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Topic # 26948 8-Oct-2008 10:56
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Hi All, I was planning to build an HTPC, but due to some issue i cant build for sometime.
But i do have 2 old computers at home. One is just lying around and i dont use it at all.

The configuration of the unused computer: (of top of my head)
AMD Athlon 1Ghz, 32mb Nvidia video card :( , 512 mb RAM, ethernet card, onboard audio card (only stereo). I also have 2 wireless routers, so i probably will do the wireless bridging for the internet and LAN.

I was thinking of connecting the PC to the TV via VGA cable, and stereo output.
I was just wondering if it was possible to use this computer to watch movies and browse internet on my Samsung 46 inch LCD (its a full HD one).

just thinking if the computer is good enough power and resolution?

NOTE: i would mind buying some cheap stuff to upgrade my old computer for the above, hopefully which i can use later on with the HTPC.
Thanks in advance for comments or advice.


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  Reply # 169823 8-Oct-2008 11:50
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Theres no reason why you couldnt hook that upto the tv and play movies through windows media player etc and use internet explorer to surf the net.. however it will look pretty crude..

The answer your looking for is xbmc!! Blatant copy and paste from my other post:

For mp3s and videos i recommend XBMC (xbox media centre) it has been ported to windows and linux, is completley free and legal. It really cant be beaten, its been in development for over 5 years so its a quality product. you can download from www.xbmc.org, give it a try.. I recommend the aeon skin if you want a professional looking product:








With your hardware it is perfect for playing SD content as the original xbox was quite a bit under powered than your amd. You would get HD if you encoded your videos in the right format. All you need is a working copy of windows and a little bit of spare time to setup xbmc (not hard, takes a couple of hours max).
Also through xbmc you can watch youtube videos, quicktime trailers and a bunch of other stuff. Plus there are scripts that enable you to do heaps of other things



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  Reply # 169846 8-Oct-2008 13:01
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garvani: Theres no reason why you couldnt hook that upto the tv and play movies through windows media player etc and use internet explorer to surf the net.. however it will look pretty crude..

The answer your looking for is xbmc!! Blatant copy and paste from my other post:

For mp3s and videos i recommend XBMC (xbox media centre) it has been ported to windows and linux, is completley free and legal. It really cant be beaten, its been in development for over 5 years so its a quality product. you can download from www.xbmc.org, give it a try.. I recommend the aeon skin if you want a professional looking product:

With your hardware it is perfect for playing SD content as the original xbox was quite a bit under powered than your amd. You would get HD if you encoded your videos in the right format. All you need is a working copy of windows and a little bit of spare time to setup xbmc (not hard, takes a couple of hours max).
Also through xbmc you can watch youtube videos, quicktime trailers and a bunch of other stuff. Plus there are scripts that enable you to do heaps of other things


Brilliant. Thanks for the info. Just wondering about the picture quality? Do you think its worth buying a cheap PCI video card for my system for a good output?And you think the old sound card is good enough?
what do you mean by SD content? standard definition!!Also wat format does the vidoes needed to be encoded for good output?
Sorry about all the questions.By the way, i will download the XMBC and look at the skins and play around a bit. Will be bit of experience for my future HTPC. Thanks heaps.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 169849 8-Oct-2008 13:07
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An old PC should play SD videos perfectly fine i would say. Give it a go, with XBMC you should be pretty happy with the result, and remember that its been made out of old parts and hasnt really cost you anything at all.

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  Reply # 169857 8-Oct-2008 13:34
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I have a crappy old Pentium 3 900Mhz, 256MB Ram, onboard everything and it plays xvid avi files, dvds, cds & mp3s etc just fine. Navigating around and loading software is a little slower than my quad core lol, but it works fine. I output it via vga to my projector and it looks great.

Agree with garvani & eXDee, chuck on XBMC and any relevant codecs (could just use a codec pack in this case?) and go for it :)

If only XBMC did HDTV & BluRay, Id be there too ;)




HTPC: Silverstone Crown CW02 case | Asus P5Q-L main board | Intel Dual core E8400 3.0GHz CPU | Thermalright Ultra120-Extreme Passive CPU Cooler | Blackgold BTG3540 TV Tuner & Hauppauge PVR-150 MCE Edition | Asus EN9600GT-Silent Passive GPU | 4GB Supertalent DDR2 800 RAM | 5+TB HDD space | LiteOn DH-401S BD/DVD/CD reader | Corsair HX-520w PSU | 1 single Noctua Silent Case fan | Logitech diNovo Bluetooth Media Desktop | Logitech Harmony 785 Universal Remote | Logitech Wireless Rumblepad 2 | Windows 7 Media Center, MediaBrowser & Arcsoft Total Media Theatre



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  Reply # 169860 8-Oct-2008 13:47
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Asmodeus: I have a crappy old Pentium 3 900Mhz, 256MB Ram, onboard everything and it plays xvid avi files, dvds, cds & mp3s etc just fine. Navigating around and loading software is a little slower than my quad core lol, but it works fine. I output it via vga to my projector and it looks great.

Agree with garvani & eXDee, chuck on XBMC and any relevant codecs (could just use a codec pack in this case?) and go for it :)

If only XBMC did HDTV & BluRay, Id be there too ;)

Thank guys. I will give it a try tonight and let you know.Just the last things, could you tell me what codec pack to use? any links?And is there a setup guide for the XBMC? or Do i need one? (as i have never used it before)

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  Reply # 169865 8-Oct-2008 14:00
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Xbmc will play any just about any file type. Anything you download off the net will be no problems. Ffdshow is all you will need for codecs for what you want to do, get that here (don't install any other codec packs as they just confuse the issue..)

Xbmc manual can be found here It has everything you will need to know!

Your system will be fine as is, the picture quality will be great (all depending on what quality the video is that your trying to play), as stated dont expect to jump into the high definition world thats all





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  Reply # 169867 8-Oct-2008 14:07
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garvani: Xbmc will play any just about any file type. Anything you download off the net will be no problems. Ffdshow is all you will need for codecs for what you want to do, get that here

Xbmc manual can be found here It has everything you will need to know!

Your system will be fine as is, the picture quality will be great (all depending on what quality the video is that your trying to play), as stated dont expect to jump into the high definition world thats all




Thanks heaps. Not expecting anything like HD. As long as the videos play similar quality as they are on my computer, i will be more than happy.

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  Reply # 169870 8-Oct-2008 14:10
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it won't be any different to how it plays on your pc so dont worry.



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Reply # 170082 9-Oct-2008 10:08
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garvani: it won't be any different to how it plays on your pc so dont worry.

Hi, just wanted to let you guys know. The old computer works fine with the TV. The maximum resolution my video card can give is 1920*1080, which is what my TV supports too .
Now i just need to install the XBMC and play around with it, and ill be set.
Thanks again.

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  Reply # 170482 10-Oct-2008 19:13
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Does xbmc support our HD broadcast formats - that is the AAC-HE LATM audio?

Thanks




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 170547 11-Oct-2008 07:07
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It would play back any recordings you have. But it dosnt have a tuner (yet!, is coming).. Strictly a media centre at the moment.

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  Reply # 170576 11-Oct-2008 10:57
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Just did a quick installation. Plays the TV3 DVB-T broadcasts okay since they have AC-3 audio. But for TV1/TV2 no audio but I get audio using gbpvr. I suspect that's because gbpvr uses the open source Monogram AAC decoder that handles our audio format while the xbmc folks haven't incorporated that.  But from what I saw, really nice GUI (never played with an xbox so no previous expectations). 

The other issue would appear, it doesn't appear to leverage the GPU in the higher end video cards to handle decoding of H.264 video, something that is pretty essential to playback our DVB-T broadcasts.




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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