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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am in the process of moving and adding componetry to my home theatre. At the moment, my main media source is an HTPC running XBMC. This PC currently is cabled directly to my Panasonic plasma TV through a VGA cable to the VGA input (resolution is 1024x768). The TV technology is older Std Def/Ext Def, not High Def; so I don't have HDMI inputs on the TV. Therefore, alternative inputs on the TV are:
- component
- composite
- SVideo

The objective of this compontry move is to switch all media sources (DVD/CD/HTPC) through my Yamaha AV receiver. The receiver is capable of composite/component/HDMI inputs and outputs. I know that I could use an HDFury2 adapter to transform HDMI -> component but I have not been able to source an HDFury2 anywhere. If I was able to get ahold of a HDFury2, I could use a DVI->HDMI cable between the HTPC and receiver and everything would be fine.

So, I am left with using some other means to connect the HTPC through the AV receiver to the TV in the interrum. What cabling or adapter options will work in this case? I would much prefer managing component connections throughout the chain but I may not be so lucky in finding a suitable adapter.

The HTPC uses an XFX GeForce 7300LE video card with DVI/VGA/SVideo outputs.

I realize that my fall-back position would be to keep using the VGA -> TV connection and switch audio only through the receiver. But, this is a last resort if I do not have an alternative.

TIA for any suggestions.

Robert
 

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It is possible that the s-video port on your video card will output component video with the correct dongle. You may want to contact your video card manufacturer to see if they make a dongle/adaptor for your card.
 

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To connect your HTPC to the receiver you would need one of these

EDIT: I probably used a bad site (that I deleted) to show what kind of adapter was needed, so it is a DVI male to HDMI female.

It could be worth looking at your local bargain store for this adapter as shipping fee is often killing the deal.

Then I would suggest connecting the receiver to TV using the component connection.

For the HDFury, I did a quick research on internet and found one for $200 !!!
For me it is a rip-off.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
scampbell

Thanks for the suggestion. I was aware of Svideo -> composite adapters but not of Svideo -> component. I didn't think that that particular conversion was a possibility. I did find a DVI -> component adapter on Monoprice but the text warned that it was only compatible with video cards capable of TVout on the DVI connector.

Bob_Mtl

Thanks for the input. A DVI -> HDMI cable will work for me for getting video into the reveiver. Unfortunately, the Yamaha receiver does not perform down-conversion, only up-conversion. That means I can't get the receiver to spit that video out of the component output; the converse is true for the Yamaha receiver however. The HDFury2 is an active converter and worth the $140 MSRP (definitely too expensive at $200). The HDFury2 not only performs the connectivity conversion, it addresses the copy protection scheme in the HDMI protocol, allowing HDMI source material to be displayed on my component TV.

- Robert
 

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The s-video to component mentioned is a breakout cable that plugs into the mini-din on the graphics card. Same for the DVI to component adapter, which just brings the analog VGA on the DVI-I to RCA sockets. In either case, the graphics card needs to support component out on those connectors, as those just pass the signal out to RCA jacks, not convert it.


If your TV supports only 480i/p, the most economial thing you can do, if your graphics card does not support component out, is to keep using VGA to the TV directly (that is what I do, FWIW), or S-video through the receiver.
 

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Sorry, I forgot about the downconversion, but I think you are trying to overshoot with that HDFury thing. The max resolution for your tv is 480p.
What source resolution are you playing from the HTPC? If sources are 480 you do not need to go to HDMI and then reconvert to 480 with the HDFury. That money should be save to update your tv set if you want to play higher definition sources.

So I would use the s-video out from the pc and component from your receiver. Or as you said, continue using the vga connection and audio through the receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bob_Mtl

The plasma screen supports greater than 480p. It is an older Panasonic model -- TH-37PW5 -- yet according to the manual supports 480i/480p/625p/720p/1125i/1080i. So, although I don't get late-model plasma 1080p performance and resolution, I can get reasonably good display given 720p or 1080i source material. The vast majority of my source material is no better than 720p anyway so a late-model LCD or plasma will not reap me a better viewing experience. I prefer to re-cycle the components that I now own with the goal of unifying the viewing experience. Today, I am limited to the HTPC as a source primarily. In future, I'd like to add some other components that have been lying in mothballs for several months.

classicsat

I've contacted the video card manufacturer's support centre to see if they have a DVI-I -> component adapter they can send me. We'll see. If not, I'll go with my backup plan.

I very much appreciate the help people have offered. Thank you.

- Robert.
 

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Looked at the spec for your TV and native resolution is 480. VGA resolution is 640x480, any other resolution will be compressed to fit this size.

Component link will be equivalent to a vga connection and allow you to use your receiver to manage all your sources.

I am not saying that your tv is no good; I am just saying that if you want higher resolution you need an other tv to have more pixel. HDMI link with an HDFury does not add any pixel to your tv.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Bob,

I understand what you're saying about the TV adjusting resolution of its source to its natural resolution (480p). I also understand that I can't expect the TV to have better visuals, approaching that of a modern plasma or LCD. I'm also under no illusion that the image will not be better if I supply it video from component or through HDMI -> HDFury -> component.

I am trying to future proof the installation by feeding the signal through HDMI today. The cabling will be inside the wall. In the future, I may get a better TV in which case I can avoid re-cabling or pulling additional cables. We may also get HDTV at some point in time (or even just television) in which case the STB may require an HDMI connection.

At this time, my main objectives are:
- unifying the end user experience so that the WAF is maintained or improved
- adding additional sources of A/V
- improving the living space by moving AV equipment away from the TV, leaving a cleaner footprint

I will take your advice and probably run an HDMI and component cable simultaneously, to get maximum connection flexibility. I'll rethink the HDFury as well. Thank you again.

- Robert.
 

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DVI from HTPC > HDMI in AVR.

Get a certified HDMI cable from mono price for about US$5 10 ft. Then add the DVI adapter for another $3.

That should do the trick for the HTPC to AVR.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Lex_rx,

Your proposed solution won't solve my problem. As I mentioned earlier, the receiver will perform upconversion, but not down conversion. That means component/composite input will get upconverted to HDMI if using an HDMI output; HDMI input gets sent straight through. Unfortunately, HDMI input will not be downconverted to component/composite output if using a component/composite output on the amp. So, your proposal will get HDMI into the amp but I have no means to get it to the TV. I think I am going component the whole way since, as Bob_mtl points out, I won't get any better resolution than 480p whether I go component or HDMI.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Bob_Mtl.

Well, after all that discourse, I went ahead and cabled up for component connection to my plasma and ... nothing happened. Absolutely no picture even when the DVD was directly connected to the component inputs. I guess the RCA connection card in the plasma is not functional. The other AV inputs function such as VGA, RGB, Svideo and composite. So, I've fallen back to Plan C -- use mixed composite and VGA inputs into the plasma screen. The receiver switches some video inputs but mostly controls the audio. I'm getting a URC MX-450 next week which will solve the problem of multiple remotes. That answers my unified user experience requirement; the wife will be happy.

Future plan is to get a modern TV at some point.

Oh well, best laid plans of mice and men....
 
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