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I'm trying my build an entertainment center using an old pc. I'll be watching bluerays using this pc. Trouble is my hd tv doesn't have a VGA port and the composite output sucks. This card has a DVI port so I was going to use a DVI to HDMI cable. I only have a AGP4x and PCI slots.

1) Is it just plug it in end of story

2) I don't need a fancy graphics card do I? The card mentioned will do right?

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You might want to add [blu-ray] and [htpc] as tags to this post to help others find it better. –  Adam Ryan Nov 2 '09 at 4:10

3 Answers 3

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I haven't tried blu-ray, but I have the same card and I use it to watch over-the-air HD ATSC broadcasts. Works fine as long as your processor is good (quad core, 2+gHz). Blu-ray might be higher resolution/ bit rate than that, but my CPU isn't working too hard, so my guess is it's possible. I have connected it using a DVI to HDMI cable to an HDTV, and it was awesome, until unfortunately I had to give the TV back.

With blu-ray you may run into DRM issues, as Adam Ryan suggests. Your 6200 may not have HDCP. I don't know if that's always a showstopper.

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  1. While I can't definitively answer #1 as I have no experience with AGP cards, I'll hazard you need to install (and update) the drivers for the card once you've got it plugged in and powered up.

  2. As for #2, some Googling seems to indicate that a GeForce 6200 is insufficient, sadly. (Anecdotally, my past research and own present experience of using a GeForce 6200 128MB card have taught me that the 6200 line is rather weak for HD decoding).

What You Will Need

It looks like you'll need at least a GeForce 7600 GT, according to the requirements for popular Blu-ray decoder softwares ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre and for PowerDVD (at least, the Blu-ray capable versions).

The PowerDVD general system requirements listed here should give you a good idea of what you'll need. To give you a taste, you're going to need a little bit of oomph graphically and with CPU and RAM (recommended is Dual-core or better on the processor or more and 1-2GB+ of RAM). You'll also need to make sure your graphics card and TV have HDCP.

Finally, of course, you need a Blu-ray drive and player software (which I'm assuming you knew already).

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Is that just if you're using the card to decode the data, or is a card that old also incapable of streaming the data out if the CPU is doing the decoding? –  Dan Neely Nov 18 '09 at 16:20

Don't you need to run a digital audio cable between the GPU and the BR drive in order to output audio over DVI/HDMI?

If the only video in for your TV is the PC you could plug the speakers into it; but if you've got other inputs (cable box, game console, etc) that's not an option.

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