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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After having seen the excellent picture the HT1000 can produce from a good standalone dvd player, I decided that I'd go that route myself.


Well, after having tried 4 different players, I'm still waiting to find one that isn't faulty or can produce a decent image in all it's modes.


Anyway, today I decided to try the htpc again, and see if I could reduce the comparative image harshness and background dithering that seems inherant with it (no such artefacts with normal player due to the extra functions available in the HT1000 such as the ability to reduce the sharpness).


I found that WinDVD 2.8 produced less artefacts, and by using the low video filter to soften the image slightly, combined with dynamic gamma, a lot of the mosquito noise is gone. Using normal gamma raises the black detail and shows up the dithering in darker areas. I re-calibrated white/black level with Avia so that I had a good starting point before tweaking.


Not having used it for a while, the extra detail from the htpc did stand out in much the same way as progressive does from interlaced when using a good quality player.


Now, if I could combine the smooth creamy image of the dvd player with the high detail of the htpc, that would be a winning combination..


Anybody managed this?


Gary.
 

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Just out of curiosity, why 2.8? There are a bunch of newer versions from all of the software companies that I think you are cheating yourself. You will get a lot better picture from any of them.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Lightfoot
Now, if I could combine the smooth creamy image of the dvd player with the high detail of the htpc, that would be a winning combination..


Anybody managed this?
I tried but didn't succeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Paul:


2.8 because that's what I have, and I've heard that some of the later ones don't improve image quality (3+), though that may not be the case with the very latest version.


tk: What are you currently using as a player?


steve: What spec is your PC?


Mine could probably do with an upgrade or two. :)


Cheers.


Gary
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Lightfoot
tk: What are you currently using as a player?
I'm using ordinary DVD-player with component out (interlaced). I compared picture to HTPC (Radeon 9000, Windvd 4.5 platinium and TT 1.5) and I liked more ordinary DVD-player.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That was my feeling too, unfortunately, the players I've tried have had issues (Philips 963), or been faulty - Tosh 520, and as there wasn't a replacement fior the Tosh, I tried some other players. None were as good as the Tosh, so until they get another one in stock, I'm revisiting my htpc.


I'll give ffdshow a go and see how that goes - I'm hoping it'll go smoothely.. :)


Gary.
 

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TT's latest version and FFdshow give a nive picture -and you can tune to your taste.


Joel
 

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Gary, why don't you try a cheap player like the Panasonic XP30. I have that player and it doesn't give me any problems and the image is great.
 

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why dont you check out some of the dvd players that are listed in the SGHT's annual buyers guide?


I use that for reference once in a while.

Also the april issue of Sound and Vision had a DVD shootout, with recommendations
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm in the UK, and not all the players you guys mention are available over here unfortunately.


The Toshiba had a great picture - very detailed and smooth with no mpeg artefacts which made the picture very solid looking, but unfortunately there was a slight green shift (green fringe to the left and purple to the right) so that made the picture unwatchable (I could only see the fringing!!).


I'm waiting for them to get another one in stock, or I may stick with htpc for a while longer and get a player that has PAL and NTSC progressive (the tohiba was only NTSC ps), as PS produces a slightly sharper and richer looking image.


The other cheaper players didn't look as good, and those with PS had issues which meant they weren't watchable in that mode.


Pioneers' 757i looksw a great player, but is quite expensive, so I'm going to wait and see what else comes along over the next few weeks/months.


Cheers


Gary.
 

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I've setup my HT1000 with a Panasonic RP56 in interlaced mode. Using the scaler and Sweetvision in the projector, I get an outstanding picture with DVD sources. My projector settings are as follows:


Setup projector for USER 1 or 2 and set the type to MOVIE. Set the gamma to Neutral. Color temperature is currently set to 6500K.


In the picture settings, I'm using Sweetvision - Medium and Black Expansion set to 2 or 3. I like 3 personally better. Set contrast using AVIA test pattern.


I've found that letting the projector do the work is much better than even the RP91 (which I bought and then returned) DVD player in progressive mode.


Reese
 

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Gary, yes the latest versions of all the major software players do give a better picture (depending on the compression and transfer to DVD). You need to get either, TheaterTek, windvd plat., powerdvd XP, or nvdvd (have not tried the latter but others like it). If I remember correctly, owners of any of these are very pleased with the picture, as I myself have powerdvd xp and windvd plat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Reese: we don't get the sam models here in the UK, but I'll look at some Panasonics and see if I can find one simliar to yours.


Paul: I was using Zoom player with the ATI player for video and Windvd for audio, but occasionaly I wouldn't get sound, so went with Windvd which played everything perfectly.


I can try WinDVd 4, but really I'd to be able to reduce the sharpness a tad or do something about the mpeg artefacts which sometimes show up.


It's a compromise which ever way I go, but I do prefer the smoother image of the standalone player over the htpc. It's just finding a player that dioesn't have issues or faults. :)


Gary.
 

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Gary, the best budget DVD player for HT1000 (DVI/HDCP compliant) is either the Bravo D1 ($200 USD) or the soon to be out Samsung 931 ($400 USD-FLI2301 chipset) due to their DVI/HDCP output with 720p and 1080i capability. These will be very close to HTPC quality. Forget the XP30/XP50/RP82 and other 480p players. Quality 480i players (RP91, JVC, etc.) will be as good or better due to HT1000 excellent video processing. Properly configured HTPC is still the gold standard due to it matching your XGA panel pixel by pixel, but has it's own set of headaches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Huey,


do you still use WinDVD 2.8 or have you moved on?


I am thinking of trying V4 but don't want to go through the possible headaches of upgrading if I'm not going to see much of an improvement.


Also, is it possible to use ffdshow within WinDVD or is Zoomplayer the only easy option (other tha TT)?


I've been spending more time setting up the htpc, and I'm very pleased with it again. I still miss the creamy image a good interlaced player can produce with the HT1000, but I've managed to tweak out the mosquito noise which was often my main gripe.


Of course, even a poorly mastered DVD will have noise, and no player will remove that, but so far (touch wood) I've managed to set the htpc up to produce a very pleasing image. :)


Cheers.


Gary.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Lightfoot
Reese: we don't get the sam models here in the UK, but I'll look at some Panasonics and see if I can find one simliar to yours.


Gary.
In fact, any interlaced player should work well. Look to be sure the decoder is good and it doesn't have the chroma bug. Try the Panasonic DVDRV62. I believe it's around £139.


Reese
 

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I use ATI 7.6 MMC for video filter (free with my Radeon DDR 32 MB), WinDVD 3.1 (came free with my laptop) for audio filter, and free Zoomplayer 2.9. I don't mess with FFDSHOW due to not having enough horsepower (AMD 1.33 Ghz, 348R) and Win98SE (no reason to switch to XP though I have XP on my new laptop and it's OK). Since my Win98SE is fairly stripped down (running only Internet Explorer, Windoze, and HTPC stuff--no games to introduce junk that can cause instability), it's very stable. I also found out that if I run Zoomplayer in window mode first to play the DVD and then double click to go fullscreen, it has not crashed since (when I ran it fullscreen immediately before on launching ZP, ZP can crash occasionally with rare hard lock requiring reset). My Aureal Vortex SQ1500 limits me to Win98SE. Since it's performed flawlessly with DD/DTS on WinDVD audio, I'm in no hurry to upgrade. I also bought AVT-3700 for routine watching and it does a good job for me on 720p (95% of my HTPC). I use HTPC when I feel like ultimate PQ for LT150 or when I want to show off to friends. I'm sure I can increase PQ further by upgrading to a faster CPU, XP, newest software DVD player/filters, newest sound card, newest video capture (I still use Iomagic PVR), ffdshow, resize, etc. I just don't want to mess with my HTPC right now as it works well and fit my needs. Since I don't know any better, ignorant is bliss. I have not much time to tinker lately with my HTPC or NEC LT150. I barely have time to watch occasional movie and get my daily dose of AVS Forum. :D
 

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Hi There

1) I hope DVI is still better output than via VGA ? Any difficulties so far ??


The output is DVD , as well as scaled up analog sources ( VHS tapes, Cable) via D scaler .



2) which is the most appropriate ATI radeon card which will output the best


video output via DVI to a projector ( DVI in ) . I would presume 1 with 128 MB for smoother pictures


I need a video card that is best for play back of scenery documentaries ( Mt Everest , glaciers, canyons etc) VIA DVI output to my projector.



3) which brand should we be getting ? ..for the DVI cable ..SINGLE LINK OR DOUBLE LINK



Please reply to [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Reese,


I've tried about 5 different players so far, and the best of that bunch was a Toshiba - the others weren't as sharp. Some had Progressive Scan but also had issues, so that option was more or less useless.


Strangely enough, I found both the DVDR62 and the DVDR91 which look good - the 91 has a 54hz DAC which may mean that it has progressive scan - I'll see if there's somewhere local I can have a look at.


Panasonics site doesn't mention component outputs here in the UK (Scart is more common), so I need to see one to make sure. If it has PS then it must have component output I would have thought.


Huey - my htpc set-up is almost the same as yours - ATI 7.5 with WinDVD for sound. I find that the ATI video renderer causes some kind of chroma flickering, (hardware acceleration is on), but WinDVD on it's own is better in that respect.


Any ideas on that?


Cheers,


Gary.
 
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