/ Mini PC Hardware Help!

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MtnGeekUK - on 08 Nov 2012
HI all,

Am looking to buy a PC for using through big TV. As I want to use the HDMI connection in the back of the TV, I need to be able to plug in this one cable to provide video and sound from the TV.

Does anyone know of a PC with a HDMI out that will push video and sound through the HDMI?

It is possible to do both, as that's what my DVD player / xBox360 does - just need to find a PC that will!

Thanks in advance...
Dominion - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:

Raspberry Pi = cost, with a case, and a HDMI cable and a PSU about 50 inc VAT and delivery

Download XBMC distro and install it, and you have a HDMI ready media centre.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi

http://xbmc.org/

That's probably not what you wanted, but two of my work colleagues are using that
Dan_S - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:

Any PC with a graphics card with an HDMI output, will support the transfer of sound through the cable too.

If you have an AMD graphics card, it's the audio device AMD HDMI audio. I have no idea what it'd be for NVIDA.
AndrewHuddart - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Dan_S:

Only if they're new....

"The video cards which support PC audio over HDMI include ATI Radeon cards of the 3000 series or newer and Nvidia cards of the 9000 series or newer. The ATI cards are the easiest to use. Simply install the card and the drivers and the audio works. The Nvidia cards require that an internal SDPIF connection be made between your PC's sound card or motherboard and the Nvidia video card."

http://www.mediacollege.com/hardware/connectivity/hdmi/pc-audio.html

The Pi looks interesting for this...
vark - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:
Mac mini
vark - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:
Might me a little more than the raspberry pi
cezza - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:

have a look at the Acer Aspire Revo RL70 (and similar). Earlier on this year you could get them for <180 with a copy of Win7, currently same price for Linux OS. Has HDMI,(and regular audio connection), ~3Gb ram and ~300Gb HD

Kipper - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:

I've got a 75.00 ish tablet with HDMI out. Is that what you need?
MtnGeekUK - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:

Thanks for all the replies. I'm putting together a "home-made" digital signage system in a reception area.

Only thing visible is the tv, but can only use hdmi for both audio and video.

PC hardware I would think will need to be windows, as we'll get some DS software on the machine. Also, don't want the control machine to be too easy / inviting to nick!

Someone who knows better dropped me in it a bit with hardware configs, so now trying to recover the situation and come out on top.

Love work politics!!
The Lemming - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Dominion:
> (In reply to MtnGeekUK)
>
> Raspberry Pi = cost, with a case, and a HDMI cable and a PSU about 50 inc VAT and delivery
>
>

Waiting on my Raspberry, which is overdue. :(

As for my PC, my graphic card + HDMI cable puts sound and vision through my telly, but I prefer separate speakers.

I've also got a tablet computer which connects to a TV with a HDMI cable, again with sound and vision but I still prefer external speakers.

Its fairly easy to get a PC with a modern graphic card to connect to a TV with HDMI and give sound.
Edradour - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Dominion:

Could you explain this in a bit more detail for a non-techie. Would it be relatively easy to set up? Could i do it using a mac? Would I be able to use it with my external harddrive as a media centre?

Thanks.
Edradour - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Fickalli:

Just googled it myself actually....
Hooo - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:
I work in digital signage... I'll add a vote for the Acer Aspire Revo, if they're still around. I looked into them a while ago as a budget signage player, and they were the best I found.
MtnGeekUK - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Hooo:

Do you provide software yourself, or if not, know of a decent one?
Hooo - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:
We do our own software, but I don't think you'd want to pay our prices for a single screen! I've not been keeping up to date with our competitors, but it does seem like everyone and his dog has a digital signage solution nowadays. I'm sure there's something free out there that will do the job.
What are your requirements? Is it just showing a loop, or is it interactive? Do you need networked control and monitoring?
MtnGeekUK - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:

Thanks for all the info - have bought a graphics card to go with the PC that's already there.

Fingers crossed!

Now, onto software...

Anyone use anything free / cheap?

Hooo - PM sent.
Dominion - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to The Lemming:

> Waiting on my Raspberry, which is overdue. :(


I ordered mine from newit at about noon on a Monday, and it arrived before noon the following day

http://www.newit.co.uk/

Dominion - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Fickalli:

> Could you explain this in a bit more detail for a non-techie. Would it be relatively easy to set up? Could i do it using a mac? Would I be able to use it with my external harddrive as a media centre?


A Raspberry Pi needs a powered external USB hub if you want to connect external HDDS to it, but those cost about 10.

As for installing, see http://www.raspbmc.com/wiki/user/os-x-linux-installation/

I would assume that both python and curl are installed on OS X by default, as it's a *nix (BSD) based OS, but I don't know this, 'cos I barely use OS X.

Although I do have a Mac Mini that I could power up and see.

I used those instructions for linux and they worked. OS X is just the same but with a gui on top that Apple have spent $millions making pretty and hiding the underlying OS from end users in case they learn how to use a computer
jumpingjimminy - on 10 Nov 2012
Dominion - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to Dominion:

> I would assume that both python and curl are installed on OS X by default, as it's a *nix (BSD) based OS, but I don't know this, 'cos I barely use OS X.
>
> Although I do have a Mac Mini that I could power up and see.

Well, I downloaded the installer using the instructions on that page, onto my Mac Mini, and ran

sudo python install.py

and if I'd had an SDCard reader / writer in my Mac it would have worked.

After you do this first bit - which creates a small boot partition on the sdcard and puts a few files on it - all you do is put the sdcard into the Raspberry Pi, and connect that with an ethernet cable to your network, so it has internet access, and it downloads all the rest as it boots up.

Orgsm on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to MtnGeekUK:

If you have Windows. Why not just create a picture based movie using the bundled movie maker. Then play movie and stick in a loop.
ads.ukclimbing.com
MtnGeekUK - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to A Game of Chance:

Things to display may change from day to day. E.g. "don't forget, this is happening today"

Having to edit and recompile every day seems like a pain.

Does anyone use a digital display and if so, what (software wise) controls it?

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