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Affordable SCALER outperforms my HTPC - Page 2  

post #31 of 385
Crazy man! ;) No use for all that RAM, no use for that CPU - get a good 3.2 at 1/3 of that price and overclock it with a cheap water cooling kit or a good heatsink/fan. The Radeon card is not the thing to buy, get a GeForce. You'll only need more than a cheap 6600 if you want to use it for games. And monitor? For a HTPC? I thought this was for a projector...
post #32 of 385
Being a computer tech by day.. i see a ton of different video cards..

the best 2d image as far as colour and colour saturation goes.. Matrox..

they totally blow for 3d however..

the new cards are great for 3d stuff.. but what they've done for upping the clock speed and 3d polygon count.. hasn't really paid off in better colour.

i recently dumped an old matrox millennium 2 into my htpc.. it showed much nicer color than my nvidia 6200.. (i think that's what i have.. LOL.. PCIe card.. ) unfortunately the old matrox couldn't keep up with the demands of 720p/1080i video..

i've got a dead g400.. and it was a little nicer than the millennium (heckuva lot faster).. from what i've seen.. matrox has put a lot of thought into accurate colour reproduction.. where most makes have just aimed at max frame rates and polygon counts.

Really take someone with a scope to see the differences.. but from what i've seen.. matrox has always had the best 2d image quality and colour
post #33 of 385
I use a lcd as the 'console' for the ht. The htpc is using lcd/pj dualview. This spares the crt unneeded desktop usage and my eyes too, because my focusing skills arent that good yet. I've got a temporary setup with a corner desk "projectionist's office", and I surf, burn dvds, etc while projecting movies for guests :)
note: I'm not really planning on going to a "self-serve with an all-in-one remote" type setup.

To fill up that $4k though, I'd cut down on ram like he said and add more hdds and a hdtv tuner card.
post #34 of 385
stylin,
I have (ahem) a copy of XP with SP2 running right now on my laptop and desktop computers. I don't want any updates from Microsoft. I know people go there and continously update, but it is not a requirement.

Ericglo
post #35 of 385
bah.. screw MS..
My HTPC runs knoppmyth www.mysettopbox.tv (linux).. just burn the CD.. pop it in.. it auto installs.. and away ya go.. takes a bit more knowledge to get X running in the right resolution but overall.. it's rock solid and there's no MS licensing to worry about.. oh.. and mplayer ROCKS.. no worries about codec hell like you experience in windows.

oh yea.. it's a full featured PVR setup as well that supports multiple front ends and as many tv tuners as you want to throw at it.
post #36 of 385
Lets see, how I can approuch this. 3 years ago you couldn't get a good scaler that will do 720p, 1080i, or 1080p for $1000. All you could get was a weak line doubler. Thats only 480p. I suppose there is new scalers out there that can do these resolutions very well for that price.

An 8 yr old can work a HTPC. My 12 year old can like its second nature. But a grumpy old crotchety fart struggling to get his wireless keyboard to work definately would be handicapped in this age of digital computers! :) I noticed alot of guys on this forum are the older "not with the times" crowd. I chat on other forums that comprises mostly of younger computer generation crowd.

Like I alluded to before a HTPC is more than just a scaler. If all you need is a scaler then getting a good quality $1000 unit is probably the best way to go. 3 years ago you couldn't do this. I still do not beleive a $1000 scaler out performs Theater Tek 2.11 with gforce 6600GT videcard. (Possibly with DVI output which I will try soon). Not untill I witness it with my own eyes. For YEARS people have been blowing scalers out of the water with TT or Zoomplayer using FFDshow.

Besides being a Scaler a HTPC is a media center. Its Email, Movie archives and database, net surfing, gaming, chat, audio system, music storage archive playback, picture storage playback, television dvr playback recording archive database, etc etc etc the list is endless what a HTPC can do. ALOT of people on the HTPC forums use their HTPC's for ALL these purposes. I use my htpc for most of them. Im just not going to do the SageTV route. Got me a Cox Cable HDTV box. But I could have gotten a HDTV tv card.

Being stuck with just a scaler? Ouch. Where does that get fun? *grin*
post #37 of 385
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylinlp
I still do not beleive a $1000 scaler out performs Theater Tek 2.11 with gforce 6600GT videcard. (Possibly with DVI output which I will try soon). Not untill I witness it with my own eyes.
and i don't beleive in $65,000. turntables from Australia either, but I have to Belive eddie who's tried both, your HTPC and the Lumagen. I don't use my HTPC for any of those other things, and I will gladly pitch it for a better picture.
Edit: I think I will try TT2 for the extra 30 bucks, but that's really the limit of what I will put into this machine. If nothing else, it will help with re-sale value. AFA a $130 nvidia card or water cooled CPU, no frickin way.
post #38 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_A_W
Draganm

1. You need to run Zoom Player or TT with some Ffdshow Resize sharpening (or maybe go all out with Limited Sharpen). This is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT - seriously, if you're running Powerdvd4 or something, the difference is STUNNING. A HTPC is pointless without this.
Ineed to peruse the HTPC forum more often. I was completely unaware of Limited Sharpen. I've been using dScaler's sharpen filter. I downloaded the instructions from HardwareXL and will give that a try tonight.
post #39 of 385
Just as many of you scaler guys think us HTPC guys haven't seen a good scaler, we don't think you've seen a good HTPC. You can't just get a list of preferred parts, build an HTPC and expect good results. It takes a while to get it tweaked. Nvidia codex with AT LEAST a 6600GT ("GT" is important) seems to be the preferred combo. Sharpen and noise filters, gamma and color saturation adjustments, as well as software players, make a HUGE difference.
post #40 of 385
The G70 Tom Rosback is referring to is mine. Which now looks stunning to my eyes after the full setup and calibration. BTW Tom, the Lumagen I have is the HDP, not the HDP pro. Although not a big difference between the two if memory serves. The DVD player used in my system is an Integra DPS-8.3($1100 new) in case Kal was interested with mine as well.

I also used a HTPC as well, and after using/seeing both, I prefer the Lumagen. Both have strengths, but I chose the TROUBLE FREE options:D


Tom, I didn't realize you buy from General NanoSystems as well. Really good peeps down there. I buy just about all my computer hardware from them, and some software.
post #41 of 385
WheatKing, I disagree. I tested a Matrox G400 3-2 years ago against my then top of the line ATI Radeon 9500, and the details with the Radeon were a lot better and sharper. In a scene from Matrix that I used (when he's getting ready to jump from roof to roof for the first time) there's an office building in the background. On the Radeon you could discern the different windows, on the Matrox they were a blur.

Also do you get the same picture quality from DVD with Linux that I get from nVIDIA or dScaler 5 codec with FFDShow? I've heard the opposite - that Linux filters aren't up to it.

Phil, where did you get that "GT is important" stuff from? I have tried with everything up to 6800 Pro (which was top of the line half a year ago, now that's the 7800), and there's no difference for HTPC use. Of course if you want to use it as a games computer as well the GT helps, but that's all.

Jeff, you mean you prefer the turnkey instead of a HTPC that takes some time to configure correctly, both in user interface and picture quality, even though the HTPC's picture quality is better, right? :D
post #42 of 385
Theater Tek 2.11 supports and uses nVidia 6600GT and up cards. If you don't have a card like that you will NOT be able to enjoy the full functionality of Theater Tek 2.11

Dragan. Don't bother upgrading to TT2 if your not going to upgrade your Radeon 9600 card. You will not see an appreciable differant. I'm sure there may be a better quality differance but not what we TT 2.1 users are preaching about.
post #43 of 385
Strange. It says "Recommended hardware - GeForce 6/7 series" on the website, nothing about GT. You aren't thinking about the fact that the original 6800 AGP isn't fully supported in the PureVideo stuff? All 6600 are, as far as I know.
post #44 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastiff
Jeff, you mean you prefer the turnkey instead of a HTPC that takes some time to configure correctly, both in user interface and picture quality, even though the HTPC's picture quality is better, right? :D

That's subjective so I won't comment further then saying, to each his own.
post #45 of 385
To get ALL the purevideo goodies [1], 6600GT is the lowest card. I suspect future drivers will enable a few more checkboxes for some borderline gpus too.

[1] http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html
post #46 of 385
Jeff, if there's anything this forum is about, it's the subjective! ;)

linecircle, sorry. The 6600 doesn't do spatial temporal deinterlacing, whatever that means. But still that's only for interlaced material. I would guess that around 90 % of what we watch (mostly DVD movies) doesn't need deinterlacing. Still that's one point for the GT!
post #47 of 385
Don't quote me, but I think spatial-temporal deinterlacing is also what is known as pixel adaptive deinterlacing. Beats me what it does exactly, but I'd assume deinterlacing on a pixel-scale would yield better results than by lines or fields. Then again that page is probably marketing bull anyways. :D
post #48 of 385
Just upgrade to TT2 and a 6600GT card (Dunno if the cheaper 6600 cards do the same job or not?)

The difference between an ATI 9800Pro with BNC connection and the 6600GT was instantly noticable, and that was before fitting the 6600 with BNC connectors.
I wouldn't personally go the MP! mod with the radeon card you have, you would be better off getting a 6600GT and if you felt like it later, then mod it.
You will get a really really big change in quality by going to TT2 and the 6600GT
post #49 of 385
Which brand of 6600GT is acceptable???

Ben
post #50 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by benareeno
Which brand of 6600GT is acceptable???
afaik, there aren't any 6600GT's that lacked this or that feature due to the specific brand. So I guess you can compare based on other features like memory, vga/dvi outputs, vivo, cooling, colour even :)
post #51 of 385
I think any brand is fine, what I meant was I didn't know if a 6600 NON-GT was the same for DVD playback as a GT. There is a new cheaper 6600 (GX?) card out, but dunno if it has the same features.

Any 6600GT card should be fine.
post #52 of 385
They seem to go pretty cheap on ebay.... e.g. # 8746202610
post #53 of 385
Here is a useful table, because the different versions can get confusing:

http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html
post #54 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
Here is a useful table, because the different versions can get confusing:
http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html
So jumping from 6600 to 6600GT adds "Spatial-Temporal De-Interlacing"

I remember a good post on that a few weeks ago when someone asked about 1080i vs 720p:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post6600829
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2
1080i30 source has higher spatial resolution than 720p60 and 720p60 has higher temporal resolution than 1080i30. But film source is 24Hz and so the 60 full frames per second don't have the same temporal resolution advantage with film compared to 60 half frames per second (or 30 full frames) as they do with video based sources. When you display at 1080i things get more complicated because 1920x540 is slightly higher spatial resolution than 1280x720, but your projector may resolve more of the second one (if it can't resolve 1920 horizontally), your eyes are likely doing some spatial integration of the interlaced signal and most of our film sources have lower than 1920 horizontal resolution.
post #55 of 385
Interesting information on 1080i.

There is another thing that I may be looking into. Right now I have a DB15 to DB15 Silver Serpent cable connected from the nVidia 6600GT AGP card to an Extron 202xi box. Then a 5BNC to 5BNC cable to the Marquee 8500 crt projector.

Im considering going all DVI since I got the new Moome's DVI/Componant card.
Others on here suggested to do the BNC mod to your videocard. If I decide to go the DVI route that bypasses the DB15 issue. Bypass's even having an Extron unit. Bypass's 2 extra connections and bypass's 2 digital to analog conversions.

Now thats something to think about :)

I need to look into this topic on the Theater Tek forums. See what issues DVI has at 1440x960@72hz. Maybe settle for a differant res? Not sure.
post #56 of 385
Be aware that at long distances some have reported issues with DVI. You might want to try things out with a DVI cable long enough for your run before you get too deep into replacing your analog runs which sound quite robust and sufficient at this point.

that being said, you shouldn't have any problems with 1440x960@72hz with DVI, AFAIK.
post #57 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Pete
They seem to go pretty cheap on ebay.... e.g. # 8746202610
Pete,

Unless you can handle DVI, or don't mind using a dongle, you're going to need to get one with VGA 15 pin out.

http://img.ncix.com/gif/13575.JPG
post #58 of 385
I think that I'm a pretty savvy HTPC user, and a few years ago, they were the only reasonalbe cost option, so I was willing to live with the pain.

Now there are low cost scaler options that make sense for some people. Maybe for me. I'm willing to give the nVidia 6600GT solution a go, and I've alreay got TT2.x.

I really do know good video, and I'd like to see some of it coming out of an HTPC. I travel a lot, and get to places like Dallas, Phoenix and Redmond pretty frequently. Love to see a competitive HTPC.

I'd love to see an HTPC beat a Lumagen Scaler. I just haven't seen it. Yet.

I'd like to be brought back into the HTPC fold for a lot of reasons, but I'm on the fence now given that the scaler price/performance ratio has improved dramatically.

BTW, this is the first really interesting post in the CRT forum for a long, long time!
post #59 of 385
Tom,

there are some HTPC's that will give you a better picture then a lumagen but here not cheap. cellarcinemas and a few other folks out there make them.

Now from my experience with my own custom HTPC, I thought the picture was better then my several thousand dollars scalers I was using. The picture was brighter ,richer in color and the depth in the picture was very good. The only draw back is that it takes tons of tweaking to get the right formula to get it to awesome and time is something I don't have a lot of.

Can an HTPC out perform a scaler?? IMO yes it can if you have the time to get it there and its not cheap.

my .02 worth
post #60 of 385
Tom,
I am going to partially agree. I would love to see a shoot out of current and upcoming scalers against some HTPCs. I know the guys at Hi-Rez get together were raveing about the HTPC there and I would guess Chuchuf has a very well set up HTPC (probably with help from Andrew from TT). I am not sure if they can match the power of the new Realta and Gennum based scalers, but it would be nice to find out.

Ericglo
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