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If 1366 X 768 is best PC Resolution, why HTPC??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I watched my first HTPC movie on my new Vizio Plasma last night. I recorded it from my HDHomeRun tuner into Vista Media Center during the middle of the night and played it back with my Plasma being the monitor. I was surprised to find the 1366 X 768 resolution was the best I could get. Looked at the Plasma specs and yep, that all you get. Looked at the LCD 1080p specs and they too only go up to 1366 X 768.

So my question is this. If TV/DVD viewing comes at 1920 X 1200 for 1080p, why would we want to restrict this with the PC Limitations of 1366 X 768?
post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwhiteseide_ga View Post

I watched my first HTPC movie on my new Vizio Plasma last night. I recorded it from my HDHomeRun tuner into Vista Media Center during the middle of the night and played it back with my Plasma being the monitor. I was surprised to find the 1366 X 768 resolution was the best I could get. Looked at the Plasma specs and yep, that all you get. Looked at the LCD 1080p specs and they too only go up to 1366 X 768.

So my question is this. If TV/DVD viewing comes at 1920 X 1200 for 1080p, why would we want to restrict this with the PC Limitations of 1366 X 768?


Oh boy... you will probably be bashed pretty bad, but I'll take it easy.

What model vizio?
the 2 1080p vizios i have are at maximum 1366x768 on the VGA port. I run 1920x1080 (1080p) off the HDMI port, using an DVI-HDMI cable.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbop15 View Post

Oh boy... you will probably be bashed pretty bad, but I'll take it easy.

What model vizio?
the 2 1080p vizios i have are at maximum 1366x768 on the VGA port. I run 1920x1080 (1080p) off the HDMI port, using an DVI-HDMI cable.

That would be great, I did go VGA as it is a older test box for HTPC. I want to see what I can get before I invest in another toy.

This is from the Vizio website on the current 47" LCD
Supported PC Resolutions
1366 x 768, 1280 x 720, 1024 x 768, 854 x 480, 800 x 600

So you are saying if I go DVI to HDMI, I wont be using any of those resolutions, but will jump right to the top res???
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwhiteseide_ga View Post

I watched my first HTPC movie on my new Vizio Plasma last night. I recorded it from my HDHomeRun tuner into Vista Media Center during the middle of the night and played it back with my Plasma being the monitor. I was surprised to find the 1366 X 768 resolution was the best I could get. Looked at the Plasma specs and yep, that all you get. Looked at the LCD 1080p specs and they too only go up to 1366 X 768.

So my question is this. If TV/DVD viewing comes at 1920 X 1200 for 1080p, why would we want to restrict this with the PC Limitations of 1366 X 768?

Sounds like you are running into limitations imposed by the display, not the computer.

Most video cards support much higher resolutions. My game computer has no problems running my Dell 24" widescreen with a resolution of 1920x1200.
post #5 of 23
Charles is correct.

This is indeed a limitation you are getting from your monitor-- if it exists at all and is not just a warning in the manual.

A PC can generate damn near any timings, but if your monitor refuses to run them, there's not a lot you can do. Any device you plug in (DVD player, cable/satellite box, Blu-ray/HD DVD) is going to have the same limitations.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwhiteseide_ga View Post

So you are saying if I go DVI to HDMI, I wont be using any of those resolutions, but will jump right to the top res???

It depends on your screen but they tend to support various modes up to 1920x1080 including 1280x720 via HDMI but sometimes they are limited to 1366x768 through VGA

Brian
post #7 of 23
Doesn't Vizio only sell 768p plasmas? I thought the only 1080p sets they sold were some LCDs - and their 1080p LCDs are limited to 768p over VGA. Assuming your plasma is 768p - well, that's all the pixels you're going to get out of it.
post #8 of 23
They may or may NOT be limited in VGA -- fact is: if the panel is 1366 x 768 then any signal with higher resolution would force the Vizio to downscale the signal to the panel. Your best image will be when you determine which component can provide the best scaling whether it's the Vizio or any component you connect to it.

Far too many products are advertising 1080p when they only support the format and not the native panel. It's forums like these that educate consumers.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
I moved my Dell E510 P4 3.0ghz with Radeon x300 DVI into the living room and hooked it to my Vizio 50 Plasma via HDMI.

Before I tell you my Vizio problems, you should know that I runn this PC to a 24" Dell LCD at 1920 x 1200 and it is crisp.

While others say they run their HTPC at 1920 x 1200 to the TV, I was unable to, well kinda. With the DVI to HDMI cable connected to my Vizio 50 Plasma, I could get the 1920 x 1200 resolution, but it was totally unreadable. I had to drop down to 1360 x 768 to get a fairly clean screen, but still not near as clean as my Dell LCD. I went ahead and fired of MCE live TV at both resolutions both were noticably crummy compared to the normal cable feed going straight to the TV.

Now this unit is my desktop and it works great as such. I would purchase new equipment for a HTPC, but I want to justify that I should do this first.

What do I need to do to see the cool HTPC experience like others claim with the 1920 x 1200 crisp resolution?

Is my Vizio the limitation?
Vizio P50 model. 720p, 1080i, 1366 x 768 native resolution.

Is my ATI Radeon the limitation (it works for the DELL LCD)?

Why at the native resolution, does the MCE Live TV still look worse than comcast cable going straight to the TV? ( MCE Live uses HDHomerun tuner)
post #10 of 23
Since the monitor is 1366x768, that's all the pixels you're going to get out of the display. Therefore, in my opinion, shooting for higher, isn't going to help much, and could in fact hurt.

If it was me, I would only run at that resolution in order to ensure I was performing only one scaling. Even though the Faroudja scaler in the P50 is high quality, you're still going to be scaling twice if you send the monitor anything other than 1280x720...and even then everything but 720p TV stations will still be scaled twice (one scale by the computer and one by the monitor).
post #11 of 23
You almost always want to run at the native resolution of the monitor, it provides the cleanest image.

Typically anything over or under the native resolution will be scaled to the native resolution and you will lose a lot in clarity.

The same will happen with any LCD monitor for the PC.... yes it supports all different resolutions, but the native resolution will provide the best picture. Running at somehting lower will show up.... but will not be as crisp as the native resolution.

If you do have a panel with a 1920x1080 native resolution then yes you would run it at that to get the best picture.... but since your supports 1080i all that means is that the pane is taking that 1080i signal and scaling it down to 1366x768

Stick with the native resolution.... always and you will get the best picture.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
I did run at 1360 x 768 resolution and found the viewing experience to be terrible. I would not waste my time with HTPC if this is the best one can do.

I did not try 1280 x 720 as suggested above. Could that be a better picture than the native 1360 x 768 because the TV is a 720p TV?

You should know that I picked up this TV at Costco to see if it would be a good less expensive solution while waiting the Aug 20 to roll around when they release the Vizio 52" 1080p LCD for around 2k. This is one big reason why I'm trying to figure out what works best here.

Does anybody have a HTPC running on a 720p plasma that looks as good as the TV Tuner without the HTPC? I've done a lot of reading on the HTPC and have never seen it stated that you really must have 1080p to get a good video.
post #13 of 23
So are you complaining that your tv feed does not look as good? Mine did not either, unless you somehow use dscaler or ffdshow or something to clean up the image.


Especially sd garbage in garbage out, its not going to look much better then your regular cable feed.
post #14 of 23
I hope you realise that there's a difference between 1920x1200 (16:10, 24" LCD monitor aspect ratio) and 1920x1080 (16:9, 1080p aspect ratio). I'm surprised your plasma displayed anything at 1920x1200. Try again with 1920x1080.
As others asked, are you sure your plasma is meant to handle a 1080p signal; it certainly won't display it at that resolution unless it is natively that resolution.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwhiteseide_ga View Post

I did run at 1360 x 768 resolution and found the viewing experience to be terrible. I would not waste my time with HTPC if this is the best one can do.

I did not try 1280 x 720 as suggested above. Could that be a better picture than the native 1360 x 768 because the TV is a 720p TV?

You should know that I picked up this TV at Costco to see if it would be a good less expensive solution while waiting the Aug 20 to roll around when they release the Vizio 52" 1080p LCD for around 2k. This is one big reason why I'm trying to figure out what works best here.

Does anybody have a HTPC running on a 720p plasma that looks as good as the TV Tuner without the HTPC? I've done a lot of reading on the HTPC and have never seen it stated that you really must have 1080p to get a good video.

Sounds like you have a common issue for which not many have an answer for. 1366x768 is not supported by most video cards - so how in the world are we supposed to get a perfectly crisp picture like running a panel at its native resolution?

So 1360x768 completely screws up your entire picture?
post #16 of 23
I have the 720p 50" Vizio plasma as well and have had great results. I first tried vga 1366x768 out of both the onboard intel x3000 gma and a nvidia 8600gt. I then switched to hdmi via an add2 card for the intel graphics and also tried a dvi>hdmi converter running 1280x720. This produced a much more crisp picture but the text was not as clear as with the vga connection. Today I have both vga and hdmi connected via the onboard graphics and am very satisfied. Movies look gread via hdmi and if I want to jump online I switch to the vga source. One additional note, I previously had the ati x300 graphics connected via vga and the results for me were acceptable.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecazzx View Post

1366x768 is not supported by most video cards - so how in the world are we supposed to get a perfectly crisp picture like running a panel at its native resolution?

Powerstrip?
post #18 of 23
Sure - have tried that - screen goes black if the res is not supported.

Obviously there is NO interaction between the video card companies and the tv companies. I thought they were converging technologies? Apparently NOT.
post #19 of 23
Lemme play "dumb" for a second (there's a reason for it), and ask a question.

So, the universal recommendation is to run your panel at it's native resolution, because it makes things crisper. Well, what things are we talking about here? Desktop or Video?

Do you notice any crispness in VIDEO, when running things at 1366x768 vs let's say 720p 0r 1080i?
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Lemme play "dumb" for a second (there's a reason for it), and ask a question.

So, the universal recommendation is to run your panel at it's native resolution, because it makes things crisper. Well, what things are we talking about here? Desktop or Video?

Do you notice any crispness in VIDEO, when running things at 1366x768 vs let's say 720p 0r 1080i?

Well, isn't it logical to "assume" if I can see scaling issues with text - the same issues "must" be in the video - even if less noticable?

That being said - I am only using the desktop/text as a reference for scaling issues and overscan.

If my desktop is overscanned say 15% does that mean my video is getting zoomed or am I just losing some of the image?

So maybe I need a new thread? Does 1:1 pixel mapping mean anything for video at all?
post #21 of 23
Generally speaking it is best to display any HTPC on a video display 1:1 weather it be VGA or DVI/HDMI. Simply because it's easier to read text and easier on your eyes.
It is not guaranteed to give you the best video.
Why?
Scaling, the art of stretching or shrinking video from one resolution to another can be performed in the display, video card or software. Every combination is unique and there are no defacto standards.
To find the best answer is to test the possibilities yourself.

I had been running my SD projector (854x480)a scaled DVD image from ffdshow lanczos2 ->856x480. Then for kicks I decided to try software 2x scale and then let the video card scale down to 854x480. I'll bet my video card does it with bicubic. I found the image was ever so slightly better doing the latter procedure.
It should also be noted that downscaling, if done incorrectly is more deterimental to the image than upscaling. Generally speaking if you're not testing on a variety of material don't overscale 'cause there are more things to go wrong.
post #22 of 23
So to clear up a few things here, as already stated above your Plasma TV teh 50" vizio is a 1366 x 768 tv, thats its native resolution, so feeding it its native rez is by far the most desirable method of choice for tv's as it bypasses the internal scaler of the tv and lets the pc handle all of that.

Well now the main issue is that Video cards with the lack of External TDM timing chips can not run resolutions outside of multiples of 8 via the dvi connection. So you can run 1360 x 768 or 1368 x 768 but not 1366

however VGA doesn't have this limitation. Many swear that DVI/HDMI is infinitely better than VGA/Component, however if your tv can't accept the native rez via the hdmi port, I'd just recommend skipping HDMI with the htpc and just use VGA, it gets you the native rez of the display and looks crisp, clean and clear.

Also just an FYI the tv you record isn't in 1080p, its either 720p or 1080i, broadcast tv can't handle 1080p broadcasts so it can only support 1080i max, so what will happen is your video card will down scale the 1080i and de-interlace it as well down to the native 768p.

So really I'd say stop trying to focus on 1920 x 1080, if you do, I'd say ditch the 768p plasma and get a real 1080p tv, till then be happy with 768p because honestly at the size of display your running, you won't/can't even notice the difference.

- Josh
post #23 of 23
As umdivx(Josh) described, by using VGA would provide a better picture than DVI, would using a LineDoubler/Scaler such as this provide an even better picture?: Atlona AT-LINE-PRO (do a google search since I cant post a link. Im a new member) Where you input a VGA pc signal into the scaler and output HDMI from the scaler to the 1366x768 lcd hdtv. To me this would seem to work, but I would be concerned with the text still being hard to read. What do you guys think???
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