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HTPC Laptop as HTPC?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by nOracle, 27 Dec 2007.

  1. nOracle

    nOracle Member

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    I was pricing up components for an htpc, when i realised I have a laptop sat in a cupboard that I only use when my main PC decides it doesn't want to play nicely.

    It's an Averatec 6220 that's about 3 years old.

    AMD sempron 2600+
    512MB ram 60GB hdd
    onboard graphics
    dvd +/- burner

    If I added a USB tv tuner (Hauppauge usb dual tuner) and another 512MB of ram, would this cope as a media PC?

    Also would it be best to replace the hard drive with a bigger or, or just connect an external usb one?

    I'll probably only use it for watching/recording TV and watching DVDs as my main PC will be in the same room and do all the PC type stuff.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    it would probably only barely cope with SDTV, wouldn't work for HDTV. does it have TV-out?

    TBH you're probably better off building a dedicated mediapc.
     
  3. OleJ

    OleJ Me!

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    Since a USB drive always is useful and a USB TV tuner can be re-used if you decide to build an entire HTPC anyway I'd say Go for it!
    HD is probably not going to run well, but I don't see why regular TV (mpeg2 feed) shouldn't play nicely.

    Since you're not going for HD with that laptop I suggest you wait with the RAM update and tweak your windows install instead.
    Disable any unnecessary services and items in the startup and you should be well set for trying out the laptop as a htpc.
     
  4. nOracle

    nOracle Member

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    Well i grabbed a tv tuner today andd had a go (I've already got a USB hdd). The laptop have tv out, but I was using a VGA connection. For some reason this cuased both the laptop and the secondry screen to display at 1024x768 instead of their native resolution (both 1440x900).

    Anyway, it worked, kind of. Running in a window was fine, but the audio started to lag by about 2 seconds once the tv was set to full screen. The default software also refused to tune into ITV but 3rd party apps found it without any problems. It all worked fine on my main rig (2GB ram and an athlon X2 6000+ running vista home premium so it'd not really suprising).

    So it looks like I'll be building a new PC next payday so as not to waste the £50 i spent on the tuner. I've got an athlon xp3500+ (64bit AM2) chip lying round from my last upgrade, is that more likely to be upto the challange?
     
  5. GiGo

    GiGo was once a nerd.....

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    I would of thought that chip would be fine. Get a semi decent GFX card in it and you'll be able to watch HD with that as well.

    Regards
    GiGo
     
  6. herbs

    herbs Nobody but us chickens

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    How would he add a gfx card as it's a laptop and a 2600+ is unlikely to have pci-e onboard to change the card.
     
  7. tm36usa

    tm36usa New Member

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    Confusing I know, but if you read up a couple posts you will see that the OP has decided to build a pc with a spare AM2 3500+ he has laying around. The graphics card would then be for a desktop and not a laptop.
     
  8. herbs

    herbs Nobody but us chickens

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    Yep completely missed that bit thanks for pointing that one out.
     
  9. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    3500 will be more than up to the challenge, i used one to run a dual-tuner system for a while.
     
  10. herbs

    herbs Nobody but us chickens

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    Oh I forgot to say I have 2 pvr/htpcs one is a duron 1.6Ghz and the other is a sempron 2800+ each with 4 tv tuners, all works fine upto 720p on hd stuff, but 1080 is beyond these.
     
  11. ryanjleng

    ryanjleng ...

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    I took a lot at your laptop spec.. should max out to 2GB Ram instead of 1GB total.

    sorry but the laptop vga is really crappy.
     
  12. nOracle

    nOracle Member

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    yeah, i never really looked at the gfx when i bout the laptop as i was in a rush to get a system before i moved away from hone for a job (which fell thorough 3 days before i was due to move).

    I decided not to wait till payday and treat myself to a new years present. Earlier i ordered a msi media live barebones system with a gig or ram and vista to add to the amd chip and 250gb hdd i already have. It should arrive friday and give me something to do over the weekend.

    (apologies for anny spelling/typing errors, I may have been drinking copious amounts of alcohol)
     
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