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Help me with Uncle's Computer

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March 18, 2010 6:37:32 AM

Hello everyone,
I need some help building a computer for my uncle. I build my buddies gaming systems all the time except now my uncle wishes to have a Tv/comp setup for his 40" tv. I have everything picked out except GPU. Now this is what he wishes....

To have a graphics card capable of decent 1080p playback with the capability of Pip(picture in picture) so he can watch television freely while checking emails etc. Which type of card would I need for this request? I have looked around and browsed and it seems ATI is the way to go. Also would there be a particular operating system to choose for the best compatibility and functionality?

Thanks for the help

More about : uncle computer

March 18, 2010 6:51:03 AM

Depends on the budget you have in mind for the GPU.

Instead of PiP, he should opt for dual monitors, works better.
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March 18, 2010 6:57:38 AM

Oh well shall kick things off in the low budget side o things 1st hehe $367 AR
http://www.slashgear.com/amd-890gx-chipset-with-onboard...
Quote:
AMD have officially announced their latest chipset, the AMD 890GX, which incorporates integrated ATI Radeon HD 4290 graphics as well as paving the way for the company’s upcoming AMD Phenom II X6 hexacore processor. Out of the box the 890GX chipset will support 1080p HD Blu-ray playback, including picture-in-picture support, in addition to SATA 3.0 6Gbps interface and USB 3.0 support.

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March 18, 2010 6:59:35 AM

He's looking to spend around 600 for everything =/ Parts, operating system etc without tv/monitor

batuchka: that looks like a great start! That onboard video will cut it easily right?
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March 18, 2010 7:11:02 AM

If strictly no gaming above say 1024 x 768 low/mid then yes
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March 18, 2010 7:23:02 AM
March 18, 2010 7:24:17 AM

Bat: Only game I think he'll play is minesweeper lol So would the cable tv signal goto the motherboard? Or would it still hook up to the tv? Thanks so much for the help

Starges: Nice list but he doesn't need that much power =/ And he needs an Operating system as well which is about 200 bux
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March 18, 2010 7:30:26 AM

OH... sorry, my bad :D 
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March 18, 2010 7:43:43 AM

Bat: Only game I think he'll play is minesweeper lol So would the cable tv signal goto the motherboard? Or would it still hook up to the tv? Thanks so much for the help
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March 18, 2010 9:48:33 AM

Ok then it's all good - cable tv signal would go to set up box then TV
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March 18, 2010 11:45:03 AM

So the tv wouldn't need pip right? The mobo would place a picture on the tv say while he's watching football? Sorry for the noob questions =/
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March 18, 2010 6:43:57 PM

This is assuming the TV is handling the PiP from the cable (or satellite) box on one input and the PC on the other.
Otherwise, I believe a TV tuner card will be needed, and the HD4290 will handle the PiP with one connection only needed to the TV. Is that your interpretation also, Batuchka?
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March 18, 2010 6:55:24 PM

@jtt - That's correct. I just switched my dad from cable -> tv/monitor <- computer to
cable -> tv tuner card -> tv/monitor.

OP, unless the motherboard has an input on it to accept the cable signal, you'll either need a monitor/tv that does dual-input and will do the PiP itself, or you can go with a regular monitor + a tv capture card.
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March 18, 2010 7:36:21 PM

Thanks everyone! Thats what I was thinking about a seperate tv tuner card but didn't know exactly what it was called =/ Can you guys link me some different budget tv tuner cards that will do the job? Thanks so much
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March 18, 2010 7:46:07 PM

The other thing to be aware of with a tv tuner card is that it will only receive the unscrambled channels, probably about 20-30 different channels. Usually this will include local channels, probably ESPN and a couple more. I suspect that you could hook the tv tuner up to the cable box, but I haven't investigated that myself, and it would end up with you changing channels via the cable remote...probably kind of ugly.

I don't know enough about tv tuners to recommend a specific quality budget model. Hauppauge is one of the more well-known manufacturers, check their cards for the features that you're looking for (dual-tuners, whatever) and you probably can't go wrong buying that brand.
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