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Display MythTV on an HDTV

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Two major components come into play when you attempt to display MythTV content in HD—the video output device in your MythTV box and whatever high-definition display you use—especially the inputs it makes available. In order from most to least preferable, the most desirable inputs you'll want to use on an HDTV are as follows:

1. DVI or HDMI (both rank more or less the same)
2. VGA
3. Component video

The distinctions between items two and three are fairly minimal, and some people actually prefer Component over VGA. In most cases, VGA is easier to use when interconnecting a computer and a high-definition display (unless you have an Nvidia GeForce 6 or later model graphics card that comes with a Component dongle), while Component often delivers a slightly better picture. How you feed these various inputs is where things get interesting. Regardless of which type of input you feed, Nvidia cards remain far and away the most popular and best-supported output devices for viewing HDTV content.

Remember also that high-end Nvidia cards are high-end because of their superior 3D capabilities (which also contributes to their high cost). Because 3D has relatively little value for a MythTV system, currently available low-end GeForce 5200 or 6200 cards work about as well as a brand new high-end GeForce 7900, as far as MythTV is concerned. In addition, lower-end cards are often available in fanless, passively cooled (and thus silent) packages, whereas high-end cards require active cooling from a relatively noisy high-speed fan.

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