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To preface: I would like to include, but limit this discussion to the use of the Radeon 8500 or 8500 AIW *exclusively with high-definition display devices* for all PC purposes, not just DVD playback.

Most HDTV owners have displays that limited to 480i, 480p, 1080i, and in some cases, 720p. What possibilities exist when viewing an 8500 or 8500DV signal (originating from the DVI port) on a HDTV? So far we only have very limited info. This forum simply deserves more details about the HDTV capabilities of the 8500 cards. To begin, I noticed the HDTV portion of the
8500 FAQ on ATI's website has been revised:

Q31: Is component output enabled with the initial shipment? How do I get component output?


No, component output is not available with the initial shipment. However, you will be able to purchase an upgrade package with DVI to YPrPb dongle from ATI shortly after shipment begins. HDTV Support: 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. For DVD & Macrovision support: 480i & 480p. The RADEONâ„¢ 8500 supports Interlaced and progressive scan HDTV.

Although this sounds reassuring at first glance, I have a few questions I hope the HTPC community can answer:

1. Does this mean Powerstrip will no longer be necessary to view standard HDTV resolutions like 1080i, etc.?

2. Does ATI provide specific or generic monitor drivers for HDTV capable devices? Will the Sony GDM-W900 still work without Powerstrip?

3. Why are 1080i and 720p listed for HDTV support, but not supported for DVD?

4. Are there quantifiable performance increases in scaling quality and anti-aliasing vs. original Radeons?

5. What kind of overscan solutions can HD RPTV/FPTV users expect with the Radeon 8500 vs. the old Radeon in conjunction with Powerstrip/YXY?

6a. HDTV support is offered through the DVI connector. ATI ships the 8500 with a DVI-to-VGA adaptor. For users who already own a VGA-to-Component transcoder (AA/Key Digital), will simply running the signal from the 8500 DVI-->dvi2vga-->vga2component-->HDTV suffice?

6b. Will purchasing this DVI-to-Component dongle offer siginificant advantages over the solution offered in 6a (if that will work)?

7. Is 3D Gaming in HDTV (especially interlaced/1080i) supported? How does the 8500 user play 3D games in HD that are incompatible with 16:9 resolutions?

Maybe this thread can slowly turn into a Radeon 8500 HTPC FAQ. I do not own this card, or else I would have posted as many compatibility (or lack thereof) findings as possible. I think $300 a large sum to spend on a slick & speedy polygon renderer, but a very modest amount if it enables HDTV users to view additional quality content, given the limited availability of current HD sources.
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