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Mike Parker ???  

post #1 of 241
Thread Starter 
Mike, I would like some information on your modded radeon card.
Do I buy it and send it to you or what? Please E-mail me if interested.

Chip S.

post #2 of 241
I'm very close to knowing when or how to distribute it.

For those who are not aware, it is a separate circuit that is attached to the video card. It does not use the HD15 connector on the card, it uses BNC connectors, as it is true 75 ohm. I've been trying to find a way to put the BNC connectors on a slot, rather than have holes drilled in the PC case. My PC has the holes drilled. The straight BNC connectors do make a difference in the image.

I hope to have it available putting out 0.7, 0.8, 0.9 and even 1.0 volt. And yes, it still makes a difference at 0.7 volts output (it's not just an amp). The output signal level will not be variable, it would require changing a few components for the different gains levels. I wanted to keep the signal path as clean as possible (ringing/banding).

I would say that the image it enhances is a tad sharper, cleaner and more intense, it has more of a TV look, rather than a film look. I've been amazed at how bright and sharp the text on the desktop is without bloom. I've been showing it where possible and I'm still seeking the opinions of others. Of course I think it's great, but what do others think is my concern. So it's still being tested. If the end results are marginal, I'll not make it available.

I'll know something real soon. I'll show it again this weekend, and again on the 27th of this month, at that showing (Bethesda Md.) it will in a HTPC that will also have a SDI input card, using a modified SDI player.

Based on the opinions at that gathering, I'll know where to go from here...
post #3 of 241
Mike, sounds really cool. Remember though, in this hobby, even if it's a marginal improvement it's a winner.

post #4 of 241
Thread Starter 
Mike design the card to require 2 slots side by side. The second slot would be a dummy card (plugs into the mobo but does nothing). Put the BNC connectors on it's face plate and install an internal RGBHV jumper to connect the two cards. An HTPC should have extra slots available. If you want me to I can try to machine out a blank card and install 5 BNC's for you? I have a sheet metal break and can bend up just about anything.

Chip S.
post #5 of 241
Hi Mike,

Do you remove the EMI and RFI filters and the protection diodes as well?

post #6 of 241
yes, can you try that for me? let me know how it turns out, I'm interested.

I do remove the filters from the card, but I perform the filtering on the board. So it is not without filtering, it just a different type of filtering that is on the board.
post #7 of 241
Thread Starter 
Mike, I'll pull the graphics card on my old CPU to get some measurments. What type of connector would you like to use on the BNC card to jump the signal over?

Chip S.
post #8 of 241
Thread Starter 
Mike, I know this sounds way to simple but you can evenly space 5 BNC's on one of the computors un-used expansion slots blank covers. I just tried it, it works perfectly. All you need is a drill press with a vice and your all set. I'll drill one out mount the bnc's and mail it to you tomorrow if you would like. I can make a jig and punch out a bunch of them if it works for you. It will slip right into place with the connector of your choice. Now you've got me thinking like Chevy "LIKE A ROCK".

Chip S.
post #9 of 241
Thread Starter 
Mike E-mail me your mailing address. It's all done, I'll mail it to you tomorrow. No pm please. Mine screws up sometimes and can't read it.

Chip S.
post #10 of 241

post #11 of 241
Hi Mike,

I would like to read about the results of your tests and shows with the SDI DVD player and your modified ATI. May be each individual mod or the SDI DVD player by itself would be marginal. But in aggregate, each little difference adds up. There even may be synergies.

Mike, even if the differences are marginal, I think the mods and the SDI out are worthwhile for the cost involved when compared to a Vigatec or a Faroudja or maybe even a Snell and Wilcox w/ SDI in.

post #12 of 241
Hi Mike,

Which card are you using for the Mod?

post #13 of 241
the mod can be done on any video card, and it can also be added to any scaler (outboard).

I will demo it on Sunday (forum member). And again on the 27th, but the 27th will be a special showing. We will be using a HTPC with my mod that also has a SDI input card using an Immersive modified DVD player. I know it's hard to believe, but that SDI card on a HTPC is awesome. There will also be a ROCK+ present.

Marginal: not really!

That gathering will be open, and I hope the attendees will report the results...

Other than the Teranex, would anyone want to bring a processor? :)

Marquee 8500LC
Belden 1694A
Stewart 1.3
Dedicated AC
post #14 of 241

There will also be a Teranex at the show, huh? That should be an interesting comparison. I wouldn't be surprised if your modified HTPC w/ SDI in looks 90% as good as the Teranex on film based DVDs with little edge enhancement.

post #15 of 241
Thread Starter 

Chip S.
post #16 of 241
Originally posted by BenjaminWoo

There will also be a Teranex at the show, huh? That should be an interesting comparison. I wouldn't be surprised if your modified HTPC w/ SDI in looks 90% as good as the Teranex on film based DVDs with little edge enhancement.

If we start taking up a collection now, we might just have one at the get together. why don't we all pitch in, we'll keep it at my house.
post #17 of 241
Mike showed me his Mod with his HTPC on my 9500LC and it looked great! It looked better than my processor. I highly recommend it to all you HTPC users or even if you are thinking about getting one. You should contact Mike Parker when he starts selling the Mod BE SURE to get one!
post #18 of 241
Thread Starter 
Well, it's Monday. I'm curious how Sunday's showing went. With a new graphics grade projector on the way, I know that the old DVDO just ain't going to cut it anymore. I like the plug and play aspect of a scaler, but you get what you get, no room for improvement. It seems that a top-notch HTPC can be built for a fraction of the money and can be infinately up-graded. My main concern is glitches in the software an OS. Second is it's ability to reproduce audio. I've heard some complaints in that area. But then KBK's a tube and vinal kind of guy and he likes HTPC's. I'm going to have to make up my mind soon. I'd like to feed my new baby a baked stuffed lobster, but I guess it's a cheese burger happy meal until I make up my mind.

Chip S.
post #19 of 241
If you need to make up your mind and want questions answered on a HTPC, call Mike Parker cause if you do go with a HTPC you will need his Mod. Trust me it will make a world of a Diff.
post #20 of 241
Hi Stefuel,

Regarding your comment about audio, if you go the route of SDI out DVD to HTPC, the audio is not an issue as it is output from the DVD player to your receiver/preamp.

For glitches in software, you'll have a few here and there. Even Faroudja and Snell and Wilcox have software glitches on brand new products from the reviews I have read. Win XP is actually quite good. It just has some problems with networking. If you install only device drivers, DScaler and Powerstrip, it should be pretty stable.

post #21 of 241
Well, folks it is now Monday and I spent a great evening with Mike and his lovely wife Patrice. If you have never met them in person they are a real pleasure to get to know.

Now onto the results. I have good news and bad news.

First the bad news. I originally planned to have a professional photographer friend attend with his digital camera to do some before and after screenshots, but alas he could not make it. In any event I borrowed a digital camera from a friend of mine to try the shots myself. I thought they took OK from the image in the view finder, but it turns out that the flash washed out the images. So I have no good pics of the display with Mike's mod so you will have to rely on my word for now.

Now the good news. I had done a full digital convergence before Mike came over, so I had my Barco Data 800 looking as good as possible before the new card was inserted into my PC (his PC was set to 960p which my Barco will not resolve). I played a few superbit DVD titles in my system so Mike could see what he was working with using a Radeon LE based PC and Theatertek DVD at a resolution of 1280X720 @ 48Hz.

Then Mike installed his modded Radeon LE into my system. This card is incredible. It took me only enough time for the desktop screen of my HTPC to come up to notice the immediate sharpness of the on-screen text and images. Believe me the difference is very noticable especially in regards to text. We then proceeded to put the same DVD's in (Vertical Limit SB & 5th Element SB). The image just popped off the screen. Background detail was greatly improved. Certain scenes that were very soft in the background before now showed a level of detail that I didn't know existed. My wife even walked down the stairs and commented on how clear the picture looked and she didn't even know what Mike was here to do. That is saying something. It is kind of like the blind Pepsi challenge. This card is the winner hands down.

If it can make my old Barco Data 800 sing like this imagine what it will do for some of the higher end units you all have. I actually had to adjust my brightness, contrast and gamma lower using this card.

The one scene that sticks out in my mind and maybe one to test in your scenario is chapter 18 of 5th Element SB when there is an image of the luxury liner in the sunset. I could now see the rectangular plates on the side of the ship that I had never seen before.

Mike has accomplished something great hear and in my opinion IS MORE than just a marginal difference, it is a must have. I will be one of the first in line to buy this mod when Mike is ready to market it.

Thanks Mike, it was a pleasure.
Dan Disney
post #22 of 241
"I spent a great evening with Mike and his lovely wife Patrice. If you have never met them in person they are a real pleasure to get to know. "

Exactly how I felt about meeting them both! What a pleasure!;)
post #23 of 241
Hi Mike,

I'd be interested in one of the modified cards considering my plans are to get a Radeon 7200 anyway, for use in my future HTPC to feed my future CRT projector (uhmm...). I'm just wondering if there are or could be any negative aspects to this modification...I'm no electrician but to me it just sounds somewhat risky to increase the voltage of the imput signal like that. I have heard that especially Barco CRT's are very sensetive in its circuits. Any way a projector might not like this kind of treatment?
post #24 of 241
Hey Milton, I guess you finally came around, huh? As I recall when I passed by your house that night when Mike was there, you didn't seem very impressed when he put "The Fifth Element: Superbit" on his HTPC, at least at the beginning. You guys must have done a lot of A/B'ing after I left. :D
post #25 of 241
Dan's Barco Data 800 had a clean 0.75 volts PP on the BNC's. Miltons Marquee 9500LC had 0.8 volts PP on the BNC's. I don't consider that amount of gain a serious increase. The Marquee in my shop can handle a clean 0.9 volts on the BNC's. All projectors will not handle the boosted signal, and that is not what I'm proposing with my mod.

Don't get it confused with the Extron's thay are excellent sync processors with RGB gain benefit. However, my mod is a 'FILTER' and it is capable of signal increase, but it's not necessary because it puts out a very clean signal. That is why the text is so clear and readable, the noise level has been lowered.

We're doing another demo on the 27th, and a modded card will be present at that gathering putting out 0.7 volts PP on the BNC's of a Marquee 8500LC, we will have another processor there, and it would not be fair if we ran a higher signal in the 8500LC because it can handle it before clipping, and do not boost the signal of the other processor. So I'll demo it at STANDARD, I want to show what a CLEAN signal looks like at 0.7 volts.

I also plan to have my scope present. My method of testing the signal is to use a test pattern CD (full white). The level will be tested at the projector (75 term) using a BNC "T" connector. I don't trust nor believe that you can test for proper level using a DVD source, because of the filters and DVD players overlay settings, but I know my test disk is accurate. My modded card is calibrated for "Standard" but it's capable of putting out more than the Standard, and many projectors perform much better with a better signal, because most projectors do not see the 0.7 volts PP on the BNC's. That is why the Extrons are in such demand.

My mod is a FILTER and RGB line driver. If you want to boost your signal get an Extron...
post #26 of 241
I met Dan last year at Mark Haflich's, but it was an experience to be at his house, and to meet his very lovely wife Heather and little son Conner. Dan's family and home is a very good representation of a perfect family. It was a very warm and memorable experience. We do plan to return!

I must mention the food!

Dan is a very good cook. He made grilled chicken that is the best thing that I've ever experienced with chicken breast. He tweaks, aligns and converge this chicken until it is tender and very testy. he covers it with some type of cheese, it is cooked both on the grill and in the oven, mushroom sauce, and spices take it to another level. And we experienced brocoli grilled with a special topping. This has changed the way I want my brocoli from now on. The food, fun, and fellowship was exceptional!!!

He has another dish that I'm looking forward to. can't wait :)

It was great, everthing was well tuned...

Thanks Dan!
post #27 of 241
Originally posted by mp20748
Dan is a very good cook. He made grilled chicken that is the best thing that I've ever experienced with chicken breast. He tweaks, aligns and converge this chicken until it is tender and very testy.
Yes, but how was the dot size of the seasoning? :)

post #28 of 241
I'm going to be purchasing a Panasonic Pro-1000D, & the Replacement video board for it with direct DVI input (the PDA-5002). The rest of my set-up will be an SDI modified DVD Player from Imersive (Probably the Denon 3000), and an HTPC with SDI input... outputting via one of it's two video cards: an AGP based GeForce 4, and a PCI based ATI Board. The video cards will probably be the Canopus TI4600 based card (for its awesome 2D, noiseless fan, and excellent build-quality), and the Appian Hurricane. The new Canopus board won't be out till june, so I'll be operating on just the ATI board for now... no biggie I'll use my other box for games till than.

Appian Hurricane Prouct Page: http://www.appian.com/products/hurricane.html)

My question is... will I get better quality going the straight digital route: DVD player --SDI--> HTPC --DVI--> Panasonic 1000HD, or would I get better quality using a PCI radeon with mikes mod (using BNC out)?

Obviously this question is somewhat subjective, but any help is appreciated... I'm trying to get the best picture possible, and sense all my $$$ is going into my plasma, HTPC is my only route as far as scaleing, etc...
but that's ok, I wouldn't have it any other way!

--Does anyone know if the Appian card has any of "issues" associated with some older ATI cards DVI out not outputting proper / full resolution?

--Oh, and one last question, if I do end up using stock DVI out, would I still notice a difference between the Canopus Geforce 4 based Spectra (with the DVI output replacement board), and the ATI card's DVI out?

I've heard the Issue with the lower quality GeForce DAC's is somewhat negated using SDI, and the Canopus is a MUCH higher quality card which boast a much better design, as well as higher quality filters.

PS: Mike either way I'd like to procure one of your boards for testing purposes... sounds like an awesome product you have going there, any idea yet when / how it will be available for purchase?

Thanks all!
post #29 of 241
Yes, but how was the dot size of the seasoning?
Actually Doug,
I stood about 9 feet from the chicken and used binoculars to fully converge every dot of spice to perfect proportions. :D
Next on the menu stuffed black n bleu burgers. Thanks again Mike.
post #30 of 241
Sorry if my post was too off-topic... at the heart of it was mikes card, and my question regarding it, so I figured it wasn't TOO off to be in the thread... guess I was wrong.

PS: If anyone can answer my question anyway I'd me greatly appreciative, via email, here or another thread.

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