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Windows 7: HDMI and Windows PCs

02 Mar 2010   #1

 
HDMI and Windows PCs

Quote:
Lately, folks have been talking a bit about HDMI. HDMI is a special type of connection designed to deliver digital content from one device to another audio or video device through a single connection. That content can be standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD) movies or something as simple as MP3 music. HDMI is a completely digital connection, as it transmits uncompressed digital data. It is a standard that is replacing the old-style analog connections such as S-Video and VGA. A common use for HDMI today is connecting devices like a PC or an Xbox 360 to a HDTV.

As I had been seeing a lot of talk about HDMI, I realized that HDMI is very common today in Windows PCs. In looking at the PCs I currently have in my office and at home, the majority of them have HDMI. Those PCs include my Dell Studio 1555, Dell Inspiron Zino HD, Acer Aspire Revo, Toshiba Satellite E205, Acer Aspire 1420P (the “PDC laptop”), ASUS G71Gx, HP TouchSmart 600, and HP Envy 13. These PCs span a variety of form factors from small “nettops” to full-blown all-in-one PCs. Even netbooks are now shipping with HDMI (it’s smaller than the VGA connection).

All the above mentioned PCs are running Windows 7 of course. What’s great about Windows 7 and HDMI is that when I plug any of these laptops into a HDTV via HDMI, it recognizes the display and sets the screen resolution correctly. And because HDMI does not just do video but audio too, it also brings in the audio. During the holidays while visiting my parents, I connected the HP Envy 13 I was using at the time to my dad’s 52” HDTV. We rented several movies from the Zune Marketplace and watched this in full HD on his HDTV.

Of the PCs I mentioned above – the Acer Aspire Revo and Dell Inspiron Zino HD are prefect little Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center. And with HDMI – a single cable connected to an HDTV is all one needs to watch movies, play music, go through family photos, watch DVDs, or even watch live TV*.

*You’ll need a TV tuner to watch live TV in Windows Media Center. Some PCs are so small they don’t support any additional hardware inside the actual system. Not to worry! You can pick up a USB TV tuner which works just fine! I’ll talk about this in a later blog post.



You can also add HDMI to existing desktop PCs (for the folks out there that like building their own desktop PCs) fairly inexpensively. Many graphics cards today are shipping with HDMI built in. Earlier this month, I blogged about 2 new affordable DirectX 11 graphics cards from AMD: the Radeon HD 5570 and Radeon HD 5450.Both these graphics cards come with HDMI.

Many Windows PCs ship with Blu-ray playback capabilities. You can use your PC to play Blu-ray movies. With HDMI, you can connect a Windows PC to an HDTV and watch Blu-ray movies on your HDTV without having to go out and buy a standalone Blu-ray player. Most of Windows PCs that ship with Blu-ray also ship with software for Blu-ray playback. I also did a blog post about Corel WinDVD Pro 2010 last December which is Compatible with Windows 7. Corel WinDVD Pro 2010 is an excellent application for Blu-ray playback in Windows 7 as well.


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02 Mar 2010   #2
Lee

Win 7 Pro x64, VM Win XP, Win7 Pro Sandbox, Kubuntu 11
 
 

Knew most of this, been using HDMI for a couple of years now, but as always it is good to reread information that is new (as most of this is) to keep up with current changes.

Thanks. . .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lee View Post
Knew most of this, been using HDMI for a couple of years now, but as always it is good to reread information that is new (as most of this is) to keep up with current changes.

Thanks. . .


+1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Prem x32
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lee View Post
Knew most of this, been using HDMI for a couple of years now, but as always it is good to reread information that is new (as most of this is) to keep up with current changes.

Thanks. . .

Ditto......sorta

I picked up a 21.5" HP 2159m to go with Windows 7. I've been using the HDMI from my Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT to the monitor and it's an amazing difference from my old 17" Sony to this new HP. Windows 7 looks beautiful in HD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
 
 

I love the look of my 27" 1080p monitor with HDMI. I watched Star Wars ep:3 the other day and have never seen it look better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Prem x32
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tw33k View Post
I love the look of my 27" 1080p monitor with HDMI. I watched Star Wars ep:3 the other day and have never seen it look better.

Yep. The 1080p is really amazing with HDMI.....IMO. I love the Blu-ray version of the new Star Trek on my monitor......

I still remember being amazed with Windows 95 when I found a few music videos on the install disc......I used Quicktime to view the low resolution songs and I thought it was the coolest thing ever!
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02 Mar 2010   #7

Windows 8 Release Preview x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by darkfriday View Post
Ditto......sorta

I picked up a 21.5" HP 2159m to go with Windows 7. I've been using the HDMI from my Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT to the monitor and it's an amazing difference from my old 17" Sony to this new HP. Windows 7 looks beautiful in HD
Yes it does.

I did the same thing by purchasing a very inexpensive, yet high quality, HDMI cable off of Newegg, and using it to connect my new HIS video card to my HannsG monitor. Gorgeous!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by msdos622wasfun View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by darkfriday View Post
Ditto......sorta

I picked up a 21.5" HP 2159m to go with Windows 7. I've been using the HDMI from my Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT to the monitor and it's an amazing difference from my old 17" Sony to this new HP. Windows 7 looks beautiful in HD
Yes it does.

I did the same thing by purchasing a very inexpensive, yet high quality, HDMI cable off of Newegg, and using it to connect my new HIS video card to my HannsG monitor. Gorgeous!
High quality cable? They are all made in China for 50c.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2010   #9

Windows 8 Release Preview x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
High quality cable? They are all made in China for 50c.
Hehehe ... all right, point taken. I guess what I meant was that it does the same job as a cable that would ordinarily cost $20 or $30 more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by msdos622wasfun View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
High quality cable? They are all made in China for 50c.
Hehehe ... all right, point taken. I guess what I meant was that it does the same job as a cable that would ordinarily cost $20 or $30 more.
Right, although the quality may be slightly different, but worth an extra 100? Never.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HDMI and Windows PCs




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