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  1. If you watched a dvd then you have an mpeg2 decoder installed on the system (probably from some program like powerdvd, or windvd). The os looks like garbage because your TV can not push the resolution like your computer monitor can. One thing you can do to make it more legible is right click desktop, hit properties, and click the settings tab. From there you should be able to go to 'advanced' and change your DPI settings to 120. This will make the icons and text bigger so it will be easier to read.
    So my question is if the OS looks bad with newer hardware as well? Thanks!
    The OS "looking bad" is because of your TV. Newer video card will most likely not improve your picture quality, since you will still be hooking up s-video to analog tv, right?
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Even if you had an HDTV, this is the best quality picture you can get through a S-Video connection. This was an ATI Radeon in "Theater Mode" displaying a 800x600 desktop over S-Video (NTSC). S-Video isn't adequate for display of computer desktop. That is why mce, xbox and PS2 use sparce menus with large fonts.



    This will look far worse over a cheap TV.
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  3. Exactly,
    so if you want mce functionality you can get it through S-video because of the pvr softwares interface. You will, however, be dissapointed with the picture if you want to also do desktop stuff. (web surfing, word processing etc etc). conclusion: mce over s-video on analog tv looks fine. desktop however will look like garbage.
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    Great stuff! Thank you. Very informative. I'm not really concerned with how the OS stuff looks really because it will be in my living room and it will only be used for MCE stuff, so that's okay with me. I would like to upgrade in the future though. I'm guessing the best way to do that is to make sure my TV has a DVI connection. For some reason I don't think I've ever seen one of those anywhere but i'm sure they have them since everyone on here has told me that is the way to go.

    Mike, when you said "i'm hooking up S-video to analog", i'm guessing that means the TV I have is analog. The connection is S-video on both ends but i'm sure what you are saying means that. Obviously I dont' know too much about this stuff Yeah I was using powerdvd to watch and that would be the only place that I would have gotten the encoder on that machine. Alright well it sounds like i'll be okay with teh S-Video for movies in the interim before I get a tv with a DVI jack. Thank you for your help. I'm sure i'll be back..........
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  5. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ridergroov1
    Great stuff! Thank you. Very informative. I'm not really concerned with how the OS stuff looks really because it will be in my living room and it will only be used for MCE stuff, so that's okay with me. I would like to upgrade in the future though. I'm guessing the best way to do that is to make sure my TV has a DVI connection. For some reason I don't think I've ever seen one of those anywhere but i'm sure they have them since everyone on here has told me that is the way to go.

    Mike, when you said "i'm hooking up S-video to analog", i'm guessing that means the TV I have is analog. The connection is S-video on both ends but i'm sure what you are saying means that. Obviously I dont' know too much about this stuff Yeah I was using powerdvd to watch and that would be the only place that I would have gotten the encoder on that machine. Alright well it sounds like i'll be okay with teh S-Video for movies in the interim before I get a tv with a DVI jack. Thank you for your help. I'm sure i'll be back..........
    A TV with DVI jack would be a HD ready monitor or full HDTV. DVI has been replaced with HDMI on most sets. Even with that you won't have as clear a desktop display as you have on a computer monitor but it will be more clear than over S-Video. DVI or HDMI cables need to be short (less than 20 ft) and can be very expensive for longer lengths.
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    Oh boy. HDMI now? Is that the same connector as a DVI jack?
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  7. you can get a dvi to hdmi cable.
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    Alright so there is no HDMI video card out there that I should worry about buying instead of just buying on with DVI and buying the adapter?
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  9. right.
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  10. Member edDV's Avatar
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    HDMI is mostly to do with encryption and preventing display. Alternative is analog component Y,Pb,Pr. There will soon be a flood of HDMI capable video cards but they will be highly constrained in what can pass to the HDTV.

    Before you invest too much in a digital connection read up on HDCP and the bogus video card indusrty.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDCP
    https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=293018&highlight=hdmi
    http://www.anandtech.com/multimedia/showdoc.aspx?i=2321
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    Intersting thoughts. Let me ask this while we are still on this. What doe sthe Y,PB, and PR stand for and do they correspond to left audio, right audio, and video inputs? And, are there video cards that support them? Just curious. You guys are a wealth of knowledge. Thanks again.
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  12. Y, PB, and PR are short for the component video cable's (not audio). Can't remember what they actually stand for, but Ed probably does...better yet, look it up. Don't fear the google. Yes, the video card I have that I linked you to earlier has component output. As for which looks better, I couldn't tell a difference between the component, and the dvi. You can read tons of opinions on which is better....I went with the dvi. (fyi: that vid card has dvi, component, and s-video)
    edit: google told me this
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    Y - luminance (black and white detail)
    Pb - analog equivalent of digital Cb color difference signal aka (B-Y)
    Pr - analog equivalent of digital Cr color difference signal aka (R-Y)

    http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/34579/123129.html

    All broadcasting (+VHS, + DVD) is based on Y, R-Y, B-Y color components not RGB.
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  14. you mentioned audio...your going to want to get a motherboard with optical or digital coax out so you can pass the audio stream directly to your reciever for surround sound. Of course you can get a sound card, but if your buying a new mobo, may as well get one with the onboard allready there.
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    I actually won't be purchasing a new mobo for this, but a new receiver definitely. The mobo I have has an SPDIF out which i'm told will support digital audio and surround sound. Right/ Thanks!
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  16. right.
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    Alright. One last thing here. I looked on the Nvidia site but couldnt' find anything regarding comparison that meant anything to me. Is it better if I buy like a geforce 6600 or a 6800. I have been told pretty much the 6200. REmember, has to be AGP. Thanks again.
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  18. Well since it has to be AGP you can't get that card I linked you to earlier. As far as which is better 6800 or 6600...you won't notice any difference for pvr stuff. Go with the cheaper one. Make sure it has the outputs you want (s-vid, component, dvi).
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    Alright. Got the Hauppauge 500 and I'm downloading the trial of the PureVideo encoder now. Next, what remote control is the best to get?
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  20. Well, this is a tough one. The remote controll is/was by far my toughest hurdle in building my HTPC. It depends largely on what software you are going to use, and if you care about IR vs. RF. Personally, I went with an RF remote and use Girder to controll my mce. The easiest thing to do if you are using mce, is to just buy the official mce remote. Of course, it's IR but if that doesn't matter to you, then go that route. FYI, the purvideo is a 'decoder' not an 'encoder'. The encoding is done on your happauge 500 card.
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    Mike, you are the greatest. I thought everyone gave up on me. I did do some research and think i'm probably goign to go with the official one like you said. I'd ask you what the difference is between the IR and the RF, but that would be another question, and I'd feel bad......
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  22. RF = Radio Frequency (no line of sight requred to use...can change channels/volume from back yard)
    IR = Infra Red (line of sight required...need to point it at the reciever for it to work...just like most all your other remotes)
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