Affordable SCALER outperforms my HTPC - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
draganm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Posts: 4,774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 14
I installed a Marquee 8110 last week(same as 8500 without zone- stig) in a nice home theatre, machine has a brand new Panny green tube and optional Color correction module for contrast uniformity. Owner upgarded from a very old M8000, neck-board problems, noisy coffee-grinder power supply, worn green tube etc. The video system was a typical DVD player sending compenent signal to an inexpensive scaler, the AVT-3800 ImageMAX PLUS, shooting onto a 93" Stewart Screen with approximaely 1.5 gain.
http://www.avtoolbox.co.uk/avt3700.shtml
for reference I am used to the same projector at home, although I have the Mike Parker VIM and neck-boards, fed with HTPC Radeon 9600 and Theatre Tech V1. After a full set-up on the 8110 with yoke alignment I got very good reults on flare ,stig, and focus. Went to the projected image with scaler to 1024 x 768 and got a good image, but not great. IT was pretty soft and didn't have the dymanic range I was used to. I decided to bring over a high qulaity component video cable the next night to replace the cheap molded one from the DVD player as well as my $1000. HTPC .
First we tried the 3 foot component cable from DVD to Imagemax ($65. from signalcable.com), image improved dramatically with better sharpness. The hot spotting (which I had blamed on the screen) as well as this kind of foggy haze we had seen the night before was elimintaed. However, the last 10 to 15% in sharpness and dynamic range I was used to was not there. I was sure my Radeon powered HTPC would get us there, so we tried that next and image quality went DOWN by a little bit, maybe 5% but still NOT better than a $500. scaler WTF?
Conclusion,
1) my HTPC needs a serious kick in the-ass, not sure what to do maybe.Possibly MP1 the Radeon or replace with Nvidia 6600GT,also upgrade software to Theatre Tech 2?
2) the Mike Parker VIM and Neck boards will give your Marquee an improvement to image quality that even a slightly poorer source can't undo. This is the biggest single upgrade you can make to ANY M8500/9500 electronically.
3) high quality cables are a Must , no need to get stupid here and spend thousands fo dollars but if your running the cheap molded rubber interconnects in your system your cheating yourself of yuor systems full potential.
hopefully this info is usefull to folks here still trying to decide on certian decisions in their HT set-up or upgrade. From my experience, this little scaler is a great alternative to an expensive HTPC or cheap/flimsy Momitsu. Although I have no personal experience with the Lumagen ( at twice the price) I would exepct it to have the edge here performance-wise based on all the rave reviews from the pro's like MP. conclusion: In the end we were able to get a very nice image from a very affordable $800. video source(DVD-player, scaler, cables) displaying on a mostly stock 8110. Total video system(source, screen, cables, PJ) was <$4000. and better than any Digital display I have seen at that price including HD2+ DLP. I've been at this at for 3 years and just when you think you know it all you wind up learning something new. :D

Marquee HD mod's Marquee Upgrade/re-build package
draganm is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 12:15 PM
Advanced Member
 
linecircle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Sounds like a nice little box. For $500, it would be quite a challenge to build a htpc that would outperform dedicated hardware like that.
linecircle is offline  
post #3 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 01:00 PM
 
ChrisWiggles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Seattle
Posts: 20,730
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Nvidia 6600GT,also upgrade software to Theatre Tech 2?
That's really what you need to do, IMO, renderless mode with TT2 is a significant improvement, you need XP SP2 for that.
ChrisWiggles is offline  
post #4 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 01:23 PM
Advanced Member
 
stylinlp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Yup. Things are changing in the past 3 years thats for sure. I've been staying with the newest cutting edge with my HTPC and been cursory following the talk about dvd settop boxs.

First thing I like to point out is that unit your playing with AVT-3800 imageMAX PLUS Video Scaler has no BNC or DVI-D connections. Thats a big issue right there. All new projectors or HDTV display devices take DVI input. I upgraded my Marquee 8500 crt projector with Moome's DVI/Componant card. Nice BTW. If it wasn't for that I would still be stuck with the 5 BNC input card. Which I still use for my HTPC. I got the DVI card for my new Cox Cable HDTV box. I MIGHT think about getting a DVI switcher and connect my HTPC dvi output and dvi output of the Cox Cable HDTV box together then only run one DVI cable to the projector. BTW the new (Feburary release date) Emotiva Ultra-Lite LMC-1 has two DVI inputs and one DVI output. niiiiiiice. Im going to get rid of my Rotel preamp and get that one for $500.
http://www.**********/products_produc...s&product=30.1

HTPC? easy answer.

Theater Tek 2.2 and gForce 6600GT video card- Windowless and renderless mode using the newest cutting edge video processing available. VMR9 nVidia PureVideo Forceware.
Enough said :)

Cost?
Pentium 4 3.0ghz cpu -$180
Motherboard -$70
Nice quiet cpu fan -$40
Aluminum HTPC case -$120
Seasonic Power Supply 80% efficiency -$100 or Antec Power Control $80
1 gig Dual Ram $80
Harddrive 80gig $50
gForce 6600GT $125
WindowsXP (can't use the burnt versions anymore) $100
Upgrade TT2 is $30 I think

Total = $850 roughly

*Analog fans may be blind but Digital fans are deaf*
stylinlp is offline  
post #5 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 01:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Ericglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Just below the US in South Florida
Posts: 6,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Sty,
What burnt versions?

Ericglo

My new favorite game is Save The Titanic

Ericglo is offline  
post #6 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 01:54 PM
Advanced Member
 
SirJMon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 889
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylinlp
Cost?
Pentium 4 3.0ghz cpu -$180
Motherboard -$70
Nice quiet cpu fan -$40
Aluminum HTPC case -$120
Seasonic Power Supply 80% efficiency -$100 or Antec Power Control $80
1 gig Dual Ram $80
Harddrive?
WindowsXP (can't use the burnt versions anymore) $100
Upgrade TT2 is $30 I think

Total = $700 roughly

Don't forget the cost of the Graphics card:)

Jeff

Mediocrity will always appeal to the masses, while excellence is most often over looked and only appreciated by a select few.
SirJMon is offline  
post #7 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:09 PM
Advanced Member
 
stylinlp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Oops. That video card goes for about $130. THe gFroce 6800GS runs $200 which you only need for gaming.

All these years most poeple have been using Windows they borrowed from elsewhere. Microsoft finnally cracked down. No more (
When you go to the MS Windows UPDATE website the first thing they do is download and install the Microsoft Validation program. No way around this. It scans your pc and windows. If it sees your Windows is not yours. Your damaged goods. No updates. The entire update website is completely restricted and in most cases you will not be able to boot your computer again. Ive been fighting this for a few weeks on 4 computers. Alot of friends are heading down to Costco to pick you WinXP Home for $94. sigh.

*Analog fans may be blind but Digital fans are deaf*
stylinlp is offline  
post #8 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Phil Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by draganm
replace with Nvidia 6600GT,also upgrade software to Theatre Tech 2?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
That's really what you need to do, IMO, renderless mode with TT2 is a significant improvement, you need XP SP2 for that.
Yep! I did that exact upgrade. It was a big improvement for me.

Phil Smith
Phil Smith is offline  
post #9 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:10 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Mark_A_W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Draganm

1. You need to run Zoom Player or TT with some Ffdshow Resize sharpening (or maybe go all out with Limited Sharpen). This is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT - seriously, if you're running Powerdvd4 or something, the difference is STUNNING. A HTPC is pointless without this.

I would not necessarily use VMR9 Renderless Exclusive with a Radeon 9600 - you may get tearing. I would try both Renderless and VMR9 Windowless (in Zoomplayer only I think). I can resize to 1920 x 1080 in Windowless, but Renderless tears on a 9500 pro.

I would seriously try this before adding any hardware - this will transform your HTPC, and very little cost.

2. BNC mod the Radeon - bypass the EMI filters and patch in 75 ohm mini coax straight after the 85 ohm resistors, which are straight after the Ramdac (under heatsink). This is a very cheap mod to get the same result as, umm, much more expensive commercial mods.

You are setting up a 75 ohm path all the way (which is ideal), and removing the bandwidth limiting EMI filters - there is nothing more needed to be done - any high frequency hash getting though won't make it far up the video chain.

Loving my Electric Bike!!
Mark_A_W is offline  
post #10 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Phil Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hard drive and DVD drive would be at least $80 for decent drives. Wireless keyboard will run $20-$30. XP is $100. TT2 is $70-$80. What else am I forgetting?

It's always cheaper on paper. I ended up spending over $2K when I built one 2 1/2 years ago, but parts are much cheaper now.

Phil Smith
Phil Smith is offline  
post #11 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:24 PM
Advanced Member
 
stylinlp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Phile. The question is on upgrading. Dragan allready has a HTPC case and power supply, Ram, hard drives, Wireless keyboard/mouse.
He allready has Theater Tek 1

*Analog fans may be blind but Digital fans are deaf*
stylinlp is offline  
post #12 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:28 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Phil Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Oops! Sorry stylinlp. I missed that.

Phil Smith
Phil Smith is offline  
post #13 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:38 PM
Advanced Member
 
SirJMon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 889
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Building a HTPC is pretty cheap if you buy from the online PC shops. Most people here are saying $100 for XP home when I bought mine from General Nano Systems for $49. When I bought my ATI 9800 pro I paid $220 when it was in the stores for $399+. You just have to know where to look. You can build a HTPC pretty cheaply using anything listed in this thread. And that's if you are starting from SCRATCH.

Jeff

Mediocrity will always appeal to the masses, while excellence is most often over looked and only appreciated by a select few.
SirJMon is offline  
post #14 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 02:50 PM
Advanced Member
 
stylinlp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Another point to make. Those $1000+ scalers may scale ok. But seriously doubt they can out do nVidia's new Purevideo codex.

HTPC is more than just a scaler. Its many things. Media Center-Stores movies, music, pictures, videos, surf the internet, porn, play games, movie catalog, customizable, headaches, upgradable, etc etc.

Im a computer tech. Computer issues is like breathing air to me. Its nothing to frett about. Its fun! But for poeple like Dragan that curses up a storm when his mouse cursor gets stuck in the corner its not so good. hehe

*Analog fans may be blind but Digital fans are deaf*
stylinlp is offline  
post #15 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 03:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Mastiff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Akland, Norway - on the frozen tundra
Posts: 1,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
stylinlp, a computer tech? Then either this is some kind of humor I don't understand, you're a very bad tech, or you're lying like Bill Clinton about Monica and George W. about the war:
Quote:
All these years most poeple have been using Windows they borrowed from elsewhere. Microsoft finnally cracked down. No more (
When you go to the MS Windows UPDATE website the first thing they do is download and install the Microsoft Validation program. No way around this. It scans your pc and windows. If it sees your Windows is not yours. Your damaged goods. No updates. The entire update website is completely restricted and in most cases you will not be able to boot your computer again. Ive been fighting this for a few weeks on 4 computers.
That's just bull. Pure and simple. Of course there's a way around it! A rather easy way, even. Not that I will explain it here, that would be a breach of the forum's guidelines. And not that I use it, I don't have to. Windows is very cheap when bought with hardware. Buy a new harddrive, and you can get a copy of XP for a little more than a hundred bucks. Much easier, then you don't have to keep ahead of the "smart" people at MS, cracking down on the hackers. Who of course counter every crackdown a week or two later... ;)

As for the topic of this thread - I would replace that Radeon with the cheapest type of 6600 you can find. That will improve immensly. My wife saw the difference at once when I went from a Radeon 9800 to a 6 series GeForce. Also, if you haven't installed Windows XP with SP2 from ground up, you should. Too many different versions of DX9 files will make a system flakey. Mine's overclocked like crazy, but it's 100 % stable. Never crashes. Well, almost never...I forgot to refill the watercooling system and had two crashes a few weeks ago before I understood what was happening!

Also, the best results will be ZoomPlayer with either nVIDIA or dScaler 5 video filters, AC3 Filter audio, Reclock, renderless exclusive mode and FFDShow with resize sharpen and deNoise 3D. Except of course that you can probably get even further with AVISynth's Limit Sharpen, but I haven't tried that myself yet. Of course you can also use FFDShow with TT, but then you're tied into nVIDIA, both on the video and audio filters. I prefer ZP, with it's incredible flexibility. Of course with my automation, TT wouldn't do since it isn't integrated into NetRemote.

i7@ 3.6 - ATI 3870HD - Windows 7 64 bit - FFDShow with dScaler sharpen, AVISynth and Lancoz resize to BG808 with HD-144 lenses
Mastiff is offline  
post #16 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 04:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CZ Eddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin TX, USA
Posts: 7,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylinlp
Another point to make. Those $1000+ scalers may scale ok. But seriously doubt they can out do nVidia's new Purevideo codex.
Just wanted to restate what I mentioned about a month ago. While everyone will have different results and many people may have a better HTPC than I do.... I did find that I preferred my scaler over my HTPC:

Scaler: Lumagen HDP
Dedicated HTPC: 2.8ghz P4, 6600 video card, TT 2.x in windowless mode

I found the Lumagen to give a more pleasing overall image, especially with motion. That is, until I did a factory reset on it and put all controls back to centered. Now I've got to figure out how to adjust the color/gamma/etc back to how it was, or better.

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
CZ Eddie is offline  
post #17 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 04:52 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
Clarence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern Virginia Projector: G90 CRT
Posts: 8,849
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Have any of you guys tried Media Player Classic (link)?

That's my latest favorite.

I've tried tt2, zpp, vlc, windvd, nero, wmp, et al, but this week I put MPC, reclock, and the latest nvidia quadro fx1400 drivers... my PC has never looked better. I'm mainly interested in deinterlacing 1080i .ts playback to 1920x1080p@60. @72 gets soft. I don't have a standard driver refresh option for 48Hz.
Clarence is offline  
post #18 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 05:00 PM
Advanced Member
 
THECLOSER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I built a custom HTPC about 8 mos ago spent $4000 with the latest and badest stuff then and after playing and tweaking and hours upon hours finally got a pretty nice picture with TT2.2 mpeg4 vrm9 but at the end went back to the scaler. easier for the wife to work with when I am not home.

"He who dies with the most toys wins". unless its home theater we die broke!!! Let The Games Begin
THECLOSER is offline  
post #19 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 05:04 PM
Advanced Member
 
linecircle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarence
Have any of you guys tried Media Player Classic (link)?

That's my latest favorite.

I've tried tt2, zpp, vlc, windvd, nero, wmp, et al, but this week I put MPC, reclock, and the latest nvidia quadro fx1400 drivers... my PC has never looked better. I'm mainly interested in deinterlacing 1080i .ts playback to 1920x1080p@60. @72 gets soft. I don't have a standard driver refresh option for 48Hz.
I really like mpc too, then tt2, vlc, zp in that order. Using the 6600gt, I find 1080i .ts deinterlaces better and generally smoother in tt2, even if I setup mpc to use nvidia purevideo. Oddly enough, even with all that hardware "acceleration", 1080i .ts's in vlc still has the lowest cpu usage :b
linecircle is offline  
post #20 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 05:58 PM
kal
AVS Special Member
 
kal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 7,245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CZ Eddie
Just wanted to restate what I mentioned about a month ago. While everyone will have different results and many people may have a better HTPC than I do.... I did find that I preferred my scaler over my HTPC:

Scaler: Lumagen HDP
Dedicated HTPC: 2.8ghz P4, 6600 video card, TT 2.x in windowless mode

I found the Lumagen to give a more pleasing overall image, especially with motion. That is, until I did a factory reset on it and put all controls back to centered. Now I've got to figure out how to adjust the color/gamma/etc back to how it was, or better.
What DVD player you using to feed the Lumagen? Just curious!

Kal
kal is offline  
post #21 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 06:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CZ Eddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin TX, USA
Posts: 7,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kal
What DVD player you using to feed the Lumagen? Just curious!

Kal
SDI modded Panasonic RP56. Got it used in the AVS for sale section, for a mere $200. :D
It doesn't handle my archived DVD's very well though. It seems to have trouble with some brands of DVD-R's. So, I may be upgrading sooner or later to a newer DVD player. Probably the Pioneer 59AVI.

"The boom is dead, long live the bass"
CZ Eddie is offline  
post #22 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 06:25 PM
kal
AVS Special Member
 
kal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 7,245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 33
kal is offline  
post #23 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 09:11 PM
Advanced Member
 
SirJMon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 889
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Like Eddie, I prefer my Lumagen HPD over my HTPC as well.

Jeff

Mediocrity will always appeal to the masses, while excellence is most often over looked and only appreciated by a select few.
SirJMon is offline  
post #24 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 10:00 PM
Advanced Member
 
Tom Rosback's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I recently did a ground up G70 calibration. The G70 had new or near mint tubes, and was driven by a Lumagen HD Pro, which in turn was driven by an Onkyo DVD player. When I was done, the results were really outstanding.

This setup handily stomped my HTPC, which uses TT2, ffDShow, Reclock, Radeon 9500Pro/MP-1. There was just no contest. I have not seen any HTPC put out video as quiet, with as much low level detail, as this Lumagen scaler could.

So, knowing that I'm several generations behind on the video card side, I am going to give the HTPC one more try, in the hope that it can beat the Lumagen. I'm kind of bummed by Eddie's comments wrt his HTPC performance, but I'm willing to soldier on for one more go!

I'd like top be in the camp that sez: "You should see my HTPC, it's clearly better than the $5000 scalers out there." I'm not delusional, and intellectual honesty prevents me from saying anything of the sort. I wonder how many of those folks have seen a contemporary scaler?

The advantages of a dedicated video hardware platform are manifold. Before I turned to the dark side, I did a lot of low level analog video design work and know good video design. The video cards I've seen, (and I've seen quite a few) have significant grounding and layout issues. That, and the PC platform is pretty noisy overall.

It would be great to have well-designed video hardware that can take advantage of all the SW decoder perfomance improvements and future-proofing. I also really like a lot of the operational aspects of an HTPC.

I'm off to General Nanosystems in the morning..........wish me luck!
Tom Rosback is offline  
post #25 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 10:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
benareeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 2,026
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 14
I've never been awed by HTPC either....and every time it's brought up, people come from everywhere saying upgrade this upgrade that, install this, install that...tweak this, then that and you're there!! Well....what's the point if I can just plug in a scaler and be done with it. I realize that .ts files are pretty cool, but they're quite often flakey in their own right and also not always in proper aspect ratio. I think I'll put my htpc up on the market with all my .ts files and just start over with a scaler...but then there'll be some new "must have" htpc component and I'll keep trucking along with it :)

Ben
benareeno is online now  
post #26 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 10:23 PM
Advanced Member
 
Tom Rosback's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Too true, Ben!

But I really like some aspects of the HTPC experience. Things like indexed starting points, no warning screens, and sequenced intros and trailers. Makes for a great movie watching experience.

But I'm a movie buff, not a computer hobbyist, so video quality is the holy grail for me. I've solved all the interface and stability issues, so the family uses the HTPC with no problems at all. Well, not entirely trouble free, but the last crash was six months ago.

So I'm hoping a video card upgrade will improve things to the point where my HTPC is competitive, video quality wise. If not, I'm dropping it faster than a bad date at the fair.
Tom Rosback is offline  
post #27 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
draganm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Posts: 4,774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 14
tom , Ben , and Eddie you guys took the words right out of my mouth. This experience has been a real eye opener. Sure I could add this, tweak that, twiddle and fiddle till the Microsoft cows come home, but the fact remains that a $500. scaler BEAT my $1000. HTPC . At this point, I'm not hip on dumping any more money in it.
I don't regret building it, actually Stylin LP built it for me 3 years ago when you couldn't get a Lumagen for $1000. or even a Moshitsu. At that time I tried a $450. Viewsonic scaler and it was horrible. So the the $1000. HTPC was fun and a year ago I dumped another $300. into it for a better CPU and upagraded from Radeon 9000 to 9600 . Unfortunately it's still a noisy, dirty computer.
I beleive those who have compared directly and found that even the Nvidia card and a P4 can't match a good Lumagen. It's a no brainer, discrete circuitry well laid out and assembled well will always outperform a computer. It's basic Analog Philosophy, the truer and more direct the signal path the better, and going through a computer will always make that a compromise.
Of course the HTPC can store movies, surf porn, and all that fun stuff but for the serious videophile a good scaler is the only true path to the force. I'm just glad that you no longer have to spend $10K to get one. :)

Marquee HD mod's Marquee Upgrade/re-build package
draganm is offline  
post #28 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 11:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
benareeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 2,026
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Amen to that! Anyone need a PC?? :)

Ben
benareeno is online now  
post #29 of 385 Old 01-01-2006, 11:39 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Mastiff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Akland, Norway - on the frozen tundra
Posts: 1,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
but at the end went back to the scaler. easier for the wife to work with when I am not home.
That's because the automation isn't done correctly! My eight year old daughter has no problems operating my HTPC, and full HT.

benareeno, shure! I'll even pay shipping! :D

i7@ 3.6 - ATI 3870HD - Windows 7 64 bit - FFDShow with dScaler sharpen, AVISynth and Lancoz resize to BG808 with HD-144 lenses
Mastiff is offline  
post #30 of 385 Old 01-02-2006, 06:54 AM
AVS Special Member
 
aspec2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Glen Carbon, IL
Posts: 1,178
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Abit AA8 Max 3rd eye 169.44
Intel P4 LGA 775 3.8G 476.00
4 gig of quality ram 600.00
Radeon X1800 339.68
Pioneer DVR 110 49.00
Seagate SATA 500 Gig 349.00
Thermaltake 560W PS 93.50
Windows XP Pro (CD only) 93.15
Wireless KBM 100.00
Viewsonic 27" Wide Mon. 629.95
Case of your choice 300.00
Assorted Applications 800.00

Hmmm.......I guess I could spend 4K on an HTPC but maybe a little less.

Walt

Don't fire this one up. It's missing a heatsink and fan. I just let the smoke out of another one.
aspec2 is offline  
Closed Thread CRT Projectors

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