Wednesday, January 5, 2011

HTPC - Home Theater PC - part 3

So the Mrs. gave me a new TV for Christmas...or she allowed me to get a new all depends on how you look at it.

So we got the new Panasonic VT25 the 58" version.

That is not the point of this post.

In a previous episode we saw the hero setting up his HTPC, sucessfully playing ripped Blu-Ray disks, streaming over a 100BT network card from a NAS @ 480P.

The real question was what happens at 1080P...well the answer is it looks fantastic! No heavier load on the processor, no network bandwidth problems, and it automatically set the output to 1080P once it saw the TV connected. (I know because the TV will show the resolution of the input)

So we (I) are happy with playback. But I will admit, the remote control interface is still rough. I am playing with the settings on the Harmony remote to get the most usability, but I haven't had much time lately to tweak it (especially since I had to reprogram the thing after getting the new TV and BD player).

I did find a webpage with all the codes the MCE remote will use, and the appropriate keystrokes here at Microsoft. I will work on that a bit more later.

However I was watching HD Nation (a video podcast on the Revision3 website...itself an offshoot of the TechTV/Screensavers shows, unofficially) and Robert Heron who has been building an HTPC for a while now showed an Apple app called Hipporemote. You install a (free) custom VNC server on your HTPC, start up the free app (there is also a paid version with more options), point it to your HTPC and you have a remote touchpad/keyboard. It works very well, is extremely useful! Using that app I was able to easily watch some HD Vimeo videos on the big screen.

So next...well this Panasonic is the 3d one, and came with glasses also apparently has the capability to play back MKV files directly to a USB HD...So I will be attempting addition I will be seeing if I can rip a 3d disk, and play it back directly on the TV using the USB HD.

But for now, other than some tweaking, I couldn't be happier in how things turned out.

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