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Thread: Multimedia center




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Multimedia center

    Simple question.

    I am not a gamer, nor do I plan to be one.
    Everyone says AMD is a great gaming computer.

    How does it compare to Intel in regards to Media.

    Movies and Music only

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Default Re: Multimedia center

    Playing music and video, encoding it, or recording it?

    Regardless of that, it depends on the price range of the computer in question and when it will be built/bought.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    9

    Default Re: Multimedia center

    I am going to run a projector. DLP .

    I want the media center to be the heart of the system.

    I want it to be the soundsystem:
    Speakers
    FM receiver
    Cable input
    TV changer
    DVD Player

    Is this realistic?

    I have a total budget of 10K.

    The projector and screen will be around 4K

    That leaves me with 6K

    Looking to have it up and running by X-Mas

    The contractor is estimates the room will be completed by August.
    I have to configure my speaker set up to accomodate for built ins.

    I can go traditional and get a home theatre sound and video system. which I can't get with the budget my wife has capped me at. So I will have to build it it peices.

    Can I accomplish this with a Multimedia center computer.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Multimedia center

    You may want to check out a system built around a Pentium-M (laptop) chip. It runs very cool and draws little power which translates into little heat so you won't hear annoying fans while using it...or you could have your PC in a different room/closet.

    As far as processing power, an HTPC doesn't need much at all, AMD or Intel will be fine.

    I'm just getting into adding DVR capabilities to my gaming CPU, there are plenty of sites dedicated to building HTPCs, I suggest googling and reading up. You will be well within your budget as far as the PC hardware goes.
    Is that an HDTV projector??

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Multimedia center

    If you want to be recording TV, you do need a fairly powerful system. I don't mean dual-core or a high-end CPU, but you want something fairly modern. If you try to go with an Athlon XP or early Pentium 4 you may find your audio and video desynchronizing with each other. A Pentium M system or Mobile Athlon 64 system would be great because it will be fairly powerful, but still allow for a small micro ATX case and quiet or silent cooling. Hell, you could probably do passive cooling on a Pentium M. You could also wait for the Intel next generation, which would almost certainly allow you to have something exteremely fast, yet underclocked and undervolted to allow for passive cooling. If I misunderstood you and you won't be recording TV, then a Mobile Athlon XP would be your best bet. A 35W Athlon XP 2400 will probably do passive cooling, especially if you underclock it. It will also be fast enough for you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Multimedia center

    Actually, from the success stories I've been reading, many are not powerful at all. Here's the requirements for a dual tuner Hauppauge card...Single tuners require less.
    The slowest I've seen that had no latency issues is an Intel 1.7.

    <table class="regtext" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr><td colspan="2" valign="top">System Requirements:

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="14"></td> <td align="left" valign="top"> Processor requirements: Pentium® IV processor 1.2GHz or faster for TV pause with full screen playback

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="14"></td> <td align="left" valign="top"> Windows®XP Media Center Edition 2005, WindowsXP Home or WindowsXP Professional
    Note: when using the WinTV-PVR-500 MCE with WindowsXP, you need a third party TV application such as SageTV or BeyondTV

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="14"></td> <td align="left" valign="top"> Free PCI slot

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="14"></td> <td align="left" valign="top"> Sound card

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="14"></td> <td align="left" valign="top">VGA card (PCI or AGP) with Media Center 2005 certified driver</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" valign="top" width="14"></td> <td align="left" valign="top">DVD decoder certified for use with Media Center 2005</td></tr></tbody> </table>


    Here is an ATI HDTV tuner's requirements
    <dl> <dt> System Requirements:</dt><dd>
    • Intel® Pentium® 4, Celeron™, AMD Athlon® or compatible, operating at 1.3GHz or greater
    • 256MB of system memory
    • Available PCI slot for HDTV WONDER™ card
    • Graphics card with 64MB or greater of frame buffer and Microsoft DirectX 9.0 support
    • Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
    • Interactive Program guide requires Internet connection for listing updates
    • Remote Control receiver requires available USB port
    • Sound card with speakers
    </dd> </dl>
    Using the pause feature is probably the most taxing, as it has to record to and play from the HDD at the same time. I've been thinking about getting both of them, The dual tuner to record all of the shows I want to watch, and the HD card to grab the FTA HD channels.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Multimedia center

    It indeed does also depend on the tuner. Those are minimum specs (and tuners can still desynch with minimum), but the better tuners won't need something much better than what's listed. I certainly wouldn't want to try it on a 1.3GHz processor other than Pentium Ms or AMD K8s.

    Hauppauge does make some of the best tuners, so it's less likely to be a problem, even if the hardware is slower.

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