Video card with TV-out question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RichN, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. RichN

    RichN Stunt Coordinator

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    If I understand what I've read about video cards with the TV-out feature, I can use any analog TV as a computer monitor. I have an analog, 19", TV (with RCA only inputs) which I am thinking about using. I don't really care about watching DVDs or TV, just use it as a monitor. Will I get a good, clear picture on webpages?
    Thanks,
    RichN
     
  2. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Rich,

    I guarantee you will not get even near-satisfactory video from your TV unless you are using it to play a dvd or a game. It will be especially annoying to surf the web or using other software like Word of Excel.

    If you are looking at buying a video card just for this purpose, I would save my $$$ and instead invest in a nice 19" flat-screen CRT monitor instead.
     
  3. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    I concur-- it will be dreadful... really awful, unreadable web pages if that's what you used it for... I would recommend you invest in a decent monitor as well.
     
  4. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Imagine setting a computer monitor to 640x480 resolution and a refresh rate of 60 Hz -- INTERLACED! That's the rating of most consumer TVs out there. Even if you have a progressive scan TV, the input signal is still interlaced.

    Don't go the cheap route. Then again, do go the cheap route. A decent 17" monitor will cost you well under $200 and still deliver a much better picture than any consumer TV set could ever hope to offer you.
     
  5. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, if this is a dumb question. I've read the few other posts regarding this topic. I've got a ceiling mounted projector. I saw this product: ADS Elite XGA VGA to TV Convertor. It's an external unit. My question is should I expect a horrible image on the larger screen? This thing is touted for Power Point presentations or 'slide shows'. Would text or images be pretty bad in this situation as well? Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  6. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Not only is it interlaced 640x480, but most TVs have overscan, so you not see stuff on the edges, like the Windows taskbar.

    //Ken
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    If you have a projector- why in the world would you want to lower the available resolution afforded to you by a PC to horrible TV resolution of 640480 interlaced? You projector will likely handle regular PC resolutions at least 640x480 progressive direct from the computer (most proj made after 1988 could do that much, my 1990s Sony CRT could do 800x600 without batting an eye). Most modern projectors will directly sync to PC resolutions of 1024x768 or higher.

    You can go direct at full resolution from a PC to most projectors- don't know why you'd bother buying a box to downsample the resolution to TV quality.

    What projector do you have?

    -V
     
  8. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your comments, Vince. I really don't know much about this stuff. The projector I have is a Zenith Pro 851x CRT unit. I guess it's a dinosaur by today's standards. It has only a composite feed to the projector itself. That's it. I just thought it would be cool to display computer graphics or web pages on the larger screen once in a while. Maybe this particular projector (because it's old) isn't suitable for this sort of thing. If you have any suggestions, I'll sure listen. Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Mike,

    My apologies- your Zenith is one of the 4 strictly video projectors Zenith made. Starting at the 895x they can do 1024x768p from PC.

    My mistake.

    -V
     
  10. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Vince. So, would this ADS Elite XGA VGA to TV Converter do the work in this situation? It sounds by your last post that it probably would. Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  11. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Vince, I just wanted to add to my last post. Is there another way to run a signal from my computer to the projector? What type of cable(s) would I need? I'm not very computer savy when it comes to this sort of thing. It appears that my Zenith Pro851x projector is capable of accepting the higher rez from the computer. Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yep- although so would an Video card with a TV output.

    It won't be pretty however!

    -Vince
     
  13. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    So, in other words, the image or text etc... will look pretty bad?
     
  14. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    To give you an example on how bad it can get, I connected my ATI Radeon 9000 Pro's TV output to my 20" TV. I had to use an S-Video to Composite converter cable from Radio Shack because my TV is also composite only. I know Radio Shack's cable does a decent job of converting an S-Video signal to composite because I tried it between the satellite receiver and the TV. The only difference I could really see is that the converted picture was a bit softer when compared with the image from the composite cable, but not by much.

    Then I connected the video card to the TV with the converter cable and looked at the resulting picture. Yikes! With the video card set at 1024x768 and downscaling to about 640x480 on the TV out, the picture was incredibly soft and dull! On top of it, the computer underscans the image so that you can see the whole desktop. That's okay for graphics, but video based media could appreciate a bit of overscanning. I tried adjusting the TV image size in the drivers, but they wouldn't go beyond 5% underscan on the top and left sides.

    Forget watching computer images on a consumer TV. In the short term, it's ugly as hell. In the long term, you'll hurt your eyes.
     
  15. RichN

    RichN Stunt Coordinator

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    Getting back to my original question. I am currently using a 27" TV connected to my WebTV and it looks pretty good. I guess that means that WebTV uses a different resolution/scan rate/scanning mode specifically designed for use with an analog TV, than a PC video card? If the picture is so bad, why do they bother to make a TV-out option? I also have a Sony 36XBR450 HDTV, but don't plan on using that as my PC monitor (but I assume that would give the best picture).
    RichN
     
  16. Matt Weyen

    Matt Weyen Stunt Coordinator

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    I use a radeon 7200 with s-video out at a resolution of 640x480 (anything over results in a bad picture due to the card having to downsize the 640x480). The picture looks great. I can read everything clearly, even songs in a winamp playlist. Movies look great with it! Once I tweaked with powerdvd's video controls, I got dvd's to look exactly as good as my stand alone dvd player can do. I only have a 31" tv with s-vid in so I can't do hdtv as many seem to think is a MUST with htpc, but its not, benefits can be had without HD when done correctly. Yes, I would like HD, but don't have the $$$ now since I'm a senior in college. Hope this helps a little.
     
  17. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    The reason for not using S-Video on an analog TV is moot; you're not going to lose anything. Yes, you can get equivalent quality (with the right hardware) from a HTPC via S-Video as you could from any other device, via S-Video. BUT... An HDTV is capable of much higher resolution and quality than an analog set, and that can't be displayed via S-Video.

    Things generally look fine @ 640x480 or 800x600 (a little blurry on the text here...) via S-Video. But that's a pretty cramped resolution to try to do most things with. I used the TV-out feature of my card(s) for years to play games on my TV in college, and it worked great.

    But hooking up to an HDTV via the 'video/tv out' feature of a card is sacrificing a ton of resolution, color saturation and overall quality when there is another, far superior, solution to achieve a similar end.
     

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