Upgrade advice for new CRT for HTPC use. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a newer HTPC machine (has HDMI, DVI-I w/hdcp) hooked up (via S-video) to a old 4:3 standard def 27" CRT. As most of you know, this provides a fair picture but the text is nearly unreadable. Since tons of the newer HD CRT's are being given away on craigslist, I figured I could do a free upgrade. I need it to fit in my entertainment center, so I'm limited to a 30" widescren or 32" 4:3.
The problem is, the rare HDMI/DVI-I equipped ones fly off the free list, but the one's w/ component inputs are still around. Would I get a noticeably worse picture if I used a DVI-I to component video solution?
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-17-2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian44 View Post

HTPC machine hooked up (via S-video) to a old 4:3 standard def 27" CRT

Yeah, been there; done that. Also ran the Nokia Monitor Test program, and discovered the out-of-whack convergence!

Quote:


Would I get a noticeably worse picture if I used a DVI-I to component video solution?

It's probably dangerous to make that generalization. Component video is an analog input, and the quality of that input circuitry would vary between manufacturers and specific models (e.g. I expect Sony XBR models to have better quality parts and tighter tolerances). Computer text requires better video bandwidth than typical video, so I would not expect the typical TV to do computer text that good on component video. But there could be a few HDTV models that have wide-bandwidth component video inputs to match the digital quality. Specifically, I've seen both component video and DVI from a PC into a KV-34XBR910, and there was no obvious difference. (In fact that was a free & non-working but repairable HDTV obtained through this forum for a friend!) Note that the graphics card could output 1920x1080i component video in this case, rather than using a converter.

BTW a "DVI-I to component video solution" requires a converter box that costs US$40 or more. Forget the $5 or $15 adapters; they do not convert digital to analog and are suitable for only a few graphic cards! The easiest way to get component video out of a PC is to use a graphics card that can output component video.

More relevant, I have compared a Windows 7 HTPC on both Sony KV-30HS420 and KV-30XBR910. The KV-30HS420 has HDMI and a Hi-Scan tube (about 850 horizontal dot resolution). The KV-30XBR910 has DVI-D and a Super Fine Pitch tube (about 1440 horizontal dot resolution). For HD video from the PC or SD video from a ChannelMaster CECB I could live with either TV (although the XBR is better). But computer text at 1920x1080i out the nVidia GeForce 8100 DVI port is much easier to read on the SFP screen. At the desktop default "small" text size, you have to guess at what the text is on the HS screen, whereas it's almost readable on the SFP screen. Even at the "large" text size the SFP screen text is noticeably more legible. An extra-large custom text size is required for legible text on the HS screen.

If you stick to MCE or whatever HTPC interface with oversized text, this won't matter too much. Otherwise a secondary display would help relieve eyestrain if using something less than a SFP tube.

(The GeForce 8100 is an integrated GPU, and does not have component video outputs, only VGA and DVI.)

BTW I was very lucky/blessed to get the KV-30XBR910 for free, mostly because the first ad responder failed three times over 4 days to show up.

My upgrade from 27" to 30" widescreen HDTV required a new shelf to support the added depth and the doubling of the weight (to 150 lbs), which is now primarily distributed on the front of the set. Be sure to plan for this physical issue.

Regards
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-18-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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It's probably dangerous to make that generalization. Component video is an analog input, and the quality of that input circuitry would vary between manufacturers and specific models (e.g. I expect Sony XBR models to have better quality parts and tighter tolerances). Computer text requires better video bandwidth than typical video, so I would not expect the typical TV to do computer text that good on component video.

Thanks for your reply! Since the one I was currently looking at was one of the JVC I'art series this doesn't look like the way to go. The "900" series super fine pitch ones are getting pretty rare to find. But I just missed a one of those 420 High Scans. It was a "First come, First serve" deal and the other guy lived closer...

BTW a "DVI-I to component video solution" requires a converter box that costs US$40 or more. Forget the $5 or $15 adapters; they do not convert digital to analog and are suitable for only a few graphic cards! The easiest way to get component video out of a PC is to use a graphics card that can output component video.

I did check that out, since it was a digital to analog connection. Thought my ATI X1250 was one of them. Further research this morning revealed that apparently ONLY the earlier family (8500-9000 series) does this...

If you stick to MCE or whatever HTPC interface with oversized text, this won't matter too much. Otherwise a secondary display would help relieve eyestrain if using something less than a SFP tube.

I figured I'd still need to bump up the size of the text, I have it maxed w/ my current setup of course. But it still looks pretty bad. Man...sounds like I really should hold out for the SFP Sony. Even if I have to pay a little...

BTW I was very lucky/blessed to get the KV-30XBR910 for free, mostly because the first ad responder failed three times over 4 days to show up.

Yep! I've done enough research to know, that one is the "Holy Grail" in the 30" HD class. Way ta go! Guess I'll hold out for one of the two SFP 30" Sonys or at least a HDMI/DVI equipped 30" of some other brand. That JVC was just a bit less wide, would of fit the entertainment center perfectly. But I think I'm gonna pass on that one now. Thanks for your help!
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-01-2012, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Think I might of landed a deal off Craigslist. Found a Samsung TX-P3071WH. It's the right size, has the DVI input and even a built-in HDTV tuner. Not for free, but only 40 bucks. I would of had to play that for a set top tuner anyways, so I don't mind... :-) Seems to have got rave reviews even comparing 'em to the Sonys. Hopefully the deal is gonna go through...
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-02-2012, 09:26 AM
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Be careful on those Samsungs... they can have horrible geometry... can be really bad for pc use. For movies you dont notice much but on windows... you'll see curved lines, waves and even convergence issues.
Be sure to try it on a pattern with the DVI/HDMI input and see if the geometry is ok to your liking.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-02-2012, 01:25 PM
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The TVs are free, go get it if you can, try it out and if it sucks post a curb alert and it will be gone by morning..
I can tell you of the many SD CRTs I have picked up trying to find a nice one for my mom's place, Sony is the only thing worth picking up.. I was not looking for HD nore anything bigger than 27" so maybe the other manufactures did better with HD then SD..
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-11-2012, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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That Samsung TX deal didn't work out, but I did land one I'm happy with. Not really too sad after hearing all the "iffy" reports on the reliability and picture of the Samsung. The new one is the 26" Panasonic Tau, not free, but only 30 bucks! Fit the current entertainment center and MUCH clearer text w/ the HDMI connection. Still on the hunt for a 30" for the upstairs TV, then the new 26" Panny will go to the downstairs bar. Found the "Holy Grail" Sony KD-30XS955 but the thing is nearly 3 ft. wide and they wanted $100. Think I'm gonna hold out for the Toshiba Cinema series 30", it fits the entertainment center and I've read many good reviews on it. More than likely I'll find it for free or near free price and it'll hold me over 'til I can afford a good LCD/LED flat screen. Anyone have any experience w/ the Toshibas?
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