the IR keyboard I chose. Has an eraserhead not trackball, but is meant to be used handheld, on a table, or in your lap...and the price is right.
This keyboard looks very interesting to me. But I was not able to locate a dealer in germany who sells it yet. Maybe after some more searching I can find one.
I have no idea what TV resolution you plan to use or have available, perhaps some additional info would be helpful.
You have identified the weakest part of my setup
I only have an old 4:3 analog tv. The connection I must use is composite video. The jack is called RCA port in the US I think. Here is a short description http://www.monstercables.com/hookup_learning/csg/standard_tv/standard_tv.asp
I don't plan to buy a LCD TV for another 1-2 years until HDTV has been established in mainstream consumer products and the tv networks are broadcasting a lot of movies in this format. The new LCD TVs are HDTV ready but as you said, support on the computer side is missing especially if you want to watch pay tv over cable. Because a LCD TV is such a big investement I don't plan buy a LCD TV only for the better digital connection between the HTPC and the pc. Only the added value of HDTV over cable would get me going.
1-2 years is a long time in terms of computer products, so I thought when I replace the tv I will also replace the motherboard of my HTPC with one which is able to use a HDTV DVI connection and which is fast enough for high quality decoding of the HDTV movies.
For analog tv-out the matrox g400 (legacy
) graphics card is highly recommended. It is supposed to have one of the best tv-outs ever made. This should improve the tv-out quality enough to get a decent picture quality if I have a problem there. It is not manufactured anymore so if I must get one I must do it fast especially because as you pointed out only a pci card will do.
What software are you planning to use, XP Media Center Edition 2005 requires DX9 compliant graphics?
I am planning a windows xp based system.
XP Media Center Edition 2005 was on my list to evaluate. Actually as the first system to try. I always thought it should be possible to install DX9 with any graphics card? There will be no hardware acceleration with a legacy graphics card though.
Other systems on my list are myhtpc (http://www.meedio.com/
and mediaportal (http://mediaportal.sourceforge.net
). If everything fails I will put together a system of unrelated software for mp3 playing / streaming, dvds and divx.
Streaming mp3's on your network may result in variable delays between playback devices, have you considered this and/or found a synchronizing solution?
Ooops. I was not aware of that. This is a software problem though. Hopefully I can sort this out when I play around with mp3 streaming. Now I wonder how the squeezebox (http://www.slimdevices.com/index.html
) or the roku soundbridge (http://www.rokulabs.com/products/soundbridge/index.php
) are able to do multi room audio. The server software of squeezebox is open source (http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_features.html
), maybe this would be a good first try for multi room audio streaming.