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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this has been asked before; I didn't see anything in the FAQ or current threads.


Most people here seem to be building HT PCs whose video (display adapter) output is fed to a projector. Since I currently don't have a projector, I'm looking for a card that has an NTSC output that I can feed directly to my TV via either S-video or RCA connectors. This will most likely replace my aging DVD player and serve as a base platform for future HTPC needs.


Question - does anyone make a display card with TV-out, capable of delivering a video stream from a DVD-ROM drive that would rival the NTSC signal from a console DVD player ? I have an old Asus 3800 TNT2 card with TV-out and when I tried it, the results were horrible. The TNT2 card is old so I didn't expect much. Nonetheless I'd like to know if this is even possible with existing products !


I'm thinking of getting an ATI AIW 7500, because of its video-in features and good reputation for TV-out. But since video-in is not an absolute necessity for me at the moment, I'd entertain other options that do not have video-in; especially if they are relatively inexpensive. TV-out is what I'm most interested in.


TIA
 

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I have a Radeon 8500 with tv-out and it is nice. Granted I only hooked it up to a 14" tv so far, but it still looks nice. It's got s-video, not sure about composite, and can do 1024x768.
 

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I second the Radeon 8500. Tried a 7500, but returned it once I found that it was a 3rd party (a.k.a. "Powered By ATI"). Bought the 8500 LE 64 MB DDR from newegg.com for $99. I am extremely pleased with this card's performance, both on the computer (games and video) and on s-video out.
 

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I'm also interested in finding the best quality "built-in" TV-out. Even though from what I've read before, the best solution is to use a separate VGA to S-video scan converter. However, these start at ~$100 with the better quality ones costing closer to $200 or more.


Has anyone done a comparison or review of just the TV-out quality of the various video card makes? For example, Nvidia vs. ATI vs. SiS315 vs. Matrox (vs. Kyro II ?). Granted a number of these chip makers allow 3rd party manufacturers to implement different TV-out chips. So a valid comparison would include the make and model of the graphics card. I would love to see a thorough review like this.


Most importantly, can anyone say that the TV-out abilities from a Radeon 8500 rival or equal that of a $150 - $200 stand-alone dvd player? (svideo vs. svideo) How about other radeons (built by/powered by) or nvidia, etc.? You get the idea.


BTW, RicardoAZ, was it just the fact that your 7500 was a "powered by" card that made you return it? If so, why did this make you want to return it? Just curious. :)
 

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All i can say is keep away from the cheap vga scan converters, as mine displays a terrible amount of jaggies, and seems to be dithering the picture when set to 800x600 however that may be fixed if I can get my video card to dump out at 768x576 (PAL).


Additonaly from what i've read matrox are the king of tv out however I have only had experience with ati radeon aiw, sis 305, and a tnt 2 ultra with the ati leading the bunch for quality and the sis beating the others on features.
 

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The best TV-out has for some time been available on Matrox video boards. I have a 2 year old G440 Dual-head board which offers excellant TV-out - I've compared it to standalone players very favorably.


The secret is the Matrox Powerdesk utility and the many adjustments possible on the TV output. The board comes with and adapter cable that allows both S-Video and Composite video from the second VGA port.


Be aware that not every software DVD player supports the Matrox secondary video display. I seem to recall I used CineMaster 99 and WinDVD 2 with mine (it's been a while). I was using a Sony WEGA for TV display - the better the TV, the better the results.


The Matrox G440 is still available and less than $100 in OEM packaging.


Gary
 

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Hi,


I'm fairly new to this forum, but recently tried to build up a computer for HTPC. After reading any number of reviews....but was not aware of this forum....I decided on the VisionTek solution. Everything worked fine except that the s-video out (to a large Wega) is horrible. Everything is very pixilated with horizontal banding. I'm now waiting for my 3rd card from VisioTek, but I have little hope that the s-video will be satisfactory.


(My computer is based on an Intel D815EEA2, with a PIII 1.2GHz processor)


I'm considering using the Aver TV card, but now I need a way to get decent s-video. The posts here are useful.


For those in the know at this forum - Is it better to use an external scan converter (if yes, what is recommended?), or to use an AGP card with s-video out?


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for replies. I thing I'm gonna go with one of the ATI cards; not sure which one yet. I really don't care for gaming so the 8500 might not worth the extra expense over the 7500 if there's no added benefit on the video-out side of things. I can't say I put much though on Matrox - most of the Matrox cards I've used in recent years have been for dual-headed workstations w/o video-out. But I'll take a look at them. I guess my bias towards ATI stems from the good words I've heard on the quality of their DVD/video output.


Any idea what the upcoming ATI R300 engine brings to the table in terms of video-out performance and features ? I expect the usual boost in 3D performance; hopefully they'll be a new AIW to go with it.
 
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