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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering how good a job the 5002 video card does at line-doubling and scaling?


How many of you ended up just getting a seperate STB?


I watch about 50-60% SD cable/satellite, and was wondering if the 5002 is good enough. Tough since all the local stores have the retail pio w/ the sharp breakout box, so can't really see the 5002's performance.


The iScan Ultra at around $1k is looking really good- also acts as a good switcher and has DVI out. Uses their new chip, has digital aspect ratio manipulation, yada yada.... It seems like only one or two members have it. A lot of members seem to be happy with the iScan Pro.

http://www.laaudiofile.com/images/iscan_f.jpg


Don't want to get it if it's not thaaaat much better than the 5002, but it's so hard to tell when you can't see these components in person.


MMAfia
 

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I have a TVP-1000 which does a very good job of de-interlacing and scaling s-video inputs but most of my viewing is OTA and DirecTV via a Sony HD200. It does a very good job of making SD content look as good as possible and it provides the most flexability in the area of "stretch/zoom" for 4:3-based material. Most of the early DirecTV HD STBs just upconverted all SD content to 1080i, forcing you to watch 4:3-based programs with sidebars.


-- Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Gary,


Yeah, I've heard that the Sony HD200 does a great job... another member who used to have a CS1 doesn't even use it anymore...


thing is, I already have an 'older' RDC DTC-100 HD receiver, so am a little hesitant to get another HD receiver.... 1080i HD and digital ED out of the DTC-100 is awesome, but analog SD suuuuuucks. I believe the DTC does a 540p upconvert of the anolog SD. Terrible.


I'm pretty sure the 503cmx+card will take an s-video in from my svhs vcr and do a better job with SD than my DTC-100, but am worried that it might not be good enough.


There was another recent thread about a similar topic, and someone suggested just bagging the external scalers/line-doublers and getting the HD200... hmmm.... the iScan Ultra looks really promising though...


MMAfia
 

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I have an original DTC-100 and a Hughes E-86. Both do a good job with HD and the E-86 has a better ATSC tuner but both have major problems with SD channels via the RGB/component outputs due to, IMO, a "flawed" upconvert process. While this is "okay" for most of the movie channels, like HBO, etc., it really becomes apparent when you try and watch the heavily compressed local network feeds. You see lots of "pixelization" and color "blotchiness", especially when sports are being shown, like a baseball game or a golf tournament with large areas with similar colors.


What I ended up doing was using the s-video output into the TVP-1000 and the improvement was dramatic, especially if you use a very high-end cable. This caused a switching nightmare, however, which meant that I was the only one in the house that could go back and forth between watching in HD or in SD. This was a real bummer. The HD200 solved this program in spades and has the added benefit of better stretch/zoom functionality for watching 4:3 content.


I think it far wiser to spend $700 on an HD200 than an external scaler. You could always move the DTV-100 to another room and hook an antenna and a computer monitor to it for "local" viewing.


-- Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I see... yeah, it seems you get much more for the HD200, and it seems to be good at scaling too.


Hmmm... I think I'm gonna just have to see how the pio503+card looks like with s-video in for SD. it seems that using a good s-video cable makes a big difference. I'm going to have to connect the dtc-100 to my SVHS player via coax first. I'm assuming good cable matters here too.


Much thanks for you input. HSD200+503cmx seems to be a good combo, no doubt.


MMAfia
 

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The problem with boxes like the E86 that upconvert all SD content to 1080i is that for those channels that are in 4:3 format, you end up not being able to use any of the built-in stretch/zoom modes you may have in your display/tv . This is because most displays/tvs assume if the signal is 1080i, it is HD and already in the 16:9 widescreen format. Most early-generation HD STBs have limited stretch/zoom modes, usually just a "Full" mode, which stretches the content horizontally, and a "Zoom" mode that zooms in to fill the screen horizontally but clips off the top and bottom of the picture.


The Sony HD200 and Zenith SAT-520 models have many more options available for stretching/zooming, including a "Panorama" non-linear stretch mode (ends are stretched more than the middle...) that doesn't have as much of a "fun-house" mirror effect as those I've seen in displays/tvs.


-- Gary
 

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Furthermore, Gary, I think the Hughes' upconversion is not very good at all. I have not really used other HD boxes for this purpose, but the Hughes takes those compressed channels and makes them look hideous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the dtc-100's upconversion could give the Hughes a run for its money- it sux so bad you'd rather watch the unaltered analog/interlaced signal straight up.


MMAfia
 

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As I said, I have the DTC-100 and the E-86 and they both do a pretty lousy job of upconverting even the best of the DirecTV SD fare but for the rest of the channels that have more compression applied, the picture from both is horrible . My HD200 is SOOOO much better!


-- Gary
 

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Nice, I just picked up a used e86 for now, that I will get on Monday.


So I am better of watching SD through S-video, and HD through Component ?

I better program the macros on my MX-500 remote so the wife and figure out how to switch back and forth ....
 

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I went that down that exact path, of trying to program a MX500 remote to switch the E86, my 433cmx and its TVP-1000 and I never did get it to work reliably enough that my wife would actually use it. Actually, in trying to figure out how to improve the picture on the network channels, which is what my wifes watches the most, I decided to try and see if I could get OTA reception. Originally, I didn't even bother because being 60 miles south of LA our analog reception is pretty sucky. What I found, however, is that in the digital realm, it's a different animal. I won't go into all the gory details of all the testing and antenna/amp combinations I went through but I can say now that I have a setup that gets all 12 LA digital channels perfectly.


The E86 has a pretty good ATSC tuner and the OTA stations are seamlessly integrated in with the rest of the DirecTV channels in the guide so this ended up being a better solution for me than trying to automatically switch the E86 in and out of the HD mode and switching the TVP-1000/433cmx between the component and s-video inputs and also switching the "panorama" stretch mode on. The only remaining problem was that a lot of what is on the local channels is in 4:3 so you get the sidebars. That's what eventually drove me to get the HD200 but even with it, we still end up watching some of the local stuff with the sidebars, but I've decided not to worry about burn-in. My son has left his Xbox on a couple of times (for hours!) and it hasn't seemed to be a problem. Another advantage of OTA is that there is much more HD content on than what's available on DirecTV and it looks great. Anyway, if you have digital OTA options available in your area, I would definitely give that a shot.


-- Gary
 

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Thanks Gary for taking the time to write that.

I remember you trying to figure out what was best to get when the HD200 came out. I have been reading here of the problems they are having. Yours been ok for you ? No rebooting issues ?


I use My DirecTivo for my main viewing, but because we get such good ota very close to us, I wanted to get a HD receiver to pick them up.

Almost bought the new Zeinth 420, because I didn't really want/need another DirecTv receiver, but when I found one used, for a good price, I bought it.

Plus I like the idea that I can ditch my vcr all together (what I am currently using for a tuner for my plasma) and run my Cable through the e86.

Nice to have cable and ota (along with DirecTv) on one guide.

Also found out that our ota broadcast in non HD, is upconverted to a 1080i 16X9 - HD in 1080i


I got the MX-500 working pretty good for the wife. I have a couple of the ten device buttons programed for macros so that it changes my Denon receiver for video switching, go into just mod, etc - and for dvd, to go into component, full, ect

I will probably just make the ota channels set in my favorites on the MX-500 to switch my receiver to the e86 and then to component.

Pain.

Can't wait till there is a DirecTivo HD


rogo I see bought yourselve an HDVR2, how do you like it ? (other then geting a noisy fan)
 

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I have had zero problems with my HD200 and it has to be one of the first units to arrive in North America.


There is a line forming behind rogo/Mark and me for the first HD DirecTivo units!


-- Gary
 
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