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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I have the 5002 Video card installed and did some basic viewing today to garner first impressions. My setup: Pioneer 503cmx w/5002 video card, Panny RP91 DVD Player(progressive through component input 2), RCA UltimateTV DirecTV receiver(through SVideo input 3).


The video performance with anamorphic DVD was stunning. With standard DVD there were artifacts, some jerkiness, and an overall grainy look.


With Satellite it was really poor quality. 4:3 was ok, but zooming or trying to use the fullscreen options just made the PQ unbearable.


So here are my questions/issues:


1. What is the best setting for anamorphic DVDs in video mode? Toy Story looked great in FULL mode, but Field of Dreams looked stretched horizontally in FULL. The book says FULL is the right setting, but it did not seem right for all DVDs.


2. Didn't I read somewhere that the system locks into one mode when receiving progressive input? I have not experienced that with the 503.


2. Does the iScan Pro really make a significant improvement in Sat TV pq over the internal scaler on the Pio? Even in 4:3 mode it is almost unwatchable. I'm particularly concerned about watching SDTV football broadcasts. Do I have to shell out the big bucks for the Faroudja?


OK, maybe a little buyer's remorse (especially when my Panny 42" arrived today from Dell, despite cancelling over a week agao, and I had to reject it!), but overall I think this is going to be a great display. I'm sure it just needs some tweaking.


Any help is greatly appreciated.


Greg
 

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I have never seen the 503, so please take that disclaimer to heart for the following:


DirecTV's picture quality today is horrendous. It is as soft as the Pillsbury Doughboy's midsection and as artifact-filled as a King Tut exhibition at the Met.


If you want it to be better, you need to wait until the new bird flies and is online (January is the target, February is possible tho).


I don't think the iScan is gonna be a lot better than the internal deinterlacer for this, but it might. Do a try then buy with a helpful dealer. The Sony DRC in their projection sets adds a whole new set of artifacts to the DirecTV picture right now that make it completely unwatchable to me (my brother has a new 61" set and I was blown away by how bad it looked).


I would wait on the Faroudja until the new bird is up for sure. I would consider these options first:


* Do nothing and suck it up

* Try the iScan with a money-back guarantee

* Try an HTPC running dScaler (pain in the neck, perhaps, but a lot cheaper than a Faroudja and possibly better)


Mark
 

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the component shouldn't lock-in per se. the lock-in happens on the VGA 15pin analog input and the DVI input. those are the only inputs that really know about native rate. when you feed it NR it'll lock into dot-by-dot mode.


i tested the component, and never got it to lock into dot-by-dot mode no matter what i told the dvd player to feed it. this makes sense, since that's not a pixellized input, and something like VGA or DVI is.


enjoy!


doody.
 

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Greg, I doubt that you would see too much difference with the Iscan Pro. My experience is that the internal scaler in a set has to be pretty bad to benefit from it. The bottom line is GIGO with OTA and Satelite, don't expect too much from them especially when comparing to DVD.
 

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with all due respect, i beg to differ with free a bit on that one.


i'd follow rogo's advice and get a returnable iscan to test. the more i play with it, the more i think the internal stuff on the pioneer is, at best, "nothing special". maybe i'm just spoiled 'cuz i'm feeding it NR via DVI, but all the video feeds i give it, regardless of input, pale in comparison.


ymmv, of course. but if you can return it, it's worth a try - and you can educate the rest of us!


doody.
 

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Got a call from the freight company that they want to deliver my 503 this morning (they actually wanted to do it yesterday late afternoon but I just couldn't arrange this). Greg's comments are a bit disturbing (I wish I hadn't read them right after I got the call :) - but I guess the 503 can't really be blamed for much of the less than ideal images....


The freight outfit says they are delivering two boxes. Is one the 5002 card or feet or something? Any tips on uncrating the thing? Finally, any warnings on setting it up? Do grey bars come up automatically to prevent burn-in on non-wide images? I'm only going to feed it with a PC/ Geforce MX400 Analog card at first (this card shows 1280x768 as an option - so I figure I'll start with that machine as a testbed). I've held off getting a Progressive DVD player, new DTS receiver, and HDTV OTA receiver until I'm sure I don't want to just use an HTPC for all functions thru a new Radeon or Geforce 3 DVI card Basically I'm waiting for Doody, PKamp and others here to blaze some more trails...but the pressure will be on (I'm sure) once I set the unit up. PlasMAN
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Plasman brings up some very good questions. The bottom line here is that there are those of us who are extreme plasmaphiles on limited budgets. As such, we can't afford every high-tech piece of processing gear to tweak the ultimate performance out of our Plasmas.


To answer a couple of tour questions, PM:


1. The gray bars come up automatically when you go tto 4:3 display. In all fairness to Pioneer, the picture in 4:3 is not bad, considering the signal I get from DirecTV was already a little sketchy on my 32" Direct View TV. When you zoom to get rid of the bars, the picture gets pretty distorted, but I think it's kind of like enlarging a JPG image until it starts to blur.


2. The feet come in the box with the Plasma. The 5002 card is separate.


3. Be careful if you use the feet. They have little glued-on pads on the insteps to snugly grab the Plasma, but if you aren't careful they will rub away exposing the plasma frame to sticky gunk (and yes, I speak from experience.)


4. They say to run a full screen signal through it for a few hours to warm up everything. I would stay away from anything with a fixed display for a couple of days. I removed a DVD from my RP91, and the standard blue screen it projects (with the big DVD logo) stays static while you change discs. I left it up for a few minutes, then when I turned it off the blank screen clearly showed the logo. I freaked, thinking I had accidentally burned it in, but running full screen images for a few minutes made it go away. Still, I'm very wary of static images and logos/bugs.


Doody, are you feeding the NR a satellite signal as well? How is that working? What is your viewing distance? What video setting do you use for most DVDs?


I may give the iscan a try. If I do, I'll report back my findings.


Greg
 

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greg:


i had a similar "freak-out" experience with windows icons and toolbars burned into the screen from my futzing around. for those of you who haven't freaked yet there is "burn in" and there is "BURN IN". the former is temporary - it'll go away with use. the latter is to be avoided ;). and, no, i don't know the distinction except to say i KNOW it!


my viewing distance is about 8 feet when i'm futzing around and about 14/15' when i'm sitting back and watching.


i haven't used satellite as a critical test. the htpc i'm using right now is a hack-up. the final one (with video in) is being built. so i'm only testing DVD. the set is not finally installed yet for family usage. just geek usage!


not sure about your q re: "what video setting" for DVDs. everything is dot-by-dot since i'm feeding DVI. avia setup showed factory presets pretty much spot-on.


doody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Doody,


When you start feeding component in, you get the screen size options, FULL, WIDE, ZOOM, and 4:3.


Full is supposed to be for 16X9 viewing, but in this mode some DVDs thru my RP91 look stretched and squat.


If you are feeding the PC signal, then you will not experience this. Some of the DVD's I've viewed look great, but some do not look good at all. My viewing distance is only 9-10 feet, so that may be one reason.


Greg
 

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My 503 works great with S-video. I thought component input via input 2 would be an improvement. Instead, if the input is set to RGB I get only get a green picture. If set to component, black and white. The wires and output (Denon AVR5800) are Y, CR and CB. The go to the 503 as G, R & B, respectively. I'm somewhat new at this, never used component connections before. Did I screw up???
 

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A huge private delivery truck showed up that couldn't make it easily up my long driveway. I drove the pickup down to meet it. Slid the skid directly into the pickup using his lowered ramp - smooth as silk. Zero effort. No box damage. I'll uncrate later.


chewitt - sounds like you did things right. No idea why you are in black and white if you set your 503 menu to component. You sure you are not watching Gone with the Wind :)
 

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The carton for the 503 is so big that when it arrived my wife thought I had purchased the 60" Marantz that we had seen in Harvey's NYC. She assumed bigger is better in men's toys.


It was easy to unpack but I had some trouble aligning the bolts and screw holes for the feet. Also, I had to run out and buy a 6mm hex wrench to tighten them. Annoying to buy something that wont be used again. Fortunately the card slot protector came out with a philips screw driver, not the 10T Torx wrench that ericbee needed for the Pro1000.


Anyone know why my input 2 component connection is only black and white. If you make a mistake with the wires (which is possible because it is hard for me to get at them) could that be the result?
 

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Chewitt, the black and white picture sounds exactly like you just switched one of the inputs, I have done it myself before. If it is to hard to get to the back of the plasma now just switch them around on your DVD player (Someone please correct me if this might cause damage) I have done this before also and it didn't hurt but no guarantee (disclaimer).


Plasman, Great picture of the box in your truck. When mine arrived the white CMX sticker had fallen down into the bottom cardboard and I almost had a heart attack when I saw what was underneath.


Doody and Greg, I could be wrong about the Iscan and it is worth a try. I don't think you can compare an Iscan to a NR especially through DVI!! I have tried my Iscan Pro on many different sets and it has provided minimal improvement and some quirkyness. I have had better results spending time working on my reception. I finally found a use for the Iscan when I got my Seleco Projector. Boy that thing has a hideous internal processing!
 

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It says 502MX. When I saw the 502 I instantly thought that I got a great deal because it was last years model! :eek: Fortunately I saw that the white sticker had fallen down, but I almost told the shipper to take it back. :eek:
 

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Tried different combinations of the 3 inputs. Either no picture or black and white. Bad cable maybe? The cable was $64 at J&R. Is there a not very expensive component to vga adapter? Maybe it's the input, which is actually designed for 5 bnc plugs.
 

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chewitt- input 2 can certainly work with 3 wire component video from a Denon DVD- it has to be bad/loose/misconnected cabling or menu setting for that input/or output setting on Denon


sometimes BNC connectors are not secured
 

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Ditto what Mark said. Check to see if your BNC to RCA adaptor is screwed down all the way. It should work fine. If not try another cable, you could have a bad one.
 

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You want trail blazing? Ok... here I go...


First, I just used a flat head driver that was the same size as the torx they want you to buy to put the feet on.... worked perfectly. I have mine set on two vertically standing cinder blocks on top of my desk with a safety ancor into a stud with a strap holding it firmly at the top to earthquake-proof it. I sit 5 - 6.5 feet away (depending on how far I am reclined in my overstuffed lazyboy). I have the keyboard comfortably in my lap so I could type 16 hours straight with no discomfort (well, if you paid me enough:D). Same with my mouse, it is on a stand at the same height as the recliner arm... my wrist and whole arm is supported the whole distance with no strain whatsoever. I can't believe the strain I feel after just 5 minutes at a normal "workstation". People could be working all over the world in complete comfort.... sigh :rolleyes:


Next, DVDs as well as my windows desktop are just stunning. I can only compare it to my $1700 21" Sony F500 monitor. The sharpness is just as good and the contrast and colors are even BETTER. The only thing is the blacks aren't as black... but either I am getting used to them or they are looking better and better as time goes on:cool:


I was dissapointed when I first looked at the display because I wasn't in native 1280x768. But when I "went native" and it locked into fullscreen dot to dot... Kowabunga -Good Golly Miss Molly!! As I scrolled through my favorite fullscreen proscanned photos from around the world and outer space, I saw my 17 year old son's jaw on the floor (there was still a little room down there next to mine). :D >>> Pioneer 503 $8400.... son's expression .... PRICELESS!! ... a real bargain if you ask me.


I use the display in mode2 to cut the brightness down when I use it like now, for surfing, email and gaming where somethings are static (crosshairs, health displays, etc)... then I crank it up for DVDs (with contrast at about +24) with normal mode and maybe -3 brightness.... depends on the DVD. If I'm looking at photos I reset to defaults... let your eyes be the judge.


Still can't get HDTV from my AccessDTV in anything other than 480p in the setup... setting to 720p or 1080i give me a black screen with the message "out of scan rate 33.7/60khz". The full screen output bypasses my video card and comes directly from the tunercard and each resolution is at a different refresh rate. I am hoping that when I install the 5200 card (which has more rates supported) I will have no problem. :mad:


I am using static images for up to an hour at a time now (under the lower brightness mode2) with only temp. burn-in. Freaked me the first time I saw it. It burnt in within a minute or so from my desktop but I read that this is normal and refreshes very quickly. BTW... no dead pixels that I have noticed yet. Feel free to email and call me and we'll compare notes... -Paul
 
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