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I'm curious, BD drive and HTPC

 
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stefuel



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 3352
Location: Green Harbor MA USA


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject: I'm curious, BD drive and HTPC Reply with quote


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When you have a HD DVD or BD drive in a PC, is the RGBHV (HD-15) output still available or does the HD default to the DVI output for HDCP reasons? At this time, for std DVD playback I use Theater Tek. Can I still use this to play back HD?

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Zebu Fellenz



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 2567



PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can still use the RGBHV output with HD.

Theatertek cannot be used, right now the choices are limited to Powerdvd, Arcsoft, and media player classic (for the tweakers)
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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 10261



PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And expect a lot of headaches no matter what. Razz
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MikeEby



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 5236
Location: Osceola, Indiana


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zebu Fellenz wrote:
You can still use the RGBHV output with HD.

Theatertek cannot be used, right now the choices are limited to Powerdvd, Arcsoft, and media player classic (for the tweakers)



Arcsoft is not very stable yet, 3:10 To Yuma and Ratatouille a couple of BR titles I tried will not play on Arcsoft but play fine on latest release of PowerDVD.


WanMan wrote:
And expect a lot of headaches no matter what. Razz


I don't complete agree with that statement completely and as a hobby I like to tinker a bit, thatís part of the fun.
I watched my HTPC last night for 5 hours last night. I had zero glitches, crashes, freezes or dropped frames. I did everything from watching a compete feature to lots of navigation in menus on several disks including SD, HD-DVD & Bluray this HTPC is rock solid, I havenít rebooted it in weeks. A year ago however I would NOT have said that.

My HTPC is built using some fairly high end components but keep in mind what itís replacing. It does a great job of scaling SD-DVDs, plays HD-DVD & Bluray and can burn DVDís. You can still feeds your projector plain old RGBHV what it was designed to accept at about any refresh rate and resolution you can think of. No need for a Moome or HD-Fury in the video chain itís just like what we have been running for years.

With the Media Center Software that comes with Vista Premium or Ultra you can also use the machine as a DVR I have not used those functions in Vista so I will reserve comment. I did use them with XP MCE and they worked very well but they are mostly limited to OTA or un-encrypted cable, so IMO the usage is somewhat limited, in a larger TV market this may not be the case.

I feel very strongly about following certain rules when selecting hardware & software for an HTPC. Note these are my own opinion only gained from working with my system.

1. If you are going to use your machine as set top box treat it like one. Donít load software on it you donít need remember KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.

2. First load the OS & drivers to get it going. DONíT use the disks that come with the hardware. Go to the manufactures site and download the latest drivers. Except for Video Card Driver for it go to the chip-makers website for that.

3. Games are OK but first get the Disk player stuff working well, then add games later. There are some fantastic driving games out there that I enjoy very much that play great on my CRT and HTPC. I haven't played a video game in years but these are really fun.

4. It would probably be a good idea to get a copy of Norton Ghost or alike, if you like to try different software. Perform a system backup once your player is working right, that way you can always restore it back to when it was working properly.

5. Try to avoid the temptation to use the machine to browse the web. If you have kids donít allow them on web with it. Nothing craps up a machine worse than peer to peer file sharing software, and kids love that stuff, I donít blame them I would too if I would have had free access to any piece of recorded music ever made when I was their age, it would be an enticement hard ignore. Hell I recorded music off AM radio when I was a kid. Note: If you allow them on the machine but do # 4 you should be good anyway you can get the machine back to working state without a great deal of effort.

6. Select a Video Card that has the ability to define custom resolutions, refresh rates and video timings, this is where an HTPC beat the STB hand down most HD-Players are limited to 60Hz refresh and to maintain smooth motion we need 48, 72 or 96Hz. Above all else when selecting a card that has HDCP built it. Right now the choices are limited to ATI based cards because custom resolutions and timings are broken with the current NVidia drivers.

Now the debatable stuff:

1. My experience with building HTPCs in the past is I have always used Intel CPUís and Chipset based motherboards. This may not hold true today but I prefer not to gamble with AMD and other chipset makers they ATI and AMD are now the same so they are getting a piece of the pie anyway. AMD chips may work fine but we trying to avoid the headaches WanMan is talking about. I am just saying what works for me.

2. This will probably spark the most controversy, Vista! Vista! Vista! There are major differences in the way video is handled between XP and Vista most driver development is being focused on Vista for newer hardware. The cost is the same as XP and Vista is becoming a mature product, a year ago I would NOT have said this.

WanMan is probably right in some respects with the headaches factor after reading all I wrote above but tweaking a CRT is a hobby, if we wanted it to be easy we would Velcro our digital projector to the ceiling plug in a PlayStation 3 and watch it, but where is the fun in that? For me the killer on a STB was the jerky motion I see with 60Hz refresh I found it extremely distracting. Perhaps I am more sensitive to this than most.

Mike

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Mark_A_W



Joined: 15 Mar 2006
Posts: 3068
Location: Sunny Melbourne Australia


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reclock doesn't work with Vista. I'd be very surprised, and enlightened, if you managed to get *really* smooth playback without Reclock. The closest I've seen is using the Haali Renderer instead of VMR9 in XP.
The root cause, AFAIK, is the lack of clock syncing between the Videocard clock and the Soundcard clock. In fact the smoothest playback I've EVER seen was of the video-only .mkv file from a ripped HD-DVD. With no audio at all to cause issues, it was SPOOKILY SMOOTH.

And XP works fine. I save my bleeding-edge stuff for the playback software...not the OS Wink I go to *a lot* of effort to get video playback completely out of the hands of the OS and the video card drivers. All I want from them is a stable OS and stable video drivers (that don't tear, and allow custom res's)!

AMD chips work fine too. What you said is all FUD Smile I have both an Intel PC and an AMD PC. They both work, and IMO the mobo is more important than the brand of chip. So a chipset debate is more useful than an Intel/AMD flamefest. But yes, caution is warranted, I'd go for the most well regarded chipset for either CPU manufacturer.
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25432
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched 5 movies back to back(9 hrs or so ) Saturday night via RGBHV and the Ampro didn't blow up either! Shocked
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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 10261



PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeEby wrote:
Zebu Fellenz wrote:
You can still use the RGBHV output with HD.

Theatertek cannot be used, right now the choices are limited to Powerdvd, Arcsoft, and media player classic (for the tweakers)



Arcsoft is not very stable yet, 3:10 To Yuma and Ratatouille a couple of BR titles I tried will not play on Arcsoft but play fine on latest release of PowerDVD.


WanMan wrote:
And expect a lot of headaches no matter what. Razz


I don't complete agree with that statement completely and as a hobby I like to tinker a bit, thatís part of the fun.

Mike
I bought what I believed to be a finished product. I wasn't looking to tinker, and I am betting those people buying the LG product didn't think they'd be doing a lot of 'tinkering' either. Add to this the lack of support by LG and Cyberlink, then you have something far from a finished product. Options are to bootleg software, buy software, or return the product.
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MikeEby



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 5236
Location: Osceola, Indiana


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, in your case with a defective product you have a good reason not to be happy the product. LG should have done more testing with different SATA controllers too, thats why I went the safe route with Intel.

By tinkering I should have made myself clearer, I consider tinkering as trying difference resolutions, refresh rates, porch settings etc. things a standalone STB cannot do. I also wanted to drive my projector direct with RGBHV and my experience with a Moome card was not entirely pleasant after seeing how bad it crushed blacks with a STB or HTPC.

In my case the getting my system up and running was very cut and dry, not a lot of screwing around. HTPC are NOT for everyone, I want to make myself clear on that, but I am happy with the drive and the whole system.

When you read Marks post above that is some serious tinkering Smile

Maybe I just got lucky but my system is rock solid I just pop in a disk and watch it.

Mike

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Chuchuf



Joined: 11 Mar 2006
Posts: 548



PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI, the AMD X2 chips work fine for BD and HD DVD playback under PowerDVD. I've been running an X2 4200+ for over a year now in my main HTPC and am very happy with it.

Terry
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benareeno



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 1614
Location: ottawa, canada


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With HTPC there's always at least some issue going on....I agree with Mark...smooth playback without reclock is probably impossible to do. I'm thinking of throwing this computer in the trash and getting a PS3...I like the enhanced renderer in Vista, but now I'm having issues with powerstrip! It never ends!

Some people have the patience, persistence and intelligence to make HTPC simple...most don't have this.
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perisoft



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 2920
Location: Ithaca, NY


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It boggles my mine how many people will run CRT projectors and then say, "HTPC?? That's so much work!"
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benareeno



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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Location: ottawa, canada


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very true!! It's probably time I get out of the hobby for good...my bp can't handle it!
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perisoft



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 2920
Location: Ithaca, NY


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benareeno wrote:
Very true!! It's probably time I get out of the hobby for good...my bp can't handle it!


Hmm, that wasn't quite the result I intended with that argument... Razz

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MikeEby



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 5236
Location: Osceola, Indiana


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

perisoft wrote:
It boggles my mine how many people will run CRT projectors and then say, "HTPC?? That's so much work!"


I hear you, I just donít have issues, I watched 2 HD movies last night, both of them played flawless. It seemed like my 1st generation Toshiba HD-DVD player was more trouble and I didnít have near image control an HTPC has.


Mike

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benareeno



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 1614
Location: ottawa, canada


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seemed like my 1st generation Toshiba HD-DVD player was more trouble and I didnít have near image control an HTPC has.


It's statments like this that keep me coming back to htpc!!! Damn you!

I love the idea of 48Hz, with a custom gamma curve and a custom 2.35:1 resolution...that's why I stick around! I'm such a romantic...
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perisoft



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 2920
Location: Ithaca, NY


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty much waiting for internal bluray drives to drop under $150 or so, and decent ripping software to come along. It'd be nice to stack up some more hard drives, too... 600 to 800gb doesn't go very far at 50gb per movie!
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MikeEby



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 5236
Location: Osceola, Indiana


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benareeno wrote:


I love the idea of 48Hz, with a custom gamma curve and a custom 2.35:1 resolution...that's why I stick around! I'm such a romantic...


Yeah...Thats a problem see my post in your PowerStrip thread.

http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9306


Mike

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