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One of the main reasons I went to HTPC was to benefit from the ability to output native resolution to my front projector and to let the PC hardware/software handle scaling the output that native resolution. I am considering only DVD playback here.


Interestingly, I haven't noticed a whole lot of difference going from my standalone interlaced DVD player to HTPC. Is the difference really that subtle? Are there any "reference materials" available (scenes, patterns, etc) that I can use to convince myself of the benefit?


Technically, I guess the difference is this... From a standalone interlaced DVD player, DVD video is outputted as 480i. At this point it travels over component video cables to my projector which utilizes Faroujda-based scaling/deinterlacing to the projector's native resolution 1280x720p.


From HTPC, my display resolution is set at 1280x720. My software DVD player (zoomplayer) displays DVD-video in full screen mode (Is this the "scaling/deinterlacing" step?). This is outputted via VGA to my projector keeping the original 1280x720 resolution, which bypasses the projector's scaling/deinterlacing circuitry.


So the main difference is which component does the scaling/deinterlacing, right? And maybe a secondary consideration is component vs. VGA input to my projector (though both are analog signals, right?). Perhaps I would see a bigger difference utilizing DVI?


Of course, I don't mean to discount the other obvious benefits of having an HTPC...convergence, flexibility, and upgradeability are key! I'm just trying to understand some comments on this forum regarding HTPC doing a better job than most external scalers...even ones costing $4000 or more. Is this an innate benefit of having the CPU horsepower and advanced PCI graphics cards???
 

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Give more details...


DVD playback software/decoder and version?

Video Card?

Video driver version?
 

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I would suggest that you should try a DVI cable, yes. I don't know much about digital display devices, but it sounds very reasonable that keeping the signal in the digital domain all the way to the one pitiful lense at the end (as opposed to three marvelous gigantic eyes, of course...) would give less signal loss and probably a clearer picture. :cool:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jwtseng
Technically, I guess the difference is this... From a standalone interlaced DVD player, DVD video is outputted as 480i. At this point it travels over component video cables to my projector which utilizes Faroujda-based scaling/deinterlacing to the projector's native resolution 1280x720p.
It could be that your projector is utilizing the Faroujda chip and your not seeing the huge difference that other people are because they done have as good of a scaler in their projectors as you do.


Just my $.02
 

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jcase hit the nail on the head.


Some display device will benefit more from HTPC than others. It is also dependent on your critical requirement. Some people will have more critical eyes than others.


NEC HT1000, Infocus X1 for example will not benefit from HTPC as much as from older PJ like NEC LT150, Infocus LP435z, etc.
 

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I think the best way to demonstrate the benefit of HTPC is to view the Step into Liquid WM9 demo or the T2: Extreme WM9 DVD. They are encoded in WM9 with an effective resolution of 1280x720.


I know this is not the same as viewing regular DVDs but at this point, only HTPCs can show WM9 media, at least until WM9 is introduced into standalone DVD players with 720p capabilities.
 

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I spent last evening watching DVDs on my Infocus SP7200 using my HTPC (P4 2.4, 9700 Pro, ffdshow, TT, VGA cable) and couldn't believe how spectacular the images were. After two years of playing with HTPCs and a 32" HDTV, this was the first time I was blown away by the images (because of the size/clarity). This thread has challenged me to do an A/B comparison with my stand-alone Panny progressive DVD player, but I've never been overwhelmed by what I've gotten from that machine.


jcase and Huey are probably right -- beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and higher end devices TEND to give better output.
 
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