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Good evening, y'all. I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice as to the best Video card to use for a HDPC setup. The components will be a kit PC with a socket 775 Pentium IV. The power supply puts out 450W very nicely and PCI & PCI-E slots available. The TV is probably going to be a 47"Sony with all sorts of I/O and interfacing, etc. I know the integrated Video on this motherboard will do basic WMV, AVI, etc, but I think it will not be up to the HDPC task. So let the info flow, folks, and thanks.
Bill
 

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Hi Bill,

Welcome to HTS!

We will have to know more about how you intend on using your HTPC.

Do you intend on playing 3D games or just use it to play movies?
Will you be playing Blu-Ray movies?
Will you be hooking the HTPC up to your Sony TV via HDMI or DVI?

One of the problems is that the latest and greatest version of HDMI (version 1.3a) sends sound over the HDMI cable as well as video. Very few add-on video cards support this yet.
 

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Yep, if you're not playing games, I'd start with the onboard video. If you have trouble with stuttering video, then invest in a card, but the longer you wait, the lower prices will be when you finally need it, and the more likely it will be that the card will support bitstream over HDMI.
 
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Yes, HTPC, sorry. Movies and Blu-ray discs, eventually. Probably HDMI, since I actually know what the acronym means;) all this High-def stuff is new to me, to be honest. I'm used to dealing with industrial PC's and Programmable Logic Controllers. I truly appreciate the input, guys. My better half says it's time to go for the BIG LCD this weekend. I love buying new gear. Really.
Does anyone have any facts or opinions about this box that Netflix sells that will allow you to download movies directly to your TV without having to use a PC? Do they make them for general use or is it just Netflix's proprietary technology?
Good night and thanks.
Bill
 

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Hi-Def is a two-edged sword; sure it looks better, but it comes with a hidden price - namely, copy protection. Part of the HDTV specs it a little thing called HDCP, which stands for High Definition Copy Protection. When any Hi-Def device (such as a Blu-Ray player) is connected to a Hi-Def display (such as your TV) the two devices must "handshake", which means the TV asks the source device "What exactly are you and what's the password"; if the TV doesn't recognize the source device as an approved device, it will not display the signal!

HDCP isn't much of a problem anymore with most DVD players and TV sets, but I understand it can a problem when building a Hi-Def HTPC. In my book, it is a problem that shouldn't exist; but then, I'm kind of a "Live Free or Die" kinda guy.:bigsmile:

My understanding of the Netflix networking stuff (which may well be wrong :)) is that it is basically the same as their "Instant View" service; both are streamed content and require a internet connection to view. The movie isn't "downloaded" to your PC in the normal sense (another form of copy protection at work!), but is rather displayed in real-time as it is sent to you (your PC or a compatible receiver) from their server. In essence, the receiver you are taking about is a single purpose PC dedicated to displaying the streaming Netflix content.
 

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If you like the Netflix Instant Watching selection, the Roku box works great. There's even talk of adding new functionality to it (non-netflix) soon.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info, guys. Have a good evening.
Bill
 

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I use a radeon x1650 which has audio in the hdmi but I have this going direct to the tv, the card also has a digital audio port that I run to my receiver, in retrospect I should just have the hdmi going to the receiver, the card works beautifully and gives me a nice HD picture even @ 1280 X 900 on my 73" mits. I have this installed in a slimline Hp with vista home premium, I kind of had to butcher the case and the card to make it fit but I did it and man it's beautiful with the itunes hd shows, plus there are some other hd content providers on the web, all the video content and movies everything play real nice on it, nothing seems to slow it down, but I haven't tried playing any heavy fp games or anything with it I just use it for a HTPC for which it functions great
 

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Does anyone have any facts or opinions about this box that Netflix sells that will allow you to download movies directly to your TV without having to use a PC? Do they make them for general use or is it just Netflix's proprietary technology?
Good night and thanks.
Bill
Bill,
Netflix has partnered with LG Electronics and will very soon introduce a new line of TV sets featuring "Smart Technologies" that can screen Netflix movies directly from the Web without an external box. This line of TV's also feature Broadband and Ethernet connectivity. Click "here" for one of their latest press releases.
 
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