myHD vs fusionHDTV5 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 114 Old 09-24-2005, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an HTPC consisting of SageTV and a Hauppage PVR-250 card using analog cable as the source.

I am unhappy with the picture quality of this analog cable setup and would like to add HD support using the unencrypted QAM signal from my cable company. (I have a set-top HDTV tuner for OTA but am totally new to HD on a PC)

There appear to be two main HD cards: the myHD-130 and the FusionHDTV5.

Can someone explain how these cards are different?

I assumed that they both capture/decode the same QAM signal and save it on the hard drive in some unencoded format that can then be output with my existing video card.

But i noticed that the myHD card has video out and costs almost 2x of the Fusion so Im not understanding what that money is buying.

Thanks for the help.
(I know this is a newb question but I could not find the answer in other posts and eventually gave up looking. :(
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post #2 of 114 Old 09-24-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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the fusion is software-based, the myHD is a hardware based card.

I'm relatively satisfied with the fusion in my system, but I bought it only because it goes through the PCs video card, whereas the myHD does not, so that means I'd have two video outputs that I'd have to switch manually, as I did not want to pass my video output through the card because I'm driving a long RGB cable to a high-end CRT projector and didn't want any possibilities of ghosting or smearing degradations. And I do very little TV watching so I'm not too picky about that side of things. I have no experience with the myHD card, but the fusion looks pretty nice output at 720p. The myHD card will output its standard resolution on its own (720p and 1080i I believe) the fusion will output your desktop resolution, which can be anything you want.

What kind of display will you be driving?
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post #3 of 114 Old 09-24-2005, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
The myHD card will output its standard resolution on its own (720p and 1080i I believe) the fusion will output your desktop resolution, which can be anything you want.
from a shortcut list the MyHD outputs following resolutions plus native in either RGB or component plus dvi with optional daughter card and paases vga (and DVI with daughter card) out of video card)

Select a resolution by a number.

1. 1920x1080I

2. 1280x720P

3. 720x480P

4. 720x480I

5. 1440x1080I

6. 1024x768P

7. 1360x768P

8. 1280x1024P

9. 800x600P

10. 864x480P
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post #4 of 114 Old 09-25-2005, 08:23 PM
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The MyHD will not work through SageTV, but does to QAM.

The Fusion will work through SageTV (although they're still working out the bugs), but won't do QAM through SageTV.

So if you want to stick with SageTV and cable, neither card will do what you want (currently). SageTV will probably support QAM before it ever supports MyHD, but it also might never support either.
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post #5 of 114 Old 09-25-2005, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
the fusion is software-based, the myHD is a hardware based card.

I'm relatively satisfied with the fusion in my system, but I bought it only because it goes through the PCs video card, whereas the myHD does not, so that means I'd have two video outputs that I'd have to switch manually,

The myHD card will output its standard resolution on its own (720p and 1080i I believe) the fusion will output your desktop resolution, which can be anything you want.
Ahh, I missed that issue completely. So you are saying that with the MDP-130, I wont need an AGP video card anymore? Playing DVD's, MPEG2 files will go through the MDP card?

Or are you saying I will need two video cards and two connections to my TV screen? Im not sure what you mean by "manual switching".

I have a 42" Panasonic plasma EDTV (TH-42PWD6) with the funky 852x480 resolution, currently using a DVI connector.

thanks muchly
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post #6 of 114 Old 09-25-2005, 11:19 PM
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MyHD has its own video hardware to output all HDTV resolutions, as Ralph said. Your PC's video gear is then only needed to view the PC's desktop (and the output of sofware video players). You can set up MyHD with the supplied "passthrough cable" to switch (by pressing a button on the MyHD remote) between viewing your PC's video card output and MyHD's output on your display device using one connection. For pictures of this, go to the Digital Connection website and look for Cliff's Notes. Then you'll become one more of us in his debt. :)
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post #7 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 01:17 AM
 
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Indeed, the PCs graphics card gets fed through the MyHD, I don't care so much about OTA HD, it's a spiffy afterthought, but I didn't want to run my graphics card output through another card because I'm picky about DVD and am driving long RGB cables and didn't want any signal degradation possibilities there. Anyway, if this isn't a big concern I think my advice here is pretty limited ;). Welcome to see the fusion if you want though.
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post #8 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
the fusion is software-based, the myHD is a hardware based card.
For decode, that is. For capture, they are essentially the same.

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post #9 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape
For decode, that is. For capture, they are essentially the same.
Except that the software that comes with the MyHD is much better. I've started using SageTV with the Fusion in part because the Fusion software is so unreliable (missed recordings). Unfortunately, the SageTV software for HD is still beta, and has its own issues, but I've totally lost faith in the Fusion software becoming reliable. There software writers are pretty incompetent.

But, as noted, with the MyHD card you can't use third party software like SageTV or MCE. So if you don't like its software for some reason, or just want increased functionality, you're stuck.
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post #10 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 07:47 AM
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Just FYI, I run my gfx card output through the MyHD card loop through to a 25' VGA cable and I see no degredation of the gfx card signal because of it.

Also, fwiw, I use the MyHD for DVD playback as well.

-Suntan
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post #11 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk
Except that the software that comes with the MyHD is much better. I've started using SageTV with the Fusion in part because the Fusion software is so unreliable (missed recordings). Unfortunately, the SageTV software for HD is still beta, and has its own issues, but I've totally lost faith in the Fusion software becoming reliable. There software writers are pretty incompetent.

But, as noted, with the MyHD card you can't use third party software like SageTV or MCE. So if you don't like its software for some reason, or just want increased functionality, you're stuck.
Frankly, I don't know why anyone would stick with a software solution provided by a hardware vendor these days, anyway. Unless they were forced to due to incompatibility, of course. But that seems like a fairly limited use for the hardware.

Anyway, you can tell which way I went. I have an ATI HDTV Wonder with Windows Media Center Edition 2005. And I have a video card that offers accelerated MPEG playback and deinterlacing.

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post #12 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 08:20 AM
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Frankly, I don't know why anyone would stick with a software solution provided by a hardware vendor these days
Unless you are happy with the interface given by said vendor...

Have you even tried the MyHD interface? If you have, and found it lacking that is one thing. If you haven't, and are talking from ignorance, that is too bad for people out there trying to make their minds up.

When is the last time your hardware "accelerated" gfx card allowed you to use 99% of your processor to encode a DVD while watching an HD stream? Or allowed you to send a second HD video stream to a second monitor while watching an HD stream on the main monitor with zero hiccups on either?

-Suntan
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post #13 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 09:56 AM
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To Karyk or anyone who got SageTV to work with Fusion 5.
I can't get SageTV 3 to work with my fusion. I can scan channels, but i can't watch, i get problems with software audio compression or something. Any ideas?
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post #14 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan
Have you even tried the MyHD interface? If you have, and found it lacking that is one thing. If you haven't, and are talking from ignorance, that is too bad for people out there trying to make their minds up.
No, I have not tried the MyHD interface since I do not have the required hardware.

Also, I was simply giving an opinion. ;)

Quote:
When is the last time your hardware "accelerated" gfx card allowed you to use 99% of your processor to encode a DVD while watching an HD stream?
99%? Never. But 90 to 95% is possible. Hardware "acceleration" is actually amazingly effective. Also, a DVD encode is something I'd queue up to run overnight, anyway.

Quote:
Or allowed you to send a second HD video stream to a second monitor while watching an HD stream on the main monitor with zero hiccups on either?
I really don't have that much TV to watch. :D And I certainly don't have two HDTVs next to one another. I'm lucky I have one! But I have watched HDTV recorded by my media center PC on another PC (1280x1024 res) in a different part of the house at the same time HDTV is being displayed on the media center PC. And the XBox 360 will allow the same thing, as well (not that anyone has one yet). But since I only have one HDTV, it doesn't really matter.

Are these scenarios really something that you do all the time?

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post #15 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 11:34 AM
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Yes, I do encode DVDs while watcing TV. Having a hardware based card allows me to do this without chickups or stuttering.

As for watching 2 HD streams, you do not need multiple HDTVs to watch multiple HD streams. Even if you only output it to a composite signal, you still need the power to decode it. And yes, there have been instances where I have used the second monitor to work on/que up streams for commercial editing and what not, while the wife watches TV.

My point to all of this is that having a hardware based card does have its advantages. If an individual does not need those features or does not like the constrictions that it imposes, then that is that.

However, your only complaint here was to imply that the manufacturers supplied software was limiting, yet you have never tried it. In the future, maybe you could preface your unfounded/ignorant personal opinions with something like "but I have never actually used it..."

There are plenty of people here that are fully aware of, and have had plenty of hands on experience with both the MyHD and software based cards such as to give a good account of the merits of each option. In light of that, maybe it would be best to keep to the parts you actually have experience with.

-Suntan
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post #16 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaTL6
To Karyk or anyone who got SageTV to work with Fusion 5.
I can't get SageTV 3 to work with my fusion. I can scan channels, but i can't watch, i get problems with software audio compression or something. Any ideas?
I cannot get live TV or recorded programs to work. Right now I have to watch items recorded via Sage via PowerDVD.

I think it is somewhat related to my video card (a 6600GT) but it's also somewhat Fusion related too, for if I set it up as an anlog tuner I do get better results (I can get some live video). I should play around with that analog tuner aspect a bit more.

I really don't care about the live tv part, because I can use MyHD for that. But PowerDVD doesn't have a xx second FF function, which is a PITA.

BTW, even more off topic, does anyone know of a reason MyHD wouldn't play back .TS files? I'm assuming it's something to do with SageTV's implementation of them, and not a limitation of the MyHD card. But SageTV/Fusion .TS files don't play back well at all on the MyHD card.
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post #17 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 12:48 PM
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One thing to consider is whether you want to watch an already recorded program while another is recording. You cannot do this using the myHD solution (i hear they're working on this for a future software release).

MCE + fusion will allow you to do this.
alternatively you can use myHD for recording and a software solution for playback.
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post #18 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karyk
IBTW, even more off topic, does anyone know of a reason MyHD wouldn't play back .TS files? I'm assuming it's something to do with SageTV's implementation of them, and not a limitation of the MyHD card. But SageTV/Fusion .TS files don't play back well at all on the MyHD card.
Don't generalize to .ts files

I have no problem playing back ts files that are saved via firewire from my cable box or using my MyHD cards

(they also playback fine (both MyHD files from either QAM or OTA or cable supplied files) on MyHD or my IODATA Linkplayer2 or VLC player or TT2; at least for me.
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post #19 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 05:32 PM
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Kary--

The older Fusion sw versions generated files that played fine in MyHD. More recently, DVICO has been stripping out parts of the PMT/PAT that cause MyHD not to be able to recognize them (at least sometimes) and I've seen an example Sage TS that similarly lacks a proper PMT/PAT (which wouldn't even play in the Fusion sw). I think that you can get these to play if you run them through Jacob Balazer's TStoATSC utility.
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post #20 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 08:09 PM
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Thanks, I'll give that a try.

Edit: I tried to find it. Is it correct that I need to PM him?

Double edit: After weeks of reporting the issue on the SageTV forum, someone finally found a fix. It's the audio decoders. With Nvidia's I get a good steady picture. With Intervideo's I get a good steady picture and sound too! ;)

BTW, this isn't a fix for it playing on MyHD, but for it playing within Sage so I don't have to use PowerDVD.
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post #21 of 114 Old 09-26-2005, 09:45 PM
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Just so you know, I'm in the same situation as you are, except I already purchased the Fusion card and am now debating on whether or not to purchase the MyHD Card.

Your requirements are the same as mine in that you want to record QAM. There is currently no guided software that does that on a Windows environment (MCE2005, Sage, or Beyond TV) They all do OTA only, which is not what I want. I went with the Fusion with the hope that the Emerald update to MCE2005 would support QAM, but that turns out to not be true, so now I'm stuck trying to use the Fusion software to do the QAM recording. After about 2 months of testing and tweaking and mucking with everything from release versions to beta versions, my feeling is that the Fusion Software is not at a production level. None of the versions work well for QAM recording. Stability, Access Protection failures, disappearing channels, poor scanning, etc...

I just wanted a dependable solution for recording unencrypted QAM from the cable company. Ideally, it would have been a guided solution like MCE, Sage, or something. Now I'm just hoping for a reliable digtal VCR that can record the QAM, until something like MCE supports it. So far, the Fusion software sucks for that.

Can anyone tell me whether MyHD can at least fill that role?

If you want, I can fill you in on my entire process, but currently, I would not recommend you use the Fusion.
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post #22 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 05:05 AM
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Russ - the MDP 130 will fill the role you are seeking. I just successfully scheduled all the new shows I am interested on QAM - they all recorded fine and are all scheduled for repeating. It (MyHD and associated software) has been working great for a long time and was continually improving in features under the guidance of Cliff Watson (RIP) and efforts of manufacturer

As far as being guided - yes it is guided in my case with the TitanTV interface although you do need an internet connection for that feature. If your local stations provide PSIP data and your cable company passes it (unlikely on both accounts - I do get several channels this way personally) you will have the guide data available within the program itself. Otherwise you will just get an unpopulated list of channels which can still be useful for programming recordings but you will need something like your newspapers TV guide to see the shows and times.
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post #23 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan
Unless you are happy with the interface given by said vendor...

Have you even tried the MyHD interface? If you have, and found it lacking that is one thing. If you haven't, and are talking from ignorance, that is too bad for people out there trying to make their minds up.

When is the last time your hardware "accelerated" gfx card allowed you to use 99% of your processor to encode a DVD while watching an HD stream? Or allowed you to send a second HD video stream to a second monitor while watching an HD stream on the main monitor with zero hiccups on either?

-Suntan
I have tried the MyHD software. Compared to a PVR like SageTV, it is pretty much useless for me. Because it won't work with my software of choice, my MyHD lies fallow, waiting for me to find the time and energy to put it on eBay.

I don't encode DVDs on my home theater equipment. That is a job for my workstation.

However, for those who prefer the PC part of HTPC (i.e., those who still want to use the PC for non-entertainment purposes), I can see why the MyHD card has advantages, and why its limited software support is not a drawback.

Stuart -- my AV setup
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post #24 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russwong
Just so you know, I'm in the same situation as you are, except I already purchased the Fusion card and am now debating on whether or not to purchase the MyHD Card.

Your requirements are the same as mine in that you want to record QAM. There is currently no guided software that does that on a Windows environment (MCE2005, Sage, or Beyond TV) They all do OTA only, which is not what I want. I went with the Fusion with the hope that the Emerald update to MCE2005 would support QAM, but that turns out to not be true, so now I'm stuck trying to use the Fusion software to do the QAM recording. After about 2 months of testing and tweaking and mucking with everything from release versions to beta versions, my feeling is that the Fusion Software is not at a production level. None of the versions work well for QAM recording. Stability, Access Protection failures, disappearing channels, poor scanning, etc...

I just wanted a dependable solution for recording unencrypted QAM from the cable company. Ideally, it would have been a guided solution like MCE, Sage, or something. Now I'm just hoping for a reliable digtal VCR that can record the QAM, until something like MCE supports it. So far, the Fusion software sucks for that.

Can anyone tell me whether MyHD can at least fill that role?

If you want, I can fill you in on my entire process, but currently, I would not recommend you use the Fusion.
The MyHD app is a bit more stable in my experience.

I can't perceive any substantive difference (for my needs) in the intended software features of the Fusion and MyHD apps.

I have left the Fusion in my workstation, where I sit down to watch the Steelers in HD on those days when they are shown in DC. The Fusion software is good enough to at least let me watch some live HDTV every once in a while, and the Fusion is the card that will eventually work with the DirectShow apps like SageTV, MCE and BeyondTV, so that's the one that I'm keeping.

But if you intend to heavily use an HD card for QAM before support for QAM is added to Windows, then the MyHD is probably your best bet.

Stuart -- my AV setup
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post #25 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salsbst
The MyHD app is a bit more stable {than Fusion's} in my experience.
Hereby nominated for understatement of the month! :D

Russ--

You'll be delighted by the stability of MyHD's QAM solution if you decide to go that way.
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post #26 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 11:01 AM
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Sometimes when I'm recording, the recording
ends prematurally. Computer doesn't crash or lock
up, the Fusion app simply stops for no reason and returns me to desktop.
This happens randomly so it is impossible to debug by the
conventional substitution method.
I have two computers, both with Fusion2 cards. On both, I upgrade/change around
components like mobo, vid card, CPU etc. It happens on every combination
of mobo, OS (though always win XP Home/prof.), CPU, sound,
vid card, Fusion2 drivers, every varible has been worked. No matter what
version of driver, hardware config, software, this problem
persists. The worst thing about it is that it is so random and unpredictable.
It is 100% not repeatable, 90% of the time the app works properly,
continues to record until the end (I always set the recording time manually).
I've tried every driver released by Fusion over the last two years,
including 3.1 beta. All have this prob.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has either experienced this
"premature shutdown" syndrome, or who has used Fusion cards
and not had this problem. I'm trying to figure out if there
is some variable I haven't worked that could be the key, so hearing from
ppl who aren't having this problem will also be useful.

Finally, does anyone know how to get in touch with Dvico via
Email? I have an old address, but my emails bounce.
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post #27 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPeterson
Hereby nominated for understatement of the month! :D

Russ--

You'll be delighted by the stability of MyHD's QAM solution if you decide to go that way.

Thank you all. As much as I don't want to spend another $300 bucks on another card, I guess I'm going with the MyHD and put the Fusion on the side till either the software gets fixed or MCE supports it.

Thanks for all the responses. I'll let you know how it goes as well.

Russ
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post #28 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 11:57 AM
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I'll be connecting via component, as I do not have DVI. Can someone elaborate the best way to do this? With the fusion, I was using the HD breakout dongle and connecting component directly to the TV, which was pretty easy.

With the MyHD, since it outputs video itself, I'm a little confused about how I would get from MyHD to the television? Also, I have two TVs, one that can take 1080i and the other which can not. With the Nvidia 6600, I just told it to output 480i on the older TV and on the newer TV I told it to output 1080i and it just worked.

What are my options with the MyHD?

Just to clarify, incase people think I'm crazy. The older TV with component that only takes 480i is a first generation Sony 36XBR, but the picture is awesome and I've been watching HD broadcasts on it for 3 years. I either have my HD cable box downconvert or use S-Video. Even still, the picture is stunning.... If it would only break, then I could get a new TV!

Thanks!
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post #29 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by russwong
I'll be connecting via component, as I do not have DVI. Can someone elaborate the best way to do this? With the fusion, I was using the HD breakout dongle and connecting component directly to the TV, which was pretty easy.

With the MyHD, since it outputs video itself, I'm a little confused about how I would get from MyHD to the television? Also, I have two TVs, one that can take 1080i and the other which can not. With the Nvidia 6600, I just told it to output 480i on the older TV and on the newer TV I told it to output 1080i and it just worked.

What are my options with the MyHD?

Thanks!
MyHD will output component or RGB in all the standard ATSC resolutions (and then some). When I last looked at the DC website, they were offering a free VGA to RCA-component cable with the MDP-130 (which was priced at only 2/3 of the $300 you mention, BTW).

{edit} If you need to display the PC's desktop on your DTV, though, you may also need a component-to-VGA "unbreakout" adapter to plug into the MDP's passthrough switch input. I say "may" because I don't know if a standard VGA cable makes the appropriate connections without using your current dongle. Ask the vendor.
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post #30 of 114 Old 09-27-2005, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TPeterson
MyHD will output component or RGB in all the standard ATSC resolutions (and then some). When I last looked at the DC website, they were offering a free VGA to RCA-component cable with the MDP-130 (which was priced at only 2/3 of the $300 you mention, BTW).
Yeah, I saw that deal, but then I read some areas where it says I need an additional transcoder, so I'm a little confused. I have a VGA to RGB breakout cable already, I assume that's would work? I was going to get the DVI-HDMI cable for when I ever bought a new TV, but if I need to get a specific cable to work with my two TV's component connections, that would be good to know.

I'm hoping I don't need a transcoder and can just plug directly to the tv. Seems like that's what you are saying...

Russ
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