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Quick question about htpc and hdtv

336 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Stormpvp
When I hook my htpc up to my standard TV I can't read text hardly at all (as I figured). DVD and avi movies are no better than what I can get out of my stand alone dvd player. I am outputting from s-video on my gforce2mx card. I pretty much expect all of these things, though maybe I would get better picture on an ati.

When I run my sat (dishnetwork basic sat reciever) into my haupage wintv card (old card) through regular coaxial cable and use dscaler to watch tv.. the quality really isn't that much better than my tv. Actualyl there are some artifect umm horizontal lines that shimmy around the screen somewhat. When I change the resolution in dscaler istelf, it doesnt make any difference in pq. I am a dscaler n00b I am afraid.

I am currently budgeting to buy a 32" standard TV soon (have been thinking about it for awhile), but after recent experimentations with PQ on standard tv's.. only thing I think that I will get out of my htpc is just central file storage instead of having to pop in a new dvd all the time. Based on this, I am thinking about buying a low end HDTV set instead. Probably the bare bones samsung 27" 4:3 display (though I really want 32" at least, lol). I have a hard time justifing the cost to my wife who really doesnt care about PQ all that much.


1) If I purchase an HDTV set and a newer ATI card with dvi out.. then use the dvi-composite adapter and send that to the HDTV.. will text be readable just as it is on my montior (I figure I will have to use something like powerstrip though I am n00b with that)?

2)Will messing with refresh rates with powerstrip make PQ better on a standard tv, or is that really only something to use with HDTV?

3)Is my bad PQ with dscaler because of the old tv tuner card with regular coaxial cable input?

4)If I upgrade to a new tv tuner card (prob nothing like myhd or something since I don't recieve and hdtv programming atm.. or maybe myhd would be fine anyways?) will the PQ be better at least on my computer monitor, or do I need actual digital programming (might need to upgrade my reciever or go with digital cable.. prob go with digital cable)?

I mostly plan on using this at first for watching stored DVD's off my hard drive. I do not have an unlimited budget.. well with the wifes hand on the purse strings it is fairly limited, heh.. but PQ does matter to me. If HDTV makes enough difference.. especially if it has clear text with a computer inputted into it, I think I can sell her on it.

So overall.. is it worth it? And as another selling point, is didgital cable->dscaler on htpc->dvi to component output on an ati card->hdtv set a huge improvement on my regular dish network sat reciever into the svideo input on my 20" rca flatscreen?

Help me sell her on it :)

EDIT: I may have said composite instead of component a few times.. I really mix those up, and honestly do not know the difference. From what I can see that tv only has component input.. if that makes a difference.

2nd Edit: Link to the tv: http://www.bestbuy.com/detail.asp?e=...t=24&scat=1470
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bump still looking for some info
A HDTV will allow you to run higher resolutions fed by the HTPC using powerstrip to set the resolution and a video card that allows custom timings and resolutions (search ATI & GeForce) Depending upon the TV you get you may need to get a transcoder (search for Audio Authority) to convert vga to component. It sounds like you have a video card with composite out (yellow rca jack) that you connected to your existing tv. That signal is not on par with HDTV and is less then you can get via S-Video (525 lines max) and is also interlaced, that is one reason that the text was hard to read.

Don't give up on the idea, but do use the search feature here at avs. You can also check out the HTPC section on my web site below for some additional information. My site is a little dated but should provide some information about cutom timings & resolutions etc.

Good Luck
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I have been using s-video out with tvtool, or without tv-tool (screen doesn't line up right without it) and have tried powerstrip a little bit though I do not know if chaning timing will affect anything on a SDTV (wow long run on sentance, heh). I have searched the forums pretty extensively now for around 3 weeks or so and have gotten a lot of advanced info on the subject, but not a lot of basics.

Mainly, we watch most dvd's and divx files on the computer since the quality has been quite better than what I get when I use a stand alone player on the tv, or do a tv out with the streams. Plus with viewing distance on our 20"tv... watching on the computer seems bigger. We are upgrading our tv soon and have been planning on getting a $350 SDTV. It sounds like an HDTV would be better for the dvd playback and for htpc general use, but I hear that regular analog programming will look like crap.

That's where some of the questions about dscaler and overallness come together. I think I am mostly looking for personal reconmendations and opinions with a little bit of tech info so that I can justify an HDTV purchase to my wife.. if that is the route we end up going.
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That HD Samsung should look great, especially on the DVDs. Try getting your SD signal into your computer with S video, it's better than composite (big connection with a little hole in the middle vs. component=3 video jacks).
SVideo will be better then composite yes, but not nearly as good as HDTV. Even if you go with SVideo, the timings will not make a difference as far as I know, the output for SVideo & composite from your video card are fixed i.e. not effected by timing & resolution changes.

Even if you abandon the HTPC, the HDTV you get will have a built in line doubler which will give you a better picture then a SDTV
The HTPC is here to stay since I can store all my dvds on it.. like a media jukebox. I can upgrade to a new tv tuner and vid card if needed to watch on an hdtv.. if those will make it better.

I have been reading a bit that analog sources (non hdtv channels on my sat) look crappy on hdtv. If I run it through dscaler will it make it better? Getting some conflicting info on that part.
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