HTPC Blu-Ray essentials

Page 7: conclusion

final rating

total (out of 500)
ATI XP 140 28%
ATI Vista 180 36%
NVidia XP 275 55%
NVidia Vista 255 51%


Please make yourself aware of that this article is not about fancy "nice to have" features we could live without. This is about *essential* functionality needed for proper HTPC usage. Basically a graphics card has to score nearly 100% in these tests if it wants to get a "useful for HTPC usage" sticker.

Ok, there are some tests that are more important than others. E.g. missing YCbCr output is acceptable, as long as the RGB output is free from any complaints. So technically a graphics card doesn't really need to get a 100% rating. But the ratings ATI and NVidia score today are just abysmal. It's no wonder then that many experts recommend against using HTPCs.

Please understand that in no way my aim is to bash ATI or/and NVidia. The main purpose of this article is to raise awareness of what a graphics card needs to offer to make us HTPC users happy. My impression is that most of those people reviewing graphics cards really don't know these things. But I also do not want to bash graphics card reviewers! Much of the knowledge in this article has been collected in months and years of reading through all the home cinema and HTPC related forums. We're expecting too much if a reviewer caring mainly about games is supposed to know all the HTPC specific needs. And that is exactly the reason why I thought it'd be a good idea to write down what I think is most important for HTPC users.

Please everybody feel free to use/misuse/reuse any and all of this article. I don't mind at all. Actually I hope many people will do.

Also if you find anything wrong in this article, or if I rated something incorrectly or if a new driver revision fixes some problems, please let me know.


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