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  1. #1
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    Build Q about audio and multi-monitor set ups

    Howdy y'all.

    The last time I built a PC bluray wasn't on the scene so life was a little less complicated, and googling only seems to find articles that are 2 years old...

    Now first off, HDMI over DVI... to date all the HDMI setups I've seen on PC have used large televisions rather than monitors and the picture looks awful on anything that isn't a film... text and games have either a slight or annoying fuzzyness.

    Is this the HDMI connection or the screen?

    I ask because I have a 24" monitor that has DVI and VGA ports and at 1900x1200 there's not the slightest hint of fuzzy text, but three friends with TVs that cost three or four times what I payed for that screen have fuzzy text.

    My thoughts were just to use DVI connections and avoid having to think about this - but then I started to wonder about sound.

    The machine I'm building will be a gaming and movie machine so I want proper Dolby TrueHD sound...

    Motherboard I looked at says it's got built in sound - (the Rampage IV GENE has the X-FI 2) but no-where does it mention TrueHD audio, so I don't know if it has TrueHD support - or indeed the best way to get that HD sound to a proper set of speakers. (and as I see it, it only has 4 connectors for speaker so doesn't have the 6 or 8 connectors required for 5.1 or 7.1, and TOSLINK can't do TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio either)

    So I thought then - the Asus Xonar HD thingy does proper HD audio, but from the look of things it will require the use of HDMI...

    So, with that pre-amble over.

    Does HDMI provide proper quality video imaging? Or do I need to think about DVI?

    Is the Asus Xonar the only proper HD soundcard out there? how do peoples rate it?

    Were I to need to use DVI how should I go about getting the Audio experience I'm wanting?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    HDMI and DVI are digital signals and therefore perfect. The quality of the image is based on the quality of the source and how it is rendered at output. The only situation where the connection may be at fault is when there is no signal or artifacts like freezing or the image breaking up. These are signs of a bad connection.
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  3. #3
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    Now that's what I had thought... but all the screens I've seen connected to HDMI are all crappy and fuzzy...

    Not only that but on one machine in spite of it pumping out a 1080p signal and being on a 1080p screen the image wouldn't fill the screen, and text looked like it was out of focus (tried with two screen one 23" and one 40").

    Is this just something that TVs do? ie some form of bizzare re-processing of image data or some such? Perhaps just a an appauling screen on the TV (though at the price he paid I'd hope not or he was very ripped off!)

    Ooh! Or perhaps a difference in aspect ratio between graphics card and screen? ie 16:9 instead of 16:10? Might that cause the fuzziness?

    I'm far too partictular to put up with that sort of crap unlike my friend who seems quite happy with his set up (though every time myself and my IT engineer buddy go visit him we're always wondering how he can use a fuzzy screen as a PC even for word processing and internet use)...

    Also I should point out I don't mean artifacting, it's not localised or whatever, but every square inch of the screen is slightly fuzzy where-ever text is displayed - like analogue televisions were with consoles back in the day... changing resolution improved things a bit, but left sections of the screen unused ...

    I only have experience of the monitor I've got (which is crisp and clean for text) and the TVs friends use so want to avoid whatever it is that has caused him to "put up with" poor quality.
    Last edited by Myranda; 02-16-2012 at 07:51 PM. Reason: type the image verification stuff in the title

  4. #4
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    Depending on the TV they have varying native resolutions(meaning the actual number of pixels). Despite being marketed as a 1080p capable set that does not mean that it has 1920x1080 square pixels. Some TVs have fewer pixels in one direction and they are actually rectangular pixels. The hardware inside of the set does some stretching on the image before sending it out and the final displayed result looks like a perfectly proportioned image but it would be blurry for text.

    In order to get the best picture possible you would need to find out what the native resolution actually is and have the PC output that resolution, color depth, and refresh rate. This causes the minimum amount of processing to be done on the image before being displayed. You'd also need to make sure that the TV isn't in any fit/stretch/zoom mode. But bear in mind that if you are looking at a 40" screen, it is going to be nearly 4X the real estate of most desktop monitors but have the same number of pixels. It's going to be blown up and so there may be some post-processing that is done to make the image look better (ie blurring).

    Graphics cards have no inherent aspect ratio so your question about 16:9 vs 16:10 isn't relevant. If you have a 16:10 display then you just choose a resolution that has a 16:10 aspect ratio and likewise for 16:9. Now, if the PC was set to a resolution that was a different aspect ratio than the TV it might cause black bars but that is totally fixable.
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  5. #5
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    Now that's making much more sense...

    I had wondered - after all I'd been on the side of sense with the debate about HDMI cables that cost stupid money versus a perfectly servicable one at £10 ... and then I get to see an HDMI setup on a PC and I'm left baffled and confuddled.

    So as long as I'm aware of the native resolution, refresh rate and colour depth of the screen I want to buy HDMI should be perfectly acceptable.

    Then it just comes to where to send the audio.

    I'm not exactly a cork-sniffing-snake-oil-buying-audiophiles who thinks that the material a volume knob or a £10,000 power cable makes a difference... but equally I can tell the difference between a cheap-and-nasty audio setup and a reasonable one so I want to make a 7.1 surround sound set up of nice quality.

    Is the xonar the only option for this? or is there something else?

  6. #6
    TeamROG Moderator Array xeromist PC Specs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myranda View Post
    Is the xonar the only option for this? or is there something else?
    I'm not really the right person to answer this since I've used integrated for my last 5 computers. Hopefully someone else can help you there.
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