So I think that the next stage of my home theater development is going to be a computer addition to the system. I am currently a college student and only have a laptop for my classes. It's a pretty powerful Dell, so I'm thinking about just using that right now until I can really afford to plung in with an isolated HT PC. I already have a SP Audiogy 6 Channel Cardbus audio card for the laptop and an external hard drive for some storage, but am wondering where to go from here. I think it would be really awesome to have a tuner card to create a DVR. I also have plenty of movies downloaded and my video card isn't incredibly great, so I would probably have to get something else... What are you guy's suggestions? Should I just wait and do the HT PC by itself instead? What sort of costs am I looking at for that? Again, I'm new to this area of home theater, give me some insight!
Primarily the tivo/DVR stuff and then having an ATSC tuner to pick up some antenna HD... It would also be nice to just not have alot of the multimedia software on my laptop to free up some space and whatnot.
And then of course there's the "cool factor," which I somewhat want to admit to... it's just an awesome idea and few people I know have them =)
However, you are going to be limited by the laptop in what you can do. And if you are going that route, you will be spending a lot of money on cards and a decent video card. How will you be displaying the movies?
Right now on my laptop I'm using an Audigy 5.1 laptop sound card and then just s-video for the picture. I guess I just feel like I'm gonna be throwing this laptop out in a couple of years, so gettting an actual HTPC would be nice and then I'd have DVI-HDMI into the TV or possibly component... have to see what I have available