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Is this enough for a HTPC?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, not really a full bore HTPC. But is it enough to do standard TV (no HD content), watch 480p streaming videos (Hulu, Crackle, other entertainment sites) and such?

Spare parts:

Compaq w/

Athlon XP 2600
2GB DDR 333
NVIDIA Geforce 5600XT (128MB)(AGP)
AVER Media TV Tuner (oldschool, PCI, but works easy and flawlessly)
Old 80GB Seagate HDD

It could play some old games too but mainly I'm looking into using it in a bedroom and was hoping I could set it up just like a TV except with maybe a Windows Media Center type program that would let me control it with the AVER Media remote control.

Thoughts / Input?!

(I won't be buying new parts, please don't recommend that.)
    
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post #2 of 23
i think it would work pretty well for a basic HTPC.
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post #3 of 23
good to go for standard def
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post #4 of 23
For SD content, it will work perfectly
    
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post #5 of 23
Looks like you're all set! Sometimes it seems like those old TV tuners work better than new ones... I still use my old PCI tv tuner, and I ended up selling my "new" one.
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post #6 of 23
Should be good even for 720p content.
I have a A64 3000+ with 512m DDR that churns through 720p without issues.

1080p rips have a few slowdowns, though. Since XBMC doesn't have hardware support I'm taking it as a CPU bottleneck.
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSXmike View Post
i think it would work pretty well for a basic HTPC.
I hope so! I've been using the AVER Media program (original off the disc that came with the tuner from like 2000 or whenever I originally bough it..) and it functions well as a TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hick View Post
good to go for standard def
Hrm, I do seem to have issues with Hulu for instance. It's not fluid at all in full screen @ 1080p.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DV9 View Post
For SD content, it will work perfectly
TV working well enough but like I mentioned above Hulu (and other streaming sites) don't do 480p very well full screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raiderxx View Post
Looks like you're all set! Sometimes it seems like those old TV tuners work better than new ones... I still use my old PCI tv tuner, and I ended up selling my "new" one.
I think you're probably right. I'm lucky enough that with Charter (my provider) they haven't gone completely digital as of yet so I get all the channels below 100! Plus I know some of the newer ones can be difficult of sorts, or so at least I've read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
Should be good even for 720p content.
I have a A64 3000+ with 512m DDR that churns through 720p without issues.

1080p rips have a few slowdowns, though. Since XBMC doesn't have hardware support I'm taking it as a CPU bottleneck.
720p content would be awesome. I don't know about the 5600XT though. I think it's pre-hardware level acceleration (driver wise), but I don't know for a fact. Speaking of XBMC, do you have any recommendations for a media center program? I've looked into Meedio and MeediOS but I don't think the specs would work well with it. Also I'm not sure if Windows Media Center (not the XP OS, but the actual program - like in Windows 7) works or is available for XP, but I haven't really looked into it yet.

I'm thinking a DBAN and fresh install might loosen the load some and stripping the Windows XP install would also help.
    
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post #8 of 23
I wouldn't count on fullscreen Hulu as it's fairly taxing on the CPU. Your GPU doesn't support hardware acceleration. Nvidia's actually pretty late in the HTPC game. It isn't until the 8400 GS (G98) and the G 210-GT 240 that they had full MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1 support on a discrete card. Meanwhile, ATI has had Blu-ray support since HD 2000.

I wouldn't recommend upgrading the build or replacing the GPU, though. You would be better served by a new, cheapie Zacate build.

Windows Media Center 2005 is what you're looking for but it's worlds apart from Windows Media Center in Windows 7. You're better off checking out free alternatives such as MediaPortal, GB-PVR, etc.
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post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post
I wouldn't count on fullscreen Hulu as it's fairly taxing on the CPU. Your GPU doesn't support hardware acceleration. Nvidia's actually pretty late in the HTPC game. It isn't until the 8400 GS (G98) and the G 210-GT 240 that they had full MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1 support on a discrete card. Meanwhile, ATI has had Blu-ray support since HD 2000.

I wouldn't recommend upgrading the build or replacing the GPU, though. You would be better served by a new, cheapie Zacate build.

Windows Media Center 2005 is what you're looking for but it's worlds apart from Windows Media Center in Windows 7. You're better off checking out free alternatives such as MediaPortal, GB-PVR, etc.
I should have said 480p, realized I put up 1080p...

That's good to know but I really don't want to have to purchase WMC2005. I'll have to look into MediaPortal and GB-PVR, thanks for the insight. Do you know if either are going to work well enough with my super-low specs?!
    
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GanjaSMK View Post
I should have said 480p, realized I put up 1080p...
Meh, even fullscreen 360p Hulu might be difficult. I remember having fairly high CPU usage on a Pentium E2160 1.8 GHz Allendale and I don't think it was doable on a Celeron 430 1.8 GHz Conroe-L and I believe both are faster than your CPU.
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