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Old 07-23-2003, 07:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Nowhere
Options For TV-out

I recently bought some DDR pads, hooked them up to my computer, and have had a blast. However, I seem to have gotten a lot of my friends addicted in the process. I really like that they enjoy playing and don't want to deprive them (I enjoy having people over to the apartment), but it has led to a dilemma. It's left me unable to use my computer at times.

I've been pondering picking up a laptop with some sort of video out so that they could play on the tv in the living room. This Dell is the closest thing that I could find to what I want, but I was wondering if you guys think it's reasonably priced or if you'd have any other suggestions.

As a side question, have you guys ever heard of a USB device called ETV?

A newbie thanks you for your help.
DrJekyll is offline  
Old 07-23-2003, 08:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia
If image quality is a must for you, I doubt a simple Video out on a laptop would suffice. Many comps have far too much interfearence for a composite video signel to look good, thats why all high end capturecards have the outputs on a breakout box with a filter on it. What you would most likely see is a few brighter lines go up the screen of the TV every few seconds. Most people dont mind it and I myself can live with it, but I have seen some people who couldn't stand it. I have seen the USB Video out things, but I have never seen there performance.
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Nowhere
Hmm...how much would much would a filtered output on a breakout box cost? And what would the technical name be for something like that?

One additional question...that laptop that I'm looking at has a DVD option. Would I be able to out DVD's from the laptop to the tv? I remember having to use a special breakout box to get around the protection to do that before. Would it be likely I need one in this case too? Or would the S-Video out suffice?
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
JStrider's Avatar
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Vanquish: most newer vid cards ive seen just have a wire that comes out which has composit and svideo connectors...

~Clatto Verata Nicto
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
Location: North Hollywood
get a psone it'll be cheaper probably and work better
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
Location: Nowhere
Charlie, but then I'd have to track down all the PS games, and I wouldn't be able to play custom songs. =)
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
Squid hat!
meanSpleen's Avatar
Location: A Few Miles Away From Halx
Actually, if it is just for the TV, just buy a bargain PC tower. It will be cheaper than a laptop, and probably faster.

Just hook it up, and pretend that it is a media box. Make it a file server if you want to, so you can store all your mp3s on there and blast them through your stereo equipment.

As for DDR, its really hard to get a decent graphics card in a laptop. They tend to get really hot, and the fans have to work overtime to cool everything down.
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia
JStrider : I understand that they have a small wire, but all that is for is to save space on the card itself, it really does nothing to stop the static from comming through. The capture card I use has about a 1.5" round cable comming from the comp using a port much like a printerport. the wire is completely shielded and uses a Filter to stop most cross contamination. Every soo often I still get some issues but there totally unnoticable to someone who is not looking for them.

As I have said using a normal vid card is fine for the majority of people, the only reason I mentioned that is because there are some image quality gurus that want there Video output to look like some HD Movie, witch it wont for a good while yet.

Anyway I would suggest only looking at the high end breakout boxes if you wanted to also get into Digital Video. You could take a look at some of the cheaper products made by Dazzle or some other consumer manufacture. Also the AIWs do have a better quality output then any other consumer video card I have seen. If you were to do something I would suggest what meanSpleen
suggested. You should be able to get more bang for your buck if you went the rout of a small form factor case such as a shuttle and picked up a AIW 9700 PRO or some other card. That would allow you to play most games now quite deciently as long as you got a 2.0ghz+ CPU and as he said it would make a wicked stereo if you had a hometheatre system. The AIWs also come with a remote witch would allow you to do everything from the comfort of your couch/chair

About the DVD, as long as you dont try and record the DVD you should be fine. I have had my system hooked to my TV for quite some time now and it works fine for any DVD I have used. However if I was ever to go and try and record the DVD, even one I made myself (A wedding that I didn't want to have to re-record everything) Still caused issues when trying to record on my VCR.

One more tip, whatever you do get a wireless keyboard / mouse, nothing pisses me off more then having to get up and fix something on my comp. (yeah I am lazy as hell)
Vanquish is offline  
Old 07-24-2003, 12:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
Location: Nowhere
Ya know, that's a pretty good suggestion actually. I guess I need to think if I really need the functionality and mobility of a laptop, cause the alternative definitely would be cheaper.

So what's this shuttle case? And, how much worse is the AIW 9000 Pro than the 9700?

Last edited by DrJekyll; 07-24-2003 at 12:55 AM..
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
to play DDR?
the 9000 will be fine
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
diergray's Avatar
Instead of a laptop I would buy a low end projector. You can probably get one used for the same price and then you will have a big clear picture!
"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. ~ James Bryant Conant
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
Location: Nowhere
Yeah, but even with a projector, I still need another computer.

Arrow, you're likely right. Guess I was just wondering how different they are because the price difference is huge.
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Old 07-31-2003, 02:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
Location: In a huge maze just trying to find my cheese
Perhaps you guys who know about this can help me with a similar problem I have. We have a alrge flat-panel TV at work which we use to broadcast a powerpoint slideshow. We used to use a laptop to do it, but that seemed like overkill and so we bought a cheap desktop (Compaq celeron 600 12bRAM,) and put a Gainwaird Nvidia card in it with a VIVO connector. The problem is that now we keep getting that flickering. I've tried the RCA TV out and S-Video TV out, still just about the same problem (except the picture looks pixelated with the S-vid cable). Any cost-effective solution to the problem? The owner has to pay, thus the solution MUST be cost-effective. I can't seem to fix it with software and the cables are as good grade as you can get. Incidentally there are a few RGB inputs on the TV as well if that helps.... Feel free to PM me if you have any ideas. Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2003, 08:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
Location: Truro, Nova Scotia
Scott: if the problem is what I think it is (the white line thing) the problem lies in what I said before, the hardware of the video card is causing issues with the cable. I have seen some cards act FINE while others are horriable. You could try and swap the Nvidia card for a ATI card (Preferably a AIW, but even normal ATI Has better TV-out) Another thing you could try would be to buy a stand alone TV-Card that supports TVout of your desktop. However if it is something different from that please PM me and I will be happy to help as much as I can. Finally the RGB inputs are for a HDTV input, so I think using those is out of the question unless you got yourself a HDTV-ready Reciever.

DrJekyll: The shuttle case is a Small form factor case that is about the size of 1/4 of a normal Full tower case. There VERY small and will fit almost anywhere. The only problem with them is that the heat issues are quite high. You can find reviews on most of the good review sites. Such as:
those are just a few.
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Old 07-31-2003, 03:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
Location: MN
Originally posted by Vanquish
Scott:.... Finally the RGB inputs are for a HDTV input, so I think using those is out of the question unless you got yourself a HDTV-ready Reciever.
Well, Some displays will support VGA Video on the RGB inputs, But it has to have 5 connectors R,G,B,H,V. If your display does support VGA graphics then all you need is a VGA to RGB brakeout cable. Then set the resolution to 800x600 and the display should work.

That is, If the display supports computer graphics. What is the make and model number of the display?
I'm Just here to help.
Now, Where is your problem?
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Old 08-02-2003, 01:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
Location: In a huge maze just trying to find my cheese
Thanks Yodapaul, just checked today and it should work as I have all the proper imputs. HOPEFULLY that will fix the problem, but hard to tell. Who knows may even make it worse. Tried to look for the model number but it's not on the display anywhere and I can't find the documentation. One of the highest end Hitachis.

Thanks as well Vanquish, you seem to know the problem well. Unfortunately my boss does not see the wisdom of buying a new video card. He figures that he paid so much for the last card that it can't be the problem (ah the non computer initiated). This is why I am trying to find the cheapest solution possible. Shielded cables don't seem to help, be they S-Vid or composite, so I will give the VGA to RGB breakout thing a shot. You seem to know your stuff back and front though, so if you have any other suggestions I am all ears!
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Old 08-02-2003, 03:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
i'm shocked no one has suggested this but how about buy a playstation and get a modchip installed and import ddr from japan (lots of retailers out there).. you'll probably have to buy new pads for the controller input but it's worth the money
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Old 08-02-2003, 03:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
Location: North Hollywood
acpower, somebody did you don't need a modchip , ddr is available for us regions too.
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Old 08-04-2003, 08:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
Location: Nowhere
acpower, actually...the pads are PS pads...I just have a USB converter. And, it wouldn't allow me to play whatever I wanted. =)

And, thanks for the sites, Vanquish.
DrJekyll is offline  
Old 08-04-2003, 08:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
Yup, an All-in-Wonder should do you for that sort of thing.

There's another converter I've seen before that was supposed to work really well and eliminate a lot of overscan, but I can't find the link right now - I'll keep searching to see if I can find it somewhere.

I know that you can search for "MAME cabinets" and find a lot of scan converters people have used to get good picture on a TV from a VGA signal.

options, tvout

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