Plus PIANO Plus HTPC: What Benefits??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-22-2002, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Have had my Piano about 6 months now and enjoying it immensely. But...I've developed an itch to feed it with an HTPC.

What I'm looking for...

Primary: Quantitative improvement in PQ...
Secondary: Downscaled HDTV...but not really important
Not interested in the other things offered by HTPC

What I know...

Some PJ's require an HTPC b/c of scaler & de-interlacer weaknesses.
The Piano's SI scaler & de-interlacer are already pretty darn good.
Via DVI-D, only 800x600 will be addressed...no big loss.
DIY HTPC will cost btw $700-$900...am comfortable with PC's.
Retail HTPC will cost $1000-$1300...if I get lazy.

What I don't know...

Relative (if any) improvement in Piano PQ for the investment.

SHOULD I SCRATCH???

Gene
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-22-2002, 06:39 PM
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The Piano is reputed to have a good deinterlacer, and for film (most DVDs) it is hard to mess up :). Since it really does not need to scale, I find it hard to believe you will get a big improvement in PQ from an HTPC. This is from me loving HTPCs. Maybe someone who actually has one can step in and speak from experience...
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-22-2002, 08:31 PM
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Hey gene4ht,
I do believe christoph in germany uses his Piano w/ HTPC. Now, if he would only log on to give you some pointers...........

"Life doesn't get much better than watching a DVD movie blown up to near-theater size in the comfort of your own home" - Sound & Vision Magazine June 2002
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-22-2002, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Cal...If I decide to go HTPC, I'll certainly need your advice.

dandavw...I recall christoph uses & promotes HTPC & ISCO...but it's 5am in Germany now :-)...I'm looking forward to his input.

Gene
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-23-2002, 07:42 AM
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I tried to solicit advice along the same lines a couple of months ago. My thread focused on using the DVI input. The sense I got was that, unless HD was a real need (which at the moment it isn't, for lack of source material I care about), then HTPC really isn't worth the bother on the Piano.

When I think about scratching an itch now, I think about my speakers.

Mayber you need to sit back and enjoy what you've got. It's pretty darn good.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-23-2002, 08:48 AM
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Hi guys,
sorry, for being late :D
... but I was listening to George W.'s speech on the telly today ... I thought he would drop by and admire my home theater, but no way.... to busy he is...

Seriously: You will improve your Piano's picture quality a lot with an HTPC. The color accuracy (delineation) is much better, grey scale, punch everything. Also you won't have that much problems with edge enhancement due to the digital only signal path from the DVD to the panel. Also, the scaling of a Radeon is hard to beat by ANY signal processor, even by a Faroudja.

HOWEVER: One drawback of driving the Piano via DVI is the problems with heavy duty panning (esp. sideways). This is not so much relevant to people from North America or Japan as they are used to 60Hz stutters (pardon me for being so frank) all their life. On the other hand Europeans are used to much smoother pans that are provided by PAL sources (double the frame rate, i.e. 50Hz).

I talked to the guys from PLUS a couple of weeks ago, some day there will be an update for the DVI receiver so that it will also accept 50Hz or 72Hz, but not for the very near future.

I hope that helps a little....

Cheers

Christoph

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-23-2002, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Tom...you're always my sanity check. Unfortunately, I've recently upgraded several of my audio components...including speakers. I'm also trying to convince myself that I could use a newer PC if an HTPC doesn't produce a leap in PQ. Sooo...my itch is still itching:)

Christop...If George W. couldn't find time in his schedule to audition your HT, it was definitely his loss:D

A few questions...

Can you describe what you mean by stutter during pans and what it's related to? Is it a function of frequency and/or technology...i.e. DLP, LCD, etc.?

Which Radeon card are you using...7000, 7200, 7500??? If not the 7500, are there adapters to correctly mate the output of the card to the Piano's DVI-D connector?

Is it necessary to use an ISCO lens as this obviously adds cost?

Thanks...and still sitting on the fence:)

Gene
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-24-2002, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gene4ht
A few questions...

Can you describe what you mean by stutter during pans and what it's related to? Is it a function of frequency and/or technology...i.e. DLP, LCD, etc.?

Which Radeon card are you using...7000, 7200, 7500??? If not the 7500, are there adapters to correctly mate the output of the card to the Piano's DVI-D connector?

Is it necessary to use an ISCO lens as this obviously adds cost?
Gene,

the stutters are similar to the 3:2 pull down artefacts that stem from tranferring 24 f/s film to 60Hz video. However the Piano seems to drop a frame here and there esp. when displaying PAL via DVI. It does not bother me much (although I can see it, of course). Other people may be more sensitive to that.

I use different Radeon cards with DVI output, they all work fine (also tried a GeForce, but I prefer the Radeons). You need a graphics card with DVI (-D) output to feed the Piano via DVI, there is no alternative to that.

The ISCO adds a lot in quality (vertical resolution, higher contrast, less light spill) but you can certainly survive without it. On the other hand if you use an HTPC the handling of the ISCO is very simple as you can always choose the format fitting for your special situation (4:3, non-anamorphic etc.) by using the very excellent scaler in your HTPC.

Cheers
Christoph

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