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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a problem that someone may be able to help with.


I am building my first HTPC. It's going pretty well so far. However as well as DVD, TV and CD playback I wondered about having the ability to surf the web if required. If it's possible I'd quite like the ability.


I am using a Sony1270 projector on a 16:9 screen with a vertical crush onthe raster for anamorphic. Dscaler and TT have aspect ratio control so no problem there. The Sony doesn't have multiple accessable memory banks though....(I know about the swithcer input bypass mod but don't want to do that unless I have to).


So I want to know if anyone has an application I can set to run when IE6 is launched that will re-size desktop to be a 4:3 image within the 16:9 screen (ie add black side bars and do a vertical stretch). Surely someone else has been thinking about this...It's obviously not an issue with fixed pixel devices or with more modern digital convergence CRT's but I'd like to try and get this nailed...either that or I get a new projector!


Hope someone has a nice answer. Thanks in advance.


Gordon
 

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Problem you will face is that windows wont handle a non square pixel arrangement... Its easy to make the 4:3 shape by pillarboxing a IE window but you will still have compressed GFX and text...


Lots of people come at this problem as well if they use a anamorphic lens and theres not a solution for them...


For you however you may be able to go at this another way... instead of running a 4:3 resolution and setting your CRT to compress this to 16:9 image, you can consider running a 16:9 custom timing and resolution and uncompressing the projector. This will mean that text / GFX / et al will look correct...


Only minor hurdle is some games etc like to only use 'standard' resolutions of SVGA / XGA / etc but if you are not gaming thats not an issue....
 

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Phat Phreddy and all,

I too would like to know if there is an easy answer...I use a 16:9 screen, and when Windows (XP Pro) boots up, it is 4:3 mode. I cannot read the taskbar across the bottom as it is off screen.


Are you suggesting that if we set the resolution to a 16:9 (ie 1280x720) that it will ALWAYS (Windows desktop) be 16:9 and stretch the image? I can handle the stretch as I only use this PC for DVD and DScaled LD. 4:3 is of no use to me on this PC.


Of course, when using PowerDVD XP and Powerstrip, it adjusts to the 16:9 mode when PDVD starts. I want it all the time.


What if I want to use an off the wal resolution like 1440x960? that's a 1.5 ratio...what then?


Thanks for the education!
 

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Hey,


I have to mention the mod to make the 1270 handle multiple ratios is ultra simple. I think you should really do this. It may take you 7 whole minutes and it's a feature that improves the value of your projector. It's just a switch that needs to be flipped.


Still, if you don't want too that's your decision and I respect that. Just wanted you to know it's the definition of simple to do.


I have seperate setups for 16:9 and 4:3 and it's a snap to switch between the two.


However, I am running a non-square pixel setup so I will think about this custom resolution idea as well.


Good LUck,


Brian
 

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I don't have a CRT so I am shooting a little blind but I am pretty sure I get the idea (please laugh me down if I don't)..


The idea of custom timing and resolutions with a HTPC has a lot of different implications and applications... Some people are looking to get exact scaling frequencies of the source and will have different inputs set up to handle PAL / NTSC DVD and possibly for their HD outputs too... This way they are getting the best possible scaling and image and to hell with square or non square pixels and image distortion on the PC desktop. They don't generally play games for fear of burn and may not even view the desktop purely moving the overlay with a dual head card to the PC with a monitor for operation... That's one kind of setup and is probably the most complex as you need to set AR in SW DVD player hotkey control for resolution etc etc...


Then you have people who plug the PC in output the highest 4:3 that the PJ will correctly display and then work on getting this to fit their screen at the PJ... This is probably the most simple but I would question if this is getting the best image due to probably getting scan line overlap (but until you setup the CRT who knows)... This will also have the short and fat distortion to everything and require you to use AR control in your DVD SW player to get you LBX and 4:3 sources positioned correctly...


Then there is running a custom T&R of a 16:9 multiple that A) allows you to perfectly trim your scanlines for 0 overlap (eg each line is as thin as your beam spot size) B) gives you a correct 16:9 desktop and applications load precisely to the borders of your screen and are not distorted. The drawbacks are that you will still need AR control in the SW DVD player for LBX (4:3 should still be correctly pillarboxed by my guessing) as it will now be pillarboxed and letterboxed. Some games wont run in a custom T&R wanting a standard 4:3 resolution and lastly the custom T&R wont kick in until the PC boots so the startup screen will be screwy (solution is as simple as not firing the PJ until the PC has booted and I only ever shut down my PC when installing new apps its a 24/7 machine)...


I could think of other reasons such as a 2:35 screen but then its definitely under the 'exotic' category... AGAIN all of this is my guesswork from thinking about the implications of a non fixed panel display, I could be well out... Try posting in the CRT section on correct use of a HTPC or here with a subject like 'best resolution for XX projector and 16:9 screen' I am sure the options will come thick and fast ;) !!
 

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Phay Phreddy,

I think you got it perfect with #1 & 3:
  • I don't play games
  • I don't care about the desktop other than to start programs
  • The software definately has AR control
  • I'd love to use the dual head feature, but noone can tell me how :(
  • It is a custom T&R multiple of 16:9
  • I also leave it on 24/7


I have the dual head, I'd love to run a standard 800x600 to a local monitor with the desktop. I'd like to use the second output to feed the pj at a different resolution...currently [email protected]


I have asked these questions prior and didn't get much of a second look so a lot of it I have just played with over many months and sorta of figured it out. The dual head thing has me baffled. I'd also love to see some folks post their Powerstrip numbers...we have all kinds of guides for HDTVs buit nothing for pjs...digital or CRT. There was a thread started about this a few weeks ago and it disappeared rather quickly. As do all threads in the HTPC forum...there are just so many of them!


And you got really close on all accounts I think...I wouldn't dream of laughing you down for trying to help!
 

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Wow Phreddy,


I think I can comment on some of your comments but I will have to read over them again.


Still, Sounds like you need a projector.


:cool: :cool: :cool:


Hurry. Boardrooms across the nation are upgrading to digital so now's your chance to own a top flight projector at penny on the dollar for what they cost new.


-B
 

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Brian, I do have a PJ... I am just not on the dark side of the force ;)...


I play quite a few projected games (when I can wrestle the system from my GF !!!) and also move house pretty often... This just makes the CRT route impossible at this point...
 

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Games, I used to play them all the time. I may have to get a digital projector for stuff like games and other stuff with static logos. My friend is begging to play pong on my CRT but the score and boundries and stuff are static.


I re-read your post and I fall into the catagory of the first paragraph. I try to not do any scaling. So, I need seperate inputs for animorphic, non-animorphic 4:3, and non-animorphic letterbox. I care not about the desktop or windows apps since my HTPC does only DVD and Dscaler. However, I'm thinking about going with a 16:9 ratio that matches precisely my projectors capabilities and then just resizing all source material as needed, I think that would put my in paragraph 3.


-B
 
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