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Old 02-11-2007, 19:34   #1
stampax
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Using an old (ish) pc as a htpc

I have an oldish pc that I have replaced, so i thought id put it to use as a htpc to replace my xbox. I basically want to play divx movies and xvid files, music, and look at photos on it. What software should I use - the pc takes a good 30 seconds or more to load up, and i didnt want to leave it on all the time.... Any suggestions? Is windows media centre the best?
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Old 02-11-2007, 20:08   #2
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What are you going to plug it into? Plasma / LCD?

probably better of buying a Divx/MP3/JPG capable DVD Player like the Philips TBH.

If you want HD playback then you need a much better PC than I "guess" you have. I use a Dual Core 2 t5500 processor laptop with 1GB ram and dedicated graphics as a HTPC and sometime have trouble playing HD files depending on how they are decoded.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:50   #3
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No need for HD playback - would like but can't afford. Will be plugging it into a plasma.
Basically just want to make use of the pc rather than buying any new gear, and ideally don't want to have to spend anyadditional money (ie why im satisfied to not get hd playback)
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Old 03-11-2007, 11:28   #4
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Theres some new software from microsoft called microsoft home server which is designed to work on old computers. Maybe have a look at that, they had an article on it in pc pro or pcw a month back or so.

Seems ideal for you. Otherwise media center is fine for that kind of stuff as long as you have all the codecs install. the combined comunity codec pack 2 will sort you out for all the codecs you should need.

Also powerstrip may be needed if your graphics card wont do the native res of your plasma.
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Old 03-11-2007, 12:04   #5
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Check out MediaPortal. It's an open source media center kind of app.

There are some minimum requirements here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaPortal

There's a nice guide to setting it up here: http://www.projecthtpc.co.uk/htpc_hardware.html (though obviously that guy has more serious hardware ).
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