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post #1 of 23 Old 08-26-2002, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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As several members now own the new Hitachi sets with DVI input has anyone made a definitive attempt to use a HTPC through this input. Some of the other brands have been determined to be PC friendly in regards to HTPC and DVI, would like to know the status of Hitachi's implementation.
I have viewed the Hitachi and agree it is one of the best sets going for this new model year and they have done a better job of "improving" performance as well as features for the price!
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-26-2002, 12:57 PM
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I second that question.

The Hitachi is calling my name right now, and the if its DVI input can accept the output from a HTPC (DVI-out from the video card) then that would be the way to go.

Should we ask this in the HTPC forum?
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-27-2002, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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No comments? Lot's of Hitachi posts with no DVI capabilities determined?
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-28-2002, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Come on Hitachi owners! The forum wants to know if you can use a HTPC feed with the DVI input! Be brave, your sets are under warranty, how would Hitachi know if you tried?
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-28-2002, 10:52 AM
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No idea...

They are definitly one of, if not, the best sets for the $$$, but I do not know how PC freindly thier DVI implementation is.

Buy it from a authorized and reputable dealer like CC or Sears and they both have a 30 day, full money back return policy if it don't work. Or, you could use the component video inputs.

Why would you use a PC anyways though? I mean, most PC scalers are more myth than anything. They don't look that much better, if at all, then A good DVD player. And, given the frustation and cost of such a device; personally I would pass on it.

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post #6 of 23 Old 08-28-2002, 04:08 PM
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Why use a PC, you ask?

Granted, a component DVD player has its advantages in simplicity and practicality for the non-technically oriented (i.e., my wife).

However, a PC offers numerous advantages in capabilities, control, features.....not to mention the convergence of all multimedia entertainment into one unit (maybe you've browsed the HTPC group?)

For me, it's all about being able to sit down on the couch with my wireless keyboard/mouse, in front of my (future) Hitachi 65SWX20B (connected via DVI), and surf the net, play games, watch DVD's, listen to MP3's, etc.

And cost is actually another _benefit_, as I see it. Most people have a home PC anyway, and connecting it to your HDTV is simple and economical. In many cases, the cost of duplicating the function of a separate component (DVD player, HDTV tuner, TIVO, game console) is LESS than buying the separate component!
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-28-2002, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Mfusick,
Do you surf the web at 640X480 resolution? Do you understand MPEG decoding? Do you think Toy Story, Monsters Inc, much of the special effects used in film releases were created on a pc at low reslution? Obviously you don't have the understanding of "scaled video resolution"! I would bet my HTPC that the majority of AVS members that use a HTPC would not go back to regular dvd player if givin the choice and their investment back. My family and friends love watching DVD at 1280X720P with NO CHROMA BUG on a regular basis. Not to be harsh, but I understand the convergence of technology, do you?
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-28-2002, 09:58 PM
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Damn Gman,

take a few Prozac or something. While I agree with you that HTPCs do ultimately provide better picture quality AND more options for the end-user (I love my Radeon). It goes without saying that the amount of effort required to get an HTPC up and running is several orders of magnitude greater than what is required to buy and plug in a quality DVD player. Mfusick has a reasonable point, and I think you might want to do more checking on people's previous postings before you go around discrediting their knowledge.....

just my 2 cents,
Tim
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-28-2002, 10:04 PM
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Two other problems with HTPC's (I know, I've been there) are:

1) Fan noise. Even "quiet" PC's are not.

2) Compromised sound quality. Despite lots of effort and several different sound cards, I haven't been able to get the HTPC sound to equal that of a standalone DVD player.

The HTPC picture is somewhat better, but I'm not convinced the tradeoffs are worth it.

Les
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 10:05 AM
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I will admit it takes a lot of time and effort, but even the problems Les H mentions can be overcome.

I will admit to being a total computer/electronics geek. I have an HTPC, and I don't even have my HD set yet. I have been building PCs for years, and I have studies and worked in electronics. For me, building stuff like this is a hobby. I really should take a few pictures of it and post them somewhere...

My HTPC is completely silent. The only way you can tell it's on in by looking at the front panel LEDs. There is no fan noise, because there is no fan. It has a closed-loop water-cooling system all within the case. There is an opening on the top of the desktop case under which the small radiator is placed (I used a tranny fluid cooler for automobiles), and that's the only clue that this is not a normal PC. Even the fan on the Radeon 7500 video card has been removed, replaced by a very large heatsink that dissipates heat passively. The hard drive is a laptop hard drive with a conversion kit for a desktop PC, resting on a piece of foam, so it does not transmit mechanical vibrations to the PC chassis, so it too is extremely quiet. I selected the Samsung 8X DVD-ROM drive especially for its quiet operation, and the inside on the case is lined with thin cork panels for soundproofing. All ventilations holes originally in the case have been blocked, since I'm water cooling and couldn't care less about air flow. The whole system is painted with black enamel and clearcoated to make it look great in a living room.

Sound wise, I use a Hercules Fortissimo II sound card (about 50$US), that has optical digital out. I passes on the raw DD or DTS stream to the receiver. I'm not sure how the quality of such a setup could possibly be inferior to that of a standalone DVD player.

Functionality wise, MY HTPC also doubles as a CD player (again, straight PCM to the receiver) and MP3 music server with many hundred hours of music on it. I can use it to display some really cool visualizations of music on the TV for parties and stuff, picture slide shows, big-screen gaming, etc.

For me it wasn't a matter of cost or time. I just had to do it, because it could be done. As you've probably also figured out, I'm also single, so I don't have to justify the presence of a computer in the living room to anyone by myself ;-) Not to mention the 50+ hours spent building and tweaking the sucker.

Is such an undertaking worth the effort? For 99.9% of the people, not at all. But for the real geek who had to have something really different to show off, it's one real nice piece of work to show off to friends.

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post #11 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 12:19 PM
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Posted by RFMan on Today 01:05 PM:

>>I will admit it takes a lot of time and effort, but even the problems Les H mentions can be overcome.

If spending the time is something you enjoy, then it's worth it. If it's not, it's painful.
---

>>>Sound wise, I use a Hercules Fortissimo II sound card (about 50$US), that has optical digital out. I passes on the raw DD or DTS stream to the receiver. I'm not sure how the quality of such a setup could possibly be inferior to that of a standalone DVD player.

It sounds like you are assuming rather than testing. I suggest you get hold of a good DVD player like the Panasonic RP91 (and there are also better ones) and compare it with the sound of it with your HTPC. I think you'll find that your assumptions are unwarranted. No matter what I do (and I've done lots of things to improve the HTPC sound), it always comes out inferior enough to detract from my enjoyment of the movie. That even includes using a $300 sound card and exotic drivers and setups.
----

Your silencing techniques sound clever and effective. Do you just cool the CPU with water, or any other components? I thought that the water radiators typically have fans on them (fan noise again). What type CPU are you using?

-----

I'm glad you're happy with your HTPC. I'm not with mine, despite spending lots of time and money on it. I'm accused of being very techie and tweaky by my friends, yet getting quality and performance I wanted from the HTPC was beyond me (except for the video,which is good).

Les
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 12:50 PM
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As GrojGuy pointed out in his post, there are other reasons for wanting to use this big screen Hitachi as a computer monitor. Just surfing the net and seeing everything you encounter (space images and illuminated manuscripts and Brittany Spears, for instance) on the big screen will give most people a big kick. Secondly, playing Internet Games like Counterstrike on the big screen is a hoot and a half ! Have you ever been cut in half from the giant screen by a maniac wielding a machine gun? No? Then you haven't lived--or died.

I would suspect the Hitachi does accept a computer input on its DVI (someone please confirm!), because in the past Hitachi has shown that it is aware of the (still) coming convergence of all media through the addition of a computer to the living room media centre. Sure, this advance has been a long time coming and many have long ago given up on the idea, but the idea was there before it could be effectively understood and implemented. Now, with broadband widely available, it can be.

Mark these words . . . in a couple of years we'll be watching (and doing) all sorts of great things on our Home Theatre, all of which which will be delivered through the Internet utilizing MPEG 4 or some such thing.

Cheers

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post #13 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 02:00 PM
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Les H,

I must admit that I have not really done a side-by-side sound comparison. How have you found the sound to be better with a stansalone player? The only 2 problems that come to mind would be with audio sync to the image, and with jitter on the digital stream. I'm thinking that the processing done be the receiver (and the quality of the DD decoder) would make a greater difference. In which way do you find the sound inferior using the HTPC?

As for cooling, only the CPU is cooled using water. I installed a really large heatsink on the Radeon 7500 card to keep it cool without a fan. It works quite well. The CPU is a 1000 MHz AMD Duron. It's the highest speed I could go, or else the heat output would overwhelm the capacity of the radiator.

There is no fan on the radiator, it cools passively. Similar to the coils on the back of a refrigerator, but installed horisontally (it's much more effective that way, because heat naturally rises away from it.)

The setup keep the CPU within AMDs specified operating temperature range in my conditions. I did not test it in a non air-conditioned room in the sun in temperatures over 90F, but that's not the type of environment I'd watch a movie in anyways.

The only key think is that I need to make certain that nothing is placed on top of the PC, as to allow the heat to radiate freely from the radiator.


RFMan
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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As the source of this thread I will explain the question once again! Can the DVI input be used with other devices ie. HTPC, regular PC, etc. The thrust of the post is to determine the value and convience of DVI inputs. If they are simply for use with "Hollywood Approved" devices then their value is limited on such an expensive CE device. When I switched to an LCD monitor with analog to one with DVI, there was a credible improvement in text, graphics, etc. The hope of DVI is that we will be that much closer to freedom of analog limitations, not that digital is foolproof. No offense was intended, but, I did not expect a response from someone who does not use a HTPC to comment about "myths". I simply wish to know the limitations or benefits of the DVI interface in HDTV!:confused:
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post #15 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 04:54 PM
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From page 10 of the 51GWX/UWX20B User's Manual regarding the DVI-HDTV Input:

NOTES:
1. Only DTV formats such as 1080i, 720p, 480i, and 480p are available for DVI-HDTV input.
2. The DVI-HDTV input is not compatible when used with a DVD player from a personal computer.
3. When connecting a Set Top Box with a copy protected digital out terminal, a high definition picture an be displayed in it's digital form.
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 06:06 PM
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That's not entirely true. The JVC I'Art 48" HDTV does work fine at multiple resolutions with a computer connected to its DVI port. The following thread at Home Theater Sopt explains it well:

http://www.***************.com/htsth...b=5&o=&fpart=1


It's possible that the JVC is an unconventional implementation, and the the DVI on the Hitachi and others will not work with a computer. If such is the case, I'm getting a JVC.
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post #17 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 06:20 PM
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At first glance, Reflex-Arc's excerpt from the manual might seem quite dis-heartening, no doubt. But wait.....there may still be hope.....the truth is, as evidenced from the thread here....

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=edid

...both the JVC and Sony sets both seem to "work" for the most part (Windows recognizes them through Plug'n'Pray). And this is despite the fact that these other manufacturers ALSO have similar disclaimers/statements of "not compatible for use with a PC" with regards to their DVI input.

Until we can get somebody with one of these sets to actually TRY IT, then I guess we cross our fingers and wait until the glorious day we (maybe) get to hit the power button on our shiny new set.

Or, like I said before, drag a PC into the store and hook it up, to the chagrin of the salesperson.
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 06:28 PM
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Yeah. I honestly don't know one way or another. I just happened to notice that in the manual right after reading this thread earlier today. Heck I don't even have the TV yet! I just downlaoded the manual to get familiar with the unit before it's delivered.
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 06:37 PM
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Somebody has to be brave enough to risk blowing up their TV to see if computer DVI will work.

RFMan:
Compared to the DVD player, the HTPC sounds is deficient in: imaging, detail, transient response, and separation of instruments. The difference is not subtle or tweaky, even my non-audiophile friends can tell the diff.

I think jitter may be partly responsible, plus the crummy environment of the PC (with all its noise of all types and switching power supplies) probably prevents an entirely accurate bitstream from getting out.

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post #20 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 07:20 PM
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I guess I will have to do the comparison some time when I can get my hands on a good DVD player.

As for DVI blowing up your TV, I'm quite certain there's no risk there. It's not like an analog input where you could cause the TV to improperly scan or send voltages that are too high. DVI is digital. Either the TV understands the 1s and 0s or it doesn't. If it does, you get a nice computer desktop. If not, you'll most likely get a blank screen, or a garbage screen, but you're not forcing the electronics to do something they're not designed to do.

If anyone has a laptop with DVI output, such as the newer Titanium Powerbooks, just bring it to the showroom and plug the thing in. I'd be pretty surprised if it didn't work. DVI is DVI; if it wasn't the same thing as in a PC, they wouldn't call it DVI, because it would probably infringe on some company's patent and/or trademark. Another way of checking is what chipset the DVI interface runs off. If it's a Silicon Images chip or anything TDMS, it's the exact same thing that's to be found in a PC.

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post #21 of 23 Old 08-29-2002, 07:27 PM
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I've been reading all the back and forth about the sound from an HTPC not being as good as the sound from a DVD player and I just have to throw my two cents in. Anything is possible in this world BUT if the electronics in the DVD reader, whether it's the reader in a stand alone DVD player or the reader in a DVD drive in a computer, are reading the bits off of the same disk the bitstream coming out HAS to be the same. Mechanical vibration forcing the drive to misread bits could be the only thing to MAYBE change what is being read off the disk. Electrical noise, even the noise coming from a hand drill plugged right into the same oulet as the PC is not going to change that. Now, what happens to that bitstream after it leaves the drive is a different story. Software or electronics can do whatever they want to do to it. If the bitstream is being fed to the reciever or amp RAW from the HTPC then it should sound exactly the same as a bitstream being fed RAW from a DVD player.
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post #22 of 23 Old 08-30-2002, 12:01 AM
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I know theory says that both should sound the same but unfortunately theory does not always account for real world phenomena because the real world is more complex and less explicable. The history of science is full of bogus theories that held sway for many years (or centuries) before they were debunked. Recall, for example, that science once said that the earth was the center of the solar system and everything else revolved around it. More recently, medical science said that stomach ulcers were caused by stress and excess acid, until it was proven that a bacterium was the cause. There are countless examples of defective theory that was widely accepted.

In the real world that I inhabit, at least, HTPC sound is inferior to standalone player sound. Whether it's jitter, messed up bitstreams for whatever reason, or something else that theory doesn't account for yet, that's how I hear it. I wish it weren't so, but it is.

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post #23 of 23 Old 08-30-2002, 05:47 AM
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Sorry dude,

But I can tell the difference between Coax and Optical cables with sound quality comming of the same player.

The sound is not the same.

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