HTPC/Home theatre build... need lots of advice
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March 18, 2008, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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as i once built a HTPC but have since replaced it with something more to my needs. This is what i have learned.
1. If your going to get a reciever don't bother with a highend card like an auzentech. What i did was get a cheapy card with optical out. Then when you install your software set the sound filters to just do a pass through to your reciever. Most free software can handle DD 5.1 fine without any hiccups. However they sometimes have trouble with DTS. To solve this i bought the basic edition of pur video, and it works GREAT. one setting and everything is passed directly to your reciever be it DD, DTS or just regular PCM.
2. There are alot of front ends out there that are free and work reasonably well. (trust me i have tried most of them (Media portal, sage tv, beyond tv, etc) and IMHO one of the more stable and user friendly ones is MCE2005.
On final thing you may want to think about is avoiding digital coax as much as possible. Now i am not sayng that digital coax is bad i just saying the toslink fiber optic is better since it's an insulating signal cable that is also not affcted my emf interferance.
Ok so i know i am a windbag but one last thing you may want to consider. The reason i ditched my HTPC was this. I wasn't watching tv on it. So i got this little box called a popcornhour. Let's say that for playing my content of my network it KICKS ARSE. Plays tons of codecs and containers except ogm. PLus it supports a 1080p resolution including digital audio an HDMI (mind you it's only hdmi ver 1) Plays my 1080p movies fine in mkv container over my network.
Just my 2 cents and change
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