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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I'm new to the whole home theater experience (as you will note from the lack of essential goodies). However, I am something of a computer expert, but from what I have read, I need to learn a few tricks in order to use my panny TH-42PX60U with a computer. So a couple of questions.

1. If I build a PC with a GEFORCE 8800GTS will I be able to use a DVI to HDMI adapter to use my tv as my monitor?
2. Is there a better video card out there that I should be considering?
3. What will I need to do to get it working? I've read that for ATI, they have a "catalyst control center" that allows you to tweak their cards to output the best signal?
4. I was thinking of going with Vista 32bit. Any reason I shouldnt?
5. Aside from buying a better TV, I am open to any computer set up that will let me use my computer on my tv for movies, computing, etc.

I really appreciate your setting this HT newbie straight!

~DMac~

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TV: Panasonic TH-42PX60U
Receiver: Harmon Kardon AVR 140
Speakers: Two Paradigm Titans v4.0
DVDR: Philips DVDR80
 

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That is a good card (nVidia chip family). Be sure it has HDCP (I think it does) so it will make various hi def DVD (HD DVD and Blu-ray) players happy.

The DVI to HDMI adapter will work fine.

nVidia also has a control center thingy that gets installed for user tweaking, etc.

Vista 32 should be even better since nVidia is more up to date with Vista drivers than legacy XP drivers. Better DirectX ver 10 compatibility.

You most likely will need to run a S/PDIF (coax or optical Toslink) from your computer to your AVR (Audio/Visual Receiver) or 5.1 computer speakers (like Logitech, etc) for sound. Sometimes the coaxial S/PDIF is on a 1/8" subminiature jack for the computer sound card -- check your computer sound card docs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice Bob and Mazstyle. I am interested in playing games (the Witcher comes to mind). Mind you, I haven't played pc games since Warcraft III (2002). Since then I switched to console games but am ready to give it another shot on the pc.

I read a decent article about HTPC's which included info about motherboards et al but it was written a year and a half ago.

A co-worker suggests I build ground up from parts. He has the know how but not specifically about HT. I'll read around the board a bit and see if I can piece a few more clues together.

I'm especially worried about my tv. Seems like it could be the weak link. I'd hate to invest $2k in a pc only to have it fall short of being brilliant. Course it will be put to all sorts of good use but if its as simple as following a few guidelines, I'd do it for sure. I want to load it up with blue ray and was originally hoping to find a video card with true HDMI out but my co-worker said that DVI should be fine since they are both pure digital signals. Still, I can only imagine how finicky my tv will be.

Thanks again for the support!

Cheers,
DMac
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
What kind of TV do you have? I'm still fairly new to this HTPC thing as well, and I'm currently in the build stage, My goal is a HTPC/Gaming rig, my budget is about $1000. So far I've got,

Ga-g33m-s2h Mobo (link above)
2gb Ballistix pc-6400 (800mhz) ram
E8400 Pentium Dual core cpu
Aspire X-Qpack case w/420w psu
500GB western digital HD
Asus P7131 video capture card (just got last night)
Creative SPDIF module for digital surround.

That system right there is a pretty good HTPC, The 2 other things I plan to get are a Blu-ray drive and a good video card (8800 gt)

EDIT: I'd just like to add why I'm going this route, The onboard HDMI is just a nice option and add's a certain portability for the HTPC side thats also why I'm choosing a Micro ATX board. The reason for the SPDIF, is my amp does not have HDMI, so I have to use optical or coax, I'm just keeping my options open!
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Maz,
Here is my HT equipment list so far, as paltry as it is. I am psyched though because I am taking note of all the cool stuff people are buying for their systems and I might even be able to afford an item now and then! W00T!
DMac

TV: Panasonic TH-42PX60U
Receiver: Harmon Kardon AVR 140
Speakers: Two Paradigm Titans v4.0
DVDR: Philips DVDR80
 
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