HP7360n + Toshiba 37HL86 + BEV Question - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 2007-02-11, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 34
HP7360n + Toshiba 37HL86 + BEV Question

Newbie Question...

1. I just bought the Toshiba HDTV, and I am wondering if I should upgrade the Video Card that came with my 7360n, which is a NVDIA GeForce 6200SE Turbo Cache, and it also has Conexant Falcon Video Capture Card.

This machine will be used for both, TV Screen and as a standard computer on the HPf2105 monitor. So I guess the card you suggest needs to be able to output to 2 monitors. (right now the VGA goes to the HP monitor, an S-VGA to a regular CRT TV).

2. What cable should I use to connect to the new HDTV I got? My new TV has HDMI, A/V (Composite), Coaxial Cable, DVI, PC VGA, ans S-Video. Man this stuff is just to hard for me to figure out. But I guess it is good to have choice ;-)

3. I am thinking of upgrading to Bell Exp vue HD Extra so I get a HD PVR. I assume this is my only choice since MCE does not do HDef. Do you agree with this decision, or should I just use MCE with the non HDef Digital STB to record TV Shows?

Thanks in advance for any answers.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 2007-02-11, 10:18 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Milton, ON
Posts: 704
1. Your best bet is to do dual DVI to drive the monitor and the TV at the same time. If your current video card can do it, great. If it can do dual VGA you should be good as well, the VGA quality really is pretty good usually but that's a matter of preference versus the cost of a new video card.

2. To future-proof yourself you might want to consider using the HDMI connection, but that's a new beast for most video cards (which translates to expensive). The reason I recommend this is to take advantage of HDCP, or content protection for high-definition content. Right now it's not being enforced, but in the not too distant future things like HD-DVD, BluRay, and HDTV will refuse to play at full definition unless you use HDCP.

3. Your call. There is an option for HDTV on media center in canada, and it works quite well depending on your location. You can configure MCE to tune in over the air HDTV, which here in Toronto means you can get CTV, CBC, SunTV, OMNI1, OMNI2, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, CW, PBS all in high-definition. You'll need an antenna and an ATSC tuner card to make this option work. I would guess that if you do it yourself it would be a $200 outlay. You won't get some of the HD specialty channels this way, including DiscoveryHD. MCE will take care of tuning in all of your standard-definition channels using the Expressvu set-top-box and the high-definition channels from the antenna.

Your call... in my opinion, having not seen an expressvu box lately, would be the following:
- Expressvu would give a more reliable signal and more channels.
- I've read that expressvu has compressed signals, which are not as good as OTA high-def picture quality.
- MCE would have a better user interface and user logic
- MCE would have expandable storage
- The MCE option may require getting up in your attic or roof to install the antenna.

Good luck!

Pete
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 2007-02-11, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 34
Thumbs up Wow, very informative reply.

pnear, thanks very much for your advice. I specially liked the fact that you provided the rationale, because it makes it a lot more informative. good stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnear View Post
1. Your best bet is to do dual DVI ... the VGA quality really is pretty good usually but that's a matter of preference versus the cost of a new video card.
Unfortunately my video card has one of each of S-VGA, VGA, DVI. So if I want to do dual DVI I guess I will have to fork for a new ATI or something like that. Not too bad because someone told me that I can get much better performance if I upgrade, since my NVDIA card is not the best performer. Uhmm I think I am now making excuses to get a better card ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnear View Post
2. To future-proof yourself you might want to consider using the HDMI connection, but that's a new beast for most video cards (which translates to expensive). The reason I recommend this is to take advantage of HDCP, or content protection for high-definition content. Right now it's not being enforced, but in the not too distant future things like HD-DVD, BluRay, and HDTV will refuse to play at full definition unless you use HDCP.
Well, I am doing some online search on Tiger Direct and they have a ATI Radeon X1650 XT / 256MB GDDR3 / PCI Express / Dual DVI / HDTV / VIVO / Crossfire Ready / Video Card, for $252.00 (Canadian). Anyone have any experience with this card? It claims to be HDCP compliant, but with DVI not HDMI. Here is the quote, "In order to see HDTV with HDCP compliance, both the source and display devices must be equipped with DVI connections that can enable HDCP decoding.". So are they also correct? Also now I am wondering if my HDTV is HDCP compliant. Boy I sure hope HD tv is worth it. This is pretty complicated for a newbie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnear View Post
3. Your call... You can configure MCE to tune in over the air HDTV, which here in Toronto means you can get CTV, CBC, SunTV, OMNI1, OMNI2, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, CW, PBS
I really like the idea of OTA HDTV, but a man has gotta know his limitations ;-) I live in Bloor West in Toronto, I have a feeling that I could probably get decent reception, but by the time I get it all set up, there will be a new standard or something. Besides the main reason for HD is to get TSN on HD. I hope to get Formula 1 and Soccer in HD soon.

Mind you if there is a good shop that installs the antenna setup, I might just pay them to do it instead of forking an extra $17/month to BellEV. in 3 years thats is $612.00.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnear View Post
Your call... in my opinion, having not seen an expressvu box lately, would be the following:
- Expressvu would give a more reliable signal and more channels.
- I've read that expressvu has compressed signals, which are not as good as OTA high-def picture quality.
- MCE would have a better user interface and user logic
- MCE would have expandable storage
- The MCE option may require getting up in your attic or roof to install the antenna.

Good luck!

Pete
pnear. you are absolutely correct. I LOVE the MCE interface. Hate to admit it since I work for a Microsoft competitor ;-) but MCE is the most underated UI I know.

I also love the freedom of my 1 TeraByte of storage for Media.

Again, ty very much for your informative reply.
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