HDCP and HTPCs

Belzok

Distinguished Member
I'm currently in the middle of speccing up a HTPC to compliment the purchase of a nice Sony 40X2000 after Christmas.

Now obviously the lack of OEM HD DVD and BluRay drives is a little annoying but at the same time I consider the upgradability of a PC essential, especially given the fluid nature of the hardware at the moment.

General plan was to go for a case with at least 3, maybe 4, 5.25" drives accessible, one for a multiregion SD DVD player, one for HD DVD and the last for BluRay, maybe a second Region 1 BluRay drive.

Yay, I thought, now onto to speccing perhaps the most important part of the system - a graphics card. Again, looking forward, I was going for as future proof as I can make it. I had a look at both Nvidia and ATI and cards with HDMI outs are rare but available, it was at this point I stumbled upon this little story...

The Great HDCP Fiasco

I suggest you read it but then general gist is all the cards currently out proclaiming HDCP support are telling you lies, when Vista arrives and you try and get HD out of the cards you won't get it, the various cards while having the architecture in place haven't got the various codes built in, all for the sake of $0.005 per card.

Really annoyed and not sure whether I should just go with the current version of MCE and leave Vista for as long as I can or just go for the non-HTPC seperates option. The bit about the Sony HTPC being fully compliant really does put the cherry on top :(
 

Wonka

Active Member
that's an old article, AFAIK Nvidia sorted out this cockup with later generations of cards.

of course, I am ready to be proved completely wrong :)
 

Belzok

Distinguished Member
I would love that article to be completely wrong and out of date but it mentions a couple of current graphics cards, the ATI X1900 series and the Nvidia 7800GS.

THe thing that particularly worries me is that both companies were claiming HDCP compatibility for cards that weren't actually going to work, really bad in the case of ATI who make there own boards.

I'm after a good graphics card, one that can handle games in addition to giving an HDMI output as my HTPC will do both jobs I hope. Most are lower spec aimed solely at the HTPC market from the looks of things.
 

Cable Monkey

Well-known Member
Updating with the required codes should not be a big deal. Vista should also provide the functionality to do that I would imagine. Also the 'fluidity' of the present situation can be resolved by buying the right card for the job when the time comes. In short, it is fixable!
 

Belzok

Distinguished Member
Oh I do hope so :)

I've had a look at some threads about graphics cards and found this link to an anandtech review which is a big relief.

It list several Nvidia 7950s which will be adequate for the gaming side and it gives HDCP output over the DVI interface which is fine as I won't be using the display for sound.
 

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