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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Colby and I spent an hour or so with a Fujitsu 5002 yesterday, trying to understand how it works with DVI. The main issue was to discover how to deal with the 1366 horizontal resolution, given that most video cards can only produce 1360 or 1368. Would the Fujitsu scale (bad) or crop (good)?


Before I dive into the details, I must mention what a visually striking plasma the 5002 is. The silver frame really looks great and I can imagine it in my living room already. I briefly watched 5th Element on a non-progressive Denon player and it looked good. Black levels were good (with the lights down) and although the picture needed some tweaking I can see the potential for this to be an awesome plasma.


That said, we didn't have a huge amount of success using DVI from my custom built HTPC. The test system was:


PIII 1.2ghz/ASUS TUSL2

Visiontek Nvidia Geforce 2 MX 32mb with DVI-D

Win98SE

PowerStrip 3.02 build 201

DVI-D and analog VGA cables

Fujitsu 5002


Firstly, thru the analog VGA connection we could dial up 1368x768 and it looked good but had the flaws you would expect from an analog signal (horizontal moire pattern). In reflection I'm not sure if this was analog distortion or scaling. Colby may wish to comment.


DVI was more challenging. Powerstrip just did not want to play ball. We could get 1024x768 and it looked rock solid, but beyond that point Powerstrip refused to change resolutions for us. It seems that it did not want to let us go any higher than 1024x768 via the DVI. I am unsure if it was a software issue, the plasma or the video card (although the card is rated to do much higher than this via DVI). We tried several display modes including Auto and WXGA. From memory I don't think we could get anything to display when WXGA was selected.


We are going to regroup and try again in a few weeks.


Any suggestions would be welcome. I know a couple of people have tried this!


Thanks to Magnolia Hifi in Bellevue and the local Fujitsu distributor for the chance to try this out. They even got the Fujitsu folks on the phone for us during the test.
 

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Hi Analog8,


Thanks for posting your experience with Colby.


One quick and easy way to sort out if this is a Powerstrip problem, is to post a thread in the Home Theater Computers forum here, stating in its title something like:


Ashley - help! Powerstrip on DVI problems...


Ashley is the father of Powerstrip, and has already much improved this software, sometimes as a result of such feedback. He is also a super friendly and responsive AV Science forum member. If it is in Powerstrip, he'll tell you the why and wherefore, possibly proposing workarounds and/or tweaks. Otherwise, no one else could better help you get your Plasma's DVI input up and running with an HPTC.


Another thought, previously I heard of numerous Plasma displays that wouldn't work at their announced native rates, but required you to key in a different resolution than the one in the manual. Several people had problems due to this with their Faroudja Native Rate scalers, if I'm not mistaken. I believe that Faroudja did end up sorting it out for them, and now it isn't such an issue.


By the way, aside from "We could get 1024x768 and it looked rock solid" how would you qualify the picture at that resolution? Was it upscaled, or does the digital input only accept that resolution and itself upscale it to the advertised one? Mystery...


Cheers,
 

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Analog8,


Thanks to you and Colby for the info.


My 5002 should arrive next week as well as a new computer which has the same video card you used in your test. I'm working now on obtaining a suitable DVI-D to DVI-D cable. I'm not sure how the Powerstrip Software figures into this but I'll do some internet search/research.


Once I do my own testing I'll post the results here and, of course, I'll be watching this thread for your future posts.


Regards,

AJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brett - 1024 x 768 via DVI did not appear to be scaled. Of course, it is was only 4:3 not 16:9 - but still looked great!


Thanks for the suggestion re Powerstrip. I'll definitely try that.


ajlaban - I will certainly be looking out for your posts. Powerstrip is the software that lets you select the exact resolution instead of being limited to Windows defaults.


FYI, I used the following cable from cablestogo.com


Item #: 26911

Product: 2m DVI-D to DVI-D DUAL LINK CABLE

Price: $46.99


Finally, someone mentioned on the HTPC thread that http://www.imaginegraphics.co.uk/ is coming out with a new $495 Pixel Perfect card next month that has both DVI and 1366x768 support i.e. it is designed for plasma screens. So even in the worst case situation (i.e. if the Nvidia's and ATI's don't work with the 5002 resolution) there is a solution, albeit somewhat more expensive than a normal video card. I emailed them for more info and will post here when I get it.
 

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If you're using a GeForce, you should be able to define custom resolutions without PowerStrip by adding the resolution in the registry. I don't know if this works for DVI output, however.


Kei Clark

Digital Connection
 

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Analog8,


Just thought of something - you may want to make sure you have a "registered copy" of Powerstrip. If you have an older trial version, it works for the trial period, but then still appears to operate but sort of does whatever it wishes once in a while. This caused problems for some display owners who feared sudden unexpected changes to abnormal resolutions, so I think that the more recent versions (ie. 3.0) don't have erratic behavior once expired.


However, an unregistered version will probably not provide fully functioning display capabilities. It is cheap, especially as compared to the cost of a Plasma display, so I'd recommend spending the $30 or so.


Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Powerstrip on the same machine seems to work fine on my analog VGA - it's only been installed for a week or two (brand new HTPC).


I would hope that the performance of the unregistered version isn't crippled in that respect. I certainly plan to buy it once I get it working!
 

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First of all, the problem may be that the driver or the nVidia chipset only does 1024 x 768 in DVI mode. Check that out first.


Secondly, I'm not sure that the dual-link DVI cable is what you want. What does Fujitsu recommend?


Thirdly, the ELSA Synergy III has a 1360 x 768 setting. By the way, sometimes the difference between 1360 x 1368 is a typographical error. The product sheets are not necessarily written by engineers, and sometimes a digit gets transposed by the marketing communication staff who is not necessarily aware of the details.
 

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as far as i can tell, these PDPs seem to restrict what resolutions they support via DVI. it's a much shorter list than what they support via VGA. i don't know why, but that seems to be the story.


as for single-link -vs- dual-link, all of the current PDP applications should work on single-link. that's a LOT of bandwidth. you can use a dual-link cable (i have both and they both work), but the second TDMS channel will just be dark. in fact, i bet there's no consumer video application currently that uses more than one channel. maybe there's some computer graphics application, but i seriously doubt anyone has a video application right now that needs that kind of bandwidth. the resolutions on these PDPs just aren't high enough yet.


doody.
 

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By the way, because LCDs and plasmas don't have anything like a refresh interval, this creates plenty of time to pump digital data over.


As a result, even a single link DVI will be capable of supplying 1920 x 1200 pixels, which is beyond HDTV! So there's really no need for dual link DVI for these applications.


If you look at the new crop of video cards, and the fact that flat-panel displays are displacing CRTs quite quickly, you'll see that that DVI is now the primary interface, and they ship a little VGA adapter (guaranteed to cause poor performance at high resolutions).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Doody- my understanding is that it is the card that has limited DVI resolution, not the PDP. For example, if you look at the specs for this Nvidia MX card, the DVI resolutions are a subset of the analog resolutions.


Nicholas - that Elsa Synergy III looks interesting if a little pricey. I couldn't see any DVI supported resolutions like you mention on their site though - the highest one mentioned is 1280 x 1024. Do you have this card?


FYI I started a thread re the new Imagine Graphics card which is designed for plasma. This is obviously an ideal solution, even though it is also expensive (~$500).
 

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analog8 - the manuals for the pioneers list a very small number of possible resolutions and refresh rates via DVI. i was surprised by the list when i first saw it. that said, i would not be surprised if the geforce's and ati's of the world were limiting us too. such is life on the bleeding edge ;)


doody!
 

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mastermind55-


can you be more specific? what DVI resolutions / displays have you had success with? Have you tried:


1360x768 @ 60Hz

1366x768 @ 60Hz

1368x768 @ 60Hz


with the Fujitsu (or other) DVI displays?


Colby
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am skeptical on the Matrox cards being able to going beyond 1280 x 1024 via DVI. The 550 chip specs at

http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/t.../chip_spec.pdf


specifically note a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 on digital flat panels. Of course, some 50 inch plasma's are only 1280 x 768 so this will work on those panels, but not on the Fuji 5002.


I am pretty sure after doing some more reading on the weekend that our test with the 5002 failed because the DVI output on most Nvidia cards is limited to 1280 x 1024. The 5002 WXGA native resolution of 1366 x 768 via DVI doesn't appear to have been considered with the previous generation of video cards.


The only cards that appear to be suitable are:


- Hercules Geforce 3 - uses a different TMDS chipset and supports 1600x1200. Unfortunately the Ti 500 version isn't available right now.


- ATI 8500 - again, they use a 165 mhz TMDS chipset and get 1600 x 1200. The DV version doesn't appear to be in stores yet either.


- Pixel Perfect - Kyro II based card designed for plasma and supporting a wide range of resolutions. Shipping in December.


Hopefully Colby and I will get to do some more testing next week with one of these cards if we can locate one!
 

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Quote:
ATI 8500 - again, they use a 165 mhz TMDS chipset and get 1600 x 1200. The DV version doesn't appear to be in stores yet either.
the DV version is still not released yet, but the 8500 non-DV version has DVI out. it's what i'm using. same video card - the DV just has additional I/O stuffs (generally better served by dedicated hardware/software, eg: osprey/dscaler, etc.).


doody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You are right Doody - in fact even the 7500 DVI has 1600x1200 support. There are also a couple of other Geforce 3 cards which have it (although not all of them).


Now I just need to bite the bullet and buy one!
 

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The Elsa Synergy 3 does 1360 x 768p and 1920 x 1080p; the former should work as it is so close to the native resolution of the panel. The latter will be too high a line rate.
 

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can anyone suggest an appropriate test pattern to use for adjusting tracking and phase if the only source available is a typical dvd transport; i'm using the leeza to shift timings...not a typical HTPC where you can input your own custom bitmaps to display.
 
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