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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just got my HTPC for use with the SONY PLASMA (PFM510A2WU). I just had the time to try the dvd player, which is mainly what I'll be using. Enventhough the image looks great, I can't get the aspect ratio right:mad:


Here is what happens: First of all, my Plasma has 3 aspect ratio formats (4:3, 16:9 and W Zoom). So I want to use the 16:9 aspect ratio to watch dvds at full screen.


When I'm using an external dvd player (not the HTPC) and select the 16:9 aspect ratio in the Plasma the image of 16:9 enhaced dvd movies appears at full screen with the right proportions; when the dvd is 2.35:1, the image appears with small black bars above and below the movie and with the right proportions (I don't mind watching these movies with back bars because they are small bars and I always like to have the full width of the picture).


When I'm using the HTPC and select the 16:9 aspect ratio in the Plasma the desktop appears at full screen but completely distorced (the icons are "enlarged" for the sides). I guess is the same that happens when I choose a 4:3 source and the 16:9 mode in the Plasma (everething gets disproportional to fit the screen).


When I try watching a DVD movie in the HTPC and 16:9 mode on the Plasma, the same thing occurs. I get a not proportional picture and what is worst: the image of 16:9 enhaced dvd movies appears with black bars above and below the picture; and the image of the 2.35:1 dvd movies appears with large black bars.


Why I'm doing is using the Plasma adjustments (Vertical size) to get the image back to proportions, but even then I still get black bars on the 16:9 enhaced dvds. I can also use the Pan & Scan of the dvd softwares, but then I loose a big portion of the screen as well as image resolution (quality).


The Plasma's specs states ( http://bpgprod.sel.sony.com/bpcnav/a...print.BPC.html ) that it is a 1024x1024 panel. I'm not sure how this works, but I'm guessing I can't get a 16:9 signal through the computer input of the display. When I watch dvd movies in 4:3 mode of the Plasma, the image gets proportion, but than I get Large Black Bars on the sides of the image.


Can anyone help me getting a full screen 16:9 image on the Sony Plasma through the computer input (HTPC)? Is anyone there using the Sony with HTPC?
 

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flavioleoni,


I read through your whole post, and you did not once mention the resolution you are currently using. That info would be very helpful.


Kei Clark

Digital Connection
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kei,


I have tryed 1024x768 and 1024x576, both @ 60hz. The best thing I'm getting is @ 1024x768, forcing a Pan & Scan with the Vertical and Horizontal controls of the Plasma (using the 16:9 mode). But in that case the image resolution is worst than when without the Pan & Scan.
 

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depending on your video card, you need to setup a 16:9 resolution desktop- ie. 1280x720, or 848x484 -or something similar depending on the video card in the HTPC. I did this using Powerstrip 3 which you can download for free. this program will allow you to setup 16:9 ratio resolutions for your desktop.


start there, it is not hard with a little perseverence :)
 

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flavioleoni,


I noted during the early days of demoing the 510 that it displays HDTV quite well, so my gut feeling is that it's able to scale to do 1280x720. The DVD player you're using should follow by outputting the image in the corresponding resolution.


Kei Clark

Digital Connection


mdc007: Sorry, didn't mean to step on your post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks,


mdc007,

I am using PowerStrip and that's where I'm setting my display's resolution.


Kei,

I will try the 720p HDTV resolution on PowerStrip to see what happens (I guess that's what you suggested right?). I will also try to set a 1024x512 pixels resolution.


The problem is that when I'm using the 1024x576 (16:9) resolution @ PowerStrip I get a widescreen format within the 4:3 panel. That means that setting the desktop to 1024x576 I get the following results:(a) in the Plasma's 4:3 mode I get the sides bars and above and below bars; and (b) in the Plasma's 16:9 mode I get above and below bars and the desktop is not proportional (I still need to increase the Vertical Size).


As I said, is seems the PC input only accepts 4:3 signals and when I choose a 16:9 resolution, it will do it whithin its 4:3 panel. I can streach it to fit the entire screen but all I'll be doing is streaching a 4:3 signal and, therefore, not getting a proportional image.


I don't know what will happen with the 720p though. If you have any other suggestions...
 

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I use 720p because i am just partial to higher resolutions but i found 848x484 to be easier to view from tv viewing distance and produces a crisper desktop. When i first set up 1280x720 there was a dark band on the left side which i got rid of by makin a few

minor adjustments in powerstrip timings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think 720p is the way to go on my Plasma. I tryed it and the Plasma enabled the 16:9 aspect ratio. But the image with 720p got some strange problems:(


1. I got a 1" wide black bar on the left side of the screen (almost at the edge of the Plasma). This looks like some kind of interference, because the black bar is like "moving in its place". The black bar is not entire black, it is transparent and you still can see the image behind it (much more darker). I tryed moving the desktop with Power Strip, but the bar still there (doesn't move together with the desktop).


2. The image looks unstable. That meaning that it keeps getting darker and brighter during the movie playback. I guess the brigther image is the normal one, but from time to time the image gets dark and the blue seems to come up. The whites gets blue and the entire image looks darker. When there are people on the movies, is like they're close to a fire (if you know what I mean).


So looks like a solved one problem and got 2 others:mad:


Can you please HELP ME!!!!
 

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flavioleoni,


Using powerstip, try lowering your refresh rate 1Hz and see if the picture improved.


Kei Clark

Digital Connection
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I tryed to lower the Refresh rate up to the point where the desktop moved far to the right. Readjusting the desktop to its place I found the strip again.


What are the safe limits for messing with PowerStrip? What else should I try?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
By trying the DVD in 720p and 1024x768 I found out that the 720p image is not good even on what I called bright scenes! The 720p looks bad, something isn't right. The image on 1024x768 is great, but with the wrong aspect ratio. The 720p looks bad (besides the black bar)... It is completely unstable and even when the image looks better it is bad in comparison with other resolutions... Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think my Display only accepts HD signals through its RGB1 analog component input. Since I'm using the RGB2 cpu input, the 720p is not right.


mdc007, do you have a Sony Display? What model? Did you get 720p through the RGB2 input?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nothing I tryed worked!!!!! I tryed the RGB1 input through RCA cables and got the same results: poor image quality (very unstable with all terrible colors) and a dark stip on the right side.


I tryed to hook my HTPC to the other Plasma we have here at home (same model) and got the same results, so it is not a problem with my particular display.


What else can I try? PLEASE HELP!!!!


Can this be a problem with my HTPC? What else can I try?
 

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flavioleoni,


If your monitor does well at 1024x768, then have you tried retaining your vertical res and running at 1280x768? I don't know much about the ALIS based units, so you'll have to look it up in your manual to see if it's supported. If the aspect ratio in 1024x768 is the issue, than the above should look good in theory, that is if the Sony can handle it.


Kei Clark

Digital Connection
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I finally got the 720p to work! Don't ask me ecxatly how, but i did a lot of messing up with powerstrip. What I discovered was that the vertical strip was the problem. Everytime my desktop touched it, the image got bad. If I was able to leave the desktop at the side of the strip the image was good. So I did lots of tweeking with powerstrip and finally got the strip way to the left of my display.


It's really strange, because it is like the strip still there somewhere beyond the display. If I bring the desktop way to the left side at some point it starts getting bad again.


Everytime I boot the system, the first image is the bad one, with the desktop misplaced. After powerstrip start running the image gets better and the desktop comes to its proper place.


Once again, thank you very much for your advices (I will try your resolution to see how it looks anyaway).
 

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flavioleoni,


My HTPC system based on the SONY PLASMA (PFM500A2WE, natural resolution 852:480). Now it is working GREAT! But 2 years ago (when i bought it) i had got all the same problems as you now.


I think that my present configuration will be helpful.


Video card: ELSA GLADIAC MX (Geforce2 MX)

DVD player: WinDVD v.1.2.99

PowerStrip 2.74 (PS for short)

Sound Card: M-Audio Delta 2496

Monitor Type: Installed as "Plug and Play Monitor"

Connection: through RGB1 RCA (for best quality)


Other components does not matter.


In our case VERY important what type of disc we are going to use:


1. 4:3 "fullscreen", 1.85:1 "anamorphic", 2.35:1 "anamorphic" and any others "anamorphic". "Good" discs.

I am using 856:480 60Hz custom resolution (close to my plasma natural). For this type of disks you may use 1024:576 (close to your natural 1024:1024) or 1280:720 or any 16:9 parameters. The only one thing you should do is to add custom resolution in PS and manually adjust a picture using plasma menu (NOT PS!).


2. 1.85:1 "matted" ("non-anamorphic"), 2:35:1 "matted" and any other "matted". "Bad" discs.

All this pictures will be look like 1.85 or 2.35 into central 4:3 area with sides and above and below bars in ANY resolution you choose (75% of full screen picture). In this case I use resolution 1136:640 (480 -> 75% of 640 and 852 -> 75% of 1136) in order to my DVD decoder decoding more dots of picture for best quality and manually through my plasma menu increase picture size from 75% to full screen. In your case i think you should use 1368:768.


Hope this helps.
 
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