HTPC Video Cabling Question

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Bill Wise, May 2, 2003.

  1. Bill Wise

    Bill Wise Agent

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    Gang,

    I'm a computer hardware nerd by trade and an HT newbie, so the concept of the HTPC intrigues me no end. What I'm wondering is, how do you physically connect the PC to the TV/PJ if they're not in close physical proximity to each other?

    For instance, I can envision a scenario that would have an HTPC and a RAID array tucked away in a 19" rack in my furnace room for noise reasons. Or, the HTPC is in the equipment rack at the front of the room but the projector unit is 20' away hanging from the ceiling.

    How are you able to get a signal to the display devices over these distances?

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Well, some people, who do what you say, use the raid array machine as a file server- and still have a machine near the Screen (silenced of course). If not, VGA and DVI cables can be purchased to do long runs.

    -Vince
     
  3. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    hehe, my computer is currently in the my basement/den area and my home theater is in the living room. for the connection i use a 50ft svid cable and a 50ft rca for the digital coax connection. for controlling the pc I use a RF remote (ati remote wonder) and I do have a wireless keyboard and mouse but haven't tried them at that distance.
    works great, good picture, great sound.
     
  4. Bill Wise

    Bill Wise Agent

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    Vince - I was under the impression that DVI had a distance limitation of 10m and I've not had good luck with VGA cables longer than about 20', but those have been purely in computing environments. Are you saying that a higher quality custom cable would overcome those limitations?

    Rob - Does the 50' S-Vid run provide the same quality picture as a VGA or DVI connection? I'd have thought there'd be significant degredation.

    Thanks for the info, guys. Much appreciated.

    Bill
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Svideo off a TV output of a video card will give you NTSC resolution (480i), nothing more. The VGA or DVI output will allow scaling of video sources to HD resolution, IMHO, the WHOLE POINT of htpc. If you're looking to get something more out of HTPC than just a set top DVD player, than Svideo is not the way to go.

    -Vince
     
  6. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    actually the cable carries a 1024x768 signal from my ATI all-in-wonder card (it's what I've set it to). If I owned a HD-TV I would use three runs of 50' RCA for component video which the ALL-in-wonder card will let carry even higher resolution signals. Now yes the TV I own is only able to display a 480i signal but the degradation is less noticeable with this setup imo. less loss going from higher to lower then from same to same. the picture is quite stunning for just a regular ol' TV.

    if you can run a length of DVI or RGB cabling then that should be prefered as the signal is much better over them, but don't discount a good TV-out and a svid cable if your on a budget.
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    All-in-wonder svideo output will only pass TV compatible output (480i for NTSC) no matter what your desktop is set to. It is able to process up to 1024x768 into an analog signal for TV viewing, but you're not getting a full 1024x768 pixel (notice that fonts and fine detail is not present on your TV that is present on the monitor).

    These svideo outputs are designed for TV compatibility, and will reample your dektop resolution to be compatible with the TV.

    -Vince
     
  8. KenE

    KenE Extra

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    An elegant solution would be to pass information digitally over distance rather than via analog cabling. Build a small, silent, inconspicuous machine next to your ht and connect it to your data sources via ethernet. You don't have to deal in exotic cabling, signal amps, infrared bouncers, etc., that way. [​IMG]
     

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