Advice on new HTPC build
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January 12, 2010, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
The question is, what is the advantage?
It all depends on the type of TV signal you have. You have a few choices:
1. Digital cable (from Rogers) or satellite service (like Bell): In this case, you need a receiver to get the signal anyway (a set-top box). The cable goes to the set top box, and the box connects to your TV. What would the advantage be to use an HTPC here? TV cards in an HTPC cannot decode the encrypted QAM digital signals sent over the cable - you need the set top box for that anyway. Why connect the cable to the set-top box, set-top to HTPC, and HTPC to TV?
2. OTA (Off the Air) TV: You connect the cable to the TV, and the TV's built-in tuner does the work. In this case there may be a good reason to use an HTPC as a sort of PVR and a mediacenter - all you do is add an ATSC TV tuner to the HTPC.
3. Combination of old analog cable/OTA: In this case an HTPC may be useful, just like option 2 above. I don't even know if you can buy this anymore - Rogers is selling and promoting digital TV.
For playback of movies (DVD and Blueray), internet TV, AVIs, slideshows of pictures, music etc., an HTPC/mediacenter would make sense. But just for TV, maybe not in many cases.
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