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Thread: DVD drive for home entertainment system

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    Wink DVD drive for home entertainment system

    I am looking the getting one of these new fangled CD type things to watch telly programs on - DVD players or something like that

    I am a hi-fi snob and the reason to get one would be ultimate quality for home entertainment.

    The two options are a decent stand-alone player OR a shuttle system to build in to the home system as a movie/mp3 server via my wireless network.

    While they have completely different ultimate functionallity, how good would the DVD playback from a Shuttle (with DVD drive) be in comparisson to a stand-alone player designed purely for AV?

    Am very tempted to go the home server route and plug it in to the surround sound amp

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    A decent standalone will blow a pc based player out of the water really.

    The tv-out from a pc is rather poor compared to the signal from a half decent dvd player, especially compared to something that has component video out etc
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    i'm not an expert on HTPC's but the people here are :-

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/forum...?s=&forumid=46

    http://www.hometheaterspot.com/htsth...at=&Board=UBB7

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...?s=&forumid=13

    lots of guys n' gals on those forums are very happy with their HTPCs, most use them in conjunction with projectors, a DVI connection, free scaler and progressive scan are hard things to turn down

    when you've got an image as big as a projector then scaling etc becomes more important than on a small screen crt, i think for the money the consensus is that htpc's can easily outperform standard a/v dvd players (in the sub £1500 range at least) with PJs, or other large display means that can take advantage of the increased resolution, but i'm not so sure how that converts on to the smaller screen (i'd guess a standalone dvd player would outperform a htpc on a 28" crt widescreen for example, but by how much i wouldn't even like to guess).

    i'm interested in one too, so if i found at anything more helpful to answering your original question i'll let you know.

    found a couple more links that may be of interest :-

    http://myhtpc.net/

    http://www.htpcnews.com/

    another thing that you should consider is that HTPCs take considerably more configuration to get an optimal picture from than a standalone DVD player.

    if you could post your budget and your display type then i could prehaps give some more relevant comments.

    *edited*
    Last edited by fondie; 31-12-2003 at 10:46 PM.

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    Is sub £1500 a typo perchance?
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    nope.

    i did some more research and as is fairly obvious really, displaying on a standard crt you lose out most of the performance advantages you gain from an HTPC, so while it will work fine, and will give you the greater functionality you get from a PC, for the best quality and ease of use your much better off with a standalone player.

    stoo, as i said i'm no expert, but standalone dvd players are limited to outputting standard dvd resolution, a PC on the otherhand is able to upscale the image, giving a vast increase in the picture resolution. when coupled with a projector or prehaps plasma, that increase starts to pay off, as you can prehaps get 4 times the number of pixels displayed. it is possible to get video scalers which will upscale the image from a dvd player, but the advantage a pc has over them is that you can map the output resolution of the projector exactly to the output resolution (1to1 pixel mapping), though which i understand to the most part i wouldn't like to say why exactly it makes it superior (or more to the point how not mapping pixels exactly degrades the quality).

    also, i would definately not recommend using the tv-out from a pc, as stoo said, they look awful, for outputing to a crt tv, you can either get a specialist card (sigma x-card) or i believe you can do something clever with the vga output of your graphics card, and convert it into something more tv friendly.

    edit :- this looks like it could be a promising link :- http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...threadid=31225

    could take me a while to get through all that info though
    Last edited by fondie; 31-12-2003 at 11:27 PM.

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    Thanks for the info - it might take me till next year to wade through it all!!!

    I was thinking about using a standard TV as the output although a Plasma was on the shopping list until I bought 2 leather sofa's in the sales today

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    hehe, yep, there's lots to wade through but at least all the information you could possibly want (probably) is already out there

    i think the basics of the set up if you do decide the HTPC route would be :-

    1ghz+ cpu
    some ram
    a hard disc etc
    radeon 9600/9800
    sigma x-card or equivalent
    m-audio sound card or equivalent

    and that's about it, the x-card should handle dvd's with a few nice output connection options, and can probably route through other gfx card decoded media through as well, m-audio revolution/delta for hooking up to a/v amp/reciever handles the sound, but there are guys on those forums who can advise you a lot better than i can.

    projector is on my shopping list, £300 from the casino's last night has put me in a bit of a flush mood but it's just finding somewhere to project on to i'll be the first to convert my pc to a HTPC to go with it though, i don't think it's really worth it for my current telly though (29" sony crt), although having said that i've now got a few ideas involving that sigma x-card, hmm.........
    Last edited by fondie; 01-01-2004 at 12:25 AM.

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    for 1 1/2K you would really need to think of a fairly decent standalone
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    Nice linkage fondie
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    blue...matt, indeed, such as a http://www.web-quality.ch/WQ/apres_f...anche=1498&S=2 prehaps, i'm sure there are users of HTPCs who would say their system would give something like the denon a11 a good run for it's money (on a high res projector).

    connected to a crt screen you really don't really get any benefit though, and though i have no evidence of such, i'd guess a decent budget standalone (toshiba 330e at ~£80) would do as good a job.
    Last edited by fondie; 01-01-2004 at 03:01 AM.

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    Could get a heck of a DVD player from Denon, Arcam, etc for £1500 *drool*

    But to be honest darkside, I'd just go for a standalone DVD player. Far less hassle than booting up a PC each time, etc?

    As for quality, I've done a direct comparison from both my PC and DVD (Both using the SVHS connection for comparison purposes, I usually use SCART for my DVD) and the quality is noticeably a fair bit better with the DVD player, and ditto with the sound (admittedly from an SBLive). It just lacked depth :|

    Go for a nice standalone player < £300
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