HTPC Tweaks

I'm trying to build a home theater on a budget to take to school with me. My system has a gforce 9600gt 512mb, and a AMD 4000+ X2, 2 gigs of DDR2. I have a 32" 720p tv so nothing huge.

Is this enough to run my HD content?

I've noticed that on my network to transfer a 4gig movie from macbook to the HTPC over the server takes about 40 minutes. I think that is pretty slow, but is it? I want to be able to stream those large files from my htpc to my macbook, but right now it's a little choppy. Is this because of the macbook, htpc, slow netowork, or a combination of all 3?

On my network I'm using cat5, the hard drive in the htpc is a 250gig IDE with a western digital my book 500 gig on there too. I may need to make a few upgrades to the system. What could I do to make these things work?

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More about htpc tweaks
  1. I've done some testing and I've noticed that AVIs work really well, but the MKV files are choppy. Why is that?
  2. What codec?
    What player?

    Here is a guide that might help you along:
  3. I use VLC. Is there something better out there?

    Thanks for the guide. I think it's going to take me a few days to figure out what the heck it is talking about though.
  4. Is the mkv video VC-1, AVC, or MPEG?

    You can also try MPC HC to play the file.
  5. It's AVC
  6. A 9600GT should be able to offload AVC if the video and player are DXVA compliant.

    Are you running XP? VLC added DXVA video acceleration, but it only added DXVA v2.0 which requires Vista, 2008, or 7 to use. XP uses legacy DXVA 1.0.

    Also, what is your CPU usage when playing the MKV?
  7. I'm running XP. The cpu usage is only at like 25-40 percent.
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