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OK, folks, please be gentle, I'm a newbie.


I've been using my VT440 for a few weeks now. I got it mainly to present websites in a business environment, but would also like to use it for HT http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


When I plug it into my VCR via S-video and play a cassette, the quality of the projection is quite variable. But in most cases, the image is greatly deteriorated by square-shaped artifacts or blurring. Now there are three possibilites:

1. This machine is really bad for HT

2. I'm doing something very wrong

3. There's additional equipment or techniques I don't know about.


Now, before you all get out the blowtorches, I *have* hunted around the forums for quite some time before posting this, but I just can't find any basic explanation. Could any of you please take the time and explain what I should do? Or give me a few URL's where I can read about what I should do?


Thanks!!
 

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I currently use the VT540, the XGA version of that same projector - I think you made a good choice for home theater, at least for DVD playback. For HDTV, the XGA version would be a better choice. However, you have made a particularly poor choice of video source material. Good DVD players are today no more expensive than good VCRs, so plan on getting one. Before you do so, consider the various options for interfacing your projector, in order of preference:


1) Best: Get an HTPC (Home Theater PC, AVS the Forum sponsor makes a good one) and play DVDs using a DVD-ROM drive and a software player through the VGA connection at the native SVGA resolution of your projector.

2) Good: Get a conventional interlaced DVD player and an external line doubler/scaler that will drive your projector at native SVGA resolution through the component video input of your projector.

3) OK: Get a progressive-scan DVD player and drive the projector through the component video inputs of the projector at 480p (it will scale to native SVGA internally).

4) Worst: Drive the projector with an interlaced DVD player or VHS through an interlaced S-video input and depend upon the internal line doubler/scaler to process the image.


Unfortunately you made choice #4. I use and reccomend option #1, if you can manage or are willing to learn to manage a HTPC - the "Home Theater Computer" forum here is the best source of info for that. In addition to DVDs, I do a little gaming and quite a lot of analog TV viewing, using the "DScaler" software written by members of this Forum, and my analog cable signal, through a TV tuner card in the PC. I am currently experimenting with PVR software which will allow me to timeshift TV programming to the hard disk as would a TiVo or ReplayTV box.


The HTPC is the best choice for what is fundamentally a projector optimized for business presentations which utilize a PC - that's why the PC input is the highest quality option.


Gary

 

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Discussion Starter #3
*Many* thanks, Gary, for such an informative response!


< 1) Best: Get an HTPC ... >


I'm going to be upgrading my 3-year old laptop pretty soon. If I get a DVD-player on that, will it be sufficient to serve as HTPC (with the appropriate software, of course), or will it be missing certain components?


Many thanks again!!


Loup
 

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Laptops have recently become usable as HTPCs - but I would urge caution, as the guts of a laptop (primarily the video and sound outputs) can't be upgraded seperately - so any incompatibilities exist for the lifetime of the machine. It is the digital sound part that is very difficult - but it just isn't true home theater without surround sound. Not to mention, the only TV tuner you could add would be a USB model - probably not usable on the VGA output to the projector, and there may never be USB HDTV tuners, which already exist for conventional PCs.


I've hung on to my old Toshiba laptop while pouring money into HTPC, projector, and digital receiver and speakers - different choices for different priorities.


Gary
 

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So, if I undestand right, my new laptop will run the projector ok, but it's the sound that wouldn't be up to par? The image quality will be the same as with a DVD player?
 

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Most laptops have VGA outputs for use with external monitors, and these will indeed drive a projector. The video chip used on the motherboard and it's compatibility with various DVD player software is uncertain.


Few laptops have digital sound output and most such outputs would only be usable for CD audio, not encrypted DVD sound. It is virtually certain that only analog stereo sound would be available from a laptop.


A dedicated desktop HTPC would be your best alternative. Check the FAQs for information.


Gary

 
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