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Topic # 21842 8-May-2008 14:48 Send private message

Good hello,

I've been thinking about the benefits over the past few days of running my HTPC on VGA out vs HDMI.

Currently I'm running HDMI via my 8500GT video card which has a dedicated HDMI output on it to my Sony Bravia panel (HDMI input).  But I believe that I can get a much clearer picture running on VGA out instead?

What are the disadvantages of using VGA out?  I'm running Freeview|HD using DVBviewer, so will this still work via VGA at full resolution?  I've also got a Blu-ray drive in my HTPC, and am running AnyDVD so HDCP shouldn't be an issue, should it?

Anything I should be concerned about?


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Hawkes Bay
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  Reply # 129380 8-May-2008 14:57 Send private message

Isnt HDMI a high-def interface? I can't see any benefit in using VGA over HDMI if you have the choice of native HDMI to HDMI connection, though I am not a multimedia nut.

Plug it in, see what happens, try it with high def sports or action, you will soon see any difference.




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  Reply # 129383 8-May-2008 15:02 Send private message

HDMI should beat VGA any day.

Would check the settings of your card if VGA is better. Something wrong there.

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  Reply # 129384 8-May-2008 15:19 Send private message

Ahh the prennial HTPC dual between TV format cable (HDMI) and computer format (VGA),

In my experiance it comes down alot to what you are outputting from you computer and what your TV Specs are,

If you are running full 1080P all the way from the output of your Video Card, and you TV will take it (Natively pixel for pixel), then probably HDMI is the way to go,

If you have a TV that is a 720 Panel, it gets tricky, as 720p is 1280*720, this is not a spec that many PCs understand, thus is involves some scaling either at the PC or the Panel,

in this case the simplest answer is get something running and see what looks best to you

HDMI will allow the HDCP tokens to passes, while VGA will not, It sounds like that is not an issue for you , but something you should probably be aware of.



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  Reply # 129387 8-May-2008 15:26 Send private message

I'm sure I've read somewhere that VGA will give you a better picture, hence the reason I've raised the topic.

I don't think that HDCP will hinder me, but am hoping someone here would confirm this.

My Bravia native resolution is 1366 x 768.  I don't think it has 1:1 via HDMI, hence the need to size the screen manually via the Nvidia software.

It's starting to look like this subject is another one of those LCD vs Plasma, Blu-ray vs HD DVD, Holden vs Ford...type debates...

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Reply # 129388 8-May-2008 15:31 Send private message

Satch: Holden vs Ford...type debates...

No debate there!! Holden FTW!!




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  Reply # 129410 8-May-2008 16:09 Send private message

As others have said it's really a matter of personal preference. 1:1 pixel mapping over HDMI was something that many older TV's didn't support and you also have the overscan issue to fix (which is easy to do now) with HDMI as well.

VGA on the other hand typically drives the panel at it's native resolution with 1:1 pixel mapping however with many sets only accepting a minimum of 60Hz inputs you can get some video tearing with 50Hz video and my Pioneer Plasma for example has minimal but obvious tearing with fast motion VGA that doesn't seem to be able to be resolved yet via HDMI it's perfect.

Just try both and decide what you like the best.. If you need to play back BR or HD-DVD however you will need to use HDMI for the HDCP copy protection.




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  Reply # 129417 8-May-2008 16:44 Send private message

sbiddle: If you need to play back BR or HD-DVD however you will need to use HDMI for the HDCP copy protection.


AnyDVD should take care of this for me though, correct?

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  Reply # 129481 8-May-2008 20:29 Send private message

Keep in mind one big thing here.. VGA analogue, HDMI digital. If you use VGA you are taking a digital signal converting it to analogue then back ot digital in your TV. HDMI is digital all the way from Computer to TV.

I have used both VGA then HDMI and I have found HDMI much better. I am using a 8500GT as well and I have no problems getting 1:1 pixel mapping on my TV (720P)







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  Reply # 129530 8-May-2008 22:18 Send private message

I think the biggest advantage for HDMI is that it carries the audio as well.
Means only 1 cable needed from media PC to TV.






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  Reply # 129593 9-May-2008 08:48 Send private message

Nety: Keep in mind one big thing here.. VGA analogue, HDMI digital. If you use VGA you are taking a digital signal converting it to analogue then back ot digital in your TV. HDMI is digital all the way from Computer to TV.

I have used both VGA then HDMI and I have found HDMI much better. I am using a 8500GT as well and I have no problems getting 1:1 pixel mapping on my TV (720P)


It's probably at this stage which will satisfy my question and I'll stick with HDMI.  Thanks, as always, for the input guys.



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  Reply # 129595 9-May-2008 08:50 Send private message

CYaBro: I think the biggest advantage for HDMI is that it carries the audio as well.
Means only 1 cable needed from media PC to TV.


This is not a consideration for my HTPC as I've got a separate Onkyo sound card which is pumping out audio to my two channel amp.

But the sole reason I purchased an HDMI DVD player for the bedroom TV was so I could have video and audio on the same cable.  The WAF is incredible. :)

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  Reply # 129814 10-May-2008 09:28 Send private message

CYaBro: I think the biggest advantage for HDMI is that it carries the audio as well.
Means only 1 cable needed from media PC to TV.


My personal experience is that on a modern LCD TV, HDMI makes a big difference to video quality, even without 1:1.  The same may well apply for plasma, but I have no personal experience

Playing 720p (HD preview channel & TV1) on a 1080p capable Bravia LCD TV is not 1:1 but in my experience the difference in video quality between VGA and (DVI-)HDMI was night & day.  Over VGA the 'colours' were washed out - black especially.  Looked to be about 100:1 contrast ratio, if not lower.  Over DVI-HDMI the colours were vibrant & the blacks, black.  Now to find some 1080p content!

Personally the (big) difference in video quality far outweighs the inconvenience of having to use a separate audio cable (which we did anyway,  since I only have DVI out on my video card).  Yes the extra cable is inconvenient, but once setup, the picture & audio quality are what you have live with on an ongoing basis.


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  Reply # 130781 14-May-2008 08:50 Send private message

I've got a Pioneer panel that suffers from the same VGA tearing that Steve mentioned. Last night, I tried to a DVI-HDMI adapter to see whether HDMI resolved the tearing issue.

HDMI does resolve the tearing, but the windows desktop looked awful. It was best at 1280x720, but was still a long way short of the VGA input.  It looked like an early LCD monitor being run at a non-optimal resolution. Text had blurred/coloured edges and was fatter or narrower depending on the location on the screen. For me, HDMI was a big step down from VGA.

As others have indicated, your mileage may vary.
Buzzy

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  Reply # 130789 14-May-2008 09:16 Send private message

What video card have got? If nvidia then in the current drivers you can setup the HDMI output to match your screen. This is not done via the resolution tab but via the TV option in the nvidia drivers page.







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  Reply # 130793 14-May-2008 09:28 Send private message

ATi X800XT, PCI express version.  The Pioneer manual listed a bunch of supported resolutions, 1280x720 being one that the vid card could match. The panel's native resolution is 1024x768, which looked even worse.

I'd expected that if I matched the card's output to a supported resolution the display would produce a good image, but it just wasn't the case. Every resolution I tried was awful compared to the VGA output.

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