HTPC - G11 cableing - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-30-2000, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I know this was covered previously somewhere, (by Mark Hunter I think), but I can't find the thread and I thought given the number of power buyers about to receive their AVS / Cliff calibrated units I would post...

I want to order the required cableing from bettercables.com so I'm ready to rock and roll when the G11 arrives from Cliff. Can someone quickly review the cable requiremments for HTPC - G11 (which port and connector type)hookup; Dilard (null modem); DVD - G11 (which port and connector type)

thanks-
ken
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-30-2000, 08:44 PM
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Here is a thread from the FAQ. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum10/HTML/001006.html

PC on comp1,
scaler and DTC100 on comp2 if applicable
Dish 6000/progressive dvd (not a good match) on component if applicable

Don O

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If it isn't in the D-ILA FAQ let me know

[This message has been edited by Don O'Brien (edited 10-31-2000).]

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post #3 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Don-
The Dila FAQ is great. This link isn't there on this one though. Thanks for your up-keep of this valuable resource!!
ken
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 08:55 AM
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 08:56 AM
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Hi Ken,

The post was buried down in this thread about HTPC timings on the D-ILA. Here is is again, touched up a bit to make it readable (it was spread across multiple posts):


If you plan on using an HTPC and getting HDTV *not* through the HTPC, you should connect:
  • HTPC on Computer1
  • HDTV on Computer2

The Computer2 input is the most versatile input on the D-ILA (grab your manual and turn to the "Available Inputs" page...Computer2 is the only one that accepts every single type of source material!).

You should save this input for your most-demanding component, if possible. Since a VGA cable works great in Computer1, and since Computer1 accepts all of the computer formats but none of the video formats, you should use that instead of Computer2 for your HTPC.

Once you can run HDTV through your HTPC (with a HDTV card when they become available), the output is not going to be HDTV anymore, but scaled to SXGA. I would expect the projector to auto-sync to the "SXGA3" signal. As a side note...where ARE those HDTV cards anyway? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

This means that you would still want to use Computer1 for the HTPC, as the HDTV signal would now be a computer-based one, and not seen as an HDTV video signal. Similar to running an NTSC TV signal through a TV tuner card...the projector isn't going to see it as an NTSC signal with a 480i resolution anymore but a computer signal with the resolution that you are currently running on your graphics card (probably 1365x1024).

This makes sense to anyone playing DVDs on their HTPC. The projector doesn't see a "DVD player" with a video output, but a "computer" with a computer-based output. It is the same with TV tuner cards and will be the same with the HDTV cards when they become available.

The Computer2 input is great because it handle BOTH the video signals and the computer signals. However, it really excels in the former, being the highest res., video input that exists on the projector. Forget that it's called Computer2...Call it "HDTV1"! Or even, "DTC100".

Another way to look at it-->you have 2 high-resolution capable inputs:

COMPUTER1: Accepts computer signals to SXGA3 (1365x1024)
COMPUTER2: Accepts computer signals to SXGA3 and video signals up to HDTV resolution.

If you are only feeding the projector computer-based signals, feed them through Computer1 and consider Computer2 your "HDTV input". The cabling is easier (VGA-->VGA), and you save that versatile Computer2 for when you really need it!

The only exception would be if you have 2 computer-based inputs, then you have no choice but to use Computer2 as a computer input instead of a high-res. video input.



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post #6 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 02:56 PM
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In an attempt to get as clear a sense as possible of how my system-to-be will work, I started putting much of the information I've been gathering in the AVS Forum in one convenient place... a web page... http://members.aol.com/ejwize/HT/TheaterDeMelle.html

This will be my first HT and I only currently own a very small minority of the products included in the setup I'm proposing... so I'm not entirely certain I've got everything hooked up optimally on the page.

I'm hoping that setting up this virtual version of my HT, in conjunction with the remarkable resource of the AVS Forum, will help me iron out a lot of problems in advance of doing the real deal (probably in January).

At the risk of bogging the thread down with too many simultaneous questions : ) , questions I'm working on that pertain to this wiring thread are as follows (although feel free to comment on any aspect of the setup if you are so inclined!):

Can Dilard be effectively hooked up to COM3 while there is a simultaneous hookup from the PC via the interface to COM1? (I see that you are reading this thread, Mark!)

Everyone who recommends cable arrays includes CAT5 cable for IR control. That's ethernet cable, right? I've done quite a bit of browsing around looking at various IR repeaters, but I haven't found anything that mentions CAT5 cable. What am I missing here?

Where can you get 12 AWG ground cable and how exactly does it connect to the projector? (This is one for Dennis Erskine, I think. Not sure if he gets up here).

Thanks for any thoughts!

Todd

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post #7 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 03:46 PM
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Wow, Todd! Nice diagram!

I love the idea of an HTPC in a home theater, but I have never seen anyone use TWO computers in their set-up before! A MAC and a PC, quite a system!

That's a great diagram, but I'm not sure I see the COM conflict. Your HD15 BetterCables cable goes from the HTPC VGA output to the projector's Computer1 input (I assume), and another, separate cable goes from the HTPC COMx output to the RS232 input. I only see that one COM port connection...is there another one?

By the way, if you haven't already considered this, you are definitely going to want to check out dTV for your VHS-->HTPC feed. Although your TV tuner card (again, I am assuming) will produce a pseudo-acceptable image, dTV will improve the picture significantly. You can check this out in the HTPC forum, if you haven't done so already.

You can certainly run DILARD on COM3, if you wish, but I didn't see the conflict on COM1 from your diagram.

One more point...I see four connections coming into your projector, but only three that I am aware of needing:
  • DTC100 --> Computer2
  • DILARD --> RS232
  • Altinex Switcher --> Computer1

I'm not sure what that Cat5 cable is for, though. Maybe you could explain that one? Are you networking the projector!?! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

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post #8 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Todd-
Nice diagram - sure helps keep things straight. I'm invious - an htpc AND a mac. What applications will you be running on the mac? A couple of observations in addition to Mark's -
What is the 12awg cable for?
The cat5 cable could be used to send IR to a blaster inside the hush box - is this what you intended?
If so - another option is to use Mark's Dilard software to control via the htpc - rs232 connection. This is probably more reliable, but does require use of a keyboard instead of an IR remote. Mark - does or will Dilard interface with an htpc IR receiver converting the commands? This would allow a Pronto to be the end use device for control, but taking full advantage of Dilard communication with the projector.
Does the DTC100 have a digital audio coaxial out for your receiver to process the 5.1? (I'm not familiar with the dtc100-)

ken
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Mark - does or will Dilard interface with an htpc IR receiver converting the commands? This would allow a Pronto to be the end use device for control, but taking full advantage of Dilard communication with the projector.
Absolutely! In fact, this is the raison d'etre of the "keystroke" interface to DILARD (in addition to the command-line, script and COM interfaces).

It works like this:
  • You will need to plug an IR keyboard "sensor" into your computer keyboard port. The Airboard is quite popular on the HTPC forum, so I picked up one of those. It works great!
  • Assign keystrokes to the DILARD Directives that you would like to be able to perform from your remote control.
  • Point the nose of your learning remote or Pronto at the IR emitter on the IR keyboard and "teach" the remote how to send the keystrokes for the DILARD Directives you set up in the last step.
  • The remote control now sends "keystrokes" to the IR port connected to the computer and DILARD picks up the keystrokes and commands the projector.
  • Finally, test it. To test the system, press the button on the remote that you just taught the keystroke to.
  • The remote will send the "keystroke" to the IR sensor. DILARD will pick up the keystroke and command the projector.
  • This works whether DILARD is the active application or not, or even running in the taskbar tray. Doesn't matter.

This hand-held remote or Pronto can now control DILARD, which controls the projector. With this you can push a button on the remote to zoom in, push another one to zoom out, focus, change brightness, contrast, sharpness, change inputs, switch sources (to flip over to a setting where you created a custom "mod") and more. You can automate everything that the standard remote can do and much more.

Since you can even teach projector "macros" in the exact same way as described above, it gets pretty powerful. The "macros" can even automate other applications, as well as the projector.

For example, the DILARD 1.0 installation ships with a sample DILARD macro called "PlayWinDVD" which:
  • Turns the projector ON if it's off.
  • Switches to the Computer1 Input and the SXGA3 source (DVDs on my HTPC play through this combination)
  • Starts WinDVD and YXY. YXY is informed to default to the "anamorphic" setting (most of my DVDs).

Presto! Instant wide-screen, anamorphic DVD on my HTPC, regardless of what I was just watching (or watching nothing...it will turn the projector on for you).

Anyway, you can see that teaching this to a Pronto or learning remote is a pretty powerful concept. The regular remote doesn't even come close to this sort of automation power.

The downside? You need to set this up initially.


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Mark Hunter

[This message has been edited by milori (edited 10-31-2000).]

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post #10 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 05:27 PM
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Gentlemen,
It is better to have wire/s that you do not use, than to deal with snaking the walls/ceiling to insert a wire (potentially pre-terminated) that you do need. The link that I referred to above deals with pre-wiring for a home theater to the D-ILA projector.
The second run of shielded cat5 to the projector allows you to install an Ir blaster/emitter into a hush-box from a long distance without having to use a 50ft emitter extension cable. The extension cables have pre-terminated ends which can become a casualty during a pre-wire through a designated conduit to the equipment room. The emitter has a 1/8" phono jack on one end, while having the "flasher" on the other end. It is easy to cut these emitters close to the 1/8" phono jack and splice the phono jack onto the CAT5 by the equipment room, while splicing the the "flasher" to the piece of CAT5 wire to the hushbox. This cable costs peanuts and is easy to drag during a pre-wire. You only need 2 (1 pair) leads of this wire, but I cannot suggest utilizing the remaining 6 leads to accomplish you custom null modem cable.

Utilizing a 12ga ground wire from the projector to the source equipment is useful if you have 60cycle hum bars seen with ground potential differences between the projector and the AV equipment. You can lift the ground on the projector and ground the projector to the AV equipment with 12 gauge wire. This wire is single conductor 12 AWG and is typically sheathed in green.

Mark H has generously provided us with the serial automation features for the D-ILA projector at no cost, but I still see myself utilizing a mix of IR and serial control for my projector.

Don O

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[This message has been edited by Don O'Brien (edited 10-31-2000).]

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post #11 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Mark-
Awesome! Thanks for the explanation

Todd-
Given this functionality in Dilard - I plan to implement it since my HTPC from Digital Connection comes with the airboard IR remote keyboard and I already have a Pronto. As Mark pointed out - this will allow virtually any command line function that is understood by Windvd / Powerdvd; yxy; Dilard (mapping the entire projector command suite) to be programmed into a learning remote. This has great future potential as well when other controlling software becomes available on your HTPC. Knowing the proficiency of Mark, I wouldn't be surprised to see Dilard start to have some ancillary control capabilities!?!

BTW - If your HT setup doesn't have a direct line of sight to your htpc and/or other AV equipment for consolidation into the Pronto or other learning remote, you can get a blaster to receive the IR and flood your equipment area with the IR signal. I use one from Niles that works great. I also use it to pass IR commands from touchscreen control pads located around the house which control and switch all my audio / video equipment.

ken
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Don-
excellent points. In fact - a conduit probably makes a lot of sense as well. Thanks for the links. Concerning the 12 guage ground loop wire. What would be the typical connection points? G11 chassis to htpc chassis? Or is there a better grounding point?

ken
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post #13 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for the quick and helpful responses!

Quote:
Originally posted by milori:

You can certainly run DILARD on COM3, if you wish, but I didn't see the conflict on COM1 from your diagram.
There would only be a conflict when I have the interface switched so that the Mac is the source. I thought it would be nice to have the PC on a separate Dilard connection so I could use the PC as a controller in conjunction with the Mac as the video input. Would that work?

Quote:
Originally posted by milori:

One more point...I see four connections coming into your projector, but only three that I am aware of needing:
  • DTC100 --> Computer2
  • DILARD --> RS232
  • Altinex Switcher --> Computer1

I'm not sure what that Cat5 cable is for, though. Maybe you could explain that one? Are you networking the projector!?! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
Combing the AVS forum for information on what cabling I should anticipate for my setup I came up with a series of posts I listed earlier in this thread. A couple of them recommend the CAT5 cable. I see Don has explained this above better than I can. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

I will definitely check out dTV. I don't currently have a TV tuner card, but I'm sure my virtual setup will go through quite a number of iterations before its ready for the breath of life.

Quote:
Originally posted by kenliles:
What applications will you be running on the mac?
I've been illustrating and designing on a Mac for many years. The initial motivating behind this whole setup was for use with my computer workstation to make it bigger, more immersive and more fun. I've invested a lot over the years into Mac hardware and software, and although I have been building up on the PC side of the equation of late, I will at least be painting with Photoshop and a Wacom tablet using my Mac. I'll be using the PC for other applications like Lightwave. And of course, there are games... I confess, I'm a junky.

Quote:
Originally posted by kenliles:

another option is to use Mark's Dilard software to control via the htpc - rs232 connection. This is probably more reliable, but does require use of a keyboard instead of an IR remote.
That would work quite nicely as a matter of fact. As it is primarily a computer workstation, I will be using a keyboard most of the time I am running the projector. I'm hoping to setup a switchable wireless RF keyboard and mouse so that I can use them with both the Mac and PC. I've added some links to the setup site with that info if you're interested.

Quote:
Originally posted by kenliles:

Does the DTC100 have a digital audio coaxial out for your receiver to process the 5.1? (I'm not familiar with the dtc100-)
I'm fairly certain it does. The DTC100 box on my setup site has a link to its specs. I tried to throw as many links in there as I could for quick and easy reference.

Thanks again for the feedback. I'm sure I'll have many more questions in the weeks to come.

Todd
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post #14 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 06:18 PM
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Ken,
if you have the AC hum bars a "chassis to chassis" connection would be best. I believe you will be able to find a suitable "anchoring" point for the ground wire on both ends.

tdemelle,
the DTC-100 has an optical output that is capable of passing DD and PCM audio with an "auto" setting that passes the DD signal when available.

Don O

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If it isn't in the D-ILA FAQ let me know

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post #15 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks Don - I'll definitely run a grounding wire in case of problems.

Todd - sounds like a great system you are setting up. I've considered using the new mac cube for advanced vidio and graphic applications. Anyway, I'm glad we got this cableing thing consolidated here.
Good luck with your setup-

ken
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post #16 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a question. Pricing the vga from bettercables; for a 33 foot cable their premium cable is $130, but their ultra is $305. Does anyone know if the difference is really worth this? I know cableing is critical and I don't want to compromise the picture, but given the extreme price difference, it seems worth a consideration.

ken
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post #17 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
KenLiles said:
their premium cable is $130, but their ultra is $305. Does anyone know if the difference is really worth this?
Hi Ken, their premium is a Canaere VGA cable and the Ultra is a Mogami. I debated whether the Mogami was worth such an extreme price increase, and in the end decided that it wasn't.

You are right, cabling can be critical, especially in the video area. The Canaere was all that I needed to take care of all of the ghosting problems that I was having with the super-duper-ultra-high-end-best-cable-they-had-from-CompUSA, as it still wasn't good enough. The Canaere was that premium cable that I needed to pass the signals cleanly and eliminate the ghosting.

I believe in spending up to the point where you can no longer see any potential for improvement...and then stopping. IMHO, the Mogami cable is overkill.

If you get the Canaere, you will be quite impressed with the build quality of the cable. It's over 1/2" thick, with a black braided exterior sheath, rubber heat-shrinked connector protection, quality screw-in fasteners. Recommended.

On the other hand, I've only got a 12 foot run of it. With 33', your mileage may vary.


Quote:
tdemelle wrote:
There would only be a conflict when I have the interface switched so that the Mac is the source. I thought it would be nice to have the PC on a separate Dilard connection so I could use the PC as a controller in conjunction with the Mac as the video input. Would that work?
That will work. I still don't see the COMflict, though...

The PC VGA signal and the MAC VGA signal will run through the switcher to flip the video to the projector from one computer to the other.

The PC (only) will also have a cable running from COM1 (or 3, if you prefer) to the projector's RS232 port. The MAC will not have this cable at all (at least until I do a MAC port of DILARD in 2007 http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif).

You will need to have the PC running full-time for the DILARD automation features, but you can freely switch the video from one machine to the other at any time without messing with the COM port at all.

In fact, you've drawn your picture perfectly...the PC has the null modem cable straight-through to the projector. There's no switcher in the way, no MAC involved and only one COM port total among the two computers connected to the projector.

By the way, your picture seems to be GROWING every time I look at it! It's going to take over your HOUSE at the rate that items are being added to it!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

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post #18 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Great - thanks Mark. No doubt you just saved me $170 bucks. I'll go with the premium. If I have any problems, I'll use it for a rope swing in the back yard!
BTW I assume the end connectors should both be 15 pin male (my DC HTPC shipped today with a GTS 2 Gladiac, so that got the standard 15 pin female on it) I assume the G11 computer 1 input is a 15 pin female - I can't find a specifiaction or even picture of the connector on the JVC site

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post #19 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 09:30 PM
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Thanks Mark and Ken

Quote:
Originally posted by kenliles:
I'm glad we got this cableing thing consolidated here.
Good luck with your setup-
This forum is really an amazing resource. After only a couple visits to local retailers, I know I would *never* be able to work stuff out in this much detail with so much hard experience behind it prior to purchase in any other way.

Quote:
Originally posted by milori:


By the way, your picture seems to be GROWING every time I look at it! It's going to take over your HOUSE at the rate that items are being added to it!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/tongue.gif Yeah... I'm sure it won't surprise you that I've set up a scale model of the studio with the major hardware in it in Lightwave... it actually helped me work out some potential problems with my low ceiling!



------------------

Todd

The HT-2-B

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post #20 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Beautiful; just what the doctor ordered.

Mark
That was exactly what I remembered, but couldn't locate- thank you!

tdemelle-
Perfect links for what we need - thanks!

I love this forum!

ken

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post #21 of 26 Old 10-31-2000, 09:59 PM
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Mark,

Excellent replay. Condensed perfectly! That clearly answered some questions I had myself, and I've been through my G11 manual a dozen times.

About the HDTV cards, do you know if they are strictly for OTA hi def, or will there be some way to scale SDTV DSS signals to higher levels using the PC?

Thanks, Chris

My Home Theater is a work in progress.
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post #22 of 26 Old 11-03-2000, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Moving this back up for those cableing their powerbuy DILAS. Don O has some great links and cableing discussion that lays it out nicely. Mark Foster covers Dilard connections and much more, etc.

Todd - BTW, that 12awg for grounding can be had at Home Depot. Best to get solid versus stranded - they have both

ken
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post #23 of 26 Old 11-03-2000, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry - I meant Mark Hunter in previous post, not Mark Foster. I had just read a bunch of Foster posts and had the name on the brain! - Sorry Mark H

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post #24 of 26 Old 11-03-2000, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Also - Don't miss the links supplied by Todd (tdemelle) above in this thread

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post #25 of 26 Old 04-16-2001, 03:45 PM
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I'm FINALLY ready to order the cable that will connect my Dish 6000 to the G-11. Of the two options, which is preferable: Y Pb Pr RCA to 5BNC *OR* DB15 (is that the same as HD15??) to 5BNC? Gonna run to Bettercables.com as soon as I get a definitive answer. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Also, I've got my PC hooked up to the Comp 1 input on the projector via the "personal computer connection cable" that came with the G11. Could I expect an appreciable difference by upgrading to a Bettercables VGA?

Thanks!

------------------

Todd

The HT-2-B

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post #26 of 26 Old 04-16-2001, 10:02 PM
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Why not hook up component to component? That's how I have my G11 hooked up to the 6000 and it works great! HDTV is awesome! That leaves both RGBHV inputs, (comp 1 and 2), open for other things.
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Closed Thread Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP

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