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423 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 86843 14-Jul-2011 12:04
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I'm looking at buying an old laptop from trademe (probably with a broken screen) to use as a Mediaportal client on an old CRT TV.

Most of what it'll be playing will be DVB-S Freeview (so SD MPEG2). There might be some HD content, but I intend to transcode that on the server HTPC if the client can't handle it.

My understanding is that this should work pretty well. What I'm looking for is advice on how to find a laptop that'll properly enter standby and wake up quickly, isn't too loud and has decent quality TV-out (preferably component).

If anyone has done something similar, please share your experiences.

I'm also looking for suggestions on a good (but cheap) remote/receiver kit, preferably one that can bring the computer out of standby (if this is possible).

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2933 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 493278 14-Jul-2011 12:13
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You won't find a laptop with component outputs but you can buy VGA to component converters.
I wouldn't bother though just try find one that has s-video output if your CRT TV has s-video inputs.

DVB-S Freeview is just MPEG2 and no HD so pretty much anything will play it without a problem. It's the same video format as DVDs and I used to play DVDs on an old P2-350 way back when :D






423 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8


  Reply # 493290 14-Jul-2011 12:30
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S-Video will probably be fine.

Do you know if there's much difference in the quality of the S-Video output between laptops? How good is it generally?

I'm also unsure about what I need for sleep/standby (not sure which I need) to work properly. This TV probably gets about 1 hour of use a day, so don't want the laptop running 24/7.

2933 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 493374 14-Jul-2011 14:33
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There will be no difference in s-video outputs between laptops.

On a CRT it will be fine for video and should run at 800x600.
However the text in Windows will be pretty blurry so you wouldn't want to use the internet or anything on it.
Don't think there's anything special you need to do for standby, any laptop should be able to cope with that.






423 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8


  Reply # 493378 14-Jul-2011 14:42
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CYaBro: There will be no difference in s-video outputs between laptops.

On a CRT it will be fine for video and should run at 800x600.
However the text in Windows will be pretty blurry so you wouldn't want to use the internet or anything on it.
Don't think there's anything special you need to do for standby, any laptop should be able to cope with that.


Ok, thanks for the help so far.

I'm still looking for suggestions for a remote control + receiver.

It seems that the MCE remotes can wake up a computer (if the BIOS supports USB wake-up), so I'd like one with that functionality.

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