HDTV question...


Active Member
I remember seeing somewhere that there was some sort of dongle/adapter to convert a standard VGA out on a graphics card to Component Video. I cant seem to find the thread or topic....

I have been using a SVideo cable ( I know I know!) with my Media Center PC to connect it to my 65" HDTV. As I'm getting more into it I would like to definately clear up the picture a bit. A passthrough would be nice as well, so I can still use the AirPanel in the Dock, as well as the output to the TV.

Could someone point me in the right dirrection.... Electron? Treetop? :D

That cable looks nice, and is certainly the right price (The PRE-built one :) I would probably blow up the TV and the ggraphics card if I tried to build one myself :)

I looked at ATI's site, and they do not list my graphics card in the MCPC :( Its a Radeon 9200 Series card. It a decent card, with 128 MB on board.

I cant beleive that there are "special" adapters based on the graphics card. I was under the impression that XGA out was simply XGA out. When you buy a monitor, you dont have to look for one that is compatible for instance. (Other of course than what resolutions it can support).

I guess a passthrough is out of the question too from what I have seen. I did see one in my searches, but it was in the $300 range! I guess my best bet would be to put another el'cheapo PCI card in for use with JUST the desktop stuff, and pump the rest to the TV.

Hmmmm this raises yet more problems, how do you tell what to go where then?

The card I have does have a DVI AND a vga out. But I have had NO luck getting the DVI cable that I bought to work when I connect it to my TV. It is a DVD -to- DVI cable. All I get is a black screen on the TV when I try to use it. I have rebooted the computer so it knows to look for the DVI port on the card ect. I spent quite a few hours trying to get this to work at one point. So I was just looking to go from the VGA into the TV's Component, as that would get rid of all the DVI issues all together.

I have read, and read, and read up on DVI -to- HDTV connections on many boards, and the more I read the more I got confused :) There is so much contridictory information from one site to another!
If your 9200 has the DVI port (which you say it does), then I can't see why this wouldn't work. I got mine from NewEgg, I would suggest you do the same, since they have a great return policy.
I started out with a transcoder to convert VGA -> Component from my Radeon 9000, which was a huge hassle. I picked up a DVI cable and was able to go straight from the video card to the TV without too much trouble.

I'm not sure what a DVD-DVI cable is though. You should get a DVI-D -> DVI-D cable (like what's listed here) and give it another try if that's not what you already have.

Also, if you're running Powerstrip and haven't updated to the newest Radeon drivers you should look at updating your drivers. ATI added HDTV resolutions to the the available resolutions and I was able to get rid of Powerstrip entirely. That made me so happy :)
I am not using powerstrip, and honestly do not know what it is, will look into it after this post. Looks like a fun one to google for! (I am sure I will get all sorts of electrical hardware)

That "DVD - DVI" was a typo :) I meant to say that I have a standard DVI - DVI cable. Plugs dirrectly into the gfx card, and then into the television.

"I can't see why this wouldn't work. I got mine from NewEgg"

This? The link you posted above has 6 different adapters mentioned. I guess if my card is not specifically listed, that it's just a gamble and try any of them?
Ok, I have tried to hook the DVI cable up again. It is connected to the DVI port on the card and goes to the TV (DVI in AV #5). I have put the TV on AV5 and just have a black screen. I went through every single resolution available from 640 up to 1920 x ? and still have nothing but a black display. I was expecting some lines, distortion something... but nothing at all.

From the graphic below you can see that the ATI 9200 appears to be seeing that a HDTV is hooked up, and from the settings, they look correct to me. But still a black screen. I am totally stumped here.

(Sorry for the large pic, but I wanted them to be clearly readable.)

This picture shows that it is reading SOMETHING from the TV, as it has the upper limits listed of what the TV can handle. One weird note is that up top it says HDTV, and below it lists the Airpanel (The monitor I have hooked to the VGA out on the card)


This pic shows how they are both listed in the ATI control panel.
if you have a DVI port on your TV, forget the ATI adapter, the straight DVI should work fine. One thing I noticed with my adapter is that the DVI port and the regular VGA port can not be used at the same time. I had to disconnect my VGA monitor, connect my DVI cable, and boot up that way, and then I could use my TV. I would give that a shot if you are bored (make sure you got Remote Desktop/VNC installed in case you don't get a signal right away.
Got a silly question, but just to cover our bases it should be asked.

Since you're running different resolutions for your two monitors I'm guessing you're running in extended desktop mode.

Is your background color black and if so can you change it to a different color? I only ask because if you're indeed running in extended desktop mode it could be that your TV is displaying fine but there's nothing to display but the black background color.

Also you should be able to run the DVI and the VGA at the same time from bootup without the dongle. You should get the bios and windows bootup screens on both until windows loads the video settings.
I will give disconnecting the monitor a try and boot up and see what happens. If that fixes it. Will kinda suck to not have the Airpanel hooked up when it is docked.

As for the black screen hehehe I tried that. I opened a folder and made it REALLY wide by stretching and dragging, stretching and dragging and then movint way over to the left so it could be visable on the TV if it was showing a picture.
Good (or bummer) to hear it wasn't something as simple as the background color.

I'm at a loss at this point. Unless there's a problem with the cable it seems like it should be working.

If the unplugging/plugging back in doesn't work, do you have another video card you could try? Maybe it's a problem with the DVI port or maybe even the cable itself.
Ureka! I am getting there. Electoron, I missed when you said that the DVI and VGA will not work at the same time. Restating it in your previous post, I gave that a try and sucess! (Well partially :) (Using the DVI out on the card with a 6' cable to the DVI in on the television).

The TV now shows an onscreen overlay saying 1080i in the lower left when windows graphic drivers kick in for a few seconds. (during boot up it displays 720p through the dos resolutions). The screen comes up edge to edge, with the full desktop, top menu bar and task bar visable, so far so good.

Now the dissapointing part, the screen flickers from what looks like a bad case of interlacing. Not on and off, but real fast just to give everything a bad and unusable screen, unless you want a doozy of a head ache! The best way I can describe it, is its like when a flourecent light is going bad.

I mucked around with the settings and can't seem to tell what is causing it. What is the native resolution for native 1080i? Also the refresh rate pulldown only has one option 60Hz, is this correct?

It's getting there, now just a bit of tweaking.
I am running 1776x1000 @ 30Hz, but it took me a while before I got that to work correctly. If you go to Displays, does it show your TV as the current video output?