HD1080i De-mystify HDTV 1080i ::: know why before you buy

Friday, December 01, 2006

HD and the PC - IPTV , Hook me UP

I read Mark Cuban's Blog Maverick with great interest & He makes an excellent point about resolution and the HDTV to PC connection. "... look at the back of your PC. Look to see if you have a component, DVI or HDMI port out ? Chances are that unless you bought a PC with high def video in mind, you don't ..." He is correct and i will write about this experience here.

Most PC's have VGA connections and video cards in them that do not perform well if at all in HD 1920 x 1080, and may work resonably well in 1366 x 768. This is back to my mantra about the consumer endpoint device enablement being mission critical to next gen adoption.

there are ways to connect anything to anything.
XCM will do it. Some wireless systems will also.

In some ways, the Media Center By Microsoft does the job of storage and management for PC platforms, Apple is coming out with an iTV ( or some other name for it ) and there are more products in 2007 destined to support the process of having a home computer as a source.

-- you will want a couple things. --

1) Long VGA or DVI cable to reach to your computer.
2) A wireless Keyboard and mouse , i prefer the Logitech, works up to 25ft away, is nice.

You may want a DVI to HDMI adapter Cable.

Most HD displays have a VGA connector on the back and a PC input select button on the remote -- plug the VGA into your HDTV and start noodling with the Properties > Settings ... manage to finally get a useful image and go from there and you now have something you can see but it doesnt look great.

1) The HDTV should be and probably is PC compatible LCD
2) Your HD display has a DVI connector ( this is currently the best result for a PC connection)
3) your PC has a DVI output. This is usually where the whole idea falls short. No DVI, gotta buy one.

Short answer: - Get an NVIDIA 7600 GT graphics card. its cheap , works well with everything, has Pure Video HD firmware built in, does HD resolutions like 1920 x1080 with ease. I have 2 7600 cards, that gives me 4 DVI outputs.
My Desk:

(3) 1680x1050 LG Flatrons and (1) 1920x1080 Westy. ALL DVI.

NVIDIA is more plug and play for the weekend warrior, no real huge stress to buy and apply for the part-time computer kid. The surprise hassle you will encounter is in the outrageous cost of the DVI cable, costs MORE than the Graphics card... unless:
Smart way to buy your cable ...
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/dvi/index.htm you may need HDMI to DVI conversion, this place has that. BJC Series 2 - 15 foot HDMI/DVI Cable $ 36.50 ... the price is right.

Wireless connections... connecting your computer using cables and having specialized graphics cards is a pain. A Better idea, is to basically have a Wireless Media Center. This option is nice in a lot of ways, especially for those with cable modems and routers like Netgear and Linksys, Dlink etc.

All hooked up now?
2 things will happen. You will see brighter color than you see on the PC screen. This is because the HDTV is usually running a 75% color gamut at NTSC specs, basically compressing the range of color to do that. The other thing is that text will be small and you will sit closer, since almost nothing for IPTV or video clips is really HD out there. Pardon my jest but basically using your HDTV as a monitor is not going to provide you with great HD video from the web, but it is rather cool for some things. I have done this with and for a few folks, and what i have seen them do with it is not what i expected. I was guessing they would hunt down videos on the web, youtube stuff. That lasted for only a short time.

What was more prevalent?... Google Earth ( try it in 1920x1080 its rather amazing ) and photos and image galleries, high res photo sharing & stuff like that. Video.aol.com and the newer open system democracy player and in some ways Divx are breaking into the higher definition videos, all with special stuff to download. Mostly this is 480 quality, some is DVD ( 720x840 ) and a smattering is 720p, some WMV-HD trailers are pretty good, but thats about it. IPTV in HD isnt on a lot of websites, at least for the moment, Apple may have an iTV gizmo for iTunes downloadable at some point, Verizon FIOS may offer some advanced features in some areas.

There is some expectation that the XBOX Live and PS3 service crossection will have some HD video, althought Miscrosoft has had a year to play with this, it still really is not a high traction situation for them, i would expect that we are a about a year away from Game-console-as-media- player HD specific content really hitting into much more than movie downloads and techie gee-whiz TV. When a solid set of numbers on $$ per eyeball ad-value happens, then this whole HD from IP source enablement will be really something to watch.

There are lots of services cropping up that purport and claim full screen digital movie download.
That pretty much all insist on membership, download of a custom player, and installation of some software that constantly uses your computer connection to report back to them.
http://www.vongo.com/ http://video.aol.com (hi-q) etc. My experience is not that good for HD screens, in fact do not expect any claims of great HD to be for real. However, in a small window on your computer it can be ok.

This is where opinions diverge...
Mark thinks that iptv wont work, i dont really agree, i think its probably great for 480i standard definition on-demand stuff, but my real interest is in getting MORE HD content, which is hard to come by in the minimal channel availability for Movies out there at this time. Entering the IPTV world is not all that difficult. XBOX and PS3 both claim that AV access to on-line digital video is up and coming, so i will report of those outcomes as they reach a level that seems to work in the 1080 of HD, however if you dont have digital Fiber like Verizon FIOS, then maybe you will need a lot of time to download, essentially HD is for the high-speed chosen few.


Blogger Alexander said...

HDMI = DVI + HDCP + Sound,
so in many cases you can easily convert between DVI and HDMI.

9:08 AM  

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