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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, I tried an experiment with a 503CMX in an effort to narrow down an annoying problem with an NRS, which is posted in the Video Processor forum. I pulled the PDA 5002 video card and tried the NRS through input 1 (VGA) and it worked normally.


I was always under the impression that the video card was mandatory, except for connecting PC's. Pioneer's documentation certainly implies that this is the case.


So, for anyone out there contemplating using a 503 with only a scaler connected to the VGA input, it seems you don't need the video card. Of course, if you want to connect other devices, such as a DVD player or satellite receiver to input 2 via component, you do need the card.
 

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Ok, so you are confirming what I posted the other day...there is no need for the card if one is only using input #1 and 2. Is it your experience that this must require a scaler? Pioneer told me that the card does not affect input 1 and 2 at all.


Given that it has been reported on this forum and otherwise, that the Pio 503CMX does not have the best internal scaler, I had assumed I would want an external scaler. I had hoped to save the $500 or so on the card and apply this to the price of a scaler. Your post would seem to confirm/endorse this. One can always use the extra inputs on a scaler instead of the ports on the card, i.e. s-video etc.


Again, are you sure that a scaler is required for Component and/or RGB video input via connections #1 and 2?


Thanks for your fieldwork!


-Caleb
 

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Take care when extrapolating from this result.


If the NRS is producing a signal in the frequency range used by a PC for a standard PC resolution, which since it is using the native rate is quite likely then I would have expected it to work just fine.


If a device does not produce a PC type signal then you will need the board.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ccclapp:


In my post, I said that you need the card if you want to use component devices, such as a DVD player, connected to input 2. This is necessary because the Pioneer will not handle a component signal without the card. This is true, even if you don't use any of the card's connectors.


Hope this makes it a bit clearer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mark:


IMO, your statement is correct. The device on input 1 must produce a PC signal which is within the range accepted by the Pioneer.


What I was trying to convey, perhaps not very well, is that anyone who's interested in using ONLY a scaler running at a PC frequency, doesn't need the video card. It’s a moot point for people who don’t have a scaler and want to connect component, S-Video, composite, or DVI devices, which make the card mandatory.
 

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Jim, et al:


Sorry to beat this to death, but I want to be sure everyone agrees, as follows:


With an appropriate scaler, (and one which has multiple inputs, S-video, component, composite, etc) there is absolutely no benefit to the 503CMX video card.


If the answer is yes, the follow-up is, what are appropriate scalers. Would all of the following be appropriate: Faroudja NRS, Leeza, Focus Elite, Focus SC-1 or SC-2?


Thanks


--Caleb
 

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You do need to consider the question the other way around as well, which is that with the video card installed do you really need an external scaler at all :)


But to help your question along, just check what each of those scalers actually outputs, if it is a PC type signal then it should work without the 5002 card.


Mark
 

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I am kind of a newbie here, so can I trouble you guys to answer a basic question. What is the function of this "video card"? I have checked the Pio website and cannot find any satisfactory answer. I gather from whats below that the card acts as an internal scaler. What else does it do?
 

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Without the PDA-5002 interface card the Pioneer can only handle PC type signal sources which can be connected via the VGA or the 5 BNC connectors.


The card adds the ability to handle non-PC signal sources via VGA and Component connections to the BNC connectors. It also provides DVI, S-Video and Composite video connections.


Remember we are talking about the MX variants of the Pioneers, the HD variants do not have the option of this card and all video connections are routed via the external tuner box.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ccclapp:


Mark raises an interesting point which has been made on the Video Processor thread. If you’re contemplating buying a plasma, or any other display, for that matter, I strongly suggest you first evaluate it without a scaler. You might find that it’s quite acceptable to you without one. Scalers do have some benefit, but they also have a down side, such as limited aspect ratios, which is the case with an NRS. The Pioneer 503CMX has more aspect ratio settings and I personally really like the WIDE setting for 4:3, which keeps the aspect ratio more or less normal in the centre of the picture and stretches it towards the edges. This results in less cropping at the top and bottom of the picture and is quite reasonable to watch.


Have a look at this thread for more information:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=136516
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ccclapp


With an appropriate scaler, (and one which has multiple inputs, S-video, component, composite, etc) there is absolutely no benefit to the 503CMX video card.
I was under the impression that scalars do not in general (or perhaps never) have component inputs. So without the 5002 board you would have to convert your HighDef receiver output to VGA and HOPE that it would sync correctly.


I have a component/VGA transcoder that I use to drive a standard PC monitor from my HighDef receiver. Since this is a 1080i scan it is NOT a standard PC signal.


I have tried a couple of different monitors and they don't work perfectly. They sync up but have visible artifacts. The VGA output of a DTC100 worked better with one of the monitors but I would not be surprised if the display would have some problem in this case. Plus the transcoder costs $150.


I suspect the Pio claim to not support "nonPC" signals is so that you won't come crying to them if it doesn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
IUnknown:


You are correct about the high definition pass through with scalers. I tried it with my NRS from a Sony HD100 satellite receiver and didn’t get a full screen picture. Instead, I connect it to the 503’s input 2 from the receiver’s component output and it works great. The video card is necessary for this, otherwise component input is not recognized by the 503.


BTW: The NRS accepts either component (Y,Cr,Cb) or RGB input through BNC connectors. The NRS manual states that this input can be used for interlaced component or RGBs video sources, such as DVD’s and professional cameras. So there’s at least one scaler which accepts component in. Scalers don’t accept progressive (480p) signals, though, which possibly is what you meant.
 

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there is a persistent misuse of terminology regarding connectors and color signals; perhaps this explantion will help:


Connectors are the mechanical pin and socket devices used to wire one electronic component to the next. RCA is the most common and is two wire containing a signal and a shield/ground. BNC is another two wire type with bayonet-type locking pins. D-connector is a multi-pin, multi-wire plug and socket (9, 15 and 22 pin are common). DIN, XLR and Mini-XLR, mini-pin, ribbon, bananna, phono, etc...the list is extensive.


analog audio and video signals, digital video and audio signals can be carried over cables using many varieties of these connectors.


"Composite" is a color signal transmission method using one signal with shield; "Component" refers to a particular way of coding color information using three signal wires; RGB is another (sometimes with discrete Horizontal and Vertical sync signals); S-video is another, using two signals with ground.


VGA is a term from computer useage (video graphics array) where a 15 pin sub-miniature D connector is used to carry discrete R,G,B,H,V and shield in one connector body. VGA is RGB in a D-connector.


You can have a device which could accept a composite, s-video, component or RGB and only have BNC connectors (the Leeza does this). you can connect a device which has a VGA connector (like the HD port on a set top box) to the Leeza BNC conncetors with a simple cable with appropriate connectors because both devices are RGB. Some dvd player output component via RCA conncectors, some via BNC, but it is still component.


A transcoder is required, not to convert one connector type to another, but to convert one color signal type to another, typically Component to RGB; this involves electronic circuitry, not just a connector converter.
 
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