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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally went to the trouble to swap out my Barco 800 with a 1209 and it is causing me to notice some troubles with my HTPC. I am pretty sure most of it is probably just the video card.


So I was wondering what most people with 9" projectors are using for a video card. Tell me why you like or don't like it and whether you think it is a good value for the money.


I am pretty sure I need to upgrade my Radien 7000. For one thing, I can not seem to get it to run 1080p.
 

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NVidia 6600GT card. Great value right now. Well engineered and designed and works well with TT.


Terry
 

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Does it have to be the GT or is a straight 6600 just as good? AFAIK the 6600 has exactly the same features just the GPU is clocked slower and has slower VRAM?


Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you guys know if this card will work with Window ME? Thats what I am using right now.
 

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I currently have a Nvidia Quadro FX4000 (twin head)


the colour representation is just amazing compared to my previous cards,


have had top of range nvidia and ati cards in the past.


I would say that for most DVD playback almost any good card should do,


If you have trouble then you need to look more into your setup.


most pc's we get to "look at" need set up configuration changes to run well / better.


Graphics cards these days are designed for 3d animation , gaming and design work, they should all play dvd's perfectly, most of what they can do will never be used by most.....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javers
Does it have to be the GT or is a straight 6600 just as good? AFAIK the 6600 has exactly the same features just the GPU is clocked slower and has slower VRAM?


Jon
I have been researching this for the last few weeks or so. For HDTV files (e.g., files that have a native resolution of 720p or higher) the 6600GT is supposedly better due to the higher memory bandwidth. For what I have read Mircosoft has certain mimimum recommendations for memory bandwidth for HDTV WMV files and the regular 6600 doesn't meet their spec. If you are just scaling DVDs then the regular 6600 is more than plenty.


However there seem to be a few more complaints with tearing and other things with the nvidia cards than the ATIs when using HDTV files as opposed to DVD scaling. I am probably going with nvidia but still on the fence.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVonse
Do you guys know if this card will work with Window ME? Thats what I am using right now.
It probably should. Though ME is going to hamper you peformance quite a bit. To pull off 1080p you are probably going to need DirectX9 (not sure whether that is available for ME) and pretty modern processor (I am guessing this is an older computer since it has ME on it). Are you just scaling DVDs or are you looking to play native HDTV files?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Originally Posted by secstate
It probably should. Though ME is going to hamper you peformance quite a bit. To pull off 1080p you are probably going to need DirectX9 (not sure whether that is available for ME) and pretty modern processor (I am guessing this is an older computer since it has ME on it). Are you just scaling DVDs or are you looking to play native HDTV files?
Yes its pretty old, processor only runs 750MHz so I can't do WM9. Sure wish I could though. What I am getting right now when I try 1920 x 1080p is the desktop is not framed properly. 1440 x 960p is framed correctly though.


I have a feeling my card has problems because there is a lot of small movement with the icons. I could not see this very well before but now it is looking pretty terrible. And it seems to get even worse when I crank up the scan rate. So it is a compromise of either having to look at scan lines or movement artifacts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMrH
I currently have a Nvidia Quadro FX4000 (twin head)


the colour representation is just amazing compared to my previous cards,


have had top of range nvidia and ati cards in the past.


I would say that for most DVD playback almost any good card should do,


If you have trouble then you need to look more into your setup.


most pc's we get to "look at" need set up configuration changes to run well / better.


Graphics cards these days are designed for 3d animation , gaming and design work, they should all play dvd's perfectly, most of what they can do will never be used by most.....
I could care less about gaming, I am in it for the movies. But there must be a lot of value added between the cards because I have heard a 9" projector with a good card can look almost as good as HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by secstate
Are you just scaling DVDs or are you looking to play native HDTV files?
You lost me here. How is the video card going to have anything to do with playback of HDTV files? I am using a MyHD card but when you go into playback it automatically runs through that card at 1080i. Doesn't it? Is there some way you know how to run transport files at 1080p?


I would love to know how because I am seeing scan lines pretty bad at 1080i.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by secstate
However there seem to be a few more complaints with tearing and other things with the nvidia cards than the ATIs when using HDTV files as opposed to DVD scaling. I am probably going with nvidia but still on the fence.
What other ATI cards are you considering?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVonse
Do you guys know if this card will work with Window ME? Thats what I am using right now.
I work in software, and I have to say, upgrade that OS. Windows certainly isn't the best OS out there, but ME set new standards for how bad a modern OS could be. If you don't get lock up during DVD playback with ME, I'd be shocked. An upgrade to XP is hightly recommended.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dave,

Your probably right. After listening to Secsate I'm almost thinking I should go to Best Buy and get a whole new bare bones computer with XP on it already.


Since you know a lot about software, can I ask you a question? If I upgrade my C drive Windows XP and the drive goes bad does that mean I have to pay full price to get another operating system? Thats what I really like about Windows 98 and ME is that I already got the software and when the drives go bad, I don't want to have to buy it again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVonse
You lost me here. How is the video card going to have anything to do with playback of HDTV files? I am using a MyHD card but when you go into playback it automatically runs through that card at 1080i. Doesn't it? Is there some way you know how to run transport files at 1080p?


I would love to know how because I am seeing scan lines pretty bad at 1080i.
You can download HDTV files though mostly 720p from various sources on the internet. Some are demos which are legal, some are movies and TV shows that are captured from HDTV cable or ripped from WMV versions of movies which are not so legal obviously. You can actually buy some HDTV WMV DVDs, Terminator 2 for instance. The newer video cards will in fact take some of the processing of these files from the CPU so you can get by with a lesser CPU but not a 750 MHz one though. Most of these newer file formats are based on mpeg4 rather than mpeg2 used by regular DVDs and OTA HDTV broadcasts. It takes a lot more horsepower to process these formats but the file size is a lot smaller. Not sure whether the MyHD accelerates mpeg4 processing or not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVonse
I could care less about gaming, I am in it for the movies. But there must be a lot of value added between the cards because I have heard a 9" projector with a good card can look almost as good as HD.
Actaully the newer cards do scaling better and accelerate the processing of mpeg4 encoded videos which becoming more common versus the usual mpeg2 used by DVDs and OTA HDTV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVonse
Dave,

Your probably right. After listening to Secsate I'm almost thinking I should go to Best Buy and get a whole new bare bones computer with XP on it already.


Since you know a lot about software, can I ask you a question? If I upgrade my C drive Windows XP and the drive goes bad does that mean I have to pay full price to get another operating system? Thats what I really like about Windows 98 and ME is that I already got the software and when the drives go bad, I don't want to have to buy it again.
If you go looking for a PC AMD processors seem to be the better buy right now performance-wise and tend to run cooler. If you want to future proof yourself to some degree look for at least a 3GHz processor or equivilent (e.g., a 3000+ in AMD parlance). Also AGP which is probably what your existing card is, is on its way out. PCI Express (PCIe) is the new video card format, make sure your new PC has this rather than AGP since in another year AGP cards will be hard to find. The XP acitivation feature is mostly set off my a motherboard upgrades anything less is generally no problem. To be honest even if you call MS for reactiviation it is fast and painless.


The ATI cards I am looking at are the 9800 Pro (which is the last generation) and X700 Pro and X800 (non-pro) which are this generation. Basically to sumarize the ATI vs. NVIDA wars from the HTPC forum. Nvidas generally thought to have better video quality and drivers. However they seem to have problems with stuttering and tearing at 1080i and p resolutions on some systems. Seems to be more of a problem for folks using DVI and Component out. VGA seems to be less of an issue which is of course what we care about. ATI has slightly less picture quality and the drivers are more of a pain with fewer options but they seem to be easier to get right.
 

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The 6600 makes a nice card for the beginner because it allows you to move away from PowerStrip for 1280x720. The drivers contain 1280x720 timings already.
 

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Yeah, but the stock standard 1280x720 won't have tweaked porches or correct refresh rates for film. You'd have to tweak the stock timings to get that.


The Nvidia driver does allow you to ditch Powerstrip as it has it's own custom res settings.


But Powerstrip indirectly allows you to automate changing refresh rates (film vs video, or PAL vs NTSC) - I don't know if you can do that with the Nvidia drivers.


Pro's and Con's to everything.
 
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