View Full Version : So who's done what I want to do

27th November 2001, 22:47
I would like to build a dedicated divx machine. It would be running a thlon 900 mhz, a lot of RAM. I was wondering what video and sound cards you would recommend. I have been looking into the new soundblaster audigy platinum sound card and the ati all in wonder radeon video card. Any suggestions would be great.

Also, how would I go about reproducing surround sound effects if the divx files I have are only in stereo. I would love to hook this up through my dobly 5.1 receiver. All or any suggestions on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

28th November 2001, 04:17
I guess no one has. Ok, what is the best configuration for optimal playback, both sound and video, including software and hardware?

28th November 2001, 06:22
you should read through the forum a bit before crying for help.

e.g. have a look at this (http://rilanparty.com/vbb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8091).


28th November 2001, 07:16
Relax buddy, just asking a few questions. I do look around, and I happened to miss that thread. Just want some advice, can't kill me to ask.

28th November 2001, 11:14
My recomendations.

the slowest duron you can buy (was an 850 for me)

elite groups (pc chips) motherboard with sis 735 chipset - very
stable very cheap.

a very nice looking case - no point having a crusty grey case sitting next to all you sexy home theatre gear.

any video card which can boot to tv out (i have an old asus tnt2)

an optical mouse so you can use it on your carpet, or a remote control - have fun dude

256 meg of ram - no point wasting money on unused ram

a sound card with spdif output so you can run it into a digital decoder.

any resonable dvd drive should do

no floppy drive - why waste power

and if possible get a 230watt atx psu with temperture controled fans.

oh and a sub 3500 rpm cpu fan.

28th November 2001, 11:50
about stereo/dolby surround: if you make your rips according to my guides, all you have to do is to connect your soundcard (set it to 2 channel mode if it can do more) to a dolby surround capable receiver and activate dolby surround decoding on the receiver and off you go... 4 channel audio out of 2 discrete channels. Of course, the quality isn't as great as when you have a discrete source (2+ channel AC3) but better than having sound from only 2 speakers.

I think all dolby digital capable receivers can also decode dolby pro logic, but sometimes only on certain inputs (make sure you connect the pc to an a/v input and you should be fine).

As for the soundcard.. depends if you really need an audigy. It's a very high quality soundcard with high sampling rate and neat features (firewire rules ;). But.. it's also not that cheap, especially not if you get it with one of the extra boxes that give you digital i/o... though you can get the hoontech card for 35 bucks if you can live having the extra connectors on the back of your pc.

However, do NOT get a 230W PSU.. eventually you will want to upgrade... and 230W isn't enough for P4 / Athlon > 1.0GHz.

When you say dedicated divx machine.. do you mean for playback only or for encoding too?

29th November 2001, 06:14
Well, here's what I have purchased and/or have already. Asus Av7 motherboard with 256mb ram, athlon thunderbird 900, soundblaster audigy platinum sound card, ati all in wonder radeon video card, 40 gig 7200rpm hard drive, 52x cdrom(not sure I want to go to DVD yet since I have a dvd player in my home theater), floppy drive, case w/300 watt power supply.

I have been thinking about toying with dvd ripping but am not sure the best software and I haven;t had the time to read the many online giudes yet. If I did decide to get a dvd, any recommendations? Thanks for all the help.

2nd December 2001, 02:39
The reson for the 230watt psu is to keep noise down (even my temperture controled 300watt psu is very auidable), and in my situation a 230watt psu is enough to run a duron 850 + 1x dvd rom drive, 1 x video card, 1x hdd, and 1x sound card.

However this machine is for divx playback only and ofcourse if you intend to upgrade this machine to an athlon or the like then please do get a 300watt psu minimum.

7th December 2001, 05:01
I have been running a dedicated divx computer for about a year now.
somethings to think about so you dont get headaches.
Good cdrom. dont recommend a cheap one.
I use teac 40x and they can play without any stuttering.
low noise too.
I use Athlon 1200 mhz because I dont think they cost to much anyway.
a geforce 2 mx 200 with tv out with BT chip.
A sb audigy.
I used sb live player before and hoocked it to my ac3 decoder and it works like a charm.
dont hear any diffrences on dolby digital sound because its just a pass throo and you will want to have AC3 divxs anyway I guess.
so I would go for a spblive not a audigy.
128 mb ram is more than enough to play divx with.
and hd is not a matter if your going to play the movies from cdrom.
a logitech cordless is not to bad for the mouse.
I dont use any monitor or keyboard for my system and it works like a charm.
and btw I have found a very quiet case 300w and cheap Ropla is the name of the brand.

hope this helped.

13th December 2001, 16:17

I generally agree with most of whats
been said - *however*:

1. Avoid nvidia cards - they have noticeably
worse colour reproduction than ati and kyro
products. Nvidias weak point is their rather
average 2D performance. If you not going use
3d apps that require decent 3d acceleration on
that pc you'll be way better off with the
radeon that you have.

2. Spend a bit of extra money on your cpu cooling
- you want it so u can't hear a thing. It is possible
to do this with an amd setup, but way easier with
a p3 setup (only time id recommend intel :). My
friends p3 933 system has no probs running high br divx.
Pay oparticular attention to dB ratings in
heatsink/fan reviews.

3. The PSU - darn noisy things they are... which
is why you should pick yourself up 2 *slow* fans,
remove the existing fan, then place one fan at the
bottom of the psu blowing air in and one where the
existing one was - this is much quieter. Don't
electocute yourself :))

4. Make your HDD quite - buy a [ quite ]new one,
put it into a casing or suspend it in ur case.

Hope you get some ideas

16th December 2001, 02:55
Well, thanks for all the ideas. I have successfully built a divx machine and I absolutely love it. I am running an athlon 900mhz with Asus A7v motherboard, 256 pc133 ram, 180 gigs worth of hard drives, ati all in wonder radeon, and sb audigy platinum. The case has 300W power supply, have three fans in it that are quite quiet. Also running windows XP and have bought a wireless keyboard that has a mouse built into it. Just point and click and the movie plays, can't beat it. I use bsplayer to play the divx files. If anyone has more ideas I would love to hear them. Always looking for ways to improve it. Thanks

16th December 2001, 04:10
Originally posted by yoshi98bc
Always looking for ways to improve it. Thanks

I've been working on a stand alone machine for a few days... The one thing that I (and my wife) really like about it is the ability to control it with the same remote that runs the rest of the AV gear. I found a Packard Bell Fast Media remote+IR receiver on Ebay for $15 US and used Girder (http://www.girder.nl) + the Igor SFH-56 plugin for emulating Windows commands. It's not 100% yet, but it's been a fun project so far.

16th December 2001, 04:54
Brandon, could you explain that a little more. SOunds neat. RIght now I use a keyboard to launch bsplayer and choose which movie I want to watch. Could I do that with what you have. Let me know how things make out.

16th December 2001, 06:29
Ok, lets see if I can explain this...

First off, I'd recommend picking up someting other than the Packard Bell Remote/IR receiver, as it has been known to be buggy for a lot of people. I have read many good things about the IRman receiver from www.evation.com/irman/ Check out the forum at www.girder.nl for more info on the preferred hardware IR receiver and general Girder info. Anyhow, I believe that IRman connects the same way the Packard Bell receiver does by connecting to a COM port.

After you connect your IR receiver, you'll have to set up Girder's hardware plugin to match whatever hardware receiver you're using. For example, I had to download the Igor SFH-56 plugin for the Packard Bell receiver to work with Girder. Note: after you enable your hardware plugin of choice, you'll have to <OK> out of the plugins window and then go BACK into the hardware plugins window to SET UP the parameters for your plugin. Finding the values for these parameters might be a pain, since there isn't much documentation on it. You'll have to rely on scouring the message board for that info..

Next you set up commands. This can be very confusing at first. After reading the ONLINE documentation (which was easier for me to understand than the included help file), I had a much better idea on how basic girder/windows commands work together. Downloading and importing a preconfigured winamp (.gxr) and messing with the included sample files was a lot of help, too.

Then, after making & testing your commands, you teach your IR codes to the specific commands. Click "Learn Event" and fire your remote at the reciever. The little green icon in the window should flash telling you that the receiver is receiving. Note: There is a checkbox in Girder setup that disables IR commands when Girder is the foreground window (to avoid sending commands when you don't want to). Just remember that when you're testing your final product. :) You'll also want to make sure that "enable input device (f9)" is activated and "Enabled" is checked by your command window.

I'm really impressed with how powerful this program is. Try out the "Capture" feature in the command tab. It will capture windows events, button clicks, keystrokes, etc. and ultimately allow you to tie them to a button on your remote.

Hopefully this makes sense and is of some help.

To answer the rest of your question...
Yes I have sort of figured out a way to open files with my remote. I created a command that executes E: (brings up cd window) then created a TAB command (for maneuvering through the window), then Up,Down,Left,Right and Enter (all keyboard cmds). Then I had to create a "Full Screen" (alt-enter) for the video player. Just for kicks I made an alt-f4 and system shutdown for closing stuff.

20th December 2001, 12:23
Also don't forget the most important part if you decide to do captures & use it as a PVR TiVO device, is a fast 7200 rpm hd & BIG. You wont have to use a vcr no more, I hate tape like I hate floppy disks. But who knows by next year the dvdr dropping below 300 it maybe the standard to think about to replace cdr. I've seen rebates appear in the 350 range recently already. Also you can use girder with Zoom player, so you turn the htpc into remote controlled movie player or use a infrared mouse.