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NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Preview

HDTV Processor


NVIDIA demonstrated the capabilities of the High Definition TV (HDTV) processor on the GeForce2 GTS by running a high-res MPEG2 video clip from Monday Night Football. HDTV provides a high resolution digital signal with Dolby Digital sound and the footage looked fantastic. To handle the video bandwidth required by HDTV, the GeForce2 GTS HDTV processor contains video I/O channels capable of sustained transfer rates of 150MB/s.

Normal TV - 210,000 Pixels HDTV - 2.1 Million Pixels

By integrating the HDTV processor into the GeForce2 GTS architecture, NVIDIA is building on an infrastructure for the future as the move to HDTV by the major broadcasting networks is imminent. According to the schedule for broadcasters, all digital TV stations must transmit at least 50% of their analog channel's programming by April, 1 2003.


DTV Deadlines For Broadcasters

Date Description
05/01/1999 All affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox in the top 10 markets must be on the air. About 30% of the TV households (TV HH) in the US are in these markets.
11/01/1999 Affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in the top 30 markets must be on the air (53% of TV HH).
05/01/2002 All other commercial television stations must be on the air (100% of TV HH).
04/01/2003 Stations must transmit at least 50% of their analog channel's programming on the digital channel as well.
05/01/2003 All other noncommercial television stations must be on the air.
04/01/2004 DTV stations must transmit at least 75% of their analog channel's programming.
04/01/2005 DTV stations must transmit 100% of their analog channel's programming.

With digital televisions currently costing around $4000-$6000 and, in most cases, having to purchase a $1000-$1500 set-top decoder box, HDTV is expensive. NVIDIA is leveraging the fact that there are already more than 30 milliion 17 to 24-inch PC monitors which can display HDTV content thus allowing the consumer to avoid the cost of purchasing an expensive HDTV television. NVIDIA HDTV technology also includes a downscaler to standard definition TV allowing HDTV to be viewed on a standard analog TV set.


NVIDIA's GeForce2 GTS HDTV Usage Model


In the Detonator drivers, NVIDIA has dedicated hardware-based color enhancements for the video overlay which include controls for brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation.

Display Properties - Overlay Color Control

The GeForce2 GTS HDTV processor supports all the formats (18) specified by the American Television Standards Committee (ATSC). NVIDIA has also added dedicated hardware-based color enhancements for the video overlay which include controls for brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation. Support for timeshifting playback (pause, rewind, and fast forward) is also provided for both analog and HDTV.

GeForce 256 vs GeForce2 GTS

  GeForce 256 GeForce2 GTS
ATSC Formats 14 All 18
Highest Resolution
HD Format
1280x720p24 1920x1080i30
CPU Headroom
during DVD Decode
50% 70%
Video I/O Port (VIP) 1.1 2.0
Video Bandwidth 27 MB/s 150 MB/s
Timeshifting No Yes
Digital VCR Yes Yes

Next Page: Conclusion


Last Updated on May 12, 2000

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