Finalizing HTPC

zachary80

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
Messages
2,745
Hey guys I just need a few pointers on finalizing my HTPC.

What I have:
42" panasonic 720p plasma
xp pro sp3
powerdvd 8
q6600
3gb ram
9600 gso, dvi->hdmi cable
game theater xp 7.1 with analog/optical/coaxial outs
onkyo 7.1 set up as 5.1 currently (has multichannel analog and the digitals, doesn't take hdmi audio)
logitech harmony 550

1) I need a blu-ray disc player. Amazon has a lite-on for $95, and I can get it for less on ebay using live cashback. Any problems with this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106227

2) My microsoft keyboard and mice combinations don't have enough range. I get maybe 3 ft out of them. I used my housemate's logitech PS3 mediaboard and got better range, plus it has a built in trackpad. I found it for about $40, are there any better alternatives?
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=204298690&listingid=24067421&dcaid=17902

3) I'd like to be able to use my harmony 550 to control at least the media buttons. I'm looking at just getting a cheap remote and using its receiver
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999190:

4) How do I set up the sound for this config? Can I run 5.1 over coaxial? Optical? Right now analog is picking up a nasty ground loop when I run it from the GTXP that I haven't sorted out. Lossless isn't of the most importance because it is basically a HTiB with AV123 XLS front speakers

5) Is there anything else I need?
 

Logan321

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
1,900
Ground loop is usually a floating input... try disabling your line-in and mic in the sound card settings. Leaving those inputs unconnected but enabled can cause a buzz or hum at higher volumes.

Having said that, I like the simplicity of running optical from the soundcard to the receiver directly and not messing with hdmi or whatever. My TV volume is permanently at zero, and everything goes through my receiver.
 

zachary80

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
Messages
2,745
Nope, already checked that. Disabled everything and disconnected all but the RCA outs; nothing helped. There is a slight buzz when using any connection, it seems that pc analog to receiver just amps it even more.

Right now I run everything through the receiver with the tv speakers disabled, I just wasn't sure whether the connection mattered for watching blu-ray off the PC

Does anyone have input on any of the other points?
 

LaChupacabra

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
251
If/when you switch over to optical that should elimate any noise between your HTPC and the Onkyo. If you're still getting it then you might want to have the Onkyo looked at.
 

zachary80

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
Messages
2,745
Bump to an old thread...

I got the hum worked out, it was a power problem with the house. I've set up a HT in a different room now

I've bought a Samsung bdp1500, so don't need a blu-ray

But I'm still looking for a good kb/mouse and IR receiver....
 

JenoSidhe

n00b
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
52
i got a dinovo media desktop set for like 40 at ebay used. i get easily 10 feet on the range but havent tried any farther.

for the reciever i went with tiger direct refurb Windows remote and ir reciever combo both were like 30ish together. have worked fine but i find myself with my current setup jsut using the mouse more than the remote.

that is probably because i am doing alot of converting right now though.
 

zachary80

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
Messages
2,745
I went with a PS3 mediaboard for $23....great range and battery life, built in touchpad. Only problem is that it doesn't have a windows key (I miss my shortcuts)

I guess that leaves me needing just the IR
 
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