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Using Your PC to Create an Incredible Home Theater System : Technology in Action - Jeff Govier

Using Your PC to Create an Incredible Home Theater System

Technology in Action

Paperback Published: 15th November 2002
ISBN: 9781590590577
Number Of Pages: 312

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Use Your PC to Build an Incredible Home Theater System is meant for those home theatre enthusiasts with some working knowledge of personal computers (PCs) who want to create the ultimate home theater experience. A Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC) is basically an ordinary PC used in conjunction with a high-definition-capable television, monitor, or video projector, and a sound system. The book is laid out chronologically and follows the authors' activities as they assemble two HTPC systems, starting with a detailed background of video and audio technologies to help readers understand what the HTPC can do. An HTPC can do much more than play DVD movies on a HDTV-ready television. The convergence of computers and digital entertainment formats means that the PC platform is well suited to reproducing audio in many formats, including converting older analog recordings to digital. It is also great for capturing and editing home movies, implementing a personal video recorder, creating slide-show presentations with digital pictures, videoconferencing, and much more. Use Your PC to Build an Incredible Home Theater System will show readers how to set up an HTPC for the most complete home theater experience available. Bart Farkas is the author of over 45 computer books and video/computer game strategy guides. Bart lives with his wife, two sons, and a pair of fuzzy kitties in fabulous Calgary, Canada. Jeff Govier is a computer software developer and PC hobbyist with more than 10 years of experience in the high-tech industry. He is the coauthor of two PC hardware guides and is a home theater enthusiast. The evolution of the PC into a home entertainment center is a subject for which he has been waiting many years.

Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. xvii011
Videop. 3
Televisionp. 4
A Little Television Historyp. 4
Television Signal Deliveryp. 7
How Televisions Workp. 10
The Future of Televisionp. 17
VHS and Betamaxp. 20
How VCRs Workp. 22
DVDp. 23
DVD Historyp. 25
How DVD Worksp. 26
Laserdiscp. 27
Video CDp. 28
Home Video and Video Editingp. 29
Analog/Digital Camerasp. 29
Summaryp. 30
Home Theater PC Usesp. 33
Improving Picture Qualityp. 34
Converting Interlaced Video to Progressive Scanp. 35
Image Scalingp. 36
The HTPC Advantagep. 36
Improving Audio Qualityp. 38
Digital Soundp. 38
CD Audiop. 39
Networking the HTPCp. 39
A Media Playerp. 40
Internet Accessp. 40
Communicationp. 40
Gamingp. 41
Using an HTPCp. 41
Playing DVD Moviesp. 42
Using the HTPC As an Audio Jukeboxp. 45
Using the HTPC As a Television Tuner and HDTV Tunerp. 52
Using the HTPC As a Digital Video Recorderp. 54
Editing Videop. 57
Viewing Slide Showsp. 58
Videoconferencingp. 60
E-mailing and Web Browsingp. 62
Playing Computer Gamesp. 64
Summaryp. 66
Audio Specificationsp. 67
Audio Terms and Techniquesp. 67
The Digital Erap. 68
Why Is Digital Storage Better Than Analog?p. 69
Digital Compressionp. 72
A History of Home Theater Audiop. 72
Surround Soundp. 73
How Important Is Surround Sound?p. 74
Surround Sound Becomes Digitalp. 75
Dolby Digital 5.1p. 76
Digital Theater Soundp. 77
Pure Audiop. 80
Predigitalp. 80
Digital Convergencep. 82
New Audio Formatsp. 83
The HTPC Sound Systemp. 84
Meeting Specificationsp. 85
Using an External Digital Decoderp. 86
Creating an HTPC for High-Quality Soundp. 88
Summaryp. 88
Hardware Componentsp. 89
Home Theater PC Video Cardsp. 91
The Video Connectionp. 91
Compositep. 92
Componentp. 93
Video Card Featuresp. 95
Hardware Video Assistancep. 95
Gamingp. 95
Capturing Videop. 96
Tuning Televisionp. 98
Fan Noisep. 98
Driversp. 99
Video Outputp. 102
Component Videop. 102
S-Videop. 106
Composite Videop. 107
Television Tunersp. 108
HDTVp. 108
NTSC Televisionp. 110
Common Television Tuner Featuresp. 110
Television Tuners and Digital Satellite or Digital Cable Servicep. 111
The HTPC Project Hardwarep. 112
HTPC System 1p. 112
HTPC System 2p. 115
Summaryp. 118
Home Theater PC Audio Cardsp. 119
Choosing a Sound Cardp. 119
DVD Videop. 120
High-End Sound Cards: DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, and Other Future Audio Formatsp. 121
Midrange Sound Cards: CD Audio and Other Stereo Formatsp. 124
Sound Cards for Computer Gamesp. 126
AC '97p. 127
Special Considerationsp. 127
Digital Audio Coaxial Output Line Voltagep. 128
When 24/96 Is Not Equal to 24/96p. 129
External Audio Hardwarep. 129
Integrated Sound Hardwarep. 131
Remote Controlsp. 131
MIDI Connections and Synthesized Musicp. 132
Connecting Audio from the HTPC to the Home Theaterp. 133
The HTPC Project Hardwarep. 135
HTPC System 1p. 135
HTPC System 2p. 137
Summaryp. 138
Video Capture Devicesp. 139
Digital Video Recordersp. 139
What Makes a DVR a DVR?p. 140
DVR Features/Benefitsp. 141
Advantages of DVRsp. 146
The HTPC DVRp. 146
Video Editingp. 152
Importing Video into the HTPCp. 152
Editing Videop. 156
Summaryp. 162
Home Theater Remote Controlsp. 163
Wireless Keyboard and Mousep. 164
Universal Remote Control with an IR Receiver Connected to the HTPCp. 166
PC Remote Controlp. 168
Desktop Sharing: Remote Access Softwarep. 170
NetMeetingp. 170
Virtual Network Computingp. 171
The HTPC Project Hardwarep. 172
HTPC System 1p. 172
HTPC System 2p. 174
Summaryp. 175
Additional Hardware Requirements and Putting It All Togetherp. 177
Additional Hardware for the HTPCp. 177
The Central Processing Unitp. 178
Random Access Memory and Motherboardsp. 181
Hard Disk Drivesp. 182
Other Devicesp. 185
Computer Casesp. 189
Coolingp. 190
Assembling an HTPC: A Few Key Proceduresp. 191
Installing or Upgrading an AGP Video Cardp. 193
Connecting a VGA-to-Component Transcoderp. 200
Installing or Upgrading a Sound Cardp. 202
Connecting a Sound Card to an Audio Receiverp. 208
Installing USB Devicesp. 210
Operating Systemsp. 211
Windows 98 and Windows Mep. 212
Windows 2000 and Windows XPp. 213
Networking an HTPCp. 214
Network Hardwarep. 214
Network Softwarep. 216
Network Securityp. 219
The HTPC Project Hardwarep. 220
HTPC System 1p. 220
HTPC System 2p. 222
Summaryp. 224
Software and Other Solutionsp. 225
The Softwarep. 227
Utilitiesp. 228
Video Utilitiesp. 228
Remote Control Software Utilitiesp. 234
Applicationsp. 237
Media Playersp. 237
Media Recordersp. 243
The HTPC Project Hardwarep. 248
HTPC System 1p. 248
HTPC System 2p. 249
Summaryp. 250
The Power of PowerStripp. 251
PowerStripp. 251
Video Resolution and Bandwidthp. 252
PowerStrip Settingsp. 253
Summaryp. 260
HTPC Systems Wrap-Upp. 261
Results and Conclusionsp. 263
Hardwarep. 264
HTPC System 1p. 264
HTPC System 2p. 265
Softwarep. 266
HTPC System 1p. 266
HTPC System 2p. 269
Conclusionsp. 271
Did We Achieve Our Goal of Getting Better DVD Playback?p. 271
Is the HTPC System As Convenient and Full-Featured As We Thought?p. 271
What Features Were Most Important and Least Important?p. 272
Summaryp. 273
Online Resourcesp. 275
HTPC Retailer Web Sitesp. 275
HTPC-Related Web Sitesp. 275
Other Important Web Sitesp. 276
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781590590577
ISBN-10: 1590590570
Series: Technology in Action
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 15th November 2002
Publisher: Apress
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.52 x 18.75  x 1.93
Weight (kg): 0.63