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Discussion Starter #1
looking for some sage advice on this topic.


i'm using an htpc to scale to NR for my pio PDP.


i am a DISH user and am getting setup for their HDTV. they broadcast apparently in 720p or 1080i, depending upon the source material.


one of the problems with using an HTPC to scale is that it's not always easy to get a lot of different signals into the HTPC. one glance at the pics of the back of ericbee's Leeza and i start to drool :)


i received one piece of advice that i think is specious, which was to route HDTV sources directly into the PDP. this from an HTPC guy, not a PDP geek. that smells like potentially fine advice for an analog device, but not so great advice for a pixellated device you can run at NR. in this situation i'd run VGA RGB D-sub 15 from the receiver to the PDP (INPUT1).


my alternative is to run the HDTV signal through my A/V switcher and then it'll hit the HTPC no problemo. the problem is that i'll have to convert Component or 15pin VGA RGB into S-Video (switcher only takes S and Composite). it's hard/expensive to get VGA/RGB/15pin or Component into the HTPC. on second thought, can you even convert a 720p or 1080i signal to SVideo - probably not without some hardware.


i'm somewhat clueless. any advice appreciated.


doody.
 

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Quote:
i received one piece of advice that i think is specious, which was to route HDTV sources directly into the PDP.
Maybe it's not such a bad idea. Looking at the Leeza description, it looks like it just does a passthrough of HDTV signals and doesn't scale them or convert them to DVI. That being the case, there is no reason to run it through the Leeza at all unless you want to switch more than one HDTV source. You are still going to have to switch inputs on the display if you are running the SDTV stuff in with DVI. Ericbee, have I got that right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
void: bitstream out - run to a surround processor.

ericbee: so what aspect ration do you watch 720 in? does it lock and force widescreen mode? does it stretch it?


and what about 1080i? wouldn't you rather the Leeza did the math down to 768 than the pio internals?


doody.
 

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re the leeza: it simply bypasses HD, 480p, 720p and 1080i and will only process SD interlaced signals. the leeza does allow for three HD inputs, so it will switch them, but they can only be output as analog via rgb-5bnc or rgb/vga or possibly component. only scaled output is available via the dvi connections.


it would be a better path if even the bypassed inputs could be sent out via dvi, but that does not seem to be the case. I am not even sure the plas could process HD input via dvi anyway, although i think i saw a post saying the dual-link dvi had the capacity.


as far as i know, only the vig can process HD and progressive.


doody: ot, but what is the difference b/w the radeon 8500 and 8500DV?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
jlm: the DV just means it has extra features to deal with video i/o stuffs. i think it might come with some extra software. the actual guts are identical. i decided not to wait for it since i get video in elsewise (osprey/dscaler) and only care about DVI out.


the issue of single -vs- dual link DVI isn't really the problem. the rate limiter is the PDP resolution. the DVI cable doesn't need to haul 1080p to the PDP - it only needs to haul native rate. unless my math is wrong, their is no PDP being mass-manufactured that can't operate on a single TDMS channel with plenty of room to spare.


now that we have an SDI in card on the pc, as soon as the powers that be are hacking DISH 6000 boxes to do SDI out (give 'em another couple of months) we should be able to route directly into the scaler for proper NR scaled output. my fingers are crossed.


fyi - i just did the final spec on my final HTPC. my guy thinks the GeForce3 looks better on his DILA than the 8500. i'm gonna sitck with the 8500 though - i already bought it, and i couldn't tell the diff b/w the two cards - though i wasn't able to critically compare side-by-side obviously. the 8500 supports many more resolutions out of the box (including 1280x768) than the GeForce3 cards seem to. though you'll still want to run Powerstrip to do any tweakings.


doody.
 

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doody,


You get that the SDI out for the DirecTV/Dish boxes is 480i only right? It is not gonna help w/HD signals.


Plus, HTPCs are a really poor choice for scaling and such, I think, since dScaler is also solely for 480i sources.


If you want to scale 720p or 1080i, I see no leverage in using the PC as things currently stand. I would feed them straight into the plasma and see how the internal scalers do. For 480i, it's a different story altogether, as you note.


I am seeking a modded DirecTivo w/SDI and the SDI input board for my HTPC, which I'll also use for DVDs.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
rogo:


(a) there is no such thing as an SDI out of a DISH box as far as i know. it's conjecture at this point. do you have data to suggest otherwise?


(b) how can you make such a broad statement that HTPCs are bad for scaling? this is untrue, and more and more "standard" scalers are hitting the market that are simply simplified PCs. it's just math. the algorithms are published (some are protected, admittedly) - it's just math.


(c) dScaler is kind of a misnamed product. its specialties are de-interlacing, and pulldown. not scaling per se. those things, as i understand it, are mostly left to the video card hardware and drivers and powerstrip.


(d) i agree that 720 is probably best served direct.


(e) at some point i will test 1080. i may very well be wrong, but my hunch is that the electronics in the new pioneer units will be bested by a downconverting pc. but i may very well be wrong.


doody.
 

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doody:


(a) It is conjecture, but it will be for 480i only. Tom Strade of Immersive is working on DirecTV boxes right now. Apparently the bandwidth required for HD is too much for what is practical now. The mods are being developed right now -- for 480i (or 480p on DVD players). No one is developing HD-to-SDI mods that I am aware of.


(b) I meant that they are bad for scaling HD. They are great for scaling 480i. That's what they are being used for primarily. Few are really using them to scale HD, because they aren't good at it right now.


(c) Right, it's dScaler + Radeon/geForce + Powerstrip to handle deinterlacing and scaling. It's a fabulous combo.


(d) Nothing to add.


(e) My hunch is that they won't be bested by the PC. There is simply no PC hardware or software whose purpose in life is to do a good job downconverting 1080i. I am not even clear how you are getting 1080i into your PC. If it's over-the-air ATSC, I can see you doing it with one of the AccessDTV/HiPix-type solutions. Otherwise, what is going to handle the input from a Dish box? What is your planned hardware/software solution?


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #11
no planned solution yet, rogo. still waiting it out. just conjecturing.


doody.
 

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np, doody...


I was just trying to emphasize the point about HD-over-SDI not even being on anyone's radar screen yet.


As for the rest, I am going HTPC ASAP.... :)


Mark
 
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