Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Media Center Advice

  1. #1
    seen, but not often heard
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Watford
    Posts
    318
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked
    14 times in 11 posts

    Media Center Advice

    Hi everyone,

    just wanted a few opinions/advice as i stupidly said i'd put together a PC (from existing parts) so my parents can watch Blu-Rays, iplayer, and maybe watch a few movies from my PC (non HD, just avi files), etc etc on their HD plasma in the lounge.

    so, i already have a P4 HT 2.8Ghz chip/mobo/2gb ram/200gb hdd/xp MCE and an xfx 6600GT AGP card, and thinking of putting it into a old MSI Shuttle (cant remember the exact model, but its the one that could be used as a hi-fi (dont laugh, i was young and foolish)

    anyway, i suppose what i really need to know is:

    if i put a BD drive in there, will the gpu be able to output in 1080p (via hdmi or regular pc vga connection) to the TV?
    If not, is there an AGP gpu that can?
    if it is capable, will the hardware be reasonable enough to play BD without struggling?

    im really hoping all i need to buy is a BD drive, but something is telling me this may not be the case....

    looking forward to the repsonses

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    195
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked
    16 times in 15 posts
    • edp33's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus A8N Sli (S939)
      • CPU:
      • Athlon 3200+
      • Memory:
      • 2GB DDR 3200
      • Storage:
      • 120GB,250GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Gigaybyte Silent Heatpipe 6600GT
      • PSU:
      • Antec Truepower 430P
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-602
      • Monitor(s):
      • 17" LCD
      • Internet:
      • BE Unlimited

    Re: Media Center Advice

    To play HD content you usually need a dedicated HD card/onboard solution that offloads all the processing from the CPU or a fast processor, I believe 2.5ghz+ is usually required.

    As your cpu is one of the slower single cores, I don't know if it would be quick enough. I would recommend replacing the 6600GT and getting a cheap £30-40 card designed for HD, something like ATI 3xxx/4xxx series. You can get ATI 3650/3850 with AGP from Scan I imagine others would be available.

  3. Received thanks from:

    dshepsman (23-04-2009)

  4. #3
    seen, but not often heard
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Watford
    Posts
    318
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked
    14 times in 11 posts

    Re: Media Center Advice

    thats what i thought.

    i suppose £40ish for a new gpu can be justified - if the rest of the setup works.
    and they wont be watching too many blu rays at the mo, so i may take a punt on the card

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    2,594
    Thanks
    80
    Thanked
    106 times in 94 posts

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Definitely upgrade the gfx card to offload the HD playback, the AMD 3xxx series would be best I believe.

    Have a look at TunerFree MCE which integrates all the UK on demand services into media centre i.e. iplayer, 4OD, ITV etc. Very good program.

    For blu-ray playback look at the Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre software which integrates directly into media centre or PowerDVD version 9.

    AnyDVD HD is also a must to remove any messing about with HDCP, BD+ and region locking.

    I also recommend MediaBrowser to catalogue any recorded movies, TV series or DVDs stored on your HDD. Looks great with the coverflow theme.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,208
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked
    38 times in 36 posts

    Re: Media Center Advice

    I would go for Arcsoft instead of any product from cyberlink(powerDVD).
    Deo Adjuvante non Timendum

  7. #6
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    14,995
    Thanks
    1,187
    Thanked
    2,230 times in 1,835 posts
    • scaryjim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Dell Inspiron
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 8250U
      • Memory:
      • 1x 8GB DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
      • PSU:
      • Battery/Dell brick
      • Case:
      • Dell Inspiron 5570
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 15" 1080p laptop panel

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by dshepsman View Post
    if i put a BD drive in there, will the gpu be able to output in 1080p (via hdmi or regular pc vga connection) to the TV?
    Does the TV support 1080p? Just 'cause it says "HD" doesn't mean it does 1080p I'll assume, however, that you've done your homework and it does.

    Personally, I'd get a HD4350 - they have the lastest generation HD decoding hardware and can be picked up for less than £30: like this Sapphire one at ebuyer which has native HDMI.

  8. #7
    Gundam Infinite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Southport
    Posts
    1,647
    Thanks
    150
    Thanked
    122 times in 93 posts
    • Infinite's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI GD80
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 750
      • Memory:
      • Kingston 16GB
      • Storage:
      • 120GB OCZ Agility 3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460 SLI
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 650W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ09B-W
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Pro - 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2309W
      • Internet:
      • Infinity

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Does the TV support 1080p? Just 'cause it says "HD" doesn't mean it does 1080p I'll assume, however, that you've done your homework and it does.

    Personally, I'd get a HD4350 - they have the lastest generation HD decoding hardware and can be picked up for less than £30: like this Sapphire one at ebuyer which has native HDMI.
    He need AGP.

  9. #8
    seen, but not often heard
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Watford
    Posts
    318
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked
    14 times in 11 posts

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Does the TV support 1080p? Just 'cause it says "HD" doesn't mean it does 1080p I'll assume, however, that you've done your homework and it does.
    oh, believe me, it does support 1080p - wouldnt let my dad get anything less
    (panasonics FTW )

    may be time to troll the hexus selling/wanted area for an AGP card....

  10. #9
    Gundam Infinite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Southport
    Posts
    1,647
    Thanks
    150
    Thanked
    122 times in 93 posts
    • Infinite's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI GD80
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 750
      • Memory:
      • Kingston 16GB
      • Storage:
      • 120GB OCZ Agility 3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 460 SLI
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 650W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ09B-W
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Pro - 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2309W
      • Internet:
      • Infinity

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Maybe spend £100 to get a new mobo with intergrated graphics, CPU and RAM?

  11. #10
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    19,874
    Thanks
    630
    Thanked
    965 times in 816 posts
    • Funkstar's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte EG45M-DS2H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB OCZ PC2-6400C5 800MHz Quad Channel
      • Storage:
      • 650GB Western Digital Caviar Blue
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB ATI Radeon HD4550
      • PSU:
      • Antec 350W 80+ Efficient PSU
      • Case:
      • Antec NSK1480 Slim Mini Desktop Case
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Ultimate 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407 + 2408 monitors
      • Internet:
      • Zen 8mb

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Not sure about integrated nvidia, but the integrated ATI chipsets still have issues with HD decoding. You have to have the right combination of driver, OS and the video rendering the app uses. There are loads of threads about this and 780G chipsets on the MediaPortal forums.

    Oh, and how about a look at MediaPortal dshepsman

    http://www.team-mediaportal.com

    I like it, others don't. It's by no means perfect, but it is more flexible than MCE and has some excellent features, especially with all the plugins and skins available for it.

  12. #11
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    14,995
    Thanks
    1,187
    Thanked
    2,230 times in 1,835 posts
    • scaryjim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Dell Inspiron
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 8250U
      • Memory:
      • 1x 8GB DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
      • PSU:
      • Battery/Dell brick
      • Case:
      • Dell Inspiron 5570
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 15" 1080p laptop panel

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite View Post
    He need AGP.
    Doh: Reading, I'm doing it wrong

    Probably better off getting a new build with integrated graphics then: a decent AGP graphics card is gonna be hella expensive... You can pick up a 780G mobo, Athlon X2 7750BE and 2GB DDR2 for ~ £140...

  13. #12
    seen, but not often heard
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Watford
    Posts
    318
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked
    14 times in 11 posts

    Re: Media Center Advice

    BUMP

    ok, putting the blu ray on hold for a bit.. just want to get the iplayer working.
    tunerfree mce is only vista, not XP (not that ive tried yet...)
    anything like it for xp?

  14. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    375
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked
    19 times in 15 posts
    • Maccer101's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Foxconn G33
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 + Scythe Infinity
      • Memory:
      • 2gb Samsung PC-5300
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Samsung F1 + 250gb WD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI 8800gt OC 512mb
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX450
      • Case:
      • Antec Mini P180
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 8.04
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung SW223BW + Dell 19"
      • Internet:
      • 10mb Virgin Broadband

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Try ebay for a 2nd hand AGP that £40 may turn into £20
    HTPC1 - Coolermaster CM330, E2180 + Zalman 9500AT, GA-P31-DS3L, 2x1Gb PC6400 , Antec Earthwatts 430w , Fujitsu 2.5" 40gb HDD, 8600gt, Hannspree 32" LCD TV - Kubuntu 8.04

    HTPC2 - Silverstone TJ-08, Asus 690g, Athlon LE1300 + OCZ Vanquisher, 2x512mb PC5300, Dell 350w PSU, Fujisu 2.5" 40gb HDD, 8600gt, Toshiba 33" CRT TV - Ubuntu 8.04

    Laptop- Lenovo T41, Pentium M 1.6ghz, 768mb PC2700 RAM, 40gb HDD - Ubuntu 8.10

    NAS - Dell Case, Jetway J7F5 Mini-ITX, 1gb PC5300, Enermax Pro 82+ 425w, 1TB Hitachi - FreeNAS 0.69 on 256mb CF

  15. #14
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    25
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: Media Center Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by s_kinton View Post
    Definitely upgrade the gfx card to offload the HD playback, the AMD 3xxx series would be best I believe.

    Have a look at TunerFree MCE which integrates all the UK on demand services into media centre i.e. iplayer, 4OD, ITV etc. Very good program.

    For blu-ray playback look at the Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre software which integrates directly into media centre or PowerDVD version 9.

    AnyDVD HD is also a must to remove any messing about with HDCP, BD+ and region locking.

    I also recommend MediaBrowser to catalogue any recorded movies, TV series or DVDs stored on your HDD. Looks great with the coverflow theme.
    Very useful post there - I didn't know about TotalMedia. I'm fed up of having to use separate app for Blu-Ray. Thanks.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Vista Media Center stuttering!!!
    By fishboy25uk in forum Help! Quick Relief From Tech Headaches
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 11-04-2008, 11:55 AM
  2. Graphics Card Decent Enough for Media Center?
    By MajorD in forum Graphics Cards
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 19-03-2008, 03:24 PM
  3. Vista Media Center and .m4v files
    By Jay in forum Help! Quick Relief From Tech Headaches
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-01-2008, 11:01 AM
  4. Codec for Windows Media Center
    By Drobbins in forum Software
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-05-2006, 11:31 AM
  5. XP Pro vs Media Center
    By myth in forum Software
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 21-02-2005, 04:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •