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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to run my Panny (coming soon) from my HTPC through the VGA connector at its native resolution of 1366 x 768. I will be trying PowerStrip first as so many AVS members recommend it. Does the TH-50PHD5UY run well at the 1366 x 768 resolution from a HTPC? Will it run at a vertical frequency greater than 60Hz at the 1366 x 768 resolution?


If the panel does not display a signal at 70Hz I guess I will know it is not going to work. However if the panel does display the signal at 70Hz is this going to damage the electronics over time? I just hate running my computer monitors at less than 70Hz, the flicker really bothers me.


The Operating Instructions state that the panel supports 1280 x 1024 @ 85Hz and 1600 x 1200 @ 60Hz but it does not talk about 1366 x 768!
 

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Without PowerStip, you can run at 1360x768 and adjust the display until you get "snap in". i.e. Physical pixels are matched with THPC's output pixels with no scaling. Looks great.


You can use PowerStrip to get 1366x768 easily too, but again you should calibrate screen to get 1:1 pixel match with no scaling.


The panel will display these modes at 60, 70, 75 or 85Hz.


Ah, the old rumour that running screens at higher refresh rates destroys them. Utter rubbish with CRTs, and probably the same with plasma; but I don't really know.


StooMonster
 

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SciFiJunkie:


Plasmas don't flicker, so it shoudl be a non-issue. The reason you get flicker on low refresh rates with CRT's is because they are scanning devices. Plasmas are fixed pixel devices and present a full screen of data at a time.


BTW: Before the forum police get after you, delete all the stuff in your sig. It takes up too much thread space and causes performance problems.
 

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StooMonster:


True, but the lower the refresh rate, the more FPS you get. Also, 16 bit vs 32 bit can make a big difference, depending on your computer and video card.
 

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Jim


Er, I beg to differ.


If your PC is outputing 100fps and your freshrate is 60Hz then you will only get 60fps, but with "tearing" assuming V-sync is off; but with V-sync on you will only get 60fps. Whereas if your PC is outputing 100fps and your freshrate is 100Hz, you get 100fps.


Unless you have a low spec GPU that can only output less fps than the freshrate, in which case a lower refresh rate may give you some performance boost; as will reducing colour depth; as will reducing resolution.


fps is king in frag-fests: I'd go for lower resolution and higher refreshrate therefore more fps.


StooMonster
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
StooMonster


Thanks for the reply. I take it by what you are saying, that I will be able to tell when the scaling algorithm "snaps in" to a 1 to 1 ratio with the 1360 x 768 or the 1366 x 768 pixels coming from the graphics card. Am I looking for really sharp letters and edges? How did you tell when the scaler was running 1 to 1 (no scaling)? I read several posts from others about this but it is difficult to understand without actually seeing it. I can make test patterns in Photoshop that have exact numbers of pixels.


Jim


I have never seen a plasma running from a PC source so I did not know they would not flicker. That is great. Maybe that is why the DVI settings available do not vary from 60Hz. There would be no point. Thanks for the info.
 

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SciFiJunkie,


I've just been down this road and Esben really helped me out to achieve the 'snap-in' moment with VGA. Basically you just display two images and adjust pos/size until 'rainbows' disappear, you'll know when youi get it right as it's highly visible. Then fonts etc. look excellent on the plasma, virtually no blurring whatsoever :D


Read this thread for all the info you need. Also, if you need the bitmaps let me know and I'll send them.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=196192
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PrivatePenguin


Thanks sooooo much. I have been reading this forum for months and searching all over for this stuff but I did not see this thread. Thanks again. I downloaded the bitmaps from the related Esben thread. I will let you know how it all works for me.


I have an old NVIDIA RIVA TNT video card on my PII home automation computer and it may have to be upgraded if it does not work with PowerStrip. I am way into digital photography and want my pictures to look as good as they can on my plasma.
 

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StooMonster:


This is obviously off topic for this thread, but interesting nonetheless. AFAIK, as you increase refresh rates, the demands on your video card increase (GPU and memory use) and so do the demands on your computer’s CPU and memory. A refresh rate of 60hz doesn’t mean 60FPS, nor does 100hz mean 100FPS. Everything in your system, including the game itself, contributes to overall performance and determines the FPS.


If you can point me to something which says I'm wrong, please do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PrivatePenguin


I see now. The bitmaps you created were for the 1360 x 768. Yes, I would like to have them. If you want, please just send them to my email. Thanks sooo much.


They did not want to deliver my Plasma in the ice storm. Can you imagine the gall? Well I was not taking no for an answer so I went to pick it up at the shipping yard. You should have seen us trying to put it into my suburban. It just fit.


So far, I have only run my DVD player through it but everything looks great.
 

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SkiFiJunkie,


Here are the images I used. I set the resolution to 1360x768 (@75Hz) then displayed these images in photoshop at 100% size full screen. Initially you will see 'rainbows' but adjusting the horizontal and vertical size/pos will eliminate them.


It sounds cold where you are...brrrr!


Noticed your A/V amp is the same as mine, the Denon 3802. I've only recently got it and use it as pre-amp to the Nad power amps. Very happy with it



Looking forward to hearing how the VGA image looks after the 'snap-in' moment!


Private Penguin

 

plasmacalibration.zip 5.83203125k . file
 

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Jim


Yes it is a bit off topic ... but none the less... ;)

The effect of changing refresh rate on a GPU is marginal compared to the effect of cropped the fps to match vertical refresh rate.


I shall try and clarify my example: what I mean when I say "PC is outputing 100fps" is that the combination of GPU, CPU, RAM, etc running a certain set of software (i.e. a game) could potentially output 100fps; as reported by the software in its FPS counter. But if you have refresh rate set at 60Hz, only 60 of those potential 100 frames will be displayed.


Even if changing vertical refresh-rate to 100Hz had a 10% impact on performance, you would still get 90fps at 100Hz; rather than 60fps at 60Hz.


e.g. #1: Unreal Tournament 2003 at 1024x768 @ 150Hz and on my hardware it delivers 95fps. If I drop down to 100Hz do I get any more fps? Only one or two, if that. If I drop to 85Hz, I lose 10fps. If I drop to 60Hz, I lose 35fps that would otherwise be displayed to me.


e.g. #2: Half-Life CounterStrike at it's maximum resolution, my PC can easily delivery 100fps (which is the limit for this game). If my vertical frequency is set to 100Hz, I see all of those frame displayed; if I set it to 60Hz, I only see 60% of the frames my hardware is capable of displaying. Therefore jerky and flickery picture, compared to the 100Hz one.


e.g. #3: Quake3 at medium resolution, my PC can deliver 250+ fps; but my monitor can only provide veritical refresh-rate of 150Hz therefore I only get 150fps.

V-sync is Key Driver


If your PC is capable of delivering fps greater than the vertical fresh rate then a key driver for visible frames displayed is v-sync on or off.


With v-sync on, (if fps is greater than Hz) then fps will equal Hz.


With v-sync off, (if fps is greater than Hz) then fps will be displayed, but "tearing" occurs.


"Tearing" is where you get more than one frame displayed in a vertical refresh, e.g. if PC can deliver 120fps, but monitor is set to 60Hz, there is a "tear" in the screen where two different halves of a frame are displayed. If PC is delivering 250fps and monitor is set to 60Hz there will be four "tears" in the screen. "Tears" are only noticeable where there is lots of directional motion, in a strategy game this would not be noticeable, but in a frag-fest it is immediately apparent.


If your PC is delivering fps less than the vertical fresh rate then reducing refresh rate may give you some more fps. V-sync will have no effect in this secario.

Experiment!

It's quite simple to try for oneself. Run some games, turn the fps counters on, change the refresh rates, try with V-sync on/off, draw conclusions from results.


However, if you run WinXP be aware that the OS defaults all games to 60Hz; which is why there is plethera of utilities to change to higher refresh rates (including the latest versions of nVidia's drivers) and newer games also let you set vertical frequency as well as resolution.


StooMonster
 

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StooMonster:


Thanks for the great explanation.


I have a 2.2Ghz P4 with a 64mb Geoforce 3 TI500 and have seen some pretty high frame rates. As you say, it seems the default refresh rate is 60hz. I do run WinXP, but have PowerStrip, so guess I can experiment with that.
 

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You could either use PowerStrip, or get yourself the latest nVidia drivers because they enable you to individually set vertical refresh rates for different resolutions to overcome this problem with WinXP. :D


And get an added benefit because nVidia claim a 25% performance improvement over previous versions. :)


StooMonster


PS: Getting back on topic, I am looking forward to playing these games on my Panasonic TH-50PHW5 at 1366x768 @ 85Hz. Although my lovely Sony FW900 monitor will take some beating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
PrivatePenguin


Thanks for the attachments. I am waiting on a 15' USB extension cable for my Gyration Ultra Cordless mouse and keyboard. My Home automation PC is going to be the HTPC as well. It is in the basement and the plasma is upstairs in the den home theater. I will be using a 25' SVGA cable to connect the plasma to it as well. I can not wait for the "snap in" moment!


How do you like the B&W LCR60 L3 center? I need a good center. Right know I use a cheep polk and It does not match my other B&Ws at all. I lost an ebay bid on the B&W HTM-1 last month and am still waiting for another one to show up.


I use my Denon 3802 for a preamp as well. Have you tried the component switching in it?
 

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SkiFiJunkie,


The B&W LCR60 L3 center is OK, although I do find it a little 'muffled' at times. In fact my fronts are rather poor compared to the rest of the system, trying to figure out what to go for on a tight budget.


To compliment your excellent 803's (green with envy) I would think something a little more upmarket, perhaps B&W HTM-1 (unlucky) or B&W CMC or CDM CNT. I bet the later would sound terrific.


Have yet to use componenet switching on the Denon. I have the Panasonic tuner and run DVD through it in progressive mode, Satellite via RGB SCART.


Looking forward to your results.
 
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