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Hey Guys,


The neverending newbie of AVS is here again to appeal to the Jedi's for a bit of training.


As I'm delving into the HTPC world, I have my MOBO and Processor here in box (Athlon 1.4g XP and the new Epox Ep-8KHA+ board) waiting for the Rackmount case and other components to arrive over the coming 2 weeks.


Now I'm beginning to plan for the software end of things. As a result, I downloaded YXY and played with it a bit on my desktop machine, and got the hang of it pretty well. It was a bit clumsy and not all that stable, but I think adding Girder with sending my keystrokes directly to it would probably work better than what I experienced.


However, now that I've seen the wonders of YXY, I'm wondering exactly what Powerstrip offers that YXY doesn't, and more specifically if Powerstrip would be useful in my situation at all, and if it could help me solve my specific problems...


I searched for a Powerstrip based intro/faq/for dummies type post and found little... so if this has been covered before- PLEASE point me in the right direction, I'm more than happy to read a hundred old threads if they contain info at a level I can grasp.


Specifically my situation is like this:

NEC LT150 Projector, native 1024x768 4:3 projector

Projecting onto a 1.78:1 screen that is 68 x 38.25

Will be using the Radeon VE 64mb DDR...


The NEC is a native 4:3 projector, 1024x768 native resolution. I'm using a 16x9 screen. I'm not using anamorphic lenses or anything like that. NEC doesn't offer any sqeeze that would allow 1024x768 anamorphic DVD to be squashed to proper aspect (at least not that I know of), so I will only use the "middle" 1024x576 area of the display.


From what I see on my normal screen on my desktop PC- a dvd software piece like Power DVD kinda handles anamorphic and non anamorhic the same way, when zoomed to fullscreen on a 4:3 monitor- non-anamorphic just puts it's bars above and below that is in the full screen video signal, anamorphic just has bars generated by the player, and 4:3 takes up the full screen.


For widescreen, The 1.85:1 area is taken up the same regardless of how it does it. It doesn't make anamorphic stretched to full screen, rather maintains proper aspect ratio.


I'm essentially looking for software that would:

• windowbox 4:3 material inside the 1024x576 used picture area (768x576??),

•zoom the middle of non-anamorphic DVD to 1024x576,

• as well as maximize anamorphic DVD to 1024x576.

I played with XYX and it worked to do all that- but not all that smooth of an interface. So my issue is how to make a 16x9 picture area work the best with a native 4:3 projector:


• The best thing would be if there was a way for the projector to get a 1240x768 feed from the computer, but have windows believe the desktop was 1024x576 so it would never use the top and bottom 96 lines for any reason, and would then maintain 4:3 aspect ratios inside that area (the only thing I would need then would be a zoom for non-anamorphic letterbox).


Also this would cause desktop applications to maximize to 1024x576 and keep all desktop icons in my screen's picture area. This would be a bit more to my liking as far and smothness of interface.


But I don't think anything can do that. Or can something do that? If not, what would be the preferred approach? I know I can build custom scalings in YXY, but it seems like a 16x9 desktop would be preferred. HOWEVER, I don't THINK I could send the NEC a 1024x576 image and have it stay letterboxed (i assume it would try to scale it to fullscreen if it recognized it at all). Would changing from square pixels have any use in this kind of situation?


• One other small wrench in the monkeyworks is that my projection setup isn't ideal... so I actually am not using the "middle" of the 1024x768 picture area- my image would actually have to be shifted up slightly, so it would essentially use the top portion of the 768 for the needed 576 pixels.


So a real perfect solution would be what I described above (Windows sees a 16x9 desktop but sends a 4:3 to the NEC) that would allow me to shift the "active" desktop pixels up a bit.


Again- I know I can do this on a 4x3 desktop with YXY for DVD playback- but obviously running windows this way would be far more elegant.



So can anyone clue me in on Powerstrip and what it offers, and if any of it would be useful to my situation. Does anyone understand my situation and have a suggestion of the best approach? Any other NEC LT-150 owners running HTPC and 16x9 screens and if so, how have you solved this problem? How about the new TheaterTek DVD player, can this solve the problems?


Thankfully, again, I know YXY can handle all the issues I'll have (custom windowboxing, zooming, and image position)-- but wondered if Powerstrip would be something I could consider to lock in a permanent desktop to solve these issues. I know it offers custom 16x9 resolutions (with some cards)- but I didn't know how the NEC would react (1024x576 is not a supported res, and I fear the effects of "accublend").


-Vince
 

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Hi,


For most people who are using 1024x768 on a 4:3 screen, the answer is rather simple! You are using a standard resolution: 1024x768 .... So PowerStrip isn't really needed. Since 1024x768 is already built into a default install of Windows, you typically don't need PowerStrip with an LT150.


PowerStrip is more useful for HDTV television set owners, and for owners of unusual resolution displays (such as DILA 1360x1024, Plasma 1366x768, etc.) PowerStrip is typically used by HTPC'ers as a custom computer resolution utility -- you can create custom timings and resolutions with it. This makes it possible to directly connect the VGA output of a PC to a HDTV television set, and treat a HDTV television set as a high resolution computer monitor, even though the HDTV television set was not originally designed to display computer graphics.


////////

HOWEVER...


PowerStrip can be useful to create a 1024x576 widescreen desktop using 1024x768 scanrates. Yes, it's most certainly possible. Just remember to increment either the vertical front/back porch by 1, for every 1 scanline you remove from the vertical resolution. That way, the scanrate remains compatible with 1024x768.


It goes along the lines:
  1. Go to 1024x768
  2. Go to PowerStrip timings screen
  3. Write down all settings, front porch, back porch, etc.
  4. Go to Custom Resolution entry screen.
  5. Enter all the data
  6. Select Lock Geometry
  7. Now decrease vertical resolution to 576
  8. Lock Geometry allows automatic incrementing of the vertical porches everytime you decrement the veritcal resolution.
  9. Apply the new resolution.


Then you should have a 1024x576 Windows desktop. Use the PowerStrip vertical picture position to top-align or bottom-align the image as needed.

Essentially, the PowerStrip utility creates a 1024x576 resolution that should be compatible with 1024x768 displays .... This is because the missing scanlines are replaced with black filler scanlines .... So the resolution still looks like 1024x768 to the projector, even though Windows is using up only 1024x576.
 

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Hi Mark,


Does that mean I could have a 800 x 450 Windows desktop on my Davis DLS8, instead of the 4:3 version I'm getting now?


I'm using YXY which is fine for putting images where I need them on my 16:9 screen, but would Powerstrip make this easier, and YXY redundant?


I take it PS moves the Windows screen up (or down) and replaces the scan lines under the Windows task bar so that you still get 800 x600, but the top of the Windows desktop is now above the top of the projected image. Is that right?



Cheers.


Gary.
 
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