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Hello everyone! I've been researching HTPCs for a long time trying to figure out exactly what I want, and I think I'm almost there. My goals for an HTPC are Hulu/Netflix/Blu-Ray, light video gaming, music, and that's pretty much it.


My TV is a Hitachi 60V500a which is an awesome TV, but I bought it almost 5 years ago. It has a DVI input, and a bunch of component inputs, and does 720p and 1080i, but not 1080p.


My question is, how will an HTPC work with this? I have an HDMI to DVI cable already that I bought for my cable box a long time ago that I no longer use. Should I be using this, or should I be using DVI to DVI and ignore the HDMI output cable altogether on an HTPC? I don't have an HDMI input anywhere in my home theater setup - just fiber and coax audio, plus DVI or component.


My goal would be to connect directly from HTPC to TV using either DVI->DVI or HDMI->DVI, and then from HTPC to Receiver using fiber optic S/PDIF. I'm just worried I'm going to order a bunch of parts and it won't even work on my TV at all, and none of the documents I've read have really explained how the HTPC actually works when connected to the TV - what resolution I would use (I think based on documentation I would be using either 1366x768 or 1280x720 - not really sure but either way it sounds like I'll have a huge amount of overscan on my screen? This part I don't get much).


Any help would be appreciated, as I don't want to build an entire HTPC only to find out I need a new TV just to use it!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99TA /forum/post/16926065


Hello everyone! I've been researching HTPCs for a long time trying to figure out exactly what I want, and I think I'm almost there. My goals for an HTPC are Hulu/Netflix/Blu-Ray, light video gaming, music, and that's pretty much it.


My TV is a Hitachi 60V500a which is an awesome TV, but I bought it almost 5 years ago. It has a DVI input, and a bunch of component inputs, and does 720p and 1080i, but not 1080p.


My question is, how will an HTPC work with this? I have an HDMI to DVI cable already that I bought for my cable box a long time ago that I no longer use. Should I be using this, or should I be using DVI to DVI and ignore the HDMI output cable altogether on an HTPC? I don't have an HDMI input anywhere in my home theater setup - just fiber and coax audio, plus DVI or component.


My goal would be to connect directly from HTPC to TV using either DVI->DVI or HDMI->DVI, and then from HTPC to Receiver using fiber optic S/PDIF. I'm just worried I'm going to order a bunch of parts and it won't even work on my TV at all, and none of the documents I've read have really explained how the HTPC actually works when connected to the TV - what resolution I would use (I think based on documentation I would be using either 1366x768 or 1280x720 - not really sure but either way it sounds like I'll have a huge amount of overscan on my screen? This part I don't get much).


Any help would be appreciated, as I don't want to build an entire HTPC only to find out I need a new TV just to use it!

TV should work fine, I'd go with DVI -> DVI. As far as resolution, you should be able to output 1080i. Some gfx cards support this via drivers and HDTV resolutions, you might be able to do this by getting the latests video card drivers for your PC.


If not you could try something like Powerstrip that can add custom resolutions.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaMike /forum/post/16926098


TV should work fine, I'd go with DVI -> DVI. As far as resolution, you should be able to output 1080i. Some gfx cards support this via drivers and HDTV resolutions, you might be able to do this by getting the latests video card drivers for your PC.


If not you could try something like Powerstrip that can add custom resolutions.


Mike

Thanks for this information. I'm planning on getting an AMD motherboard with an ATI 3200HD IGP. The question is for outputting 1080i - is that just a setting, and if so is it different in some way than outputting an actually resolution? That is to say, if my TV only supports 1366x768 (with overscan), will setting the video output on the HTPC to 1080i act like an integrated box (like my cable box) and output perfectly without overscan issues?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99TA /forum/post/16926113


Thanks for this information. I'm planning on getting an AMD motherboard with an ATI 3200HD IGP. The question is for outputting 1080i - is that just a setting, and if so is it different in some way than outputting an actually resolution? That is to say, if my TV only supports 1366x768 (with overscan), will setting the video output on the HTPC to 1080i act like an integrated box (like my cable box) and output perfectly without overscan issues?

Mike,

I can add a couple of pieces of info here. Our secondary TV is a Sony 36" CRT (flat face) and we have it connected to an HTPC since it does not have an ATSC tuner. I'm getting the best results using 720p. Windows desktop is a bit fuzzy but you can use it to install software and defrag hard drives etc. On the other hand, the HD TV pic is great. We record OTA HD programs on it with Media Center. No complaints on quality. I'm using an NVIDIA 9400 card in it. Only issue is we have to have the TV on to get a picture (DVI to DVI) otherwise I think it reverts to VGA. No biggy. MC works fine with the TV off. And we watch most of our programs on a 42" 1080p set anyway.

I also have a server that is used to back up recorded programs. It is an AMD 64 X2 2.2GHz with a HD 3200 IGP (MSI K9A2GM). It can be used with its 24" monitor over VGA at 1080p for MC recordings. In other words, it very effectively up-converts the 720p and 1080i programs to 1080p. Plays these recordings fine. Other off the hard drive or over the LAN. I just can't say whether the HD 3200 IGP is up to BluRay. We use a Panasonic BD player for BD. I also can't comment on whether the HD 3200 IGP handles DVI or HDMI properly. Some cards do have issues. But 1920 x 1200 x 32 bit color at 60 Hz OVER VGA is great.

Good luck to you,

Terry
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99TA /forum/post/16926065


My TV is a Hitachi 60V500a which is an awesome TV, but I bought it almost 5 years ago. It has a DVI input, and a bunch of component inputs, and does 720p and 1080i, but not 1080p.


My question is, how will an HTPC work with this?

Easy -- use a video card with component-out (HDTV-out in video card parlance.) ATI has very good support for this.


I have a VERY old HDTV (nearly ten years old) connected to an HTPC via component out. The video card is a Sapphire 4550 (since discontinued) with a component dongle. Audio is Realtek S/PDIF connected to a receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdunnill /forum/post/16926319


Easy -- use a video card with component-out (HDTV-out in video card parlance.) ATI has very good support for this.


I have a VERY old HDTV (nearly ten years old) connected to an HTPC via component out. The video card is a Sapphire 4550 (since discontinued) with a component dongle. Audio is Realtek S/PDIF connected to a receiver.

if he has a dvi input why wouldn't he use it?


component could give all kinds of hdcp issues...


check your manual and see if it accepts pc inputs, it will make your life easier with pixel mapping but you should still be fine...if it has a dvi i expect that it does...
 

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What rundill said!

That is a rear projection LCD TV. Use component and feed it 1080i or 720p and see which one it/you likes. You might need to set a custom resolution to deal with overscan issues.


BB
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 /forum/post/16926430


if he has a dvi input why wouldn't he use it?


component could give all kinds of hdcp issues...

I thought it was a "very old" HDTV that predated HDCP. If the TV doesn't support HDCP, then digital connections are blocked but analog ones are OK (for now).


Around 2004, we had a Hitachi projection set equipped with a DVI that the manual specifically stated was not compatible with PC DVI. The set would work, however, with PC HDTV-out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdunnill /forum/post/16926794


I thought it was a "very old" HDTV that predated HDCP. If the TV doesn't support HDCP, then digital connections are blocked but analog ones are OK (for now).


Around 2004, we had a Hitachi projection set equipped with a DVI that the manual specifically stated was not compatible with PC DVI. The set would work, however, with PC HDTV-out.

My Sony says not for use with a PC either. They probably meant that it was just not sharp enough for normal PC use. TV display is fine DVI to DVI. But I would hate to use it as a "productivity machine".
 

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Usually when the TV Manufacturers state that their Tv is not for PC's, the Tv will work just fine. They don't want to have to support you hooking up your PC to that TV. It's hard enough for their support people to get people help when they have problems hooking up their DVD players or VCR's to them much less a HTPC.. Too many variables for the average Joe.



P.S. I've been to many a friends house hooking up simple things to their TV's for them. Many people don't have a clue on how to hook up a simple DVD player or a cable STB to a TV. Much less hooking up both to the same TV.
 
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