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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. Just wanted to get some help here. I have a computer that I am planning to use as a HTPC to connect to a Barco Graphics 808S. The current config is:


Gateway Intel P4, 1900Mhz running WIN98SE

100MHz external bus, 512MB RAM

Video card - NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX 400

80MB HD, HITACHI DVD-ROM GD-8000

Creative Sound Blaster AudioPCI 128D


I want to connect the computer to the projector so that I can use it as a scaler, and also to get the right aspect ratio for my DVD movies. I would like to get the best resolution possible for my projector. Also, I want to connect the computer to get sound to my receiver that has a built in 7.1 decoder.


How do I do this (if it is possible with the computer whose config is listed above)? What software will I need, and what settings should I use. I have windvd on my PC now.

Thanks and I look forward to any help you can provide.
 

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Hi -


You'll have better luck asking this question on the HTPC forum, but, in terms of specifics regarding the Barco and any HTPC, it is mainly a question of appropriate output on the HTPC and input on the Barco.


If the 808S is like most Barcos, it requires negative sync on its RGBHV inputs (input 5, most likely) via 5 BNC cables. That means you need a breakout cable from the PC to the PJ, and need Powerstrip software to set sync to negative.


If there's a 9-pin port (input 3) on the Barco, it will accept pos or neg sync, but you'd need a 15-pin to 9-pin cable that has the appropriate Barco pinout.


- Pat
 

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should work out fairly decent..


i'd recommend switching video boards though, preferably to a radeon 9500 or higher (the 9500 and up have hardware overlay, big speed increase on DiVX processing, and the ati cards generally have a cleaner vga output)


not quite sure about the soundcard I must say. If at all possible, try to go full digital (S/PDIF) between your PC and amplifier. If you can do it, you'll end up with a better overall config - analog output of PC soundcards is generally quite poor. with s/pdif, you can route all five or six channels through a single fibre optic cable into the amp, and you wont have any D/A conversion quality issues from the poor quality DACs on a PC soundboard. they tend to kill and/or warp bass. Bass is important because it's what shakes the room when that big bomb goes off on your favorite action movie ;)


plus, it's less cables :D
 

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You should do some upgrade :)


Hardware side :

1. Replace your VGA card with ATI card

2. Get M-Audio card


Software side :

1. Upgrade your OS to WIN XP

2. Theatertek / ZoomPlayer for DVD playback

3. Powerstrip for custom resolution

4. ffdshow for postprocessing DVD playback (optional)
 

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If you check N*egg, you can find a Radeon 7K (sapphire) for $32. The best part is that it is one of the few ATi cards that are convertible to low profile (though the mAudio card is most definitely full size...). You also may want to add either a TV tuner or HD tuner to the set-up as well (look for BT878 based cards...).


Later,

Bill
 

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ditto, ati card 9xxx and up, digital out for audio even if just the soundblaster but it must pass DD and DTS, and xp as the OS.


Without these upgrades you can't scale anything as well, hear things as well, or acheive the detail the rest of us can and the differences are significant.


It will work though, and it is worth using as is if you can't upgrade now....


Obvisouly you need a good sound system also, so if your're on a sparkomatic or Yorx or even sony, panasonic, bose, pioneer (non elite) you'll need an upgrade there too... It all depends on how good you want to get things. None of this has to be done all at once, almost all of us started where you are and worked our way up and there's no shame in starting with whatever you've got.


Keep in mind these suggestions are from some picky people, myself included, so even as is you will be enjoying it nonetheless.


TRoy
 

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If you go the HD route, you will also want to get a bigger hard drive (maybe multiple). HD-PVR will chew up hard drive space faster than a 12 year old at a KaZaA convention! :D


Later,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First of all, let me thank you all for the replies. This is a truly wonderful forum where folks are very helpful.. If only the rest of the world were like this!

Now, onto business....


(1) I have decided to get a better video card. Which is better? Radeon 9800 or the 9800Pro? What is so different abt the pro (ummm, besides price)? Currently, I am outputing the pic from the DVD rom in the PC to the BARCO using a 15pin to 5BNC cable, without any processing using the computer's normal video setting. The image is pretty good, but I am sure that it can be improved very much more, given all the good things I read abt the BARCO graphics 808S. I am looking to y'all to help me on this please.


(2)As to the sound, I want quality sound and so, can we avoid having the sound go to the PC in the first place? Specifically, is there any DVD rom drive that does the sound pass-thru without processing thru the PC? My dolby7.1 receiver has good processing ability and power and I was hoping to get a dvd rom drive that had a direct sound passthru (if such a thing exists).


Alternately, which is a sound card that allows optical output passthru to the receiver so that the receiver does the audio decoding?


Once I get the video and audio taken care of, I will then work on getting the software taken care of. Is that a sound strategy, or should I buy the hardware taking into account the software that I should use?


Sorry for troubling all of you... but I am lost and would appreciate receiving the wisdom of the group. Sorry for this long post.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DocNyr
First of all, let me thank you all for the replies. This is a truly wonderful forum where folks are very helpful.. If only the rest of the world were like this!

Now, onto business....


(1) I have decided to get a better video card. Which is better? Radeon 9800 or the 9800Pro?
[/quote]

]I'm suggesting you take the 9500 if you not into gaming.

Adding the MP-1 mod to the card is also worth the money, you will have 5 BNC output (true 75 ohm)


(2)As to the sound, I want quality sound and so, can we avoid having the sound go to the PC in the first place? Specifically, is there any DVD rom drive that does the sound pass-thru without processing thru the PC? My dolby7.1 receiver has good processing ability and power and I was hoping to get a dvd rom drive that had a direct sound passthru (if such a thing exists).
[/quote]
I believe that you must pass the sound through the PC.


Alternately, which is a sound card that allows optical output passthru to the receiver so that the receiver does the audio decoding?
[/quote]

]M-Audio cards : Delta or Revo series.a
 

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The M-Audio Revo does not have an optical connector, it uses an RCA connector for digital coax instead. So be sure your receiver has a digital coax input free.


I second the 9500 (non-pro) with an MP-1 mod. This is money very well spent, as it does improve on the image significantly.


I think the BG808s is able to take a positive sync signal, but PowerStrip is a very useful tool. :)


The software you use would all use the same hardware, so get your hardware installed, and then the software can come. Different drivers may get used for different applications, so you may need to sort that mess out, but for any software I think we would all recommend the 9500 (nonpro), MP-1 modification, M-Audio Revo (Revolution 7.1) or Delta series cards.
 

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Actually, I would say that if he wants to save a few $$, a 7K series Radeon would be a better fit. The 7000 and 7500 differ in only a few details, but the GPU core is the same for both. The 9200 uses the 7K core as well, but has some of the features disabled (if I'm remembering correctly), so it is an inferior card but with a higher model number. The 9500 is a newer core, but is probably more than you need since it uses the same iDCT and DAC circuitry as the original Radeons.


The only comparable Nvidia card to the Radeon's is the GF4MX. It actually has hardware iDCT (DVD decoder), and better DACs. However, ATi is the far more well-trodden path.


Later,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Once again thanks for the feedback and input.

I am somewhat at a loss here...

First, what is the MP-1 mod? i dont have a clue abt this.

Is it an after market board or something that I need to solder onto the Radeon 9500 or 7500?

Why wont these cards work on their own without this mod?

Thanks
 

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Doc,


You don't need an mp-1 mod, it's Mike Parkers hand modified radeon... For the person that wants to eek the last little bit of performance out of these cards.

They work totally fine on their own.

Troy
 

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Troy's right. I myself find a few other advantages to the MP-1 that made it worth the price (to me): BNC outputs on the back of the HTPC (no more HD15 -> 5 BNC breakout cable), and higher line voltage, allowing for a longer video cable with less signal loss of a longer run. A stock PC video card has a hard time driving 30' of RG6 coax, and these industrial projectors are used to a slightly higher line voltage than what a PC card outputs. The MP-1 boosts that voltage up letting me drive 30' of coax without the need for an external Extron amplifier box.


Unless you get into a long video feed between the HTPC and the projector, you can easily live without an MP-1. :) If you do want a long feed, try an Extron box, they go on Ebay for a few hundred dollars. Me, I chose to spend an extra hundred (over the cost of the Extron on Ebay) and get the MP-1. I found it money well spent. :D
 
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