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Graphics videocard with good TV-out and widescreen

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by michaeltweak, 14 Jul 2004.

  1. michaeltweak

    michaeltweak What's a Dremel?

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    Hello

    I need a graphic card for my movie box. My main problem is that the manufactures only write "tv-out" and no futher details :duh: That's like if ford wrote "the car has a engine" what a great piece of information :naughty:
    I am looking for a card where the TV-out can be enabled all the time, so I won't have to mess with setup after each reboot.
    Also support for widescreen resolutions like 848x480 or 1280x768 would be great :clap:

    If anyone knows a graphic card with those features, let me know.
     
  2. The Savior

    The Savior What's a Dremel?

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    The TV out on current graphics cards refers to a composite/s-video port. This interface is only capable of delivering standard definition signals (480i for NTSC, 540i for PAL). If I recall correctly, anamorphic NTSC 480i is 720 x 480, though I'm not positive. I'm not sure if widescreen is a posibility for the TV out, but I'm guessing that it is. Given that information, the only resolutions you can expect from any TV out are 480i and 540i, along with the possible widescreen flavors of each. The only exception to this that I can think of are some ATI cards that can output component video, and thus can do HDTV resolutions (480p, 720p, etc.) I know it's possible to configure current cards to output via TV out all the time, though I'm not sure exactly how. Hope this helps!
     
  3. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    Any video card with VGA output can output component video (after all, a VGA port really outputs component video (you can buy cables that take a VGA connector and split it into the 5 separate component connections (Red, Green, Blue, Vsync, and Hsync))).
    Some good HDTVs have DVI.
    Technically, DVI should be used with projection monitors because they're all either LCD projection (basically a regular LCD monitor with some optics to magnify it, and a very bright backlight to make up for lost light in the optics) or DLP projection (which is digital, too).
    Converting from digital to analog and back to digital isn't exactly the best idea if you value quality (although there may be no choice).
     
  4. The Savior

    The Savior What's a Dremel?

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    Nope, VGA is fundamentally different from component. As you said, VGA uses red, green, blue, and sync to transmit information. Component uses luminence and a couple others which I can't remember at the moment. I completely forgot about other inputs on the TV. If available, use a VGA/DVI input, these will give you much better PQ than any other option.
     
  5. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    VGA is also called RGB (Red, Green, and Blue (and syncs)), which is what component video is (don't confuse component video with composite or Svideo).
    I know this because a friend once wanted me to plug in her laptop (that has only a VGA output) to a projector that only has DVI and component connections (the projector has DVI, 5 line component (I used that), and 3 line component (sync lines and green are combined into one signal)).
    BTW, it's called component because Red, Green, and Blue are the 3 main components of the video signal (the syncs are just to tell the display where the edges are).
     
  6. The Savior

    The Savior What's a Dremel?

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    While you are correct about "5-line component," your information about "3-line component" (what everybody means when they say component) is simply incorrect.
     
  7. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    I'm not sure, but I've seen several workstation monitors (you know, those old Sun monitors) that have 3 BNC connectors marked component.
    Maybe those old workstation monitors I've worked with indeed are just RGB with sync mixed into the green line, but with so many workstation companies making their own "standards", another monitor's component input may work differently (don't know why, I think it's so the workstation companies can make a greater profit selling you those extremely expensive monitors! (which turn out to be just ordinary high quality monitors with an addtional decoder PCB containing $10 of electronic parts)).
    So I would try to find out what "standard" the monitor actually uses.
    I actually heard about someone who took apart a broken workstation monitor and made an adapter for a standard monitor using the decoder PCB.
    BTW, I remember that the decoder board had only 2 small ICs, some resistors, and some capacitors.
    The encoder (found on the workstation's video card) likely uses only cheap electronic components, which is easy to duplicate (that may not be the case all the time, though)!
    So good luck, and hope you can get it to work (getting workstation monitors (and other monitors without a VGA or DVI input) to work on a PC is gambling; you may get lucky and it works, or you will be left with a nice monitor that cannot be used).
    In theory, it's possible to mod the monitor by bypassing the decoder circuits, but 50,000v is extremely dangerous in the hands of a noob!
    Even projection monitors have high voltage power supplies for the projection lamp (ever got a burn/shock from a laptop screen? projection monitor lamps are far worse).
    If there's no other choice, have an experienced technician do the modding (just ask him/her to add a VGA input).
    Just be aware: If it's a projection monitor, you will burn out lamps very frequently (and you can burn the panel in certain LCD projection monitors if the image is left still for too long).
     
  8. The Savior

    The Savior What's a Dremel?

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    Hmm, I never knew that about workstation monitors. Interesting.

    On a completely unrelated note, I love your avatar. :thumb:
     
  9. Austin

    Austin Minimodder

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    :) My experience is nVidia cards have poorer support for widescreen and custom modes, Radeons tend to be much better and IMHO you have better control over it too. You may find 3rd party / tweaked drivers like Omegas along with vaious other tools can help you too, esp for custom resolutions. AFAIK 1024x768 is still the maximum supported by the TVout chips though.
     
  10. The Savior

    The Savior What's a Dremel?

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    Without getting into the component discussion again, the highest resolution for tv output is 720 x 480.
     
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