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newbie seeks enlightenment

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Guy Clifford, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Guy Clifford

    Guy Clifford
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    I'm just getting into this HCPC thing and would like to ask a couple of questions before I spend too much money!

    Firstly, I plan to build a box using the nebula DTT card so I can use it as a PVR. I would output by s-vhs to my 32 inch widescreen mitsubishi TV. I get the impression however that most people are using projectors, TFTs or monitors. What kind of quality can you get by outputting to a standard TV and is it likely to be equivalent to 'normal' television? Would surfing the internet be feasible on a TV ?

    Secondly, everyone seems to use ATI cards. Are these the best cards for the job and why? Assuming that price isn't an issue, which one would you recommend?

    Many thanks( and apologies if this has been covered before!)

    Guy
     
  2. Comer

    Comer
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    No advantage, as far as picture quality is concerned, will be gained from using a PC to feed your TV via svideo. You would be far better of using a stand alone dvdplayer. Using a PC with a monitor or projector gives a much cleaner brighter image (using VGA or DVI output) because you can get the pc to match the resolution of the display device and also, it outputs a progressive signal. Using the TV as a monitor when browsing the Net would not be a success either as the resolution on a standard TV is much lower than a standard computer monitor. The PC desktop and any computer application you run (such as Internet Explorer) would in fact be very difficult to read on your TV.

    Sorry, but I would see no real point with using a PC for the setup you described

    Conor
     
  3. feet14

    feet14
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    I would agree that it's not wise to use a tv as a monitor for normal windows apps because of the low res. instead. So, if you are wanting to surf and watch tv on this setup, you will need at least a pc monitor.

    From the television/pvr point of view a monitor will be fine for this, providing you want to watch on one (>19" CRT will be expensive and @4:3). If not, then you will indeed need to connect a tv to a form of tv-out for this purpose. This won't be pointless as you'll have pvr functionality which isn't available on a normal tv.

    The one issue is that of the tv picture quality - probably the quality of the image from the tv card will determine this. If I compare watching tv through my Hauppauge on my monitor (with de-interlacing) vs that of a good widescreen tv then the picture on my monitor doesn't seem as clear. This may be down to me not having installed a proper connection from the roof aerial (extension leads running from downstairs socket to my pc upstairs). It may also be down to the limitations of the tv card. In theory I should be able to get a better picture on my monitor than on a good conventional tv but I'm not sure if this is possible with the internal tv cards currently available.

    The main reason for ATI's popularity is the image quality. Also, the Radeon 9000 cards are cheap and can be had fanless (from Sapphire and maybe other manufacturers). I'd recommend the 64MB Sapphire Radeon 9000 which is fanless and can be had for ~£55 from www.ebuyer.com .

    If money were no object, I'd go for the Sapphire Radeon 9700 Pro *Ultimate*. This is cooled by a huge heatsink utilising a heat-pipe system and so is also fanless, albeit at a price (~£300 from www.komplett.co.uk). IMHO, buying one of these is a waste of money; you could buy the 9000 version and buy a new similarly priced card every year for 4 years for the same money. After 2 years' you'd probably have a more powerful card than the 9700. Others here will disagree but to me £300 is too much to spend on a graphics card.
     
  4. Guy Clifford

    Guy Clifford
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    Having taken the plunge I can certainly see your point about the quality of TV output onto a widescreen TV. Even at its lowest res output its painful but just about useable for looking at digiguide etc.

    As regards the PVR functionality I have to say that I have mixed feelings about it.

    The nebula DTT card gives reasonable quality output through s-video being somewhere inbetween a proper set top box and my VHS video.

    Unfortunately where it really loses out is with horizontal movement artifact. Whilst this isn't too bad watching normal television you can forget about trying to read fast moving sideways scrolling credits altogether! This also seems to happen when watching on my sony monitor so I guess its a problem with the nebula card itself. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else with one of these cards has noticed this too.

    Overall its reasonably useful as a high capacity PVR but TiVO or Sky+ are obviously more elegant solutions if you dont mind the ongoing costs.

    Guy
     

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