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Thread: HTPC links&software resources

  1. #1
    Moderator dZeus's Avatar
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    Exclamation HTPC links&software resources

    There already is a load of information and software available online that is valuable for use in a HTPC. Here's a list of links and software, and if you know of something yourself, post it and I'll update the list in this post.

    Links:

    AVSForum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/index.php
    specifically their HTPC forum contains a lot of knowledge on non-SDTV output (HDTV, projector, etc):
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...?s=&forumid=26
    if you want to search their forums, be sure to search their archived stuff too:
    http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/search.php?s=
    http://archive2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/search.php?s=

    Doom9 forum: http://forum.doom9.org/
    while I don't think much of Doom9 himself, there are quite a lot of developers of interesting software hanging around on his forums, like the ReClock and some ffdshow developers.

    SPCR & Forum: http://www.silentpcreview.com/ http://forums.silentpcreview.com/
    When looking for information on quieteting down your HTPC, SPCR and its forum are very valuable resources

    HTPCNews: http://www.htpcnews.com
    has some reviews (though often contain a lot of 'marketing speak'), and has a cool gallery for showcasing your HTPC

    TV-Cards.com: http://www.tv-cards.com/
    UK site with reviews on tv-cards and related sw/hw.

    videohelp.com http://www.videohelp.com/
    aka VCDHelp.com. Contains a lot of user experiences on tv tuner/capture cards, as well as standalone DVD players.


    Software:

    ReClock: http://www.geocities.com/reclockfilter/
    the perfect tool for fixing microstutter as well as converting framerate of video from NTSC film to PAL

    FFDshow: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffdshow
    ffdshow is a mpeg4 decoder which can handle practically any mpeg4 format out there, as well as being a superb tool for post-processing video in any DirectShow graph you render.

    DivXG400: http://www.tac.ee/~prr/videoutils/divxg400.html
    easily add borders to video to underscan the video, for use when people hardcode subtitles into the overscan area (EVIL!).

    Girder: http://www.girder.nl/
    the ultimate RC configuration software
    Last edited by dZeus; 2nd August 2004 at 08:11.

  2. #2
    Super MURCer GNEP's Avatar
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    Spot on with SPCR - excellent place to help you make your HTPC as inaudible as possible (which from a personal point of view is important).
    DM says: Crunch with Matrox Users@ClimatePrediction.net

  3. #3
    Super MURCer GNEP's Avatar
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    And another: http://www.tv-cards.com/

    Not a huge amount on there, but there are some interesting UK-oriented reviews.
    DM says: Crunch with Matrox Users@ClimatePrediction.net

  4. #4
    mini MURCer greinedo's Avatar
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    I propose to add some other HTPC software :

    1) Zoom Player Pro:
    A very good multi-media player with easy filter graph building and DVD watching front end. It has also the great feature of continuous zooming the video surface (if overscan or black borders is a problem).
    http://www.inmatrix.com/zplayer/

    2) AnyDVD :
    A useful tool that let you remove (on the fly) region code and CSS protection of DVDs. Without that tool, protected DVDs stream cannot be processed with some filters like FFDSHOW, they have to be ripped then on the HD.
    http://www.slysoft.com/en/anydvd.html

    3) PowerStrip :
    When it comes to create timings for home cinema special receiver (projector, HDTV, LDC, Plasma) or in my case for a simple SDTV and a tweaked P750, this great tool is required.
    http://entechtaiwan.net/util/ps.shtm

    For example, my now stable software configuration is :

    Zoom Player Pro 4.0 for building the DVD playback graph :
    - WinDVD 6 video decoder filter
    - WinDVD 6 Abstract DMO filter (needed if using FFSHOW)
    - FFDSHOW 24/4/2003
    - PowerDVD5 audio filter
    - Reclock Audio renderer
    - VMR9 Video renderer Windowless

    I choose WinDVD video filter because of it’s sharp picture over PowerDVD and SONIC On the other side, I choose PowerDVD audio filter because it has more features compared to WinDVD (software DTS, Expanding 2 channels into 5.1, etc…)

    FFDSHOW configuration for movies on a SDTV is :
    - crop 24% (to remove black borders)
    - resize to 720x576 (Pal) with Lanczos method
    - sharpen with Asharp method default setup + HQ block filtering (for DivX, I remove the crop and resize)

    Release 1.4 of Reclock is now able to detect on which head of the graphic card the video is played. Doing so, the issue with the Matrox multihead cards is completely removed. On my P750, reclock 1.4 syncs the video stream perfectly on the second head.

  5. #5
    Super Hamburglar Mehen's Avatar
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    Found a cool site that explains all the 480i/480p/720p/1080i etc
    Good site to learn the basics about HDTV, and to help you decide what display to purchase for Home Theatre, etc.
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/hdtv_edtv.htm
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    Super Hamburglar Mehen's Avatar
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    Canuck Audio Mart

    http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/

    Hifi, Audio, & Home Theatre Classifieds for Canadians. I have purchased speakers through an ad on that site, great transaction. Knowledgeable users on the forums too; a great resource for anyone looking into making a hifi purchase in Canada.
    Q9450 + TRUE, G.Skill 2x2GB DDR2, GTX 560, ASUS X48, 1TB WD Black, Windows 7 64-bit, LG M2762D-PM 27" + 17" LG 1752TX, Corsair HX620, Antec P182, Logitech G5 (Blue)
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    Super MURCer Greebe's Avatar
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    For those wanting to get the most out of or getting it set up correctly here a few links that should be looked into. Most pertain to setup and analysis of sound systems and are quite complex, but that is only due to the extreme capabilities of this software. Suggest a decent calibrated microphone like the UMIK-1 from MiniDSP. Parts-Express and other vendors upto the top of the line (couple thousand) can be used. If it doesn't have a calibration file it's really not worth to use, but in some cases can be and even these can have a calibration performed ($100).

    Want to understand why your speakers may sound harsh, disconnected at times on certain music, hollow, boomy etc, it just doesn't sound like the real thing or for that matter close?...

    Room Equalization Wizard Powerful free software that is setting the standard. Works with MiniDSP products directly for processing averaged measurements into control of your speakers actively, also with the UMIK-1

    ARTA another powerful application where you can look at impulse and frequency response.

    With rePhase you can reconstruct the sound field either actively with software/sound card/pc or dedicated hardware like the OpenDRC or even correct the music track encoding the new version as another mp3 for example.

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi...ring-tool.html
    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

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  8. #8
    Super MURCer Greebe's Avatar
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    A free everyday parametric EQ for windows 7 and up

    EqualizerAPO

    Another very useful, multichannel, active crossover/equalizer. This one is very nice, but on the pricey side, $150

    Ultimate Equalizer
    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

    "Always do good. It will gratify some and astonish the rest." ~Mark Twain

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