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HDMI-Enabled Graphics Cards Debut

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-way-things-can-go-wrong-here dept.

Graphics 235

TrackinYeti writes "HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface), is the first industry supported digital-only interface, that requires a single cable to connect an output source to an HD-ready device, such as a television or monitor and deliver HD video, plus multi-channel digital audio, like Dolby Digital and DTS. Recently, Asus Computer released versions of their GeForce 7600 and Radeon X1600 cards with HDMI outputs on them, driven by an on-board Sil1930 controller. These are some of the first graphics cards to hit the market that can output HDMI natively with an integrated HDCP cipher engine and support HD-audio as well. Just the thing for that HTPC?"

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235 comments

oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (4, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330527)

Wait, I still use a VGA monitor, with a higher dot pitch than most any HD TV ...

I guess this is good for folks who build home theatres out of their computers, but then why do they need a 3D accelerator to show TV or videos?

Tom

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (4, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330547)

I'm building a dedicated home theater in my basement. When it's done I'd like to be able to play a videogame (shooter or driving game) in the dedicated room. VGA cables lose signal strength over distances and cause ghosting.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (0, Redundant)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330601)

If you want to play video games on your TV, get a console. I can't imagine using a remote mouse/keyboard to play an FPS on a TV, especially if you have an SO or friends over. How boring.

Get a Wii :-)

Tom

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331119)

I can't imagine using a remote mouse/keyboard to play an FPS on a TV, especially if you have an SO or friends over. How boring.

Xbox 360 Controller for Windows [joystiq.com]

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331413)

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (0, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331517)

I'm not saying you can't do it (hint: I did it at one point).

I'm saying it's not fun for anyone else around. And if you plan on having friends or a SO in your life at anypoint, count this idea out as a long term plan.

Tom

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (2, Insightful)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330863)

Buy better cables. Seriously. We've run high res stereo graphics over long runs of high quality cabling (BNC connectors, 3 core (sync-on-green) nearly an inch across with all the shielding and damn heavy) and the losses aren't visible. DVI is only 15ft with standard spec cabling (although you can beat that) but HDMI should go further. Time will tell.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331013)

Funny I run them 100+ feet all the time. I even use Cat-5 cable and dont get ghosting or smearing. Maybe if you bought the right equipment for extending the signal you would not have problems.

My longest run was 350 feet without any problems, but that was on a smallish screen, only 13 feet across.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (2, Informative)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331501)

Have you considered VGA over Cat-5 [svideo.com] ?

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (1)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331581)

I have a front projector setup in my home theater room, driven by a HTPC. I've been using a 30 foot VGA cable for years. Recently I got a new 720p projector with both VGA and HDMI inputs, so after a while I bought a 30 foot DVI->HDMI cable (video card has the typical 1 VGA and 1 DVI output) and switched to that. I honestly could not tell any difference in the image quality.


I didn't spend big bucks on cables either...both cables were in the $30-$50 range. The image looks great in both cases.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (2, Interesting)

Ajaxamander (646536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332209)

What hardware do you have in your HTPC, and what OS are you using? I'm using Knoppmyth (Debian) with a GeForce3, and when I run the GeForce's DVI through a DVI->HDMI cable, (or in any way convert it to HDMI) I get this nasty red digital snow. I've tried a few different arrangements (short of spending $$$ to try other HDMI hardware,) but I can't seem to get it to go away. I assume your setup is working without issue.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (2, Informative)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332461)

My HTPC is a Shuttle XPC running plain ol' Windows XP with a GeForce 6600GT video card, connected to an Optoma HD70 front projector, and yes it is working without issue. I've never seen nor heard of the red snow problem you are describing...perhaps a quick search at avsforum.com in the HTPC forum, or even a post, would help? There are a lot of very knowledgeable people in that forum.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (2, Informative)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331711)

Then use high-quality cables. (Yes, Monster Cables are pretty much BS, but there is such thing as high-quality VGA cables that look good over "long" runs--and believe me, your basement isn't that long. Ask anyone who does trade shows--25' to 50' is no problem at all.) Or, put your computer close to your display.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330777)

Because you can use pixel shaders to do effects like gamma, deinterlacing, etc.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330791)

That's another wonderfully trollerific post, Tom. Yet again you've come out with the "If I don't have a use for it, nobody does" line. It never gets old.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330803)

PC monitors do have significantly higher resolution than TV, but to play encoded HD DVD or Blu-ray disk content (which virtually no disks use yet, but likely will soon) you need HDCP support.

Monitors of higher resolution with HDMI built in are just around the corner. In the meantime, the manufacturer clearly understood the limitation and has released the connector on 2 of the lower end cards designed for video playback and encoding, not on their top end graphics cards.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330833)

I suppose, but as others pointed out, this card isn't passively cooled. That seems like an oversight.

Anyways, I'm not entirely sold on the need to jump on the HD/BD bandwagon. They're still pressing DVDs. I'll wait till the last possible minute to upgrade [if I do at all]. Especially while they're still fighting over what resolutions to support... < 1080i == teh lame.

If my monitor can do 1280x1024 just fine, why can't a more expensive TV do 1080i or 1080p?

Tom

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331021)

I've yet to see an HDTV that doesn't do 1080i...

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331061)

If my monitor can do 1280x1024 just fine, why can't a more expensive TV do 1080i or 1080p?
1080p is 1080 lines, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This gives a resolution of 1920x1080. This is 60% more pixels than your monitor, and bigger in both dimensions.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331155)

There's no point in trying to educate tomstdenis on these things. He simply chooses not to learn. I've seen him pop up with the same tired arguments in several HDTV threads, yet despite people repeatedly correcting him, he keeps on spouting the same uninformed garbage. Honestly, he's not worth the trouble.

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331251)

HDCP is really no problem. It's a linear cipher [dataloss.nl] of all things!

Re:oh boy oh boy oh boy oh ... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330823)

why do they need a 3D accelerator to show TV or videos?

Vista's Aero GUI. GPU hardware acceleration for video processing. PC gaming on the 60 inch plasma or rear projection screen.

Great (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330529)

Now I get to spend $150 on a video cablr for my PC now... :)

Re:Great (1)

Nova1313 (630547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330697)

I know you are trolling a bit but try monoPrice.com for cheap hdmi cables. They work great too. I use to work at best buy and felt horrible selling people the hundred dollar 6 foot hdmi cables when I knew you could get them there for like 15 bucks.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330935)

Agreed! Monoprice is excellent. Their $7 cables compete or best cables where the sales tax alone exceeds $7.

For reference as to whether or not I'm a untrustworthy ninny, judge for yourself: my video setup includes an Optoma HD70 projecting onto a ~95" screen, and I'm driving it with 720p from an Xbox 360 or a MacBook (Mini DVI -> DVI -> HDMI), so video quality is moderately a concern, though I'm not pushing the envelope by any means.

As for my sound setup, well, ask me after I finish building my first tube amp from scratch later this week... first one's simple, but I'm planning another using John Broskie's aikido topology, with 5687s and maybe 6FQ7s. Mmm... a series of tubes.

So I'm not super-high end, but I'm hardly a "give Best Buy my credit card and hope for the best" customer, either.

Re:Great (1)

Biff98 (633281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330785)

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain

There's nothing in an HDMI cable that makes it magically more complicated than any quasi-shielded A/V cable. You can buy them for about $6 on many websites (including the one I had a good customer service experience with at monoprice.com)

You can also buy an adapter to convert your PC's DVI (video only) out into HDMI for $5

Re:Great (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331223)

It was a joke, what a dork. I bought 3 of them at big lots the other day for $6 each.. Most people pay ~$100 for them at Best Buy or otherwise.

hmm (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330537)

I hope that cipher doesn't slow down games on the big screen.

Just means more DRM controlled hardware.. (3, Interesting)

mulvane (692631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330541)

Great, now I can watch all the legal stuff I have valid licenses for. What about my HD rips I make from my legally owned collection for viewing among any of the tv's in my house and for safe archiving of original content?

Technical solution to social problem (1)

La Gris (531858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330639)

It realy is a technical solution to a social problem.

Technocal solution:
Provide HDMI connectivity.

Social problem:
Can't watch all the legal stuff I have valid licenses for.

That's bad.

Exactly (5, Insightful)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330673)

I'm the proud owner of a toddler, and try as i might occasionally the little bugger will without doubt get her hands on a shiny disc, perhaps accidentally left in the DVD player overnight and she chewed on the remote i accidentally left on the sofa and nibbled the eject button. anyway, you can be careful but hey, i'm only human right.

Otherwise she might be ill and not feeling up to her usual daily routine of running around the park/garden/trashing-the-house generally so we stick on a bunch of disney/animal films and play them whilst she's chilling out on the sofa and she slyly grabs one whilst i pop the the kitchen to fetch some kiddy medicine.

wouldnt it be nice if i could play backups of my original copies, and not have to worry if that happens.

of course one day i'd like the ubiqutous server-under-the-stairs but in the mean time i'd rather not have to fork out another £20 quid because the only PHYSICAL COPY of the movie who's CONTENTS i purchased the RIGHTS TO WATCH got used as a teething ring.

Re:Exactly (1)

mulvane (692631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330797)

Its funny how I get modded flamebait and then a reply gets insightful for expounding on the same point I was making. Only problem is I already have the movie server that stores HD content without compression. I also own a sony 400 disc changer (the menu is slow as hell, and non HD) that really does help with archival of part of my my collection. 3 more players and some switch boxes and I guess I could 'legally' store all my NON-hd content safely.

Re:Exactly (2, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330837)

AnyDVD (for disney CP) + DVD Decryptor + Auto GK.

I store all my kids movies on a home server and stream them to an Xbox running XBMC(which can read from a simple SMB share).
I made this decision when I had a damaged "Beauty and the Beast" disk. I wrote disney to ask what the replacement cost would be if I turned in the damaged copy and they said "buy a new copy". They are not in stores anymore and I dare you to get in a bidding war on fleabay. So I netflixed it and ripped it. Never looked back. Ripped my entire collection of DVDs and moved them offsite to my parents house. Next up is those few VHS tapes I still have. We'll round it out with a couple Betamax tapes laying around (old home movies).
-nB

Re:Exactly (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331575)

AnyDVD (for disney CP) + DVD Decryptor + Auto GK.

That's not the point! The point is that we shouldn't have to break the law to use the media we legally purchased!

Re:Exactly (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331979)

I don't disagree at all with your statement.
I simply wanted to provide initial poster with a known working solution to backing up disney DVDs which I have found to be highly problematic in most copy situations.
AnyDVD seems to work well at the sector based protection that DVDdecryptor can't handle very well, while DVDdecryptor can rip all the wonderful stream information.
AutoGK makes nice reasonable sized files in Xvid or Divx format that XBMC can play flawlessly. It's an end-to-end solution that actually works without some of the asinine setup required for media center clients. My server is an old PIII 550MHz machine with half a gig of ram running SOL18. There is no way I could run WinMCE on this thing to use those retail thin clients, and keeping a P4 on full time seems like a waste. I have two TVs and a stereo, all three of which have an Xbox on them. XBMC allows control via port 80, thus for the stereo I just hop on any PC (including the server) http over to the xbox and start a playlist.
-nB

Re:Exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330845)

It would be nicer for you to parent your kid instead of expecting Disney to do it for you.

Yours is the same old tired attempt to come up with a viable reason (which is nonsense and you know it) to make copies.

Re:Exactly (1)

mulvane (692631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331049)

I think you are missing one big important point. Kids are humans, and human mistakes and accidents happen. Making backup copies is not about babying your kids. Its about secure source backup of originals. Then again, I guess in all the years, you have never had a disc tray scratch a CD or DVD, or just had one go bad due to old decaying, disc that lose there ability to store data. A kid is also far more susceptible to accidents, and if you had any kids, this is something you would know. They aren't perfect, and no amount of teaching in the world is gonna make them perfect.

Re:Exactly (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332427)

I think the AC above you doesn't have kids. Not that some folks don't pay any attention to them, but as the father of a 4 year old, you simply cannot hold their hand 24/7. Movies are a break for both parents and kids alike.

Re:Exactly (1)

mgiuca (1040724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331017)

This is true. I think a big problem is the distinction between physical media and rights to watch.

If you charge for physical media, and your kid wrecks it, then that's your problem (sorry). If you backed it up, then you solved your problem.

But these days, that isn't what's happening. They think they control your rights. They don't let you back up, because it "isn't within your rights". But it's still on a physical media, which can be wrecked by your kid. Since they're so adamant that you aren't buying media, but rights to view, then you should be able to demand from them replacement media.

In other words, if you buy the media, you get the disc and you're on your own, able to do anything you like with it. If you buy the rights to watch, it has to be a perpetual right as would be the rights to owning land.

Re:Exactly (1)

mulvane (692631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331159)

Very true. The MMPA and RIAA have made backups a very gray area for some. Its a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario when it comes to making your own backups, or archival method. If they want to play this method, they should give you an actual piece of paper that gives you rights to the content, and they could be as specific as HD, non-HD, mpeg*, or whatever, but they should be then legally required to replace damaged good. I'd find service fee and media charges fine, they should no where equal the original cost of license.

Re:Exactly (-1, Flamebait)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331315)

Oh, what a load of horseshit. This is the same tired excuse that gets trounced out as an excuse to make "backup" copies. Will someone please think of the children? My brother has three kids and none of them have ever chewed on their DVDs or remote controls. Perhaps you just suck as a parent. not to mention that on the internet you can make any claim you want (probably why this is such a popular excuse) and no one can verify your story. Given how stupid and gullible many geeks are when it comes to issues like this it's no wonder this excuse has taken off.

Re:Exactly (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331931)

Hey, that's not nice. Maybe his kids are just dumber than my cats? It might not be his parenting skills at all.

Seriously, though. Shit happens and kids aren't careful. Backups are a necessity in information situation, including movies and games. If the company you work for lost even $50 worth of anything, they'd not be real happy. Why should a family be any different?

Re:Exactly (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331397)

I'm the proud owner of a toddler, and try as i might occasionally the little bugger will without doubt get her hands on a shiny disc, perhaps accidentally left in the DVD player overnight and she chewed on the remote i accidentally left on the sofa and nibbled the eject button. anyway, you can be careful but hey, i'm only human right.

And back on topic, toddlers (cats, dogs, vacuum cleaners, etc) are incompatable with HDMI.

For the life of me, I don't know why this connection ever became a standard. For those that do not know, the HDMI plugs come out very easily. Also, for grapics cards (I did not read the article), I don't see the benefit of HDMI. DVI is electically the same, but it does add digital sound over the same cable, and AFAIK, DVI also supports DRM via HDCP and all that jazz as well to appease the people that care about this stuff.

Is there anyone who actually likes HDMI? Are there any benefits to using HDMI on computers over DVI? Personally, I much prefer DVI...

Re:Exactly (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331889)

And that fact that it carries sound is laughable too. WTF?!? Didn't we just spend 20 years being sold home theater gear and being told how the built-in speakers suck? And now the great leap forward is to use a shitty integrated cable like Apple shipped on the 6100 and abandoned over a decade ago?!?!?

Re:Exactly (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332235)

And that fact that it carries sound is laughable too. WTF?!? Didn't we just spend 20 years being sold home theater gear and being told how the built-in speakers suck? And now the great leap forward is to use a shitty integrated cable like Apple shipped on the 6100 and abandoned over a decade ago?!?!?

I'm not familiar with the integraded Apple cable, but the HDMI cable with integrated sound is kinda cool. How this benefits a video card on a computer, is to be determined. But with HDMI and integrated video and sound you can eitehr plug the guy into the TV alone, or plug it into an AV receiver and there is only one cable. Compare that to say a Sony SACD/DVD player with component outputs where you are expected to plug in 6 analog connections for SACD playback, 1 video cable wich consists of 3 analog connections for component output, and a digital cable for audio, I welcome the simplicity. I just wish the connector was better designed.

Does 8800GTS has HDTV support? (1)

ubuwalker31 (1009137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330847)

From nvidia's HD urevideo [nvidia.com] :

Play HD DVD and Blu-ray movies on your PC with PureVideo HD technology.

Available on HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs, high-definition movies are bringing an exciting new video experience to PC users. NVIDIA® PureVideo(TM) HD technology lets you enjoy cinematic-quality HD DVD and Blu-ray movies with low CPU utilization and power consumption, allowing higher quality movie playback and picture clarity.

But wait, only these cards are supported: nvidia's list of cards [nzone.com]

But hrmmm...it seems that the 8800GTS has regular purevideo, so I can watch Blu-Ray, but not in HD, if the Image Constraint Token Advanced Access Copy System copy protection scheme is enabled on the HDCP graphics card through the DVI out. nvidia's faq [nzone.com]

IMHO, this is total bullshit. Did I get this right? Hopefully, there will be some sort of software hack, or small pci card that I can plug into my motherboard or usb port to actually watch hdtv and blu-ray, without buying a new video card...grrr.

Re:Just means more DRM controlled hardware.. (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332213)

What about my HD rips I make from my legally owned collection for viewing

What about them? They don't have DRM, so they'll display just fine. HDMI doesn't have to have HDCP.

it wasn't quite clear to me, though, how the audio works. Ideally you would like just to send out a digital audio signal via the HDMI or separate connector, and no sound card need be involved for video file playback. Having it go via the HDMI to a device that then feeds the audio out to a separate audio system is the most convenient, since then you only need one input source switch.

Hmm (4, Interesting)

26199 (577806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330549)

Whenever I read 'high definition' these days I think: great, another product that's broken by design.

Someone wake me up when they've passed that part...

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330943)

This is probably one of the dumbest things I've ever read. [Yes, I'm going against the Slashdot mantra.]

High Definition, HDMI and the DRM is not the devil - it's merely a mechanism that prevents movies from being copied. It doesn't stop you from watching the movies (in high or regular definition), it doesn't ask for money every time you want to play the media, and it works without any input from the user. A win-win for both consumers and content owners.

Now, before you cry about "backup copies" and such nonsense, think back 40 years ago. Did people bitch that they couldn't make backups of their vinyl albums? Did anyone complain that vinyl pressing equipment was out of reach to the general public? Audio casettes weren't much of an improvement, either, as the sound quality on them was abysmal.

15 years ago (give or take a couple), CD writers started appearing on the consumer market. You could buy a 1x CD writer for $600, pay $15 for a blank CD and hope to God that it didn't come out a coaster. The technology for "backup copies" was available, but it was still easier and cheaper to buy the original CD.

Now that technology is so cheap that you can store thousands of songs and hundreds of hours of video on a home computer, people like you come out of the woods and complain that the content providers don't allow you to make "backup copies".

If you really believed in your anti-DRM argument, you wouldn't allow the content providers to make money, and would boycott all their content, be it stolen, copied, bought, or rented.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world will live on, owning and playing DRM-encrusted media because it's invisible to 99% of the consumers.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331195)

Castration is not the devil - it's merely a mechanism that prevents procreation. It's win-win for user. He doesn't use it anyway. And it doesn't prevent him from watching High Definition! Talk about innovation!

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331605)

Hey most of us /. users have and use it... okay maybe not the latter, but that's beside the point.

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

greed (112493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332423)

High Definition, HDMI and the DRM is not the devil - it's merely a mechanism that prevents movies from being copied.

Tell that to my PS3, Harman/Kardon AV receiver and Panasonic Viera TV that get along like a house on fire when dealing with HDMI signals. As in, screaming, flashing, and a lot of smoke but not much worth watching. It's not just Westinghouse that has "blinking screen" issues. The audio drops out on my ExpressVu HD box over HDMI.

Both work flawlessly up to 1080i on component and optical digital; well, as far as I can tell, it's only a 720p native TV.

Frankly, I love the idea of a single-connector interconnect between devices. But the day I see copy protection technology that actually permits unencumbered playback while preventing copying I'll... I'll... I'll switch to Windows.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

tompatman (936656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332153)

I don't understand why this comment is moderated insightful. If you don't like the DRM thrown on top of HD content and choose not to use any of it because of that, that is your choice, but do you think they will invent a new DRM free standard when this standard has already caught on? It's here to stay and you will have to go out of your way to avoid it in another couple of years. From what I can tell, it's not broken by design since the cable/satellite companies are making plenty of $$ by delivering HD content and leasing HD/DVRs and the television manufactures are also making $$ selling HDTVs. From a business standpoint, what exactly is broken?

Why HD? (2, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330623)

I would rather the studios get cracking on some good content rather than having us watch the same, boring, stale content in OMG U CAN SEE THER POREZORS!1!!one! I get more entertainment value out of my free podcasts than out of my television. The content is stuff I actually care about, and while the production value isn't always the greatest it's almost always worth the price of bandwidth. And I can watch or listen to them at work.

And the worst part is that when the studios make good content, it's canceled or sunk very quickly. Most people have probably never heard of Idiocracy, but everyone I've heard who's seen it says it's awesome, but it only ran for one weekend in 8 theaters because some exec got scared because it made fun of all the idiots of the world. And then there's Firefly, and Dr. Who, and Torchwood, which got shown out of order and canceled, butchered unrecognizably to add commercials, and completely ignored respectively.

To put it another way: I don't see any reason I should upgrade to HD just so I can get the MPAA regulating what I watch or be able to see the blades of grass on the field where millionaires in tights jump on each other.

MPAA is not the only fruit (2, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330723)

Low budget filmmaking is no more expensive in HD than SD.
HD cameras and equipment are available to most filmmakers currently using SD.
HD Digital cinemas [broadway.org.uk] are not just exotic rarities.

Lots of material is currently being gathered in HD and dropped down, particularly sport.

An HDMI enabled video card is *exactly* what some have been waiting for. Now we can preview our work on a TV screen, which has a different colour space to computer monitors.

So, in summary, quit yer bitchin' cos you're talking out yer arse

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (3, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330821)

That's all well and good, but if the content is going to be bad, no amount of high definition will fix it.

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331055)

I don't see where you're getting the idea that if we stayed in SD for the next few years that content would suddenly get "better" according to your standards. The resolution they encode the movies in has nothing to do with whether the movie is good or not.

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331363)

I'm aware that whether it's SD or HD doesn't make it any better, but the content producers and the content distributors are marketing HD like it's going to make Gigli an Oscar-worthy production.

It's like a cult, really. They're saying that if only I spend thousands on an HD system, all the content they spew at me will be engrossing and entertaining.

exactly what some have been waiting for (2, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330883)

While others have been waiting for a format that wasn't crippled in the first place.

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

Criffer (842645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331133)

An HDMI enabled video card is *exactly* what some have been waiting for. Now we can preview our work on a TV screen, which has a different colour space to computer monitors.


Actually, no. If you really wanted digital video on a TV screen you'd be using HD-SDI (with embedded AES audio). You can get some nice cards from Bluefish [bluefish444.com] .

HDMI is a useless specification. It does nothing not already done by HD-SDI (and over co-ax, the cheapest possible cabling!), except for the Digital Compatibility Prevention.

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331963)

Actually, no. If you really wanted digital video on a TV screen you'd be using HD-SDI (with embedded AES audio). You can get some nice cards from Bluefish.

To be fair, 1080p over HD-SDI needs 2 coaxes.

Dirac Pro looked very interesting at IBC in September though (on sale at NAB2007), compression of 1080p over a single HDSDI link, but the compressed picture was still viewable on a HD monitor -- the 2MSBs were kept, which meant you could monitor the signal path easilly.

I'm eagerly waiting for 1080i/720p over SDI, which would be an outstanding way to cheaply upgrade our infrastructure to HD before the major refresh in 5 years.

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331795)

> An HDMI enabled video card is *exactly* what some have been waiting for.
> Now we can preview our work on a TV screen, which has a different colour
> space to computer monitors

Wouldn't a DVI to HDMI converter [google.com] work?

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332009)

No, actually it won't. That is, it won't transmit both audio and video across the HDMI cable. The audio is not just a few extra pins, but is interleaved with the data. I was hoping for a DVI/RL->HDMI dongle about a year ago and after reading the spec realized that such a beast doesn't really exist (or could exist without fairly extensive (& expensive) processing.

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332167)

JVC recently brought out what they claim is the first consumer-level camcorder that does full HD. It's ~$1700 MSRP. Not bad for 3CCD and a 60GB hard disk.

Re:MPAA is not the only fruit (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332495)

The only advantage the HDMI port has over DVI is the ability to implement HDCP. This isn't to say all HDMI ports implement HDCP, but they have the ability.

HDMI and DVI speak the same protocol, TMDS [wikipedia.org] . My roommate has a nice graphics card with a DVI port, I spent $10 online for a DVI -> HDMI connector and have the same exact 1920x1080(p) digital image quality. So the ability to preview images on a real HDTV has been around for a couple of years now. The only thing lacking is HDCP support, for if and when studios decide to use the Image Constraint Token [wikipedia.org] .

Market (1)

dunc78 (583090) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330775)

What you would rather do is fine and is your opinion, but companies are out to make money, and more people would like to watch millionaires on grass, ice, dirt, or wood hop on each other. Still others like to watch soon to be millionaires on grass or hardwood (not so much dirt or ice) hop on each other.

Re:Why HD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330817)

And then there's Firefly, and Dr. Who, and Torchwood, which got shown out of order and canceled, butchered unrecognizably to add commercials, and completely ignored respectively.
Agreed, not on the BBC and rightly so respectively... Someone working on Torchwood has (had? Has it been cancelled?) a serious obsession with homo-erotic scenes... It wouldn't have been such a bad thing if it hadn't meant that half of the plot was geared towards being conducive to nonsensical same sex encounters at the cost of, well, being actually good...

Of course if they canned Torchwood only to replace it with Primeval then someone down at the BBC needs to be shot...

Re:Why HD? (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331803)

Someone working on Torchwood has (had? Has it been cancelled?) a serious obsession with homo-erotic scenes... It wouldn't have been such a bad thing if it hadn't meant that half of the plot was geared towards being conducive to nonsensical same sex encounters at the cost of, well, being actually good...

Torchwood returns next January, I agree it wasn't the greatest, too much "We are Welsh" for my liking. Makes a change from "London is the only place in the universe" of Dr Who though.

Dr Who returns in a couple of weeks.

Of course if they canned Torchwood only to replace it with Primeval then someone down at the BBC needs to be shot...

Probably the lawyers for allowing the BBC to broadcast an ITV program

Re: Your Inquiry (3, Funny)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330889)

And the worst part is that when the studios make good content, it's canceled or sunk very quickly. Most people have probably never heard of Idiocracy, but everyone I've heard who's seen it says it's awesome, but it only ran for one weekend in 8 theaters because some exec got scared because it made fun of all the idiots of the world. And then there's Firefly, and Dr. Who, and Torchwood, which got shown out of order and canceled, butchered unrecognizably to add commercials, and completely ignored respectively.

Dear Consumer,

We appreciate you voicing your concerns on this pressing matter and are glad that you choose us for your entertainment purposes. It's people like you that make mass media what it is and we thank you. Unfortunately, many of the shows and movies you listed were not watched by a lot of people so we had to cancel them. The problem is that we need one billion dollars in ad revenue instead of the mere millions that a company would receive by airing quality entertainment and not pandering to ratings. (I mean, who, these days, can afford to run a company on the millions?). You mentioned an interest in the movie and/or television program "Idiocracy," I'm glad to inform you that on the violence channel, one of our best hits "Ow! My Balls" is entering it's 25th season with no end in sight. Perhaps if you enjoyed some of our other quality entertainment, you will find this enticing.

P.S. Don't you dare use other internet media outlets for your entertainment purposes or we will consider you a pirate and sue you for living. And if you don't buy/see our movies we will consider this profit loss due to the aforementioned piracy.

Yours Truly,

The Mass Media Overlords

Re:Why HD? (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330931)

"And the worst part is that when the studios make good content I like, it's canceled or sunk very quickly."

There, fixed that for you. Or did you honestly think you are so important that your opinion of a very subjectve medium is the only one that matters?

Re:Why HD? (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331117)

It's more than just my opinion. The vast majority of content these days is geared towards the lowest common denominator and the lowest cost. Rather than taking risks and respecting their audience, they've decided that we're all morons and that we'll take what they're feeding us. There are a few shows and movies that do make it through, but they're few and very far between.

This is why I've gone to other, possibly illegal, ways of getting content that appeals to me. And I know I'm not the only one.

Re:Why HD? (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331967)

If it's not just your opinion then you have actual facts top back up your claims then? *taps foot, patiently waiting* That's what I thought. Another slashbot talking straight out of their ass. Just admit that you want shit for free and you want the developers of the shows you like to "be cool" with this and you'll "like them and stuff" or some such bullshit.

Re:Why HD? (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332253)

I'm perfectly willing and able to pay for content. If I were able to get Dr. Who legally in the US in its original form in a short time frame, I'd gladly pay for it. There's really no reason for me not to be able to, other than antiquated distribution rights. I'm sure the BBC would love to be able to sell these things directly to me as they're produced.

As for actual facts, they're blatantly visible. The huge glut of reality TV shows, the masses of idiotic sitcoms, the shows about aliens and Nostradamus that pass for documentaries on the History Channel. If you can't see this happening then you're beyond hope.

Re:Why HD? (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332057)

they've decided that we're all morons and that we'll take what they're feeding us.

Not that I disagree with your point or anything, but its not their decision, it's their (arguably accurate) observation and most profitable means of continuing their business.

Why spend millions an episode for some high end well written scifi that 5% of the market will love and 95% won't like when you can spend a few hundred thousand at best a season on some reality tv show that 60-70% of the market will watch?*

It's just not cost effective to make what you or I consider "good tv". The cheapest they can make something that will get people to watch their advertisements is what they go for.

*Numbers Pulled Out Of My Ass.

Re:Why HD? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331079)

Video gaming goes through similar stages. Whenever the "next big thing" in graphic capabilities comes out there's a slew of games that use that new tech but have little or no content to speak of. Then the flash of the tech wears off and games with real foundation to them come out. The same with happen with HD, it's just that the flash wears off more quickly for certain people (the type of people who would visit slashdot for instance), so we're left hanging for a while.

Re:Why HD? (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331221)

One thing that's encouraging for me is that the barrier to entry is being consistently lowered. Spielberg and Lucas started out on 8mm cameras making low-budget films with their friends. The big name directors of the future are on the Internet right now, making low-budget films with their friends, but they've got the technology to do very professional-looking work. And because of the Internet, a lot of people can see their work.

Things like Galacticast or Star Wreck or the fan-produced Star Trek: New Voyages are incubators for future blockbuster writers and directors, and they're actually really great content.

Re:Why HD? (1)

Spacezilla (972723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331949)

Idiocracy is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, from start to finish, and the scary part is that at least part of it is true. I don't think it's really a very main-stream movie though, often the movies I like aren't, and my friends all think it's lame, so that might explain why it hasn't done so well in the box office. :)

Re:Why HD? (1)

lstellar (1047264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332119)

Not to troll, but I heard a lot of hype about Idiocracy, and while the idea is creative, the acting and script is downright unbearable.

1/5 stars.

Is this anything but a sales gimmick? (2, Interesting)

troels (56872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330631)

Is this anything but a sales gimmick really? I mean, you can already get cards with DVI and HDCP which means you just need a DVI to HDMI cable to connect it to a TV anyway. So now they hope to sell more of these because people who have bought a HDTV might already know the HDMI name and think they need that? Well, i guess the one benefit i can see is that you can save the audio cable, but personally i don't want the audio to go to the TV anyway.

Buying one (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18330647)

is a fool's errand. The defectivebydesign groups think you're a ravenous consumer-zombie frothing at the mouth for the mere chance to part with cash for a product you know full well restricts your freedom. In fact, they're betting on your television addiction to be so out-of-balance with life that you'll literally imprison yourself in their DRM schemes.

I would remind those of you who do not live solely for the chance to see P. Diddy in high definition to vote with your wallets.

Slow adoption sends the message we do not want defective products.

not here, thanks (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331045)

I have plenty of excellent AV equipment with RCA jacks.

I do not want pigopolists to force me to replace it all when I must go HDTV.

screw 'em in the market, so they understand it.

Bad Marketing (2, Insightful)

BennyB2k4 (799512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330667)

Why aren't these cards passively cooled? They're a generation old anyways. If they're marketing it for HTPC, then they missed a big selling feature.

As Richard Stalmann predicted (warned) (4, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330781)

Yet another step towards "trusted" (treacherous) computing [gnu.org] . A small part of the article:

Who should your computer take its orders from? Most people think their computers should obey them, not obey someone else. With a plan they call "trusted computing", large media corporations (including the movie companies and record companies), together with computer companies such as Microsoft and Intel, are planning to make your computer obey them instead of you. (...)

Proprietary software means, fundamentally, that you don't control what it does;(...) It's not surprising that clever businessmen find ways to use their control to put you at a disadvantage.(...) These malicious features are often secret, but even once you know about them it is hard to remove them, since you don't have the source code.

In the past, these were isolated incidents. "Trusted computing" would make it pervasive. "Treacherous computing" is a more appropriate name, because the plan is designed to make sure your computer will systematically disobey you. In fact, it is designed to stop your computer from functioning as a general-purpose computer. Every operation may require explicit permission.

The technical idea underlying treacherous computing is that the computer includes a digital encryption and signature device, and the keys are kept secret from you. Proprietary programs will use this device to control which other programs you can run, which documents or data you can access, and what programs you can pass them to. These programs will continually download new authorization rules through the Internet, and impose those rules automatically on your work. If you don't allow your computer to obtain the new rules periodically from the Internet, some capabilities will automatically cease to function.


Read the rest in the above linked article. It is an interesting reading, even for the ones familiar with it, as we march slowly and steady to the worst case scenario predicted there.

What's the deal? (5, Insightful)

iolaus (704845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330885)

Man, Looks like all the posts so far are gripes! I for one am really excited about this. I've been waiting for a next-gen video card I can use in my HTPC. Not only will the 7600GT based card be able to handle decoding HD video (see articles regarding new Blu-Ray/HD-DVD backup ability) but it will also be able to transmit 8 channels of full quality digital sound. And all this with only one cable to go from my PC to my receiver. Finally, this opens up the possibility of using Vista's new digital room correction capabilities without having to do a digital-to-analog conversion on the PC just to get the processed sound to your receiver. All good things in my book.

Huh? They have been out for a while now. (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330955)

I have been using el-cheapo Geforce 7600 cards with HDMI on them for making HTPC boxes for 5-6 months now. the cheap MSI card is our current favorite.

Why does the article and summary act like they just hit the market?

They really are only useful for HTPC's connected to HD tv sets.

Re:Huh? They have been out for a while now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331405)

HMDI has been out but HDCP on a video card is new...
Some early speculations were hinting that these types of cards would not be available to the general public but only thru OEM's. Now we just a tuner with CableCard2 for the ultimate HTPC....well and a cable company to support CableCard2 :D

Horray!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331003)

Finally I can watch the 20Gig HD movies I've downloaded :-)

Reviewers missed the boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331083)

If you are going to review new video cards, specifically because they are the first to come with HDMI outputs, test the HDMI output! Where are the action shots of these hooked to a 70 inch LCD or plasma? Get with it HotHardware, you know Anand would have given a full review.

DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331085)

I hate DRM!
I hate HDCP content-protection DRM junk!

Your acronyms are hurting me..... (1)

Cinnamon Whirl (979637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331101)

Does that mean I am "getting too old for this shit?"

Re:Your acronyms are hurting me..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331167)

No, but it might mean you're not young enough to be fooled by that shit.

Another junk review (5, Insightful)

cf18 (943501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331135)

Sigh... All the new features, untested. Do the audio passthrough work? Any audio lag? Do this whole HDCP bullshit actually works and let you play your HD-DVD through PC to your HDMI+HDCP TV? Can it scale anything to 1080P properly?

Instead they go through another boring loop of 3D benchmarks. I hate these two-bit hardware sites that only knows how to overclock and run benchmarks.

Re:Another junk review (1)

BloodyIron (939359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331507)

second that.

Re:Another junk review (1)

scottnews (237707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331951)

No kidding. The whole purpose of this card is for home theater. Not one home theater related test.

I'd trade it for a PCI-based CableCard reader (2, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331257)

This card might be great if you never watch Plain Old Cable Television. But who bothers with a HTPC that can't record TV as well?

We're still waiting for CableLabs to stop fellating the movie industry and license someone to make a PCI-based CableCard reader. I mean, I'd subscribe to digital cable service today, if I could tune it and record it on my PVR PC without needing to tape an IR emitter to the front of a set-top tuner.

Their loss, I suppose.

Re:I'd trade it for a PCI-based CableCard reader (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332335)

Unfortunately not going to ever happen in a billion years. Feel free to blame MS on this one as they could have and should have made this happen.

This is worse than DVI+HDCP (2, Interesting)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331285)

I would much rather have a DVI connectors on my graphics card than HDMI.

HDMI = single data link with HDCP
DVI = single data link with HDCP + dual data link for very hi res screens + Analogue

With the use of DVI to VGA adaptors and DVI to HDMI cables you get the most flexibility.
My Nvidia 7950GT card has DVI and HDCP for quite a while. A $10 cable gives me HDMI output...

DVI - digital only too and previous to HDMI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18331447)

Well I though HDMI was a mere rewrite of DVI and that DVI was already "digital-only". Am I wrong?

Also I thought Component cable was Digital only too and I think it was even previous to DVI. I may understand the change from component to DVI but the DVI->HDMI move.. Someone enlighten me please. Appreciated.

Little bit of DRM advice... (4, Insightful)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18331731)

If you really care about stopping DRM, then DO NOT BUY THESE CARDS! HDCP is DRM at its worst and will not let you show certain content on non-HDCP enable devices. So, if you really do care about DRM and stopping it, and all, then DO NOT BUY THESE CARDS! Show them that we, the customer, do not want DRM.
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