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Few questions about HDTVs

Last response: in Home Theatre
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January 7, 2007 3:46:25 PM

Hey everyone.

A couple months ago I purchased an eVGA 7900GS without HDCP for about $160. Recently I've been considering purchasing an HDTV for pretty much everything - watching awesome-quality tv, movies, and most importantly using it as a monitor for my computer.

However the question about HDCP has come up and I haven't been able to find substansial information about it. My card is not HDCP-compatible, so what does that mean if I buy an HDTV that is HCDP enabled? Will I still get a nice 1920x1080p resolution without any bumps or anything? By the way I have 2 DVI outputs and an S-Video/Component output.

Also I've noticed when hooking up my computer to a normal TV it becomes horrendously blurry and hard to read text. Is this a universal problem, and is it the quality nice and clear and readable with an HDTV?

EDIT: I just looked at Newegg, and apparently they removed the HDCP version from their website. Any ideas why?

EDIT #2: Under the specifications, it says for Ports & TV Out "HDTV / S-Video / Composite Out" but I have 2 DVI ports and an S-Video shaped port. Is the HDTV-out port the 2 DVI ports combined or something? I'm confused.

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January 8, 2007 9:29:55 PM

OK, many questions to answer there...

My card is not HDCP-compatible, so what does that mean if I buy an HDTV that is HCDP enabled?
You won't be able to enjoy full 1080p definition video. You'll have to settle for a lower-grade definition.

Will I still get a nice 1920x1080p resolution without any bumps or anything?
Other than BluRay and HDDVD playback, yes (like games and non-DRM infected video formats recorded as 1080p).

Also I've noticed when hooking up my computer to a normal TV it becomes horrendously blurry and hard to read text. Is this a universal problem, and is it the quality nice and clear and readable with an HDTV?
Standard TV definition is far more inferior than what we are used to on a PC's monitor, thus computer-generated text is crappy on Standard TV screens.

I just looked at Newegg, and apparently they removed the HDCP version from their website. Any ideas why?
Many possibilities, including out of stock.

Under the specifications, it says for Ports & TV Out "HDTV / S-Video / Composite Out" but I have 2 DVI ports and an S-Video shaped port. Is the HDTV-out port the 2 DVI ports combined or something?
A DVI port is used for hooking video signals. If you have two DVI input connectors, that means you can connect more than one video source to your TV through DVI. More and more recent DVI components are HDCP compliant (you might wanna check yours). But if your HDTV doesn't support 1080p input, don't mind using those nifty new HD DVD formats. ALL components need to be HDCP compliant in order to enjoy full 1080p BluRay and HDDVD formats, be it through DVI or HDMI.

Hope this helps and that I haven't confused you some more!
January 8, 2007 9:52:46 PM

Hey, thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for - your answers were very helpful.

Just a quick piece of clarification that I left out - those specifications in the last question were for the graphics card, not the tv (my mistake for not putting that in there).

But if I were to hook up my graphics card to the TV would I get 1080p resolution despite the lack of HDCP certification, or would I downgrade to 1080i instead?

One more question - because HDTV's use much higher resolutions and definitions, the screen should be nice and sharp like that of a computer monitor, correct?

Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate them. :D 
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January 9, 2007 12:04:03 PM

But if I were to hook up my graphics card to the TV would I get 1080p resolution despite the lack of HDCP certification, or would I downgrade to 1080i instead?
For anything other than BluRay and HDDVD playback, you would get 1080p definition. But if the media you're playing is recorded in something less than 1080, the images would be extrapolated to 1080, you would not get true 1080. But if you play games on your TV and you adjust the settings to 1080 in your computer, you would get 1080. Just remember that in order to get true 1080, your source media, your player, your connections and your display ALL need to be able to render 1080, while BluRay and HDDVD need HDCP-compliance through ALL the components.

One more question - because HDTV's use much higher resolutions and definitions, the screen should be nice and sharp like that of a computer monitor, correct?
Depending on the connection you use, there's no reason it shouldn't if the resolution is the same. But the display quality is different from one manufacturer to the next, from one line of product to the next for the same manufacturer, and from one technology to another. Generally speaking, display quality on a PC monitor and a HDTV of the same resolution should be similar using the same connection.
January 9, 2007 5:59:17 PM

Awesome. So I shouldn't need to worry about HDCP considering I don't even own any BluRay or HDDVD stuff. Thanks so much!

So I've been looking at LCD's and they seem nice at low prices. Plasmas are much more expensive, and I can imagine why (virtually instantaneous response time, brighter/more vivid colors & levels), but is it worth it to spring for a plasma over an LCD? I'm trying not to spend too much money and am hoping that if I chose an LCD over Plasma that I wouldn't be missing too much.

Thanks!
January 9, 2007 6:23:43 PM

You should nevertheless look for something that is HDCP compliant, for futureproofing.
Both Plasma and LCD have pros and cons. For better enjoyment, you need to consider the use you wanna make of it, the lighting of the room in which it will be installed and your budget. LCDs often are enough for people who are just in for the casual movie or television watching. Serious movie watchers get a projector.
January 9, 2007 8:06:15 PM

Well, my plan was to place it in the basement, where there is no natural light so that people can turn the volume up as loud as they want when watching/playing something. So I assume an LCD would be a better (and cheaper) choice since I wouldn't have to worry about glare.

Also if it makes a difference, the TV will spend a large portion of its time as a monitor for my computer, and the rest for TV and movies.
January 9, 2007 8:28:48 PM

Yup, an LCD would be good.
Careful though if you plan on using it most of the time for computing (games, I guess). People tend to love big screens to play games, but ignore this simple fact: if you take it too big and you're somewhat close to the monitor while playing your games, you might wonder why you some times end up with a pain in the neck (literally).
In front of a regular monitor, your eyes' movement range is wide enough to scan the entire screen without moving your head, but if the screen is too close or too big, your head now needs to complement your eyes, which can eventually bring you pain in the neck (muscular or else).
I suggest you find a position far enough of your monitor so to avoid head movement to follow onscreen action. Only your eyes should move. But then, maybe you knew all that.
January 9, 2007 11:25:23 PM

Excellent point! Most people forget that. While my computer is hooked up to my
projector, It is only worth it for driving/flying. It really sucks you in, but with
BF2, forget it. Too much area to scan. Nice for sniping though. :wink:
January 9, 2007 11:55:41 PM

A good friend of mine just happens to have a monstrous 57" TV in his house, and while playing Gears of War on it, I noticed I had to keep looking to the sides of the screen to make sure there weren't any enemies on the sides when sitting 6-10 feet away from it.

I'm extremely grateful you mentioned this, because this is one of the deciding factors in what size TV I get. I was thinking maybe a 42" or something - what would you say is a good size that doesn't jack up the price too high?
January 10, 2007 12:59:53 AM

Depending on how far you plan to be from the screen, I'd say that 37" to 42" is a good range for a TV screen used for gaming.
Personally, I use a 22" widescreen to play at about 2 feet away and I wouldn't go any wider.
Though, 1080p LCDs of that size range are hard to find and don't come cheap. You'll probably have to settle for a 760p/1080i LCD, unless you're ready to fork out big money.
Hope I was helpful!
January 12, 2007 6:05:40 AM

two recommendations from what i kow:

1) as always, avoid plasma for a pc monitor because of burn in. just to be safe.
2) you might wait a few months for 120 hz lcd tvs with LED backlights. everybody says this is the future of lcd. 120 hz reduces blur substantially and LED improves contrast ratios & color gamut..... pioneer, toshiba, lg-phillips, benQ and samsung all announced new models at this year's CES. the bad - 120hz tvs will have 40-60 milliseconds of image delay so if you game alot your reaction time drops by that much. the good - 120hz lcd monitors should not have image delay but i'm still watiting for these to be announced.
January 12, 2007 11:27:01 AM

Quote:
you might wait a few months for 120 hz lcd tvs with LED backlights. everybody says this is the future of lcd. 120 hz reduces blur substantially and LED improves contrast ratios & color gamut..... pioneer, toshiba, lg-phillips, benQ and samsung all announced new models at this year's CES. the bad - 120hz tvs will have 40-60 milliseconds of image delay so if you game alot your reaction time drops by that much. the good - 120hz lcd monitors should not have image delay but i'm still watiting for these to be announced.

Yes, but they are still many months away and they will cost a boat load of money at launch. I suggest anybody that is ready to purchase NOW not to hold back. Monitors are good enough as they are now for the purpose people intend to use them for.
January 12, 2007 5:55:28 PM

Alright, so I shouldn't feel bad about getting an LCD over Plasma. My friend said burn-in is probably one of the most annoying things you can get with a TV, and LCD is immune, so that's really great news.

Does anyone have any recommendations for tv's in the 40-50" range for a good price? I'm willing to wait a few months if that's what I have to do to get a good deal on a good tv.

Thanks for your replies guys, your responses have really helped me.
January 13, 2007 7:15:08 AM

Quote:

Yes, but they are still many months away and they will cost a boat load of money at launch.


they are already out:

samsung LE40m91B (100hz + led)

hitachi 37hlx99 (120hz only)

JVC LT-37x987 (120hz only)

samsung LE4073BD (100 hz only)

philips 42PF9731D/37 (scanning backlight)

benQ FP241WZ (black frame insertion)

but temper this with the fact that some of these are only available in europe right now plus the fact this is 1st generation technology. ill wait until later this year when the newer models come out and more brand names enter the fray.

here is the LCD buzz from CES 2007
!