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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Here is a fresh round of questions regarding the components I am

trying to select for a new (and first) HTPC.

First off, I am planning on buying a shuttle mini case and placing

a ATI AIW inside of it as the primary video card / video output.

With that in mind, the fact that many of the HDTV tuner cards contain

their own video out confuses me. So far I have concluded that HDTV

cards that do hardware decoding send their output out the video

out connector that they have on the HDTV tuner themselves, and that

HDTV cards that do software decoding pipe the output through the

video card you are using. This brings up the following questions:

Q1: Is this correct ? Or have I misunderstood ?

Q2: If it is correct, what if I want to pipe a hardware decoded

HDTV signal out my video card anyway - is this hard, and

does it involve quality loss ?

Next, I have some questions regarding the combination of the shuttle

case, the ATI AIW, and whatever HDTV tuner I get.

Q3: If I have an ATI AIW and i am pumping out video through the VGA

output on that card, is the onboard VGA connector in the shuttle

useful for anything at all ? I can't think of anything to use

it for, but am curious if there are any interesting applications

or suggestions for its use...

Q4: If I have an ATI AIW, and I also have a HDTV tuner card, can I

use the PVR functionality (and software programs) of the ATI to

capture and PVR streams from _both_ the HDTV tuner _and_ the

ATI ? If not, is there a third party software that would allow

using the same interface/scheduling for both cards ? Basically

I do not want to implement and learn and use two different

interfaces for PVR...

Q5: I have read on this forum that if I am using the DVI output on

the ATI AIW, I can display _any_ resolution I want (within

reason) - does this apply to the VGA connector as well ?

Q6: The ATI AIW has a neat feature called mulTView where you can do

PIP and multiple recordings at the same time, etc. - do I

absolutely need the second card to be another ATI card for this

to function, or could i have the second source be my HDTV card ?

(that is, will the ATi mulTView take input from any cap card)

Finally, two odd / general questions:

Q7: Am I missing anything at all in terms of quality or flexibility

by using a VGA out to my display device rather than the DVI out ?

Q8: I am not sure what a Mike Parker modified Radeon 9700 Pro is,

but from what I can tell it is just a card with a soldered

on RGBHV output breakout attached ... is this true, or is

there more to this modification - like additional features ?

Thank you very, very much!

1,689 Posts
Q1: Correct

Q2: with the hardware decode cards, you can only pipe a standard definition (sub VGA) picture via the video card. If you want full screen HDTV you can connect the video card to an input on the HDTV card. Finally, you can still use software to decode HDTV, and display it via the video card

Q3: If you AIW is of the AGP kind, you won't be able to use the on-board video. Conversly, if the AIW is PCI based, you could use both at the same time (to display either the same stuff, or something different, like a nice menu system/programing grid while the main screen shows HD or DVD pcitures)

Q4: the ATI programs will only work with the ATI tuner/card. If you use a third party software (such as JRiver's Media Center) and have a Fusion card (the only one which has standard WDM NTSC drivers), you could potentially use the same interface with both cards (there might be some conflicts though... ). The HDTV features currently require some proprietary software...

Q5: Yes (but remember that this won't apply with HDTV if you get a hardware based card)

Q6: I doubt this would work with the MyHD (It MIGHT with the Fusion, but only for NTSC programming)

Q7: It depends on your display. DVI is a nice feature with a digital display (LCD, Plasma, etc.), but is far from indispensible

Q8: I don't have a MP mod card, but my understanding is that this is much more than just a change to a RGBHV connector. I don't think there are additional features, but the conventional wisdom is that the picture quality improvement is well worth the money (if you don't have a bottleneck elsewhere, such as a so-so display, that is)

3,496 Posts
I don't have a Shuttle, but it should not be too far off the normal setup.

A1 Correct.

A2 The MyHD can send the video to the video card, but it is not very pretty as it is only 480p. Better choice might be one of the Fusion cards - read the threads to see if this is an option for you.

A3 Nope, as it will be disabled. Only 1 AGP device can be active at the same time.

A4 Not with the MyHD card, you might be able to do it with a Fusion.

A5 Don't know.

A6 ATI says so.

A7 I am not sure that you can use a Transcoder with DVI. If you need interlaced out, you might want to consider a Transcoder.

A8 Look in the "AVS Forum Power Buys and Special Items " area. I understand that it is mainly for those using CRT projectors.

3,496 Posts
ATI says the other has to be an ATI Wonder.
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