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"Low-end" setup for gaming on PC monitor

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi, new member here, come to ask you experts for help

I am trying to figure out how to use the same display at my desk for my PC, and as a TV for DVDs, Netflix/Hulu, and video games. I don't watch "real" TV at all. What I'd like to connect:

--PC: has HDMI, DVI and VGA out
--Wii (component cable)
--Playstation 2: (component cable)
--Nintendo 64: I think composite is the best I can do
--Eventually I'll also get a PS3 and/or Xbox 360, and of course the new Nintendo console. (2-3 HDMI cables)
--Inexpensive 2.1 speakers. I'm not an audiophile, and the walls of my studio are incredibly thin so I'll be keeping the volume down anyways.

Question 1: How can I hook all these things up to a single display? Could I run everything through a series of switches and converters, or would the money be better spent on a less kludgey solution? Do I need an AV receiver, and do you have any recommendations for a model that will handle the above mix of analog and digital inputs but NOT have me paying for a bunch of featuers I don't need? What about a stand-alone video processor like DVDO Edge?

Question 2: What do you recommend I use for the display? I currently have an Asus VH236H 23" LCD monitor. I love it for my PC but it only has 1 HDMI, 1 DVI and 1 VGA input. It's also not wall mountable. I'd love to be able to make it work, but if necessary I'll consider something different, maybe a little bigger so as to make a better TV, but not too big since I need to be able to use it as a PC monitor, sitting just 2-3 feet away from it.

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 10
Purely for the video conversion, something like this is a good starting point.


The key feature that you are looking for is HDMI up-conversion. So that whatever comes in over composite/component/HDMI gets spit out as a single HDMI signal. It will also allow you to move in a direction of making significant upgrades to your audio, even if you only opt for a 3-channel (left, center, right) speaker configuration to keep things simple and compact.

The first step though? I would make some serious decisions as to what you actually want to keep in the system and move forward from there. Personally, I would retire the PS2 and N64, get a $40 Wii2HDMI converter, pick up an Xbox 360 and hook it up VGA to the monitor, leaving DVI for the PC. Let me tell you, I ran a system with something like 11 components in it for years. One day I went through it and tore out everything, leaving the three current consoles, my receiver, and the display. Life has been easier and upkeep on the system has been minimal since I became a little ruthless with what was allowed to stay hooked up to my video setup.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
You're very right about the need to re-evaluate the older consoles. I think I will soon replace the N64 with an Xbox 360, since most of the games I love on the 64 have since been ported to Xbox Live Arcade.

The receiver you linked to looked great, but I think it's just way more than what I need right now. I poked around some more on Yamaha's website, and I've decided to go with the NeoHD 700 for $180 from Newegg. I know it's pretty low-end, but it's also cheap and it does up-convert and have a few other nice features that I'm interested in, like the ability to control it from an iPod touch.
post #4 of 10
Want to link to that? I don't see anything Yamaha on Newegg for $180 and just want to make sure your getting something that will do what you want.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
It's the YMC-700 NeoHD. It shows as full price on Newegg, but they're currently offering coupon code YAMAHA5X2 that makes it $180. They've done it several times over the past several months, since it's not a hot seller at its MSRP of $500. But for the cheaper price, I thought it might be worth it.

I haven't purchased yet, so let me know what you think of it...I will have my PC hooked up to the monitor as well, so I suppose maybe the internet radio and iPod control aren't all that big a deal for me. I could just do all that from my computer.

You recommended the Wii2HDMI, but I wanted to make sure I understood you correctly. That would only be for a setup without a receiver, right? In that case, would a component-to-VGA converter work as well? Then I could occasionally swap the Wii out for the PS2, and the HDMI would be freed up for my theoretical xbox 360 slim.

Finally, if I don't use a receiver, do you have any idea how I could deliver the audio from the above devices to my speakers?

Thanks for your help. I consider myself a high-tech gal, but home A/V is not my strong suit. I'm really conflicted between finding a cheap converter solution that will work for now, and spending more money on a long-term solution like a receiver or a new monitor/TV with lots of inputs.
post #6 of 10
If you can get the YMC-700 for $180, then it is a fantastic buy that will do what you want.
post #7 of 10
Now that I have more time:

Yes, Wii2HDMI would only be for a non-receiver solution. In that solution you would also need some sort of manual switch box for switching between your audio sources. Between adapters, switch boxes and cabling, your getting pretty close to the same $180 price point, but for a solution that wouldn't end up being anywhere near as elegant, and much more difficult to use in general.

I would certainly go the receiver route. The only oddity will be outputting to your pc speakers, which will just be tape-out to an 1/8" adapter.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I went ahead and made the purchase! Now to find some inexpensive speakers...
post #9 of 10
Whats inexpensive? That is a very subjective statement my friend many a people here call 1200 a pair speakers entry level....
post #10 of 10
Id go with the 27" 3D Asus monitor if you can afford it, 3D lays the game world out in front of you when its dialed in. Im sure many 24" 3D monitors are much cheaper. Read some reviews that go over the amount of crosstalk before you buy though.
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