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Author: Subject: How to connect your PC to your TV / Home Theatre (MOOGIS tie-in)

Peach Head





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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 04:13 PM
First:

If you have Windows XP Media Center edition or Vista Home Premium or Ultimate editions, everything you need to hook your PC to your TV was probably included with your computer - including cables and remotes.

STEP 1 - VIDEO

If your video card was made in the past couple of years then chances are very good that your card has one of the following outputs:

S-VIDEO


HDMI


DVI


If your PC has one of these and your TV does too, you're there! Just connect the TV to the computer with the appropriate cable. FYI, HDMI will give you the best picture quality, followed by DVI and then S-Video.

If you don't have any of these connections on your computer then you can either buy a new video card with the appropriate output or get a converter cable, like a VGA to s-video adaptor for less than $20.



AUDIO

This is usually very easy. All you typically need is a 1/8" mini to RCA adaptor - same cable you would use to hook your iPod up to your home stereo. If, however, you have a nifty 5.1 audio system already attached to your computer - it might sound better to use the computer speakers instead.

I hope this is helpful everyone. Bottom line is, for less than $50, ANY computer can be hooked up to ANY TV - so there's no real excuse not to experience the Beacon run or Moogis as you would a movie or TV event.

It is worth mentioning at this point though that ALL computer monitors are higher resolution than standard def TV - and most computer monitors are higher resolution than HD TV, even at 1080p. So it may be worth it - if your monitor's big enough - to do an A/B comparison between your TV and monitor to decide which you prefer.

[Edited on 12/13/2006 by vaylor]

[Edited on 12/13/2006 by vaylor]

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 04:16 PM
Awesome! Thank you, Vaylor!

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 04:51 PM
I have a DVI on the new MacBookPro, so does that mean that when I plug the computer into my HDTV that it won't come through HD? Is there something that I can buy which will make it HD?

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 05:11 PM
quote:
I have a DVI on the new MacBookPro, so does that mean that when I plug the computer into my HDTV that it won't come through HD? Is there something that I can buy which will make it HD?


If your TV has a DVI in then you can send your computer signal out our MacBook's DVI out and the resolution you get on the screen will be the full resolution the TV offers. There will be no "down sampling". The one and only time that this might change is if you play some sort of DRM protected media - (like certain DVDs, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs, video acquired from sources like CinemaNow or the iTunes store, etc.) In those situation, it will entirely depend upon the specifics of the DRM used to protect the media.

In short, Moogis will not be affected. You can see it full resolution with no problem.



[Edited on 12/13/2006 by vaylor]

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 05:26 PM
quote:
quote:
I have a DVI on the new MacBookPro, so does that mean that when I plug the computer into my HDTV that it won't come through HD? Is there something that I can buy which will make it HD?


If your TV has a DVI in then you can send your computer signal out our MacBook's DVI out and the resolution you get on the screen will be the full resolution the TV offers. There will be no "down sampling". The one and only time that this might change is if you play some sort of DRM protected media - (like certain DVDs, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs, video acquired from sources like CinemaNow or the iTunes store, etc.) In those situation, it will entirely depend upon the specifics of the DRM used to protect the media.

In short, Moogis will not be affected. You can see it full resolution with no problem.



[Edited on 12/13/2006 by vaylor]


Just to get it straight, if I am playing HD (Moogis) on my computer and want to hook it up to my HDTV, so long as I have a DVI output on my MacBookPro and there is a DVI input on my HDTV, then I will be able to watch it on the HDTV in HD? I hope this is true. I did some research right after asking this question and I saw people saying that you needed to buy a cable, such as this one: http://www2.dvigear.com/dvsuhirecoca.html which will allow you to convert DVI output into an HD input. I really hope your method works, I'll give it a try before I purchase one of these things. Thanks a lot.

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 05:30 PM
also to be noted DVI only carries a video signal. HDMI carries both audio and video

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 05:31 PM
Thanks now do you have to put the tv on any certain channel or just plug the two together and poof it is there ? i am running win xp pro and i have a asus 7800GTX vid card 256 meg memory and it has a s video connection..

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 05:34 PM
Thanks Vaylor,

This is the kind of information that people need. btw, what kind of internet service do you need? I'm assuming that dial-up is out of the question.

 
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Peach Head



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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 06:00 PM
quote:
Just to get it straight, if I am playing HD (Moogis) on my computer and want to hook it up to my HDTV, so long as I have a DVI output on my MacBookPro and there is a DVI input on my HDTV, then I will be able to watch it on the HDTV in HD? I hope this is true. I did some research right after asking this question and I saw people saying that you needed to buy a cable, such as this one: http://www2.dvigear.com/dvsuhirecoca.html which will allow you to convert DVI output into an HD input. I really hope your method works, I'll give it a try before I purchase one of these things. Thanks a lot.


You will be able to view Moogis at the full resolution of the streamed video. If the video is in HD then you'll see it in HD. I have not yet seen the specs of what the video will be like for the broadcast, so I cannot answer this for sure.

quote:
also to be noted DVI only carries a video signal. HDMI carries both audio and video

Very true

quote:
Thanks now do you have to put the tv on any certain channel or just plug the two together and poof it is there ? i am running win xp pro and i have a asus 7800GTX vid card 256 meg memory and it has a s video connection..


All new TV's have specific video inputs that bypass the tuner. So, there should be "channels" labled "VIDEO-1" or "HD-IN" or something else. You will not need to be on channel 3 or anything.

quote:
This is the kind of information that people need. btw, what kind of internet service do you need? I'm assuming that dial-up is out of the question.


Well a lot of it will depend on the compression used. If NO compression is used, 480i (640 x 480 x 30fps x 16bit/pixel) requires 18MB (that's bytes not bits) per second. Standard def TV requres 3MB. Both MPEG-4 and H.264 get these rates down to where SD can go over standard DSL and HD can go over hi-speed DSL / Cable. I would image, though, that you will be able to select your speed when you get access to the feed. H.264 can encode all the way down to 64Kb per second (just out of reach of the dial-up folks but easily within the bandwidth for DSL).

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 08:39 PM
Got this question in a PM but I wlll address for all. If you hook up the computer to the TV in the way described above, can you record it on the VCR?

The answer is - depends on how the VCR is hooked up. Many TV's have direct video output jacks (usually RCA jacks). If your VCR is set up to get its input from your TV's output then yes you can record it.

If not, then no - setting up the way I describe will not result in you being able to record on your VCR. Also, I would NOT recommend trying to put your VCR in line with the video signal, for a couple of reasons. First, the computer is going to output video and audio separately so you have to first convert the signals into RCA inputs (video and audio) or coax. This means buying more gear, usually. Secondly, putting the VCR in line and converting the signal to be compatible compromises the quality.

Keep the questions coming. I'll make you all propeller-heads before you know it.

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 09:10 PM
This is just excellent info and I am thankful to vaylor for starting this. I have a bit of experience with home theater and know HD and 5.1, etc. really well. However, integrating my PC and my home theater is something I have long wanted to do. I have tried already hooking my PC up to my TV via the s-video out on my PC. I have a 53" Sony rear projection HiDef ready TV. The picture from my PC to my TV in a word: sucked. Especially the text, very unreadable. I tried messing with the monitor settings on the PC, but no luck. But I really like the idea of having a keyboard and mouse near me in my LR when I want to switch from music or TV to PC and back without walking to another room (sounds lazy). So, since my HDTV has component video as the best HD input, I guess I could get a video card that supports component video.
 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 09:21 PM
Thanks for the tech info Vaylor!
I'll starting getting my stuff ready.
Do you or does anyone else know if there will a trial run for us & Moogis to work out any kinks?
THANKS AGAIN

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 09:41 PM
quote:
I have tried already hooking my PC up to my TV via the s-video out on my PC. I have a 53" Sony rear projection HiDef ready TV. The picture from my PC to my TV in a word: sucked. Especially the text, very unreadable. I tried messing with the monitor settings on the PC, but no luck


The one major way in which TVs differ from monitors is that there is only 1 resolution / sync rate they're designed to use. Any other resolution results in bizarre dithering effects. So here's the trick to it. Two things you need to do:

1. Turn on Clear Type.
2. Match your computer's desktop resolution to the native resolution of your TV. These are:

SD (4x3 aspect ratio): 320 x 240
HD 480i / 480p (4x3 aspect ratio): 640 x 480
HD 480i / 480p (16x9 aspect ratio): 854 x 480
HD 720i / 720p (4x3 aspect ratio): 960 x 720
HD 720i / 720p (16x9 aspect ratio): 1280 x 720
HD 1080i / 1080p (16x9 aspect ratio): 1920 x 1080

If you set the resolution on the computer properly, I guarantee it will look a TON better

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 09:54 PM
quote:
This is just excellent info and I am thankful to vaylor for starting this. I have a bit of experience with home theater and know HD and 5.1, etc. really well. However, integrating my PC and my home theater is something I have long wanted to do. I have tried already hooking my PC up to my TV via the s-video out on my PC. I have a 53" Sony rear projection HiDef ready TV. The picture from my PC to my TV in a word: sucked. Especially the text, very unreadable. I tried messing with the monitor settings on the PC, but no luck. But I really like the idea of having a keyboard and mouse near me in my LR when I want to switch from music or TV to PC and back without walking to another room (sounds lazy). So, since my HDTV has component video as the best HD input, I guess I could get a video card that supports component video.
s-video cables are analog devices... so you can only tune so much on your PC and have it make any difference...

you need to check what the output on your video card is rated at... the s-video out may only conform to standard def interlaced output... if thats the case then it will look "fuzzy" since a standard def TV has a lower resolution then most peoples resolution on their pc monitor...



There are only a couple of good fonts for that small of a resolution ( and btw... pixels on a computer monitor are square, on a TV they are rectangular).. most of the fonts are monospaced block style ones...

I would would suggest using the DVI (or the DVI to HDMI converter) as that will provide you with the highest quality connection...

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 10:06 PM
quote:

1. Turn on Clear Type.
2. Match your computer's desktop resolution to the native resolution of your TV. These are:

SD (4x3 aspect ratio): 320 x 240
HD 480i / 480p (4x3 aspect ratio): 640 x 480
HD 480i / 480p (16x9 aspect ratio): 854 x 480
HD 720i / 720p (4x3 aspect ratio): 960 x 720
HD 720i / 720p (16x9 aspect ratio): 1280 x 720
HD 1080i / 1080p (16x9 aspect ratio): 1920 x 1080

If you set the resolution on the computer properly, I guarantee it will look a TON better
almost no one will be able to go under 640x480... and many newer systems only go down to 800x600...

the above represents intended viewable resolution... the standard has padding built in on both sides... so there are more then 640 vertical lines but 640 is what is shown (I think it's 5% a side)...

if you extract standard NTSC DV you will see the resolution is 720x480... but when it's shown on a TV it has approx 5% or 36 lines removed from each side... I think it was intended to be used for vertical control and other dificulties...

whats cool though is that most newer HD tv's and Flat Panels are built more like a computer monitor then there predecessors... edge to edge resolution and digital interconnects are perks you get there...

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 11:08 PM
quote:
almost no one will be able to go under 640x480... and many newer systems only go down to 800x600...


Windows Vista has specific features built into the operating system for connecting to an external device like a TV or projector which optimize the video output. In those situation, it will automatically match the resolution of the device to which you are connecting and then (in the case of Home Premium and Ultimate editions) launch the Media Center interface instead of the standard desktop, as it is designed to be more usable on lower resolution devices.

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 11:21 PM
quote:
Keep the questions coming. I'll make you all propeller-heads before you know it.


thanks for all the info - the pics are key, man. I have dialup service unfortunately, but curious:

In what format is the Moogis signal (stream)? On a Mac would it play in Quicktime, or iTunes, or ??

Thanks Much! What a grand project - best of luck with it!

 

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  posted on 12/13/2006 at 11:26 PM
quote:
In what format is the Moogis signal (stream)? On a Mac would it play in Quicktime, or iTunes, or ??


Not sure. I don't have the specifics yet.

 

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  posted on 12/14/2006 at 07:47 AM
quote:
quote:
almost no one will be able to go under 640x480... and many newer systems only go down to 800x600...


Windows Vista has specific features built into the operating system for connecting to an external device like a TV or projector which optimize the video output. In those situation, it will automatically match the resolution of the device to which you are connecting and then (in the case of Home Premium and Ultimate editions) launch the Media Center interface instead of the standard desktop, as it is designed to be more usable on lower resolution devices.
of course it doesn't officially come out until the end of January.. and even then few people will have it for some time...

and actually I wouldn't recommend upgrading for at least a year (I'll probably hold on a bit longer then that)... it's not cheap either, even the upgrade for the cheapest of the four packages will be $100... thats the basic package...

but anyway, with vaylors help we will have no problem getting people watching moogis streams with their current equipment (maybe an additional cable/converter at most for some people)...

Peace

 

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  posted on 12/14/2006 at 01:27 PM
quote:
and actually I wouldn't recommend upgrading for at least a year (I'll probably hold on a bit longer then that)... it's not cheap either, even the upgrade for the cheapest of the four packages will be $100... thats the basic package...


Well, yes and no. First off, anyone getting a new computer after the end of Jan will likely have Vista. Anyone who gets one now will most likely get an upgrade coupon.

As for upgrading your existing machine, if your hardware supports it, I say do it. Not for one big reason but for a bunch of little reasons. I could get waaaaayyy inside baseball here and tell you the specific features included in Vista which make it more secure (BitLocker, DEP enabled by default, address space randomization, etc.) but lets just say that, from a security standpoint, the change from XP to Vista is basically the same as when XP SP2 was released and the firewall was turned on by default.

 

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  posted on 12/14/2006 at 01:56 PM
I don't think a very large percentage of the possible audience will be getting a new computer between now and then...

security will always be a concern... and while users are always the most dangerous part of the train, the OS will have (does have) bugs and unknown flaws... this happens with every OS not just MS... but theirs is the most complicated and attacked...

And vista has problems running existing software currently (software written for XP and before)... and while this isn't everything, it's something that software manufacturers and MS will have to solve during the first year or so of production... it'd be nice to think everything will work out of the box but it just isn't realistic and never has been... XP had some of the same issues running win98 platform software which "compatibility mode" never really got working right all the time...

first adopters always have problems associated with new technology... just like HDCP not being supported on older HD TV's or computer displays... (if you have HDMI then HDCP is probably not your concern - but those with s-video will want to understand more)...





 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 12/14/2006 at 02:31 PM
I don't want this to turn into a "lets debate Vista" thread, but I feel obliged to try and paint a more complete picture here.

Believe me when I say I am no Microsoft apologist. My browser is Firefox, my email client is Thunderbird, and I have a bumper sticker on my car that reads "Linux is the Answer." Despite all of that, my opinion of Vista is high, even though I was initially VERY skeptical.

First: we're nearing end-of-life for 32-bit processors and operating systems. By this time next year, I would be very surprised if any PC manufactures even made them any more. Recognizing this, Microsoft made a very gutsy decision. They decided that, for the 64 bit versions of Vista, software manufacturers could no longer modify the Windows kernel. And while this might break some software (especially anti-virus and kernel-level drivers) it also eliminates the possibility of rootkits altogether. A worthy trade-off, I think.

DEP / address randomization eliminates the possibility of buffer overrun exploits, and the new hypervisor for the kernel eliminates virtualization "blue pill" attacks. Combine those with the firewall which eliminates the possibility of worm attacks and what you get is that all vectors for compromising a system are shut with the exception of those that require human intervention: email, web, and manual software install; and even those have been addressed somewhat since, by default, you do not have admin rights while logged in, and must verify any action that requires admin rights (like installing or removing software).

To me, this is so radical a shift in the security policies of Microsoft that I feel it is worth switching platforms even though it means some initial pain as the kinks and bugs get knocked out over time. To me, it is even worth switching to the 64 bit platform, despite the fact that some of my hardware will not work until the device manufacturers write 64 bit versions of the drivers.

And this is just the thought that went into security. Equally interesting shifts in thinking have also gone into other aspects of the OS, such as the UI, included apps, connection to devices, etc.

Bottom line for me: I prefer Linux, and, if I had my way, I'd be using Linux exclusively. The reality is, however, that my job requires that I use some apps which are only available on Windows. If I have to use Windows, I want to make sure I'm using a platform that is a locked down as possible - and right now that's Vista. YMMV

 

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  posted on 12/14/2006 at 03:04 PM
These are all great things they tout about their OS... it's still no reason to jump into a brand new OS... most people will not need any of the extra offerings in their first year after release... typically the first year of any OS release will see the most flaws patched... these new security measures are not tried and true and will contain holes that they will fix...

If your getting a new computer it will probably come with vista and thats fine... for those happily using XP there is no reason to adopt so quickly... it's not a matter if vista isn't a step in a good direction for MS... I was a big fan of the turn they took at XP and it had a number of problems when released (and I have more XP boxes then I do Linux ones)...

You don't need vista to use moogis and it won't hurt you to upgrade a la later date when initial problems are worked out... In fact I look forward to getting it down the road... most businesses will not be updating for some time as they know that dealing with these issues is not insignificant when compared to systems that have matured and whose problems are known (Heck, we work with companies who still use win98 desktops - non-internet systems used for data entry primarily)... home users may find it exciting to have the brand new thing but is that the right thing to jump into...

IMO, most people will benefit from waiting a year before upgrading... it won't stop you from using moogis, it won't stop you from browsing the web... it won't stop you from getting email... technology will be more mature... more stable... and problems will be understood...

In the end I could care less what someone else does with their computer system... since most people are not as proficient as you or I with computers their exp. will differ in that small problems can appear large and it can leave a bad flavor in their mouth for a good product...

 

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  posted on 12/14/2006 at 04:25 PM
Thanks Vaylor: I thought I got one of those. Have to search through some boxes.

I am ready for Moogis..................


Let The Cartoons Begin

 

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  posted on 12/15/2006 at 10:47 PM
I am planning on purchasing a DVI to HDMI cable (it turns out the thing that came with the Mac turns DVI into VGA, which is completely useless for this purpose). Do I need another cable which will send the sound from my computer into my sound system (I think Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround)? If so, what cable do I need?

 

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