Suggestions for an Nvidia gfx card with s-video out and overscan capability
September 26, 2009 6:46 PM   Subscribe

Help me find an inexpensive PCI-E graphics card that closely matches the TV-OUT capabilities of the fried Asus 6800GT that it's replacing.

The Asus video card in my home media server came very close to melting today. Long story short - it no longer works and needs to be replaced.

There are only two mandatory features I'm looking for in an inexpensive Nvidia PCI-Express card:

1.) Must have an S-video output
2.) Must be able to customize the overscan via the Nvidia control panel

I'm not against buying one off ebay if it fits the bill.

The overscan customization was a nifty little feature I discovered just recently when using the 6800GT. Through the control panel, I went to something along the lines of "adjust output size/position" and the image on my screen either zoomed in/out depending on the settings in that window. This is VERY important because this image is displayed throughout our house (via RF modulator) and I need to be able to trim the black borders that typically appear around video card TV-OUT images.

I just got back from Fry's with an Nvidia 8400GS, however (contrary to what I was told by employees) it has a composite output (even though an s-video cable DOES fit into the port on the video card) and I now don't see the option in the Nvidia control panel to adjust the TV-OUT display size. In fact, I can't even get it to output to S-video even though the cable is plugged in there. So, I guess this one's going back.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can provide!
posted by siclik to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I'm considering getting this but I don't know how to tell if it has the ability to configure the tv-output screen size (overscan) via Nvidia control panel. How would you determine that before purchasing?
posted by siclik at 7:21 PM on September 26, 2009

Word of warning; depending on your operating system, the current NVidia driver behaves a lot differently than drivers from, say, 6+ months ago. The current drivers (albeit for Win7) has ass TV support (compared to earlier drivers for... Win7 and XP).

The old drivers: can change the TV-out size. Current driver: no.

Instead of buying a new card, maybe clean out your current driver ("driver cleaner," once recommended by EVGA/NVidia after a mixed driver installed problem) and reinstall an older version of the driver.

185.85 was my last XP only driver but that supported changing the TV our picture size.
posted by porpoise at 8:21 PM on September 26, 2009

You can tweak the Overscan on Radeon cards, but the setting is a teensy bit hard to find.

Grab a cheap 4350 (£20?) and try it?
posted by pharm at 2:35 PM on September 27, 2009

Thanks to pharm's suggestion, I tried ATI and it worked immediately, with all of the features I wanted.

I picked up this 4650 at Fry's today and now have a beautiful picture on my TV.

On a related note, I learned today that it takes a powerful card to output to a monitor and TV at the same time. I tried a couple other cards this morning that had one DVI, one VGA, and one S-video port. Both of those cards would output to a TV or monitor, but not both at the same time. I went back to Fry's and got a card (the 4650) that has two DVI ports in addition to the s-video. This showed me that it had enough juice for dual displays and, sure enough, it displayed out to the TV flawlessly. In fact, it even showed my bios/win xp boot screens on the TV when I first booted it up - which was a welcome sign. This ATI card has more advanced overscan capabilities than the Nvidia card I had before!

Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by siclik at 11:32 PM on September 27, 2009

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