Closed Solved

Will a graphics card upgrade improve my cable TV picture?


I use WinTV7 to view digital cable TV through a set top box connected to a Haupauge 950Q usb tuner. Most channels I watch are not free or open.

The TV image resolution on my 1680x1050 monitor is watchable but nowhere near as clear as videos I download.

Would upgrading my current 2008 Radeon HD3400 series graphics card improve the TV picture?

If so what would be an appropriate budget (say $50 - $80) card?

I do not play games, but I often have two or more video windows open at the same time.

Other information: Windows 7, 6 gigs ram, GigaByte EP45-DS3L (Socket 775) Motherboard,
Viewsonic VX2235wm-7 monitor (1680x1050).

Have I provided enough information? Have I posted this in the right place? Any advice, even at the level of what controls how my TV picture looks on the monitor - is it the USB tuner, or the graphics card?

7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about will graphics card upgrade improve cable picture
  1. Best answer
    No the HD3400 is as capable to run TV at that resolution as well as any modern card.
  2. Your Haupauge 950Q usb tuner supports HD up to 1080i.

    The only way to increase the video quality would be to use a HD set top box. The modes on the boxes can usually be changed from 480p, 720p, and 1080i. Since those boxes have DVR functionality, that feature becomes redundant. There's also the monthly fee of anywhere from $10-$18 monthly. That depends on your area of course, if its available, etc. It probably wouldn't hurt to pick one up and at least give it a run for a month. You could then decide which device's DVR functionality you like and prefer more. The set top box's HDR of course is completely inaccessible outside of viewing it directly from the box's output, so there's no backing it up or sharing, or anything fun like that. Many of the HD boxes also have multiple output options, like dvi, hdmi, d-sub, component, rca... You might find connecting it directly to the monitor, with an adapter if necessary, might also be an option. Your monitor has d-sub and dvi, so you'd use the monitor's menu to switch between inputs. Cables boxes also have a tendency to be huge too so that's a factor as well. I was in-between televisions for awhile, and I had a HD cable box connected directly to my computer's monitor. It worked really well displaying the 1080i signal on the 1080p monitor. I realize you have a 1680x1050 monitor but it should be a simple matter of trying the modes on the cable box, and the monitor settings, if you went that route.

  3. sorry, but the video card can not improve regular tv resolution... if you receive standard resolution tv signal and display it in monitor that's capable of displaying high resolution pictures, of course it will look like crap.
  4. By "standard resolution" do you mean a digtal signal but not HD?

    What I am taking away from the replies to my query is that if I want to watch at a decent resolution the tv signal that comes out of the cable company's set top box and display it on my computer monitor through my USB tuner, I have to get an HD set top box.

    If so at least I have avoided the cost and hassle of exchanging video cards.

    Thanks for the replies

  5. yes, i mean the standard picture used in old tube box tv, not 720 or 1080 like nowadays.
    First, you have to make sure if the original signal is in HD because even now there's tv channel that just use those old resolution...
  6. Yep. With my HD box, I have to surf to channel's in the 700-800 range for HD. Some of the channels between 2-80 are also in HD but its just a big mess so I stick to the 700s. Even HBO, though it has 5 or so channels, sometimes its hard to find a movie thats actually broadcast in HD. Sometimes the HD version of a movie isn't broadcast for a few more days, lol... It's crazy.
  7. Best answer selected by eae.
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards TV Cable Graphics