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My first HTPC + some newbie questions  

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have just set up my first HTPC and last night watched Fifth Element in all it's glory (and in DD 5.1). I must say that I am captivated with the picture quality. Even my girlfriend was amazed. I have found that the picture looks best at 1024 x 768 @ 72 Hz. First I'd like to thank all the people on the forum for their expert knowledge to get me going. Here is my set-up (pics to follow)

Soyo 6BA+IV MOBO
PIII 550E
196 PC100 RAM
Hitachi 2X DVD ROM
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum
Windows 2000
Western Digital Caviar 10GB
Win-TV go
Matrox G400 dual head
Outlaw 550 receiver
Klipsch Synergy Quintet speakers
NEC XG-75 front projector (72" wide screen)

I have a couple of observations that I'd like to point out.
1) when I boot up the PC. The NEC does not recognize the BIOS bootup sequence and there is no image until Windows starts up... not really a problem but I was curious as to why this is?
2) my display properties under powerstrip shows that my display device is unknown (default) is there any way to get drivers for my NEC? I looked on NECs website and the only driverts that I found were for monitors. I don't know if this matters but I am a little afraid to go pushing my projector out of limits and damaging it.
3) I'd like to use the custom timings that I found on Mark Fosters post from a ways back but will they work ? From the thread it sounded like they were for HDTVs only, I know that the NEC is more than capable of displaying HD material but is it considered a HDTV in the eyes of Powerstrip and Matrox powerdesk?
4) When I start POWERDVD and look at my receiver, the PCM(Pro-Logic) light comes on during the initial setup and FBI screen then when the movie actually starts it switches to DD 5.1. Does that happen for anybody else? I am using drivers that I got from the Forum here a ways back (can't remember the thread exactly), they weren't from creative labs as I don't think that they have released AC3 passthru capable drivers for Sound Blaster Live in W2000. They appear to work without any problems.
5) Would it be possible to simplify the process that I go through to start a movie? i.e 1) go to Powerstrip change to 1024X768 @ 72 Hz 2) start PowerDVD 3) start YXY. I'm thinking that I could use VBASIC to create a simple App that would go through that cycle for me. I have a pronto remote but a RF keyboard so I need to get an IR keyboard. Im thinking for my girlfriend who wants to push as few buttons as possible to watch a movie. I have heard about Girder but don't know much about it. Can it do complex Macro operations like this with one or two button clicks??

Any response would be greatly appreciated... Thanks again!
post #2 of 4
Hi Boatboy:

___I will try to answer the questions in the order you asked.
  • The POST screen is a 640X400 resolution @ 70 Hz. and it sounds as if your NEC FP cannot synch to this non-std windows resolution.
  • Force install a Driver inf similar to the following: Right click on the desktop properties --> Settings Tab --> Advanced --> Monitor Tab --> Click on change --> Specify the location of the driver (Advanced) --> Next --> Display a list of drivers in a specific location … --> Next --> Show all hardware --> Select “Sony†on the left and highlight “Sony GDM-W900†on the right --> Next --> Next --> Finish. You should now be back to the Monitor tab properties page. You now uncheck Automatically unplug Plug and Play monitors --> click on Apply and your done. If NEC has a specific inf for the HD FP you own, by all means install it instead because as you have already found out, your NEC will not synch to everything.
  • By your description, your NEC can synch to a std. 1024X768 @ 72 Hz windows resolution and refresh. You can use custom T&R’s to exactly match that output but creating a 16:9 aspect ratio desktop inside of that timing.
  • Yes, that happens exactly as you described. The output of the DVD you were watching during the FBI splash screen is not a DD 5.1 signal.
  • Why not have all of these programs start with Windows? You can easily start your own custom created T&R using either PowerStrip or the Matrox utilities right from bootup, you can have YXY start up and use a Hot Key to select whatever you are going to do with it, and PowerDVD can start up ready to accept the DVD for playback. Since you are not switching between PC monitor and your NEC FP, this is going to be easier than you think.
___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___ xcel@midwest.idsonline.com

[This message has been edited by xcel (edited 05-06-2001).]
post #3 of 4
Hi there

1) May be you configured Powerstrip to activate a specific sync signal that pleases the Nec. Could be the same thing for me with my Sony 1031. Powerstrip is mandatory to enable composite sync and to make the projector display somehting. Until PStrip starts, no image

4) not everything is dd 5.1 encoded ... I also see my Denon amplifier switch from dd to dpl depending on the sequence

5) Do you really need to change resolutions ? Why don't you set the computer to the resolution you want to use and .. no more. Anywya, Powerstrip can be configured to run at startup and apply the settings you pre-selected automatically.

Do you really need YXY ? If ound that PowerDVD, as long as the desktop resolution ratio matches the screen one, it does everything I need regarding aspect ratio control by itself. Quite easier.

About Girder and keyboard issues, I may suggest the "webboard" IR keyboard .. available in black, small, nice. And, yes, Girder is able of doing such macros. I use it myself with the webboard and a Realmagic remote. For details on my "IR" usage, see http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/004717.html

For Girder, see another thread I started "girder ; the app of choice for your ir needs" http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Archives...12-004873.html
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks XCEL. I have not been able to use NEC drivers as I have not found any that are specific to the XG series. I'll try using the Sony one as you suggested. Again thanks for your input!
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