Hi, I am not very computer literate but I sure could use some help, so far HP support has been useless. I need to know if using a dvi output to an hdtv is equal to having an HDMI output. I have to buy a new graphics card because my current card has neither. Another question is Power Supply. My computer has 300W but a lot of the cards need 350+. I have been told that it is not a good idea to add a larger PSU to an existing system. I want to have my PC hooked up to my HDTV but I am not a gamer. My current card is GEforce 6150 SE. Apparently my computer won't let me use my current card in conjunction with a new one, so I need a new card that supports vga in addition to HDMI. I would really appreciate your input!
THIS site has some decent info on DVI to HDMI adapters and cables.
DVI outputs on most video cards can carry both digital and analog DVI signals (DVI-D and DVI-A), but not both at the same time. Typically your card will sense what kind of connection is made and either output digital or analog signals (which is why they usually come with a cheap DVI-to-RGB adapter, but not a not-so-cheap DVI-to-HDMI adapter since there's a royalty on the HDMI interface). One drawback of DVI vs. HDMI is that the latter includes digital audio on the same cable, but DVI doesn't so you can either buy (~$300!!!) an SPDIF+DVI-to-HDMI converter, which takes an SPDIF digital audio signal from your onboard or separate audio card and adds it to the DVI digital video, so that you can use an ordinary HDMI cable to connect the TV and computer with both picture and audio, or you can go the 'el-cheapo' route like me . My Pioneer plasma TV has a couple of HDMI inputs with separate analog stereo ports, so I bought a cheap DVI-to-HDMI 12 ft. cable for about $20 and a 12-ft. stereo cable and connected my laptop to the TV. Not a great home theater setup but I'm working on that .
I plan to build a gaming/home theater rig in the next month or two, and will be getting a BD/DVD combo drive and a decent 7.1 audio system, with a digital audio link from the TV to the PC for HD channels, so really the only time I'll be using the TV speakers is when I'm too lazy to turn on the PC or am watching non HD-channels where stereo (or the bogus surround sound analog processing equivalent) is the max available anyway. Windows 7 home premium (which you can get the upgrade for $50 for the next 4 days) comes with pretty decent Media Center built-in, so I'm looking at a PC/home theater setup with a media center remote. I know Logitech has one with 2.1 surround sound, but that's 5 speakers short of a full load . Guess I'll be searching Amazon.com or elsewhere.
P.S. - forgot to mention that DVI single-link can carry up to 1920 x 1200 resolution at 60Hz (what most HDTVs use, athough some newer LCDs from Sony and others do 120 or even 240 Hz refresh rates for fast-action sports, but that's internal to the TV). 1080P is 1920 x 1080 resolution so a DVI-to-HDMI adapter or cable will do just fine. What you definitely do not want to do is go digital-to-analog conversion route, or DVI-to-RGB, to the TV, which will then convert the analog RGB back into digital. Stick with an all-digital video connection for best quality.