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Author Topic: Guide: How to build a HTPC  (Read 32558 times)

TheM@trix

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Guide: How to build a HTPC
« Reply #120 on: April 15, 2003, 11:47:29 PM »

Just as good, if not better.
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"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet." - USMC

BoBbOrAzE

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Guide: How to build a HTPC
« Reply #121 on: April 22, 2003, 10:11:22 AM »

HEY, well i wanted to hook up my pc to my sound system as well and i was searchin and searchin and i didnt come to realize that gideontech had its own project right here!

To start off. My motherboard, Asus p4b533 , came with s/pdif in and out already with the package. I read somewhere that this was used for a coaxial audio hookup. And thats great because my dvd to reciever hookup for sound already is coaxial! The s/pdif is not a pci card but it goes into the pci slot in the back and it plugs in to the digital out on my motherboard. So i hooked it up excited to see if it worked and when i turned it on there as no sound coming off my normal speakers. It didnt even show them. So i figured that it has automatically been switched to digital. Yet when i tried to play anything off my comp into the reciever it didnt work! A cd wouldnt work, i couldnt play any mp3s I never tried a dvd but the other two would not work and i never thoguht of it. Can you think of the reason it would not be working?? Its hooked up correctly to me reciever. Maybe its what im playing it as on my reciever? should put it on dvd? cd? help me out here people.

                                                                                                Bob
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RonPruitt

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HTPC User Interface
« Reply #122 on: May 09, 2003, 02:31:12 PM »

First off, thanks for the article on the myHTPC and the discussion on video cards, audio, etc.  This is a really great forum.  I've put off building an HTPC system and am finally going to do so.  I saw several posts about potential interfaces including using Talisman, Showshifter, 4AM Media Console and Digital Theater.

I have tried these out and then found myHTPC http://www.myHTPC.net and I have to say that at least by first impressions this is by far a superior interface.  They have an active development forum and a lot of good contributions.

Thought I would post my impressions of different solutions for those that are reading this board trying to get started like I am.

Showshifter -- pretty decent interface although for playing music it is a little awkware to create a playlist (it isn't intuitive what is being added to the playlist and how you say a playlist) -- for some reason, it isn't seeing the album art in the ID tags (I save them with Musicmatch and have the same problem with myHTPC).  

Talisman - saw the project that was put together for this -- it is interesting because you can create a custom desktop for windows to mask windows and even replace explorer but the downside (IMO) is that it is just the shell leaving the user experience up to each application (DVD player, MP3 player, etc) -- since the video resolution is going to be a lot less clear, I think it may be tough to use WinAmp to control the music library (again, IMO).

4AM Media Console -- similar to custom theme used on Talisman, this is only a shell application -- you could create buttons for each movie but with a large MP3 collection it isn't feasible.  They other app they have 4AM Music Console is great (it is a full featured library but designed for TV out quality display (i.e. larger text).  Combining the two gets you a pretty decent system but it lacks a photoviewer.  The look is clean.

Digital Theater -- a student project to build an HTPC front end -- another shell application -- nice thing is that you can create skins and its free

Personal attempt  -- I had been toying around with using a web browser front end to create my own GUI -- by forcing the browser to full screen and then using a programming trick to kill the scroll bars I can use all of the embedded players in Internet Explorer to play video, audio, etc.  -- by setting up a web server I can create dynamic content (i.e. fully integrate my music library) so as to achieve more than a shell -- use the web browser to execute local scripts for home automation, etc. -- I had focused solely on the page design and realized that this was going to be a major undertaking to get fully going, this is what sent me trolling the boards for info (on h/w and s/w), and then....

I found myHTPC -- all I can say is WOW -- appears to be open source (i.e. free) -- incredible look and feel -- looks very similar to Windows XP Media Edition -- great development forum -- I saw the post by the individual that build the Talisman front end and based on the quality of the system he set up, I am surprised he didn't come across this interface and/or mention it -- also read a post by someone that tried Showshifter but had problems with screen size -- to both of you, I tried all of these other solutions and unless you are intent in building your own I'd highly recommend you taking a look.  You can create skins for this also and there is a good library already available.  I wish I had stumbled upon this one earlier myself so as not to have wasted the time tinkering on my own.  I'd much rather spend that time using / finding ways to improve myHTPC.
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GideonX

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Guide: How to build a HTPC
« Reply #123 on: May 09, 2003, 02:38:37 PM »

RonPruitt - good info! i'll have to try this out.
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RonPruitt

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More on interfaces
« Reply #124 on: May 10, 2003, 12:19:02 PM »

Gideon,

Turns out there are a several more interfaces (X-Lobby, MediaEngine to name a few) out there plus two or three that are built for a linux box (freevo, .  This url is a good overview of front end stuff http://ruel.net/pc/tv.tuner.frontend.htm

This url http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=5df8cdb4d77f4f39de4c5df94eb4c2af&forumid=26 is for a forum that talks a host of issues dealing with HTPC.  The programmer for myHTPC spent a lot of time on one of the threads on this board until he created his own forum on his site -- one individual created a review of software similar to what I posted yesterday.  Here is a link to that thread -- http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=babbf13442a07f4de2ceb168fc7d4303&threadid=213007&perpage=20&pagenumber=5  They have several other threads that should be of interest including tweaking output using Powerstrip to get the best output on an HDTV, all sorts of combinations of hardware, etc.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of momentum that HTPC is getting, especially in the last 6 months.  I have been ripping my CD collection and getting ready for building an HTPC on and off for a year an a half -- reading on music quality, video output quality, waiting on bluetooth to get a longer range wireless mouse/keyboard, etc.  Seeing all of the commercial products coming out (PrismIQ in particular) motivated me to take a closer look at building versus buying something and I have been overwhelmed by the number of forums and users that seemed to have taken on a project like this in the last year.  

Gideon, thanks again for the great forum.  Of every board/forum I have read, you gave the most pratical experiences and considerations.  

Ron
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Alfred

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What the hell is this cable?
« Reply #125 on: July 16, 2003, 01:37:58 AM »



what is the cable with the blue VGA plug for anyways.
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