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Help in choosing a HTiAB or HTPC

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arungj

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I have a Sony Vaio Laptop (basic soundcard, no 5.1 output), a Samsung LCD TV (1368 x 768) and a pair of Bose 2.0 speakers ;)

Am happy so far...good sound, can play HD off the laptop to the LCD (via VGA).

But I'd like to have surround sound ;)

I am thinking of the following options:
1. Home Theatre (say Philips or Onkyo)
2. External USB Soundcard + 5.1 Speakers

I am not sure if an HT can:
- Play HD (PC does ;)
- Be Upgradable (I can just download a new player for the PC!)

USB Soundard + 5.1:
- Not sure how the quality & performance compares
- How much cost difference?

Pls. let me know your thoughts n ideas to help me decide ;)
I'm really quite confused :D
 

thevortex

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I would say go with a HTiB because there might be many hassles that you may not want to take up right now when setting up a HTPC with your laptop as the base.

A HTPC will require a soundcard as well as an external amplifier which would, in all likelihood, be costlier than the entire HTiB. Your budget should determine this choice basically.

Like I said, if you are new to this, I would suggest a HTiB. As to which model exactly, there are experts here who can touch upon that. Good luck!
 

arungj

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Thanks thevortex!!!

My budget is 25K. I have been reading up about amps n avrs n stuff....but still very new to trying out something regarding HTs...

My big concern as regards HT is non-upgradeability (What happens when the DVDP cant play all those new formats? I cant just replace my DVDP in an HTiAB, right?). Also, how can I play HD formats (mkv or anything else which has 720 or 1080p) on an HTiAB?
 

madbullram

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Thanks thevortex!!!

My budget is 25K. I have been reading up about amps n avrs n stuff....but still very new to trying out something regarding HTs...

My big concern as regards HT is non-upgradeability (What happens when the DVDP cant play all those new formats? I cant just replace my DVDP in an HTiAB, right?). Also, how can I play HD formats (mkv or anything else which has 720 or 1080p) on an HTiAB?
Get a Media Player like WD TV or Pop Corn and be done :)

If you want True HD HTiB is not an option today you might have to go for good HTS
 

thevortex

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Thanks thevortex!!!

My budget is 25K. I have been reading up about amps n avrs n stuff....but still very new to trying out something regarding HTs...

My big concern as regards HT is non-upgradeability (What happens when the DVDP cant play all those new formats? I cant just replace my DVDP in an HTiAB, right?). Also, how can I play HD formats (mkv or anything else which has 720 or 1080p) on an HTiAB?
Its always a tradeoff, arungj.

If you are ready to invest a lot of time, effort and money, the HTPC setup is doable. And you can play pretty much anything.

On the other hand, with a fraction of the effort and even the cost you can setup a HTiB system and be happy with it. If your needs are tuned towards movies, that is.
 

arungj

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Thanks for ur replies!!!
I think you are right...a good HTiB could meet the requirement largely....

Assuming I had an external USB soundcard (with 5.1 output), would I be able to connect that to the HTiB and play 5.1 off my PC/Laptop?
Have been reading up about SPDIF, digital coaxial, etc....but not very sure if this works. Any idea?
 

thevortex

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Thanks for ur replies!!!
I think you are right...a good HTiB could meet the requirement largely....

Assuming I had an external USB soundcard (with 5.1 output), would I be able to connect that to the HTiB and play 5.1 off my PC/Laptop?
Have been reading up about SPDIF, digital coaxial, etc....but not very sure if this works. Any idea?
Please perish the thought of getting the HTiB to work with the PC. There are a lot many considerations that need to be borne in mind before going the HTPC route.

HTiB means that you would not use your PC or laptop at all. Of course if you want to use your PC as the CD/DVD player, then you come back to the subject of setting up a HTPC:)

In a HTiB you would have a DVD player which would do all those jobs.
 
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