AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a newbie that acquired my first pj (Sanyo PLV60) about 4 weeks ago. I could not resist the 1K htpc special being offered here and hooked it up 4 days ago. All I had added to the core offer was a modem and a tv capture card so I could use dscaler to make my lousy cable signal bearable and hopefully improve the video quality of my Sony interlaced DVD jukebox source. Here are my first impressions of my first htpc.


It is bogus to me to say that the main reason to get an htpc is superior picture quality. The main reason to get an htpc is that for a computer geek like me, this thing is a friggin blast! It is so much FUN to have so much control, so many options. Convergence of PC and TV is HERE! It has arrived and is alive and kicking in my own living room! A dream I have had for years has now been realized for me. I am giddy. It's more fun than the initial pj purchase. IMHO, AVSience should market their contraption based on the fun factor, not pq.


I was worried about the wireless keyboard because the best wireless you can get locally here at CompUSA is utterly craptastic beyond 3ft. The I-MMT Express Pro Remote keyboard that came with this thing works great. I love the little joy-stick at the upper right, relieving the need for a mouse. I am a good 12+ feet away from the htpc at a 30 degree angle and it works flawlessly. Very cool. It is a mystery to me why CompUSA would ONLY carry crap when this very competent technology is available. I guess they don't think that htpc is ready for the masses yet.


After reading and implementing the suggestions from some extremely helpful threads on this forum detailing the proper setting of a plv60 for an htpc, the desktop is a sharp 1360x768. Maybe not as sharp as a conventional computer monitor but is much sharper than what the pj produced from the 3 year old Dell P2-266 I had hooked up to the pj before which was not acceptable beyond 800x600 res. Why isn't a plv60's native 1365(6)?x768 possible from the htpc to completely eliminate the pj's scaler?


Dscaler clearly works better than the WinTV software that came with the card and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it came pre-installed. Nice touch.


Being a computer geek, I had many questions and concerns. Tech support has been very good so far. Brian at BT Tech has returned my emails with thoughtful and accommodating responses so far. I was a little irritated initially that the pc did not come with the OS media included but Brian was happy to immediately ship me a copy of Windows ME after my objections. The CD-key was not included which renders the media pretty much useless but I am confident based on my experience so far that this will be remedied by Brian.


As for picture quality, which almost seems secondary to me given how much fun this thing is, it is clearly sharper. I thought I had a convergence problem with the pj before the htpc based on a panny-rp56 through component source. Those concerns are gone. The extreme edges are now off by exactly 1 pixel which is within specs and the pinkish neon-light like outlines I was sometimes experiencing on borders of shadowed flesh tone color fields (especially close up noses in shadow) are greatly reduced. I was considering sending the pj back to Sanyo for service for a second time but no more. Thankyou AVS.


Another fun thing is that (with the help of this forum) it was easy to figure out how to rip a dvd to the hard drive for multi movie juke box like convenience and now I am regretting not upgrading my hard-drive storage space in my initial purchase. Adding a big second hard-drive is definitely a weekend project in my future. I can get 2 flicks on my 20 gig hd and no more.


Now that I have expressed my glowing giddy report of my new htpc from avscience, heres' the DOWN SIDE. I am hoping that the readers of this thread can help me out with these issues.


BEEF #1. THE COLOR SUCKS. The color is not nearly as good as from the panny-rp56. It looks bland and washed out. I have tried to improve the color with AVIA's basic setup and THX setup guides with some success but it still does not match the color quality of my panny rp56. Turning the gamma down helped a little. Adjusting the PC's color settings also helped a little. I am confused as to why there is no color or tint options for the VGA input 1 on my plv60. Looking through the blue filter from AVIA at AVIA's color and tint test patterns, the color and tint look spot on PERFECT, much more so than from the rp56 yet the rp56 kicks ass over the htpc with a dvd movie as far as color goes. On AVIA's basic color and tint patterns, looking through a blue filter, I can't even ruin it if I tried by adjusting the red, green , and blue settings from the basic menu of the plv60. From my previous experience from reading these forum threads, I turned down the PC GREEN BRIGHT in the service menu several notches and this helped a lot just like it did by turning down the AV GREEN BRIGHT for the rp56 source but it is still not as good as the rp56 color for a movie. The red, green, and blue settings available for the VGA input 1 seem to do nothing at all for the color when adjusted together although I can make the color worse by adjusting one to the extreme. I am clueless as to what to do. I have purchased SMART 2 and am hoping this will help me further but have not had the time to utilize this tool yet. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


BEEF #2: Passing an external interlaced Sony DVD juke box through s-video to the htpc and dscaler is not as good as simply connecting the dvd juke box directly to the pj with s-video. I was hoping the htpc would be a useful video processor and maybe it is for cable and VCR but I see no apparent benefit from an external interlaced dvd player. Bummer.


BEEF #3: Occasional loud audio screeches and application errors when first starting a dvd or quickly changing chapters or ripped movies on the hd.


BEEF #4: No easy control like from a good dvd remote for fast forward, rewind, and jog. I wish every dvd remote was as good as my Sony DVD jukebox remote. Skipping through chapters, pausing and re-starting playback work just fine from the wireless keyboard.


I hope that this report has helped some other newbies and inspired some vets to give me a hand.


The bottom line assessment of AVS' HTPC special is that AVS's confounding blasted pain in the ass contraption that pisses me off is that it is a total friggin blast! It ain't perfect but it's a friggin blast for a geek like me. I am in AV heaven. Who needs sex when you got this? I only hope that when I die, the existence beyond is as fun as this. No offence meant to the ladies out there whom I have not completely given up hope for. Your just gonna have to cough up a lot of fidelity to compete with my ny new AVS htpc. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Ahh welcome to the fold young Jedi....


BEEF #4 can be fixed with Girder / IRMan and a fair bit of work... A Pronto helps too but is not essential...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
Quote:
I was a little irritated initially that the pc did not come with the OS media included but Brian was happy to immediately ship me a copy of Windows ME after my objections. The CD-key was not included which renders the media pretty much useless but I am confident based on my experience so far that this will be remedied by Brian.
This is slightly disturbing... Are they really selling PCs with a pirated version of the operating system installed or was this simply an oversight?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,132 Posts
BEEF #1: What video card is in your HTPC? If it's Gefarce, it would explain the poor color control. If your HTPC has Radeon graphics card, have you tried a different software DVD player like Cinplayer 4 or PowerDVD XP combined with Zoomplayer? This allows you to tweak the overlay colors a lot more. Most likely your HTPC has Gefarce card and WinDVD 2.6 which limits your color control ability of HTPC. PJ never allows color, tint, or aspect control with VGA or RGB signal. This is common with digital PJ.


BEEF #2: Dscaler is good but won't beat PLV60 internal processing which is pretty decent compared to say my LT150 :D Best input of external DVD player into PLV60 is progressive component followed by interlaced component and then Svideo.


BEEF #3: This is common with older WinDVD versions. Upgrade to WinDVD 2.8 or newer and this should be solved.


Good luck and glad you like your HTPC.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top