Least expensive AGP video card with DVI for HTPC use/testing?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Chris PC, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    My system now:

    AMD64 3000+ winchester
    1 GB OCZ PC400
    MSI Neo2 Platinum
    Seagate 7200 rpm SATA 200 GB HDD
    Geforce2 GTS (I do not play games)

    What are my choices for a very in-expensive AGP video card with DVI and good de-interlacing capabilities for HTPC duty? I do not play games. Could I use:

    ATI based 9250, 9200SE or 9550?
    or an nVidia based MX 4000 or FX 5200? 6200?

    ..and achieve good de-interlacing? Which would recommend and why?

    It seems to me that if I use an ATI based card, I am able to take advantage of the iDCT hardware acceleration which is similar to Faroudja de-interlacing, correct? That means I don't "need" Theatre Tek to acheive decent de-interlacing. (Right now I have Power DVD and I see that it is poor) If you recommend one of the nVidia cards, which one and what software should I use with it?

    I mainly want to test sending a DVI to HDMI signal to my projector, but it would be handy to buy a video card that is somewhat useful for potential HTPC use, if only as a back-up and/or for testing/comparing or possible HTPC use. I do not want to go HTPC right now, I just want to trouble-shoot a DVI>HDMI problem with my regular HT components.


    Basically, how cheap can I go with an AGP video card and still have de-interlacing somewhat comparable to Silicon Image or Faroudja? Which card? WHich software?

    P.S. I asked this about Radeon only, but I changed my question to include all cards.

    thanx

    [​IMG]
     
  2. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Not having a Windows PC, I can't comment on the various idiosyncrasies of PowerDVD or WinDVD. I will say this, though:

    iDCT stands for inverse discrete cosine transform. It's an algorithm used to decompress the mpeg stream. Although iDCT acceleration does reduce the load on the CPU-- it should have little impact on the quality of the final picture.

    You may be confusing it with Faroudja's DCDi (Directional Correlational Deinterlacing). ATI refers to its scheme as "AVIVO" and nVidia calls it's solution "PureVideo." You may find this article to be at least somewhat informative.

    (Of course, the video card designers constantly tweak their drivers and chips, so...)
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Thanx. That actually clears something up for me. I was confusing the two. Crap!

    I guess it is back to the drawing board in order to try and match Silicon Image and Faroudja type de-interlacing.

    Many say I should go for a Gigabyte 6600 passive cooled but it is more than I want to spend.
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    How about an XFX Geforce 6200 with DVI? Inexpensive at $59 CDN and I believe the 6200 can do Pure Video from nVidia.
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Sorry to burst your bubble, but none of the videocards out there can come even close to matching the performance of Faroudja's DCDi.

    I know this, because I watch a lot of anime - I often use my Panasonic S97 Faroudja-based DVD player instead of my HTPC because of its poor deinterlacing performance.

    I would recommend a Geforce 6600GT. Anything less and you likely will not get the Purevideo hardware deinterlacing features. I would consider Purevideo average in performance compared to non-Faroudja and non-Silicon-Image based players. Purevideo will outperform the Panasonic RP91's deinterlacer, for example.

    I also suggest you read VERY CAREFULLY the hardware requirements for Purevideo. Only a handful of cards can do hi-def deinterlacing and IVTC for example (only the 6800 Ultra and 7800 cards can do it). I don't think a 6200 can do any kind of hardware-assisted deinterlacing.
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Here is the webpage on NVIDIA's site detailing what Purevideo features each videocard supports:

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html

    It would be a mistake to get a 6200, IMHO. It cannot do IVTC or bad edit correction in hardware.
     
  7. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Right. I am very well aware of the difficulties with de-interlacing. I have an iScan Ultra, and had previously used an iScan Pro. I actually had an iScan HD briefly but thought it didn't make a difference at the time, because the scaler in the Hitachi is very very good. Of course now with this weird vertical streaking chroma issue with the TX200's HDMI input I wish I had the iScan HD back to do further trouble-shooting, but oh well... I am used to completely flawless film de-interlacing. Never any artifacts. The iScan products with the Silicon Image SiL504 chips pass ALL the Secrets tests with flying colours. The first time I saw a front projector was with an iScan Pro, so I was hooked on flawless de-interlacing.

    For now I think I will just try the Radeon 7000 I have in another PC just to see if I can output 1280 x 720 via DVI to my projector. I am not looking for anything regarding de-interlacing, I am just looking to trouble-shoot the weird vertical chroma issue my projector has on the HDMI input [​IMG]
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Ah. One thing that bugs me about all the video cards out there - they all (except the specialty cards like MyHD etc.) have to deinterlace the video because the video card can only deal with progressive frames in the frame buffer - so even if your card is set to output 1080i or even 480i, you cannot output the original video fields encoded in the video. This means you can't take advantage of a superior add-on scaler because the PC already screwed it all up for you. [​IMG]
     
  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    That would suck if you had a CRT display. For digital I prefer to stay away from 1080i. I usually see combing when feeding a projector 1080i.
     

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