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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although VERY computer literate (I am a software developer/architect), I have never seen a HTPC in action.


Can someone tell me what the output of a HTPC looks like? What actually goes to your display? Is is just like a monitor?


Specifically, do you see your computer desktop on the HDTV? When watching a show (DVD, HD or otherwise) is it playing within a window? How do you show this full-screen on your display? Are you simply maximizing a window?


I'm trying to envision how a HTPC looks like on a HDTV....
 

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When nothing is runing or you are makeing changes, the desktop is displayed (possibly with some overscan - see powerstrip).


When playing DVDs, with software dvd players, you have the option of viewing in a window or in full screen which uses what is called the overlay of the Video card (newer cards seem to be moving away from overlays and going to VMR - see DirectX 9.0)


HDTV cards have their own overlay for full screen, or they can be viewed on a desktop window (poor quality do to limitations).


No it is not the same as maximising the window since there are none of the windows elements like the title bar, windows edges, etc. In full screen, what shows on your HDTV would look like a normal TV picture and not a computer.


Some users have seperate computer monitors so they never see the desktop on the HDTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can you explain how having a separate computer monitor would prevent seeing the desktop on the HDTV (until full-screen is activated).
 

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Some video cards are capable of running dual monitors. You run the desktop on the monitor and the overlay on the other. It is somewhat possible to do the same with HDTV cards by not using the passthrough cable.
 
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