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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to get into HTPC but I do not know a lot about them.


my main question is whether HTPC's are able to send clean unadulterated video signals to my projector. It occurs to me that the computer dvd players would output a degraded signal, for example the cables that connect the dvd players to the mobo would be subject to a lot of interference surely? Even then don't video cards only have composite or s-video out cable jacks? Hardly good for preserving a video signal compared to component jacks.


So how can HTPC users output a clean video signal?


Similarly, do computer soundcards that output the sound to my receiver, is the audio signal kept clean and crisp throughout its travels in my pc?


thanks
 

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Hi Macksta,


Based on what you would read here on the forum you can conclude that a HTPC will give much better picture quality then a direct feed from a DVD player will do. You might be right on the added interference (which might be taken care of by putting some special shielding around the cables - I haven't tried that). The biggest gain however is the scaling functionality. All projectors do a real bad job of scaling the 480 lines from a dvd player to the 800/1024/... lines of your projector. My own experience with a Polaroid XGA350 (=Mitsubishi xu70) is:

- Toshiba dvd player to projector via s-video : hopeless

- Toshiba dvd player s-video into ATI TVWonder with DScaler software. Very good but with some interferences because I don't do a good job on shielding.

- WinDVD 3.0 - almost perfect

You can get a external scaler but my understanding is that the picture quality is still no match with a PC directly going into a projector. Even the second option mentioned above apparently gives a better picture then an external scaler.


On the sound side... I agree with you here, the sound of the soundcards is nowhere close to what you get out of a dvd player or receiver. I use a Philips Accoustic edge which has built in DTS decoder and 5+1 speaker out, but it still is no good. However, if you use the SPDIF out directly into a DTS capable receiver the sound is just as good as from the DVD player directly (via digital out).


Hope this helps.


Groetjes,

Willem
 

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Ok I think I'm getting it :)


Just to confirm , you had your best results using an internal DVD player that used Windvd 3.0 software?


And this setup looked better than the external dvd player going into the HTPC using s-video cables?


I find that interesting, intuitively I would have assumed that the external dvd player would have yielded better results.


Dylan
 

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If you want the absolute best from your external DVD player (if it has the proper decoder/encoder pair) into a HTPC, see the treads on SDI. Not what I would call cheap, but if you want the very best.
 

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One thing that neglected to be mentioned was that if you are using a projector you do not need an TV-out port or S-video cable. You would use an RGB ( VGA- RGBHV) cable. This would attach directly to the port on the back of your video card and to the RGB inputs on the projector. This way you take the resolution that the video card outputs. The results are stunning. I would not even bother with a standalone player. I would use Dscaler for watching TV or Video cassettes only.

Good Luck,

Dan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DIZ2
I would use Dscaler for watching TV or Video cassettes only.

Good Luck,

Dan
Sorry Macksta, I'm a newbie too, and instead of starting a new thread with another newbie question, please allow me to add mine onto yours. I hope is not too irrelevant.


DIZ2 (or any one -- thanks in advance), I have an ATi AIW in my HTPC, hooked up to an NEC LT150. I haven't used Dscaler yet. Question: would Dscaler help to improve the image of the ATi AIW TV tuner? or is the image as good as it gets by itself? When you mentioned "would use Dscaler for watching TV or Video cassettes ony", do you mean TV as it is fed into the HTPC via a composite or s-video cable from an external VHS player/TV tuner?
 

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cmdang,


DScaler will not work with the tuner in an AIW. However, you can find a bunch PCI Tuner cards for less then 50 bucks that do work with DScaler. One of the current favorites right now is the IO Magic PCTV card you can find at Comp USA.


Input via S-Video is probably preferred over using the Tuner on the card for picture quality reasons as well as ease of use, but you can try either.


Good Luck

marc
 
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