Piano 3100 Settings - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 11-03-2002, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Lyndon, brooster, Tom, bublitchki, et al...
Since I added the HSU sub to the HT, (excellent sound, excellent value, cool unit), I've been on the tweaking binge again. Maheshfd's queries on the Piano got some interesting information out there and got me adjusting. If you don't mind my asking:
- Lyndon: How much was that screen? Is it a fixed-wall type or pull-down? Thinking of re-arranging the room to accommodate a larger, 16:9 screen. Currently have a Da-lite 84" 4:3 DIAGONAL, not width. 1.5 Video Spectra. It looks great, but I wouldn't mind a picture just a bit larger, depending on price.
- brooster: I know that screen type, size, DVD quality and inherent lamp characteristics make a difference in settings, but man, when I pumped those settings you recommended in your post into my Piano, "Spiderman" almost jumped of the screen!!! I cranked down the brightness a tad to improve blacks and contrast with my setup, but what a difference. I'm running component out (Rhino Cables), my lamp has about 300 hours on it, projection distance of about 11'.
- Lyndon: Do you have a list of you settings with your filter on? Do you still use it with your new screen?
Any information on settings / screen type from any Piano owners would be interesting, especially since we all might be a little more used to them by now. Great PJ, glad to see more new owners and continued discussion.
Thanks,
Jim S.
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-03-2002, 05:54 PM
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G'day Jim,

it's good to read you're happy with your Piano. Lyndon is overseas for the next couple of weeks and I suspect he hasn't had much time to peruse AVS, which must be a traumatic feeling for him :D

He's now using an 80 inch wide 16:9 Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. I believe he is still using the settings from this thread. On his return I will recheck his calibration, as it will by then have well over 100 hours on the bulb. Unfortunately I did not write down the PJ settings using the FL-D filter, but if you can wait a few weeks I'll post them after the next calibration session.

Cheers :)

Russ

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post #3 of 26 Old 11-03-2002, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Benny:
Thanks for the info. I'd like to go across the LAKE (Michigan, that is) for a couple of weeks, let alone overseas.
What got my attention the most on brooster's settings was contrast and brightness, as well as color temp, which was not all that different from mine. I'd be very interested in what those settings are. My screen is 72" wide, and as I said, a 1.5 gain Video Spectra Da-Lite. When I calibrated with Avia, the contrast and brightness went way up, but I toned it back down after a lot of reading on this Forum. That, however, was prior to the lamp exploding. I don't think that changed anything other than the new lamp, but that may have been enough. I'll watch some more DVDs this week to see if the change still seems as striking. By the time Lyndon gets back, I'll probably have the Hoya. BTW, is is 48 or 52mm, and what's "blue tag"? Is it anything like Vegemite?
Still looking for any other Piano Players settings.
Thanks,
Jim S.
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post #4 of 26 Old 11-03-2002, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Is it anything like Vegemite?
Ha Ha .... there's NOTHING in the world like Vegemite .... hmmmmmmm :)

Actually, Lyndon had a typo ... it should have read 'blue tac', which is a sticky plasticine like substance widely used for sticking posters and the like to walls. You normally tear off a small chunk and roll it around on the palms of yours hands to get it malleable then use it like a small ball of putty. It's reuseable too. I would thing you have the equivalent over there but by another name. He used a couple of small amounts to hold the filter in place just in front of the lens.

And for those trying Vegemite for the first time, DON'T spread it on 3 inches thick! It only needs a light coating on your toast or fresh bread. Oh ... and it's an acquired taste, but us aussies generally love it :)

Cheers,

Russ

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post #5 of 26 Old 11-04-2002, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
and it's an acquired taste
That's for sure!! :) It's not bad....but definitely an Aussie thing! :)
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post #6 of 26 Old 11-05-2002, 05:03 AM
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I'm projecting on a wall with beige paint. I'm running component cables and I have about 100 hours on the lamp. The main point of my settings is not to crank the sharpness and zoom filters.
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post #7 of 26 Old 11-05-2002, 05:12 AM
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My settings with component:
brightness 25
contrast 90
color 18
tint 0
sharpness 0
custom color red +2, green -12, blue -10
video filter 4
zoom filter 1
gamma film
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post #8 of 26 Old 11-05-2002, 08:24 PM
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brooster:

I am trying to use your setting to my 3100.

I use SONY 345 player and throw to my rose-white wall.

it is great that set video filter to 4, totally different ball game.

the image is very clear, and close to the picture quality of my radeon 8500

HTPC, connected to 3100 via DVI-D. so many thanks to this.

But.... you just set color to 18? in my taste, it is way to low, mine is 70, and

it is OK. also, I put Brightness to 28, contrast to 85, looks fine. I try hard to

the sharpness. very interesting is: 0 and 2 looks OK, 1 and 3 are not

aceptable, finally I set it to 2, because I like the picture more sharp.

looking forward to other comments.
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post #9 of 26 Old 11-06-2002, 05:12 AM
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harry_lin:

With my use of Component and your use of DVI-D I would expect some differences. When I boost sharpness, the picture quality goes down. The settings that people were posting several months back looked awful on my projector. I used Avia and then spent a bunch of tweaking time to get a more film-like quality. I have owned several Sharps, a LT154, LT85 and a LT150z and I find that the only the Piano, properly set, can make you think that there is film rolling inside that little projector!
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-06-2002, 10:33 AM
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Has anyone tried to use Avia with the Piano ? I tried, and looking through the blue filter, it would seem that the Avia callibrated color setting is much too high. The color decoder check is hard to interpret as well.
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post #11 of 26 Old 11-06-2002, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Fredzy:
What are your current settings? I used Avia to begin with, but it did boost several paramaters way too high. For my money, brooster's settings are the that have shown the best performance, with some minor tweaks, inherent to each individual's screen, lamp, cables, etc.
Jim S.
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post #12 of 26 Old 11-06-2002, 09:23 PM
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Hi Jim...I've just been enjoying DVD's lately...but like yourself, I've been tinkering and upgrading my HT as well. I've added an HTPC (Lyndon, Tom, Bublitchki...are you listening?) and dual SVS 20-39 subs and discovering things in my DVD's I've never seen or heard before. The HTPC was definitely worth my $350 investment...easily a 25-30% improvement in overall PQ...especially sharpness at 100" (84" wide). The HSU and SVS were both on my short list...can't go wrong with either. I've gone through M&K's, Velodyne's, Def Tech's, Bag End, and others...but the SVS/HSU are in an exceptional class of their own.

BTW...I'm still using and still happy with my DIY Parkland Plas Tex screen.

I know I've gone way OT here...but I'm still tweaking settings via DVI and will post final settings this weekend.

Gene
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post #13 of 26 Old 11-07-2002, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey, Gene,
Where did you get an HTPC for $350, and what's in it, if you don't mind my asking? The HSU definitely rocks. Shakes the whole room when the need arises, and a grat value, too. Do I recall some pix posted of your HT? This DIY screen thing has got me going, too.
Thanks,
Jim S.
P.S. Are you using a filter on the PJ?
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post #14 of 26 Old 11-07-2002, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gene4ht
Hi Jim...I've just been enjoying DVD's lately...but like yourself, I've been tinkering and upgrading my HT as well. I've added an HTPC (Lyndon, Tom, Bublitchki...are you listening?) and dual SVS 20-39 subs and discovering things in my DVD's I've never seen or heard before.
Hi, Gene (my favorite subject in high school). So, you got an HTPC! Yes, I'm green with envy (oh, wait a minute...that's just the light reflecting off the wall from my Piano, using the factory color settings). And for $350! Tell us more.

Yeah, the sound thing. Well, fellers, I'm in a little apartment in one of those new-fangled buildings with the really thin walls (no, I don't live in Japan), and a subwoofer would...let's just say I'd get even dirtier looks from the neighbors than I already do (could it be my cologne?).

I'm really what you'd call in the vernacular an "audiophile," which means I'm dedicated to the proposition that all systems are and shall remain stereo, praise the Lord. I hereby declare that I do not own a Dolby Digital or any "multi-channel" device, nor do I intend to do so in the near future. Yes, I toyed with the idea. And then I got better.
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post #15 of 26 Old 11-07-2002, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Bublitchiki:
Good to hear from you again. Does the audiophile purist in you (nothin' wrong with that, man) disallow the sub, or just he apartment? I could see where shaking your neighbor's walls can be a problem. The girls in the next trailer in college used to complain about the thunderous bass pumped out by those AR3a's and that SAE, not to mention the Heil Air Motion Transformers. Hey, what can I say, it was a different century.
Continued tweakification of the Piano has led to nothing less than continued amazement, so much so that TV (can you believe it) is starting to intrigue me. God help us.
Jim S.
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post #16 of 26 Old 11-07-2002, 06:49 PM
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Well guys...the HTPC thing itched til I had to scratch...but didn't want to spend the $1000+ to find out what the hoopla was about. So...I cheated a bit with a little used Compaq PIII 466 (Win98SE) I had and added about $350 worth of parts consisting of:

DVD Drive: LG 16X $79 Micro Center
Graphics Card: Radeon 7500 $79 Best Buy
Audio Card: M-Audio 2496 $159 Digital Connection
DVI Cable (5M) DVI-I to DVI-I $34 Pacific Cable

Although I have WinDVD as the SW player, I prefer the PowerDVDxp 4.0 SW player that came with the LG DVD Drive.

The HW parts integrated uneventfully, the Radeon and M-Audio SW installed and configured uneventfully as well....just lucky I guess. I did, however, wipe the HD and performed a clean install of everything.

When I fired everything up, the entire family immediately noticed the improvement in PQ. Previously, with my 84" (wide) screen, images were just a bit soft. With the HTPC, images are now much sharper...i.e. skin pores, hair, leaves, etc. but equally improved were the background images which are now well defined. In fact, my daughter commented that it was like "looking at life through a window and not like watching a movie." This may not appeal to those who may prefer a softer "film like" quality but I'm happy...YMMV.

Subjectively, color saturation and contrast seems to have improved as well...could be related to the step up in sharpness...but I have to believe a straight digital path eliminates any D-A A-D induced elements. Anyway, collectively, I would subjectively say there is a definite 30% improvement in overall PQ.

Since I've utilized the S-Video, component, and now the DVI input to the Piano HE 3100, I'll post my settings for all as soon as I complete tweaking the DVI settings.

SVS Bass? The house used to shake...now the house, foundation, and my neighbor's house all shake :D LOTR and Titan AE especially!!! 20-40hz bass at 100+ db is....earthshattering!!!

Jim: No filter yet...I'll await your outcome and keep tabs on Lyndon's posts. My pix in the AVS gallery still have my old Def Tech subs...I'll update when I get a chance.

Bublitchki: Gotta get you into a house so you can have a dedicated Audio Room as well as a dedicated HT :D

Peter (Scruffy): Saw your other post....650 lamp hours...Go Pete!!!

Lyndon: PM me when you get home...got a couple of HTPC questions for you. If not, I'll have to bother Russ :)

Tom: Where are you???

Gene
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post #17 of 26 Old 11-08-2002, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gene4ht
Lyndon: PM me when you get home...got a couple of HTPC questions for you. If not, I'll have to bother Russ :)
Hi Gene,

I think you'll be waiting another week for Lyndon to get back. If there's anything I can help you with just fire off the question ...... or PM me if it's more off-topic.

Cheers :)

Russ

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post #18 of 26 Old 11-08-2002, 12:19 PM
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Russ,

Really appreciate your offer...I'll PM you this weekend and allow this thread to get back OT...thanks again!

Gene
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post #19 of 26 Old 11-08-2002, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Russ and Gene:
Of course you may PM, but don't keep the rest of us in the dark. Definitely not OT as far as I'm concerned. Like probably half the adult population, I also have "a brother-in-law in the computer business." I'm e-mailing him a list of these parts to see what he can do for me. HTPC on a budget has got my curiosity going, especially with such glowing reviews of the results. Just what I need, more stuff.
Jim S.
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post #20 of 26 Old 11-09-2002, 11:10 AM
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I too am interested in HTPC on the cheap. I have an old HP PIII/win98SE that I could convert for this purpose. My first question is: with all the desire to have a quiet pj, doesn't the additional noise from having a PC in the theater detract from the overall viewing experience?

you can call me Rock
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post #21 of 26 Old 11-09-2002, 11:42 AM
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Hi Guys,

I am writing from Cape Town, South Africa. Beautiful place but you can tell that its got some serious crime problems to deal with as nearly all the shops have got thick metal bars in the windows and doors.

Sorry I can't write for long as I've got some colleagues waiting for me. The new screen size I've got is a 16:9 1.3 Gain Stewart Studiotek 130 (80 inches WIDE) which I had purchased from Gary Hobman second hand for $US220. It was definitely worth upgrading the size from my 67 inches wide (4:3 84 inch diagonal screen). I am sitting about 11 feet away and the end result is that it is much more cinematic. I watched The Perfect Storm before I left Melbourne, and boy ! those rolling waves scared the hell out of me. You get a greater sense of impact when the screen is that size.

If you have a light controlled room (nearly pitched black), I would recommend that you use a FLD filter. The only way to tell whether it is too dark or not is to experiment. From my experience, the blacks were significantly better with the filter especially in movies like LOTR. There is much more detail which can be followed with the filter on and the grey effect on darker scenes just dissappears with the filter on.

HTPC is a no brainer to me. The results will speak for themselves. I have mentioned this before but I will say it again, the Piano's processing sux when it comes to dealing with motion artifacts. One of the biggest benefits I got from going to HTPC was the huge reduction in motion artifacts and of course, superbly sharp picture and stability in background images.

I have not made any comparisons with HTPC DVI and HTPC none DVI so I can't really say that DVI is a superior way to go. What I can say is that I am running my HTPC through DVI and the picture sharpness is superbly sharp. I had a friend who owns one of the latest Sony Flat screen tv come over for a demo, and he said that the image from my projector blew away the image from his television set. I told him the secret was in the processing of the image, DVI and HTPC.

I'll chat with you guys more once I get back to Melbourne. It is great to know that you don't have to spend a ton of money to get signifacantly better results from your Piano. Just get HTPC, DVI and a filter. I believe you'll be happy with the results.

Russ, I'll catch up with you when I get back.

Lyndon
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post #22 of 26 Old 11-09-2002, 05:41 PM
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Could smeone explain more about the FLD filter?
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post #23 of 26 Old 11-10-2002, 05:13 PM
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Apologies...had unexpected family matters come up this weekend.

Russ/Lyndon: Still can't say enough about HTPC's contributions to the Piano. But along with the positives, I experienced some video & audio stutter (pause, start, pause, start....) for which I was intending to seek your advice for. Rather, I searched in the HTPC threads and found some things to try. Interestingly, my search turned up a myrid of possible causes. If I'm understanding correctly, anything that could reduce data (bottle neck) throughput could produce stutter...from the physical DVD drive, DMA settings, HDD speed, swap file size, Mobo, ISA slot location, PCI slot location, CPU speed, IRQ sharing/conflicts, SW player, start up menu settings, drivers, registry settings...you name it, someone suggested it. Through all of this, I really didn't see any postings that definitively pin pointed a cause and a solution. My assessment is that any and/or all of these things could contribute to stutter. However, with respect to DVD playing, I concluded three things: (1) CPU doesn't matter much as there's someone running with a PII @600mhz, (2) RAM doesn't matter...folks are running with 64mb and (3) O/S doesn't matter...98/ME/XP/2000 all seem to work. In my case, I'm running a PIII, 466, 128mb with 98 and Power DVDxp 4.0...DMA on, DVD drive as master on secondary IDE, and 30gb HDD.
My symptoms: Stutter appears to occur only on some DVD's and I think at the point of layer change or after 1hr + of playing time. LOTR is 3 hrs and there's no stutter....OTOH, Jurassic Park and Matrix produces stutter at apparently the layer change point. If I advance past to the next chapter, the the rest of the movie plays fine. Another interesting symptom is that there's constant HDD activity...the busy LED is always flashing. At the point of stutter...both DVD and HDD LED's are solidly on. This would lead one to believe that the HDD's swap file is being overrun. Now, it is also interesting to note that several folks in the HTPC threads cured their stutter by installing a different brand DVD drive....this is after months and months of trying different drivers and tweaking registry settings. Maybe, just maybe, folks are looking too hard. I've decided to use the KISS approach. To that end, I have just installed a different DVD drive and noted that the HDD is not busy at all...the LED hardly flashes! I'm playing a couple of DVD's now that have experienced stutter and...we'll see.

Jim & All...sorry for all this rambling...but you did want to know :)

Piano Rocks (HTPC Noise): There's been a lot mentioned about "quietizing"...quiet HDD's, P/S fans, CPU fans, DVD drives, quieting material for the case, etc. Frankly and in my case, I've done nothing to quiet the thing...just wanted to see what an HTPC would accomplish. Until the question of noise was asked, I didn't even notice...my PC makes no more noise than the Piano. With the HT on at normal listening levels, I can't hear either.

Jim: If you have a spare PC, it may be that an HTPC can be built for even less than $350. I chose the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card ($160)because it was proven...it supposedly has a better/more stable clock. All the sound card has to do is pass a SPDIF signal to your receiver or pre/pro to derive the 5.1....the M-Audio card has many more features that I'll never use. Your brother-in-law may be able to find/suggest something less costly.

BTW...I haven't gotten around to tweaking with the DVI input yet. You'll notice in your manual that for DVI, there's no adjustments for color, tint, and sharpness...makes sense when you think about it. I currently have gamma set for film and zoom filter at "0" and the resulting color, tint, and contrast are very acceptable...Lyndon may want to provide some of his experiences here. PowerDVD has optional selections for color as well.

Be glad to provide further updates or answers if you guys want to continue this topic in this thread.

Gene
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post #24 of 26 Old 11-11-2002, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Gene,
Only have a second right now, but which DVD drive did you switch to? I read about the stutters, too. Definitely don't want that to occur. Keep us posted (no pun intended). I'm thinking HTPC by Christmas, you know, from me to me.
Jim S.
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post #25 of 26 Old 11-11-2002, 05:56 PM
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Jim,

My original DVD drive was an LG 16X...switched to a Digital Research DVD 16X...Best Buy...$69.99...so far, so good...no stutters. Mind you, my stutters were infrequent...typically at layer changes or after 1 hr+ into the movie. Others in the HTPC forum experienced stutters every few minutes.
I'll continue to monitor and post results.

Gene
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post #26 of 26 Old 11-14-2002, 08:33 PM
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Stutter's Gone..

After watching several DVD's that were previously stutter offenders, several more that were 2-3 hrs long, and even a couple of DVD's back to back, I'm reporting that my stutter issue is conclusively resolved. Changing DVD drives did the trick. What I can't understand is...why? Both DVD drives were 16X and both have xfer rates of 21-22MB/Sec. The access time on the Digital Research is 95ms where the LG was a bit slower at 120ms. The only other difference is the DR drive specifically says it supports single and dual layer DVD's where the LG drives does not specify. It doesn't make sense but I won't ponder over it any longer. Anyway...consider this my last post on this subject.

Gene
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