• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

PCI graphics card advice/picture quality


Active Member
I'm considering upgrading the graphics card in my HTPC (used only as a PVR).

At the moment I have a Geforce 2 MX400 64MB with the s-video out through a composite converter into a scart converter (I couldn't get it to work through the s-video alone)

The picture quality isn't as good as I think it could be, TV is recorded via a Hauppauge WinTV USB2 (composite input from digibox) at 2Gb/hour setting so that isn't the problem.

Would a new graphics card improve the quality, maybe a DX9 one?

Only requirements: has to be PCI and fanless


System details:
Epia M1000, 512Mb RAM, running SageTV on XP Pro
Nokia Mediamaster connected to Hauppauge WinTV USB PVR2 via composite
GeForce 2 MX400 connected to RGB scart switch via S-Video - Composite converter - scart converter

Cable Monkey

Well-known Member
Nvidia cards from that generation were poor. I went from the one you mention to an ATI 7200 PCI card with a considerable improvement.


Active Member
I had a feeling that may be the case, I was thinking the best way to improve quality would be:

1) S-Video to scart cable from PC to TV to lose the composite converter
2) Attempt to input S-Video into the hauppauge box instead of composite
3) Upgrade graphics card

Funds permitting of course!

Would this be the best order to do things?

Any suggestions as to graphics card, also, would any lose the black bars around the screen?


Active Member
Certanily switching from composite to S-video should give you a very good increase in PQ, even with the MX400.

As for a new card, I'm not sure if a 6200 is available in AGP form, that's one of the most popular cards for HTPCs these days, alternative a tried and trused ATI 9600 (fanless) for around £40 is also very good.

Not that it matters, but DX9 won't give you anything useful for HTPC duty, hardware support for DX9 is only noticeable for 3D games, even VMR9 rendering will work fine with DX9 in software on top of a DX8 card.


Active Member
I copied one of the recordings from the pc onto my laptop last night and the quality was much better than through the TV, so it must be the graphics card/connections causing the problem.

I'll get an S-Video - Scart lead, but I think a new graphics card may be in order.

These seem to be the best PCI cards, any preference (it has to be passive)
Geforce 6200
Geforce 5200
Radeon 9200
Radeon 9250


The latest video from AVForums

Guardians of the Galaxy Xmas Special, Strange World, Bones and All, and Cabinet of Dr Caligari in 4K
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom