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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm conflicted and think I need therapy. I've made up my mind at least 100 times over whether to use a video processor or a HTPC. I will watch DVD, HDTV from a HD cable box, and some game playing and S-VHS.


I do not have a proscan DVD player; only s-video and component. I do not have a HTPC and figure about $600 to build one (using some parts I already have).


I was just about all set to go with a DVDO until arrow had to go and report that a HTPC gives the best image possible on the LT150. Darn you, arrow! :) But he also reports component looks a little better than RGB. The cable box can do RGB or component, and if I use a HTPC, then I'll have to configure the cable box for RGB and use a switcher.


Seems that a proscan DVD player and component switcher would be my cheapest solution but I'm still hung up on arrow's review. My biggest beef with HTPC is usability. (I recall a friend once trying to play a DVD for me and his HTPC crashed and required a minute to completely reboot. Not fun!)


What're the pros and cons?


Thanks,

Sam
 

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Hi Sam, Jason, at the AVS store had this to say about the CI & Quadscan scalers.

"Between the CI and the Quad: both are great units. They each are different though. The CI is a bit more stable, and has more, but different inputs. It has 1 composite, 1 s-video, 1 component, and 1 RGB passthrough. The Quad has 2 inputs of which you have your choice of type, and 1 RGB passthrough. The Quadscan is a bit less expensive too."

"Keep in mind, that if you are going to use a progressive DVD player, neither the CI nor the Quad will accept the progressive signal from it. You can only feed them interlaced signals. Truthfully, unless you buy a really good progressive DVD player, such as one with the Faroudja chip, the deinterlacing chips in the Quad and CI will most likely be better. In other words, buy a more basic DVD player and feed it into the scaler."

Of course Sam, both these units, even with their ease of use, cost more than your proposed $600 PC.

HTH, VB

Hi Sam, Jason, at the AVS store had this to say about the CI & Quadscan scalers.


"Between the CI and the Quad: both are great units. They each are different though. The CI is a bit more stable, and has more, but different inputs. It has 1 composite, 1 s-video, 1 component, and 1 RGB passthrough. The Quad has 2 inputs of which you have your choice of type, and 1 RGB passthrough. The Quadscan is a bit less expensive too."


"Keep in mind, that if you are going to use a progressive DVD player, neither the CI nor the Quad will accept the progressive signal from it. You can only feed them interlaced signals. Truthfully, unless you buy a really good progressive DVD player, such as one with the Faroudja chip, the deinterlacing chips in the Quad and CI will most likely be better. In other words, buy a more basic DVD player and feed it into the scaler."


Of course Sam, both these units, even though they're easier to use, cost more than your proposed $600 PC.

HTH, VB
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Frode, I just re-read your write-up. Thanks!


Do you know if external scalers would suffer from the same Macrovision problems as dscaler does when using an external DVD player? I'd really prefer not to use a software based DVD player if possible.


Thanks,

Sam
 

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A good HTPC will most likely yield the best picture. Part of the reason is that the DVD can be scaled in the digital domain. A scaler cannot do this unless it is equipped with an SDI input and your DVD is equipped with an SDI output.

Keep in mind that there are a lot a video and audio cards out there that are not really designed for DVD playback, and thus will yield inferior performance. In other words, depending on your PC components, you may get a better picture, and you may not (when compared to a scaler or progressive DVD).


Thanks!


------------------

Jason Turk

AV Science, Inc.
http://www.avscience.com

716-454-1460 ext.204

[email protected]
 

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Sam,


I have no idea how macrovision affects an external scaler. As for dScaler on the HTPC there are tweaks to reduce macrovision trouble, but in my experience dScaler is not an alternative to a software player. A software player gives you a much better picture for film source DVDs - sharper, better colors, contrast (not to mention noise) etc. Of course for other sources like satelite then dScaler is definetly something you want to look into. There are plenty of pros and cons for HTPCs, but the rule basically goes that if you have a configured dedicated HTPC then it can give you the best picture quality - with stability not being a problem. If people keep messing with their HTPC too much then eventually they'll crash of course, but if they just leave it alone and only use it for standard HTPC apps such as dScaler and DVD playback then there shouldn't be any problems.


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/frode
 
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