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Plug the computer to a TV?

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October 3, 2009 3:25:30 PM

Hi,

I'll soon build my new system but I want to know how it's possible to use my HDTV 32'inch as a "big" monitor. If you don't see what I'm talking about, think at any console: xbox, ps3, etc. You can plug them to your TV then play game or watch movies with the bluray w/ PS3.
So, I wanna know if it's possible to do the same with a computer.
Thank

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October 3, 2009 3:31:37 PM

Yes, it's possible.
Old fashion CRT tv's can be hooked up to your graphics card using an RGB cable, LCD tv's such as yours can be hooked up using a DVI cable.
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October 3, 2009 6:58:45 PM

Do you know if there's any guide for that? I can't find the magic word to make a research on google... HTPC dvi cable? computer tv?
I want to know if it works well, if you need a good graphic card (I think you don't b/c the TV has it's own system), a good CPU or whatever. I'm wondering if there's no problem with these kind of monitor configuration...

It's a 1080p TV samsung and my big need is HDDVD/BLURAY movie resolution then game come after. I have a normal monitor for computer, so I can deal with it if I can't play games dirrectly on the TV.

Here is my principal build parts:
I7-920 @ 3.6GHz (higher if possible)
5870 (waiting for new versions)
6Gb 1600MHz
XFX motherboard (I'll eventually upgrade to two G/C)
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October 3, 2009 7:39:50 PM

Just a nickname said:
Do you know if there's any guide for that? I can't find the magic word to make a research on google... HTPC dvi cable? computer tv?
I want to know if it works well, if you need a good graphic card (I think you don't b/c the TV has it's own system), a good CPU or whatever. I'm wondering if there's no problem with these kind of monitor configuration...

It's a 1080p TV samsung and my big need is HDDVD/BLURAY movie resolution then game come after. I have a normal monitor for computer, so I can deal with it if I can't play games dirrectly on the TV.

Here is my principal build parts:
I7-920 @ 3.6GHz (higher if possible)
5870 (waiting for new versions)
6Gb 1600MHz
XFX motherboard (I'll eventually upgrade to two G/C)


That setup is way overkill for just watching HD movies, but that's another story, in the case of the HD 5870 graphics card you'll get a lot of cables, at least one of them will be able to connect to your TV, but beware, a 32" screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 might not look pretty up close (pixels will be large.)
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October 3, 2009 8:39:45 PM

It's a gaming system but in the perfect world, I'd like to plug it to my TV and play movies/games. Like this I can save some bucks on a second bluray driver (it's CA$ 250-400 for a good one BTW).
Why it couldn't be normal? What do "I have to do" for a normal gaming experience?
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October 3, 2009 8:45:12 PM

Just a nickname said:
It's a gaming system but in the perfect world, I'd like to plug it to my TV and play movies/games. Like this I can save some bucks on a second bluray driver (it's CA$ 250-400 for a good one BTW).
Why it couldn't be normal? What do "I have to do" for a normal gaming experience?


Pixels will be bigger, 1920x1080 is usually found on 22" monitors, but tv's are bigger because you don't sit right in front of them, so when you do go sit right in front of a tv it looks less sharp than a monitor, it may not look very bad on 32", but I'm just saying a 22" 1920x1080 monitor looks better.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2009 1:33:15 PM

The answer to your question probably is provided by the HDTV. What you can do depends mostly on what that TV can accept as inputs, because computer video cards (especially one that is still being chosen) can have a wide variety of outputs.

At the lowest-quality video level you have a standard cable TV input (called Type F) and very likely a set of three RCA inputs labeled Composite Video and Stereo In (L and R). Next up is S-Video In, a round socket with several small holes for pins, and you need in addition the two stereo sound connections. It is very common to have component video (3 RCA connectors labeled Y, Pb and Pr) which accepts a combination of three separated video signals. This system, very common between a DVD player and the HDTV, also requires using two lines for the stereo audio signal.

The common HDTV video connection system now is HDMI, which combines high-quality video and audio signals into one cable and connector. An alternative is the DVI output on a computer video card which normally provides video only (but some exceptions), but not many HDTV's have an input for this system.

So check what your HDTV has for input connectors. If you have HDMI, plan to use it - it is high quality video plus audio. Then make sure the video card you purchase for your computer has HDMI output. While you're at it, check what audio properties your HDTV has. Many will accept and produce 2-channel stereo and not much more. Some, however, can at least pass a more complex audio signal system on, via a second HDMI cable, to a separate good sound system with multiple channels and perhaps digital audio input. Whatever your plans for audio, ensure that your computer can produce those signals, and that you know how to get them from computer to HDTV, quite possibly through the HDMI cable.

Many computer video cards have DVI outputs used for monitors. Now it happens that the video signals on these outputs are identical to the video signals on HDMI systems, so a simple adapter plug can convert from one output to another. HOWEVER, DVI outputs do not automatically have the audio signals in them. On computers, it is assumed you will hook up speakers separately to output jacks on the back panel. But SOME video card makers have ways to feed audio signals through the video card so they are available on the DVI connector for use by the converter adapter to feed an HDMI cable. If you plan to go this route (rather than having a true HDMI output in the first place), check the details of how audio is handled, and exactly which types of audio signal can be routed from where in the computer to where in your HDTV / audio system.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2009 7:22:31 PM

I agree with Paperdoc. As long as your TV has HDMI inputs (it should if it's 1080p), that would be the best way to connect the PC to the TV. The 5870 will pass the audio over HDMI using the integrated HDMI port. There will be no need for a DVI to HDMI adapter. Just plug in an HDMI cable and you should be good to go.

I use an old 2600XT GPU in my HTPC. It doesn't have integrated HDMI, but I'm able to pass both video and audio over HDMI with a DVI to HDMI converter.
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October 6, 2009 11:36:07 PM

Sweet! Really nice help Parperdoc. Thanks for the info shortstuff!
Well, I think I got my answer ;) 
Thank a lot!
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