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PS2 on plasma - Lots of options, help me decide  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I currently have a PS2 connected to my 50PHD7UY plasma via S-video, and am looking to improve the picture quality a bit, especially given the S-Vid issues this plasma has. I have several options, and I'm just trying to get a feel for which way to go. First a detail of my set-up:
  • My component video slot is taken up by my cable box and DVD player, switched through my receiver (only two component ins on the receiver).
  • Right now, my RGB input is being used by my HTPC (MSI Mega PC 180 - using onboard nForce2 Video for now).
  • The DVI blade may end up being used for the PC in the near future, when I upgrade to either a ATI 9700Pro (currently in another computer) or buy a low end AGP card for this box.
  • As stated, the S-vid is currently being used solely for PS2, but I want to cut it out entirely.
The main parameters:
Cable Box = Component Only (Scientific Atlanta 8000HD, DVI blade disabled by Time Warner)
DVD = Component (or DVI if I purchase a new one)
HTPC = RGB (or DVI if I get a new vidcard)
PS2 = Component, RGB, or through HTPC

That said, my options seem to be.
  • Run the PS2 into the Video capture card (Hauppage Win-TV) and through DScalar.

    1) No need to buy anything, since I have all of the parts I need

    1) Capture Card only has RCA composite input
    1a) so no progressive out from PS2 and all scaling done by PC
    2) PC must be on at all times when running PS2
    3) Picture lag issues (?)
  • Buy new DVD Player - run it through DVI, keep HTPC on RGB port and move PS2 to Component.
    1) Upgrade 2 components in one blow (DVD + PS2 picture quality)

    1) No DVD Player in my price range (under $700) that meets my needs (5+ disc changer, DVI out, universal player, and good picture quality with no layer change issues, Onkyo 802 is the only one that's close)
    2) Don't want to invest heavily in new DVD player if HD DVD is really only a couple of years away.
    3) Can't upgrade HTPC to DVI slot, whic would probably benefit from it more.
  • Buy VGA Box of some sort for PS2.
    1) Not as expensive as new DVD Player.
    2) True progressive signal for games which support it.

    1) Not sure which VGA Boxes are worth it, the two I've looked at the most closely are:
    G-Combo VGA Converter
    Blaze VGA Adapter
    2) MUST buy new vid card for either my main PC or HTPC
    3) since I'd be locked into using DVI for HTPC, I'm therefore locked into using AGP Vidcard, regardless of heat issues (which is a concern of mine with that PC)

I think at this point, I'm going to try it through the HTPC as a stop gap, and I'm leaning towards the G-Combo VGA box and a new vidcard as the ultimate solution, but does anyone have any thoughts, or other suggestions?

Specifically, I'd like to know if anyone has any recommendations for other VGA boxes, as well as recommendations for videocards with this particular SFF PC.

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 7
I'd just get an Audio Authority 1154A auto-switching component switch box and hook the three component video sources into that and then run that into the component in on the plasma.

But that's me.

Otherwise, I'd try the "get a video card with a DVI out and move the HTPC to it, and then move the PS2 to the RGB (it has RGB output option, but I've never used it myself, as I have no suitable display device to try it out on)" option.
post #3 of 7
VGA boxes for the PS2 are horrid. Component cables are your best bet.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
In general, I've shied away from switch boxes, since it adds yet another layer of inputs to choose from, or (in the case of autoswitches) takes away manual control over the input.

In this case though, I think it might work perfectly, since I can leave the TV on one Component input on the receiver and autoswitch the other two leading into my receiver (since I often tend to switch between DVD/PS2 and TV - I don't want them subject to the same autoswitch).

In the meantime, I think I will start with the VGA Box though. I tried it through the capture card last night, and it was horrid, so that's a no go, and the DVD Player smells like good money after bad to me. The new Vidcard was an eventual expense, so there's no real extra cost there, and the VGA boxes aren't that expensive, so that's a minimal risk. I guess if I'm not satisfied with that, now at least I have the fallback option of the autoswitch, and I can still find a use for the VGA box elsewhere in the apartment.

Thanks a bunch for the suggestion.
post #5 of 7
The AA 1154 switch box is a great unit. The autoswitching works perfectly and the video quality is as if it wasn't even in the loop.

I concur with not bothering with a PS2 VGA box--- the one I had was terrible.

Just out of curiosity--- since you already have a HTPC, why bother with a separate DVD player? Just use the HTPC for DVD playback. Theatertek is excellent.

I run a PS2, Xbox, GC and DVD player all into the AA component switcher (does analog&digital audio switching also) and into a iScan HD scaler which feeds my Panasonic plasma. I'm amazed at how decent PS2 can look.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by JPinTO
Just out of curiosity--- since you already have a HTPC, why bother with a separate DVD player?
Couple of reasons, really:

I don't have a DVD drive for the HTPC yet (on it's way this week).
I already have the DVD player, and use it for DVD Audio. Plus, it's a 7 disc changer, and that comes in handy for enough movies (and listening to music) that i'm loathe to give it up.
Also, I'm yet to find an HTPC remote that I like, and I hate using mouse control for watching movies. HTPC is mostly for emulator games, divx and surfing for the time being.
post #7 of 7
Another reason, for me at least, to not use a HTPC for DVD is the noise level. Unless I had a dead silent heatpiped PC or it was in another room, the noise level of a PC would annoy me, same as I find the noise level of a PS2 or X-Box too loud compared to a consumer electronics DVD player.
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