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A few 3D Blu ray questions - OS and graphics card

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I may be jumping into 3d Blu ray with my HTPC and after a week of searching and reading I need to verify and learn some last things. Much of the stuff I’ve read may be dated and no longer accurate. I’ve been waiting for an updated “How to” guide on AVS but my time has run out.

First, the preliminaries:
· C2D system on an MSI P6N mobo w/ 8500 Nvidia graphcs card (no HDMI anywhere).
· 1.3 HDMI Pioneer AVR
· Samsung 720P DLP (from 2005) – This used to be a top model back then. Note: It looks like an LG 7600 3D HDTV (passive 3D) is in my near future and that’s what is prompting this desire and therefore this thread. I have been reading AVS and using an HTPC since probably 2000 when the idea was first being born.
· WinXP SP3
· I played my ripped BR movie (I only have 1 – LOTR EE trilogy – xmas present) with a custom graph in Theatertek with SPDIF (lossy audio) to the receiver. I have spent the past 2 weeks learning how to rip and play this movie. Success.

My desire:
I would probably like to stream lossless audio formats (which my AVR can decode) to my AVR and display a 3d bluray movie on the TV. Note: I’m not really sure how much I’m going to love these formats, and therefore actually move aggressively in this direction so I would like to try these formats out for as little $ as reasonable. This test (together with the new TV) will determine whether the next movie I buy will be Blu ray or regular DVD.

Questions:
1) WinXP – Is W7 necessary? Notice I said “necessary” not desirable. I’m concerned that my effort may require one of those new directx versions or EVR, both of which are beyond XPs grasp. Note: It’s not that I hate W7 it’s just that XP does what I need it to and I know it like I know my own driveway. I do realize that at some point an upgrade will be necessary (purple ray?) but is that time now?
2) Graphics card. AMD or Nvidia? I read that for Nvidia, I would need to connect the 2-pin header on the mobo to the Nvidia graphic card to pass audio so that I can use the HDMI audio out on the card. I don’t have that cable. AMD seems like it doesn’t need that connection. OTOH, Nvidia seems like it can pass audio to the AVR and video to the TV with a single card. AMD would require 2 cards, but my mobo only has 1 PCIex16 slot (actually it has 2 but it specifies 2 Nvidia cards only in the manual for SLI – dated?)
3) Frame packing. I understand the concepts, but I’m not sure I understand the requirements. Passive 3d (LG 7600) cuts the resolution that is displayed in half for each eye. Does that mean I do not need a card that can handle frame packing?

In summary:
Is my OS satisfactory and what graphics card(s) should I buy?

After this I will need to study up on software (PDVD12/TMT5/new custom graph/etc) and settings but for right now it’s the OS and the graphics card.

Thanks in advance.
Bob
post #2 of 12
1) WinXP – Is W7 necessary? Notice I said “necessary” not desirable. I’m concerned that my effort may require one of those new directx versions or EVR, both of which are beyond XPs grasp. Note: It’s not that I hate W7 it’s just that XP does what I need it to and I know it like I know my own driveway. I do realize that at some point an upgrade will be necessary (purple ray?) but is that time now?
should work on XP. get someone else to confirm that

2) Graphics card. AMD or Nvidia? I read that for Nvidia, I would need to connect the 2-pin header on the mobo to the Nvidia graphic card to pass audio so that I can use the HDMI audio out on the card. I don’t have that cable. AMD seems like it doesn’t need that connection. OTOH, Nvidia seems like it can pass audio to the AVR and video to the TV with a single card. AMD would require 2 cards, but my mobo only has 1 PCIex16 slot (actually it has 2 but it specifies 2 Nvidia cards only in the manual for SLI – dated?)
your data on nvidia is two years obsolete. starting with the GT430 and higher they can do 3D and HD audio thru the pci-e slot alone. both amd and nvidia can do both at the same time, no need for two cards.

where you will have a problem is that your receiver does not seem like it will be able to pass 3D bluray through it. confirm that in your receiver manual/website. if thats the case you have a few options - get a video card with two hdmi ports and i also think you can use the dvi out with an adapter to get your 3D video to your tv and then carry the audio over hdmi only.



3) Frame packing. I understand the concepts, but I’m not sure I understand the requirements. Passive 3d (LG 7600) cuts the resolution that is displayed in half for each eye. Does that mean I do not need a card that can handle frame packing?
frame packing is how 3D is stored on a bluray disc. your tv can handle that - it has nothing to do with PCs. if a card advertises that it works with 3D bluray it can do it.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi,
Thanks for responding.

You are quite correct. My AVR cannot pass the blu ray 3d video to the TV. That is why the audio must go to the receiver and the video directly to the TV. That, and the frame packing, is the core of my confusion with graphics card selection. If I had a 1.4 AVR, I would think the issue would be easier.
I'm guessing, because it's passive 3D, the TV will ask for 1920x540 x 2 (each eye) @ 60. So, although it is stored on a BR 3d disc as frame packed, won't it actually be sending the information at a more reasonable (lower, ie checkerboard, top/bottom, right/left) rate that any 3d card can handle? Note: I've seen renethx chart on graphics cards. But that chart may be dated, as it apparently is.
post #4 of 12
I don't think the tv "asks" for any specific type of video stream from the source device. It just deals with whatever your player (in this case a pc) is spitting out.

It's kind of a moot point though. If your graphics card can do 3D bluray, it will work with your tv. Check these requirements for the bluray software I use:

http://www.arcsoft.com/totalmedia-theatre/techspec.html
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's the core of my problem. If the TV doesn't "ask" then that must mean that the PC sends a frame-packed signal and the TV deals with it. If the PC does send a frame packed signal that means (I think) that my 1.3 hdmi AVR can't handle it. If my AVR can't handle a frame packed signal, that means I'm going to have to send the lossless audio from the graphics card (via HDMI) to the AVR and also take the 3D video (also via HDMI?) and send it to the TV. That means 2 simultaneous outputs on the graphics card and I'm not sure how that happens or what my options are.

Of course, if my 1.3 HDMI can pass a frame packed 3D HDTV signal onto the TV, then this entire issue is irrelevant. Also, if I just bought a new 1.4 HDMI AVR, this problem is irrelevant. In that case, I will just pickup one of those $40 AMD cards.

I'm still hoping to confirm that XP will at least let me try this.
post #6 of 12
HDMI will only send what the display says it can accept.
I have tried with a nvidia gt430 with hdmi to tv and a dvi to hdmi cable to 1.3 reciever and this will give you 3d playback on tv and hd audio on receiver.I got this method from this forum.
Edited by springmaker - 1/12/13 at 1:19am
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Thanks for the response.

Yeah, I figured the 430 would work but newegg is all out of 430s and I'm not sure they will get any more. The chart (from renethx) seems to indicate the other options are Intel HD graphics (which would mean a whole new machine) or a much pricier nvidia flavor. The AMDs (at least according to the chart) would/may require a 2 card kludge. I would rather avoid that even if my mobo could make it work. The chart is over a year old and I'm thinking/hoping that perhaps some of the 5000/6000 AMDs would now work straightaway.. Or perhaps a new, less expensive card from nvidia would also work.

BTW, I'm assuming you've got W7 as your OS?
post #8 of 12
Throw XP in the bin where it belongs. Get 8, for the GPU a GTX 650 will have no hesitation playing back anything 3D or 2D.
post #9 of 12
GT 630 is replacing 430; the only change besides naming is slightly higher core clock (700MHz -> 810MHz). Memory clock varies in each card. Make sure to choose 1600Hz "effective" memory clock or higher. Precisely speaking, GT 620 is replacing GT 430 and GT 630 is replacing GT 440. But avoid GT 620 because its memory bus was cut in half, 64-bit.

Overall AMD card are easier to configure, 2D or 3D. All HD 6xxx / 7xxx support BR 3D. HD 6450 is the cheapest and good for 2D / 3D under DXVA2 / EVR.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
renethx, thanks for coming to this thread. I appreciate it.

In your prior chart, if I'm reading it correctly, you mention that the amd requires 2 cards to be able to send HD audio to a 1.3 avr and send the blu ray 3d directly to the tv. Is this still the case or has amd figured out how to do both with 1 card?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmcgee View Post

In your prior chart, if I'm reading it correctly, you mention that the amd requires 2 cards to be able to send HD audio to a 1.3 avr and send the blu ray 3d directly to the tv. Is this still the case or has amd figured out how to do both with 1 card?

Yup, that's still the case. Adding a "HDMI sound card" (= a cheap HD 5450 card) is a fix. HD 5450 is a PCI Express x16 card, but it work fine with any PCI Express x1 slot if you cut out the closed end.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks renethx for the answers to my questions.
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