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Home Theater OS

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March 17, 2010 10:11:35 PM

Wondering if anyone had a suggestion for Operating Systems for a home theater pc. I bought a new system and want to make my old one a HTPC.

XP Media Center
Windows 7 x86
Windows 7 x64

I have the following components

CPU - P4 3.0
Memory - 4GB PC3200
Video - nVidia 7600gt 256MB


More about : home theater

a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
March 17, 2010 10:26:17 PM

You don't have the option of using a 64-bit OS with a P4 since it's not a 64-bit CPU. Windows 7 is an excellent HTPC OS. I use 64-bit Windows 7 on my HTPC. I would suggest 32-bit Windows 7 for your hardware.
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March 17, 2010 10:28:47 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
You don't have the option of using a 64-bit OS with a P4 since it's not a 64-bit CPU. Windows 7 is an excellent HTPC OS. I use 64-bit Windows 7 on my HTPC. I would suggest 32-bit Windows 7 for your hardware.



Perfect. Thanks so much.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
March 17, 2010 10:28:55 PM

Can't argue with Shortstuff on this. I'd go Windows 7 x86 (even though my primary HTPC is running XP MCE 2005).

-Wolf sends
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
March 17, 2010 10:33:59 PM

I've found HTPC things work much smoother in Windows 7 than they did in Vista and XP. Support for multiple TV tuner cards required a registry hack in Vista and worked perfectly out of the box in Windows 7. I didn't even have to install any codec packs like I did with Vista and XP. I'm VERY happy with Windows 7 on my HTPC.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
March 18, 2010 5:13:49 AM

Some P4s are x64 capable. They wouldn't be referred to as a P4, but a 630, etc.

I'm going to go with depends on the hard/software you might be using. If you have X device or program you want to use that only works with XP/win7 then use that OS. There are tons of software available for XP for HTPC use. That said, Win7 is the way things are going, so if you can use it you should. If X program hasn't been copied over yet, it will be soon. (or something else even better)
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March 18, 2010 3:40:32 PM

ronnie76 said:
Wondering if anyone had a suggestion for Operating Systems for a home theater pc. I bought a new system and want to make my old one a HTPC.

XP Media Center
Windows 7 x86
Windows 7 x64

I have the following components

CPU - P4 3.0
Memory - 4GB PC3200
Video - nVidia 7600gt 256MB


With that hardware, you should consider Mythbuntu or XBMC.


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March 18, 2010 5:05:07 PM

chunkymonster said:
With that hardware, you should consider Mythbuntu or XBMC.



Whats so great about it??
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2010 5:24:18 PM

Starges said:
Whats so great about it??


For starters, the price.

Ubuntu is also incredibly easy to use, and the UI is not all that different from Windows. In fact, a group of hackers modified an Ubuntu install to look and behave exactly like Windows...though I'm not sure why you'd want that, except to trick people.
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March 18, 2010 7:08:03 PM

Starges said:
Whats so great about it??
Both Mythbuntu and XBMC are open source operating systems specifically designed for the HTPC...nuff said!
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2010 9:55:53 PM

I used ubuntu on the first incarnation of my HTPC.

Do those support hulu? I know they can't do netflix due to silverlight support not being there.
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March 25, 2010 12:51:20 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone. I decided to try Windows 7 first. It is working well right now but I am having problems with my nvidia graphic cards. I have a HDTV and I have 7600gt and a 6800gt. With the 7600gt installed my HDTV keeps zooming the aspect ratio in and out, and with the 6800gt the picture is extremely under saturated (almost B&W) with lines in the light areas. Tried all of the available drivers for each card but no help.

I would just use my HP laptop but it has a defective nvidia go-force gpu that overheated.

I kerappin love nvidia!!!!!

I guess I might just go out and buy a cheap ATI card to connect to the TV.

Anyway thanks again everyone for your input.
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March 25, 2010 4:50:01 AM

What resolution are you using on your HDTV, maybe its too high?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
March 25, 2010 5:04:12 AM

Might want to try changing the connection as well. We don't know which your using so I can't suggest which to try.
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March 25, 2010 3:31:55 PM

Connected via s-video cable. Card has DVI out and s-video out. TV has component in, s-video in, or composite in.

Only two resolutions are given as options in NVIDIA control panel
1024 x 768 (recommended)
800 x 600

Tried both but no luck.

Was thinking of buying RF modulator and trying that or getting a DVI to component adapter.

What do you guys think?

Hey, thanks so much for responding and trying to help me out. I really appreciate it.

Ronnie
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March 25, 2010 3:36:43 PM

I went back and set the TV as the only monitor which gave me the following options for resolution.
480i, 1024 x 768 (recommended)
480i, 800 x 600
480i, 720 x 480

None of those worked either.

Thanks again for the help.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 25, 2010 10:56:18 PM

Sometimes graphics cards will have a plug that looks like S-video, but it isn't really standard s-video and thereby won't work when used that way. I'd have no way of knowing if this is really the case though.
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March 25, 2010 11:41:37 PM

According to EVGA support this output is indeed standard s-video. Working with them now to try to remedy the 7600gt aspect changing problem.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2010 3:21:19 AM

Svideo has worked for me. You can try composite(?), the higher end one. I'd wait until after you hear back from EVGA. Please report back as well, I'm trying to learn more about this.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2010 3:22:29 AM

I could be wrong, but I didn't think that you could do any better than 480i/p with S-video.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
March 26, 2010 3:27:36 AM

But that shouldn't cause the ratio problem he's talking about. It should stay 480i.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2010 3:31:02 AM

Hmm. Could be. I was thinking the described problem sounded more like Windows gong "ARGH I HATE THIS REZ" or something, but I've got my HTPC hooked up via VGA, so I really have no idea.
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April 6, 2010 3:24:59 AM

EVGA tech support basically gave up. They could not help me fix the aspect ratio problem with my 7600gt nor could they help me fix the extremely low saturation with the 6800 ultra, so I decided to by an ATI card.

It seems like the ATI cards have more features is that true?

Newegg has a MSI R4350 for $39.99 with free shipping and a $20 MIR. What do you guys think of that card as a TV out card? Will the 4350 support a DVI to component cable?

Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions and help.

Ronnie
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
April 6, 2010 3:54:48 AM

Odd that they couldn't fix it.

As long as your not gaming it should be ok. Do you do any high end TV out stuff? (bit streaming of audio, etc.) The "ultimate" HTPC card right now is the 5670, it can handle everything. A bit pricey however. If your just using Svideo to output to a tv, you should be ok with the 4350.
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!