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Old 02-07-2011, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Lynn, MA
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Default 3 display/hooking up new tv to PC question

Good evening everyone,

I'm new to these forums, so I apologize if this topic may have been previously covered. I did some searching, but I found nothing that fully explained my questions, so I figured I may as well try a new post.

Anyway, my question is this:

I have a pretty solid PC build, used for serious gaming, movies (downloads and blu-ray/dvd) and general use (common apps, web browsing). I already have 2 monitors hooked up, and I'm about to install a 42" Panasonic 1080p 120hz LCD nearby. I am intending to hook up my PC to the TV for movie and game use. I would like to use the TV effectively as a third monitor.

My GPU is an ATI Radeon 5870 (1GB) with 4 outputs: 2 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 DisplayPort. I have 2 monitors hooked up to both of the DVI outs at the moment. The most obvious choice would be to run an HDMI cable to the TV, but then this would disable one of the DVI ports when the HDMI port is in use. I'd rather be able to use both monitors at the same time as the TV, so I thought perhaps the best choice would be to buy a DP-HDMI adapter, then HDMI cable from the DP (via adapter) out to the TV. The card is Eyefinity enabled, so in theory, that sounds like it would work fine, but I've been involved in the tech world long enough to know that it's not always that simple. Has anyone done a setup like this before? Have you run into any issues?

One more question. I intend on installing a 7.1 surround system as well. I do not have a stand alone Blu-Ray or DVD player. My PC and Xbox 360 are the only two devices I will be using with the TV. I'd like to use the PC as a Blu-Ray player, hopefully with no loss in audio/image quality over a standalone device. It's my understanding that I can't run an HDMI output from my GPU to the receiver, and still get the full sound quality as well as the image. Best option in this case is HDMI direct to TV for image, with a digital fiber optic from sound card to input on AV receiver?

Thanks for any help, and I apologize once again if this is an old topic. Searches yielded minimal results.



After some more extensive Googling, I've learned that neither coaxial or optical SPDIF can support full resolution TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio from Blu-Ray. It appears that the 5870 does via HDMI, but the few reviews I've read still claim that it isn't currently possible to transmit either uncompressed format over HDMI from a video card. Which confuses me; if the card is capable of bit-streaming TrueHD or DTS-HD, why is it not possible to transmit over HDMI? This is a confusing point for me. In theory, it looks like With only my 5870, I'm supposed to be able to get the same quality sound I would get with a stand alone BR player, but it doesn't seem to be the case, according to a few reviews I've read. The card only appears to output in Cyberlink PowerDVD 9, and only in LPCM 8 channel.
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