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7 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 22644 3-Jun-2008 22:27
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Hi all.
I am looking at adding HD Freeview viewing ability to my PC.
Currently my pc has an 8800GTS 640MB graphics card and Q6600 so i figure that end of the process is fine. Oh, I have a UHF ariel, so i would be getting the freeview signal that way.
I am not sure about which parts are compatible. I was thinking a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-4000 which can apparently recieve HD Freeview. Not sure which other cards can.
My current screen is only a crappy 19" with only a VGA input, so i was looking at upgrading to one of:
Samsung 24" 2493HM 5ms HDMI Black LCD Monitor, or a
BenQ FP241W Black 24" 6ms(GTG) DVI Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor

The other (cheaper) alternatives are:
Samsung SYNCMASTER 2232BW or
Samsung SYNCMASTER 226BW, but neither of these seems to have HDMI support.

Anyone have any comment of what would be the best monitor/tv card combo, and is it worth buying an HD capable monitor and TV card to get freeview in HD?

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1080 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 135339 3-Jun-2008 22:52
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Is it the 8800GTS or GTX or all 8800s that are based on the older generation GPU and therefore don't have hardware h.264 decoding?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 135341 3-Jun-2008 22:58
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First of all to clarify with montitors. You dont need a HDMI monitor. You can run Freeview HD on a 15" CRT if you really wanted.
Any large monitor will work, including a LCD TV.
Dont go for a samsung, they are using chimei panels, not their own samsung panels. They used to be good till they made this switch.
LG is good, and Asus is apparently good also.
As for 'HD Capable', this would mean you want a LCD with a native resolution of 1900 x 1200, which are rather expensive. Remember though only TV3 broadcasts in 1080i, the rest are 720p/576i, so you have to weigh up the cost vs benefit.

Next for TV cards, you probably dont want DVB-S (satellite) so probably go for a hauppuage dual tuner DVB-T card.
Nova T 500 HD
The analogue part of the HVR2200 may now be working also.

Lastly in relation to Mcraenz - even if it isnt h264 supported then the Q6600 can do the work instead. I beleive CoreAVC does mutli core support, dont know if cyberlink does.


345 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 135343 3-Jun-2008 23:07
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Cannot compare with the other models you mention, but I have a Samsung 2493HM & find it very good as a PC monitor (primary use) & for HD TV (despite not having it set up 100% - will sort it "one day").  PC is connected via DVI - haven't tied the HDMI port.  PQ seems up to scratch with what I get if I connect my PC to our X-series Bravia TV via HDMI (albeit, screen size just  a bit smaller!).

There are monitors with better viewing angles, but costing a lot more.  Personally, I have not found the viewing angle much of an issue.  There are cheaper 24" models but the 2493HM is relatively new model & so has a good range of connection options.

345 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 135346 3-Jun-2008 23:20
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A couple of extra points that decided me on the 2493HM

- generally very good reviews and customer feedback on the likes of Newegg.
- Zero dead pixels policy

7 posts

Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 135429 4-Jun-2008 12:25
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eXDee: First of all to clarify with montitors. You dont need a HDMI monitor. You can run Freeview HD on a 15" CRT if you really wanted.
Any large monitor will work, including a LCD TV.

So just to clarify - I dont need a HDMI capable monitor to watch freeview HD, it would look the same in HD on any large monitor?

On the subject of TV tuners - the HVR2200 looks good - but I wont be able to get prime, as its not broadcast as part of freeview, so i would need an analog tuner to get this - something the HVR2200 doesnt have? Also, i was going to hook my vcr up the the tv card so i could make digital copies of some old tapes. Is this possible when there is only a digital tuner like one the HVR2200, or do i need an HVR 3000 or 4000?

I was also thinking of getting a HDMI - DVI cable to use with the monitor. Is there any point in getting one, or will using the dvi port give the same result. There is an xbox 360 in my flat, so that may get with the monitor a bit, but that has its own cable i think.

I was thinking the 2493HM looks the best monitor choice for me. Large size and plenty of input types.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 135452 4-Jun-2008 14:41
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If you do get a the 2493HM (or equivalent LCD) then definitely use a digital (DVI or DVI-HDMI) connection.  Can make a big difference to PQ.  I use a DVI-DVI cable because (a) it came with the monitor & (b) its primary use is as a PC monitor.

I am not getting 1:1 pixel mapping via PowerCinema - setting the display as "widescreen" results in a 1080i image being expanded to the full 1200 vertical extent of the monitor.  A DVI-HDMI cable may restrict the image to 1080?  Not certain about that & do not have a cable readily available to test it.  PQ is still excellent for HDTV though.  PC use is a much higher priority for my current setup anyway, so the HDMI issue is not really of interest.

I do intend building a separate HTPC for attaching to the TV, but would like to see SW improvements first.  That will need a 'consumer grade' UI for WA.

A large CRT can provide good PQ, but may not permit playing protected content from STB's or Blu Ray etc. 

Not certain where you got the HVR2200 specs from.  It can decode both analogue & DVB-T, so you should have no problem getting Prime;  eg from
Three-in-one digital video recorder - Record your favourite analogue or digital TV shows with one simple click. Or record from VCR or camcorder.  And ...

WinTV-HVR-2200 MCE has dual tuner so you can record one channel and watch a different channel at the same time

or record two TV shows at once.

7 posts

Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 135455 4-Jun-2008 15:16
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My pc's primary use is as a desktop, not media center.
HDMI - DVI cables seem quite cheap, (~$30), so i thought i might buy/borrow one just to see if there is any difference.
Thanks for clearing up the HVR2200 specs. Dual tuners sounds good, but i am not sure if i would use them - i hardly ever watch tv.
Is it possible - using media portal or similar - to have one pc with a tv tuner, and stream the channels overa LAN network? I guess two different tuners could be useful if people wanted to watch two different channels at once.
It seems the 2200 doesnt come with a remote. I guess i could use my wireless keyboard as the remote though.
Guess i'll just have to decide which features i want most.

Thanks for all the help guys Smile.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 135473 4-Jun-2008 16:31
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The HVR2200 DOES have an analogue tuner, however many media centre applications have had issues with supporting it, since its a software based decoder. However apparently now mediaportal has got it working.

As for HDMI - HDMI is basicly DVI + Audio. For a computer monitor running a DVI-HDMI cable is pointless. DVI-DVI is fine,
You can get full HD picture from Freeview even on VGA. I can 100% guarentee you wont see a difference between HDMI and DVI because they are effectively the same thing. Waste of money pretty much, use the dvi cable that should come with your monitor.
Its kinda confusing because standard consumer HD products force you to use HDMI for copy protection. For a tuner card your PC treats it like any other video playing, so it will work on any monitor. HDMI however is useful if you want to plug your 360 into it.

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