with an ATI 4350series AGP card (the best low-profile AGP-card available)..

Any hint appreciated!
!