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zorro
2005-01-30, 05:24 PM
Which one gives me the best quality? (Lets assume the mpeg video is stored at a high quality)

1. TV out on Hauppauge 350
2. TV out on Video Card
3. Use VGA-to-TV convereter
4. Any other option?

I need make a purchase decision based on your replies.

reven
2005-01-30, 11:02 PM
if you dont have HDTV, i would say the 350 or the XCard (only the OSD is limited to 256colors, so the menus dont look very good). If you have HDTV, setup your gfx card DVI output to the DVI input of your tv (or if you only have RGB, get the ATI DVI to RGB converter, but you need one of their newer cards for it to work).

mikerm19
2005-01-31, 02:43 AM
I use TV Out on my video card with the RCA adapter (Since my TV doesn't have SVIDEO), it looks great to me!

bluesxman
2005-01-31, 07:35 AM
Also, TV out quality will obviously vary depending on the graphics card. Do you have a make/model or budget in mind?

zorro
2005-01-31, 10:30 AM
Quote[/b] ]Also, TV out quality will obviously vary depending on the graphics card. Do you have a make/model or budget in mind?

I have no knowledge of Video cards. Could you please recommend me a card that gives me good TV out quality. ATI 9200 SE seems cheaper (under $50). Will that produce good TV Out? Thanks.

reven
2005-01-31, 11:08 AM
all the ATI have the same tv out (well the 9x00 series). but the SE are really bad cards, the 9550 is a good card, cheap, and still good performace. that said, the 350 output is still far better.

bluesxman
2005-01-31, 11:37 AM
I've heard very good things about the Matrox G450 but it is pricey and does not have good 3D support, so you need to decide if this machine is only going ot be used PVR or whether you want it for games etc..

I'm sure someone will correct me if this is wrong, but I thought the PVR-350 will only output video (not the desktop) again, this may be a consideration based on how you want to use your pc.

Scooby
2005-01-31, 11:37 AM
I have an ATI Radeon 9600 and an X-card. The X-card output is so much better, it's like comparing a pirate VHS tape to DVD. The X-card output to the TV is indestinguishable from a standalone DVD player, it's that good. Plus you get a remote control and sensor for it as well.

reven
2005-01-31, 12:05 PM
the 350 outputs everything displayed in the gbpvr window. so you get full control over gbpvr, menus, pictures, etc. but you dont see any part of windows. which in my opinion is a good thing. but 350 only plays back mpeg videos. no divx, xvid, mov etc.

zorro
2005-01-31, 03:25 PM
Thanks, you are guys are great. Now I'm down to 350 or xcard.

Has any one made a comparision between these two? Which one do you recommend? I remember reading issues like DVD 5.1 audio decoding with 350. Is it there with Xcard also?

reefboy
2005-01-31, 08:58 PM
Not sure how to ask this questions.

When using the X-card attached to the TV and running GBPVR, is it the same as using say a FX5200? Can I do everything through the TV and not use the computer monitor display for navigating menus? I'm just thinking this might be my next upgrade for my HTPC. The quality is so so for my current video card TV out. From what I gather the Windows XP desktop does not show up in the X-cards output... but the GBPVR OSD does right?

How many others are using the X-card?

sub
2005-01-31, 11:12 PM
Quote[/b] ]When using the X-card attached to the TV and running GBPVR, is it the same as using say a FX5200? Can I do everything through the TV and not use the computer monitor display for navigating menus? I'm just thinking this might be my next upgrade for my HTPC. The quality is so so for my current video card TV out. From what I gather the Windows XP desktop does not show up in the X-cards output... but the GBPVR OSD does right?
The xcard doesnt take the place of a regular video card. It doesnt allow you to see the desktop. The only thing you'll see on the tv out of the xcard, is GB-PVR, video and OSD.

bucknljake
2005-02-01, 02:59 PM
I own an xcard but not a 350. but I know a fair deal about the 350s

I say, if you already have a TV-card (that is supported by GBPVR) then get an xcard (they are somewhere around $80 or so) I paid about $110 for mine 2+ years ago.

if you are building a new machine from scratch, just get a 350. it handles the tasks of both pvr and tv-out. and will cost less than a pvr-150 and an Xcard (slightly)

IMO neither option has very good overscan adjustment or utilization of some of the cards' true output capabilities/adjustments in GBPVR (yet... this may change in the future).

If you like your menus with fancy backgrounds and images: then get a 350.
but 256 color on the xcard GUI output is perfectly fine so long as you use basic skins like the flat blue one.
(note: 256color output only applies to the GUI... NOT the actual movie/live-tv output to the TV)

the ability to do divx/xvid on the xcard is a BIG plus if you plan on watching any divx movies or compressing your recorded shows into mpeg4 to save HD space.

bucknljake
2005-02-01, 03:04 PM
OH, one other thing the xcard has over the 350's video out: composite, S-Vid, and Component (I believe it can run progressive scan too with its component output), and even SCART (have to buy/make an adapter).

where as the 350 only has composite output.

I wish I had both cards so I could do a side by side comparison of the output qualities but I would think that the xcard would have a slight edge due to its multiple output formats.

SteveTyrakowski
2005-02-02, 04:19 PM
I'm also interested in how to set up TV-out. I'm setting up a Shuttle PC for my daughter which she'll take to college next fall. I just bought a PVR-150 which uses the only PCI slot. There is only an AGP slot available. I'd like to be able to have output similar to XCard or PVR-350 where the TV-OUT just shows the GBPVR stuff and the windows desktop is still available on the monitor.

Are there any under $100 AGP video cards that would handle this?

I suppose one option is to get a PVR-350, but I just bought the 150 yesterday and I have both PCI slots filled with PVR-150s on the PC that is running my main GBPVR server, so I have no room to add a 3rd tuner.

Any suggestions?

sean
2005-02-04, 06:05 PM
I just looking at buying an Xcard and someone stated that is displays in 256 colors in the menus. Does anyone know that when I view my pictures on the TV will this display in more then 256 colors? Also I have all my home videos on the computer and they are in widows media format, will I still be able to play them and use the software decoder since the xcard does not supports this format?

russelljsmith
2005-02-06, 11:16 AM
Quote[/b] (SteveTyrakowski @ Feb. 02 2005,12:19)]I'm also interested in how to set up TV-out. I'm setting up a Shuttle PC for my daughter which she'll take to college next fall. I just bought a PVR-150 which uses the only PCI slot. There is only an AGP slot available. I'd like to be able to have output similar to XCard or PVR-350 where the TV-OUT just shows the GBPVR stuff and the windows desktop is still available on the monitor.

I've been reading this topic with great intrest, I'm currently building a new Shuttle box myself to work primarily as a music server connected to my stereo system, however I'm also quite interested in using it as a PVR for timeshifting, photo display etc.

I'm getting to grips with graphics card input/output options and have narrowed my options down to the following:

OPTION 1
AGP Card with TV-Out for playback such as
ATI Radeon 9250 128MB/DVI/TVO or
GeForce FX5200 128MB/DVI/TVO
+ PVR150 or PVR250 for recording

Option 2
PVR 350 for recording/playback
+ Radeon 9250 or GeForce FX5200 for Windows on LCD

Option 3
PVR150 or PVR250 for recording
MVP for playback
+ Radeon 9250 or GeForce FX5200 for Windows on LCD

I'd be interested to hear general Pro's and Con's on the above, but I also have a couple of specific questions:

1. If I used a VGA card with TV-Out, would I be able to display windows on my TV? (This is only going to be a music server / PVR so I only need to access basic applications). Can anyone point me at some example screenshots of a setup like this, I can't find anything!

2. What's the difference between the PVR250 and PVR150?

3. Slightly off-topic for this forum, but can anyone recommend which is the better the Radeon 9250 or GeForce FX5200 or any other card availible for less than 50 ($30)?

Thanks very much in advance for any help or pointers.

bucknljake
2005-02-07, 02:58 AM
Quote[/b] ]2. What's the difference between the PVR250 and PVR150?
this has been more thoroughly answered elsewhere and in other threads but I'll give you a quick answer. the 150 and 250 are about the same card. the 150 (non mce) does not have FM which I think the 250 does. BUT the 150 is basically the newer version of the 250. the 250 which is based on an older reference board and has two separate chips for handling recording. one for audio and the other for video. the 150 handles both on the same chip. I think the 150 is also a bit more manufacturing friendly thus it's cheaper than the 250. quality and features (besides FM) between the 2 are the same. Oh and the 150 comes w/ the nicer new 45 button remote.


Quote[/b] ]1. If I used a VGA card with TV-Out, would I be able to display windows on my TV?
sure, you can display whatever the heck you want. TV-out on a video card works just like hooking a PC monitor up to the computer. (you are usually restricted somewhat on what output resulution you can run though) usually no more than 1024x768 unless you start scrolling around on the tv screen to see the whole desktop.

SEAN:
Quote[/b] ]Does anyone know that when I view my pictures on the TV will this display in more then 256 colors? I'm not sure exactly how gbpvr shows pictures but i'm pretty sure it will show pics as their native format (meaning it will run the photos through the xcard's normal output (like tv and divx) therefore it should be fine. IF for some reason gbpvr takes pictures and displays them INSIDE the gui (like images for skins) converting them to mpeg format. this will cause the pics to be 256 color and thus look like crap.


Quote[/b] ]widows media format, will I still be able to play them and use the software decoder since the xcard does not supports this format?
sure you could play them, but not through the xcard. you'd have to toggle from the xcard to the tv-out of your video card for displaying non xcard supported formats. (which is currently not easily done) you'd have to change gbpvr settings and then restart gbpvr, and then switch outputs on the back of your machine (either physically, or have both outputs hooked up to a reciever/tv that can toggle between the 2 inputs)

Networker
2005-02-07, 06:16 PM
I guess I should jump in here rather than start a new thread. I currently run a PVR150 on a P4 2GHZ box. This is fine and I got the MVP to play movies and MP3s remotely. Now my wife has said "I thought you were putting a computer downstairs"... so of course that means I have to follow through with it, as that was my original plan..

That being said, I have a Shuttle with 1 PCI and 1 AGP slot. I am trying to figure out the best way to do this and perhaps a new thread may be in order.. here are the options I have ... (oh and what the heck is an xcard and who makes it EDIT - found it (.. sounds like a TV out only card - hardware decoder?http://gbpvr.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif)

Option 1:

Current Shuttle with ATI 9550 AGP with TV out to the Svideo on the TV for desktop use
and the pvr150 showing up there (haven't figured out if full screen decoding is hardware based when using the ATI 9550 - probably not)

Option 2: similar to option 1, only replace the 150 with a 350, good but can't watch and record 2 different shows

or

Option 3: new box, either tower or rack mounted case with 150 and 350, 350 used for direct output to TV and TV out of video card to another svideo..

From what I think I've gather looking around on the forums, the 350 will give me the GBPVR screen and the output is like 99% the same as straight cable. Sounds good go me and I think
the spouse acceptance factor (SAF) will be acceptibly higher, which of course is needed!

I almost have talked myself into Option 3, matter of fact I like it alot... Mid tower (gamer box?) could give me lots of internal space for HDDs... Speaking of HDD, anyone do any comparison of ATA vs. SATA for speed? So far ATA is working good for me, though I wanted to go with SATA for the speed and more drives, /etc.. /etc...

Sorry for the long reply posting..

John

ejr
2005-02-18, 04:41 AM
I just went to CompUSA and am looking at the following options for a video card, which will be primarily dedicated to playing videos on my 50" TV using S-Video. I'd like the cheapest card that will give good MPEG viewing. My current card is old and has way too much blockiness. I know its the video card, because when I use the files to make a DVD and play that through a stand-alone player the quality is really quite a bit higher. I don't think I want to go with an X-card since the computer is not hooked up to a separate monitor 0nly hooked up to the TV.

Choices
Mad Dog Multimedia GeForce MX 4000 Plus 128 DDR(cheapest - essentially free to me after rebate given some coupons I have) DX 8

BFG GeForce MX 4000 128 DDR (slightly more costly) DX 8

PNY GeForce FX 5200 64 DDR (slighly more costly) DX 9

Mad Dog Radeon 9550 128 DDR - claims to remove blockiness from video (More expensive) DX 9

VisionTek 9600 256 DDR - claims to remove blockiness from video (about same price as 9550 after rebate) DX 9 - but needs 300W power supply I may not have.

All help appreciated. If you know of other posts or reviews, please direct me there. Thanks.

2005-02-18, 12:19 PM
Reven pointed me toward the Geforce 6600 (thanks), so Ive been doing some reading. It gets amaizing reviews, and especially the BFG 6600GT AGP. Seems to be one of the quietest of the 6600s, is a bit faster as it is overclocked a bit, and comes with many adapters for different output. I know it is about $240 or so, but seems like it won't be outdated really soon.

rtiangha
2005-02-18, 01:09 PM
Either the 5200 or the 9550 as they are DirectX 9 compliant cards (well, the 9550 moreso than the 5200; the 5200 is DX9 compliant but awfully slow at it) so they will be able to handle VMR9 (the speed of the card becomes even more important as you increase your video resolution).

If money isn't an issue, the 9600 would be good as it will be able to handle VMR9 quite comfortably. However, I believe that the 9550 is just an underclocked 9600 with a smaller memory bus.

Personally, I'd go for the 9550. It's powerful enough and even has some leftover to spare.

Digiman
2005-02-18, 03:20 PM
I have a GeForce4 MX440 video card with Tv out and it gives excellent results. However, I'm a big fan of the Hauppauge MVP unit and I'm always using this with GB-PVR. In my opinion, nothing beats it for good quality playback on Tv.

2005-02-23, 09:34 AM
Is anyone in the UK using the nvidia HDTV/Component cable [I cant seem to find out what nvidia cards this works with] OR the ATI Component dongle [which is for HDTV, but it also does 480i and 480p] Officially ATI do not support it in europe, but will it work on the cards you can buy in the UK?

If anyone wants a bit more info:

http://www.ati.com/products/hdtvadapter/faq.html
http://www.nvidia.com/object/analog_component_out.html

cwills
2005-02-23, 01:14 PM
bucknljake,
The 350 has S-Video input & output.

d3cypher,
Your option #3 is of course the best, but also most expensive. If you are worried about your wife, but still want a roomy case, I would recommend a Silverstone LC03-B or LC03-S (B,S Black or Silver). It can handle a standard ATX motherboard along with micro-ATX, so you aren't stuck with a riser card for expansion slots or just one or two expansion slots with a small form-factor. It looks like a piece of stereo equipment, and holds 2 - 5 1/4 inch drives, and 4 - 3 1/2 inch drives, two external, two internal. I'm using mine as a all-in-one PC. The case is in my entertainment center and the 350's output along with the GeForce 6800 GT's S-Video output are going to my TV. I also have fiber optic sound output going to the stereo, along with multi-channel analog audio going to my stereo. This is necessary two-fold. When watching DVD's your best surround sound is with the digital fiber-optic or coax, but surround sound games, such as Doom3, UT2004, Painkiller, Farcry, Half-Life 2, etc. do not give you a digital 5.1 output, only 2 channel. They are desinged for 5.1+ multi-channel analog PC speakers, so you need a stereo receiver that has analog multi-channel inputs if you want 5.1+ surround sound with them. I've also got a small modern looking glass/silver desk in my living room about 15-20 feet from my TV. This holds a LCD monitor, speakers, multi-function printer/scanner & keyboard/mouse. The KB/Mouse are bluetooth, with the hub sitting by the PC, so then I can have the KB/Mouse at the desk or on a lapboard in front of the TV on the couch for playing FPS games. The USB/VGA/Audio cables for the monitor/speakers/printer&scanner are run through my crawlspace from the PC to the desk. Everything is very clean, you don't see hardly any wires anywhere.

With this setup, I have a DVD-ROM, DVD+-RW, floppy & digital film reader in the case, it has front USB/IEEE 1394/Audio ports, and two internal hard drives. Personally, from what I've seen there isn't much of a speed difference between SATA & ATA yet. I would check www.storagereview.com for the latest in hard drives if I were you. With the single computer I can use it as a standard PC, burn DVD's edit video/pictures, surf the internet, etc, along with using it as a HTPC with GB-PVR to record/watch video via the 350's output, and use it as a gaming PC to play all of my games on the TV. I use a program called Ultramon to keep my display profiles straight, dualhead/LCD only/TV out only/etc.

Now that the nvidia drivers are supporting HDTV output via the DVI, I want to upgrade my TV to HDTV, and switch the S-Video output to that. I just gotta talk my wife into that http://gbpvr.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

ejr
2005-02-24, 02:33 PM
I upgraded to an ATI 9600 and the blockiness disappeared. http://gbpvr.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif*In fact, the video output on my 50" TV is the best I've ever seen - I think its pretty much as good as the original. *Even previously made recordings look great.
But--isn't there always a but http://gbpvr.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif --there does seem to be some overlay of black wavy line interference pattern. *This is seen even when not viewing video, e.g., just viewing the desktop. *Sometimes when playing with the video settings, the patter goes a way for a while and the display is perfect. *But, inevitable, it shortly comes back.
To be honest, I only have a 200W power supply. *But there is not much in the computer, its got the MB with 866 PIII, built in networking, 2 HD, 2 CD (but I will disconnect them if needed to save power), an Aureal sound card, PVR 150 and the graphics card itself.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I do have some other cards that I can try, an ATI 9550 based and an NVIDIA 5200 based.
Thanks for any suggestions.

DaveParker
2005-03-04, 10:46 PM
Quote[/b] (Guest @ Feb. 23 2005,05:34)]Is anyone in the UK using the nvidia HDTV/Component cable [I cant seem to find out what nvidia cards this works with] OR the ATI Component dongle [which is for HDTV, but it also does 480i and 480p] Officially ATI do not support it in europe, but will it work on the cards you can buy in the UK?

If anyone wants a bit more info:

http://www.ati.com/products/hdtvadapter/faq.html
http://www.nvidia.com/object/analog_component_out.html
Well I've just finally got my hands on the dongle and cables and I'm in the UK. After a few hours of faffing around not being able to get a picture (turned out my TV didn't like 480i) I've finally got it working on the 480p setting. The picture is slightly bigger than the TV though so I'm missing the edges, and can't figure out how to get that right.

hitek146
2005-03-05, 12:09 AM
To directly answer the original question....

It depends on your TV... You will always get the best quality by using the highest quality input that you TV has. DVI or something similar would provide the very best image. RGBHV(what I use on the main TV) would be a second best, as the synchronization signals are still isolated from the video. BTW, the options I just listed would require a video card to drive them, either your primary one, or a second one added just for TV display. Third would be some sort of Component input, using an ATI-type adapter, as mentioned in one of the posts above(if you want your desktop displayed) or an XCard feeding Component inputs if you just want video. While it is a quality device, I would not recommend the PVR350 for TV out, as it doesn't support anything above MPEG2. If you are feeding an S-Video or Composite input on your TV, then the best possible image would be obtained the same way the professionals do it.... Through a commercial scan converter. Different than inexpensive consumer scan converters that would likely provide no better image than a video card's own TV out, commercial scan converters provide the very best image one could hope for when using Composite or S-Video. The bad part about the better scan converters is their new price, which starts at about $500 and can go up into the thousands..... Luckily, many excellent commercial scan converters are available on eBay starting at about $50.....

Hitek

PS: As can be witnessed at TV-Cards.com, SATA drives have caused many problems with several different TV cards, so you might keep that in mind....

daza67
2005-03-08, 09:41 AM
I bought this Albatron 6600 (http://www.albatron.com.sg/bb/viewtopic.php?id=1373)*card recently, however the s-video seems ordinary compared to xcard's. The YPbPr output is nice though. Is a very quite card though at about $200AUD.

On a slightly different topic ALDI are offering a PC containing a geforce 6610Xl with what appears to be scart output. Would be nice to know how exactly that is connected see here. *http://mitglied.lycos.de/hintert....&sid=57 (http://mitglied.lycos.de/hintertupfing/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=57)