I'm currently building a new PC, and one of the main objectives is to have a Media Centre PC, so that I can get rid of the seperate television and DVD recorder and things, and create more space in the room. The things I am looking for are a high-definition monitor and an HD capable graphics card. The monitor has to be a flat screen, and preferably be 22" - it also needs to be HDCP complient and have component input, and VGA if possible. I don't really care about speakers - I guess it would be better without them. I did have my eye on the BenQ FP241W, but it's rather pricey at the moment!
The other thing was the high definition graphics card. I want a card which is either 512MB or 1GB, preferably 512MB because the price would be lower. I would need it to be HDCP compliant, and it would need to work well with the monitor. I don't need VIVO, because I have a couple of TV cards for that purpose. I will be playing a lot of games, and doing video editing, so it needs to be capable of handling some pretty demanding sessions - but at the same time, I don't need one which requires stupid amounts of cooling to keep it from melting or something. Above all, it needs to be suitable for Vista Ultimate.
My Twinhan Freeview DTB-ter D+A PCI TV card (which is HD compatible) displays 720x576 resolution in MPEG2 form and I've also converted TV recordings made with it to H264/MPEG4 form (it will compress, for instance, a 1.2GB MPEG2 recording to 188MB).
Vista Ultimate requires HDMI compliant video cards and displays before it will show HD content , or a least it will soon ( probably via updates ) definitely for Blu-Ray and HD DVD so for a full media centre these cards are a must .
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