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What do I need to play HD files on my computer?

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Old 08-30-2007, 09:13 AM   #16  
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Default P4 1.7

Great discussion as I am trying to do the same thing with an old computer which I will replace soon and use the old one in the bedroom for movies in HD.

I have similar set-up with same ram and a P4 at 1.7.

Problem for me is I have an AGP slot card and I just got n up grade to a card with 256k, a GE force 6600 I think.
Computer out puts to 1080i projector but still hestitaes and freezes from time to time. I can still hear audio and eventually the video comes back but then freezes again.
I am sending signal to projector at 1080i from the card and the projector is set at 1080i also.
I know I need a better computer to do this but it would be nice to figure this out so I don't need to get 2.
SOme of the inexpensive computers out there are pretty powerful now
I saw an AMD dual core 400+ 2 gigs for around 500 bucks
What do you think of that power for the system ?

Thanks

Bill
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:25 AM   #17  
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One thing I left out was that the AGP slot is for 4X card and the card I have is 8X AND 4X.
It works a video card but not any different than I can see from my old MX/400MX which only has 32 megs on the card !

Thanks


Bill
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:34 AM   #18  
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It really depends what kind of HD files you want to play back. If the files are MPEG2 1080i, e.g. from US HDTV broadcast captures, then any AMD X (or a dualcore Intel) should give you more than enough horsepower for MPEG2 1080i.

btw if your files are indeed "only" MPEG2 1080i: a very good way to upgrade your older pc might be to get a MIT MyHD pci-card. It is also a very good hardware-playback device and it loads off all the MPEG2 decoding from the cpu, so even low end pcs can playback HDTV MPEG2 files. I have one myself just for playback, great piece of hardware imo.

If you have 1080 h264/avc files or you what to playback HD DVD/Blu-ray, well thats a different story.

Cheers
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:31 AM   #19  
My plasma is High Def.
 

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Default P4 @ 1.7 ( cont'd )

One thing I left out was that the AGP slot is for 4X card and the card I have is 8X AND 4X.
It works a video card but not any different than I can see from my old MX/400MX which only has 32 megs on the card !

Thanks


Bill
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:51 AM   #20  
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Thanks, I'll look into that.
I don't know what kind of files they are. It is video I download from internet.

Also, I send it to an Optoma DL79 as my viewing device. Any rec's there ?
It has component in, DVI-I in, S-video in.

Thanks


Bill
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:11 PM   #21  
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The files I would be looking at playing are in the computer on hard drive. Not sure what format they are in.
Also , I would like to play HD-DVD and send to projector for display.

Thanks again


Bill
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:30 PM   #22  
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Default PM from bertelectric

Quote:
Originally Posted by bertelectric
Hi

Thanks again for your inputs and answers. I do appreciate your time and effort.

An HD tuner card from MIT was recommended and I will lookinto it.

What about playing HD movie that I downloaded from the internet or was given to me oor I buy in The store and bring home ?
Let's say the movie is on the hard drive. How to do it then ?

My output device is an Optoma DL79 projector with HDMI, VGA and DVI-I and Component inputs. It is capable of 1080i res but when I send that signal, adjusting my video card to that res, and adjusting the OPtoma to display 1080, the image vibrates and is fuzzy. If I switch to VGA it is smooth ?

I have been very busy lately, but your site here is outstanding with so much good info.

One other thing, I am buying a reciver or separates for new surround system updating my old prologic denon. Do you have any rec's ?
THX better than Dolby digital ? I am looking at the Denon 4308ci or smaller versions for now.

Thanks
The MDP-130 MyHD card will work standard VGA. It has a connection to attach your video card output for feed through if you wish to use the projector for your PC monitor. That way your PC video resolution can be a standard PC resolution like 1024x786 or 1280x1024 (what I use) and you can set the video from the MyHD card to be either 720p or 1080i. There is a DVI daughter board that takes two spaces when used and it will do the same operation with DVI if your video card is a DVI. I use VGA myself.

I brought up the MDP-130 card earlier in this thread before you joined it. Here is a partial repeat:
Quote:
One solution would be to get a MDP-130 ATSC tuner card for your computer. It has onboard video and decoders that don't require a powerful computer to output HD because the computer CPU does not get involved with any of the decoding or video output. For more info see: MyHTPC

I have one of my HTPCs that has this card in it that is only a 866 P3 and it works perfectly.

The issue you will have with a card like the MDP-130 is when you download a video from the internet, if it is not a transport stream the file will need to be converted. I have several conversion programs that I use to make transport stream files out of other file formats. Once converted, the files play without any problems. The card will also play and upconvert regular DVDs also.
For a computer that is not too powerful, the MDP-130 card is a very good alternative and maybe the only alternative for studder free HD playback.

I don't have any suggestions on the sound system. We sell a lot of Sherwood-Newcastle, but Denon is not a bad choice.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:43 AM   #23  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bertelectric
Hi Again

Thanks for the info. There is a lot to digest.

I thnk the MIT card you are suggesting is good idea but if I read it right, I still cannot record from my satellite system. If that is the case, for me it would have little benefit since it already goes to the projector.

What I am really looking for is a way to play recorded HD ( not necessarily TV ) from the hard drive. For instance I have recorded versions of the " Earth " series which I would like to playfrom my hard drive but my video card stumbles and freezes. Sound continues but video locks, then unlocks, back and forth. Other non HD movies play great and the card is an old Ge force 400/440mx or something like that - - - only 32 megs on the board I think. I have a loaner card now, a Ge force 7300gs oc with 256mb and it freezes too, same story.
I don't want to throw a lot of money at this if the solution is a new state of the art computer. BTW, I liked your solution with the old computer. great for the app.
My old computer can still serve as a data storage site ! I have to review your article again. The card you recommended is primarily for playing back recorded HDTV in the "clear" ?
You already have an HDTV source so I can't think of another reason other than that.
Also, if you could, could send links on those video conversion programs.

Any ideas appreciated, great web site

Thanks
Ok, I think you are missing a key point here. The MIT card not only records OTA ATSC or QAM, but plays files from the hard drive as well.

Now concentrating on the "plays files from the hard drive" part the value of the card for that alone is its on card decoder. That means you don't need to have any different computer (assuming your current computer meets the minimum requirements) or modify your computer to play HD, other than the addition of the MIT card, of course. If you connect the output of the card to your projector via VGA and use a separate computer monitor for the computer screens, then the card will play any HD files on the disk that are recorded in the .ts (transport stream) or .vod (DVD) formats. The reason the files freeze now is because your computer is having to do the decoding and it is not powerful enough to do it. DVD files require only a fraction of the processing power that a HD file in mpeg4 or .avi would require as your computer confirms.

Now when you download files from the internet, most of them will not be in the the .ts format and they will have to be converted. There are several software packages that will make the conversion for you. They take quite a lot of time to convert so I usually will set them up to run overnight. So far I've not found any downloaded files (that weren't corrupt) that could not be converted to .ts files. .ts file will be the same HD just in a different format with different decoders required. That is what OTA HD is broadcast with. If you persue the MIT card, we can suggest the software needed for the conversion.

So what I'm saying is the card can be used to just play recorded HD from the hard drive on a very weak computer.

If you wish instant gratification of downloaded files and wish to play them immediately upon downloading, then you will need a computer that can handle the newer file formats without stuttering. That is going to mean a new computer and graphics card that will handle HDTV resolutions or at least resolutions that your projector supports.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:38 PM   #24  
What is HD?
 

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Originally Posted by Dare View Post
I had to do some upgrades before I could play HD DVDs smoothly. I ended up getting an Athlon 64 4400+ dual core with an ATI Radeon X1650 pro with built-in HDMI & HDCP support. I couldn't find a single piece of hardware that would take 100% of the HD decoding load off of the CPU.
The ati 2400/2600 cards will take 100% of the decoding load. Be aware though, the faster 2900 card will not, even though it is a faster 3d card. Only the 2400/2600 series have the UVD (Unified Video Decoder) which is what is responsible for fully decoding HD video.
nvidia 8500/8600 cards will fully decode h.264 only (not vc-1) so you may still need a decent cpu to handle vc-1 with nvidia cards (and I have yet to see a review where they got the 8500's working yet, driver problems). Likewise, the faster 8800's do not have this hardware.
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