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Quick newbie question about HD :^)

172 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  shstevens
I am going through the wonderful meta-FAQ right now. I have one quick question that will determine if it is worth my time.

I am very unfamiliar with how displays work at this point, although I am trying to learn. I will try to describe what I am trying to do and just hope it is clear enough.

I am hoping to put together a HTPC for the following reasons:

1) Bring HD to my home theater

2) Improve DVD image

3) Improve DirecTV image

4) Get the most out of my projector

I am using a projector that is not specifically HD compatible (it is a Boxlight XP-60M). It has s-video, composite and VGA inputs. It is a native 1024x768 LCD unit.

My (hopeful) theory is that I can use the HTPC to send a signal into the VGA input for the best possible image. Using the wonderful HTPC software out there I can improve the image presented to the projector (although starting quality of the image is obviously the limiting factor).

My main question revolves around HD. Even though my projector is not specifically HD compatible, would the whole concept of the HTPC with the appropriate hardware allow me to use the HTPC to create the proper HD image and send it to the projector? Or is the fact that it is not specifically compatible with HD a limiting factor period?

This one question will pretty much determine if I go down this road or not.

Thanks for walking a newbie though the rough spots at the beginning of a LOT of information.


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Yes, HDTV cards are meant in part to have their pictures be viewed on a computer screen. Thus, you can set it up to work fine with your projector. Note, the picture will have to be scaled a bit - the closest to hdtv resolutions your projector supports is 720p, which is 1280x720 - that'll have to be scaled down to fit within 1024x768 (as will 1080i, 1920x1080). I, however, am using a real HDTV, so someone else should be able to give you more details about it.
Thanks! I have done a lot of reading in the last few hours - this is an amazing place! HAHA.

I am curious how much of a boost my picture quality will get with the right setup.

I already have a PC I can use which will get me going - I just have to add a few things such as:

DVD drive - Toshiba SDM-M1402B

Video Card - ATI Radeon 7500 DVI/VGA w/Zalman passive heatsink 64MB

Video Capture - Hauppauge WinTV-Radio 401

Sound Card - Delta DiO 2496

I should be able to do that for about $400 I think - a reasonable test. If it works out I will get a better PC, prettier case, and the HiPix DTV-200 HDTV Card (unless I hear different here :^) and never look back - ok who am I kidding, once I start this I will tweak it daily won't I, heh.

I am sure no one can tell me how much better the picture will be so I just have to bite the bullet and give it a shot. I could just by an Iscan Pro for that but the flexibility here is just nuts.

Here is a nice buried question (I will break it out if no one else sees it LOL).

The HTPC will obviously have the DVD player in it and the HD tuner eventually. The video capture card has one composite and one svideo input. I will not be using an AV receiver at the beginning so if I wanted to have more than one svideo input (DirectTV, S-VHS, etc.) would I just need another 401 or should I use some sort of switcher?


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