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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are using the ATI DVI to HDTV AdapterI have a questiion.


Do you have to remove the adapter from the DVI port when you plug a normal monitor in the VGA port?


I know, it seems like a stupid question, but I don't want to jack my card up. You see, until I get a second computer I am going use my computer for normal computing via a monitor and in the evening plug it in the HDTV for games & DVD. I don't want to have to keep having to pull the adapter if I dont have to also less chance of damaging the card that way.


Also there is a swithc for 540p but it's not supported, any work around for that?


Thanks
 

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Which card do you have? On my 8500DV you have to remove the DVI-HDTV adapter so you can put the DVI-VGA adapter on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by kwerner
Which card do you have? On my 8500DV you have to remove the DVI-HDTV adapter so you can put the DVI-VGA adapter on.
I have 9700 Pro it has both a DVI and a VGA out so I would assume I could just install the adapter and leave it but not 100% sure.
 

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There has been a couple of workarounds developed. One involves removing macrovision protection from DVD using DVDdecrypter or smartripper.


There is a solution at the DVD drive level. I think its called DVDsynth.


Cheers,
 

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No, currently the ATI drivers simply will not ALLOW 540p operation with the dongle. They only allow 1920x1080i or 480p derived resolutions; anything else puts you into a virtual desktop. In 1080i resolutions you can only play DVDs by bypassing macrovision protection through some software countermeasures.


And when using the dongle (I have a 9700 pro with the dongle as well) you must boot the system with the dongle IN to use the HDTV modes; and you must remove the dongle and REboot to go back to using a monitor. The problem is that the card sees the dongle on bootup and switches internally to YPrPb color mode. Your monitor would not be damaged if you plugged it in with the dongle, but your colors would all be inverted (Or screwed up at the very least - everything looks VERY green!).
 

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While the adapter doesn't support 540p resolutions, you can get the supported adapter resolutions ...640x480p, 720x480p, 856x480p, 1776x1000i, and 1920x1080i.... to run at 540p/1080i timings with Powerstrip.

I run 856x480p using 540p timings for my desktop and it fits almost perfectly, with a small amount of vertical overscan.
 

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I've never quite understood the purpose of running 540p timings in 480p resolution... maybe you can clarify that for me. What would I gain by changing the timings in powerstrip?
 

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Running 480p resolutions at 540p timings helps control overscan on HDTV sets. :D


At 960x540p standard HDTV timings, 33.75KHz scan rate and 59.947 refresh rate, you have 563 total vertical scan lines to work with...540 visible and 23 divided between the vertical front and back porches (top & bottom black bars). On most HDTVs the top and bottom (and probably the sides as well, more to come) will be cropped due to overscan. And because of the fixed scan/refresh rate nature of most HDTVs we can't just simply use vertical size control to compensate for vertical overscan.


So to deal with vertical overscan we lock the same HDTV safe timings to 856x480p...480 visible lines with the other 83 divided between the front and back vertical porches. This works well because due to overscan, most HDTVs usually display ~480-500 or so visible progressive scan lines.


Horizontal overscan is easier to deal with, you increase/decrease the horizontal porches while keep the horizontal scan rate constant @ 33.75KHz. This can be done in Powerstrip by clicking the "lock scan frequencies" button, then click the horizontal sizing buttons to fit to width correctly.


If you read the ATi HDTV adapter section of the guide in my sig I have posted some 1080i HDTV safe timings specifically for the adapter.
 

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The one caveat to what Karnis says is that it applies to an HD display which syncs at 480p. Many HDTV displays (Hitachi RPTV for example) take a SD input and internally upconvert to 540p, thus the [email protected] trick won't work.
 

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Not to hijack the thread, but I am interested in this also. I want to use a 9700 AIW in my HTPC/Gaming machine I plan to build. I recently purchased a Hitachi 57SWX20B RPTV. It has the DVI input, so which would be the best way to hook it up? The dongle or DVI? I don't want to hurt my TV.


--Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey great info Karnis!

I also downloaded Powerstrip an will check it out, I found that DVDsynth program to going to play around with that as well.


Thanks!


EngineChauffer,


The ATI HDTV adapter is a DVI to component adapter however maybe you can just go DVI out from ATI to DVI input on HDTV with out the adapter and just use powerstrip. Maybe some one else could shed some light on this subject.
 

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Thanks Karnis, I've been hearing this 480 @ 540 timings bit for a long time and never quite understood it. That helps a lot!

+
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RTK
The one caveat to what Karnis says is that it applies to an HD display which syncs at 480p. Many HDTV displays (Hitachi RPTV for example) take a SD input and internally upconvert to 540p, thus the [email protected] trick won't work.
You lost me on this one, and your statement is incorrect. These timings are designed for 1080i HD displays that sync at 33.75KHz. They are not designed for sets that sync at 480p, although I did post some 480p SD timings separately. As long as the timings are correct, the set could care less about the actual resolution, i.e. 480p or 540p. So the HDTV always sees these timings as an HD signal, @ 33.75KHz, not an SD, which is 31.5KHz. The HDTV syncs to the scan rate, not the resolution. When I display 856x480p @ 540p my Mits displays "1080i *standard". When I display 856x480p @ native timings it displays "480p standard".
 

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EngineChauffer, if your HDTV has an HDCP-DVI input, you might want to check out this thread. FWIW, I've decided to give the ATI dongle a try first to see how that works.
 

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At its low price point, the ATI adapter is difficult to resist.


But I have one and I'm saving up to buy a real transcoder, because I want to have the ability to switch from my desktop monitor to the HDTV and back without rebooting. That drives me absolutely crazy.
 

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I'm going with a transcoder myself and skipping the monitor route (since my HTPC will be recessed into the wall for looks and to control noise).


The limitations of the dongle are just too great and whenever possible I like to reduce how much software I need to use because all it does is add complexity to a set up that needs to be easy for my wife to use and convienent enough for me to actually enjoy the set up rather than messing with it all the time.


That said if you don't care about scaling DVD's to HD, then the dongle will probably get the job done fine.
 

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Karnis,

I'm in the middle of an upgrade so I can't plug in right now. Since you have a Mits RPTV I understand why this sounds incorrect to you so let me try to explain. Your display can accept and output 480p, 540p/1080i. My Hitachi RPTV can accept 480p, 540p/1080 and 720p however only displays at 540p/1080i, there is no 480p output. I typically run at [email protected] timings via transcoder to combat overscan however via the dongle running at [email protected] resulted in less than satisfactory results in the past, with some weird virtual desktop. It certainly could be incorrect settings on my part.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 0db
At its low price point, the ATI adapter is difficult to resist.


But I have one and I'm saving up to buy a real transcoder, because I want to have the ability to switch from my desktop monitor to the HDTV and back without rebooting. That drives me absolutely crazy.


Out of curiosity... why would you need to keep using a desktop monitor? Running the desktop at 856x480 on an HD set isn't so bad.
 

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RTK: I see what you are saying, I took exception with the statement "...what Karnis says is that it applies to an HD display which syncs at 480p"....which of course is not true, it applies to a set that syncs at 540p/1080i. All my timings are 33.75KHz HD, not 31.5KHz SD, except where noted as SD 480p. There is no 480p SD timings being input, therefore no 480p SD display output.


I found that 856x480p @540p (33.75KHz) fits very well on my Mits, but 848x480p results in a VD with the dongle.


In the end, my point is that no-540p resolution support built into the HDTV adapter is not that big a deal....as long as we can force 540p timings on 480p resolutions, that is the desired path to take to get a usable desktop with little/no overscan.
 
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