I can't believe it took me so long to find this site!! You guys are trying to do what I have been (independantly) working on for years! I'm using my PC as the central A/V component in a fairly high end A/V system (actually I have 2 - one in the master living room and one in the master bedroom). Here is my current setup:
+AMD Athlon XP PC - 2 Gig ram, Asus MB
+ATI AIW 8500 128 Video Card (soon to be 9800ProAIW)
+SB Audigy 2 Platinum Soundcard
+IR Remote keyboard and mouse
+ADS front/rear/center speakers
+DirecTV - have the regular TV, upgrading to HDTV this week
+Sony WEGA HDTV
Here are my questions
1. I'm upgrading the DirecTV receiver to a Sony SAT-HD200. This will force me to "somehow" connect an HDTV INPUT to the AIW card... is this possible? Right now I have it connected via a crappy S-Video cable, as my current received does not decode HDTV - but I just put my nice 3 LNB HTV antenna up, and hte new HDTV recevier should be here in 3 days...
2. Has anyone figured out how to make ATI's MMC deal with the Audigy 2's digital audio input? I have to adjust the volume/mute manually on the audigy - kinda sux, I'ld rather do it from the MMC center.
Thanks Andrew, but I was hoping to keep the AIW card as the main driver for my TV. If the cards cost 10 grand - I don't care, money is not really a factor, I just want it to work . I read the FAQ, but nobody seems to talk about getting a DirecTV receiver and connecting it into anything?? maybe I am mis-understanding the terminology? Is it even POSSIBLE to connect the Sony DirecTV receiver into the AIW (or another card) and have the AIW (or another card) output the HDTV signal to my HDTV TV?
The reality is, no you can't put HDTV into a AIW card. You can put S-video out of the Sony into the AIW but then waht's the point? Even if you do buy the 10k card it will not be able to output through your AIW card. The PCI bus will not support the required data rate to pass HDTV.
You are going to need to figure out another way to route the signals. Maybe a component or RGBHV switcher? Does you HDTV accept more than one type of input? If it does you could use it to switch between the two different outputs.
Midi-guy is right about the FAQ, it really is a must read to get up to speed on all the different options and lingo.
Unless the DirectTV HDTV signal is the same format as the Over-the-air HDTV signals (which I highly doubt), then you cannot input them into the AIW card. It would have to be connected directly to the TV. You can route the SDTV signals from the DirectTV box into the svideo in of the AIW, which you can then display using ATI's MMC software or other TV software, but you would be bypassing the card's built-in TV tuner. Not a big deal since the TV tuner isn't really that good.
Of course, for OTA HDTV you can get any one of a number of cards, but I can't help you there, as Canada has no OTA HDTV.
This device will allow you to get the D* HDTV into your computer.
It can then be sent to your HDTV.
Otherwise, you would not be gaining anything by what you want to do.
Now, if what you want is a kind of switching hub for your various kinds of signals, then that's something totally different.
FYI PQ wise, for capturing SDTV to computer , the Radeon cards are less favored here when compared to the inexpensive Connextant capture boards. The Radeon is highly regarded for its output. On the high end of SDTV capture is the Holo3D.
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