Question

Using old Desktop to play media on HDTV

I have a old Dell Dimension 4600 desktop sitting in storage. I was thinking of making use of it for playing HD movies on my HDTV. So i opened it up and it has currently 512mb RAM and on board Video.

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Answer
Try something newer

I just wouldn't use this system at all. Its too dated and the results would be lacking even if you got it all going. You already see the problem(part of it), the video card, finding a AGP capable one and you may at that cost. If you want to play, then consider anything you do in the long run would have best done on a PCI-e type based system. Offhand, having HDTV media can be done but overall if not pushed will work. However, I would think this is best with Vista or Win7 OS, if you use XP that may cause some hindrance. You may tweek XP just as much as finding the h/w. Also, if the HD content is provided by cable/sat you may have issues as well under XP as to the setup., etc.. In other words its not going to be as straight-forward as expected under XP. See the link below:

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Answer
Let me share.

I have this laptop (Lenovo y530) that you can look at the specs on. It plays HD over HDMI at full HD very well. Maybe you can get by with less but I can't tell what this PC has for the CPU and then we have that AGP issue.

While http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102851 is a nice idea, no audio over the DVI is a minus and I didn't find an AGP with full HDMI.

You may want to look again at the Apple TV then let the Apple TV do all the work and store your content on the PC without upgrading it!
Bob

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How about this?

how does Apple tv work? Will i be able to play downloaded stuff from my external drive? I think Apple only plays online content and itunes. I might be wrong.

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Good question.

But if I write one word I would be duplicating the web.

However I did write you could play content from the old PC which could have that external HDD. A P4 should be fine for this use with NO NEED to upgrade the machine (if we used the Apple TV for the HDMI connection for the TV.)
Bob

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The Apple TV and your content.

We have ways to deal with that. Apple does not lock you out of playing your content. Handbrake, iTunes convert or some zillion other solutions.

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Go with what you got...

If you like just attach the current Dell as is and see where it goes. I would still install the extra ram.Play with it and get a feel for what's required.

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