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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First this is my current setup: I have a ReplayTV and a PS2 going into an ATI AiW 8500DV on my computer for watching television and playing games. All of the audio goes through my Sony receiver. This setup works fine watching tv while working on the computer. The problem is, when I'm watching a DVD or if I'm watching TV late at night, the computer fans get quite annoying.


I originally was looking at the ViewSonic N6. The big must have feature for me was the VGA pass-thru. I also liked that it could do HDTV (not that I have any source for HDTV, but who knows what the future holds). I've subsequently heard some pretty disapointing reviews of it with regards to PQ.


I've also heard mixed reviews about the Viewsonic VB50 and the Jaton X-Media Dream Box. Both of these boxes have the nice distinction of being cheap. However I have heard that both of these boxes don't play nice with macrovision.


So basically here's my question: what would everyone here recomend for hooking a PS2 and ReplayTV up to a 17" CRT computer monitor? RGB passthru is a must.
 

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For a low cost solution I would recommend the Viewsonic VB50. It should work fine for displaying PS2 and ReplayTV on a 17" monitor. As for playing DVD's I would use the PC and the VGA passthru and for this case the VB50 problems with macrovision would not come into play.


Ron Jones
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
As for playing DVD's I would use the PC and the VGA passthru and for this case the VB50 problems with macrovision would not come into play.
The problem there is the noise from the computer. Quiet moments in movies really get killed when you hear a constant whir in the background. How bad is the macrovision on the VB50 or the X-Media Dream Box? If it's not too bad I might be willing to live with it until I can pickup a MV-free player.
 

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You might be better served trying to quiet the computer down. One simple/cheap thing I did to my TBird 1.4gig rig (very, very hot running) was simply get a 60mm to 80mm CPU fan converter (basically just a squat funnel with the appropriate screw holes) and an 80mm Antec Smart Fan. It runs at the same temp and cut my PC noise in half. There are far more elaborate methods and everything in between, but seriously, I would never want to run any of my external sources through one of the options you mentioned instead of my FlyVideo 2000/DScaler setup, so cooling was my choice.


Kensai
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maybe I will just try to quiet down my machine. I just got a new case which has already cut the noise down considerably. Stupid question: what's a good noise level to look for in a fan? I think I read somewhere that anything below 26dBA is pretty much inaudible, but I might have made that up.


Also, based on what Kensai's comment I decided to dust off my old bt848 based capture card and hook the ps2 up to it through s-video and I must say I was quite impressed. Completely blew the AiW 8500 away in terms of quality. My problem with the card is that it only has 1 s-video input on it. Can anyone recomend a good capture card that has at least two s-video inputs and maybe 1 composite (I really could care less about a tuner). Also, if there is anything out there that can take component, that doesn't cost close to $1000?


Hrm...maybe the last part of this message would be better suited to the HTPC forum.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dirtymatt


Also, based on what Kensai's comment I decided to dust off my old bt848 based capture card and hook the ps2 up to it through s-video and I must say I was quite impressed. Completely blew the AiW 8500 away in terms of quality. My problem with the card is that it only has 1 s-video input on it. Can anyone recomend a good capture card that has at least two s-video inputs and maybe 1 composite (I really could care less about a tuner). Also, if there is anything out there that can take component, that doesn't cost close to $1000?


Hrm...maybe the last part of this message would be better suited to the HTPC forum.
For me, the flyvideo2000 was a huge leap up in picture quality from my old WinTV card (which I believe was a bt848). In fact with dscaler and my panny rp91 I prefer this setup to any of the software dvd players (at least for video-source dvds) since the dscaler processing is so much better. Rediculous level of quality for a $40 capture card, IMO. My suggestion would be to go with 2 flyvideo2000's + Dscaler 4.1.6 if you need 2 s-video inputs. Of course, if you really need component, it might not be too late to pick up a Holo3D for WAY less than $1000 :D I did, and I can't wait to compare it to the flyvideo 2000.


Mike U.
 

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Whoops, I just checked, the last Holo3D is gone. Sorry guys :( They were going for $325 a pop on clearance, glad I got my order in! ;)

Also, forgot to mention you will need a decently fast machine to utilize dscaler.


Mike U.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mike,


Don't make me sad about the Holo3D. Wish I had known about that. Oh well. Maybe I will buy some flyvideos. My machine is an athlon xp 2700+ so I don't think CPU power should be a problem. What exactly makes the flyvideo better than a generic bt8x8 card?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dirtymatt
Mike,


Don't make me sad about the Holo3D. Wish I had known about that. Oh well. Maybe I will buy some flyvideos. My machine is an athlon xp 2700+ so I don't think CPU power should be a problem. What exactly makes the flyvideo better than a generic bt8x8 card?
The decoder/ADC in the flyvideo2000 is from the same Philips chip family as the one in the Holo3D. Basically it gives a much cleaner, virtually noise free analog input as compared to the bt8x8 chips. Also the flyvideo2000 chip has a 9bit ADC, while the older bt8x8 chips like in my old WinTV are only 8bit, supposedly 9bits gives better colors. That's what I've heard anyways. Also, don't know if this makes a difference, but just looking at the boards, the flyvideo2000 has some of those big 'ol capacitors on it. The WinTV card has none. One would think a quality video board would need some visible capacitors on it, but then I know nothing of electrical engineering. My eyes can definately visually confirm a big difference, regardless of the theory behind the chips - and that's what counts. Sweet box, by the way. Dscaler should run like a champ on it.


Mike U.
 
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