blu-ray compatible computer

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I've been wondering what combination of hardware (motherboard, video
board, etc) could be used to build a blu-ray compatible computer.

Not sure how much I would spend, but my sense is that I would build a
mid-priced unit.

My use would be general purpose with minor gaming use. I would desire
to use WinXP pro, if possible.


Re: blu-ray compatible computer wrote:
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I went to the HP site, and their Home/Home Office section, and
tried customizing their m9400z computer ("entertainment powerhouse - base
price $599.99). Changing the Primary optical drive, to a
Blu-ray player and Super-Multi DVD burner, raised the price
to 699.99. But then, the customization tool complained that
the default video card was not a good choice. Selecting
the "256MB NVIDIA GeForce 9300 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter"
card, instead of "128MB NVIDIA GeForce 9300 [DVI, VGA]"
for an extra $20, made the selector tool happy. That tells
me, that playback of Bluray movies, requires a video card
with HDMI output plug.

HDMI is a digital standard for connection to a display device.
It includes a feature called HDCP. HDCP allows the data on the monitor
cable to be encrypted, which means a "pirate" cannot copy the
image sent down the cable, and that is supposed to prevent
high definition movies from being pirated. The Vista operating
system is undoubtedly set up to reduce the resolution of the
displayed movie, if the HDMI/HDCP path is not available.
This is something you should research and understand.
Presumably the reason for having a Bluray disk, is
high resolution, and Vista isn't likely to give that to you,
without a protected output path (HDCP).

So the first thing you need to do, is check the specs
for your movie display device. If it has an HDMI connector, chances
are it is prepared to use HDCP and keep Vista happy. If it has
a DVI connector, you can use an HDMI to DVI adapter (or the
video card already has a DVI connector). But if the display
has a DVI connector, you need to verify by looking at its
spec sheet, that HDCP is included. HDCP is optional with DVI.

A forum like this, is another place you can look for
help on setting up a home theater, or picking components
for a system. /

You also have to consider the software side of things,
like what player software to use (I don't know what it takes
to play Bluray), or whether you should be getting a version
of Vista that includes Media Center. Whether that makes sense,
may depend on whether you're adding TV tuners to the box, and
using it for recording TV as well.

It is no problem building a box from scratch like that,
especially as you can select a motherboard with lots
of expansion slots for things like more TV tuner cards.
But the end price might end up being a bit higher than
going with a prebuilt solution. You can also select
a larger computer case, leaving more room for hard
drives, optical drives and so on.


Re: blu-ray compatible computer

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