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TV as Monitor for Media Center PC


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#1 of 30 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 25 2007 - 02:54 PM

I recently purchased an HP z558 digital entertainment center computer for use with my Samsung DLP display. I thought it would be great to use as a DVR and eventually use to download movies once NetFlix is up and running with their download service.

However, I have not been able to get the Samsung display to recognize the DVI output from the PC. The VGA input on the Samsung works, but I don't want to use an outdated analog connection for media center applications. So I gave Samsung a call and spoke to a Tier 2 tech. His comments really surprised me. He said Samsung does not support DVI output from a PC to their televisions, and that they sell $4000+ large screen monitors (with driver support) for this purpose. He was essentially saying that I needed to spend an extra $2000 to $3000 for PC support. He also said Samsung will likely be dropping VGA inputs on their new televisions because they are getting too many questions on trouble-shooting PC connections.

Does this surprise anyone but me ? If the trend is to make your television a bigger part of the over-all entertainment experience, why wouldn't manufacturer's add more support for computers, instead of taking it away ? Is it just Samsung or is it difficult to find PC support on any manufacturer's HDTV displays ?

The Samsung tech did, however, give me a glimmer of hope. He said the Samsung's HDMI input may work if the video card has DVI or HDMI out with HDCP driver support. I did install a new video card with HDMI output, but it did not work either.

If anyone has had luck with either DVI or HDMI from a PC to an HDTV display, I would really appreciate any details you could offer.
Sean
Samsung HL-R4667W DLP, Denon DVD-1600, Sony DVPNS75H, H/K AVR 225, Wharfedale Emeralds and Diamonds

#2 of 30 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted April 25 2007 - 03:23 PM

Greetings

Most TV makers just steer clear of computer compatibility with their sets and state in the user manual that computers should not be hooked up.

One of the driving reasons ... trouble shooting problems which often are more on the computer end than the TV. They need to train the support to a whole new level to help people troubleshoot incompatibility between drivers and cards and what naught.

A cost they don't need to spend ... not enough ROI ...

99.9% of the people will never go the computer route ... so they aim for that market ...

Makes sense though ... like it or not.

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#3 of 30 OFFLINE   louky

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Posted April 25 2007 - 04:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanA
I did install a new video card with HDMI output, but it did not work either.

it won't just magically work, you have to setup your video card software to output the signal. i could give detailed steps for ati, but i'm sure a simple google search will provide all the info you need. bottom line, it will work with proper setup and you don't need to spend 3k that's for sure.

#4 of 30 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted April 25 2007 - 06:02 PM

That is really odd. It has to been something in your setup. I have a Mits RPTV with HDMI inputs and I just use the DVI on my HTPC to HDMI on my Mits. I had to select the HDMI on my Mits instead of OTA, etc.. You should be able to take a DVI to HDMI cable. Select the HDMI input on your Samsung and have a picture.

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#5 of 30 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 26 2007 - 12:31 PM

You need to input the proper resolution to the TV. You can't just input whatever. You need to input *exactly* the resolution(s) that the television accepts, or you won't get a picture. Most modern videocard drivers allow you to pick the exact resolution and timing that you need, or you can use powerstrip, but powerstrip isn't really necessary anymore for all the newer drivers I'm aware of, althought getting interlaced out of a PC can be a pain...

#6 of 30 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 26 2007 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. I have done everything I can think of with the video cards and drivers, but nothing works. I've also contacted the video card manufacturer and HP, but they were of little help and did not suggest any settings different from what I was running with VGA. My VGA resolution is set at 1280 x 720, 60 Hz, for a 720p display. These settings do not work when I toggle to the HDMI input on the Samsung

The problem seems to be that a hand-shake is not occuring between the video drivers and the display. When I was using the VisonTek ATI (X1650 Pro) video card with HDMI, it only recognized the Samsung as a "monitor" through VGA and thus only offered monitor type settings. If the video card had recognized the Samsung as a "digital display", I would have had different settings available and I would have been able to set the the video card output to 720p. Alas, I could find no means to force the card to offer the "digital display" settings.

I may try an MSI GeForce 7600GS card with HDMI and supposed HDCP compliance. In the meantime, please continue to offer your suggestions and comments. I have not given up just yet.
Sean
Samsung HL-R4667W DLP, Denon DVD-1600, Sony DVPNS75H, H/K AVR 225, Wharfedale Emeralds and Diamonds

#7 of 30 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted April 26 2007 - 03:26 PM

Might want to post your question over at htpcnews dot com. Make sure to provide your tv and gpu model numbers in your post. Ive had no problems with my dlp projector with hdcp hdmi and a nvidia 6600gt.
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#8 of 30 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 27 2007 - 02:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael TLV
Greetings

99.9% of the people will never go the computer route ... so they aim for that market ...

You are exaggerating, right ? I know the numbers aren't very high, but I would have guessed somewhere in the 5-10% range... at least in terms of those putting serious money down (say $2000 or more) on an HDTV. And the interest in HTPC''s seems to be growing, albeit slowly.

Even if HTPC users are only 5% of the market in terms of HDTV sales, it is still big $$$ and I would think at least one or two HDTV manufacturer's would want to try to capture this market. Samsung is obviously not one of them, but I should not have been surprised. Their DLP sets are very weak performers in the HDTV world.
Sean
Samsung HL-R4667W DLP, Denon DVD-1600, Sony DVPNS75H, H/K AVR 225, Wharfedale Emeralds and Diamonds

#9 of 30 OFFLINE   Stephen Orr

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Posted April 27 2007 - 03:07 PM

My brand new Sony Bravia 46in tv has an RGB input, and my HTComputer looks spectacular on it.

#10 of 30 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 28 2007 - 11:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanA
You are exaggerating, right ? I know the numbers aren't very high, but I would have guessed somewhere in the 5-10% range... at least in terms of those putting serious money down (say $2000 or more) on an HDTV. And the interest in HTPC''s seems to be growing, albeit slowly.

Even if HTPC users are only 5% of the market in terms of HDTV sales, it is still big $$$ and I would think at least one or two HDTV manufacturer's would want to try to capture this market. Samsung is obviously not one of them, but I should not have been surprised. Their DLP sets are very weak performers in the HDTV world.


We will continue to see more and more convergence between TVs and PCs, especially as content on PCs expands. But it is true that TVs are kind of finnicky when it comes to PC integration, but in the future it will likely be far more seamless. My whole HT is based off PC, but it is not for the faint of heart, which is why the niche remains small, but ever expanding.

#11 of 30 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted April 28 2007 - 12:15 PM

Actually, its the graphics card drivers that are finincky, not the tv. The tv doesnt know what the source is...and doesnt care. Nvidia and ati have made hooking up any tv "plug and play" for most folks.
JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
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Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#12 of 30 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 28 2007 - 12:30 PM

Well, certainly, there just isn't a lot of fudge room for getting the timing just right for the TV, which can be annoying.

#13 of 30 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 28 2007 - 03:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
We will continue to see more and more convergence between TVs and PCs, especially as content on PCs expands. But it is true that TVs are kind of finnicky when it comes to PC integration, but in the future it will likely be far more seamless. My whole HT is based off PC, but it is not for the faint of heart, which is why the niche remains small, but ever expanding.

One good piece of evidence that the HTPC market is expanding is the growing number of video cards with HDMI out. This is one reason I have not given up hope on using the HDMI input on the Samsung. I will try several more video cards before I do give up and just replace the Samsung.

Chris, do you have a summary of your HTPC set-up ? Did you build a custom PC or just go the OEM route ? There really aren't many choices OEM-wise if you don't have room for a traditional tower with your HT equipment.
Sean
Samsung HL-R4667W DLP, Denon DVD-1600, Sony DVPNS75H, H/K AVR 225, Wharfedale Emeralds and Diamonds

#14 of 30 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted April 28 2007 - 05:11 PM

I know you didnt ask me, but Ive always been happy with my htpc, and it looks just like a audio/video component....

http://support.gatew....900538nv.shtml

youll have to add the http: prefix to the link, Im not allowed to post links yet.
JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*

#15 of 30 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted April 28 2007 - 05:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanA
One good piece of evidence that the HTPC market is expanding is the growing number of video cards with HDMI out. This is one reason I have not given up hope on using the HDMI input on the Samsung. I will try several more video cards before I do give up and just replace the Samsung.

Chris, do you have a summary of your HTPC set-up ? Did you build a custom PC or just go the OEM route ? There really aren't many choices OEM-wise if you don't have room for a traditional tower with your HT equipment.

I built my PC, it's a bit outdated by now, but it's use hasn't changed at all. I feed analog out to a CRT projector though, which is multisync so that's not really an issue. Getting the right resolution out to an analog TV or a digital TV is a different matter though, because you need to hit the correct resolution, though nowadays this is easier. I can feed pretty much anything you could imagine to my display, so it's not really a concern, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

#16 of 30 OFFLINE   Gabriel.H

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Posted April 28 2007 - 09:52 PM

I had similar problems hooking up my htpc via DVI to my HDMI toshiba rptv, I was using the wrong cable and adapter apparently. I had a monster cable dvi to hdmi adapter hooked to my pc with an hdmi cable going to the tv. I asked someone at the store I bought it from, they said that those adapter aren't bi-directional and are meant to be hooked up to the display and not the source. I don't know what cables you're using, but you might want to check into that since it helped for me when I got the right adapter/cable setup.

#17 of 30 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted April 28 2007 - 10:07 PM

Sean:

Here is a link to a great DVI to HDMI cable by Blue Jeans Cable.

You could always pick up on of these and test it out to make sure your problem isn't cable related.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

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#18 of 30 OFFLINE   Stephen Orr

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Posted April 29 2007 - 12:39 AM

Maybe I'm not as with it as some, but for my HTPC, I've got a rejuvenated Dell with a 3.1ghz processor, an Nvidea 5500 video card and a 7.1 surround sound card, along with a Haupauge 250 tuner card. It all hooks into my system via RGB and digital optical audio, and the picture is as nice, or better, that the upconverting Panasonic DVD/DVR I own. I have two WD external HDs hooked up, along with another 2nd internal for my media storage, about 750GB of space all together. I control everything HTPC related using either my wireless mouse and keyboard, or my Beyond TV Firefly remote

#19 of 30 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 29 2007 - 02:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Type A
I know you didnt ask me, but Ive always been happy with my htpc, and it looks just like a audio/video component....

http://support.gatew....900538nv.shtml

youll have to add the http: prefix to the link, Im not allowed to post links yet.

A Gateway ??? Well, they do a good job of hiding the fact that they sell a true media center PC. I looked at Gateway when I was researching what to buy, and I did not find any dedicated HTPC products on Gateway's website. It seemed the only big players were HP and Sony, though I did consider the small form-factor Dell C521.

I do like the fact that your Gateway seems to use standard size cards. I am limited to low profile video cards with the HP z558, but than I don't have room for anything much taller than the z558. I think I would be very happy with this machine if I could utilize the DVI or get an HDMI card to work.
Sean
Samsung HL-R4667W DLP, Denon DVD-1600, Sony DVPNS75H, H/K AVR 225, Wharfedale Emeralds and Diamonds

#20 of 30 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 29 2007 - 02:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker Clack
Sean:

Here is a link to a great DVI to HDMI cable by Blue Jeans Cable.

You could always pick up on of these and test it out to make sure your problem isn't cable related.

Oh believe me, I have tried different cables. I think I have tried 4 different DVI to DVI cables and three different DVI to HDMI cables. Samsung's literature suggests a DVi-D Single Link is needed, and that is what I have currently. I used the DVI to DVI cables with my Dell LCD monitor just to be sure the DVI output of the video card works with different DVI cables. It does work, just not with my Samsung.
Sean
Samsung HL-R4667W DLP, Denon DVD-1600, Sony DVPNS75H, H/K AVR 225, Wharfedale Emeralds and Diamonds


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