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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This forum is better at responding quest than the htpc forum. Im considering getting the MP-1 mod done, purchased a Radeon 9700 to have the mod done to it, I've spoken with Mike Parker on several occasions and he is the nicest most helpful person anyone will ever meet, but there are questions which only users of the mod can answer. Please bear with me, this hobby is very expensive and Im just being cautious about my purchases. Some say that the mod just boots the signal like the extron box so that longer run cables can be used. That it does nothing else for pic quality. Others say that it adds sharpness and clarity to the pic,which is something the extron box can't do. Would anyone be so kind as to post or know where I can see before and after screenshoots of this mod? My system is highly similar to Rennfast's system, as far as I know he isn't using the MP-1 mod and the pics are out of this world. I've upgraded from a Sony 1270 to the Marquee 8000 series and I must admit the difference is of night and day, Like anyone just like to get the best pic possible. Going to Theatertek was also one of the greatest upgrades ever, combining that with FFDSHOW took it one level up, the only problem with ffdshow is that its post processing, after the pic is displayed, in other words its software processing, Mike says his mod will enhance the pic the same way but by hardware before the pic is displayed. I must say that with ffdshow post processing is evident it can be seen, at lest I can see it. Will the MP-1 mod do these things? Thats what I like to find out please.
 

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Mike's MP-1 does improve the video quality of the analog signal sent to the projector. It's especially noticeable if longer RGBHV cables are used, but is clearly evident on good quality source video regardless.


However, it does nothing in the digital domain where ffdshow and other enhancers may be used. So basically, it will deliver the very best of your analog signal to the projector after that is converted from a digital signal in the video card. If you have aberrations in your source material caused either by the source itself, or the effects of digital post-processing, it will simply make whatever that is clearer and more defined.


The additional clarity may help you fine tune the digital processing more accurately, but it is not the solution if you are unhappy with your source material.


I know I've mentioned this to you in the ffdshow-faq thread, but IMO the only way you're going to get the best video from the typical DVD and minimize the grunge and ringing that you're seeing is to use the WinDVD 5 codec, software decoding, ffdshow with resize set to the rate of your projector (probably 1280x720 or 1440x720) and only use the dscaler sharpen option in ffdshow, minimally. You'll need Zoomplayer Pro and reclock to accomplish this. I've left out some of the details here for brevity, but you can go back to the other thread and read the exact instructions. Or contact me if you need some specific clarification.


TheatreTek is good, and uses the Sonic Cinema decoder which is ok, but not nearly as sharp and detailed as the above. And ffdshow in particular is not as effective extracting fine detail except with the WinDVD codec.


All of the above assumes a reasonably well-tuned pj with properly set contrast and brightness (white and black levels) and gray scale adjustments. If these are off significantly it will make the DVD video a lot worse than it may really be.


--Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bill I thankyou for your advise and Patience, I did try ZP pro with the windvd codec and it was nice but the complexity made Zp not for me. The ringing problem that I was experiancing its actually edge enhancement, I didnot know this as to it wasen't as noticeable with my 1270, but now with the Marquee well lets say ( let there be light), everythings show all the imperfections of the dvds are exploited. FFDSHOW gives the pic that added and most needed punch but like most I hope would like to do it without the pixalization that happens infront of your eyes. ZP turned me off due to the fact that its complex as I mentioned, TT its simple more like a real player. Thats my opinion. Please all don't take me wrong I just don't buy a car due to its reviews, I drive it and let my self be the judge. Hope that made sence? Without seeing what Im buying its like shooting in the dark.
 

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I can't speak for Mike but I had the MP-1 added to my Radeon 9500. It was a noticeable difference. I believe the mod not only boosts the signal but there is also some filtering going on that leads to the clearer picture. Since adding the MP-1 DVD's look amazing. I use Theatertek but do not use FFDShow. With reference quality DVD's the picture rivals some of the poorer HD presentations on HBO and Showtime.
 

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I've never seen a commercial DVD without some amount of ringing or ghosting in it. It's a matter of degree, and apparently you are experiencing some bad ones. The really good ones can look pretty good even without enhancement, but with the right amount of enhancement they're quite impressive. Not HD, but darned good.


I understand how you feel about ZP Pro it can be amazingly complicated to use. BUT, you don't need to get into it that far to do these things. Out of the box (so to speak) it will do these things with no modifications and nothing more than about 5 steps. From then on it's pretty much run and forget.


If you're seeing strong artifacts and pixelization(?) with ffdshow, then you're not using it correctly -- probably applying either the wrong filters or too much of them. On mine when I switch between it being on or off, none of the DVD artifacts increase or become exaggerated as a result of it. What image and detail that is there simply becomes clearer and more defined.


I haven't the slightest doubt that if you just bite the bullet for a little while to get ZP Pro running with ffdshow and reclock and the right configuration you'll be delighted with the results. Then add Mike's MP-1 and you'll appreciate what it can do as well.


--Bill
 

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rob47v ,

-- best money you will ever spend for your HTPC !!!

--- Jason
 

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It's money well spent Rob..


A friend Ted, who built my HTPC, got the MP-1 into his - we A/B'd against my basic 7500 and the difference was not dramatic but noticeable enough that I ordered one too.. Have had it for a year or so..


I recently went the other way - switched back to the 7500 while I gave my MP-1 9000 to Ted to build my new HTPC....


This time I noticed the difference even more without it..the colours were not as good and the picture had less punch with the MP mod removed..


It's staying in my HTPC..
 

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Not trying to steal Mike Parker's thunder, and I''m sure his mod is a step beyond this, but simply removing the capacitors on the output side of the Radeons is going to give you a similar effect of more punch and detail.


If I understand correctly MP's mod does this and gives amplification that is better than what is on the card.


Also I heard rumor that those output caps aren't on the latest radeons but have not seen that myself yet. If that is the case, then in the words of Roseanne RoseannaDanna....

Nevermind


Having said all this I have heard no one ever complain about the mp mod or that they were in any way not satisfied with the results from the expense. I'll probably try it myself here now that I'm in the upper end of crt's and can benefit from it.


Troy
 

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Hey Troy, no worries about stealing Mike's thunder. Removing the output caps and ferrites on the Radeon was the first thing I did to it. The difference is very subtle whereas adding the MP-1 was not. I was running through an Extron box before the MP-1 and there were two things that I could see that the MP-1 improved a lot upon - noise and bandwidth. The image was much *cleaner*. Colors are smooth and stable. I didn't know the Extron and/or Radeon introduced so much noise until I saw the difference. As for bandwidth, the image was noticably sharper.


So by all means, remove the output filters first - it's free and it works. The MP-1 takes it a couple of steps further though.


Cary
 

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Depending on the card, MP removes one or more levels of bandwidth reducing filtering in various stages before the card output, then at the output MP adds an approriate level of filtering to prevent unnecessary RF emissions from the card and then adds a unity gain amplifier circuit to reduce output impedence so that long cable runs can be driven. If a card doesn't have the exact corrext output voltage, the unity gain amp can be adjusted to add whatever level of gain is needed.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rob47v
Please all don't take me wrong I just don't buy a car due to its reviews, I drive it and let my self be the judge. Hope that made sence? Without seeing what Im buying its like shooting in the dark.
In other words, before you buy MP-1 you should see and feel MP-1 in action.

Experience worth than thousands words.:D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rob47v



Mike says his mod will enhance the pic the same way but by hardware before the pic is displayed. I must say that with ffdshow post processing is evident it can be seen, at lest I can see it. Will the MP-1 mod do these things? Thats what I like to find out please.

For the most part the MP-1 has promoted itself. So I've been very careful to not make any claims as to what improvements one might experience.


I have no idea what "ffdshow" is, or exactly what it does, so I've been very careful not give any opinion as to how it would work with the MP-1. From what I've heard, it can sharpen the image, but not sure if that's part of what it does or if that's all of what it does. But for me, I'm not into controls or devices (hardware or software) that can "sharpen" the image. I believe that the only way to sharpen the image should be done with bandwidth improvements. Any other method usually involves some level of increased noise, therefore what is perceived as sharpness could pretty much be considered noise.


Because the MP-1 is NOT an enhancement circuit (in the sense of adding to the original). I can only say what it COULD do, and only IF the associated (display device, cables, setup and source) components are at a reasonable level of performance to be able achieve the benefits of the mod. I did not want to deal with expectations of it making a digital projector perform to CRT level, or can it make a Sony D50 perform to the level of a G70. So I let it promote itself. And I've refused to sell it to anyone who had unusual enhancement expectations. And even today, after all of its praise, I'll not sell it as such, and will and have cancelled any order or purchase that I feel will not properly represent the mod, or my intent with it.


I must say that the MP-1 has done well. It has not been perfect though, I've had to work through some glitches from time to time. And at times, there has also been headaches assciated with it. Nontheless, it still makes me proud. I don't offer a money back guarantee, nor is it sold with the understanding that it can be returned, that's why I won't make a claim as to what it WILL do. It's sold on the observatins of others only. Yet I've only had one person who did not want it after the purchase, and a couple that I've (actually my wife) simply returned what they have spent for it, and it had nothing to do with their satisfaction with the mod.


Because of other pending projects that are in the oven, the MP-1 has been on the back burner, with trickle production. Next month I plan to bring it back full bloom with a slightly different design concept, faster production and lower price (same performance, or maybe even better ;)), and I'm also hoping to remove myself from the distribution process. Gotta stop spreading myself too thin, and become more focused on a few other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dear sir Im deeply sorry if in anyway I've insulted you or if there was an intent of it. I was under the impression, of my statement thats why I didnot quote you but understood none the less that the mod would improve the pic thought hardware. My comparison to ffdshow is the only one I have because it is the only thing that I've seen that enhances pic quality. Im not an electrical tech so the things that will improve these issues are mysterious to me. You are absolutely right the mod should not be sold no re bought with the assumption that it will clear up a faulty operating system. The artifacts that I thought was a problem in my system turned out to be the source material it self, not the equipment. Yes you are very careful of the words you choose, and try not to missinterpret your intent of what your product will accomplish. Im also very careful and new to the hi-end hometheater world, Im not afraid to ask questions because to me there aren't such things as a stupid questions. Like I said, speaking to you has been a pleasure you are indeed a graceful man, and if in some way my asking quests has insulted you I do apologize. I would love to see a before mod and after mod screen shoots, like they say a pic is worth a thousand words.
 

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rob47v,

I was posting in general, so sorry if it seemed to be a personal response.


What card do you have? I'd see if I have one here to send you to try out. I'll let you try a modded card out for a week or so. If you like the card I'm willing to loan you, it'll be real cheap if you'd want to keep it. But it would not be a 9000 series card, but it'll let you experience the mod.


What say?
 
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