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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!


Please bear with a newbie in the matter, just read a few posts on this forum and decided to join as there seems to be lots of good material in here - and smart people ;)


Ok, I'm in the market for a 16:9 plasma, and I want to be able to watch 4:3 Satellite signals as well as DVDs and PC signals.

From what I understand, I can strech the 4:3 signal to fill the 16:9 screen, and there are some options such as "Full" or "Just" so people that are in the center of the image don't look too fat..


However, has anyone attempted to display 16:9 images from a computer input? According to some online manuals, the only options one has is to either show the 4:3 signal with a 1:1 pixel ratio, which would add black bars on either side of the screen, or stretch a 800x600 or 1024x768 signal to the entire 16:9 display, thus changing the aspect ratio.


What I'd like to find out is whether a PC app such as Powerstrip, which can be used to output "odd" signals such as 853x480 (native to some 42" plasmas) or 1366x768, will actually fill up the entire display WHILE conserving the aspect ratio, by hence using 1:1 pixelation.


Any inputs on the matter would be greatly appreciated!

-Marc
 

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Marc:


I'm using Powerstrip to run a 852x480 desktop. The picture looks great and the aspect ratio is preserved. The only drawback I've encountered is that the dialog boxes in some programs don't fit entirely on the screen and some dialog boxes cannot be scrolled, meaning that I cannot effectively access all of the buttons in a 852x480 resolution. (DVDProfiler is an example). My solution has been to switch to 800x600 to run those programs, but fortunately I don't use them that often.


With the help of Mario Cascio's HTPC backgrounds ( here ), I've created a Talisman interface in a native 852x480 resolution. Talisman is a desktop replacement shell that takes the place of the Windows desktop. You can see some screenshots of an older version on my website (in sig). I use a Gyration GyroRemote for mouse navigation of the desktop and all of my apps (Winamp, PowerDVD XP 4.0, DVDLobby, CDLobby, Windows XP slideshows, etc.).


Once the software DVD player's overlay takes over the screen, the result is spectacular. And Winamp visualizations are the cat's meow. Guests are always blown away.


- Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow! Ken, you're my hero!


I was thinking of doing the exact same thing - PowerDVD, WinAmp, and why not some video games too ;)


So are you having issues with PowerDVD or is the 852x480 resolution enough?
 

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I've been using PowerDVD happily for several months, but I'm about to make the switch to the new WinDVD 4.0. I was stuck with PowerDVD b/c it offered DD5.1, DTS, and DPL2 decoding for my Delta 410 analog soundcard, but now WinDVD does too. And, based on some preliminary A/B comparisons, I'd say that WinDVD has the superior picture quality.


In my limited comparisons of PowerDVD to a stand-alone player (non-progressive), PowerDVD with a Radeon 7000 card won HANDS DOWN. And now, WinDVD looks even better. The PQ really is spectacular.


You didn't mention it, but are you planning on using DScaler to process analog TV signals, or will you let the Panny do the scaling? Again, IMO, DScaler is superior to the plasma's internal scaling. And I recently tryed the beta version of DScaler 4.0 and have noticed real improvements over version 3.1.


Bottom line, the combo of a HTPC and the Panny really rocks. Someday, when Panny introduces a hi-res 42" model with DVI input, I will upgrade. But for now, and the foreseeable future, this is it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I actually ordered the Pioneer 503CMX - couldn't resist the 20% discount from Dell..


I'm not planning on using an external scaler. We'll see how the quality comes out to be when the screen is actually delivered, but were you mentioning a software scaler?

Sorry again for my ignorance, but what's an HTPC?


[Edit:] Oh, and I was just about to order a Radeon 7500, DVI output should match up nicely with the 5002 video card.. any suggestions there?
 

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K-Wood,

Could you post your Powestrip timings? I'll be receiving a Panny shortly and will be viewing most everything thru a HTPC with the exception of HDTV.
 
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