Tekzilla #28: Better Windows File Sync. Best Graphic Cards $200 and Under. Veronica's our new co-host!
HDMI is the standard, but can VGA be better for your HDTV? Portable music players that support lossless codecs. Three Ways to Save YouTube Video.
Our first question came from Luke who had a question about lossless MP3s and which digital music players support them. The short answer is that MP3's are inherently lossy even at higher bit rates. You'll need to migrate over to Apple's AAC lossless, WMA lossless, FLAC, or APE to reproduce music in a lossless format. To that the the players would be Apple's iPod for AAC, MS's Zune for WMA and Cowon's iAUDIOX5 for FLAC.
We received more than a few emails regarding software that would synch folders between 2 different machines. Although Windows XP still includes Briefcase it's long in the tooth and bit old fashioned. If you want something more recent check out Microsoft's SyncToy and online beta Folder Share. And if you're looking for something non-Microsoft based chcek out Allway Sync
We also received a plethora of emails regarding saving flash videos from websites. Two places to check out are Keepvid and Vixy.net. Keepvid will only save the files as *.flv while Vixy.net will allow you convert the files first and then save, but at a cost of taking more time. Both will not work on certain new flash embedding schemes but will work on YouTube, for the most part.
Blaz had a question on cheap videocards.
“What is the best graphics card for reasonable price like ATi Radeon HD3870 or nVidia Geforce 9600GT?"
Both the HD3870 and GeForce 9600GT are cheap, relatively but on the gaming side a bit lacking. If you don't mind spending a bit more cash checkout an 8800GT based card. They're pretty much the price/performance sweet spot for the moment.
Scott wrote in with a question about HDMI vs VGA for connecting his gear up to his 32" HD monitor. But he also had a question about the MadCatz HDMI conversion kit. Robert's answer on the matter:
“Garnett mentioned that the original Xbox 360 had analog output only, and it appears that the MadCatz HDMI conversion kit converts a VGA signal to HDMI (analog to digital conversion). Considering that an HDTV's component video input performs a similar task (analog video input that's converted to digital prior to display), chances are that you would see no improvement in video quality. For home theater devices that offer HDMI output, we do suggest using that port when possible (with a TV that offers HDMI input) as it will provide the best image quality. Otherwise, don't waste your cash on (usually) expensive analog-to-digital video converter products - component video (and VGA) remains the best analog video connection. “
Anthony had a question about a TV tunder box for his Widescreen PC LCD. Robert recommended:
The Elgato HDHomeRun HDTV Tuner. For a full review go to PCMag.com. ATI TV Wonder™ HD 650 Combo PCI Express® - Overview, also check out Home Theater Computers section of AVS Forum - a great resource and something I dug up online somewhere ;) Best Tuner for multi-path and/or for weak over the air broadcast signals - a tie, either the OnAir HDTV GT or the Fusion RT Gold
JR had a question about getting a 37" flat panel TV in the $1000 range for his dad. He also wanted to know about over the differences betwee over the air and cable/satellite HD. Robert suggested:
Lots of options at that price point! Vizio are Westinghouse are known for providing good image quality at low prices... Toshiba, Samsung, Sharp, and even Sony squeezes under the $1K mark (if you shop online). I think highly of Sony and Sharp models...go Sharp if more savings is needed. You may be able to go to 42" with that budget! (search Amazon.com for "37 inch LCD HDTV")