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Can anyone comment on using a projector to also display DirecTV or VCR signals?


I am in the planning stages of a HomeTheater and am trying to determine if there is a projector out there that won't make a VCR or DirecTV signal look like crap on a 100" screen.


Of course, I am only interested in this for the occasional times when I won't have a movie going.
 

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If you stick with Svideo instead of composite signals, SVHS VCR instead of VHS VCR (even with standard VHS rental tapes), satellite or digital cable instead of analog cable TV, and strong signals instead of weak stations, PJ does OK.


Of course it depends on how good a PJ deinterlacer/scaler is. Infocus, Sharp, and Sony has pretty decent scaler/line-doubler built-in. NEC does not (I have LT150 and its barely adequate). If you got the dough, go for external scaler/doubler like Faroudja, Rock, Vigitec, Quadscan. If you don't have as large a budget, go for DVDo (Plus V1 is cheaper than Plus V2, and Pro is even more due to component support). Buying these doublers used is not unreasonalble either.


HTPC is another option using Svideo input card (Iomagic brand or KBK modded card--check HTPC forum) and Dscaler (free) do a decent job if the signal is strong. Some even say interlaced Svideo DVD signals with Dscaler rivals native progressive DVD playback of HTPC. YMMV of course depending on you HTPC, interference, etc.


So yes, it's doable but not easily or perfectly. It's watcheable but no where close to DVD quality.
 

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Hello,


You can always count on Huey for clear and well written opinion. So don't expect me to contradict what he told you.


When you go and see a PJ demoed check the source. I wanted to buy an Infocus LP530 and followed the forums advice: go and see what you buy. The vendor was selling them as business projectors so I asked whether he had a laptop with dvd and a stand-alone dvd player. (I didn't want to use the htpc acronym as he wouldn't know anyway) The demo confirmed my beliefs the 'htpc' was soo much better than the stand-alone player - I was so disappointed with the scaler in the 530.


Then when I got it delivered I hooked up my own dvd player. The image was spectacular - as good as an HTPC I would say (not doing a side by side). To come to the point: using my VCR as a tuner gives quite a good result too but I'm going to replace it by PC with tv-tuner card or svhs vcr. When I demoed a Sony ht10 they were showing it not with svhs but normal vhs. The comment was: 'but you were going to use it for DVD only isn't it?'. At that point I still believed that what you saw in a demo that that was the best you could get from the machine so I gave up on the Sony.


While the scaler is important the old saying: garbage in = garbage out is also true for projectors. So go and see for yourself. And look at everything - it's not only the projector that matters for the end result.


Jan
 

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I too have found that the scaler/deinterlacer in the LP530 does a very admirable job - I have not noticed any problem with artifacts.


-- Still though, DVDs via HTPC are the best.

-- For NTSC composite from a separate tuner or LD, I prefer the softer image of the LP530 processing over my HTPC with DScaler.


So, even with the built in processing of the LP530, analog cable and LD's are quite enjoyable. Technically, DScaler is probably has an edge, but to my eye, the LP530 wins. YMMV.
 

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For general TV, I've found that getting my local channels off-the-air look much better than the DirecTV local-in-local. The compression artifacts are VERY noticeable once the image gets above 80". Even better, most of my locals have their digital signals working now.


Even for the non-local stuff, you will notice that some DirecTV channels look better than others. Make sure if you do any A/B comparisons, you always use the same channels.


One of the reasons I got DirecTV was for the NFL Sunday Ticket. If the game I want is available from my local, I watch it there instead.
 
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