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Using old laptop as a htpc

Wharfedale Diamond 11.2 Speakers

Dr.Lakshay

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Hello people,
I was wondering if I should get a dedicated blue ray player for my avr - Sony strdn 1080 or if I should use my old laptop as my htpc.
Since I have absolutely no knowledge with this regards, I would really appreciate any help and tips on how to squeeze out the performance from my laptop and play movies (main intention).
If I can play Dolby atmos movies from my laptop (lying unused) , I won't have to buy a blueray player.
My laptop has
intel i5 2430m cpu @2.40Ghz
6 gb of ram
And if I'm not wrong it has an inbuilt Intel 4000 series graphics card.
 
Last edited:

Kannan

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See if it has a HDMI port and it's audio/video capabilities
 

tusharshukla1991

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Most imp question are:
Are you going to play ripped movies from HD or play bluRay discs?
Is there a bluray disc driver present on the laptop?

If you are going to play stored movies then go ahead, connect the PC via hdmi and try to play some movie (send audio in bitstream)

If you are going to play BRdiscs then first check if there is a BR driver and if it is working properly else you need to get one and I'll say buying a new BRplayer could be better than buying the BRdriver for PC.

If you are into DYI, check this
 

elangoas

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Dr.Lakshay

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Most imp question are:
Are you going to play ripped movies from HD or play bluRay discs?
Is there a bluray disc driver present on the laptop?

If you are going to play stored movies then go ahead, connect the PC via hdmi and try to play some movie (send audio in bitstream)

If you are going to play BRdiscs then first check if there is a BR driver and if it is working properly else you need to get one and I'll say buying a new BRplayer could be better than buying the BRdriver for PC.

If you are into DYI, check this
I'll be mostly using torrent downloads. I do have a PS4 for blueray playback. Though I have never tried watching a blueray through it as I haven't bought any blueray movie yet.
If your laptop has HDMI, then all you need is a media player like Kodi.. and make the right audio settings.. It will then bit-stream Atmos / Dts X to AVR.. Here is the link to the application - https://kodi.tv/
Thats what I wanted to know. Thanks. Have downloaded kodi.
Though there are more apps like plex etc. Which is best in your opinion?
 

MaSh

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Hey Hi,

Yes as FMs have mentioned above, if the laptop has an HDMI you can easily use it. The bottleneck would be that graphics card. Although you will be bitstreaming the content, the simple graphics and animations would feel jittery. Give it a shot, switch off all the services you do not need in windows. If you like it, then there is nothing better.

MaSh
 

VRavichandar

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I use a core2duo vaio as a htpc. You are better off! Except some heavily compressed 4k hevc rips most other media play fine.
Thing to check is whether your laptop supports HD audio. To do that right click on the speaker icon, sounds - select your sony avr and then on the bottom right hand side you will see properties - open that - select the supported formats tab and see dolby digital plus, DTS-HD, dolby, Dolby
True HD are listed - then you are good to go for all major sound formats
 

Dr.Lakshay

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Hello members,
I watched a couple of movies and though the surround speakers were working fine. What I did not understand was that the reciever display read PCM. what does that mean? Shouldn't it show Dolby atmos?
 

MaSh

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Hello members,
I watched a couple of movies and though the surround speakers were working fine. What I did not understand was that the reciever display read PCM. what does that mean? Shouldn't it show Dolby atmos?
That means the laptop is not bit-streaming to the receiver. Which player were you using? A very popular player is MPC-HC and I follow Advanced MPC-HC Setup Guide to set it up. You can go till the step you feel comfortable.

MaSh
 

Dr.Lakshay

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That means the laptop is not bit-streaming to the receiver. Which player were you using? A very popular player is MPC-HC and I follow Advanced MPC-HC Setup Guide to set it up. You can go till the step you feel comfortable.

MaSh
I used Kodi player. Will try the one you suggested. Thanks.
Though Could it also be due to the fact that I have not yet added a centre speaker?
 

MaSh

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I used Kodi player. Will try the one you suggested. Thanks.
Though Could it also be due to the fact that I have not yet added a centre speaker?
Nope, nothing to do with center speaker. If there is no center speaker, the receiver sends that channel to the fronts. I haven't had a center for almost 2 years now.

MaSh
 

elangoas

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I used Kodi player.
Shouldn't it show Dolby atmos?
Enable expert settings level on the bottom left hand corner of the screen in Kodi.. Once you do that, under settings, you will have more options under audio.. There select " WASAPI: your AVR name".. Enable "passthrough".. Also enable other features below like DOlby/DTS capable AVR.. You should then be able to see Atmos on your AVR display..
 

Dr.Lakshay

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Enable expert settings level on the bottom left hand corner of the screen in Kodi.. Once you do that, under settings, you will have more options under audio.. There select " WASAPI: your AVR name".. Enable "passthrough".. Also enable other features below like DOlby/DTS capable AVR.. You should then be able to see Atmos on your AVR display..
Thanks. Will try it out.
 

Dr.Lakshay

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Messages
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Location
Ghaziabad
Enable expert settings level on the bottom left hand corner of the screen in Kodi.. Once you do that, under settings, you will have more options under audio.. There select " WASAPI: your AVR name".. Enable "passthrough".. Also enable other features below like DOlby/DTS capable AVR.. You should then be able to see Atmos on your AVR display..
I found Kodi to be quite complicated. I don't know what happened or what I did wrong. But now Kodi I not playing videos. They are hanging and there is no sound output.
Ended up downloading potplayer and enabled audio pass-through and got DTS 2.0 written on the AVR. So that's it right? Or is there anything else to do?
Thanks for the link. Ended up downloading potplayer.
Which player are you using currently? Does MPCHC still stand at the top for you?
 

elangoas

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I found Kodi to be quite complicated. I don't know what happened or what I did wrong. But now Kodi I not playing videos. They are hanging and there is no sound output.
Ended up downloading potplayer and enabled audio pass-through and got DTS 2.0 written on the AVR. So that's it right? Or is there anything else to do?
Ok.. Have you enabled "expert" level settings in the Kodi media player?.. You may not have enabled passthrough under audio settings.. Could you please share screenshots of audio & video, kodi settings on your laptop.. Use imgur, image site to host pictures..
 
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