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Barco Data 801 & HTPC problems

595 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ESantos
I just built a HTPC to drive my low mile (about 1100 hours) Barco Data 801. I have been using a DVDO Plus and it looked pretty decent at a 17 foot viewing distance from a 120" diag Dalite 4:3 screen but since its still just 480p I thought a HTPC would make it a lot better. The highest res I can get the Barco to lock onto is 1024X768p at 60hz. Anything highter I just get the no signal error. I tried 48hz and the flicker gave me a migraine after a short time. I left the DVDO on another mem so I could compare. I spent the day adjusting the Barco for 1024X768px60hz. Here are my HTPC observations:

1) On slow horizontal pans you get motion distortion.

2) On vertical pans you see tearing.

3) Picture isn't as clean in general as on the DVDO. For instance on the Best Of Sessions 54 DVD the background looks grainy and it looks great on the DVDO. I tried both running the Toshiba 3109 player (through the HTPC) and the HTPC DVD player.

Am I overlooking something? At this point I think the DVDO Plus looks better. Is there a sweet spot that works better with a BD801? I have seen some people say they run their BD801'a at 1440x720X60 but I don't see how than can be as mine won't even accept that and it seems to much for the specs of this model anyways. Does anyone have a scanrate that seems optimum for a BD801 I should try?


SOYO Dragon Plus

AMD 1800XP

512 PC2100 Nanya

Built by ATI Radeon 7500

(2) Western Dig 40gb, 7200 RAID

Pioneer 106s DVD

MediaLand SuperTV (BT878a)

Audigy Gamer

XP Pro

PowerDVD 4XP


Latest drivers

DScaler 4 beta



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Greeting Dave.

One thing i failed to read is how are you feeding the Barco? Going through S-video, Video or RGsB? I own a BG801. Not a BD801. But there is a HUGE diffrence between the s-video side of things and the RGsB. HAve you tried to go instead to 720*[email protected] 60hz? I think the BD can not handle the type of bandwidth you are trying to throw at it. I run my BG801 at 1280*720.
I am feeding the Barco with a 15 pin VGA to 5 BNC Breakout cable to input 5 from the Radeon 7500 monitor output(15 pin vga). Same cable and input as the DVDO, just had to use input 95 to preserve 5's mem for the DVDO. I also tried 1280x720 but the BD cannot handle that (just says "no input"). The highest that it will lock onto is 1024X768x60 which appears to be the Max spec of this model. I am feeding the HTPC capture card with the same s-video cable that had been going to the DVDO Plus. I was hoping the HTPC would look better and not worse than the DVDO Plus. Looks like I have an expensive (and noisey) doorstop now (the HTPC). If I use the same Barco input (5,95), same cables, same source the DVD0 looks cleaner, less tearing, less grain.

I've seen the DVDO on a Barco and it gives a much softer picture than HTPC. It's probably hiding the noisy background of the DVD's that the HTPC reveals.

Using the video input card you're not going to get as good a picture as when using your Ati software, but you probably knew that.

I run my BD801s at 1440x960, 48Hz. I guess I'm lucky that I don't notice the flicker...

Don't worry about stepping on the DVDO's settings on input 5. When you feed the Barco a different scan rate it will create new memory and will not overwrite your settings for the DVDO as long as the new signal runs at a different frequency.

Keep experimenting. Like Figgie said, try a lower resolution like 1080x720, 72Hz or even 720x480, 72 or 96Hz. You may get a more pleasing picture depending on where the sweet spot of your machine lies.

Good luck and don't give up on HTPC just yet!

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Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to mess around with it some more today and see what I can come up with. I watch about 50/50 DVD's and satellite. The PQ through the svideo input on the BT878a is definately inferior to the DVDO. Not only is there tearing on pans but there are slight , thin bands of noise in the pic. The board must not be shielded very well and its picking up interference from other things in the PC. Basicly, using the HTPC to watch satellite is not an option at this point. I guess I will have to try and find a better video capture card and keep using the DVDO for now even though I was hoping to sell it to help offset the cost of building the new PC. I wanted to try 960X720 but the ATI reference driver 7.68 will not accept it with Powerstrip. I will try some others today and see how it goes. The first one I tried was the 1440X960X48 but after about an hour it literaly gave me a migraine. Guess I am cursed with being sensitive to 48hz :)

If anyone has any suggestions for a better video capture card that would make satellite watching doable please let me know......

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My suggestion would be to try a lower resolution at a higher refresh rate. 480p is line doubled. Anything more is IF the projector can handle it.
You should make a svga to db9 cable, and connect your HTPC to port 3, I run this port with RGBHV and change to negative syncpolarity. Looks much better than breakoutcable, and even better than an Extron 109(syncconverter) I have.

I also run at 800x600 @ 75 hz (72 for ntsc) and the picture looks great.

You have ofcoarse removed the 'keep aspect ratio' hook in Powerdvd, and adusted horisontal size to match? (if not, DO this NOW).

I am half done building a 15 pn to 9 pin cable now. That way I can also leave the DVDO hooked up to input 5. Right now one of my main concerns is getting it to look decent enough to use for watching Satellite through the s-video input and DScaler as I watch about 50/50 DVD and Satellite. I think it will work fine for DVD playback but I'd rather be able to get rid of the DVDO and use the HTPC for other sources besides DVD.

Hi Guys,

Dave, The Barco is REALLY picky about what signals it will lock on to unless they just happen to be horizontal and vertical negative sync. You have to force the ATI Radeon over to negative sync to be able to use the other resolutions (some resolutions are configured automatically to use negative sync, that's why you'll stumble across a couple that will work). Powerstrip will allow you to do this (among many other things). I'm not sure if the ATI drivers come with this capability built in. I use an extron box on my system to eliminate this very problem (the box performs sync-stripping, and always outputs a negative sync signal, so I even see my boot screen for windows).

As far as the motion distortion and tearing, these are classic symptoms of having the vertical sync disabled (this locks the output of the videocards screen buffer to the vertical refresh of the PJ, so you don't end up watching the card trying to redraw in real time what is being output to the screen, hence the tearing you are seeing). If the driver has it built in, try enabling v-sync. This should eliminate the tearing.

Keep the questions coming, you will be very impressed with the PQ once you have the HTPC and the PJ dialed in.


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One of the main reasons I use Powerstrip is BECAUSE you can change the Hor and Vert sync to negative. I am aware of the Barcos input #5 requiring neg syncs. I made sure when I made my custom scanrates to set the syncs neg. I was just trying to find out if someone as hit on a particular scanrate that these Barco BD801's like the most.

I also had thought about the vsync being disabled and it comes default with it enabled. I tried it disabled for grins and yes it did get worse, in fact it would cause the Barco to drop sync occasionally with it disabled.

The ones I have tried succesfully so far:

1440x960x48 (gave me a headache)

1024x768x60 looks ok but not great

I wanted to try 960x720 but the latest ATI Reference driver 7.68 will_not_accept it with or without Powerstrip.

I am gonna try 1080x720p later today.

Right now the deal killer for me is the interference noise the video capture board is introducing to the picture making it using for scaling satellite. I think the HTPC DVD can be made to look great but since I watch 50/50 DVD/Satellite I need to be able to use the HTPC for satellite also.

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I'm running my BD 801s at [email protected], on input 3 and i think it is near the sweet spot, at 54 khz, so you are not near the limits.

Do you have a VGA out on your sat. STB ? in canada, BEV is upsampling everything to 1080i on the HDTV STB, so you dont need the HTPC.

With Dscaler, well, it is soft, with some degree of noise. May be your capture card is the problem here, as discussed on other threads.

Good luck.
Yes I know the noise is being introduced by the BT878a capture board. I've tried it in different slots and tried DScaler filters, etc. The problem with DScaler right now is that it doesn't support many Hi End capture cards. I have a nice middle range Pinnacle board that I use for editing from S-Video souces with no noise at all but DScaler doesn't support it....

My Satellite box is just a run of the mill RCA cheapy for DirectTV and it just has s-video and composite out. It does work decent through my DVDO but it would be nice to be able to get rid of it and use the HTPC for every source. Its also soft with the DVDO but without the noise so at least its watchable.

I am making a cable so I can use input #3 and plan on trying some other scan rates tonight including 1080X720X72... I will be real happy if I can get a usable pic from other sources besides the internal DVD. Then I can retire the DVDO and the Toshiba 3109 :)

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Dave open up device manager and check what monitor driver you have set up. I use the Sony GDM-FW900. This is a high end display. The problem with Winodws is that as a precaution it will block any res too high for the monitor selected. When you change the driver in device manager open Powerstrip to make sure that it sees your monitor as the Sony. Now try the higher resolutions and it should display. I am running my BD 801s at 1280x720 @ 72Hz with no problems.
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