Home theater system?

Cimon

Distinguished
Aug 17, 2003
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18,510
I have a plan, a cunning plan actually, but I am trying to work out a few specifics:

I have a half decent main computer:
2200+ (upgrading to a 2500+ barton so so)
A7V8X (upgrading to a nforce2 board)
80 gig hdd (upgrading to a gig)
cd burner/dvd
Radeon 9000 64 meg
512 megs DDR333
19" monitor
ADSL

And I want to build a new system to replace my VCR, my old DVD (early DVD, limited fuctions, cost a bajillion dollars) and have it hooked up wirelessly to my main computer.

Here is my plan so far:

Use the motherboard and chip out my my main system and upgrade those, so:

A7V8X mobo
XP 2200+
512 megs DDR333 or so
80 gig hdd
Radeon 7500 AIW Pro or possibly the 9000 AIW Pro
Some tuner card
Audigy 2 OEM card
802.11a wireless
a DVD rom (I will be putting a DVD burner in the main computer)

Ok so once I get this built and pumped through my stereo and into my TV (BTW I have normal cable, about 70 channels). I will want to be able to record straight off TV; watch a channel while I am recording something on a different channel; pump mp3's from the main comptuer to the entertainment computer, and do this from my recliner using a remote (ATI)

Do I have to run an additional tuner card?
Will have I have to get a tuner card with encoding considering that I will only have a 2200+ in it (no multi tasking)


is this all possible???
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
The AIW cards will probably work fine for recording TV at medium resolutions. Since the system isn't going to be used on a computer monitor, medium resolutions are fine. You can find nice desktop style cases at newegg which will allow you to mount your system in the stereo rack, but some of the nicest designs for full ATX boards are still in beige, so you'd have to paint the case black to make it look ok. Oh, and Antec was supposed to be producing a full ATX desktop designed to look like stereo equipement, but I've not seen any on the market.

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Cimon

Distinguished
Aug 17, 2003
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18,510
Crashman,

I have noticed from alot boards and messeges that the ATI cards do a "fine" job at digitizing TV and such, would I notice a difference from the TV tuner or a VCR playing back from a recording when I run the cable through my computer with an ATI card.

My goal is to have to computer as "invisible" as possible, I want my fiance to pick up the remote and use it like a normal TV but with extras. Would it be possible to pick up a Haupauge (sp?) card and pump that through the radeon 9k I have now and it work just as well? (I have read that it does better recording, but I am still concerned about throughput) I figure that would force my hand to get a shiney new card for my "real' computer.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
At 480x480 you'd be hard pressed to find a significant difference in image quality between the recorder and a standard VCR. At 352x240 you'd get image quality similar to a VCR at "SLP" super-long-play speed.

ATI cards can record in 2 formats, the ATI format is more efficient for that card, but can't be transfered to a standard system. The MPEG2 format is easily transfered between systems and offers good quality but with more system overhead.

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