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I am currently looking at Gainward GTX260 896MB GS GLH, but I've seen it also on the x275 version - the card doesn't have an HDMI output, only two dvi and one tv out (s-video?). They claim they support HDMI using a dvi->HDMI converter. Will I get a true high definition quality on my TV (assuming it supports it) like that? Or is it not as good, and I should stick to cards that have an HDMI output (ATI), or pay way too much for x295?
What about connecting the audio? The x260 comes with an internal spdif cable - does that mean I can connect my soundcard to my graphics card, and have the audio come out through the dvi, and into the HDMI cable? Or am I mixing it all up here, and I have to somehow connect the sound to the TV using a seperate cable (Hoping it has a seperate audio-in for the HDMI channel)?

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What kind of usage are you planning to do with it? Mainly videogames? 50% video playing, 50% videogames? On which type of TV? – Drake Jul 21 '09 at 8:34
So far I'm just checking my options for my next graphics card. One day I'll get an HD TV (Not that far off.. just not real soon), and I want to have the option to use it to its full potential. Mostly for watching movies. – Noam Gal Jul 21 '09 at 8:57
up vote 4 down vote accepted

DVI output is capable of 1080p resolution, DVI->HDMI does not lose any quality as they are both fully capable of the desired output. DVI->HDMI is a popular thing on most video cards these days, save yourself some money and grab the 260 (260 core 216 preferably).

With the S/PDIF cable, it is intended to allow you to send digital audio through to your HDMI output as you expected. This can be used with your TV or home theater setup as desired.

This article should get you up and running with the audio.

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Thanks, just the info I needed. – Noam Gal Jul 21 '09 at 8:33
Are there restrictions on DRM that won't go through a DVI cable? For example blu ray? – Jeremy French Jul 21 '09 at 9:39
@Jeremey - HDCP can run over DVI if the devices support it. – Daniel A. White Jul 21 '09 at 11:31

There's a big difference between a standard DVI → HDMI adapter and a proprietary one given specially to your VGA.

Most of the time these cards can output HDMI but they don't have a HDMI port (like your card) so they give out HDMI signals through DVI. This method supports DRM (HDCP in this case) and it's 100% the same as having a native HDMI port. Audio goes through it too. Make sure you get this adapter when you buy your card. It's very hard to get one since they're made specially for that card.

However, if you've got a standard adapter then you can't watch Blu-ray movies on your HDTV because that way you can't pass HDCP (DRM) encrypted video through DVI. you can't pass audio through it.

All in all, if you want to watch DRM-protected video on your HDTV (e.g. Blu-ray) then you have to make sure your VGA supports HDCP and you get a special DVI → HDMI adapter.

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Just to make sure - I must make sure the card has DVI, comes with a DVI→HDMI converter (I guess I can just get that one later...) AND supports HDCP? Any other card that has a DVI output, used with the same DVI→HDMI converter, will allow non DRM HD quality, but will not allow blu-ray? – Noam Gal Jul 21 '09 at 10:22
Any other card won't even work with that adapter. – KovBal Jul 21 '09 at 10:33
+1 for highligthing the DRM problem. In order to accept and play DRM content all hardware involved should support and IMPLEMENT HDCP – Drake Jul 21 '09 at 17:36
DVI supports HDCP and has for almost a decade now. Not sure why this clearly wrong answer has 4 votes. If the video card supports HDCP over DVI you are fine. Some early video cards (as in 7 or 8 years ago) didn't but today virtually all video cards support HDCP over DVI. They use the same GPU series and TDMS transmitters and just connect DVI, HDMI, or DP connectors depending on market demands and/or pricing considerations. – theUnhandledException Aug 30 '11 at 20:18

HDMI is pretty much a superset of DVI with a bunch of DRM pixie-dust-cruft sprinkled over it. You don't lose anything by doing DVI -> HDMI, so just go for it!

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Per your link (pdf) specs

Dual-link HDCP Capable Designed to meet the output protection management (HDCP) and security specifications of the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD formats, allowing the playback of encrypted movie content on PCs when connected to HDCPcompliant displays.

Your fine. This card (and virtually every other video card currently manufactured) supports HDCP over DVI. It also has the included adapter (although any adapter will work HDCP is in software it doesn't require a specific hardware).

If the card supports HDCP it supports HDCP regardless of the adapter. If a card doesn't support HDCP it will never support HDCP regardless of the adapter.

Some EARLY cards (as in years ago) didn't but that was a limitation of the card not the protocol or connector. Also some early HDTV w/ DVI didn't support HDCP creating headaches for early adopters (as in 10+ years ago). Similarly some early video cards didn't support HDCP even over HDMI causes further headaches.

Luckily all that is in the past. Today virtually everything sold w/ a digital connector DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort (both cards and displays) supports HDCP. It would be hard to fine one that doesn't.

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