If you have a home theater PC or are considering getting or building one, you might be wondering what is the best way to hook it up to your TV. Many newer HDTVs come with PC inputs that are basically a DVI port, or you can choose to use your TVs HDMI ports. There are a few things that you should consider when making this decision as the answer might not be as clear as you think. Take moment to learn which connection is right for your HTPC and your TV.
Check Your Outputs
The first place to start is to check the outputs on your video card. This might answer the question for you. If you only have DVI or HDMI out, you will probably want to go with this. However, there are cables that can change from one output to the other, as it HDMI to DVI or DVI to HDMI. These cables are relatively inexpensive and can save you from a number of headaches if you only have one input available to you. If you have a choice between both, you may need to dig a little deeper to determine which is the best for your setup.
Understand Copy Protection
Some outputs might not be able to send properly encrypted signals from your PC to your TV. Read your manual to see if copy protected signals are only set through one output or another. If this is the case, you might to be able to see a signal on your TV through that input or the signal may disappear if you watch a DVD or Blu-Ray on your PC. Don’t try to game the system, as it will only backfire at some point as the firmware updates will eventually shut you down.
Keep it Simple
One of the best things about HDMI is that it can send both the audio and video signals through one cable. If this works well for your setup, take advantage of it. If you prefer to separate the signals to make sure things are in sync, then do that. Another thing to keep in mind is that many TVs apply different settings to signals that come in the PC input port. This might restrict you from seeing a full 1080p signal with through the DVI port if the built in settings cannot handle it. Do what works best for you and keep in mind that you can get cables that turn one output into another. Regardless of the choice that you make, you will have to fiddle with the settings both on your HTPC and your TV to get the best picture possible. It might take sometime to get it right, but in the end, it will be worth it.