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Discussion Starter #1
This was also posted on hometheaterforum.com. The folks there suggested that good info is also to be had here.


Just got my hands on an Electrohome ECP4000 for just about nothing, and now I have to figure out how to integrate it into my system. Warning - I am a total projection newbie!


The ECP4000 appears to have 2 composite, 2 RGBHV and 1 S-Video input. Here are my sources right now:


Digital cable box: Composite and S-Video out

Pioneer Elite DVD: Composite, S-Video and Component out

Phillips Hi-Fi VCR: Composite out


All three are using composite connections to my Marantz A/V receiver, which then does composite to an aging 32" RCA TV. The Marantz does have S-Video output, but no component video switching at all.


The VCR really doesnt matter much. Its really just for the videos the kids watch, none of which are HT quality anyway. Its the DVD and the cable box that are our primary sources. I'll upgrade to HD cable which means Cablevision will drop in a box with component out.


OK, gurus. What would you do with the ECP4000? I guess the easiest thing would just be to do S-Video from the receiver to the projector and let it go, it seems a shame to waste the component outputs of the DVD player (progressive scan) and the HD cable box. What about a line doubler? Will I need one given the sources?


Many thanks in advance for your willingness to impart wisdom.
 

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Your best bet is to take the S-Video from the receiver and run that to the projector. :)


If you want to kick it up a notch from there, what you should start looking into is a device called a "line doubler". It'll give you a much smoother looking picture, especially on large screen sizes. You would hook your s-video (or possibly component video) source up to that, and hook that to your projector via RGBHV.


- David
 

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Dump the S-Video as soon as you can. Although I've had a couple of ECPs, I admit I've never tried S-Video as I've always read here that the result is not very good. For your component source (DVD), you'll need a transcoder to convert to RGBHV. Then get a line doubler to convert your composite/S-Video into line-doubled RGBHV. Alternatively, you could just build an HTPC to do everything (DVD playback and VCR and cable-box through an inexpensive capture card). The main thing here is to get everything into RGBHV format.


Cary
 

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Since you got the ECP for "next to nothing", I'm assuming you appreciate bang for the buck. You can spend as much as you want, but you can usuallly get the 80% solution for next to nothing...


I started out with an ECP3101 with S-video. If you go any wider than 5'-6', you'll see scan lines. So I bought a "TVone XGA Theater", I think it was around $120. It scales composite and s-video up to 1024x768 - fills in the scan lines, but the image is kinda soft. Much better than s-video though.


But then I hooked it up to my laptop's VGA using a $10 RGBHV cable. I'll never go back to a cheap doubler/scaler and certainly never s-video.


Give us an idea of how sensitive you are to budget. You get what you pay for, but it's not a linear scale.


But no matter what, find a cheap RGBHV cable on ebay and hook it up to your PC (even if just for a weekend) just to see what that ECP can really do.


-Clarence
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"Bang for the buck" is what its all about! :)


I really didnt have a budget in mind for adding a CRT to my setup. In fact, I hadn't plan on going that route at all right now. I just stumbled onto the ECP while at an auction for completely unrelated items, and figured I'd take a shot at it. I know what they were worth new, so for what I paid, its worth the experiment.


All the great feedback I'm getting tells me that the ECP is wasted with S-video input, so I think I'm going to look at two options:


1. A line doubler


2. Running all video through an HTPC before going to the ECP via RGBHV.


Seems that conventional wisdom says that there's more bang for the buck using a PC to enhance the signal than there is with a traditional doubler, so I'll most likely kick around with that.


Thanks for the great advice, folks. You guys rock!
 

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Run all your composite/s-video stuff through a capture card in the PC, but not DVD. Use a DVD-ROM for that, much better quality.
 

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I think Mark means use the DVD-ROM on the computer along with some playback software (TheaterTek, WinDVD, ZoomPlayer, etc).


HTPC gives you an incredibly good image - probably the best for the money. But if you weren't ready to spend time with this hobby yet it would be easier to get a line doubler at first. Building an HTPC isn't difficult, but it's more finicky than just loading the OS, MS Word, and email. You've got to be careful about the components you seelct (sound card, video card) and software you load. Then you've got to set up remote control, etc. It's a lot of fun, and worth it, but a doubler lets you and the wife start watching a DVD right away.


Cary
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Silly question, but given that my DVD source (Pioneer Elite DV45a) is already a progressive scan unit, shouldnt I just go direct from there to the CRT via component link?


For the cable and VCR signals, processing before the CRT makes sense. Just not sure what benefit there is in processing the DVD signal.
 

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Where ya gunna plug the component into on the ECP???


Cost you US$550 or MORE for a decent transcoder.

You can get a cheap one, but the results aren't that good.
 
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