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Hello people,


I'm in the process of building my first HTPC, and finding a good solution for TV-out is even more difficult than I'd ever imagined.


I won't go into all the different possibilities I've eliminated, but I've narrowed it down to two choices.

  1. A VGA to NTSC scan converter, with just about any video card. (Likely an ATI Radeon 9000.) I'm specifically considering the AITech Web Cable Plus here.
  2. An NVidia Geforce4 Ti4200 card with a CX2587x NTSC encoder chipset. [/list=1]


    The AITech unit is attractive because it'll work regardless of software support, and if I choose to upgrade the video card in the future, I'll be able to use it with the AITech unit so long as it has a VGA port. The unit seems to have a configurable overscan, and it has an S-video output. My only concern with it is quality.


    The NVidia unit is attractive as an all-in one solution that I can get quicker and probably cheaper. I have concerns about driver stability, but they're not overwhelming. My major problem with this option is the incredible difficulty of finding a unit with a CX2587x chipset. (See here for details.)

    All things considered, if I knew the AITech unit had quality that was comparable to the quality of the Brooktree 869 or Conexant 25xxx chipset , I'd order one right now.


    So that's my question. I know that the Philips and Chrontel chipsets aren't considered to be of great quality. I know the Brooktree chipsets are considered good, and the Conexant chipsets excellent.


    I've read one post on another mailing list that suggests that the AITech unit looks much better than the Philips chipset, but I can find no information on any of the mailing lists, forums, or websites I've searched that compares the quality of the AITech unit with a BrookTree or Conexant chipset.


    Can anyone offer any insight?


    I'd be more than willing to consider another scan converter with a comparable price that is known to have similar or superior quality to the BrookTree chipsets.


    Thanks in advance
 

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Cutty,


I am using a Leadtek GF3 Ti500 with a CX2587x to feed my rear projector though a good quality Svideo cable and the quality is outstanding.

I use TVtool (required) to output 1024x768 desktop to a 43" PAL TV with 'Flick Filtering' and 'Enhance Text' and it looks much better than a standalone DVD player.


I compare this setup to my Compaq P4 notebook with Radion 7500 Svideo out and there is no comparison. The Radion looks like crap.


The CX 2587x chip is the best TV out at the momment.


I have not used a scan converter to compare, but it would need to be very good to better my current setup.

I think that some of the scan converters also use a Conexant chip.

Basically the same thing in an external box.


Hope this helps.


Regards,


Owen
 

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Cutty-


Welcome to AVS Forum!

I am not sure if my Nvidia board has a better-quality output than my external VGA-to-TV converter (an AVerKey Imicro), but there is one big advantage to the external converter:


It will not cause problems with a software DVD player.


I connected my Nvidia's TV output to a TV to see what it looked like, and then I got nothing but error messages whenever I tried to play DVDs. Apparently this is yet another 'copy-protection' bad side effect. I switched to the external encoder (so I can feed the PC video to an in-house RF system), and the DVD problem went away.
 
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