More HD Electronics/Hardware/Software Talk

Well, I’ve nosed around some more now that HD DVD content is getting more prevalent. I was looking at HD DVD hardware and software (players) along with h.264 compliant Video Cards.
As long as I was at it, I decided to look for HD TV capture cards too.
Here’s what I found:

PC H.264 (HD & Bluray DVD) compatible Video Cards

  • nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX, this card is currently TOP DOG it seems, but it will take TWO expansion slots (on-board cooling fan covers the second) and a minimum 450-watt PSU to drive it. It can be run in multi-card "SLI" configurations, but will need respective multiples of that wattage to do so. 768mb GDDR3 memory w/384-bit interface, 650mhz core speed, 1800mhz memory speed, and DirectX 10 compatible for you Windows Vista users! $565/ea
  • AMD ATI Radeon X1950 XTX, this card is VERY a close runner up to the nVidia. And like the nVidia, it too will take TWO expansion slots (on-board cooling fan covers the second) and a minimum 300-watt PSU to drive it. It can be run in multi-card "Crossfire" configurations, but will need respective multiples
    of that PSU wattage to do so. 512mb GDDR4 memory w/256-bit interface,
    650mhz core speed, 2000mhz memory speed, and DirectX 9 compliant. $375/ea

TV Tuner cards w/HDTV tuning and capture

  • AMD ATI TV Wonder 650, this card will receive (and capture?) Over-The-Air HDTV signals. You must send in for the remote control, but otherwise all the standard features of a TV Tuner card are there – FM tuner, Electronic Programming Guide, Personal Video Recorder w/scheduling, Live Broadcast Pausing, etc. $129

HD-DVD and BluRay DVD Playback Software

  • InterVideo’s WinDVD version 8 Platinum now supports the new HD and DVD standards
  • Cyberlink’s PowerDVD Ultra version 7 now supports the new HD and DVD standards

PC HD-DVD & BluRay DVD Recording (and playback) Drives

  • HD-DVD Burner Toshiba SD-H903A, expected to be on shelves first quarter 2007. Expect the price to be somewhat steep – $500-$800.
  • The XBOX 360 USB 2.0 external HD-DVD Rom is already available, and can be used on a PC (Vista natively, XP w/drivers) and retails for around $200
  • BluRay DVD burners are available from Sony, Plextor, Phillips and Lite-On with prices ranging from $600 to $800

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