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Newbie needs a probably simple answer on video

by quietman928 / February 17, 2008 9:27 PM PST

I was given a Compaq Presario with Vista Home Premium installed.
I just found out that I can instantly watch a movie from Netflix.
I would rather watch the movie on my TV in the living room.
The only port I can find is the blue one to the monitor, although in another place there is an unused "Line" jack.
I wouldn't mind running a cable to the TV, or switching cables for monitor or TV.
I assume that I will have to install a video card with some type of suitable output jack (component, composite, optical or digital).
There appear to be three individual places to install cards, although all of the USB's,keyboard, mouse, monitor,etc. are on one panel.
Beyond this I am clueless.
I don't do any gaming or anything that would require a topend card; in fact the Netflix movies look fine on my years old 17" CRT.
It's just that sitting in my office chair for a two hour movie is not as good as if I could watch with the surround from my living room couch or recliner.
My problem is that I have NO idea of what I will need to accomplish this; and I won't know if some salesman is taking advantage of my ignorance. (Sad to say, but there are those who would).
I ran Belarc Advisor and under Display it says:
Intel(R)82945G Express Chipset Family [Display adapter]
if that information helps.
I guess that's it. If someone, ANYone can help me with what to buy and where and how (connectors) to put it I will add you to my prayer list.
PLEASE and Thank you,
Chip Conway
P.S. I feel funny about adding this:
I live alone, am disabled, my pension doesn't allow many movie rentals, and I am pretty much housebound. That's why this would be a Godsend for me. Thanks again...

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You need a TV output on a video adapter
by jconner / February 18, 2008 12:15 AM PST

"I assume that I will have to install a video card with some type of suitable output jack (component, composite, optical or digital)."

Sounds like your current machine is using an onboard video controller (built into the motherboard). Most are not setup for outputting to a TV or HDMI TV controller (digital).

You need to a) find out what type of plug in video adapter your machine supports (PCI (older), AGP (next older), PCI-Express (newest)). You can look at the manual if it came with one or look it up at WWW.hp.com for your make and model.

Then you need to purchase a video card with both RGB (and or DVI) and a TV out connector and software. There are many in Sub $100 to several hundred dollars depending on what your TV needs are. Installing is easy and it will handle both your monitor and your TV.

Some research required past this simple explaination.


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Thank you!
by quietman928 / February 18, 2008 12:01 PM PST

Thank you, jconner, for taking the time to help me.
You confirmed what I had pretty much guessed, but another piece of
information came up today and I'm not sure if it's going to block me from my goal or is simply misinformation.

I called "The Geek Squad" at B.B. and was told that my TV is too far from my PC to transfer quality video; at least by S-Video which he said would be the way to go.

I'm not sure that he's right though. I was an ASE certified Master Technician for some time, and the quantity and absurdity of
information that I heard "qualified" mechanics tell customers would
boggle your mind. (I hope that you have a good one!) My point being that although he is hopefully fully knowledgeable, there is a fairly good chance that he's mistaken. Hey, we're all human. I just can't believe that transmitting video over 35 feet of cable can't be done.
The biggest problem I see there is coming up with a cable of that length. I've never looked, but I've never seen or heard of connectors
that could make two or three cables into one.
Later today I thought of using my old tower (if it's still there), putting a video card w/ S-Video Out into it and sitting it with a modem and keyboard right next to the equipment in the living room.
Do you see any problems with that option that I may have overlooked?
I'm taking too much of your time, so once again Thank you for your response, I will add you to my prayer list!

God bless, quietman928

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Well they do make S-video cables that long
by lacsr / February 18, 2008 8:29 PM PST
In reply to: Thank you!
and they do make a "coupler"
If that is the route you wish to take, I would look on EBay for a cheaper price but it seems it can be done.
What model number Compaq Presario? If it can take a PCI-e card, then something like this will do nicely.
I am not telling you to buy this card but just an example of the step up from the integrated graphics that can do what you want.
The Geek Squad person probably was hinting that an S-video connection that long may not give you the quality picture you want but I would think that it could work. You also will need audio cable to connect the audio out to the TV.
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