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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, the easy question. We have two scenarios:


1) Pipe Svideo to the HTPC, deinterlace with Dscaler, scale it to 1368x1024 with (who knows what), pipe the result via DVI to the video displayer (which has a panel resolution of 1368x1024).


Or,


2) Pipe Svideo to a video processor, hope it can handle deinterlacing and scaling without too many problems, and pipe that out. Unfortunately, there are no affordable DVI-out video processors currently in existence, so the output would have to be RGB.


(Note: Input sources will include but not be limited to: an Xbox, a PS2, a Gamecube, a VCR, and DirecTV.)


Which one wins?


The HTPC represents a smoothe, controllable method for manipulating the video digitally, costs far less than any video processor, and does a fair shake more than processing NTSC. The video processor comes with a load of rather ambiguous technical capabilities. Things like:


* Truelife Enancer is a critical patented non-linear detail processing circuit in the NR Series. Bandwidth Expansion technology is implemented after the scaling stage. It is then optimized for the specific rate in the processor, using six different fine-tune adjustments for horizontal and vertical edge information, greatly increasing the apparent resolution without "ringing" artifacts.


This sounds basically to me like they are patting themselves on the back for using a scaling algorithm. Would this really be superior to what any PC user gets when they mess around with the size of their Windows Media Player window?


* Patented Directional Correlational Deinterlacing (DCDiâ„¢) applies new motion adaptive deinterlacing that prevents the introduction of motion artifacts and jagged edges from video signals that originated from video cameras


Dscaler does this, unless I missed something. And by reports, it does a heck of a job.


* patented 10-bit adaptive comb filtering


This seems to be talking about dot-crawl.


Basically, I figure a HTPC could handle all of these gewgaws, but I'm not sure if one typically does, or if they're needed. Simply going with the Faroudja would be easier but considerably more expensive. I'd rather play it smart. If all these wonderful enhancements are redundant frills, the HTPC would suffice nicely.
 

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a couple of months ago I had the opportunity to view the Runco VX-1000c pj,scaler combo.


in a nutshell, I thought that with HD as the source (with the scaler in pass-thru) my setup was relatively close to overall pq. However, with DVD pq differences were more noticeable as compared to my HTPC output. The runco image had better color representation, greater overall depth, and just an overall more pleasing image. considering that HD pq was close, think that the scaler contributed to the majority of the pq difference. this really doesn't answer your question about Dscaler, but I think that DVD with its all digital path w/a pc would be a best case scenario for a comparison vs a standalone scaler.


if you are in the process of demoing projectors, you might want to throw in a radeon video card, capture card, and Dscaler into an existing pc and take it w/you for a true A/B demo. cost should be minimal and it would be interesting to see a direct comparison between htpc vs. NRS.


good luck,

-jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
> in a nutshell, I thought that with HD as the source (with the scaler in pass-thru) my setup was relatively close to overall pq. However, with DVD pq differences were more noticeable as compared to my HTPC output. The runco image had better color representation, greater overall depth, and just an overall more pleasing image.


Okay, is this basically saying that an HTPC was on par with a scaler solution for HD material but the HTPC wins for DVD material?


That much would make sense. Everyone seems to be in agreement that using an HTPC for DVD video scaling / processing (either playing on the HTPC directly, or via SDI input from a standalone DVD player), and outputting directly to the TV/plasma/projector, gives the best possible image.


I'm thinking that with less digitally-pure material such as Svideo or similar NTSC sources, the NRS+ with its plethora of processing algorithms might provide the best results. I'm mainly seeing if there's an HTPC setup that gives it a run for its money.


(Off topic: Since Mpeg2 / Mpeg4 compression artifacts are so identifiable, I wonder why I haven't heard about algorithms designed to take a shot at eliminating them.)
 

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HTPC will lose in your original comparison, as the hardware for the video input is the bottleneck and is going to hurt the quality. If you were to play the DVD via software on the HTPC, the matchup would be very close I believe.
 

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I have not seen a Faroudja linked up with "an Xbox, a PS2, a Gamecube, a VCR, and DirecTV", however I would assume it would not do any better than dScaler for these sources. From what I understand, the Faroudja really excels in film/video reproduction and will beat a (current) HTPC - not by much considering the price differential, though.


I currently use a PS2 with component out to my proj and it looks very good (GTA3). Run VCR & Dish through Haupage (s-video) through dScaler & out to proj. This is a visable improvement even though the 10HT is supposed to have a very good scaler and deinterlacer.
 

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It seems to me that you can feed an input from an HD receiver to a Geforce4 TI 4600 or similar Radeon card and then output to the HDTV and that the descaling can be done by the video card.


Descalar only works with NTSC or so I thought...


Alex
 

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OK, maybe I missed something. How do you "feed an input from an HD receiver to a Geforce4 TI 4600 or similar Radeon card "?


dScaler will work with any supported cap card - s-video mostly, SDI modded also.
 

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I believe I may be mistaken. The Geforce can output an HD Signal but it can't take one.


I haven't been able to get the specs. Gainward has a VIVO model. But not HDVIVO...sigh...


How do we connect a HD STB to a HTPC ??

http://www.digitalconnection.com/FAQ/HDTV_4.htm


Using the adapter I found under: http://www.copperbox.com/lite/xbox.php


Maybe the same perhaps one solution to get a progressive display from 1080i is to use an XBOX.
 

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You can only use DScaler with brooktree/conexant caputre cards. No Geforce or Radeon combo cards will work.


There are no solutions for HD input. The best for standard def is using an SDI Silk card.


The capture cards on a HTPC can not compare to many set top boxes. Even KBK said his modified cards have a higher noise floor and worse picture than the simple Viewsonic VB50. I own one of those and a Faroudja NRS and the Faroudja beats the VB50, and by extension, the HTPC.
 

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I second Namlemez's observation about VB50HRTV beating Dscaler's software on my Radeon LE/VE based HTPC for Svideo sources. Faroudja NRS will definitely beat VB50HRTV and therefore will beat HTPC's Dscaler.


Now DVD-ROM output via software should match or even beat Faroudja's NRS and a STB DVD player because both 1) bypass PJ's inferior (most PJ) internal scaler (NRS and HTPC can put out native rate of PJ), 2) superior deinterlacing and scaling to most PJ's internal processor. HTPC using Ravisent decoder may have a slight edge due to less digital to analog conversion, less cable loss (Faroudja has an extra cable from the DVD player into the scaler), and more tweaks to the image (Faroudja has some but not as many as HTPC).
 
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