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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok Guys,

Thanks to Terry I am the proud owner of a NEC XG135LC (300Hrs)and have been enjoying the CRT experience for around a month now. Terry did an excellent job with the setup and calibration and I highly recommend him to others needing setup and/or calibration.

Currently my DVD player of choice is PowerDVD 4.0 (free)and I have been considering trying TheaterTek. Before I spend the $ on Theatertek I would like to get some input form other CRT owners who maybe were also Powerdvd users prior to making the switch. My main concern is picture quality! I really don't have any complaints with the picture quality of Powerdvd, but someone who has used both can see a substantial improvement with Theatertek then I am sold.

My main gripe with Powerdvd is that in order to get a movie like Monster's Inc. to fully fill the 16:9 screen I have to have the windows desktop setup to spill over the edges of the screen by several inches. I understand that this would be corrected with Theatertek and both the desktop and dvd image would fit the screen perfectly.

Anyone using powerdvd 5.0 which supposedly utilizes something called CLEV and CLPV to improve the image? Does Theatertek offer a demo version or a trial period?
 

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In powerdvd make sure you have the "keep aspect ratio" option off. That will keep the video the same size as your windows desktop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I already tried that but with a movie such as Monsters Inc. selecting widescreen version, I have about an inch of black on the bottom of the screen and 1/2 inch everywhere else. Then if I change the CRT setup for the movie, my desktop spills over the edges of the screen and it's difficult to see the upper and lower toolbars.
 

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TheaterTek or ZoomPlayer.


ZoomPlayer I Believe is free and is more flexible the TheaterTek.


TheaterTek is a professional product with good support and upgrades. However, the registration is a pain and it is not the most flexible when it comes to playing riped DVDs. It is a great product even if it does have some issues.


TT does not have a demo, but you can pay for it, use it for I think 14 days, if not satified can get your money back if you did not reg the product key. check the site to make sure of the detatails


I have TT, if I was going to purchase now, I would do my due diligence on zoomplayer, but may still end on with TT.
 

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I have tried both PowerDVD and TT. I prefer TT but I dont know if it's worth the money. I'm using Xlobby for a front end to play ripped DVD's through TT and it works great.
 

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Zoomplayer is free, but you need other dvd players decoders. You can buy the sonic decoders for pretty cheap, though.


I have never had a problem with the registration component of TheaterTek. Not saying there are no problems, just that their are some people who haven't run into them.


I've don't know what powerdvd 5.0 looks like, but TT is pretty sweet. It has built in support for fdshow and reclock filters, which some people swear buy. I don't personally use them, but to set them up is easy.


One of the biggest things TT has going for it for CRT users is the extremely flexable aspect ratio controls, that can be saved on a per DVD basis if you want.


It has a host of other useful features multi-drive support, set movie start to skip fbi stuff/menus, default audio track select (dts or dd), and more. Check out their site for more info.


Plus Andrew is very responsive. He adds new features and squashes any bugs so fast, I think it would be hard for the bigger companies to keep up. He just listens to us. If enough people need a feature and he can do it, he usually finds a way to do it.
 

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another vote for Theater Tek, I can't really understand comments like
Quote:
I prefer TT but I dont know if it's worth the money
When most of us spend 2 to 10 thousand on a PJ and then debate over whether $100. worth of software is too expensive? I think it's worth it just to support people who support our small hobby if nothing else.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PiDD
I prefer TT but I dont know if it's worth the money.
TT definetly worth your money, considering it also have good support. :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Maggie Guy
I already tried that but with a movie such as Monsters Inc. selecting widescreen version, I have about an inch of black on the bottom of the screen and 1/2 inch everywhere else...
Not sure about the sides - I haven't looked at that DVD lately - but by the numbers, you *should* have a little black at the top and bottom (of a 16:9 screen). Monsters is 1.85:1 and a 16:9 screen is 1.77:1, so a tad less than an inch of black at the top and bottom on a 7'-wide screen would be about right.


For what it's worth, I'm planning on using TT when I finish my room.


SC
 

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TT. Definately. I don't think I could do/stand an HTPC without it.


Along with the MP-1, its among the best money I have spent on my HT. And the best part about both is they were cheap compared to everything else! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Guys,

Just downloaded it a few minutes ago. I heard that there was an issue playing DVD's off of the Hard Drive. Guess I will see shortly.
 

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TheaterTek, TheaterTek, TheaterTek.


I used PowerDVD 3.0 and then 4.0 for about a couple of years until TheaterTek was invented so I've used both.


TheaterTek gave me better video, the same audio (to my ears), and a HELL of a lot better user interface.


Kal
 

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I tried all different types of software DVD players and final settled on Theatertek I also have played around recently adding FDShow to it with very satisfying results in most cases. It doesn't play video in a window like a lot of other players but for home theater I don't need to or want to. It works so seamless in most cases to you never need to go back to the Windows desktop to do anything. I keep my HTPC running 24/7 with TheaterTek running all the time. I just pop in a disk and it starts playing. It works more like a standalone DVD player than a software player.


As for not worth the money... I spent $100 for 5 dimmer switches in my theater I would give them up in a heartbeat before I would give up my TheaterTek.


Mike
 

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Maggie Guy, how are you playing the DVD's off of the hard drive? Are you just yanknig the VOB files or, like myself, creating ISO images and mounting them in a virtual DVD-ROM drive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wanman,

I have been going to the VOB file which is a nice feature of Powerdvd 4.0

I downloaded Theatertek and played with it some last night. I will be requesting a refund for the following reasons:

I can see no visible difference in picture quality between Theatertek and Powerdvd. As far as I can tell Theatertek does not give you the option to have a DVD player on the screen, it also does not allow one to set up multiple video settings as powerdvd allows. I have about six different stored configurations that vary brightness and contrast depending on the overall brightness of the movie. When adjusting the image the bars are stuck right in the middle of the picture and cannot be moved to the side as in powerdvd. Also the dvd is not played in a window so of you want to look at something on the desktop you pretty much have to exit Theatertek and then restart, whereas in Powerdvd you can minimize the window while playing or paused and then remaximize to fullscreen. I may be wrong on some of these issues, but I will have more time to check out the program over the weekend.
 

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TT's entire goal is to make a PC into a set-top DVD player. To that end, it seems unnatural to have a "dvd player" on the screen, so TT doesn't offer this feature. Instead they offer on screen displays (OSDs) much like a set-top DVD player might offer, but with better graphics. :) If you want a "traditional" PC DVD player which rather than making the PC look like a DVD player, makes the PC look like a PC trying to look like a DVD player, TT is not for you.


TT remembers the video settings per disc. You set one set of settings as the "master/default" settings. Adjustments made while watching a DVD are saved with that DVD and automatically restored when the DVD is reloaded the next time. However, TT does not let you save settings under a name to generally use on several discs.


Most folks that use TT also use ATI Radeon cards. The default video settings in TT have been calibrated for the bulk of the ATI Radeon video card series by Cliff Watson to ensure that reasonably correct voltages are being used for all IRE levels on all 3 colors. Therefore we like TT's default video settings, and adjust the projectors so AVIA test patterns are correct, then rarely, if ever, play with anything.


Yea, I too hate that the video settings bars take up the entire image. few people complain though because of the prior comment I made.


I'm quite happy with TT not running the movie in a window. If I want to watch a movie on my system, I'm watching a movie. I won't waste tube hours on movie + windows desktop, I think its pointless. Others may use their HTPC for web browsing and such AND movie watching, and wish to do them at the same time from the same HTPC. If so, TT is not for you.


Sorry to hear you didn't like TT, I think its a great product, but it may not be for everyone...
 

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PS - I use a small laptop with wireless internet for web browsing during a movie (if she's watching a chick flick I have no interest in).


PPS - TT's aspect ratio controls are among the best I've seen, and when coupled with the Pronto CCF files, is perhaps one of the easiest players to install and use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did notice that the picture looked pretty dam good from the start. After playing with the video settings, how does one get back to the default settings?
 

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Oh, hmm. That's a good question. Since I never play with the video settings, I just don't know the keystroke or the menu option to do it is. I'm pretty sure you can, why don't you check the user manual for it, I'm sure its in there...
 

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Maggie Guy,


A couple of things.

First as indicated above, TT was meant as a full time player not a desk top application. While I may not agree with this philosophy, that was the intent.

The way that TT handles different overlay setups is really lind of neat. When you do a brightness, contrast, etc, for a DVD, unless you save it as a default, it ONLY applies to that specific DVD. So you could have hundreds of specific setups that apply to any DVD you own.

I agree that when adjusting the overlay, these need to go away from the center as what you are generally adjusting is in the center of the screen. What should happen in MO is if you select brightness, the brightnedd scale and adjustment should move to the bottom of the screen. Kind of clumsey as it is. After all ifyou are trying to adjust brightness, you are adjusting blacks and it impossible to do so with the screen be lit up by the overlays.

Aspect Ratio control is awesome.

Power DVD has gotten much better so picture quality is almost as good as TT. Was ver 5 better than 4??

A direct way for TT to "mount" a drive to play movies be it local or network is needed without the use of third party software. I have been fooling with my HTPC for that reason but haven't tried it with TT yet.


Since Maggie Guy gave me a plug, I will give him one as well. He is a very good painless dentist.....no really he is.....lol


Terry
 
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