Best HDCP HDMI Graphics solution.

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by JetJockey, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. JetJockey

    JetJockey
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    Hello.

    Well, I asked this about a year ago but a lot of hardware has passed under the bridge since then.

    So....... to ask again....slightly modified.....:oops: :oops:

    Can anyone recommend one of the newer SILENT graphics cards, either ATI or Nvidea, that offers HDMI out with HDCP, H264 hardware decoding ability and a circa £150 price tag please. Need one for an ongoing HTPC build and HDCP seems to be the way forward.

    Also nice would be video input and audio out via HDMI if poss. Gigabyte would be nice?

    Cheers, Gerald. :)
     
  2. FeiJi Fancier

    FeiJi Fancier
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    So far as I know, there is only one HDCP/HDMI/Audio enabled graphics card. But the good news it is only about £120.

    The Sapphire Radeon X1600 HDMI Pro - [click].

    Comes in PCI-E and AGP formats, both 256mb.
     
  3. JetJockey

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    Thanks,but........

    It does not appear to be a Silent heat pipe design.

    Also, this seems like old technology now, i'm sure I saw an ATI 1950 advertised the other day and it was only about £120.

    Is there anything more powerfull out there (to handle H264, WMV HD, etc, etc) that has HDMI and HDCP and allows audio to be fed over the HDMI link even if it has to be fed into the card first?

    Gerald. :) :)
     
  4. k03n

    k03n
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    I think you mean a Passive cooled GFX card like this coudnt find an ATI Passive alternative (There is a fan version available)

    enjoy
     
  5. evo6

    evo6
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    Here another passively cooled solution the MSI 7600GT.

    The Sapphire X1600Pro HDMI version is also a good solution, its not passively cooled but its very quiet!!
     
  6. peskywinnets

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    Shame the MSI doesn't have HDCP.....I really can't believe just how slow out the blocks video card manafacturers have been - it's not like HDCP was an unexpected event!
     
  7. Oldalez

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  8. Moviebuff

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    I would imagine that things will really take off when the Hi def rom drives are more affordable.
     
  9. JetJockey

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    I am beginning to question the value of the HDMI output. Recent experimentation shows my fuji 50" plasma gives by far the best picture when fed an exactly matched signal via DVI (pixel mapped at 1360 x 768). The picture is razor sharp and far better than any component or S video input even if 720 or 1080p.

    Pixel mapping is not possible via HDMI on my Fuji Plasma. :mad:

    Unfortunately, the DVI input does not support 50Hz or HDCP. :suicide:

    Methinks I will study the Specs a little closer before I buy my next display.:oops:

    Gerald. :)
     
  10. JetJockey

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    Here's a thought.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to use a graphics card with DVI HDCP support, and connect it to a display with HDMI HDCP support, and get it to work using a DVI to HDMI converter cable????? :eek:

    Makes life a lot easier if this will work.

    Gerald. :)
     
  11. Stuzo

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    I was under the impression that DVI and HDMI were very similar technologies where HDMI is effectivly a DVI solution that includes audio and is packaged differently. So I would guess there is a fair chance of it working, but I don't realy know a great deal about plasmas so I wouldn't take my word for it.
     
  12. JetJockey

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    A mate recently connected his Philips upscaling DVD player (HDMI) to his Philips Hi Def LCD television (DVI) using an adapter lead.

    Didn't work. They would / could not communicate. :suicide:

    He is not best pleased. :mad:

    Gerald. :oops:
     
  13. Ian Trotter

    Ian Trotter
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    For what its worth, I have my system outputing DVI from the scaler, DVI - HDMI convertor, HDMI - HDMI lead into the HDMI (HDCP) input of my plasma that works fine (no sound via this route obviously).

    I've been in a similar position myself, best picture achieveable pixel mapped but only possible via VGA @ 56.25Hz, I too will be reading the very small print in the spec's of my next screen (1080P native res. DVI / HDMI input over 48/50 - 72/100 Hz) the Pioneer PDP5000EX comes close but can't take the upper refresh frequencies.

    I'm currently looking at building a HTPC but haven't decided on keeping the scaler in the system or incorporating the graphics in the PC (I have a SDI output card) any comments anyone?

    Ian T.
     
  14. Paul Mela

    Paul Mela
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  15. mrm3

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    DVI to HDMI is a simple cable. It does not really convert anything just a different socket/connection that does not carry audio (as DVI).
    Used this on a projector for a couple of years.

    Problem is many TVs like the Samsung range do not 1:1 pixel match through HDMI or even accept a PC signal over HDMI. So many avforum members use the VGA port which gives a great picture anyway.
     
  16. Stuzo

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    Unless you are playing games (or intend to use some of the flash new display options in windows vista) you do not need a particualy powerfull graphics card in an HTPC. Decoding of HD video or any other video is mainly a processor intensive aplication, the graphics card is just providing means of getting the data output as a video signal (obviously it does a little more than this, but not a great deal, and an X1600 is more than capable)
     
  17. sinizterguy

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    The newer generation graphics cards support decoding of X264 etc onboard the video card itself, taking the load off the CPU.
     
  18. Stuzo

    Stuzo
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    Thats all well and good, but what are you going to be using the CPU for while you are watching a film?

    I'm talking specificly for a HTPC which you don't intend to play games on - It isn't going to be doing anything else while you are watching a film so you may as well use the CPU to decode the video rather than spend extra money on a graphics card you dont need that will leave the CPU twiddeling it's little sillicon thumbs
     
  19. JetJockey

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    Hi mrm3.

    I hear what your saying, but the fact remains that my mates combo will not work using the DVI to HDMI adaptor. If I plug his player into my panel (HDMI to HDMI) then Bingo!! Obviously something is missing in the translation.

    BTW, I have tried using a pixel mapped feed into my Fuji (1360x768) using the DVI input (DVI out of graphics card) and also into the VGA input (VGA output from graphics card).

    Using a scale of 1 to 10 to rank the result with DVI to DVI pixel mapped being a straight 10, then the VGA by comparison only gets a 9!!
    Using component input drops this to a 7.

    It's unfortunate, but having seen the results achievable via DVI and pixel mapping, I am not happy with anything less. :oops:

    Gerald. :)
     
  20. tim_kay

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    Jetjockey We've had all our blu-ray media pc's output hdcp content over dvi-hdmi leads. PC technology or HDCP decryption seems to output much differenetly to standalone players. For example you can output via vga as well, although the dvi-hdmi is identical to the hdmi-hdmi quality in all our testing.

    There is only 1 available silent hdcp card, the xfx 7950gt, and what a card it is! dual dvi but fine with dvi-hdmi cables, its a chunky monkey and won't fit in the antec fusion case.

    The other great options (fanned but very quiet) are the asus en7600gt, and the x1600pro.

    Gigabyte have released (but not seen it in the UK) the 7900gs which is the first silent hdmi middle price bracket card.

    Other hdcp 7900gs cards are available which use dual dvi.

    The point is for these cards you'll want a high def source, blu ray or hd-dvd, and neither of which seem to enforce hdcp like was expected.
     
  21. JetJockey

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    Hi Tim

    Interesting news re the output of HD on the PC graphics cards. This does tend to throw a different light on things, as does the news regarding the adaptor leads (DVI-HDMI) working well. The 7950 silent does seem like a nice card from the write ups. What sort of money are we looking at for a Hi Def drive and do you recommend Blu Ray or HD DVD?

    All of this still leaves me with the problem of my Fuji plasma only accepting 60Hz through the DVI (pixel mapped) input. When I play the opening scene from the latest star wars movie with the slow pan of the battlecruiser you can clearly see judder caused (I assume) by the PC converting the 50Hz Pal into 60Hz. I experimented with sending a 720p/1080p signal to the Plasma via component but the picture seemed hopeless compared to the pixel mapped version. Admittedly I was only looking at a Win XP desktop but the difference was quite marked. :(

    Dohh! Gerald. :)
     
  22. tfboy

    tfboy
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    I currently have a passively cooled nvidia 6600 in my HTPC with DVI and VGA outputs. It works fine with a DVI to HDMI converter and my cheap £12 7m HDMI-HDMI cable. Connected to my pearl, it looks fantastic. The relatively long cable run and DVI adaptor present no problems and the PC will output via this medium 1920x1080 native to the Pearl in 24, 50 and 60P with no problems :D Picture looks great. To be fair, I can't see much a difference between the DVI output and the VGA output. The brightness and contrast are very different whether using digital or analogue and I think it's a driver thing with black levels...

    However, I'm also on the lookout for an HDCP capable card which is passively cooled. I'm not bothered whether it's DVI or HDMI as the converter works fine in my case. HDCP is only really required for HD-DVD and BD playback which is now available with Cyberlink's PowerDVD Ultra. However, until you have an HDCP capable card (and monitor of course), you cannot output the picture over DVI or HDMI, but VGA still works (at 1920x1080) :)
     
  23. JetJockey

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    Thanks tfboy.

    My current panel only supports HDCP via HDMI.

    I would have thought that most new panels or projectors should support HDCP via DVI and HDMI?????

    I'm thinking that a projector may be the best option for a second display as i'm told they give a better picture than plasma (less processing artifacts, etc).

    Gerald.
     
  24. pannivas

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    The new generation of video cards supports Hardware acceleration for H264 and not x264 as far as I know there is no hardware acceleration as of yet for the x264 but I am not sure. Anyway HD DVDs will most probably be using H264 in the near future.


    If you plan to use your HTPC for HDDVD or Blu-Ray playback then you would most defiantly need booth a good video card and a good CPU to decode H264 HDDVD or Blu-Ray.

    Have a look here http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2886&p=4
    Even an Intel C2D X6800 uses an average of 45% with all NVIDIA 7xxx series and around 55% with ATI video cards. Maximum CPU util. is around 70% for NVIDIA and 80% for ATI. So I think you will pretty much need a good CPU as well as a good video card to decode Blu-ray and HDDVD H264. And have in mind this are the first generation HDDVDs out in the market and I am sure in the future the encoding bid rates will only go higher thus more CPU, GPU power will be needed.

    Also have a look here http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2890&p=4
    With MS VC1 codec. The case is not as bad as H264 but still a lot of CPU % is used even with fast CPUs and good Video Cards. As far as H264 on HDDVD goes the picture is pretty much the same as Blu-Ray.

    Also to the OP have a read here http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2874
    For HDCP/HDMI/DVI video cards from both NVIDIA and ATI sides.
     
  25. cameronl

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    NX7900GS-T2D256EZ-HD :)

    CaM
     

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