Will my HTPC be able to display Blu-Ray?

tommylikewingy

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I was thinking about getting a Blu-Ray drive to watch movies on my HTPC. Here are my current specs.

AMD Athlon 64 3000+
MSI MS-7145 motherboard
1GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT
Windows XP Home SP3

I want to replace the video card with this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102829

Will I be able to watch Blu-Ray movies with this configuration?

From what I have read, this card will handle the HD video decoding so it shouldn't matter what kind of processor I have. Will this work, or do I need to upgrade the processor as well?
 

Xenonvector927

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NO NO NO!!! Apparently Blu-Ray doesn't work with XP! You need Vista! It sucks, but that's the way it is. Maybe postpone your upgrade and wait for Windows 7, or buy Vista on sale. But don't buy a Blu-Ray player on XP! No! :pt1cable:
 

Helloworld_98

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the 7800gt probably doesn't have HDCP aswell so it won't be able to output the video.

also my PC which is slightly less powerful than yours can only just output 1080p video so I have doubts that if it did have HDCP that it could output Blu-Ray.
 

Xenonvector927

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Yeah. I agree. You might wanna go for a GPU with onboard HDMI, just in case. Oh, and if you want to get HD sound, you'll want to make sure that the motherboard has those SP/DIF or whatever you call them connectors, so that you can get 5.1 sound.
 

tommylikewingy

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Thats why I want to replace my current video card with the one I linked to above (Radeon HD 4650). From what I've read, you are able to play blu-ray movies if you have SP2 installed on windows XP. Is this correct?
 

Xenonvector927

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Oh, sorry about that. Oh, a Google search reveals that you're correct! That's good news for both of us! High definition... :sol:
Well, I'll be upgrading (or downgrading) to Vista (not *cough* legit *cough*) soon anyway, so either way, I don't mind. That must be a relief for you.
 

Axeon

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XP will be able to play blu-ray discs, you just need the right software, like PowerDVD. That 4650 has HDCP built in and would be perfect for a HTPC build. It'll take the load off the CPU when watching movies.
 

Xenonvector927

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Agreed. Although you might be able to use VLC or something instead. I think that some Blu-Ray players come with a software disk. My Mum's HPl laptop can read Blu-Ray, and it uses this big multimedia suite to read Blu-Ray, and I couldn't get it to work with Windows Media Player.
 

Crashman

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Yes, ATI graphics starting with the 2xxx series support HDCP. Cards from at least the 3xxx series even have a built-in audio codec for HDCP audio compliance.
 

specialk90

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I can speak from experience. I have that Blu Ray drive and XP.

The PowerDVD software is junk, especially the OEM version that comes with the drive. Quite a few people have had problems with it and have relegated to downloading cracked/pirated versions because some of PowerDVD's versions/updates cause problems with Blu Ray playback.

I highly recommend downloading K-Lite Mega Codec pack and installing the "Full w/ Media Player Classic". And also get AnyDVD HD so you won't have to update your software every time studios come out with newer BD+ protection. AnyDVD HD allows me to play my Blu Rays with MPC and it works far better than PowerDVD.

The 4650 is fine. Just try to find one that comes with either an HDMI port or DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

If you want DTS-HD and DD TrueHD playback, then you will also need a good sound card, something from ASUS or Azuntech and the ones you would need start at a little over $100. Otherwise, your sound will be reduced to DVD quality.

If this HTPC will be playing audio thru a stereo system, then you must upgrade the sound card to the $75+ level because everything lower, and especially the motherboard audio, will have noise and possibly crackle. I have a M-Audio external firewire professional setup with $250 Seinnheisser headphones and also a $75 creative sound card. The Creative sound card has some noise so that is why I recommend spending a little more money.
 

Axeon

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PowerDVD is good software but i use the Nero Showtime that I have in Nero Ultra 7, it has "hardware decode aceleration" as well and preforms better than PowerDVD with CPU usage wise.
 

tommylikewingy

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Thanks. I'm kind of in the process of piecing together a decent home theater PC. Now I have the video card and in probably a few months I can get the Blu-Ray drive. Within the next year, I hope to get a quiet HTPC case, motherboard and processor. The computer I am using now works, but it is big and loud. Any other recommendations would be appreciated.
 

Axeon

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Great! Are still going with AMD? Or Intel? For the case I personally have seen the Antec Fusion 430 and its a beautiful case. Heres a link
http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=NDk=

How fast is that processor? The Athlon 3000+? I'm planning a HTPC build too and i dunno if my proceessor can handle it lol. Also what sound card are you using? Thanks