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HDTV playback ready graphics card spec here

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Rob.Screene, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I noticed a spec on Microsoft's site that quotes 128-bit 10GB/sec memory as a minimum for HDTV playback using the htpc's graphics card.

    Note: I you are only intending to play standard def DVD's, then don't worry too much abotu this

    Here's a list of the few cards that with that criteria could potentially sensibly be considered for smooth HDTV playback:
    GeForce 6800 and higher (MCE Certified).
    GeForce 6600 GT and higher (MCE Certified).
    GeForce FX 5900 XT and higher (MCE Certified).
    GeForce FX 5800 and higher.
    GeForce FX 5700 Ultra (MCE Certified).
    GeForce FX 5600 Ultra.
    Parhelia and higher.
    Radeon X600 XT (MCE Certified).
    Radeon 9700 and higher.
    Radeon 9800 and higher (MCE Certified).

    Almost:
    9.6GB/sec:-
    Radeon 9600 Pro
    Radeon 9600 XT
    Radeon X600 Pro

    Ref: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/mce/expert/hdtv.mspx
    Ref: http://www.pcvsconsole.com/features/video/
    [Edit: Added Windows Media Center 2005 certified note
    Ref: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/partners/dfw/partnerlisting.mspx]
    Anyone getting rock solid smooth playback of 1080i/60 material using anything less?

    I just went from a Radeon 9500 (8.64GB/sec) to a 9700 Pro (19.84GB/sec) and saw a big improvement to smoothness, although I still get combing on poor quality 1080i captures where cadence is dropped.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  2. scumball

    scumball
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    I take it this spec is for WMV-HD...MPEG2 seems to be less hungry, am I right? What speed memory throughput would you need to 1080i MPEG2-TS?
     
  3. Cable Monkey

    Cable Monkey
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    Obviously not an exhaustive list with all ati cards above the X600 missing? I think it is reasonable to assume any DX9 card that has been furnished with the power to play DX9 games will do HD video well also.
     
  4. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I think the link is about HDTV (MPEG2@HL TS) reception and playback, not WM9 playback. I think the WM9 spec is much higher on the cpu side at about 3GHz/800fsb.

    I don't think we can safely say any DX9 part, as the Radeon 9500's and 9600 are DX9 and they fall short of the spec.

    I think it's around adaptive de-interlacing power, not just the MPEG@HL decoding and that looks to need lots of memory bandwidth.

    I suspect the reality of this this is because most HDTV streams don't appear to be well flagged,
    i.e. no film-mode rarely locks on, leaving the de-interlacer to do lots of work.

    This is in contrast to pretty much most hollywood NTSC standard-def DVD's where film-mode flagging is correct on the disc.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  5. scumball

    scumball
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    Why are HDTV component dongles available for the cards you mention as not up to spec. if they cannot playback HDTV streams - what's the point? What do they mean when they say they have "All-format DTV/HDTV decoding" on-board?
     
  6. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Yeah, marketing, eh. In short, I'm not sure why. I'm just relating this from the Microsoft spec and seeing the difference between a Radeon 9500 and 9700 Pro myself.

    It had been really bugging me how a HTPC that did so well at playing DVD's should struggle with HDTV streams, even though, because of DXVA decoding assistance, the cpu usage% was still way down, but pans regularly struggled.

    I had upgraded to a dual-channel memory, upgraded the P4 2GHz to 2.8GHz then to 3.2GHz/800fsb, tried a few re-builds and catalyst drivers, etc. all to little avail. Then finally I saw a 256-bit card at a good price.

    I'd say the majority of component dongles are used to view pc games and internet on a HD TV, Plasma or projecto.

    How many really watch 1080i HDTV films off of software based players?

    I think most people seriously in to HDTV have a JVC D-Theater deck, or hardware HDTV capture/hardware-playback MyHD type card or more recently a networked set-top box like the Roku HD1000.

    From our HTPC world, there aren't many concrete 'hdtv software playback really works well' examples on the TheaterTek forum for example and AVS is full of issues with HD capable decoders and filters. In a poll I did a few months ago, not many reported "as good as my set-top box" is response.

    best regards,
    Rob.
     

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