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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All;


I've been reading this forum for a while now and have been reading all the guides by Karnis, Rejhon, etc a great deal, but I still am just overwhelmed by the number of variables involved in finding a good solution for playing games on my HTPC.


The variables in this equation obviously are:


1) Operating System

2) Video Card

3) Video Card Drivers

4) Powerstrip settings


All I really want to do is play games with my Radeon 8500 on a Toshiba 65" RPTV. I use Windows 2000, but could install Win98 SE if things would improve.


I've got a very good Progressive DVD player, so I don't need to use the HTPC for DVD playback.


I bought a Key Digital VGS to Component Transcoder and use it with Powerstrip 3.


I can play some games fine using 540P settings, but Games like Medal of Honor will not work well.


Everything works fine when I simply use the S-Video output from the 8500, but of course fine text is very hard to read due to interlacing and the resolution is much lower than I would like.


I assume that using 540p timings I will get much better picture quality than using interlaced modes such as 1280 X 960. However, I would REALLY like to play games at a much higher resolution than just 640 X 480 using 540p timings.


At the same time, I am under the impression that a lot of games will use different resolutions for the game itself and the videos that the game plays. Thus some games will make my Toshiba will lose sync and black out.


Before I start tearing my hair out like so many others have done, I would simply like to know what is possible and what is not.


Will I be able to play games in high resolution modes like 1280 X 960 (interlaced) and NOT have any problems with my Radeon 8500?


Or is it a sad fact of life that either W2K or the current Radeon 8500 Drivers will simply not allow me to do this?


Will the new Powerstrip 3.16 overcome any of these limitations of W2K or the Current Radeon 8500 Drivers?


Do I need to simply switch to Win98 to allow interlacing on the Radeon 8500?


Do I need to use a specific set of drivers for the Radeon 8500 in either OS to overcome interlacing problems?


Do I need to switch to a DIFFERENT ATI video card such as the 7000, 7200, 7500, etc?


Do I need to simply buy a different Video card such as a GeForce4?


ASSUMING that there IS a combination of operating system, video card, drivers and Powerstrip settings that will allow me to play games at high resolution, will this work for ALL games ie. 2D, 3D, OpenGL and Direct3D?


IF there is such a reality, what is the proper working combination?


Am I simply Out to Lunch here?


I would really, REALLY like to just set up my HTPC ONCE and then never have to play around with the settings again.


If I am forced by any limitations above to always run my HTPC at 640 X 480 using 540P timings? Is it yet another SAD fact of life that I won't be able to play some games because they use different resolutions for the videos, menu, etc?


I assume that this would be because the Radeon 8500 drivers don't currently support interlacing. Is this correct?


I understand that ATI is working on some new drivers to fix some problems with Gamma on the 8500. Are they intending to do anything about interlacing problems?


I apologize if my questions seem disjointed, but there are just so many things to keep straight in my head when thinking about this.


I don't mind at all in spending the time necessary to set up my HTPC properly as long as it will play games correctly.


The last thing I want to do is spend a great deal of time banging my head against the wall only to find out that what I want to do simply is not possible.


I have already spent a lot of time researching these topics, but I usually get conflicting answers.


I have also spent a lot of time with Powerstrip primarily to get my HTPC working at 640 X 480 using 540p settings.


I mention this as I know and fully respect how long it takes for other to do this and thus I would certainly appreciate and respect any answers to my questions.


Thank you
 

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bump


I share many of the same questions you have Bob. Hopefully we can get a good thread going on these topics.


I just read in another post that Powerstrip 3.16 may add interlacing support but you would have no overlay. I have not tried it yet.


By the way I don't think we will ever be able to configure these htpcs and forget it. I think a lot of the appeal of an HTPC is the constant tinkering and tweaking of a pc hooked up to your home theater. Next it will be Powerstrip 4.0, PowerDvd 5.0, ATI driver #9012, etc.... Since it is software driven the upgrades will never end, which is why I think we love and hate it so much. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Falcon;


Yes, you are probably right. It's not so much the tinkering that bothers me, just that I really don't want to spend three weeks going through all possible settings of OS, video cards, drivers, powerstrip, just to find out that the best overall solution is to simply use the s-video connection.


That is what I use now.


Yes, yes, I know. It's lame, it's interlaced, it's low res, but it does work with *any* game I play.
 

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I hear ya.


I play my games on a different computer than my HTPC. While the RPTV is huge it just doesn't look as sharp as on a quality CRT. For less than $300 you can get a good 19" Viewsonic monitor. My home theater is not setup right for the joysticks, driving wheels, etc.


I have a similiar setup as you... ATI 7500 w/ Key Digital transcoder connected to a Toshiba 50h81. When you view the desktop on the TV do see any fuzzy or blurry areas, especially down where the clock is on the system tray? I can only look the TV so long when I am veiwing text since my eyes will start hurting. I am using 720x480P with Powerstrip 3.15.


Thanks.
 
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