[mythtv-users] HDTV questions

Steve Adeff adeffs at gmail.com
Thu Dec 8 22:11:32 EST 2005

On Thursday 08 December 2005 13:19, mythtv-users at fastdruid.co.uk wrote:
> Well seeing as HDTV looks to be coming to the UK next year
> ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/01/telewest_goes_live_with_hdtv/ )
> and we're looking at buying a new HDTV 'ready' TV[1] (1080i) I'm planning
> to get HDTV playback set up on my myth box. Only problem is I don't know
> where to start!

wait till HDTV becomes available before buying a TV. The States are just 
beginning to see 1080p sets hit the market, by the time you get HDTV in the 
UK I'm sure they'll be there as well, and the prices for HDTV's will drop in 
general. No reason to get it now if you won't really be able to use it and 
the prices will go down.

> I'm currently running a P4 2.8GHz with 1Gb, twin Nova-T's and a 128Mb AGP
> Nvidia MX440 with the TV out of composite (AV) at 1024x768 and running SuSE
> 10.0/mythtv 18.1 Disk space is er plenty (2TB+ if need be)

I'd suggest upgrading the video card to a 6xxx series NVidia GPU. Most support 
component output that will let you use 1080i, or if you do end up with a 
1080p you will be able to set your resolution to 1920x1080 and output via the 
HDMI port. Again, wait and see where the market is when its time.

> I've got a few questions that some of our US cousins might be able to help
> me with :-)

Your being too kind, I prefer bastard children ;-)

> 1) How is HDTV connected? Looking at the specs for the TV we're thinking of
> there's Composite (AV), Y/C (S-Video), ANT (RF), Component (Y/Pb/Pr) and
> SCART (which you don't have in the US).
> What type is used for HDTV (or doesn't it matter)?

Component and DVI/HDMI. SCART, S-Video, and Composite don't have the bandwidth 
availability for HDTV over the wires used.
Component is an analog method (basically a modified S-Video for higher 
bandwidth. I still maintain S-Video with higher bandwidth abilities would be 
better than component but I digress...).
HDMI/DVI is "digital". HDMI is the best. Basically, the more HDMI inputs the 
Oh, and Firewire. Some HDTV's will have firewire inputs. relatively useless 
for connecting a computer right now, but great for some cable boxes and DVHS 

> 2) Will the MX440 be powerful enough or will I need a newer card?
see above.

> 3) Am I likely to need more processing power (I've got a 3GHz P4 in another
> box I could swap over if need be but would I need more than that).

the 2.8 should be fine. Wait till the time comes and see if the cost of a 
faster CPU is worth it.

> 4) Are my existing recordings going to look awful (PAL 768x576).
yes. most SD material looks bad on HDTV even when its all digital. My dad has 
a 50" Sony Grand Wega III (oh. my. god. is it nice....jealous) and with his 
SD cable channels it looks ok considering the source, and possibly better 
than a 50" SD TV would, but once you get used to HDTV you'll consider it 
pretty poor...

> 5) Am I just wasting my time? Seeing as the recordings (for probably at
> _least_ 8 months until HDTV actually gets here) would still be in SDTV
> would I even notice any difference?

Wait till HDTV gets there then look into it again.

> I'm assuming that HDTV recording is going to need a HDTV compatible tuner
> card and even assuming they put HDTV out on the freeview channels the
> Nova-T's just won't cut it but I'm hoping the new box would have a firewire
> out or by that time there would be a UK HDTV card.

The European TV technology is so drastically different than the States your 
best bet is to wait and see how they plan on doing things.

> [1] One of these
> http://www.samsung.com/uk/products/television/crt/ws32z308paxxeu.asp

don't buy home theatre equipment without first referencing this forum. They're 
a bunch of perfectionists, but they understand budgets. I usually just post 
similar to:
"I've got $xx to spend on a Yyyyy. What are some of my best options?" and 
you'll get good responses of models to look into.

> Thanks
> Druid

hope this helps.


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