The missing link - I don't get it......

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by bwatkins, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. bwatkins

    bwatkins
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    Firstly, big thanks to everyone here. I've been browsing through these forums over the past 6 months and learned a lot so far. There's something I just don't get though....

    I can buy an LCD or Plasma TV with a digital input (DVI or HDMI) and plug that in to the digital output on my PC's graphics card. So I get a crystal clear, all digital picture of the desktop. Then my digital cable STB takes a digital tv signal input and outputs through either an analogue RF or analogue composite connection to a TV capture card! So a perfectly good digital signal is converted to analogue and back to digital again just to be able to get it down a cable from the STB to PC??

    What's the point in that?? Is there any way of preserving the digital signal?? Does anyone have a STB with digital out? And are capture cards with digital input available??
    If not, what's the best way to capture the analogue signal? I know there's a gazillion posts about Sweetspot vs. Nebula vs. etc. etc. but are these all pretty much the same?? Won't any old capture card do providing you use decent scaler software?

    Sorry for all the newbie questions. I have tried searching but couldn't find the difinitive answer.

    Thankyou:)
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    No, they're not. seetspot is a high quality analogue capture card for taking the output from (for example) a sky digibox. This is really the only way of getting Sky into your PC as mr murdoch is not keen on letting his signal be decoded by third party hardware/software. The nebula is a freeview tuner so keeps everything completely digital as you want. What it can't offer is pay channels like SkySports/Movies.
     
  3. BigBry

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  4. bwatkins

    bwatkins
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    Thanks guys. My head was spinning around last night and nothing seemed to make sense so I went to bed. I'm pleased to say the penny has almost entirely dropped this morning!

    One last thing which I don't quite understand........

    My graphics card outputs at a given resolution right? So everything leaving the DVI port on my graphics card is at 1280x1024 (Or whatever). I specify the resolution by adjusting settings in the graphics card software (Or if I'm using software which runs full screen and doesn't run from the desktop I use the software's own settings to adjust it). Therefore, if I play a lower resolution MPEG file in WMP or TV through a Hauppauge WinTV program it's normally displayed in a small windown on my desktop equivalent to it's native size. If I maximise the window the PQ is terrible. Presumably that's because it's been upscaled from 640x480 or something to 1280x1024? So what's doing the upscaling there? The player software? If so, some software is better than others right? So that's where Dscaler comes in?

    Sorry for all the newbie questions. I hope to contribute in some helpful way in the future!
     
  5. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    the whole issue of scaling is a fairly complicated one. dscaler will do software based scaling of incoming images from a card such as a sweetspot. for DVDs which originate from the pc itself you can use software such as ffdshow to resize the image. the graphics card also does scaling so there is not one easy answer to the question.

    FWIW, I would recommend using theatertek 2.2 for DVD/media playback. it is a very high quality product and is very stable. it can also use a post processor like ffdshow if you want. for TV pictures it depends on what you go for - are pay channels important to you? do you want to be able to record stuff? do you have sky? can you get freeview?
     
  6. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Just a quickie - despite it's name, DScaler doesn't actually scale - It leaves that bit to the graphics card. DScaler does all the other image manipulation though.
     

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