Media Centre on CRT Television

Big blue

Standard Member
I have a fantastic (IMHO) "old" television - a 32" KV32FX60 Sony. It gives me a great picture - using a SKY+ box (upgraded several times).
Question - I am thinking of building a top end Media PC to archive tv/movies etc and to store all my music, pictures etc - am I wasting my time? I have heard/read in threads that using Windows MCE with a CRT television is no good as the fonts cannot be read easily and the picture is generally lousy. Is this right, or am I being misled/confused? Any info would be a great help - thanks.


I use a CRT but it has a component input so I've got the ATI DVI-Component dongle and have connected it that way. I've not actually tried the VGA-Scart option so I can't comment on that but I think many people on these boards use it and are quite happy with it, although they might be running plasmas/lcds at much higher resolutions.

I've never really got my head around the res/frequency/refresh thing. All I know is that my TV will only show a stable image at a low res, I currently have it at standard 640x480p, using Powerstrip to centre it. With the screen refresh set to 60Hz I'm in progressive mode and the picture is crystal within MCE but the desktop font is hard to read. If I drop it to 30Hz I'm in interlaced, I can see lines in video but the desktop font is then readable. I keep it on 60Hz because I want the best PQ and if I ever need to do anything on the machine I remote desktop into it to control it anyway so there's no need to drop it to 30hz. At the low-res the MCE frontend is quite large, I only get 3 columns of album covers in the music display mode but I can definitely live with that, there's no problem in the size of video playback.

I'm currently not using MCE for live TV so I think I might encounter problems there as I think PAL is 50hz and not 60hz so I might get stuttering or something but I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. I've not managed to work out how to use Powerstrip to force a [email protected] resolution from my ATI 9600SE card but I'll worry about that when I get a dual dvb-t tuner card and start using MCE to record TV.


Active Member
It'll be fine with a CRT for media centre use ... you just won't want to use it as a PC monitor for non MCE apps (as a rule). The picture playback on an MCE is just as good as a freeview box, no flicker, no small fonts etc - the MCE interface is setup well for CRT readability and, again, no flicker. The flicker is really seen when you use tiny little fonts etc as you would a PC for desktop\office use. I use a home made vga-rgb cable (see the thread in the main forum) for CRT use, and the same(?) dvi\component adaptor to feed a image to my PJ - thankfully the PJ image is big enough to use for normal PC work so I fire that up for surfing etc ... :)



Well-known Member
Hi there Big Blue.

I have a 32fx60 and have just completed an MCE PC.

I have hooked it up through S-Video (once so far to test everythibng works).

It looks great, MCE has an optionb for setting up MCE with CRT TVs.

I would prefer using VGA-SCART but it sounds like a lot of hassle i.e. need powerstrip and have to get teh right settings (ideally through anetwork on another pC in order to avoid damaging teh PC or TV !!)

The S-Video connection, although not as good as RGB SCart from Sky, is acceptable.

As mentioned in other posts, using it with XP (i.e. not teh MCE interface) makes the fonts hard to use.

As you say, teh 32FX60 is a great TV set, I have owned mine for about 6-7 years and it is faultless in all aspects. Would have been nice if it had a component input though


I had it running through my 32" Sony CRT and it worked fine, just the desktop view was hard to read...

I did go LCD eventually (2 days!)


Hi Folks

Just picked up my new Advent MHE 2000 from PC World (losers couldn't tell me a thing about it, but that's another story) and have connected it to my 32" Sony CRT via s-video lead into a scart adapter. MCE looks good, but my desktop was barley readable, I've mucked about a bit with the Resolution (now at 800 / 600) and scan rates (was 100 now 60) its got better but you could never use it as your P.C.

Any ideas? Other than getting a LCD. My Sony is only 12 months old, and as I'm getting married next year my fiancé is already freaking out with the cost of the Advent.



I just posted in the cable section what I have done using a passive cooled 6600GT connected to a sony CRT using scart-RGB.

Oke, this is what I posted.

I use Win MCE with a passive cooled 6600GT from Gigabyte GV-NX66T128VP. It comes with a HDTV video dongle
I have connected this dongle with a component - RGB cable like below:

It is connected to scart-RBG input on a Sony CRT(KV28FX60D).

I use the nvidia drivers (forceware 81.95) and nvidia's pure video decoder.

If I look at the drivers settings, by default pal/b was selected, so no messing arroud with powerstrip :thumbsup:

(it says B/PAL, Netherlands and composite video out and in the advanced timing section [email protected])

This all gives an excellent pictures. According to friends a dvd looks with this setup even better than by using my standalone dvd player (a pioneer dv-454) connected with scart RGB.


Active Member
Are you sure your TV doesn't accept component video? I wouldn't expect that lead to output the correct sync for RGB.


sanderton said:
Are you sure your TV doesn't accept component video? I wouldn't expect that lead to output the correct sync for RGB.
I think it doesn't. It has according to the manual just a scart-rgb connection. At least there isn't a seperate (red,green,blue) connection. Couldn't find a link to a user manual / spec on the net.


sanderton said:
Are you sure your TV doesn't accept component video? I wouldn't expect that lead to output the correct sync for RGB.
Get just a suggestion to test removing the red green blue one-by-one. If I do this nothing happens if I remove the red and / or the green. Seems there goes just a signal over the blue one. What does this mean ?

On HTPCNews a review is published on the 6600GT and why this is such a great HTPC Video card. Some more on the break out box


Active Member
That means you are viewing composite video, not RGB or component.

That break out box looks like puts out composite video (sometimes called AV) on the blue terminal is component video is not active - that's why the blue terminal is labelled Pb/AV.

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