Is any one using a big TV screen to watch avi's?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Laszlo, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. Laszlo

    Laszlo Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I'm new into this forum and I'm building now my first HT. Well since the new TV has a nice screen I was wondering if I could build another small computer to put it beside the HT and play my avi's and maybe browse the internet or even play games. Is anybody into this? What kind of videocard do you guys use for this? The videocard I have is an ATI, actually I don't like it, is dual head, I do CAD design, is the worst video card I ever had for this kind of job. I think I will go for a matrox. The TV is a Mitsubishi 55".
    Any comments?

    Thanks in advance.

    Laszlo
     
  2. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Laszlo:
    The new ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 card might be a good bet if you have a HDTV - it comes with a nice component out dongle to connect your TV to. It runs for about $450, so if you don't have a HDTV you might want to skip it.
    If you're more willing to spend $1.5K, Alienware has a new "Media Center PC" that's 8x8x11, which is probably small enough to fit on a component shelf.
    Pair that along with a Bluetooth Keyboard/Mouse combo, and you'll be set.
     
  3. Laszlo

    Laszlo Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    HTPC is the whole persuit of integrating a PC into your HT to display on a projector or projection set. There are thousands of people who do this (hence a HTPC area here, and a GIANT one over on AVS forum).

    Many people have also discovered that PC offers DVD picture quality that stomps stand alone DVD players.

    If you want a multi-head card- Matrox is good. If you're looking for pure quality for DVD and MPG video playback, the ATI Radeon stuff is king.

    You don't necessarily need a card with a component output-- many HD sets have a DB15 input or DVI-- and if not, a simple transcoder will convert the computer output to HD component.

    The only reason I suggest against cards with HDcomponent output is that many output a fixed resolution (just like cards offering Svideo). Part of the real power of experimentation with HTPC is figuring out which resolutions your TV can sync to-- and determining a sweet spot for your specific system.

    I would suggest reading the HTPC article in the FAQ & PRIMER.

    -Vince
     
  5. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
    Francois Caron
    I've connected the S-Video output of my computer's ATI Radeon 9000 Pro graphics card along with the audio analog output to my home theater system. I also connected a pair of Paradigm Cinema Series 70 speakers to the second room speaker outputs of my receiver, and placed them at either side of my computer monitor, giving me 80 watts of raw power per channel for my games! [​IMG]
    Not only can I play AVIs on the TV in my living room, I can also play DVDs, MPEGs, Shockwave files, Real files... For some strange reason, Quicktime files don't work properly on the S-Video output. Overall, the TV's low resolution and the video card's SmoothVision processing helps smooth out the pixellation from the various clips I download from the Internet. True, the clips are on average only five minutes long (don't even ask me to download a movie you crook! [​IMG] ), but it's more comfortable viewing the clips from my living room than in front of my computer.
    As for viewing a DVD from the computer to the living room TV, forget it. The 9000 Pro's S-Video output is simply not good enough for this. But as Vince has mentioned, an HDTV monitor with a DVI input could give you outstanding results from the video card once you find the "golden resolution".
     
  6. Laszlo

    Laszlo Stunt Coordinator

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    Uouuu, thanks a lot guys for all the tips!!! That's my next step, building another computer for my HT.
    Just one thing, how long can be the video cable from my computer to the HT?

    Laszlo
     

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