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Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 25th 06, 05:04 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display

I recently acquired a Dell 2405fpw and am now looking for an *AGP* *DVI*
video card to get the most out of this monster display. I very rarely play
games, but (aside from business apps) watch DVDs & NTSC broadcasts.

While I understand that the scaling issues involved prevent me from
obtaining perfect fullscreen video (although DVD isn't too bad, even with
the current 9600 pro in the machine...), and even moreso, quality
(fullscreen) NTSC broadcasts, I hope to find a video card that handles video
and the upscaling of video well.

I'm thinking about the AIW x800xt, even though the multimedia software
leaves much to be desired. I suppose I could look for third party software
solutions for broadcast video. I hear BTV4 is pretty good, if not somewhat
cpu intensive.

Also, I've been considering picking up the Fusion 3 or 5 Gold HDTV card as
well (assuming that my area gets a decent amount of QAM channels).


http://www.fusionhdtv.co.kr/eng/Products/ATSC5Gold.aspx

http://www.digitalconnection.com/Pro...fusion3qam.asp

At any rate, I appreciate whatever suggestions I can get. I'm hoping for the
best quality available for my purposes, as outlined above.

Again, AGP, DVI.

Thanks,
Hark

Specs:

AMD 64 3500+

MSI MS-7025 (NEO2 Platinum)

1 GB DDR Corsair RAM (2x512)-Dual Channel Mode

Current: ATI 9600 Pro, ATI TV Wonder Elite



Dell 2405fpw


  #2  
Old January 26th 06, 01:53 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display

The program used to play DVDs has a lot to do with the image quality.

Bob

"Harkhof" wrote in message
news[email protected]
I recently acquired a Dell 2405fpw and am now looking for an *AGP* *DVI*
video card to get the most out of this monster display. I very rarely play
games, but (aside from business apps) watch DVDs & NTSC broadcasts.

While I understand that the scaling issues involved prevent me from
obtaining perfect fullscreen video (although DVD isn't too bad, even with
the current 9600 pro in the machine...), and even moreso, quality
(fullscreen) NTSC broadcasts, I hope to find a video card that handles

video
and the upscaling of video well.

I'm thinking about the AIW x800xt, even though the multimedia software
leaves much to be desired. I suppose I could look for third party software
solutions for broadcast video. I hear BTV4 is pretty good, if not somewhat
cpu intensive.

Also, I've been considering picking up the Fusion 3 or 5 Gold HDTV card as
well (assuming that my area gets a decent amount of QAM channels).


http://www.fusionhdtv.co.kr/eng/Products/ATSC5Gold.aspx

http://www.digitalconnection.com/Pro...fusion3qam.asp

At any rate, I appreciate whatever suggestions I can get. I'm hoping for

the
best quality available for my purposes, as outlined above.

Again, AGP, DVI.

Thanks,
Hark

Specs:

AMD 64 3500+

MSI MS-7025 (NEO2 Platinum)

1 GB DDR Corsair RAM (2x512)-Dual Channel Mode

Current: ATI 9600 Pro, ATI TV Wonder Elite



Dell 2405fpw




  #3  
Old January 26th 06, 02:27 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display


"sycochkn" wrote in message
ink.net...
The program used to play DVDs has a lot to do with the image quality.


Yes, I have to agree, but the bigger issue I'm dealing with is quality
scaling to the high resolution without appearing grainy. My hope is that
someone has some experience with the 2400fpw and has come up with solutions
to acheive the best quality possible at this point in time.

The DVD video, although it could be better, is not too bad, but the NTSC is
pretty bad, and that is my greater concern. For this issue, i believe that
software AND hardware will play a role.

Thanks for the response,

Hark

ANy other ideas welcome!


Bob

"Harkhof" wrote in message
news[email protected]
I recently acquired a Dell 2405fpw and am now looking for an *AGP* *DVI*
video card to get the most out of this monster display. I very rarely
play
games, but (aside from business apps) watch DVDs & NTSC broadcasts.

While I understand that the scaling issues involved prevent me from
obtaining perfect fullscreen video (although DVD isn't too bad, even with
the current 9600 pro in the machine...), and even moreso, quality
(fullscreen) NTSC broadcasts, I hope to find a video card that handles

video
and the upscaling of video well.

I'm thinking about the AIW x800xt, even though the multimedia software
leaves much to be desired. I suppose I could look for third party
software
solutions for broadcast video. I hear BTV4 is pretty good, if not
somewhat
cpu intensive.

Also, I've been considering picking up the Fusion 3 or 5 Gold HDTV card
as
well (assuming that my area gets a decent amount of QAM channels).


http://www.fusionhdtv.co.kr/eng/Products/ATSC5Gold.aspx

http://www.digitalconnection.com/Pro...fusion3qam.asp

At any rate, I appreciate whatever suggestions I can get. I'm hoping for

the
best quality available for my purposes, as outlined above.

Again, AGP, DVI.

Thanks,
Hark

Specs:

AMD 64 3500+

MSI MS-7025 (NEO2 Platinum)

1 GB DDR Corsair RAM (2x512)-Dual Channel Mode

Current: ATI 9600 Pro, ATI TV Wonder Elite



Dell 2405fpw






  #4  
Old January 26th 06, 02:41 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 20:27:37 -0600, "Harkhof"
wrote:


"sycochkn" wrote in message
link.net...
The program used to play DVDs has a lot to do with the image quality.


Yes, I have to agree, but the bigger issue I'm dealing with is quality
scaling to the high resolution without appearing grainy.



Yes, that's why you don't need a different video card (which
will do the same thing), you need a video player software
that does a better job than what you're currently using.

You wrote of a desire for DVI, but that's not going to help,
at most it will make the grainy picture more sharply grained
or at least, you wouldn't see much difference at all.


My hope is that
someone has some experience with the 2400fpw and has come up with solutions
to acheive the best quality possible at this point in time.



Best quality possible is video source that isn't resized a
lot, at native display resolution. If it strongly averaged
everything to be rid of grain, then it's blurrier with
artificial grain still from it being an LCD.



The DVD video, although it could be better, is not too bad, but the NTSC is
pretty bad, and that is my greater concern. For this issue, i believe that
software AND hardware will play a role.


What tuner is on the card you mentioned? No reason to
believe the "video card" portion of an AIW makes a
difference here, not when comparing one remotely modern like
what you already had.

Will DScaler work with your current tuner card?

  #5  
Old January 26th 06, 03:34 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display


"kony" wrote in message
...
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 20:27:37 -0600, "Harkhof"
wrote:


"sycochkn" wrote in message
hlink.net...
The program used to play DVDs has a lot to do with the image quality.


Yes, I have to agree, but the bigger issue I'm dealing with is quality
scaling to the high resolution without appearing grainy.



Yes, that's why you don't need a different video card (which
will do the same thing), you need a video player software
that does a better job than what you're currently using.


As I previously posted, the DVD video is not all that bad, and although I
agree that the software player is an intregal part of the solution, a video
card that handles scaling well is also desirable. Also, remember, I am
driving a fairly large monitor, and while even my old AIW 9000 Pro will
work, the performance is not what it could be with a higher quality, newer
tech card. I have a 9600 pro in that machine at the moment, which is OK, but
the x800xt does a much better job over all driving this monitor. The
question is not IF I will get another card, but rather: which one? Thus, the
request for recommendations from those who may have found a card that
handles this type of scaling better.


You wrote of a desire for DVI, but that's not going to help,
at most it will make the grainy picture more sharply grained
or at least, you wouldn't see much difference at all.


Surely you're not suggesting that I run a 24" monitor in VGA? This display
DOES have a VGA connection, but I wouldn't run VGA when it also has a DVI
connection, nor would I buy a VGA card instead. And there is a tremendous
difference on this display (or any other DVI display) when running it in
VGA. I am actually running TWO machines on this display (along with a KVM
for the mouse & keyboard), one connected DVI and one connected VGA. The "VGA
machine", however, is merely a workhorse machine, for which any monitor will
do, so VGA quality is incidental.


My hope is that
someone has some experience with the 2400fpw and has come up with
solutions
to acheive the best quality possible at this point in time.



Best quality possible is video source that isn't resized a
lot, at native display resolution. If it strongly averaged
everything to be rid of grain, then it's blurrier with
artificial grain still from it being an LCD.


Yes, again, this is a given. However, my hope is that someone who has
already done the legwork for this type of circumstance will step up and
declare their solution.



The DVD video, although it could be better, is not too bad, but the NTSC
is
pretty bad, and that is my greater concern. For this issue, i believe that
software AND hardware will play a role.


What tuner is on the card you mentioned?


I've actually tried a few different tuners, of which the current one is the
ATI TV Wonder Elite, which I had heard good things about, but was
disappointed. I also tried this tuner with BeyondTV4, Sage TV and the
Cyberlink Power Cinema that came with the card. The BTV4 showed the most
promise, but in my configuration, it was unstable. The Cyberlink software
was, as expected, pretty pitiful, although it DID offer the best quality.

As I said earlier, I'm considering one of the mentioned HD cards if my area
has enough attainable HD channels). Although I couldn't watch every cahnnel
in HD, at least that would partially solve the problem. HD channels should
do fine on this monitor.


No reason to
believe the "video card" portion of an AIW makes a
difference here, not when comparing one remotely modern like
what you already had.


I have to agree, that once beyond a certain point, faster hardware is not
going to help in this area. The AIW on the x800xt, however, was noticeably
better than the 9000 Pro and an AIW 9600xt I had in the machine. Perhaps it
was some minor improvements ATI made upon the tuner (too bad they don't put
the same effort into their software as they do their hardware...).


Will DScaler work with your current tuner card?


I don't know. I have yet to look into that, but I hear that it eats up quite
a few cpu cycles, and given that this is a computer I use quite a lot in my
business, I need to be able to multi-task without problems. Have you used
DScaler? If so, what has your experience with it been in regards to NTSC
broadcasts?

Thanks,
Hark


  #6  
Old January 26th 06, 07:11 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:34:36 -0600, "Harkhof" wrote:


As I previously posted, the DVD video is not all that bad, and although I
agree that the software player is an intregal part of the solution, a video
card that handles scaling well is also desirable. Also, remember, I am
driving a fairly large monitor, and while even my old AIW 9000 Pro will
work, the performance is not what it could be with a higher quality, newer
tech card. I have a 9600 pro in that machine at the moment, which is OK, but
the x800xt does a much better job over all driving this monitor. The
question is not IF I will get another card, but rather: which one? Thus, the
request for recommendations from those who may have found a card that
handles this type of scaling better.


Id like to hear about it myself if there is a difference. The 800
obviously is a more powerful card to push higher resolutions so for
that its desirable. But usually that power is mainly used for high res
with all those gaming effects with a 3d engine. Im not sure how much
actually power you need for 2D static pics and just showing videos
whether it would come into play at all. Ive got 4 cards the 800XL ,
9600XT, 9600 and 400mx which I can use on 3 different systems -- two
AMD 64s 3000/3200 and an old AMD 1600 athlon. They can all play videos
etc OK , DVDs on my 19" 1280x1024. Sure you want to go beyond that on
your new widescreen higher res monitor but the 400mx which is ancient
works OK up and not a heck of a lot different vs my 800XL on my 19" so
you got to wonder if a 800XT is overkill if you arent playing games
for DVDs.

Im no expert but like others say I think the software makes the big
difference as long as the hardware isnt deficient in some crucial way
in terms of DVD playback. Well LCDs make a huge difference in other
ways not resolution. My big beef is that many PC LCDs and LCDs in
general have really poor blacks and dark shade contrast levels. Many
sites mention this and in dark scenes details disappear and it looks
murky. On my LCD 19" Viewsonic for instance and its rated well ---- I
was looking at UHHHHHHHH Anaconda some terrible flick about a giant
snake that eats people and it was very difficult to make out what was
happening in many dark scenes. Of course many will say who cares with
that movie. Traditionally its said that say with LCD tvs which I
assume is probably but I dont know this , better than many LCD PC
screens in black levels etc since its primarily used for movies and TV
---- are worse than Plasma and CRTs in this area.

The other thing is response too of course but that doesnt seem like a
big deal unless once again you are playing games and many of the newer
LCD TVs have improved response now because people are buying it for
gaming. The other is LCDs to improve response times have gone to 6 bit
panels which dither most of the shades they claim to get so places
like Anandtech point out some shades are impossible to get correctily
and theres problems like banding when they show shade gradations etc
in a gradual spectrum in tests.

I actually bought a LCD HDTV too and an using it for PC monitor now
26". The thing about it is ---- it seems to have superior black levels
etc vs my Viewsonic and they improved the reponse times so gaming is
not a problem. Ive tested it with some recently. One guy posted that
he still thought black levels were "crushed" on the movie Matrix but
frankly tons of people have bought this same LCD HDTV the Olvevia
Syntax HVX 26" its been on sale on and off continually since BF down
to 499 AR --- and the overwhelming majority seem to be pretty happy
with it. One thing the HDTV LCD tend to have lower res than obviously
the widescreen PC large

So in the movie are Im not sure the hardware makes a huge difference
but I maybe wrong. I havent seen it with my 800XL







  #7  
Old January 26th 06, 07:34 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:11:25 -1000, "
wrote:

Dang it. I accidently hit another key and sent the post. My typing
skills are atrocious.

So in the movie area Im not sure the hardware makes a huge difference
but I maybe wrong. I havent seen it with my 800XL


One thing the HDTV LCDs are lower res than the PC widescreen big
screens. They tend to be 1280 x 768 or 1366 x 768 mines the latter.

Now the tuner area you want to get the newer AIW. Im not even sure
what TV tuner they put in that. In the old days ATI used the third
party conexant chips and their theater chip I think its called in
different products.

They have a new generation chip out now called the 550 theater or
something. It was first used in the separate cards they and other like
sapphire came out with. At best I think they would use that stuff. I
was all hot about getting it and so were many others cause there was
lots of hype at their site and other sites picked up on it about how
they had all this extra processing through hardware that cleaned up
the TV pic etc. They had split screen examples of graphics at their
website. It looled amazing.

When it came out some sites had people who ran out and bought the
sapphire to compare against the the popular rival the Hauppauge 150 (I
have this card now) which just came out too months before and set a
new low price record for hardware compression cards. They uploaded
clips of captures from both and commented on both and frankly there
was NO big difference. Not a big deal. Anandtech did a test later and
found a LITTLE difference mainly in the text which was a little
cleaner and he had to point it out in his review. Not really a big
deal. His comment was something like --- TV quality is so low that
there isnt a whole lot you can do to it nothing dramatic with the
technology they have now and the more important factor was getting a
good signal etc

One guy claims he was using some old TV card and got really bad pics
but with DSCALER there was a dramatic improvement. The problem here is
how bad was his original setup? Ive used it before when I was going
through lots of software and didnt notice much of a difference but
havent used it recently so anything is possible but I dont see TV card
sites raving about how its way better than all the other programs in
Pic Quality. Sure they say its a good program but so are a lot of
programs but like i said havent used it recently.

That doesnt mean all Tuner hardware is created the same but I havent
really heard of any TV tuner hardware being vastly superior etc except
that the Hauppauge line and the cards using the ATI 550 Theater chip
are generally fine and use hardware compression for capturing so they
are preferred. However they do look grainy etc when blown up TV feeds
just do unless its HDTV of course cause the res is low.

I was thinking of HDTV Tuners and the fusion is popular but we dont
get a lot of hDTV channels here and I dont want to guess about whether
ANY of the channels QAM are scrambled or not. But if you do get QAM
signals free and clear I guess its worth having as many are buying
that card. WIth the higher res it should look better obviously because
of the higher res.

So basically I think everyone is saying --- you dont probably need the
extra power for only 2D work/movies and that there probably wont be
any big differences in pic quality going to a more expensive card in
terms of hardware and that various software may or may not make a
bigger difference.

Im going to look that up though. Is there any "upconverting" aspects
that are drastically improved on newer cards. Who knows you may be
right but I havent heard of any. In general Ive been underwhelmed with
the new TV tuners claims of great improvements in pic quality etc I
generally havent seen any big improvements from old vid cards and even
TV tuners though I think the hardware compression features and
software support and general other qualities make the Hauppauge a good
buy though its NOT HDTV capable obviously.



  #8  
Old January 26th 06, 10:54 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:34:41 -1000, "
wrote:

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:11:25 -1000, "
wrote:

Dang it. I accidently hit another key and sent the post. My typing
skills are atrocious.

So in the movie area Im not sure the hardware makes a huge difference
but I maybe wrong. I havent seen it with my 800XL


One thing the HDTV LCDs are lower res than the PC widescreen big
screens. They tend to be 1280 x 768 or 1366 x 768 mines the latter.

Now the tuner area you want to get the newer AIW. Im not even sure
what TV tuner they put in that. In the old days ATI used the third
party conexant chips and their theater chip I think its called in
different products.

They have a new generation chip out now called the 550 theater or
something. It was first used in the separate cards they and other like
sapphire came out with.


I was talking about the actual tuner previously, as that is
what pertains most to video quality so far as
noise/pixelation/etc on the incoming signal (all else
remaining equal, for example completely ignoring the SNR of
the signal). If he buys a card that's just hyped for gaming
and has the same quality tuner, he gains nothing.

The idea of "drive" an LCD is a bit far fetched. Either the
video card has the bandwidth to do it or it doesn't and just
about anything made in the past few years does, including
low-end cards. He could downgrade his 9600-whatever and
expect the same results if the other card has the same
scaling algorythms and he uses the same player- but
sometimes it takes people a few purchases before things
start to "click" I guess.


  #9  
Old January 26th 06, 03:38 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display

On Thu, 26 Jan 2006 10:54:39 GMT, kony wrote:


I was talking about the actual tuner previously, as that is
what pertains most to video quality so far as
noise/pixelation/etc on the incoming signal (all else
remaining equal, for example completely ignoring the SNR of
the signal). If he buys a card that's just hyped for gaming
and has the same quality tuner, he gains nothing.


I can do a gross comparison of tuners since I have one of the most
popular top rated ones the Hauppauge 150 and I bought a recent cheapo
for one of my other PCs ---- a Norwood (yuck yuck) TV tuner.

Norwood is Compusa's house brand. They used to call everything FMI ---
their cheapo housebrand but they started using other brand names like
Norwood like on their cheapo housebrand LCD screens.

Anyway I just got all my system cleaned up so I can finish fixing them
up expecially since I DUH --- found out SeagateTOOLs file structure
test was invalid for WIN XP since it was written for WIN98 etc.
according to tech support.

Heres one tip ---- the new generation CHEAPO TV tuners that use the
newer conexant chips, not sure if they can use any generic WDM drivers
that are compatible with 3rd party programs.

Ive posted many times Ive bought lots of cheapo TV tuner cards --- 3
generic brand cheapos around 5-15 after rebates and a Pinnacle top of
the line at the time card --- all at the tme had no hardware
compression which was incredibly expensive then and all used the older
conexant chips BT878xxx the problem is that gen chip had several
drivers you could d/l from the net that were developed or modded by
several people that let you break free from the awful Pinnacle drivers
and other drivers and let you use almost all the software out there
that worked with nonhardware compression cards. Many of the hottest
progs and WIN MCE dont work with nonhardware compression cards but
all the older programs do ---- like PowerVCR -- they stopped
developing that I think and came out with Power Cinema . Anyway WINDVD
etc all work with all the old cards with the WDM drivers you get on
the net or the reference drivers often bundled with the noname cards.
In general Ive found the old ones look good generally speaking of
course as long as you dont need hardware compression. In fact one of
my beefs is the newer cards dont really add all that much in terms of
actual visual quality despite all the hype like in the ATI 550 chip
which was a vast disappointment. But Id still buy the 150 hauppauge or
ATI 550 because of the hardware compression and since the prices have
really fallen though strangely theyve been going slightly up the last
6 months.

However the new generation of cheapo non-hardware compression cards
using the Conexant CXxxxx chips --- Im not sure they do. I bought the
Norwood for $20 on sale several months ago thinking I got another
decent usable nonhardware compression card that could be used with
most of the software out there except the ones I mentioned that
required hardware compression like Beyond TV and MCE etc.

It DOESNT WORK ! The drivers that come with it from Norwood seem to
be the ONLY ones that work with it. I thought I could slip in maybe
tons of next gen cheapo card drivers from Leadtek and other brands but
none seem to work right. That makes me wonder if their drivers work
with other software too.

And thats the problem. The cheapo Conexant based Norwood cant use any
other drivers and it cant use any other program except the cheapo
bundled norwood program ! A major problem as far as Im concerned. The
program does work with the card adequately but even the old Power VCR
and WINDVD look and feel far better than the Norwood program as you
would expect. But its not just the look and feel -- there a slight lag
when you change channels ----- it cant as far as I can tell download
programming data so that you get a grid of shows like in ALL other
decent programs a major flaw. Other than that it works OK.

The major defect when trying to use other programs with the driver is
NO SOUND or SOUND thats stuck on one level. I hope someone comes up
with a universal Conexant CX2xxxxx driver for all the cheapo cards out
there cause the BT878xxxx is dead now. No one uses that anymore.

So what cards are supported by the new PowerCinema and WINDVD? Are
they all just supporting the old BT878xxxx ? And maybe the hardware
compression cards? Are they skipping the cheapo new gen Conexants?












  #10  
Old January 26th 06, 05:54 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
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Default Best Card for Handling Video Playback & Driving Large Display


" wrote in message
...
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:11:25 -1000, "
wrote:

Dang it. I accidently hit another key and sent the post. My typing
skills are atrocious.


Heheh...I've done that a time or two myself.


So in the movie area Im not sure the hardware makes a huge difference
but I maybe wrong. I havent seen it with my 800XL


If I could clarify...I do understand, given the size and high res of the
2405, that I am hard pressed to get quality full screen TV. My perception is
not that bigger and better hardware will solve this dilemma, but rather a
hope that there is some video card out there that will handle scaling NTSC
broadcasts in such a way as to provide the highest possible quality. I know
that this "quality" will not be perfect and without blemish, but I'm looking
for "the best I can do" at this point in time. Nor do I believe that
dropping a bundle will resolve the issue, although I am a strong believer in
the philosophy that choosing quality products, even though they may cost
more, pays off in results and longevity.

And, incidentally, and even though the fullscreen TV quality is not
significantly better than even the AIW 9000 Pro (but it *is* better), the
AIW x800xt really makes this monitor snap in all other areas. This card
obviously shines as a gaming card (I even dug up "Far Cry" and played a few
levels, and in the process understood that my "gaming days" were over...I
was light headed for 2 hours after...), but it is also an excellent overall
card and does quite well on this display. In fact, ATI touts this card as a
"multimedia card", mostly, I think, due to all the I/O possibilities (and
the TV & video capabilities as well).

One thing I wish I had tried when I had the card was the HDTV output to the
YPrPb jacks on the 2405 to see if that made a difference when using that
input on the display. I'm still in the learning curve of this process, so I
wasn't that familiar with what could and couldn't be done with those
outputs. I have heard, however, that the componenet in jacks on the 2405
aren't that good, so I probably wouldn't get the results I was looking for
anyway.




One thing the HDTV LCDs are lower res than the PC widescreen big
screens. They tend to be 1280 x 768 or 1366 x 768 mines the latter.


Exactly! The hig resolution of the monitor vs. the low res output of NTSC is
the real issue here, thus my search for a card that handles scaling in the
best possible way, although,as I've stated, this search may be fruitless in
today's technological state.

Now the tuner area you want to get the newer AIW. Im not even sure
what TV tuner they put in that. In the old days ATI used the third
party conexant chips and their theater chip I think its called in
different products.

They have a new generation chip out now called the 550 theater or
something. It was first used in the separate cards they and other like
sapphire came out with. At best I think they would use that stuff. I
was all hot about getting it and so were many others cause there was
lots of hype at their site and other sites picked up on it about how
they had all this extra processing through hardware that cleaned up
the TV pic etc. They had split screen examples of graphics at their
website. It looled amazing.

When it came out some sites had people who ran out and bought the
sapphire to compare against the the popular rival the Hauppauge 150 (I
have this card now) which just came out too months before and set a
new low price record for hardware compression cards. They uploaded
clips of captures from both and commented on both and frankly there
was NO big difference. Not a big deal. Anandtech did a test later and
found a LITTLE difference mainly in the text which was a little
cleaner and he had to point it out in his review. Not really a big
deal. His comment was something like --- TV quality is so low that
there isnt a whole lot you can do to it nothing dramatic with the
technology they have now and the more important factor was getting a
good signal etc


Actually, I just pulled the "ATI TV Wonder Elite" out of this machine. I
heard great things about it as well, but on this system, it didn't even do
as well as the AIW when windowed. Full screen was another issue entirely.
Whereas the AIW looks 'grainy', the TVWE looks sort of 'pastey', as if I
were running at to low of color depth, although I'm set to 32 bit true. I
tried 3 different softwares with this card, and although some were better
than others, it was never really acceptable.


One guy claims he was using some old TV card and got really bad pics
but with DSCALER there was a dramatic improvement. The problem here is
how bad was his original setup? Ive used it before when I was going
through lots of software and didnt notice much of a difference but
havent used it recently so anything is possible but I dont see TV card
sites raving about how its way better than all the other programs in
Pic Quality. Sure they say its a good program but so are a lot of
programs but like i said havent used it recently.

That doesnt mean all Tuner hardware is created the same but I havent
really heard of any TV tuner hardware being vastly superior etc except
that the Hauppauge line and the cards using the ATI 550 Theater chip
are generally fine and use hardware compression for capturing so they
are preferred. However they do look grainy etc when blown up TV feeds
just do unless its HDTV of course cause the res is low.

I was thinking of HDTV Tuners and the fusion is popular but we dont
get a lot of hDTV channels here and I dont want to guess about whether
ANY of the channels QAM are scrambled or not. But if you do get QAM
signals free and clear I guess its worth having as many are buying
that card. WIth the higher res it should look better obviously because
of the higher res.


And an HD card may well be my next step, although that would mean I had 2
tuners in one machine (not necessarily a bad thing, right?), as HD is so
young and thus limited in its viewing choices. I hear the fusion card is
great, but I still have to check with my cable provider to see what is
available in this area.

So basically I think everyone is saying --- you dont probably need the
extra power for only 2D work/movies and that there probably wont be
any big differences in pic quality going to a more expensive card in
terms of hardware and that various software may or may not make a
bigger difference.


I'm not denying that software is a vital part of the equation here (and
again, it is TV that is my biggest problem. I find *most* DVD video quite
acceptable at a res of 1920x1080, although one alwasy hopes for better :-})
However, after removing the AIW x800xt and putting the 9600 pro in, there is
a fairly noticable difference in display qualities. The colors aren't as
crisp, motion not as smooth. The AIW 800xt card truly is quality (too bad
about the accompanying software...) and does very well with this monitor
(other than, of course, with NTSC). And, as I previously stated, the I/O
capabilities are very extensive, which is very attractive, and while the
x800xl is touted as a gaming card, the AIW x800xt is described as a
"multimedia" card, and rightly so.

I'm not "stuck" on the AIW x800xt, but it *is* the best card I've had with
this display. Unfortunately, it fails to fulfill my hopes regarding NTSC
fullscreen (although "windowed TV is *really* good on this card, better than
I've yet seen. But fullscreen is the main event, and so my search continues
[although, again, possibly fruitless...]).

Im going to look that up though. Is there any "upconverting" aspects
that are drastically improved on newer cards. Who knows you may be
right but I havent heard of any. In general Ive been underwhelmed with
the new TV tuners claims of great improvements in pic quality etc I
generally havent seen any big improvements from old vid cards and even
TV tuners though I think the hardware compression features and
software support and general other qualities make the Hauppauge a good
buy though its NOT HDTV capable obviously.


I also have been making forays into some kind of external "upscaling"
device. I hope to find at least an acceptable solution to this issue without
dropping a bundle, but, for my purposes, it *is* worth spending the time and
a reasonable sum to acheive acceptable results.

Thank you, John, for taking the time to respond so extensively and without
rudeness or arrogance. You seem to understand that I am merely "researching"
for a solution, which may or may not be available at this time. But, by the
time I'm through, I *will* have gained much insight into this issue, which
is, perhaps, part of the point.

Thanks again,
Hark




 




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