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spikerS
04-15-2009, 08:18 PM
I am looking for recomendations for a PCI-E video card with an actual HDMI video output.

i am going to turn my old desktop into a media center for movie and music playback, some gaming and web surfing. It will all be done using my 52" LCD TV.

I tried checking out memory express, but the cheapest card there was like $660. I am hoping that there might be something out there that is decent for under $250....

SpireTECH
04-15-2009, 08:25 PM
You're better off buying a new motherboard and supporting CPU/RAM than trying to buy a PCI-E video card with HDMI out.

Most video cards that do HDMI out don't have provisions to embed the audio stream in the signal, so you only get video. Depending on your setup, it could be a real pain to run the audio through a separate line.

It might also be cheaper...

em2ab
04-15-2009, 08:31 PM
Holy crap, that's a lot. Check out the GeForce lineup, I picked up a 9600 GT in December for $65, a lot of them have HDMI output. But it's pretty useless anyway, I don't think there are any drivers out there that take advantage of the full HDMI 1.3 compliance (pretty sure). So it's basically just a DVI digital video signal an a SPDIF audio signal on the same cable. Using separate DVI / SPDIF cables would give you the exact same result. Just make sure the card does hardware decoding and you're good to go. You could find a motherboard that does the same thing but it's good to unload these processes off of your CPU.

This is assuming nobody's released any specific HDMI drivers recently.

em2ab
04-15-2009, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by SpireTECH
Most video cards that do HDMI out don't have provisions to embed the audio stream in the signal, so you only get video.
The audio is there, it's just a SPDIF signal sent down the same line. But it's easy to get the audio signal out the other end.

SpireTECH
04-16-2009, 01:43 AM
Originally posted by em2ab

The audio is there, it's just a SPDIF signal sent down the same line. But it's easy to get the audio signal out the other end.

Not all HDMI video cards support this. Until recently, nearly all HDMI video cards didn't do this. Check it out for yourself on google: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=HDMI+video+card+no+audio&btnG=Search&meta=

For PCI-E video cards that do support it, this usually requires routing the SPDIF output of the sound card to a SPDIF input on the video card. For some people, this can be less than ideal because you lose a lot of flexibility.

Motherboards with embedded video and audio chips have circuitry which simplifies all of this for you, and actually lets you select the HDMI audio as an independent output. This gives you two digital outputs which can run concurrently to different devices. Useful for fancy home theater systems which have exotic requirements. Or totally useless for your run of the mill 7.1 sound system.

In any case, it's usually cheaper to buy a nice motherboard that supports all of this for $114, and reuse the CPU/RAM than it is to buy a new video card.

johnny0214
04-16-2009, 02:23 AM
I remember ATI started offering hdmi that carried sound when used with the proper dvi to hdmi connector in their 3800 series card.

http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd3800/index.html

Integrated Digital Outputs Enjoy your digital content the way you want to, with built-in HDMI that includes 5.1 surround audio for big screen entertainment.

Here are some of the current cards for sale from ati with hdmi that won't break your wallet

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX23442(ME).aspx
79.99

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX23593(ME).aspx
109.99

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX19506(ME).aspx
119.99

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX23750(ME).aspx
144.99

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX22412(ME).aspx
199.99

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX22363(ME).aspx

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX24087(ME).aspx

If you don't need sound through hdmi then it doesn't really matter which card you get since you should be able to use a dvi to hdmi adapter to connect to the TV.

dragonone
04-16-2009, 02:39 AM
well does the OP have a home theatre setup?

i bought a 4350 w/ hdmi for 40 bux and run sound from my mobo thru SPDIF to my HT setup

eblend
04-16-2009, 07:29 AM
if you do decide on the mobo with HDMI, get this, I use it in 2 of my media centers

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX19298(ME).aspx

megavolt
04-16-2009, 09:03 AM
In case there's any confusion, a lot of ATI's cards don't have an actual hdmi port on the card. But as long as the chip supports audio over hdmi and you're using the DVI to HDMI adapter they supply with the card you will get audio.

spikerS
04-16-2009, 10:00 AM
wow, this is more confusing than i thought.

basically i have my tv, and a component theater system, the receiver does not have an HDMI input, so i was going to run it to the tv, and have the signal to the receiver from the tv.

I guess i now have to figgure out which way to do this.

em2ab
04-16-2009, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by spikers
wow, this is more confusing than i thought.

basically i have my tv, and a component theater system, the receiver does not have an HDMI input, so i was going to run it to the tv, and have the signal to the receiver from the tv.

I guess i now have to figgure out which way to do this.
Your receiver likely has digital audio inputs in the form of RCA or fiber optic. Just use one of those cables out from your motherboard / sound card and you're done. That's what I do, you just got to tweak some of the audio codec settings in VLC or Media Player, whatever you use to enable AC3/DTS and disable any decoding on the computer side. Let your receiver do all the decoding for you.