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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Im STILL setting up my 1270Q. Working on a short in the bord.


Before I get too far into it, I was curious which is better, a line doubler or an HTPC?


I can get a line doubler for $200 or so. An HTPC will cost me $400 or more.


In my mind, the advantages of a line doubler are many...


- Dont need the extra noise of an HTPC

- Less cables

- Less electricity

- Less to break down / repair

- Space


And the list goes on


BUT, what I dont know, is if I will get much better quality of picture with the HTPC...


If I will, will it be drastically better, or just better?


Once I move everything into my garage, I will definately get an HTPC because I will be more setup for it. But for now would like to avoid it if the quality isnt going to suffer much.


Opinions?


Thanks
 

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John,


A line doubler is your best bet and there are several out there.

In fact there is a scaler out there for about the cost yuo posted for an HTPC that you can select differant resolutions and that may be all you really need.


I am using a line doubler with my 1031Q and I am very happy with the results. Yes, the 12XX scans higher but I am sure with just line doubling the scan lines will be a lot harder to see if you can see them at all. HTPC is a nioce machine but there as you mentiond a lot you dont need right now. The noise, th ebooot up time if you shut it down so on and so on where a line doubler will be very easy and once its set up you wont need to mess wit it.


I'll send you a PM about the scaler...
 

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A line doubler or progressive scan dvd player will give you 480p resolution. If you do a decent setup on your 1272 it can resolve around 600p. As such, you may see the spaces between the scanlines when using a doubler/progressive player.


An HTPC gives better quality because the progressive scan is done without any digital to analogue conversion unlike a doubler/scaler and because it can be set to a higher resolution to match your projector's capability. It really depends how noticeable the scanline structure is on your 1272 at 480p. I personally can't stand 540p on my projector, which is capable of 720p. You can see aliasing on diagonal edges and other related "junk".


It just depends how picky you are and how much you notice any deficiencies. I would go progressive+transcoder rather than interlaced+doubler unless you need to double x-box/satellite or other sources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do want to double x-box, satellite, etc, but that can be done going through the HTPC too cant it (with a video line in card)?


Or would I need to buy BOTH to make that happen?
 

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John, A TV capture card with a line input is what youll need. You can use an AV receiver to switch video sources and the monitor output weather its s video swiching or just composit will be fed to the HTPC for scaling and then on to the PJ.


If you have a doubler its done the same way. SO on an HTPC w/o a built in DVD player youll still need a line in for external sources. Personally I dont like computer dvd players and wouldl still go with an external one. HTPC people will not aggree with me but Im not an HTPC guy any way.
 

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an HTPC is in a whole league of is own, infinitely customizable and expandable. Its competition are high-end scalers, not $200 line doublers. Having said that , whatever you save in cash you spend in time, not recommended for the in-patient or non-computer savy. BTW, a 1272 with low hour good condition tubes is cpable of 1280x720...i had my 1270 running at that no sweat ..new tubes of course---600p is for the birds.
 

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I have a 1272q. Used a DVDO for 2 years. Finished HTPC this month. Yes, the improvement in picture quality is remarkable. The biggest benefit is with non-anamorphic widescreen DVDs where absurd scanlines are visible even at 480p...

Quote:
Originally posted by aztechjohn



- Dont need the extra noise of an HTPC


Place it in an adjacent room, get a 50' VGA breakout cable and S/PDIF cable.

Quote:



- Less electricity

- Less to break down / repair

electricity is negligible - turn it off when not in use. PC components rarely break down, in my case I find I upgrade long before anything has broken.

Quote:



- Space

If space is an issue so be it. My HTPC is on an elevated shelf in the laundry room which is adjacent to my HT.


Hope this helps


Paul
 

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"If space is an issue so be it. My HTPC is on an elevated shelf in the laundry room which is adjacent to my HT. "


Do you use your HTPC DVD drive for DVD viewing?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Smith



Do you use your HTPC DVD drive for DVD viewing?
Yes. I contemplated mouting it very high. Then I would have mounted the DVD drive upside-down in the upper-most bay at the top of the case, and set the whole PC upside-down on the shelf, so that the DVD drive would be at the lowest possible location, just low enough to reach.


Paul
 

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Paul, I'm sure you have a nice set up, and you obviously don't have to deal with PC fan noise. But for me, having my DVD drive in my laundry room would not be desirable.
 

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I've been using an HTPC with ym projector for about a month or so prolly less.. I think ive had it with a HTPC.. Id rather just go the conventional scaler route.. Id like a Faroudja NRS but no $$.. so for now im stuck with HTPC.. Some things i find annoying about the HTPC:


- pain in the butt in terms of controlling with a remote

- no way to get satelite

- i think the ease of use is not there.. i know alot about computers but i find it easier to just load a dvd and go, not boot up the computer, load up software and what not..


theres more but i wont get into it too much.. theres my thoughts.. but i am impressed with the video quality though.. ill give it that..


chris
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Smith
having my DVD drive in my laundry room would not be desirable.
I guess I'm lucky that my laundry room is right outside my HT.


Maybe you have an adjoining room with a closet it could be mounted in?


I am also considering adding a 2nd DVD drive so that a "double feature" or desired "special features" disc could be played without a trip out of the room.


Paul
 

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Assuming HTPCs have remotes(I gather some do and some don't), what about pausing the DVD to go take a leak, get something to drink, etc.? I also rewind a lot to rewatch short segment.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by xris2o0o


- pain in the butt in terms of controlling with a remote
Try getting an "airboard" wireless keyboard. Find em on ebay for $20 - $50. "Learn" the keyboard shortcuts for your DVD player software to a learning remote - works like a charm. Of course I use one of those IR repeaters by X10 like the pyramids from Radio Shack so that the IR signals make it to the airboard receiver plugged into the PC in the other room.


I've read about Girder and other solutions, which all sound like a lot of trouble.

Quote:
Originally posted by xris2o0o


- no way to get satellite
I don't use Sat because of the poor video quality at large sizes. However a video capture card may solve your problem?

Quote:
Originally posted by xris2o0o


- i think the ease of use is not there..
This is true. In my opinion the gain in image quality is well worth it, plus I can add features like trivia before the movie, random trailers before the movie, auto start (skip FBI warning etc) and a whole myriad of other possibilities! Mindful that it's not for everyone, and a line doubled image using anamorphic material is quite good in its own right, YMMV.


Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
pkarmouche, what software do you use to do all those cool features you are talking about?


Also, there is a great wireless keyboard with built in trackball FRYS ELECTRONICS has for $80 and will go through walls up to 150'.


I do have a closet I could put the HTPC in and just thought of that. That would solve a few problems.



As far as SAT goes, I use DIGITAL cable and it also has HDTV, so I definately want to have that available. Im not sure if I could run it through the PC and still use the HDTV capabilities or not. Dont know if any video card is capable of that.


Excellent opinikons, keem em coming. THANKS!
 

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The wireless keyboard you speak of is likely RF. Great option but if you want to closely duplicate the STB operation you'll want IR so you can use a regular remote control rather than pulling out the keyboard every time you want to pause :)


The closet idea has a extra inconvenience, you'll need to install a power outlet up there. Also be sure you can reach your projector and amp with less than 50' to avoid signal problems.


I don't yet have HDTV so I can't comment on that. If your HDTV box has VGA output maybe you could add a 2nd RGBHV card to your PJ.


Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I do have a PC 1270 Switcher with 2 extra IFP-11 or IFB-12 cards (I think thats what theyre called).

I dont know if the switcher works with the remote control that came with the PJ...


I was going to sell it (the switcher) but maybe the extra inputs would be nice. But once again, another large piece of equipment.


The nice thing about the closet is that its a linen closet, so the HTPC can go near the floor.


It sounds like HTPC is the way to go. Buying a doubler would be a waste if the quality difference is really that big.


Im still curious what that cool software you are using is...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aztechjohn


It sounds like HTPC is the way to go. Buying a doubler would be a waste if the quality difference is really that big.
If you are the only one that operates your HT and you are comfortable with a PC then by all means yes it is the way to go. If you have others in the home that want to operate the HT you might have problems..

Quote:
Originally posted by aztechjohn


Im still curious what that cool software you are using is...
Sorry missed that in your last post..


Currently I have Powerstrip to optimize resolution and refresh rate. I have zoomplayer for DVD functions (handles random trailers too, but I'm still playing with that setup).


I will probably give TheaterTek a try too, it looks as if basic operation is easier and keyboard-shortcuts (learned into an IR remote) are all predefined and setup.


The trivia is ripped from a HT Intro DVD I bought from Cinemawise. It randomizes the trivia so it's different every time (some 100 different Q&A's). I have mapped a windows keyboard shortcut to the desktop icon so - once again - a remote control keypress runs the file which launches ZoomPlayer.


More customization is necessary. If anyone knows how to eliminate the Zoomplayer splash screen (background) that displays momentarily before the video starts it would be appreciated. Also I have yet to play with DOS style batch files to automate some things with keyboard shortcuts; and hopefully avoid displaying the windows desktop altogether. (My HTPC is just three movies old since I completed setup).


Next projects: ffdshow (running well on my laptop, will migrate to my HTPC once I know everything is stable as-is); then I might add a 7th channel (DDEX-DTS-ES); and I'm eternally searching for a form of film motion compensation (ala Philips "Digital Natural Motion") in software form.


Paul
 
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