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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I recently took ownership of a Sony HS10 projector. Currently I'm feeding it with an older Toshiba DVD player (non-progressive) with component output.


I'm wondering what kinds of image improvements you guys are seeing when going from a standard interlaced DVD player to a HTPC with the Theatertek software? What changes should I expect to see in the image by going with an HTPC over DVI vs. stanalone player over component? Is it a MAJOR improvement, or are there just subtle differences?


I'm projecting a 107" wide image right now, and honestly for the most part I think it looks great. The primary problems I have with the image are with certain pans that include highly textured surfaces. It creates sort of a "wavey" effect. Almost as if you were looking at the textures through an old piece of glass with ripples in it. Not sure how else to explain it. LOTR contains several scenes that exhibit this behavior. (such as when the camera is panning above scenes with the large boulders that have a "speckled" texture to them).


Only other complaint I have about the current image is that it tends to look overly soft or slightly "blurry", even though the projector is well focused.


Anyway, do you think that running an HTPC with Theatertek would fix these kinds of problems?


TIA!


--Scott
 

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I moved from an interlaced DVD player (Panasonic A110) to a radeon based HTPC on my Sony 10HT... there is no turning back. The picture quality improvement was noticed by some of my regular visitors (who would cope with the stability problems of running an HTPC 2 years ago!).


Picture with the HTPC is much less blocky and looks more film like (though the A110 still beats the HTPC for video based stuff)


TheaterTek is very reliable, and I use it almost exclusively (I have PowerDVD ready just in case...).


The 10HS should give you even better results than my old 10HT, which can't be run at the native resultion in widescreen mode.
 

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With your HS10 projector, I would expect that you would get a substantial benefit compared to your interlaced player. The video card can act as a very high quality scaler that will display a non-interlaced image at the projector's native resolution (rather than 720 x 480).


Other projectors (like my Infocus SP7200) have such good internal scalers that the picture quality benefits of an HTPC are less obvious. The HTPC still offers other benefits, however, including aspect ratio control, post-processing, etc -- as well as the other fun things a PC can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by eggz
Other projectors (like my Infocus SP7200) have such good internal scalers that the picture quality benefits of an HTPC are less obvious. The HTPC still offers other benefits, however, including aspect ratio control, post-processing, etc -- as well as the other fun things a PC can do.
eggz,


Thanks for your response!


Can you explain what you mean by "post-processing"? Is that what this "ffdshow" software is that I've been hearing about? What additional benefit is gained by using such software for DVD viewing? I assume it "piggy-backs" on the Theatertek software somehow?


Also by "aspect ratio control" are you saying that the Theatertek software will scale different aspect ratio movies to the same size on the screen (i.e., so I don't have to mess with the aspect ratio functions on my projector every time I change to a movie with a slightly different aspect ratio?


Sorry for the lame questions. Though I've been in the computer industry for years, I'm sorta a newbie when it comes to utilizing the PC for home theater applications.


Thanks again!


--Scott
 

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Scott,


Guaranteed you will immediately notice an improvement in sharpness and detail by virtue of the fact you have a straight digital signal path with an HTPC. Just a suggestion: If your application is strictly DVD viewing, there's no need to go to extremes in building a $1000+ HTPC. I built one with an old PIII 450 by just adding a Radeon 7500 ($80 now) and an M-Audio 24/96 card ($159)...M-Audio's new Revo ($99 is a better bet now). So for less than $200, you can be in the HTPC game. However, if you want your HTPC to do other things, you may want to spend a bit more.
 

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ffdshow is a freeware DirectShow filter for decompressing DIVX movies. It provides image postprocessing for higher playback quality, as well as hue, saturation and luminance correction. Search this forum for more info about how and why to use it. If you search the TheaterTek.com forum, there are some impressive images to show its benefits -- but it is CPU intensive, and crushes older processors.


TheaterTek's Aspect Ratio Editor allows you to associate either a predefined or custom aspect ratio with any DVD, and automatically reformats playback.


PS -- your questions aren't lame. Sometimes I think that having computer or IS experience is a disadvantage for HTPCers -- all the A/V devices/output formats are just as (or more) complicated than the PC, and the software and driver incompatibilities remind me of what it was like in the computer world 20 years ago!
 

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Yeah I'm what most people would call a "computer guy". Owned one since the age of 9, been in IT professionally for going on 11 years now, I've acheived numerous certifications like my MCSE, MCSA and A+ certs and I've published more than 150 articles and been contributing author or lead author on 6 IT books now. With all that this HTPC stuff still throws me for a loop but I am finding that my previous experience is definitely helping me wrap my head around some of the other topics that would bog down less technically inclined people.


But long story short, never feel like your questions are stupid, especially on a forum like this, we are all here to learn, even the most wisened members of any forum will generally learn something new every day. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone.


Actually I already have a HTPC built, but I can't use it because I don't have a DVI cable yet. It's an Intel 1GHz with 384MB of RAM, ATI Radeon 8500DV. Also have the Theatertek software installed and ready to go. The system is certainly no powerhouse, but I think it will get the job done for now. Sounds like I'd definitely need to step up the processing power big time before I could use ffdshow effectively though.


My main purpose for the post was to try to gauge how much improvement in PQ I should expect once I finally get it hooked up to the projector. Sounds like it will be a considerable improvement. Woohoo, I can't wait!


--Scott
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by eggz
ffdshow is a freeware DirectShow filter for decompressing DIVX movies.
So, ffdshow is for DIVX - does that mean it doesn't do anything for you if you're just watching plain old DVDs? I've been wondering about that - I know DIVX is a popular format for movies to be in when snagging them over the internet, but being stuck with an ISDN connection at home, that's not exactly something I plan to get into...


--KS
 

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used properly,dvds will shine as well.


brickie
 
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