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Discussion Starter #1
First off, let me say that I sold an Infocus 5700 in favor of a crt. The crt which I have aquired and spent the last week tweaking is a NEC 9PG Xtra. There is no doubt that watching dvd's is better on a crt, not hugely better...but better nonetheless and worth the effort.


My problem is with HD, it's not even close to as good as it was on the 5700...why is this?? Black levels seem to be crushed and getting a good white balance is extremely difficult with a true 1080i source. While I will admit that my setup isn't perfect just yet, dvd's look great and I set the white balance with my color analyzer...so I have a good feeling that my setup is pretty good. DVD's look great, hdtv (I'm sure most would think it looks great!) just doesn't measure up....I'm severely disappointed. Perhaps it's just a matter of the cheap transcoder that I bought...but it's a liitle risky spending hundreds of dollars more to find out.


All in all, crt vs digital. I would prefer a crt, but I can't think of anyone who I would recommend one to. Digitals aren't that far off and they're 10 pounds and require zero setup in comparison. Knowledgeable videophiles will surely want to use crt, myself included...but I now totally understand the popularity of the digital units.


Ben
 

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Perhaps the 1080i input is just not setup right. It should perform just as well. On mine (XG) I spent more time on the 1080i input so currently it looks a tad better than the HTPC @720p.


Marc
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's not that HD looks worse than dvd, it's that it doesn't look nearly as good as it did with the digital projector. I would say it looks better than dvd but not on a show that is dark. If the show's dark, a lot of low end color detail is lost...very frustrating. Whereas low end color and detail are great on dvd. Of course dvd via htps doesn't use a transcoder. The more I'm reading the more I think I wasted money on that cheap transcoder!


Ben
 

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I wonder if this has something to do with the tri-level sync problem? I've read about this being a problem where some CRTs end up overly dark with a HD feed because they don't process the sync signal correctly. I don't quite understand it myself, but hopefully someone else will know more. I'm getting ready to add a HD OTA tuner to my CRT set up, so I might have this problem then, I'm not sure.


Matt
 

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Quote:
The more I'm reading the more I think I wasted money on that cheap transcoder
What you are describing sounds exactly like what Mike Parker's transcoder is supposed to fix.
 

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Yeah, Ben, it looks like (from what I've been researching) you're getting the crushed blacks from an inexpensive transcoder. How cheap was it, may I ask? Was it one of the $70 eBay types, or was it $200-300? From what I've read, they all suffer crushed blacks (even some of the better ones costing upwards of a grand). All reports on the MP-5, though, seem to be outstanding, and I'd be willing to be it's all you need to make your CRT sing. If you only need one input, I believe he's going to come out with a single input model which will be a bit cheaper as well.


Steve
 

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My CRT projectors (all of them) need gamma correction to bring out the dark detail in HDTV. I've found this to be the case even when they have tri-level sync. Most CRT projectors are not equipped with gamma correction. And gamma correction is hardly ever found in an HDTV set top box.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would say that gamma correction is exactly what I need, but I can't see any adjustment for this on my NEC. Hopefully there'll be a component capture card which does HDTV that will allow me to compensate for this some day.


As for the transcoder, yes, it's the cheap $70 one. Which as far as I can tell is the same as the Key Digital one which costs $200. The problem with transcoders is that they're a significant expense and if you can't try it out on your setup then it's a bit of a risk. Hopefully MP will come out with something in my price range, but $500?? That's a little much for me to justify.
 

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An alternative that would get you gamma adjustment would be to go with a PC solution for HDTV decoding. The MyHD card for example (about $280).
 

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What is your source for hdtv, cable? Are you using a scientific atlanta 3100hd box? Something you can try is to disconnect the horizontal and vertical sync bnc connectors hit info and change sync detect from auto to manual which will default to sync on green. If the asian knockoff is the same as the key digital it doesn't remove the sync pulse from the green channel. This will bring back the shadow detail but I always had geometry problems with this method. The internal grid pattern would be perfect but the on screen image would be bowed and pincushioned funny. It was very hard to try to correct it while watching CSI. An hdtv pattern generator might of helped matters some. I'd give it a shot anyway, you never know it might work.


If you can find an extron cvc100 or cvc200 they'll work out of the box no problem. Maybe not as good as mike's transcoder but I got mine for around $200 usd. Watch Ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Robert,


I can't get that card because my only source for HD here is a cable box outputting component video.


Macros,


Yes it's the same box that you have (thanks Rogers)....I'll try your suggestion when I get home, perhaps I'll be able to adjust it to get a good picture...that would be nice.


Ben
 

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I have the Dish 6000u that outputs RGB and it looks MUCH better than DVD on my "entry level" Barco 800. You're having a problem with the transcoder I'm sure of it. I like 720p better than 1080i. With the 6000u outputting 720p I'm looking at (a subjective) twice as good an image. In fact the colors and shadow details look better than a "raw" non gamma tweaked HTPC DVD image. It's NOT a CRT limitation. It's a component to RGB conversion problem. That's why I bought my 6000u, to get the RGB output. BTW, the SD through the 6000u also looks great (OK, very watchable). The 6000u does a very nice scaling job.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can see a Faroudja transcoder on ebay, it looks quite old. Do you think it would be good enough to solve my problem?


Just to be sure, the Key Digital transcoders are the problem? Even the newer one? I ask this because I'm using the cheap key digital clone and perhaps the real key digital transcoder is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So the problem is almost definitely my transcoder....or is it the combination of transcoder and cable box?? Anyhow, I guess the Extron transcoder is the way to go...either that or the MP-5.


Hopefully I can get back to having a high quality hi-def picture in the near future.


Ben
 

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Oddly, I don't get any black crush with my cheap transcoder (I reckon it's Chinese, not Korean). One of my friends got one and his had elevated brightness which crushed the blacks if you lowered the PJ brightness to suit.


I fixed that by dialling the pot WAAAAAY back (even though it's not meant to do anything on the auto setting). From my HDTV box I cannot tell the difference between transcoded component and direct VGA out.
 
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