need S-Video output from an MCE HTPC; advice needed

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need S-Video output from an MCE HTPC; advice needed

Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:03 pm

I'm in the planning stage of building my friend an HTPC out of a SFF system, but I'm running into a difficult problem. I want to be able to run WinXP MCE, so I cannot use the ATI AIW card he currently has since it uses the Rage Theater 200 chip. I was thinking of getting the Shuttle ST20G5 since it has built in graphics and adding the TV Wonder Elite or eVGA tv tuner, but he needs S-Video output from the computer.

So, my question is... is there some SFF with built in graphics that has S-Video output? AMD only, please. Or, can you convert from DVI or VGA to S-Video without losing image quality? Thanks for any advice.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:55 pm

I use an ASUS Pundit-R and it's onboard graphics with svideo out.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6856110024

8)
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:54 pm

Well the ASUS looks good but if AMD is the only choice why not just use an inexpensive add-in video card (6200 per se). Those would certainly have S-Video out...
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Re: need S-Video output from an MCE HTPC; advice needed

Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:08 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Or, can you convert from DVI or VGA to S-Video without losing image quality? Thanks for any advice.
You can convert VGA to s-video. You lose quality since the s-video is not capable of carrying the amount of information the vga has, but it's no worse than normal s-video output from a video card would be.

The downside? You have to buy a scan converter, and they're expensive. $75-$100 for a cheap basic model that does SVGA or XGA.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:10 pm

Agreed, you can generally pick up an inexpensive Radeon 9250 or Geforce MX4000 for around $40 to $60. I was lucky and got a GF FX 5200 128MB card for $45. They were on special at my local PC Club store. As a plus I also got a copy of Battlefield 1942 for free as part of a buy an nVidia card and get a game for free deal.

As far as TV tuners go I can highly recommend the Hauppauge PVR series cards. I have an HTPC running SageTV that has both a PVR 250 and 150. I can record two shows at once or record one show and watch another at the same time. Pretty cool, but I don't have a SFF PC. I built mine inside an Antec Sonata.

My opinion of SFF PC's is that unless you actually want to spend that much money for such a small system you can build a much cheaper slighter larger system for much less.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:18 pm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814133143
$69 for an nVidia Personal Cinema 5700.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:22 pm

But is it compatible with Media Center Edition? MCE requires a card with MPEG compression on the card like the Hauppauge PVR series of cards.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:29 pm

Heck this Low Profile GeForce MX440-64 with TV-Out will only set you back $18...
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:30 pm

Taddeusz wrote:But is it compatible with Media Center Edition? MCE requires a card with MPEG compression on the card like the Hauppauge PVR series of cards.


I doubt it. I was just meaning that as a general PVR card, sorry.
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:45 pm

Taddeusz wrote:But is it compatible with Media Center Edition? MCE requires a card with MPEG compression on the card like the Hauppauge PVR series of cards.

For MCE 2005 compatiblity this will nicely fit the bill...
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Postposted on Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:26 am

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. The best idea I've heard is getting an MCE compatible TV card and a cheap graphics card with S-Video out, but ther's only one problem: the Shuttle ST20G5 has one PCI slot (for the TV tuner) and one PCI-E slot, so the 'cheap' graphics card has to be PCI-E.

With that in mind, any further suggestions? Cheap PCI-E cards, or maybe even a different SFF case? I chose the ST20G5 because it can use AMD64 chips. I'd like to stick with AMD64, since they run cooler and quieter than Pentium boxes.

While I personally like the suggestion, I don't think my friend is going to want to pop $100 on a VGA-->S-Video converter. Any other ideas? Thanks for the advic so far fellas.
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Postposted on Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:34 am

$48 Is the cheapest PCI-E card that newegg has. It's an x300SE.
Is all the that the rig is going to be used for MCE?
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Postposted on Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:15 am

Looks like a nice card...

MCE (watching/recording TV), and DVD functions, i.e. creating DVD's, so it should be able to run video editing software. It'll be an MP3 server, too.
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Postposted on Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:19 pm

OK maybe its my inner nVidia/eVGA fanboi talking but how 'bout this combo: eVGA GeForce 6200TC + eVGA NVTV, total cost $132...
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