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Old 09-27-2011, 11:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default help with graphics card (media PC out to TV)

hello all

we've got an older xeon powered machine we use in our living room for a media machine (mostly to stream online content). its a pretty ancient setup but it seemed to work OK for what we used it for until we recently upgraded our TV.

the jump from 27" to 46" means that the picture is not as sharp as it used to be and we're getting lots of defects. here's the question (and pardon my almost complete ignorance on this) the machine now has a totally basic graphics card (agp) with i think 64mb of video. if we upgraded our graphics card to something more powerful, would output to the TV improve (say via S-video cable)? or is there a better way to achieve what were after? the TV has lots of input options (vga, RCA, hdmi, etc)

thanks in advance
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: help with graphics card (media PC out to TV)

is the computer's output set to the resolution of the tv? assuming that the tv has a 1080p 1920 x 1080 screen, the computer will need to have the same resolution to output or you will not get the best picture.

another side effect of going to a bigger tv is that nothing has changed, but the smaller defects are magnified on the big screen, and amplified by the nicer picture. streaming content isnt typically in HD, so the lower resolution is stretched to fit reducing perceived quality.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: help with graphics card (media PC out to TV)

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Originally Posted by jasonalwaysready View Post
is the computer's output set to the resolution of the tv? assuming that the tv has a 1080p 1920 x 1080 screen, the computer will need to have the same resolution to output or you will not get the best picture.
that is the TV's resolution but i don't have that option when i try to adjust the display settings on the pc. basically i can choose between 600x800 or 1024x768.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonalwaysready View Post
another side effect of going to a bigger tv is that nothing has changed, but the smaller defects are magnified on the big screen, and amplified by the nicer picture. streaming content isnt typically in HD, so the lower resolution is stretched to fit reducing perceived quality.
yes, understood. i'm not sure that this is the only thing going on though which is why i asked about dumping more money into a new graphics card for an outdated but functional system
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: help with graphics card (media PC out to TV)

that resolution is going to be rough on a 1080p tv. what model is it? what are you trying to stream from where?

what do you have for parts in the old media computer? how much would you be willing to spend for an upgrade? for a new setup that did everything you wanted and more?
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: help with graphics card (media PC out to TV)

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Originally Posted by jasonalwaysready View Post
that resolution is going to be rough on a 1080p tv. what model is it? what are you trying to stream from where?
don't have the model handy but it is a 46" sony bravia, maybe 3-4 years old. we usually watch netflix or hulu.

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Originally Posted by jasonalwaysready View Post
what do you have for parts in the old media computer? how much would you be willing to spend for an upgrade? for a new setup that did everything you wanted and more?
the "media" computer is an older dell (precision 450 with a xeon). not sure what i'd spend but it would have to be very much worth it because (obviously) the computer is not worth very much at this point.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: help with graphics card (media PC out to TV)

can you tell if it already has a graphics card installed? these are supported explicitly:
nVidia Quadro NVS 280 64MB, AGP 8X, Dual Monitor (VGA or optional DVI or VGA)
nVidia QuadroFX 500 , AGP 8X, 128MB, Dual Monitor (VGA or DVI/VGA)
ATI Fire GL X1, AGP 8X, 128MB, Dual Monitor (VGA or DVI)
nVidia QuadroFX 1000 AGP 8X, 128MB Dual Monitor (VGA or DVI)
3Dlabs Wildcat 7110 AGP 8X, 256MB Dual Monitor (VGA or DVI)

but i would think any 8x agp card will work.

PNY VCQFX500-PB 128MB 256MB Wildcat Video Card | Overstock.com
this card is going for about $50
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: help with graphics card (media PC out to TV)

thanks jason
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