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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Because that is what I want to do with my TV (4:3 Sony KV-32XBR400 Wega) using a RGB-to-Component video transcoder, and I'd like to learn from the experiences of others. I'm interested in what you are successfully using for:


Hardware

Software

Drivers

Connections

Tweaks

Etc.


Most importantly, I am interested in the best way(s) to view HTPC on a 4:3 screen that does the anamorphic squeeze ... I'd like to have two options depending on what material I am viewing (4:3 *or* wider).


Feel free to mention anything that I should NOT try as well.


FYI - I'm leaning toward using:


AccessDTV


ATi 7500 or 8500 (possibly All-In-Wonder)


At least one hard drive of 80GB or larger (probably Seagate)


M-Audio Audiophile 2496 (but I might be able to get away with something less because all I want to do is have all sound go thru my 5.1 Onkyo receiver, including ProLogic, DolbyDigital, & DTS).


In order of importance, I will use this HTPC for:

HDTV PVR

Progressive Scan DVD player

Digital JukeBox

Storage of video files (copies of my few owned DVD's assuming it is legal).

Internet/Email

Games (but dont let this feature influence your recomendations to me.)


Thanks in advance for any input!
 

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I've been happily using my 36XBR400 connected to my HTPC for a while now. I tried the Audio Authority transcoder route but wasn't ever successful at getting a desktop resolution that was workable. Either it was too small (640x480), too squished, had some overscan, or was too blurry (1920x1080). In the end, I settled with the S-Video output of my AIW Radeon (800x600). The main things I use it for are:


- HDTV PVR (Hipix)

- NTSC PVR (Creative Labs Digital VCR)

- web surfing

- mp3 server

- videoconferencing

- gaming!


There are others that have been satisfied with the results of using a transcoder. Do a search to get the proper timings for this TV for use in Powerstrip.
 

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I'm happily using my 36XBR400 with my HTPC as well....I do use the AA960 transcoder, and I'm running a resolution near 720x480 (can't remember exact resolution offhand) via an ATI Radeon 7500. I tried the SVideo out, and it worked pretty good, but most of my usage is for DivX movies (I encode DVD's that I own for quick access), so I wanted a native "squeezed" desktop that would fit the anamorphic DivX content that I have.


For sound, I use a zoltrix nightengale card, with the digital out. All of my audio is routed to my amp via spdif...works very well.


The system is built on an nForce board, the Abit NV7M, but i'm not using any of the onboard toys except for the ethernet...I have 2 drives...a 40gig boot/system drive, and a 120gig drive for HDTV content. All my DivX media is stored on a network "media" server.


I don't use the machine for MP3's, as I wrote a whole house audio system...


I never was able to get a 4:3 resolution/timing setup that I was happy with, so I stuck with a 16x9 one that I'm quite happy with.


Primary usage is:


- DivX media jukebox (BSPlayer driven by DVDLobby frontend)

- HDTV formerly with ADTV card, now with MyHD card (just got it today)

- Light web surfing


I don't use my HTPC for DVD playback...still using my sony progressive dvd player.


Cheers!


Rich
 

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I've had a hard time getting my panasonic CT-32HX40 looking good with the audio authority transcoder. I too ended up settling with an S-Video connection. Video quality is good, but my stand alone non-progressive DVD player looks better.


I am going to get a key digital transcoder and try that out, as they claim that they work well with panasonic sets... we shall see.


I originally started this HTPC project as an audio only box (I just wanted very high quality MP3's), so being able to play DVD's is just an added bonus... of course, now I want it all and MUST have better video quality! I just wish my TV had a VGA input, life would be easier.


FYI - i'm using XP on a PIII, TUSL2 MB, Radeon 7500 Built By ATI card, M-Audio Delta Dio 24/96 card, Seagate IV 80 Gig drive... Using EAC with LAME for encoding MP3, Winamp with MAD plugin for playback, SmartRipper and IFOEdit for DVD Ripping, PowerDVD XP for DVD Playback. Very happy with the software!


Oh yeah, and Norton Ghost 2002 to back up my system (excluding ripped MP3's and DVDs). BTW - I recommend leaving a FAT32 partition with enough space to ghost your system, makes it much easier to restore in case of emergency. My drive has a 5 gig NTFS for OS & Program Files, 65 Gig NTFS for audio & video, 5 Gig FAT32 for ghost backup.
 

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I have a Sony KV-32HS20 connected through an S-Video cable to my ATI 8500LE Radeon 128 MB card. My rest of the HTPC Set up is as follows :


Antect SX1030B Case,

AthlonXP 2000+,

Abit KX-7 333 Mobo

2x120GB Western Digital HD 7200 RPM w/ 8 MB Cache,

Lite-On LTD-163 16x DVD-ROM,

LiteOn 40x12x48x CD-RW,

512 MB Samsung PC2700 RAM,

IBM P200 20 Inch Sony Trinitron Monitor,

SB Live,

ATI Radeon 8500LE 128 MB Video Card,

Wireless Intellimouse

MS XP Pro


Out of the box I was able to play Quake3 at 1024x768 resolution. And it looked real nice. I was also able to play Jedi Knight II in the same resolution. I havent yet managed to play Unreal Tournament, yet thats next. I might even brush up my old Unreal CD and give it a spin. If I set the resolution to anything above 1024x768, the display goes haywire and the refresh rate goes wild. Have you guys have any idea whats wrong ?


Anyway, yesterday I installed Powerstrip and now my desktop is at 960iX480p and the text is finally readable. And this is all using the S-Video cable. AVIs and Mpegs look nice, though a tad bit dark.


I ran 3DMark2000 and 3dMark2001 demos and they blew me away on this set. Though the resolution was again 1024x768 the clarity of the graphics was just astounding. Also the demo was smooth like a babys butt.


I am thinking of upping the resolution on my HTPC, but I would like to know what resolutions you guys have been able to achieve without using the Transcoder (ie. just using S-video). I have to go home and tinker with my Power Strip settings.


Let me know what your success has been in this matter.
 

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Umm..I don't think you can get progressive resolutions over s-video unless you did something really weird to your set.
 

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I have a Hitachi 36SDX01S which has a VGA input so it doesn't get any easier. It supports up to 800x600 natively.



Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all for the replies so far! I'll bookmark this thread for reference to some of the good ideas. Oddly, those with my TV situation seem to say that they ARE happy even though it doesnt work the way they initially wanted it to. Anyone else want to post their successes/failures with this type of setup?
 

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I have an RCA D36120 which DOES have a VGA input, but it's apparently so brain-damaged as to be almost useless except with their (discontinued) DTC-100 HD receiver. I bought a Key Digital transcoder and I'm now using the VGA output from a Radeon 7500 through that to the HD component inputs on the RCA. I have managed to get very good image quality at 720x540 and 960x540 so far. I'm planning to try 1440x1080i and 1920x1080i this weekend, but my confidence is very low. The RCA doesn't support 720p at all, nor does it seem to support any of the "computer" resolutions, such as 800x600, though the manual claims it will.


As for the rest of my equipment, I've pretty much bought all the cool goodies from Digital Connection:


Asus P4T-E

P4 1.5ghz

Sapphire Radeon 7500 with zalman heatsink, no fan.

M-Audio Delta DiO 24/96

Black Desktop case with sound-dampening

Black floppy & DVD


It's a lovely system. :)
 

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I'm using an 32"XBR400 as my display through my AA transcoder without any difficulty. The best resolution I have is 896x504. Overscan removes about 30 pixels, so normal 640x480 and 960x540 don't work well. The XBR squeezes any resolution with a horizontal refresh rate of 33.75, those with horiz. refresh rate of 31.5 it leaves alone. I posted my settings a while back; search XBR timings to find the thread if you like.


Interlaced resolutions look bad, though I'm using a GeForce2 card, which I hear won't do interlacing correctly. I don't know how much improvement you'd see using a Radeon. Avoiding interlaced resolutions limits me to 540 vertical pixels, so my display isn't as useful as a PC monitor, but I use it as the only display for my HTPC and I find gaming, web browsing, and DVDs all to look very nice.


Overall, I'm very pleased with the display, and I'm sure it's much better than the S-video route.
 

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Wow.. I never knew I had it so easy.. I have a RCA MM52110 (MM for 52" Multimedia Monitor).


My tv has 2 VGA inputs, one I use for the DTC100 the other I use for my custom built HTPC. It also has the HD component inputs, which I use to run my XBOX. They are synchroscan so they switch from 480I to 480P to 1080I automatically.


For the HTPC I run 800x600 @ 60hz and love it. I cant stand 60hz on a regular desktop monitor, but on the 52.. it looks just fine. Everything is a crisp as you would expect it to be and I view from about 8 feet back.


I use it for DVD's, Gaming, Divx, VCD, MP3, DirecTV, surfing the internet, Microsoft Office.. pretty much everything you can do..


The TV is so computer-orientated it even comes with a built in 4 port USB hub with 2 USB ports in the front, and 2 in the back.


Best of all, its cost me $1600 including taxes and 4 year protection plan from Best Buy using my friend's employee discount. I've had it about 2 years now.. never a complaint.. just wows from guests..


The only thing about 4x3 displays, like the MM52110, is that HDTV and DVD viewing suck because they leave black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.


The picture quality of whats left is still amazing and with 52inches of space, I still get the equivilent of about atleast a 43" 16x9 display even when viewing those higher definition sources.


I've seen this tv still advertised in some places for about $2000 even if you can get your hands on one.


Hope this helps,


Dae!
 
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