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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I'm not as far along as others with their 503 setups, but just wanted to report my DVI/etc experiences in case anyone is in the same situation. I currently have the RCA DTC-100 HDTV receiver into the analog VGA input 1 and a Panasonic RP56 into the component input 2, so I needed DVI for the computer into input 5. Here is what I purchased and am very happy with:


Powercolor Geforce2 MX400 64 meg (VGA, DVI and S-video ports)

I bought http://www.coolerstar.com/agp64gef2mx4.html


Also see ?? cheaper equiv http://www.pcdirectsource.com/Item.cfm?ID=533

Disregard pictures - the card does have a built-in fan


DVI-D Male to DVI-D Male Single Link cable

I bought http://www.us.buy.com/retail/product...0506&loc=14617

Also see ?? cheaper equiv
http://www.us.buy.com/retail/product...0506&loc=14617


The 5002 manual clearly shows that the extra Dual Link DVI pins are not connected, so it is a waste to buy a dual link cable. The Nvidia drivers that come with the Powercolor card do 1280x768 "native" out of the DVI port (you can even set different resolutions on each of the 2 monitors). The 503CMX locks into dot by dot mode in WideXGA and is absolutely stunning - even more crisp than my 15 inch LCD monitor. I'm using an old version of ATI DVD player and it rivals the progressive Panasonic DVD. No need for Powerstrip or any utilities - it just plain works. I'm pretty sure that those that need more graphics horsepower would find the top of the line Nvidia Geforce 3 cards with DVI would probably have similar drivers that work with the Pioneer. FYI, I also got a cheap Audigy OEM sound card and the Digital out is incredible. Windows canyon.mid sounds like the Philharmonic.


PlasMAN
 

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while i do believe the pioneers will not use the second TDMS channel (if you do the math there's TONS of extra bandwidth on one channel alone), the thing is that the dual-link cables are the same price, so you may as well buy dual-link and have a dark channel. you never know what's coming down the pike.


doody!
 

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Plasman:


Does your new video card allow both the DVI and VGA port to be active at the same time --- i.e. - or can you toggle between using the 2 displays -- this is what I need my Nvidia GeForce 2 card only will allow one active port -- and my 17 Dell LCD doesn't like 1280x768


Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Michael M
Does your new video card allow both the DVI and VGA port to be active at the same time --- i.e. - or can you toggle between using the 2 displays -- this is what I need my Nvidia GeForce 2 card only will allow one active port -- and my 17 Dell LCD doesn't like 1280x768


Michael
Michael,

I'm using Windows 98SE, so I can only speak to that OS (for example, I heard that Windows XP Home does not allow dual monitor support by definition). Not sure if Nvidia drivers get around that limitation. I also do not have two monitors in my current setup, so can only describe some initial testing I did with 2 monitors - there may be other features I didn't explore. I used the Pio to DVI and an old NEC XV15 CRT to VGA. Nvidia gives you a control panel which allows you to switch monitors and settings.


My findings: Both screens are active simulataneously by default and they can have independent resolutions and refresh rates. When both are connected, parts of the boot up process displays on one monitor and parts of it on the other - rather strange. In the end, the VGA monitor came up blank with just my windows background color. It is an extension of the standard desktop. You can move the mouse, icons, and windows between the two monitors -rather cool to have that much desktop real estate. But I could not get them both to display a copy of the exact same Windows desktop if that is what you are after. I'd guess you would describe it as dual monitor support which would likely support software with two active pages. Amazing, but useless in my setup. It would probably be very helpful to have both ports and an S-video monitor connected for an application like video editing which support all three ports.


Of note is that I could not make the NEC the primary monitor and the Pio the "extension" monitor. This might be that the DVI takes precedence, or perhaps that the Pio was set up as my Monitor 1 and the NEC as monitor 2. I didn't investigate any further or try to reverse the two in Windows. Also, when the VGA monitor is disconnected and the computer rebooted, all Windows boot-up pages display to the DVI port - so it must know there is no VGA attached.


Hope this has helped a bit. PlasMAN
 

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possible clarification:


i could never get both the DVI and VGA ports to go active at the same time connected to the same monitor (ie: INPUT1 and INPUT5 on my PRO1000HD).


the DVI took precedence and the VGA was dark.


this on an ATI 8500.


i was hoping to be able to A/B compare the signal to both, but no dice.


fwiw,

doody.
 

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Interesting test - I wonder if that card will work on higher resolution 50 inch plasma's as well?


I tried a Geforce 2 MX 32mb card with the Fuji 5002 (1366x768 aka WXGA resolution) and it seems the DVI on that card will not go beyond 1280 x 1024 in resolution. Hence it isn't possible to produce native rate WXGA on the 5002.


It appears that a standard part of the Nvidia chipset for DVI is limited to 1280 x 1024 in almost all cards out there on the market today.


The only card that I have found that appears any different is the (old) Hercules 3D Prophet III and (new) Hercules 3D Prophet III Titanium 500, both of which list a max DVI resolution of 1600 x 1200. Neither of these is available for a reasonable price right now unfortunately.


I checked the PowerColor Web site and it doesn't mention the maximum DVI resolution of that card. Is it listed in the manual?


p.s. I love the FAQ on the PowerColor Web site:


Q1: Why can't I use TV-OUT function to watch DVD?


A: You can¡¦t use your tv-set to watch the dvd title directly because the tv-out chipset we have used on board which doesn¡¦t support 'macrovision' - copy protect method.The software DVD player will detect it, and disable the tv-output chip.This could be solved by a program named ¡§dvd genie¡¨ to break the protect on software DVD player ( like windvd ). You can find the program in the website .
http://www.inmatrix.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by doody
I was hoping to be able to A/B compare the signal to both, but no dice.

doody.
Well, I accomplished this comparison during my testing, since I used a fresh PC to install the DVI card and Audigy card. For the VGA analog input, I used my "old" computer with a similar Geforce MX400 without DVI (the PC I use for my 15" LCD Monitor). Both set to 1280x768 resolution. Both looked great - a testament to Pio, but there is no question that I preferred the DVI input for utter crispness. The only ding I can give both images is some "band shadowing" that extends in horizontal planes when the screen has windowed elements. It kind of reminds me of an old laptop with a passive matrix screen. I figured the DVI input would cure this, but it is still just a noticeable - maybe more so because of the incredible clarity. Others notice this?? Is this typical of plasma? PlasMAN
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It looks like it is possible to clone the two screens - VGA and DVI - in real time after all. Here is the setting in the Display panel shown in this poor screen capture. I must have missed it the first time through. When you click on "Clone" on the right panel, monitor 1 and 2 appear with the same image.
 

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Thanks Plasman -- I will check out that card


Michael
 

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Just got my ATI 8500 with DVI installed with the DVI cable. The picture is Very noticibly sharper. Text is razor sharp like on my Sony F500. Photos are just even MORE stunning. I would say about 15% better PQ with DVI.


I am having a major problem though...I am getting anywhere from a few to a couple hundred of light, flashing pixels and they change position with every photo. They are absent on some applications... only 3 on my desktop... none during DOS startup black info screens... none in Window's Explorer or "My Computer" screens.... hundreds in DVD. At first I thought it was "bleedover" from my VGA out (I can switch instantly back and forth from input 1 to input 5). I both disabled the VGA output from ATI and pulled the connector off the PDA.... no help. I also thought is was a bad cable... but some things are "PERFECT". Anyone else seen anything like this? EEEK.... I'm having some bad luck !!!
 

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pkamp - that's weird stuff. i never experienced anything like that, sorry.


can you tell if it's application dependent? maybe some app is trying to futz with the video drivers unpleasantly? dunno.


doody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi PKamp- that sounds very strange. I'll bring over my PC with DVI cable and we can eliminate everything outside the Pio/5002. I'd bet money on a bad chip on your ATI card.


It will be a good opportunity to check out your AccessDTV card :). BTW, I watched HDTV with my RCA DTC-100 last eve and it was incredible. RCA had replaced my old "open box" Good Guys unit with a new one which doesn't have aspect ratio problems - THANKS RCA!


Do you notice some lip sync problems on the San Diego CBS station? The ABC channel was perfect, so I doubt it is my STB. I also bit the bullet and ordered DirecTV. Radio Shack in Poway had the oval dish/ RCA standard box/ and free installation for $50 with a $50 rebate - so free after rebate. There is a one year committment but only $85 cancel fee if you've keep basic service for just 90 days. There is also 6 months of free Showtime. Seems too good to be true. I'm hoping that the installer can install the DTC-100 with the card from the free STB - so I don't have to activate both boxes right now.


Give me a call if you have time. I left my number on your answering machine on Sunday. PlasMAN
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Plasman
PKamp - could your problem be the posterization/gamma problem many are describing - worse with DVD player apparently?
Mm, I'll bet. I've been playing with driving the 503CMX via DVI from a ATI Rage128 Pro card in my Mac. It was all fine, then I calibrated it (involved futzing with gamma), and got blue specks all over the place. I haven't put it back yet, because I'm having jitter problems (probably due to the 5 meter DVI cable I ended up with), but it sounds like the same problem.


Incidentally, the Mac Rage128 had no problem driving the display at 1280x800, and the Pio just lopped off the last 32 pixels, so that part looks good...


Alex
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexander



Incidentally, the Mac Rage128 had no problem driving the display at 1280x800, and the Pio just lopped off the last 32 pixels, so that part looks good...


Alex
Alex,

It may be of some interest to you that I am using a cube with DVI interface (actually ADC->DVI cable to the DVI->DVI cable to the 503). The cube will only drive 1280x1024 in OS9.2 or OSX. But at this setting it is truly pixel mapped and locked. The bottom 256 pixels are chopped off in PARTIAL mode and fully viewable in FULL mode although squeezed and no longer pixel mapped.


In PARTIAL mode or 1 to 1 I use the adjustment under screen to move the mapping 127 to perfectly center DVDs for example. You can also go the INTEGRATOR MENU and modify the scaling to expand the display by 50 pixels to vertically stretch the image (if you want I do not do this) to pick up the 50 pixel bars on the top an bottom.


MAC actually works great although stalls once and awhile during playback. No dolby digital output is a BIG negative in my view however, making me think about a HTPC using a Windows based machine (ugh).


Peter
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by analog8


I tried a Geforce 2 MX 32mb card with the Fuji 5002 (1366x768 aka WXGA resolution) and it seems the DVI on that card will not go beyond 1280 x 1024 in resolution. Hence it isn't possible to produce native rate WXGA on the 5002.
analog8,

I would be quite interested to know if you can pixel map the 5002 with DVI at 1366x768. There is considerable confusion about the true resolution of panny 50 resolution regarding whether it acutally even has 1366 horizontal resolvable spots or pixels over on the following thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...threadid=47840


Since the 5002 supposed has the panny glass, therefore this test should prove conclusively the issues discussed in the above thread. Please let me know what you find. I am quite interested.


It may be possible that the fuji 5002 does not hve a NR of 1366 either.


Peter
 

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I am very confident the Fujitsu will do 1366 x 768 via DVI. I just need to get a video card and Powerstrip to support it! It would be helpful if more vendors specificed the maximum DVI resolution of their cards, since I suspect that was the issue with the card I tried.


I hope to try again soon and will report results here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I know that people love their Fujitsu's. But let's face it - 1366 x 768 is simply not a resolution that has any roots in the computer world. You folks are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Just cause a plasma has a VGA or DVI port, doesn't mean that it is grief-free.


If one is buying a plasma primarily for HTPC or just plain no-brainer "king of the hill" websurfing - the Pio 503/ Geforce DVI solution is a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 IMHO. Just gloating :) PlasMAN
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Plasman
If one is buying a plasma primarily for HTPC or just plain no-brainer "king of the hill" websurfing - the Pio 503/ Geforce DVI solution is a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 IMHO. Just gloating :) PlasMAN
I dunno; that 6% squish lops off at least a couple points for me, though I will admit that it's not terribly noticeable.


(Incidentally, the discussion in that thread of the true native rate of the Panny glass satisfied me that it was really 1366x768. See the "single pixel diagonal line" test near the bottom.)


But the ability to send the 503 a 1280 x whatever resolution and have it lock on and drop the last few rows has got to be a definite plus in anyone's book. :)


Alex
 
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