My completed HTPC System pics

Apr 11, 2005
The computer is a Shuttle SK43G with a AMD Athalon XP 2500 processor, 1GB ram, 2 Maxtor 250 gig hard drives & DVD Burner.
The Tivo Unit is a Samsung DirecTivo with 2 tuners
The receiver is a Yamaha 5.1 channel
The 5 speakers are JBL Control series OneX monitors
The sub is a JBL Northridge series 10" 150 watt powered sub
The Keyboard is a BTC #9019URF RF Wireless USB Keyboard with Dual Mode Joystick Mouse
The handheld mouse is a Targus# PAUM30U RF Wireless Presenter
The gamepad/joystick is a Logitec Wingman RF wireless. I got it on close out for $18 so I bought 3 of them!
The TV set is a Phillips 32"

Both the computer and the Tivo are connected to the receiver via the SPDIF optical inputs.
The computer is not used as a PVR. I don't think there is a computer based PVR program that can beat the ease of the DirecTivo. I am not interested in burning TV shows to DVD. I can do
that on my main computer system in the other room if I need to. I have the output from the Tivo running to that system as well via a long AV cable.

The computer is hooked to the TV using the S-Video input. I have the resolution set to 1024x768 at 60hz. To make the text look better on the screen I am running a custom DPI setting of 105.

For software I'm using Meedio Essentials with the Meellow theme.

I hope to upgrade to a HDTV set sometime in the next year or so but I will probably be stuck
with using a VGA to component video converter. The computer only has a VGA out and I'm not too thrilled with the thought of sticking a new video card in the system.

When I do get a new set I would like to use at least 1024x768. I would appreciate any help
as to whether that will be possible with a CRT HDTV set using component input.

Nice setup.

What remote are you using to control everything?

As far as HDTV, if you're going to upgrade, why stick with 4x3 AR? If you're really loving CRTs, then I don't know if you can run 1024x768 through component. I think you have to stick to the 'standard' hdtv resolutions, ie 720p, 1080i, etc. Both of those are 16x9.

I'm planning an LCD HDTV for my setup, mainly because to save myself the worry of burn-in. I'm already paranoid someone will accidentally leave it on w/ my SDTV CRT, I can't imagine worring about a $2k hdtv.
For controlling the system I am using the Targus# PAUM30U RF Wireless Presenter Mouse and the BTC #9019URF RF Wireless USB Keyboard with Dual Mode Joystick Mouse.

For most uses All I heed is the handheld mouse. When I need more complete control I use the keyboard that I keep under the coffee table.

When I do upgrade to a HDTV set I was planning on going with a 16x9 widescreen model.
In the near future nothing will be in 4x3 so it would be pretty stupid to spend good money of a 4x3 HDTV set.

It was my understanding that 720p was pretty close to 1024x768 in size with the difference being that 720p is 16x9. Am I correct about this?

I just want to be able to run a higher res setting for the computer on the HDTV than 640x480 or 800x600 (whatever the widescreen equlivents are)
Most web sites today look like shit at low res settings on the computer. I'm assuming the same is true for HDTV.

It is not that I am in love with the idea of using a CRT set. It's just that the other options are still more expensive and they still can't match the quailty of CRT's.

I just want to be very careful in buying a new set. I doubt the guys at the local Circuit City or Best Buy would be too willing to bring a computer over to the TV dept and plug it in to test the input. Add to that the fact that a TV is a item that would have to be delivered so returning it to the store if it don't work out would be a major pain in the ass.
Yeah, picking a new set for HTPCers can be difficult, and you're right about CC/BB sales people - they're worthless. Try the avsforums for info about specific models.

720p is actually 1280x720, and uses a square pixel arrangement, like a monitor. So if you feed your HDTV w/ 1024x768, you'll get a horizontally stretched image (fat people land) - if it displays it at all. As long as you don't get an EDTV rated set, you'll be able to run a higher resolution.

I'd be surprised if the CC reps didn't let you attach a laptop to a TV - provided you follow the 'you break it, you buy it' addage. But you're right, they probably wouldn't be crazy about letting you attach a computer tower to their TVs - wires and all.

You're right to be wary about your purchase. With the 'new' nature of displaying computer outputs on HDTVs, manufatures don't advertise clearly what will work. For instance, just because a TV has DVI doesn't mean it'll work with a GFX card w/ DVI out. it might have DVI-D, which changes the rules (I can't remember off hand how though).

So narrow your choices down, and post on the avsforums to get input. Usually there's someone over there that has 1st hand experience with any given set, so you won't get speculation, you'll get answers - and when you're dropping a couple of k on a TV, you want good answers.

Oh yeah, check out the Olevia LCD TVs. They're really competitively priced, and have been getting good reviews. I have my eye on their announced 42" model...mmmm 42"...