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Home Theatre Online pc - home theatre

#1 User is offline   ugyuap 

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

Hi newbie here , my name is Kurt and like to have some info. I do have a home theatre :PTAE4000 panasonic projector and a SA-XR57 panasonic receiver.Now I like to add a PC or Laptop to browes the internet and enjoy super sound and video, but don't know what specs I am shooting for.
The Home theatre is HDMI ready.Is adding a blue ray player in the pc possible?
Can somebody throw some light on this.

Thanks in advance !!

Kurt
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#2 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 09:00 AM

Hi, Kurt. Welcome to the forum.

You'll want a PC with an HDMI output, but that shouldn't be a problem these days. Aside from netbooks, I think they're pretty standard.

And you'll want Windows 7 Home Premium or Ultimate.

I'm not sure how fast a PC you'll need for watching HD decently. I'd imagine that a moderately-priced desktop would do, but I'm not sure, off-hand.

About a Blu-ray drive: Again, I'm not sure if it's a real advantage over a stand-alone player. Certainly the stand-alone player will turn on faster and will have less hassles. Also, a lot of today's BD players offer Youtube, Netflix On Demand, and other online video services, meaning you may not even need a PC.

You can also use a PC as a DVR, although you'll need a TV tuner for that. There are several available, many as USB attachments. The software is part of Home Premium and Ultimate.

One more thing: A remote control. Again, several are available.

Lincoln
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#3 User is offline   jeffwindowsteam 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:03 AM

View Postugyuap, on 10 February 2010 - 03:37 PM, said:

Hi newbie here , my name is Kurt and like to have some info. I do have a home theatre :PTAE4000 panasonic projector and a SA-XR57 panasonic receiver.Now I like to add a PC or Laptop to browes the internet and enjoy super sound and video, but don't know what specs I am shooting for.
The Home theatre is HDMI ready.Is adding a blue ray player in the pc possible?
Can somebody throw some light on this.

Thanks in advance !!

Kurt


Hi Kurt-

For your needs a "media center" PC with a BluRay drive and HDMI output will do the trick. When it comes to versions of Windows, Windows 7 Home Premium comes with Windows Media Center so there is no need to purchase Ultimate.

When you say you want to enjoy super sound and video, do you mean from the PC or from your tv/sound system?
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#4 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:46 AM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 11 February 2010 - 09:00 AM, said:


You can also use a PC as a DVR, although you'll need a TV tuner for that. There are several available, many as USB attachments. The software is part of Home Premium and Ultimate.


Just be aware that if you have cable or satellite TV, then this functionality gets a bit complicated as you likely will still need your cable/satellite box and then setup just a pure "audio/video" input from the cable/satellite box to the tuner with the cable/satellite box still controlling which channel is being viewed. You can typically use an IR blaster to allow the computer to control the cable/satellite box.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#5 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:33 AM

View Postsmax013, on 12 February 2010 - 07:46 AM, said:

Just be aware that if you have cable or satellite TV, then this functionality gets a bit complicated as you likely will still need your cable/satellite box and then setup just a pure "audio/video" input from the cable/satellite box to the tuner with the cable/satellite box still controlling which channel is being viewed. You can typically use an IR blaster to allow the computer to control the cable/satellite box.

If you need a cable or satellite set-top box (and depending on your subscription, you may not need this for cable), your best best for a DVR is to get one from the cable or satellite company, with the DVR doing double-duty as the set-top box. This makes things much, much easier.

I recommend using a PC as a DVR only if you have basic cable or over-the-air.

Lincoln
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#6 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:00 AM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 12 February 2010 - 08:33 AM, said:


If you need a cable or satellite set-top box (and depending on your subscription, you may not need this for cable), your best best for a DVR is to get one from the cable or satellite company, with the DVR doing double-duty as the set-top box. This makes things much, much easier.

I recommend using a PC as a DVR only if you have basic cable or over-the-air.

Lincoln


Very true...and I generally recommend the same.

The one reason to use PVR software and a computer is that you can expand the storage capacity to what ever your want...something that is generally not possible with most cable DVRs...I know you can expand DishNetwork's DVR capacity with external drivers, but not sure about DirecTV. And it is might be possible to use those recorded shows with other computers, where as it is typically a pain in the rear to get "stuff" off a typical cable/satellite DVR.

A cable/satellite DVR box also tends to have the advantage of dual (or more) tuners so that your DVR can record more than one show at a time...something that is not usually possible if you use a cable/satellite box with a PC tuner card.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#7 User is offline   swccman 

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:26 PM

View PostLincolnSpector, on 11 February 2010 - 09:00 AM, said:

Hi, Kurt. Welcome to the forum.

You'll want a PC with an HDMI output, but that shouldn't be a problem these days. Aside from netbooks, I think they're pretty standard.

And you'll want Windows 7 Home Premium or Ultimate.

I'm not sure how fast a PC you'll need for watching HD decently. I'd imagine that a moderately-priced desktop would do, but I'm not sure, off-hand.

About a Blu-ray drive: Again, I'm not sure if it's a real advantage over a stand-alone player. Certainly the stand-alone player will turn on faster and will have less hassles. Also, a lot of today's BD players offer Youtube, Netflix On Demand, and other online video services, meaning you may not even need a PC.

You can also use a PC as a DVR, although you'll need a TV tuner for that. There are several available, many as USB attachments. The software is part of Home Premium and Ultimate.

One more thing: A remote control. Again, several are available.

Lincoln


I always see recommendations for W7, I have a W7 Ultimate 64-bit partition on my machine, I don't use it much since it caught a virus which invalidated it's activation key, really nice. For HTPC systems I use Ubuntu Linux and one of two really great interfaces, both light weight and fast. If the magazine is about the PC platform, why not give folks a choice, or make them aware of alternatives. Things like Hauppauge TV/PVR/DVB cards are supported at the kernel level as are universal remotes, so hardware isn't an issue.

Not everybody still keeps a copy of K&R on their desk, but I do. Not everybody does GNOME/Gtk development, but we in the HTPC business should have some fundamental programming ability before making recommendations. Sure, I contribute to the moonlight project (GPL version of silverlight, thanks Microsoft), and I know that not everybody can, but everybody should think and compare before buying just because someone tells them to. The magazine, being about the PC (Intel/AMD, x86 or x86_64 architecture ) platform should make readers aware of all OS and HTPC interface choices. VLC, a popular and powerful video player under all platforms, which can also be used as a video server using several protocols was originally a Linux product. I guess that means that we who create and write about HTPC systems should have some knowledge in all the alternatives available. Heck, I can make WMS do some cool stuff using VLC.

One day, a Windows guy, clearly not a programmer or very knowledgeable about Ubuntu Linux (a really good distro) pointed out that 9.10 required more updates and patches than W7, what he failed to realise is that every 6 months Ubuntu comes out with a test release, all of which have been very stable, sure there are kernel changes and they are all well managed by the Ubuntu update manager. Never have I had my video kernel drivers effected by a kernel change, probably because smart updating sees the kernel modules being loaded and updates accordingly, not a difficult task, but a thoughtful one. Every Linux machine is a true multiuser, multitasking OS, making it great for HTPC applications.

At the end of April, Ubuntu 10.4 will come out, an LTR which incorporates all the company learns from feedback and the community. I guess I don't see the justification of spending all that money on WMS when there is a free and secure alternative. An LTR is supported for 5 years, updating to a new version has always been painless and of course free and is done by gui or command line. Should a customer request WMS, I will use it, I have VMware server on my development machine, so I am familiar with it's workings and demands, but no one yet, including my fussy partner who sells the stuff has demanded a WMS machine. I like the fact that I spend more time in production and development than support.

Currently I produce custom HTPC's and servers running Ubuntu, and they come in at less than the cost of their Windows counterparts. They require very little in terms of maintenance or hardware. There is so much multimedia for Linux out there, and standardising streaming on flash or silverlight (moonlight under Linux, again ty very much Microsoft) makes the OS kind of moot. For DVD playing or MP3 playing, again it is moot and I do all the file sharing through SMB under LDAP 3 authentication (Active Directory without the BS). Since same is same, why not at least talk about alternatives. Ultimately, the user turns the key and all goes on, and that is the bottom line.
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#8 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:54 PM

View Postswccman, on 25 March 2010 - 05:26 PM, said:


I always see recommendations for W7, I have a W7 Ultimate 64-bit partition on my machine, I don't use it much since it caught a virus which invalidated it's activation key, really nice.


Actually it may have been a change in hardware that requires a simple re-activation. If you have a manufactured machine the access code is on a sticker on the outside of the box. All that would be needed, worst case is to re-install Win7 and enter that code. It is actually good for all the branded machines in that production group.
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#9 User is offline   WinTard 

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:09 PM

View Postswccman, on 25 March 2010 - 05:26 PM, said:


I always see recommendations for W7, I have a W7 Ultimate 64-bit partition on my machine, I don't use it much since it caught a virus which invalidated it's activation key, really nice. For HTPC systems I use Ubuntu Linux and one of two really great interfaces, both light weight and fast. If the magazine is about the PC platform, why not give folks a choice, or make them aware of alternatives. Things like Hauppauge TV/PVR/DVB cards are supported at the kernel level as are universal remotes, so hardware isn't an issue.


There's no way Windows 7 Ultimate caught a virus by itself. It's whatever sits between the keyboard and chair that is the source of all troubles.

As for the activation, simple:

If you are a legitimate customer, you can always call Microsoft or your OEM vendor, and ask them to help. Which they will for free.

I call your dubious story. (Yet I also use Ubuntu and Mint). And in case I'm wrong, then please do yourself a favor, just call Microsoft, explaining your situation, and they will give you a new activation code (if you're legit). Don't use a key that has been used a dozen or more times... If I were you, I'd simply reinstall (a legitimate) Windows 7 from scratch, then proceed from there.
Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion -- In a free world, is everyone is entitled to their own opinions?
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