What are you waiting for?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by NaTT, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. NaTT

    NaTT
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    My upgrade urges have turned into “saving up” urges. My recent technology searches have left me waiting for the next releases and newer stuff. Am I missing something? What are you waiting for?

    If I go for an LCD/Plasma it’d be at about 42/43” in size, but I’m concerned that the HD models (I want this for displaying workable PC images) appear to display TV signals, say those from a digital cable box, less successfully than the lower res ones. Is that right? Is it likely to improve?

    I’d want said Plasma to take an HDMI input (as I get the impression this gives a low hassle HQ picture and is the future) but these seem to be few and far between, and so at a premium.

    But then are there any HDMI PCI cards and would they be worth waiting for? I’d like to think that I could feed said flat screen digitally with a DVD player OR a HTPC.

    Will PCI 2 (or is it PCI express? I think ones going to be for server apps only) be such a significant change that it’s worth waiting for in terms of HTPC applications?

    I like the freeview digital TV, PCI capture cards, but when is something like this going to be available for premium channels?

    Are there any SACD or DVD-A players for PCs?

    There’s a few network appliance type things coming onto the market that more easily allow you to display media files onto a “normal” TV, e.g. xbox media center, Kiss Divx/DVD players and the pinnacle systems box (that takes wireless PCMICA card, but people on their forums slate them). But when are we going to see appliances such as this, using IP, that distribute captured TV?

    What I have done: I’ve experimented with HTPC by getting an analogue capture card for my office PC, which is fed by a UHF lead. It’s quite good considering the feed. I’m not going to put a PC with my home cinema system until I can see significant gains (my xbox can stream most media files into my CRT TV and DD amp).
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    AFAIK there are no HDMI PC cards yet, but you can feed DVI into HDMI, my PC feeds my Z200E pj like that.

    Not sure about PC multi-sound players, I have a vague feeling I read somewhere that WinDVD can play DVD-A (or was it some other player?) but since DVD-A/SACD is still firmly in the 'bleeding edge' camp as far as adoption is concerned .. aka. there's precious little material in either format worth buying, no matter what genre you're into .. then that's not really surprising.

    I now use a Pio 868 and consider it better than a PC in all aspects of ease of use, convenience and PQ .. I don't see myself going the PC route again.
     
  3. NaTT

    NaTT
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    after posting this I had another read of the plugged in tv site and saw the SDI cards etc for the first time.

    Would you consider HTPC if you could get SDI out on your DVD player? Sounds ideal to me.

    Now what are the chances of mods to PACE STB for NTL: digital?

    If you have a Digital Freeview capture card is that digital from begining to end as with SDI?
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I have an NTL STB which I used to run through the PC via a Sweetspot, but don't have any need for a PVR capability so that never factored in.

    As for SDI, personally I have no experience of if so dont know what if anything I'm missing. Right now, with a 1025x576 PJ I suspect it'd be a waste, even with 1280x720 I'm not sure it'd be much better than DVI/HDMI.

    I doubt you'll see any changes to NTL's kit anytime soon, the company doesn't have the money to invest to properly extend their core network in line with expansion in the customer base for broadband etc. so I don't see them spending in areas which would only be of value to a very limited number of customers .. your average box-watcher wouldn't have any use for SDI, even if they understood what it is. :)
     
  5. NaTT

    NaTT
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    thanks Kragorn....

    No Pace would never see fit to upgrading boxes (all that hastle with Prontos tought me that), but isn't this an aftermarket, at your own risk / b*gger your warranty sort of deal? If so maybe the companies that do it would do a PACE?

    I guessed that the SDI is to get the video in, in a digital format. Your DVI/HDMIs are to get the video out in digital format. If your using a sweetspot (although the best alternative) it's having to contend with converting an analogue signal to digital (after PACE has made a meal of Digital to Analogue).

    Next Q then. After reading all this and stuff on the X-card, if I've play a DVD on my PC (with a DVI LCD screen) is it digital all the way or is my PC doing a D-A-D internally along the way? What does the x-card do to improve things?
     
  6. KraGorn

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    You may want to hunt out threads here discussing "Sweetspot" since that's often used with X-Card. If you connect the X-Card to the Sweetspot via the supplied cable then yes, the signal remains in the digital domain from DVD to display.

    That being said, in my experience you'll get better PQ from using a DVD player like TheaterTek without an X-Card at all.

    Why are you considering an X-Card? It does have benefits in some contexts but even the guys selling X-Card and Sweetspot admit that it's no better than a software player.
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    There will be NO HDMI cards for PCs, this is an AV standard. DVI is the computer standard. I am sure this has been stated already bu the HDMI authorities.

    I am unconvinced we will ever see SACD on PCs either.
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I happily stand corrected, my advise to date was HDMI wasn't going to appear on PCs at all, I am glad I was wrong. :)
     
  10. KraGorn

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    HDMI HAS to be on PCs if M$ are to get their way and hav WMV9 used as 'the' HDTV codec, they need to be able to have a PC drive an HDMI display so they can push their concept of the PC as a media 'hub' .. but don't expect the movie studios to release any HD DVDs which can be played on PCs until Palladium is implemented to protect their precious DRM from being hacked like CSS was. ;)
     

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