HTPC Gaming and Getting It All Working Flawlessly - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 09-06-2006, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
TijgerBrand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Before I begin, let me just list out the set up I am running and some extraneous information as well.

HTPC:
AMD Athlon XP 2200+
1GB PC2100 RAM
80GB WD HD
400W PSU
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
Onboard Sound Card
ECS K7S5A

HDTV:
Mitsubishi WS-65907 (capable of 480i/p and 1080i)

Connection between the 2:
Sapphire DVI-I to Component (Y/Pb/Pr) Adapter

This is all being done with a dorm room and you can tell most of the stuff we're using isn't very high-end, but it's all we can afford, so there's a strict "don't suggest additional purchases unless its something reasonably priced and absolutely necessary" policy I'm asking anyone who responds to this to follow.

On to my question(s)...

I've currently got the TV running at 1080i at a custom resolution of 1728x976. I've been doing various Hex-hacks that I found over at widescreengamingforums to get games to try and display at a resolution that fits the TV well. It hasn't been going so well though. I've been maintaining the aspect ratio 1.77:1 and have been trying to run games at a resolution of 1280x723, since a Radeon 9800 Pro isn't a good enough graphics card to display much higher than that. Games have a variety of problems though such as either having menu screens that display at a different resolution than the actual in-game gameplay (which means getting around on the menus is tough since it tends to just run off the edges of my TV instead of scaling to fit in anyway) or just going out of sync on my TV when I use a custom resolution.

I think I need some guidelines and tips here on what the best course of action is with this HTPC setup. I'm pretty new to most of this (I understand the basics of HDTV and am a computer whiz, but that's about it). I was thinking that perhaps just displaying at 480p on my TV instead of 1080i would be the best solution (and would make things actually legible and non-interlacy on the desktop) but have been unable to get my TV to display 480p correctly as of yet.

Any / all help is appreciated, please be detailed.
TijgerBrand is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 09-06-2006, 11:37 PM
Member
 
dice65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: niagara ny
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
stick with the 1080i resolution for starters.....my panasonic 47in does the same as yours...480p,1080i....my custom res is that 1776x1000...now first thing id do is change the DPI setting in display settings to 150 % that way you can read all the text just fine...and see desktop icons also......i also had a 9800pro to...and most games will run just fine......what games are you going to play ?? some will let you choose the custom res right in the games video settings....some will not.......ive had great luck with most games except EA games...they suc..lol....UT2004...DOOM3.....LOOK awsome......HL2 you can get right in the games video settings...again what do you want to play ?.....ill help the best i can

dice
dice65 is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 09-07-2006, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
TijgerBrand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
One of my largest problems is what resolutions should I play games in? If my TV only supports the modes I listed above, is it possible to play in any resolution up to 1080i as long as I have a refresh rate of 30Hz (interlaced)? If this is so, how can I force games to run at 30Hz? An example is Tiger Woods 2006. I've modded the resolution using a hex editor to run at 1440x900 or something in that neighborhood, but the game just runs out of sync once I open it up. What should I do?
TijgerBrand is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 09-07-2006, 01:33 PM
AVS Special Member
 
StreetPreacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Frozen North
Posts: 1,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Are you running powerstrip, or just using the video card driver applications to set the custom rez?

When I had my HTPC setup I obtained the best results by using powerstrip to create all of my custom resolutions using the 1080i timings. This way the tv still thinks it's receiving a 1080i signal, but on the PC side the games are being rendered in the lower custom resolution.

I also had a 9800pro, and found that most games from the Doom3/HL2 era would run fairly well at 1600x900 or 1776x1000. For more taxing games you can also try 960x540 (also in a 1080i timing).
StreetPreacher is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 09-08-2006, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
TijgerBrand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am running powerstrip but I was changing resolutions for games that didn't support native widescreen using hex codes. If you can tell me how you got what you have working in more detail (i.e. procedure and timings as well as how to use powerstrip to control game resolutions as you said), I'd be very happy to try it.
TijgerBrand is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 09-08-2006, 09:01 AM
AVS Special Member
 
StreetPreacher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Frozen North
Posts: 1,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The first step is to track down a list of all of the custom resolutions you're going to need. I have one I can post this evening, but they were all pulled from a thread in the HTPC forum, so you should be able to find them there.

Then, one by one, paste the custom resolutions into powerstrip and tweak each one so they're centered and making the best use of screen space. As mentioned, some resolutions will work better than others, but I was able to get all of the standard PC resolutions added (1024x768,1280x960,1280x1024,etc), with the best fits being 1776x1000 (almost a perfect fit), and 1600x900 (which leaves small letterbox bars at the top and bottom).

Once this is setup you should be able to play any game on your TV, however as you've discovered, a lot of them will only work in the standard 4:3 resolutions. If you want to play the games that don't natively support widescreen in widescreen then you'll still have to do the text edits to .cfg files etc, but just set it to 1600x900 or 1776x100 and it should look great. And, if you don't want to go through the hassle I found that most of the games look decent at 1280x1024 stretched to fill the screen.

Also, after re-reading your first post, I think that adding all of the standard PC resolutions and tweaking them to fit the screen should help out with the menus not fitting the screen and should also stop your TV from going out of sync, since it will now know what timings to use when the game arbitrarily dumps to 800x600 for a loading screen etc.

Oh, and personally i found that 'flawless' was more dream than reality with when dealing with a HTPC/CRT/GAMING combo :).
StreetPreacher is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 09-08-2006, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
TijgerBrand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Ok, this sounds exactly like what I need to do. I just am having trouble implementing it. I've found the huge list of HDTV timings that someone here posted for pstrip and their Mits TV, but the 800x600 and 1280x1024 and such 4:3 resolutions don't display properly. They either roll on the screen vertically or just make my TV out of sync. How can I get my TV to run at these regular resolutions and how can I figure out the timings?
TijgerBrand is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 09-08-2006, 06:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Richard713's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I don't use my old samsung 47" any more, but when working on the custom resolutions it took quite a bit of trial and error. I started from the default resolutions available in powerstrip- not all of them worked, but I kept at it until I got one to display. After I had a resolution that displayed I used the adjustments in power strip to move the screen around and shrink and grow it until it was as close as possible. I used a 900x540 resolution which was nice as it was progressive scan.
Richard713 is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 09-10-2006, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
TijgerBrand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Richard713 sent me these resolutions to try and test on my HDTV to see if I would have any luck with them:
Quote:
I think that these were originally meant for a Mitsubishi or Hitachi, but they worked great on my Toshiba 42H82.

1920x540p=1920,161,104,255,540,7,1,15,82350,272

1776x1000i=1776,166,88,274,1000,44,5,76,77760,280

1920x1080i=1920,169,56,295,1080,2,5,38,82350,280

1280x960i=1280,128,96,160,960,44,1,120,56160,280

1280x1024i=1280,127,96,161,1024,43,3,55,56160,280

960x540p=960,96,80,112,540,7,1,15,42120,272

1920x540p=1920,161,104,255,540,7,1,15,82350,272

1776x1000i=1776,166,88,274,1000,44,5,76,77760,280

1920x1080i=1920,169,56,295,1080,2,5,38,82350,280

1280x960i=1280,128,96,160,960,44,1,120,56160,280

1280x1024i=1280,127,96,161,1024,43,3,55,56160,280

800x600i=800,279,56,329,600,250,1,274,49410,280

1024x768i=1024,164,56,220,768,160,1,196,49410,280

1600x900i=1600,159,80,249,900,89,3,133,70470,280

1280x768i=1280,138,96,166,768,156,1,200,56700,280

1280x720i=1280,125,120,139,720,180,1,224,56160,280

640x480=640,129,56,207,480,17,12,27,32641,1

960x540p=960,96,80,112,540,7,1,15,42120,272
I tried almost all of them (at least trying the different versions of 1024x768, 800x600, and 640x480) and nothing worked on my TV. I just pasted them right into pstrip from the text file and whenever I applied them, my TV went right out of sync.

This is an aggravating process to say the least, but I'm very thankful for the help, so any other suggestions are appreciated.
TijgerBrand is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 09-10-2006, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
TijgerBrand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
SUCCESS!
Well... sort of.
I've finally gotten 640x480 to be displayed correctly using the following timings on my Mits through pstrip with black bars on the sides on my picture (since its 4:3)
Desktop 4x3
640x480p=640,126,80,114,480,28,1,54,32400,272
TijgerBrand is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 09-20-2006, 10:29 AM
Newbie
 
jasper delarge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
hey, i'm still wondering what these "timings" are. i assumed it had something to do with refresh rates when i first read it mentioned. but after you posted the powerstrip settings, i gather the timings are the numbers following each resolution, yes? are these automated by powerstrip, or how is it they are found?
jasper delarge is offline  
Closed Thread HTPC Gaming

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off