New TV and New Graphics Card

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by Firenze, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Firenze

    Firenze
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    I now have started to amass a decent collection of HD content on my PC.

    I know that I can't realise full HD potential on my current set-up so I want to invest in a new Television/Monitor and Graphics card with at least 720p capabilities maybe even 1080p.

    I want to spend about £500-£600 on a monitor and less than £200 on a Graphics card. I already have a 7800GT and two 19" monitors which is quite annoying. So I may keep one monitor for regular internet use and then watch videos on the big TV.

    I want a 32"-37" television and a decent graphics card, does anyone have any suggestions or has been in the same position recently?

    Does anyone know what kind of price I could sell a 12ms 19" Monitor and a 7800GT for second hand too?

    Cheers
     
  2. Neil Watson

    Neil Watson
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    Not sure what you mean by "I can't realise full HD potential on my current set-up"

    Practically every Gfx card in the last few years has a maximum resolution of more than 1280x720 (and old ATi radeon 7500 I bought many many years ago can do this) as computer gfx cards have output progressive signals as std for quite some time. I can only guess that your current 19in monitors are not widescreen so your 19in monitors will have something like a max resolution of 1280x1024. That's still higher than 720p so any 720p videos you have you will still be seeing the entire resolution albeit with some spare verticle resolution that can be put to good used displaying the playback buttons etc. If you moved to a widescreen monitor I would be amazed if the 7800GT is not able to output 1280x720 (since it appears to support 4:3 resolution of 2048x1546). The 19in widescreen monitor I have at home is 1440x900 pixels so more than sufficient to display 720p. The 3yr old gfx card in the PC its connected to supports 1440x900 so I get 1:1pixel match on the monitor. Try unticking the box within the gfx card settings that says "Show only supported video modes" and you may find that there are loads of widescreen resolutions that the 7800gt supports that you monitor doesn't

    So I'm not sure how you are unable to watch 720p? If you could clarify that would help us suggest what you need.

    Cheers
     
  3. Firenze

    Firenze
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    I have a 7800GT with Dual DVI output but I assumed that it would not be able to carry a true HD signal?

    If i'm wrong I guess that could save me a lot of money!
     
  4. Neil Watson

    Neil Watson
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    Sorry I updated my post while you were replying :)

    Your card supports 2048x1546 4:3 ratio resolution and this is progressive as all computer monitors are these days. Unlike CRT tv's, CRT computer monitors have been outputting progressive images for over a decade and with the more to LCD computer monitors that is very much the case. That means it has the power to display 1920x1080 16:9 ratio as thats less work for it to do.

    As a quick test do you have a HDTV at all? If so plug the DVI output from your computer into it and then rescan for the monitor. Your PC should detect the TV and relist which PC resolutions it supports and these will liekly be 16:9 ratio.

    What it can't do is output copy protected HD content as the monitor at the other end has to be HDCP compliant and until recently very few gfx cards were. That's not normally an issue as not that I;m suggesting for 1min the origins of you HD content but very few HD rips have copy protection ;)
     
  5. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Another thing to take into consideration is whether you want to play HD Video content.

    BluRay and HD-DVD content is encoded in either MPEG2, MPEG4 H264 or VC-1 format - and all of these require significant processing power (H264 and VC-1 particularly). Modern graphics cards can support a lot of this in their hardware, meaning lower power CPUs can be used, if you have an older card you need a more powerful CPU, as it has to do most of the work. Your card may support 1280x720 or 1920x1080 (either within its drivers, or by using a 3rd party programme like Powerstrip to create a custom mode) - but this doesn't guarantee it will be capable of playing HD video with full frame-rate - though it means you are likely to be able to view photos and the desktop in HD.

    (HDCP is an issue if you use DVI or HDMI connections, but analogue VGA CAN carry HD video from these formats, and that doesn't have HDCP being an analogue signal. Ironically analogue interconnects may be more useful - though potentially lower quality - for other reasons, than a non-HDCP DVI connection)
     
  6. Firenze

    Firenze
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    Most of the content is .H264 and .wmv. So far from what I have tried watching on my normal monitor, it can play 720p fine but struggles with 1080p. I have a X2 4600+ with 2GB of Ram and a 7800GT, what is worth upgrading the most?

    Unfortunately not, like I said in my first post i'm currently looking for a TV too. I have my eye on two models now, the Panasonic TH-37PX70 and the Samsung LE32R87BD. The maximum resolution that they both display is 1366*768.

    I guess I could just buy the television first and then worry more about the graphics card and processor when/if there are problems displaying the videos.
     
  7. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    If you want to play HD-DVD or BluRay MPEG2, VC-1 or H264 content then the latest generation of ATI and nVidia cards offload some or all of the processing of either or both of these formats and don't cost the earth.

    However if you are playing stuff like x264 or WMV then I'm not sure that any current card offloads any of the processing as the players for this are software only?
     
  8. byngo

    byngo
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    Firenze,
    I am looking into the same issues as you except i already have a 32"HDTV.
    Been reading up on the Nvidia website and I recognise i need to upgrade my GFX card to at least one of the nvidia 7 series that supports nvidia PURE VIDEO technology and that supports the on board decoding of HD content to relieve my CPU. These features are partially supported on AGP cards and usually supported on all the PCI-E cards of 7 or 8 series.
    Are you sure you need to change the GFX card? I dont think so. The 7800 is a very good card and I was looking to buy the 7600GS since I have AGP only.
    In fact I dont think you need to change anything on your PC hardware unless you want a staright forward HDMI to HDMI connection to your new TV. You might even consider spending the £200 quid on a bluray or HD pc drive.
    Apart from GFX card, I also need to investigate what software to use for HD content. Any ideas to help me?
     
  9. Firenze

    Firenze
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    hey byngo thanks for the advice, yes at the moment it doesn't look as if I need to upgrade my computer at all which is a relief!

    As for software a lot of people are saying that the ffdshow codec or the Cyberlink codec are the best quality wise and a lot of people use Media Player Classic, VLC or Cyberlink PowerDVD 7. I hope that helps you a little bit in return.
     
  10. byngo

    byngo
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    Ok Thanks for that.
    Got an issue with FFDSOW though.
    I used it before for playing divx and it caused a conflict where I would get "Data Execution Prevention" error messages causing internet explorer to have to close when I opened video files.
    I uninstalled FFDSHOW and the problem went away.
     

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