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MCE 2005 Viao XL1A, HDMI issue, new PCI-E x16 graphics card?

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September 1, 2006 4:20:36 PM

I have had an out of the box dilemma with my computer not working with my TV through the HDMI port, limiting me to using the component out and only getting a 720p signal instead of a 1080i signal that I'd get through the HDMI.The graphics card is a NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6200
64MB DDR SDRAM dedicated memory (TurboCache™ supporting up to 256MB) x16 PCI Express Graphics (modified by sony to have HDMI out). My TV is a Sceptre X37SV-Naga with a HDMI input, HDCP, and a 1920x1080 resolution. I want to take advantage of all that resolution that I paid for, and through the component out on my computer I can only get a 720P signal. I have installed a driver from the TV manufacturer to operate with Windows MCE, but this didn't help. I know that my TV's HDMI port works because I view HDMI material from my cable box. After returning the computer to Sony for service and nothing changed, I'm now assuming it is simply a incompatibility issue between the brands even though both are HDMI and HDCP compliant. If any one has any ideas on how to make my multi thousand dollar Vaio less of a piece of trash, I'd appreciate it.
The solution that I've come to at this point is to buy a new graphics card. I've been thinking of something between $150-$300, I like the possiblity of doing some 3D rendering or gaming, and idealy having an HDMI out would be great, but DVI would work too I guess. I've got to get at least 1920x1080 resolution to make us of the TV. The power supply is also a bit limiting on the system, max at 297 or 305 watts I believe. Who's got ideas? Input? Similar problem? Anything? I'm fed up at this point.
September 1, 2006 6:16:23 PM

It should be said plainly and clearly that the bull$%#$^#!! otherwise known as HDCP and HDMI are NOT for your benefit. It isn't meant for you to get the best resolution, it is meant for the A$$Holes in movie industry to make sure you can get jack$hit out of your system. Congratulations, you have voluntarity bent over and got shafted!! I've also been there only too recently and I'm steaming mad! BTW Another video card isn't going to help you.

The funny thing is, the good old VGA connector with a high quality VGA cable works wonders. Screw HDMI, to hell with HDCP! We need to boycott those $hit and not bother with Blu-ray or HD-DVD. They need to make it open as in open standards to us, and not stomp all over our fair use rights.
September 2, 2006 2:58:10 AM

As far as I can tell, your Sony is compatible to the Scepter LCD.

I'm assuming that you can get a Windows Media Center screen on the Sceptre LDC. If you don't get a screen, then there is something wrong between the connection between the Sony XL1A box and the LCD.

In the event that you can get a WMCE screen albeit a screwed up one, you may have to tweak the Display settings. With Windows Media Center, you do it just like you would with Windows XP after closing down the WMCE.

From the WMCE screen, close down WMCE by clicking the red button in the upper left, and then click the red Close Media Center button in the window that pops up.

Once at the Windows XP desktop, you can set the resolution and refresh rate (60 hz) as you would ordinarily.

By the way, can you describe what you see on the Sceptre screen after you've connected via HDMI? Do you get a screen on the Sceptre at all after you start WMCE? Is it scrambled?
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September 2, 2006 3:56:06 PM

First, thanks all for the input. It seems like this type of issue has struck a nerve with a few of you out there already. I agree that the whole HDCP encoding crap is just lockin us down but unfortuantely that the route that all of these manufacturers are taking and if you want to view top quality media then you have to buy in to it. I can't even view some dvd's on my system because of it, so I have cooperate if I want functionality.

The part of installing a new power supply and selecting a quality cost effective video card it where I'm a new b. I've never tried doing any major modifications to a PC. Truly I've lived in Macland prviously, but my lady wanted a Windows setup. That's what I get for trying to please her huh?

If anyone can address upgrading the power supply on a system like this, as well as, recommend a quality DVI video card, that'd be great. Thanks for the comments.
September 2, 2006 4:05:02 PM

Quote:
As far as I can tell, your Sony is compatible to the Scepter LCD.

I'm assuming that you can get a Windows Media Center screen on the Sceptre LDC. If you don't get a screen, then there is something wrong between the connection between the Sony XL1A box and the LCD.

In the event that you can get a WMCE screen albeit a screwed up one, you may have to tweak the Display settings. With Windows Media Center, you do it just like you would with Windows XP after closing down the WMCE.

From the WMCE screen, close down WMCE by clicking the red button in the upper left, and then click the red Close Media Center button in the window that pops up.

Once at the Windows XP desktop, you can set the resolution and refresh rate (60 hz) as you would ordinarily.

By the way, can you describe what you see on the Sceptre screen after you've connected via HDMI? Do you get a screen on the Sceptre at all after you start WMCE? Is it scrambled?


The system doesn't show up on the Display at all when connected through HDMI. No start up screen, nothing. Basically the two systems aren't communicating with one another. The way the XL1 works is that you can either connect via the component connection or the HDMI, one or the other, not both. At start up the system automatically detects the connection. This just isn't happening in my case. Some one mention VGA, I wish I even had that option, it's just not on the system. So much for that theoretically one cable simplicity S#$* of HDMI. If I had the chance to buy it all again I'd definitely rethink it.
September 3, 2006 12:21:43 AM

OK

This suggests testing each component.

First, test the XL1A to see if you can get a screen on another LCD panel, if you have one or can borrow one. The chances are that the test LCD panel will have a DVI connector instead of HDMI. If the Sony XL1 kit included a HDMI-to-DVI adapter, use it to connect to the subsittute LCD panel with a regular DVI cable. Otherwise, use a cable that has HDMI on one end and DVI on the other.

If you get a a good screen on the substitute LCD panel, then you have good reason to believe that the problem may be with the Sceptre panel.

Second, test the Sceptre with another Windows XP computer. You can use a regular DVI to DVI cable to connect to the Sceptre. Almost all PC's have a graphics card with a DVI port, and the Sceptre has a DVI connection.

If you can get a good screen with the Sceptre using an alternate Windows XP PC, then there is something else going on. Probably the refresh rate is not setting up correctly.

All LCD panels bulit today do not require special Windows drivers. They are truly plug and play. When a Windows XP PC boots up, it can detect that the kind of monitor that is connected is an LDC panel, and Windows will load up the proper Plug and Play drivers, including the correct resolution and refresh rate. After booting up, you can go into the Display settings and fine tune the drivers for an Nvidia (or ATI) graphics card.
September 3, 2006 1:26:45 PM

Quote:
OK

This suggests testing each component.

First, test the XL1A to see if you can get a screen on another LCD panel, if you have one or can borrow one. The chances are that the test LCD panel will have a DVI connector instead of HDMI. If the Sony XL1 kit included a HDMI-to-DVI adapter, use it to connect to the subsittute LCD panel with a regular DVI cable. Otherwise, use a cable that has HDMI on one end and DVI on the other.

If you get a a good screen on the substitute LCD panel, then you have good reason to believe that the problem may be with the Sceptre panel.

Second, test the Sceptre with another Windows XP computer. You can use a regular DVI to DVI cable to connect to the Sceptre. Almost all PC's have a graphics card with a DVI port, and the Sceptre has a DVI connection.

If you can get a good screen with the Sceptre using an alternate Windows XP PC, then there is something else going on. Probably the refresh rate is not setting up correctly.

All LCD panels bulit today do not require special Windows drivers. They are truly plug and play. When a Windows XP PC boots up, it can detect that the kind of monitor that is connected is an LDC panel, and Windows will load up the proper Plug and Play drivers, including the correct resolution and refresh rate. After booting up, you can go into the Display settings and fine tune the drivers for an Nvidia (or ATI) graphics card.


So far I have tested the computer with another HD display, through DVI and an adapter, it did work, but I'd still like to try something with a straight HDMI connection, I don't know if this would make any difference. I will try another windows PC with my monitor and see what comes of that. I have used this monitor wih my older PC but only via the VGA connection so I couldn't test it through the digital ins. I'll try to do this trouble shooting though, thanks for taking the time.
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