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post #361 of 390
Tom, or anyone, where can I buy a HTPC with this DCDi video card, and what kind of price am I looking at.



Thanks for the help.



ZAGBY
post #362 of 390
ZAGBY

Drop me an email. We can provide you a quote.
post #363 of 390
james bond:

maybe the leeza, but i doubt the HDLeeza.
post #364 of 390
Interested in HTPC.
Interested in H3D.
Interested in m-peg daughter card.
Interested in experiences when released.

Dave O
post #365 of 390
When H3D card should arrive to mass market?
post #366 of 390
Quote:
Originally posted by ssm
When H3D card should arrive to mass market?
Also, when will the EA people be free to talk?

-Steve
post #367 of 390
I'll probably end the EAP some time this week.

I think the participants are all eager to get over here and start posting testimonials. And while not giving anything away - lets just say I can't wait either!
post #368 of 390
Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Strade
I'll probably end the EAP some time this week.

I think the participants are all eager to get over here and start posting testimonials. And while not giving anything away - lets just say I can't wait either!
Went that bad, did it? ;)

-Steve
post #369 of 390
Hi;

Read thread and saw a question. Will Immersive be at Cedia?

I don't remember the answer or I missed the response.

Dave O
post #370 of 390
Booth 308. Also, in Denon and Earthquake booth with the H3D.
post #371 of 390
Quote:
Originally posted by budiman
James Bond:
Can you give your impression/comparison between the 2 in the EAP forum?
dude, it was a joke, the hdleeza is not out yet. come on.
post #372 of 390
This video card should rock big time. My mind is about 98% made up that I will be buying a HTPC with this video card in it.


I just need to ask one thing? I would like to use the video card to de-interlace and scale both my digital cable and DVD's. I am sure it will handle the DVD's but, my digital cable box has a s-video output, could I just run the output to the video cards input and be able to de-interlace and scale my NTSC broadcast?


Thanks


EF
post #373 of 390
Yes, you can just run your digital cable via s-video right into the H3D card. Then feed your DVD player via component or SDI.
post #374 of 390
post #375 of 390
Close for me but no HDTV...still a "nice" card
post #376 of 390
Ok, confused HTPC newbie here. From the news article at digitalconnection it says:

"since the card features dual video paths, the HOLO3DGRAPHTM is also fully compatible with the open-source deinterlacing efforts of www.dscaler.com, thereby allowing the end-user the ultimate choice in deciding which deinterlacing algorithms they want to use. "

I've heard that lots of people just use a fairly cheap tv input card and then use dscalar to make the image progressing and then a high end video card (and powerstrip) is used to output the image to the projector in it's native resolution.

What does this card do better than a cheaper tv input card would do? Is it the Faroudja processing is better at making the progressive image than dscalar?

And if the Faroudja processing is better than what dscalar, then why are they boasting that this holo3dgraph card is compatible with dscalar?

Please, somone enlighten me. I might be interested in this card if someone could convince me it provided *dramatic* improvements over what you can get with solutions that are much less expensive.
post #377 of 390
gowgow, here is what you are missing. The Faroudja chipset can not scale, you need D-scaler to scale the image. The Faroudja chipset de-interlaces the image using DCDi and D-scaler takes that image and scales it.



That is why they are telling you they can work with each other. The key here would be let's say you would like to de-interlace your broadcast. Well, this is where DCDi will blow D-scalers de-interlacing algorithm away, because most all broadcast is video based and DCDi covers the video jagged edges you get with video, DCDi would help you the same way with a video based DVD as well.



I hope that helps you.



:)
post #378 of 390
Quote:
Originally posted by ZAGBY
gowgow, here is what you are missing. The Faroudja chipset can not scale, you need D-scaler to scale the image. The Faroudja chipset de-interlaces the image using DCDi and D-scaler takes that image and scales it.
Close, but not correct. D-Scaler is not needed to use this card. Using the card's own software, the Faroudja FLI2200 deinterlaces the video and passes it on to the graphics board, which scales it. The new version of D-Scaler can use the hardware components of the board for inputs, and it can use the Faroudja chip to deinterlace, while also employing the other features of D-Scaler. As soon as I and others are freed from the NDA, we'll be able to give our views on the quality of the product.
post #379 of 390
Yes, indeed Steve, you can use the cards own software but, my point about DCDi and video de-interlacing was the key to my point.




:)
post #380 of 390
It's my understanding that Dscalar actually doesn't having anything to do with the scaling of the image, only the De-interlacing of the image. I believe I read a review that pointed out that the dscalar software has a confusing name because it lends one to believe that the software scales the image when it really doesn't.
post #381 of 390
It sort of depends upon how you look at it.

In the real world, software doesn't really DO anything. It just instructs the hardware what to do. And in the DScaler case that hardware means the video capture and display cards in the PC.

- Tom
post #382 of 390
Yes, but in the end DCDi is the much better algorithm when it comes to video de-interlacing. Now, when it comes to a film based image, the difference from D-scaler's de-interlacing and DCDi's de-interlacing is not so large. Again, it is with a video image that DCDi runs away from D-scaler.
post #383 of 390
Ah yes, for the moment. Since D-Scaler is a malleable, or to that end, an extensible collection of routines then the visionary and capable such as trbarry will continue pushing it's edge. That is of course one of the beauties of the H3D card allowing use of D-Scaler.
post #384 of 390
I am not seeing how errantly suggesting dScaler has anything to do with scaling is helpful Zagby. I think if you read Tom's earlier posts, you'll see why the card allows support for dScaler.

In the short run, the Holy Grail here is the DCDi. Time will soon tell if the grail is the real deal.

Mark
post #385 of 390
Rogo, I have used my HTPC to de-interlace my Digital cable before and also have used a Omega 1 that uses DCDi.


Trust me, on broadcast video it is a night and day difference. The DCDi algorithm does a much better job on video than D-scaler.





:)
post #386 of 390
Meanwhile, back at gowgow's original question...

"I've heard that lots of people just use a fairly cheap tv input card and then use dscalar to make the image progressing and then a high end video card (and powerstrip) is used to output the image to the projector in it's native resolution.

What does this card do better than a cheaper tv input card would do? Is it the Faroudja processing is better at making the progressive image than dscalar?"


Those cheap TV input cards do a poor job of converting an input signal into a digital video stream. They vary greatly in quality and should be chosen with care. Some have sought out modified or 'professional' cards, a solution that is no longer 'cheap' (in either sense). Even then, you can't do better than the quality of the bt8x8's video decoder, which frankly leaves a lot to be desired.

The Holo3D uses the Philips SAA7118, an excellent video decoder. The hardware design and board layout was done by a good friend of mine, Chris Coley, who's the best hardware engineer I've ever worked with. He's also a home theater enthusiast like you and I, with a nice CRT projector setup at home.

He did the layout by hand (rare these days), with particular attention that there's no cross polution between analog and digital sections. We also put local power supply regulation on the board, to ensure none of the usual crud on the PCI's power supply makes it into the analog sections (hence the extra four pin 'drive power' connector on the board).

Even setting aside the Faroudja processing for a moment, the quality of the video decoder section on the Holo3D is in a completely different class from any bt8x8 board I know of.

That's important because the later processing stages (be it DCDi, dScaler, or both) greatly benefit from a high quality signal. It's the old 'garbage in - garbage out' principle. It doesn't matter how many MIPS and how fancy an algorithm you apply to a signal if it's already full of noise, chroma decoding errors, etc. For some algorithms (e.g. motion estimation) too much noise will severely compromise the algorithm's performance.

Besides all that, the board has component video inputs, something I don't believe is currently available on any other dScaler-compatible board. And we're planning to support those with SCART-based equipment, too.

"And if the Faroudja processing is better than what dscalar, then why are they boasting that this holo3dgraph card is compatible with dscalar?"

We can start with a couple of reasons:

a) dScaler is software, the Faroudja chip is hardware. DCDi isn't something that's practical to implement on today's PC processors, and since it's done in hardware, you'll get the same performance today as you will 2 years from now. dScaler continues to improve, and who knows what will be possible in future versions, running on the latest processors.

b) dScaler covers much more than deinterlacing - there are a variety of plugins that do image correction/enhancement.

The point here is that you can't lose. You'll have a very high quality input section, much better than any bt8x8 card I know of, with all the right kinds of inputs. Then you have the options of using DCDi in hardware or dScaler's algorithms in software to do de-interlacing, and in either case, you'll have the ability to run dScaler's other image processing plugins on the deinterlaced result.

Another nice aspect is that using hardware to do the deinterlacing reduces the CPU requirements considerably, which means either you can use a less expensive machine, or use the extra processing power you've freed up to do more post-processing.

Also keep in mind that the card has a sizable FPGA that could be used in the future for further pre- or post-processing, and a number of headers on the board that can be used for other purposes like direct links to MPEG decoder cards.

Hopefully that clears up the difference between the Holo3D and 'cheap TV input cards' :)

"Please, somone enlighten me. I might be interested in this card if someone could convince me it provided *dramatic* improvements over what you can get with solutions that are much less expensive."

This is what everyone's been waiting for - the card that lets the HTPC compete with a standalone scaler on the same footing. Arguablly better than a scaler in some respects, since it's possible to tap the large processing power of a contemporary processor to further process the image.

Is the improvement 'dramatic' over less expensive solutions? Obviously my opinions are not unbiased, I'm a part of the team that brought this to you. The people in the early adopter program will be able to post their opinions before long, and it will be shown publically at CEDIA (next week).

This was a labor of love, and I think it shows...

Paul
____________________
Holo3DGraph Team Member
post #387 of 390
PaulC, Thank you very much for your detailed response. I have a much better understanding of the benefits provided by this card.

I'm sure this card provides a wonderful value compared to other video scalers available today especially when you compare the price of this card to what these kinds of video processors cost 2 or 3 years ago.

It's still a possibility but the price is pretty steep for someone like myself. I suppose the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies. I'm guessing (and hoping) that the HTPC phenomenon explodes in popularity in the years ahead and that these video processing cards experience similar performance improvements and pricing improvements that we've seen with 3d cards.

It's been amazing how incredibly good and incredibly cheap the 3d cards have become. It would be nice if there were great cards video processing cards such as this availble at true consumer pricing ($299-$399). It's perhaps unrealistic to expect that kind of pricing for something like this at this time but who knows what the future will bring. The HTPC video processing card market is in it's infancy, and I expect wonderful things to happen in the near future. Certainly the cards need to be priced in a manner that allows the manufacturer to make a profit but lower costs do lead to higher sales. You may sell 3 times as many cards at $499 as you do at $850 and perhaps the economies of scale would kick in. But perhaps I'm wrong and this market is still too small a niche at this time.

Paul, you want to sell me an $850 video card? Show me some screen shots.
I'd like to see Using DirectTV as a source:

1. A regular interlaced image captured from a cheap video card
2. The same interlaced image captured by the Holo3dGraph card
2. The same Holo3dGraph image after it has been turned into a progressive image by dscaler.
3. The same Holo3dGraph image after it has been turned into a progressive image by DCDi


I know there are limits to the kinds of demonstrations you can provide using only screenshots but for people like me "seeing is believing". The dscaler.org site has several screenshot examples that show the benefits provided by dscaler. If I can see that there is a clear and dramatic improvement using the holo3dgraph card, then I'll start saving my pennies. Hopefully by the time i have saved 60000 pennies, the price will have dropped and I'll be the proud owner of one of these cards.

Stephen Gower
post #388 of 390
"But perhaps I'm wrong and this market is still too small a niche at this time."

Yup. Add to it that we are a very small company. Toss in a number of very expensive chips not found on any HTPC card that I know of and you'll soon see that the price is about as good as it gets given the low volume runs we manufacturer.

You are certainly asking some good questions and they will be answered soon. The EAP is about to end (before CEDIA) so there should be a fair amount of feedback circulating.
post #389 of 390
The short version: yes, we wish it were more affordable, too. No-one's getting rich from this, in fact there's considerable financial risk involved. With time, we hope to find ways to make this more affordable, but every journey starts with the first step.

This first card won't be within everyone's reach. We wish that wasn't so. But we did it anyway, the point being that you don't get to affordable products in one step - it takes a few iterations to ride down that cost-curve.

The whole Holo3D team feels the same way, and if there was a way we could have built this first card for a lower price (without compromising the product) we'd have done it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately it's inevitable that first-of-a-kind products are not as attractively-priced as we all would like, particularly if you can't take the risk of producing in volume right off the bat.

Using your 3D graphics card market as an example, think back to when hardware 3D acceleration was something reserved for workstations, and the first PCI graphics cards came out - by today's standards, they were pathetically slow, and cost many times as much as they do today. While I realize you were using the 3D market as an example of how we would all like to see things progress, I just want everyone else reading this thread to realize that too - don't be too quick to make comparisons between a first-of-a-kind product put together in small volumes by an entrepreneurial small company, with a mature market dominated by the likes of ATI and nVidia - heck if we had those kinds of resources, just think what we could do :)

I agree with your sentiments about wanting this kind of product to become more mainstream, with multiple vendors continually pushing the envelope to get the maximum 'bang for the buck'. I desperately want the state-of-the-art to improve, so we can build on top of it. But it seems like progress on the digital video side has been much slower in coming, particularly if you use 3D acceleration as the yardstick - with tens of millions of transistors on these GPUs, you'd think we'd have some pretty hot video capabilities by now :)

I hope the 'freestyle' version of Windows will do much to raise awareness, and will help grow the market to a point where there's enough confidence in a level of return to justify larger investment, which is what it will take to bring down the cost of goods. As it is, it took guts and vision on Tom's part to put up the development money for this, he had no way of knowing if it would be successful, or result in a financial disaster.

At the end of the day, Tom has to do better than break-even for this to make commercial sense, and knowing Tom, that money will go into improvements and further products (like the idea of a MPEG decoder companion card). And if he does well, other companies will take notice, and video will become more than an afterthought for them.

Think of this as 'lighting the blue touchpaper' :) and wish us well, so Tom can recoup the original investment and put it to good use in the future...

Paul

p.s. Please forgive me if you feel you're being sold to - I'm an engineer, not a sales person, and my intent was to explain why there's a world of difference between a no-name taiwanese bt8x8 card and the Holo3Dgraph. I interpreted your original question as a request for that explanation...

p.p.s. re: your request for screen shots. I'm sure this is already high on Tom's list of things to do. I also know that the good folk on the early adopter program are bursting at the seams to tell everyone about their experiences. I'd be amazed if they don't also post lots of their own snapshots.

In the interests of full disclosure: I do not benefit financially from the sale of Holo3Dgraph cards. In fact I'm not linked financially in any way to Tom or his company. This has been purely a technical collaboration, born from a shared vision, with each of us having some of the skills needed to make it a reality. The only way I benefit from this is from getting one card, and any positive influence it might have on my reputation :)
post #390 of 390
Tom, Paul,

I can't tell you how impressed I am with your immediate and thorough responses. Clearly you are pioneers and it sounds like you have a breakthrough product and I hope you sell a million of them. I'm extremely excited by all the advances that are happening with front projector technologies and pairing these projectors with relatively inexpensive HTPC's seems like a winning combination.

I recall a post in another forum where an AVS member had his friend over for dinner and a movie and his friend was blown away with the front projector based home theater. His friend wrongly assumed that the gear cost 30,000+ and his jaw dropped when the AVS member told him that he could get a complete system for $10,000. I think there are huge numbers of people (The Best Buy crowd) who want a home theater and budget $2000-$6000 for a RPTV. These people have NO IDEA how great an experience they can get with a front projector that doesn't cost any more than a RPTV. The reason for this is that there are so few stores with front projector showrooms. I believe that as word gets and and technology improves, the kind of home theaters once reserved for the ultra rich will become widespread. At the same time the HTPC market will grow tremendously as people begin to realize how incredibly useful they can be.
Typically speaking when you have 1 box that tries to do everything, it tends to do everything poorly. Example: the hideabed. It's a crappy bed AND a crappy couch! But with HTPCs I think we're entering a period when these boxes will do many different things and do all of these things well.

It's exciting how a single box can serve as a DVD player, CD player, video processor, hdtv receiver,audio processor, video scaler, PVR, MP3 player, streaming audio player, Gaming center...etc..etc. We're getting close to having a *real* "home theater in a box" as opposed to those ridiculous pseudo HTIAB systems they sell at Circuit City. HTPC's are great because although they are a single box, the hardware and the software are entirely modular.

Tom, Paul I'd like to thank you for your efforts. We need people like you to innovate, and take risks as this is what bring us (the consumers) the great products we use, enjoy and depend upon. Without entrepreneurs, inventors and engineers, Home theaters would not exist and we'd all be using the "two cans connected with a string" method to communicate with each other over long distances.

Stephen Gower
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