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while its not out yet and early reviews of the 8500 are not exactly glowing does anyone know if the optional add-on component dongle will be any better than just using a transcoder?
 

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In theory, it *should* be better. Having designed transcoders in the past, I can tell you that *any* active componentry can degrade a signal. Whether or not the degradation is within the visible real of your eye, display device, etc., is left for others to argue. A plain transcoder simply translates from RGB to YUV colorspace through some active differential amplification. And those op-amps can be very good. Assuming the Radeon's output drivers are good (at least as good or better than those in a trascoder you attach), you only stand to lose.


-Jon
 

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Another note--


My comment above assumes that the ATI dongle does not really perform transcoding function, but is merely a specialized 'cable' which takes advantage of the Radeon chip's ability to output YUV natively.


-Jon
 

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jon_rees


I am about to purchase the Radeon 8500 for my HTPC.


I was going to order a VGA to Y-Pb-Pr cable (RCA) to use on my Sony 11-HT, but I think I need to find out a little more...


Should the ATI dongle give me a better video signal? If so, why?


Also, what kind of cables will I need to connect the 8500 to my PJ?


Thanks, Rick
 

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Hmmmm. I've only heard great things about the 8500.


Considering building an HTPC box and use the 8500 w/ decoder. It also is supposed to have built in hardware scaling functions etc., according to the info at www.ati.com . Plus it's a rockin game card.


The 8500 All-In-Wonder FAQ even briefly mentions compatible DTV tuners. I wonder how this works? Wonder if it would handle all the output from one of the Janus (?) cards itself w/o loopthrough.


Also, would there be any advantage of using 720P component over RGB to a 16:9 PJ?
 

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Just talking to the component out dongle part.


The Radeon 8500 is capable of YPrPb output (as opposed to RGB output) with the addition of a dongle.


This is not a transcoder, so video like TV and DVD playback would follow a 10 -bit YUV path right to the DACs. Display graphics (Windows desktop) will be converted from RGB (the native format) to YUV just before hitting the DACs.


This should give the best possible DVD quality of any current graphics card.


Now the disclaimer. I cannot give you a release date for the adapter and SW that goes with it.
 

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But does the component video go out the VGA connector or the DVI...or both? Isn't the component dongle specially made to attach to the DVI out on the card?

If the YPrPb was output by both the VGA and DVI outputs, one could simply buy a VGA-3 RCA/BNC cable, and skip the dongle, attaching it directly to the VGA out on the card....right?


-Ryan
 

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I'm wondering the same thing as Ryan. If the YPrPb is in the Radeon itself as opposed to the dongle, then we shouldn't need the dongle at all if we have a breakout cable. Unless they've crippled the VGA port so that the YPrPb can't be output from it.


Maybe YPrPb via VGA port won't be supported by the ATI software, but can be enable via PowerStrip?
 
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