Confused...Do I need a VB50 & transcoder??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-03-2002, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I am really confused... I've read a number of different threads on this, and it never really got addressed.

If I buy the VB50 do I also need a transcoder?

I bought the ever so popular Panasonic AE100, the VB50 (to watch OTA, VCR, Cable/Satellite through). Do I then need to connect it through a transcoder to connect to the VGA input on the AE100?

Also if I connect the VB50 to the AE100, where would I connect my progressive DVD player? Through the component inputs? If so then I won't be able to watch it through the WIDE setting, correct?

Do I connect the DVD player through the VB50 somehow and does that act as a transcoder? Or do I still need a Audio Authority transcoder somewhere in the chain???

Totally confused... Last question: Will the Iscan PRO in any way fix my woes???
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-03-2002, 01:33 PM
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The answer to your question is yes....and ...no! It all depend on what you want to do and how fussy you are about image quality.

The VB50 is a cheap doubler/scaler. It is a good investment to enhanced your image to watch VHS, LD, Digital TV or regular TV. The machine as one s-video input, one composite input, a vga pass-through input and a vga output. So it's not design to accept a progressive signal via component inputs.

You have the following choices to watch DVD movies:

1:You use a s-video out of your DVD player and put your progressive player in a interlaced mode. The image will be nice put you will probably have some artifacts and the macrovision protection will cause a flip between a slightly dimmer to brighter picture. You will be able to set your projector to wide480. The VB50 will act as a doubler and scaler in that mode. You should get a better quality if you put your VB50 at a resolution of 852x480. Some people prefer 1024x768 or 800x600 and let the projector handle the down scaling.

2:You buy a transcoder and plug your vga out of the transcoder to the vga in of your VB50. That connection is only a pass-through so you can send a progressive image to it. The picture quality should be really good and you will be able to use the wide480 setting. The quality image will depend on your progressive DVD player. Your DVD player will be the doubler and your projector will do the scaling. With this option.

3:You don't buy a transcoder but run three component cable to your projector and use the component input of your projector. The quality is not as good as the transcoder solution and will depend on the quality of your progressive DVD player. The RP56 gives a really great picture with this method. Not as good as using a transcoder but close. You won't be able to set your projector to wide480 . Your DVD player will act as the doubler and the projector as the scaler.

Buying an Iscan Pro will not give you more options. I am not familiar with the product but my guess is that the quality will probably be at par to slightly better that the VB50 for option 1 and 3. You won't be able to do option 2 because I think the IscanPro doesn't have a VGA pass-through.

If money is no object my personal choice will be option 2,

Option 3 will be my second choice and optioin 1 my last.



Bruno
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-03-2002, 01:52 PM
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I would not bother with the VB50. I'm not sure the line doubling within the AE100 is that much worse than the VB50. Try the AE100 first and then see if you like that first.

- JP in TOronto
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-03-2002, 07:14 PM
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JPINTO,

I disagree, the VB50 is WAY better than the AE100 internal scaler. I have done many tests using the following: DirecTV,PS1 and 2. I definitely see the difference in the PQ..

Now i have a RP56 and a Windows XP based HTPC and can only see a tiny difference. I have spent many nights tunning the HTPC and prefer the Panasonic RP56. Now i have read that you have a transcoder, is it worth the money for the RP56.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-03-2002, 08:12 PM
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I think the AE100's internal processing is crap and the VB50's are pretty crappy. So, I'm not sure if $99 is worth it to go from crap to pretty crappy. Of course, it depends on your sources, but for my cable TV & PS2 use, it wasn't much of an improvement.

I think the AA is worth the money. The RP56 picture goes from good to very, very good (possibly exceellent) with the AA.

It really comes down to our own sense of definitions. What's crap to me may be good to you. What's excellent to me, may be ok to you. It's a crap shoot with these processors... you may like them, or you may be disappointed. I think it depends very much on your expectations.

- JP in TOronto
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-05-2002, 02:46 AM
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I agree to JPINTO. I myself after reading several posts thought the VB50 would improve my cable and VCR quality.
I would say maybe at most 15% improvement. It was not worth the $99.

BTW, where do you buy the AA?
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-05-2002, 10:07 AM
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copperbox.com--$179, now that was worth it, to me.

- JP in TOronto
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-05-2002, 10:35 AM
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If the VB50 isn't worth the money then what is another alternative for increasing PQ with VCR, SAT and Cable signals? I realize the PQ isn't going to be as good as DVD or HDTV but it can get better, right? The transcoder just enables you to hook up a prog scan DVD player via the vga port on the AE100, or does it do more?
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-05-2002, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Happy
If the VB50 isn't worth the money then what is another alternative for increasing PQ with VCR, SAT and Cable signals? I realize the PQ isn't going to be as good as DVD or HDTV but it can get better, right? The transcoder just enables you to hook up a prog scan DVD player via the vga port on the AE100, or does it do more?
The Iscan pro should do a good job. I never tried it but the review are pretty good. Li On who started the AE-100 mania here does't use the transcoder anymore. He feed is DVD via the Iscan ver 1 and he is happy with the result. Mind you I don't think he has a progressive DVD player. I don't know if the Iscan as a VGA pass-through. If yes a good way to get the best picture will be the option 2 I was talking about in my previous post but with the IScan pro instead of the VB50. That connection has the advantage of having only one cable going to the projector. If you want to enhance your satellite dish or VCR the VB50 or the Iscan pro is the only cheap solution. The transcoder is only good for Component input signal to vga. It wont do that much good for VCR and Satellite TV.

Bruno
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-05-2002, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
I would say maybe at most 15% improvement. It was not worth the $99
Some would pay $1K for 10-15% improvement. A good example is HTPC vs. RP56 for DVD playback. The improvement is only 10-15% but a lot of people would spend the extra $1K to buy/build an HTPC. Another examples is cabling or line conditioners which have at most 10-15% improvement in audio or video quality. Yet people would spend hundreds to get this minimal improvement. An extreme example is people who would take their PJ completely apart trying to modify their PJ to get that 10-20% improvement. We all know PJ costs thousands of dollars if they screw up it will be an expensive mistake. Yet people do it all the time. I myself painted the LT150's color wheel which could ruin my warranty for that extra 10-20% improvement in blacks and contrast. Let's face it, HT is a boutique hobby where cost-effectiveness has different meaning to different people.

I myself would and did spend the $99 VB50 for 10-15% improvement of my NTSC TV and VHS.

Huey ;-]
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-06-2002, 01:51 AM
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Hi,

My current setup for DVD viewing is a Panasonic RA71 -> S-video -> iScan Plus v1 -> 15pin VGA -> AE100. I guess I'd tweaked the setting to the max with both iScan and my Radeon HTPC. IMO the picture quality difference is... +/- 5%?

Once again, the first generation iScan Plus v1 (used price around $200) gives a better picture than the later iScan v2 and the iScan Pro. Though the v2 and Pro have better deinterlace performance and more features such as 4:3 squeeze, picture controls and PAL.

Once again, I'd never try my KD transcoder with a progressive DVD player as I don't have one and don't need one.

regards,

Li On
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-20-2002, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by bgosselin


2:You buy a transcoder and plug your vga out of the transcoder to the vga in of your VB50. That connection is only a pass-through so you can send a progressive image to it. The picture quality should be really good and you will be able to use the wide480 setting. The quality image will depend on your progressive DVD player. Your DVD player will be the doubler and your projector will do the scaling. With this option.

If money is no object my personal choice will be option 2,


Bruno


Bruno,

Thanks I went with your option 2 and am very satisfied... The transcoder was well worth the $180 price tag, and the VB50 is worth the $100 (if I decide I don't ever need it, like Huey said, I can turn one of my computer monitors into a high quality TV).

Thanks for all the great advice. My theatre is slowly, but surely making it's way presentable. Hopefully some day a few of you guys will be coming over and watching a movie on my system.

-Jinho
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-20-2002, 03:05 PM
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Moved from $5000+ forum.

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post #14 of 16 Old 05-21-2002, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I know the answer already, but the video break out cables and the Component video cables that came with the Audio Authority transcoder, and the VGA cable that came with the VB50, are they junk or are they any good???

I typically toss any cables that come with any unit, as they always appear to be inferior, but these cables appear to be quite a bit more heavy duty than the rest.

Have any of you guys tried them in your system???
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-21-2002, 11:42 AM
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VB50's cable works fine without ghosting though it's only 3 foot male VGA to female VGA designed for PC passthrough into VB50's VGA input.

Huey ;-]
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-21-2002, 11:45 AM
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