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This is one of those areas that I still don't get with HTPC, so I figured I would ask :). I've just purchased an Infocus X1 projector, and am more keen than ever to imprive my image quality. Essentially I'm looking at outputting DVDs (TT as a player) and recorded TV shows from my PVR card via VGA if at all possible. I would love to be able to run the component outs from my Scientific Atlantic 3100HD cable box through it as well, but I'm still not sure of the viability of that. I looked at the MP-1 modded Radeons, but I wanted to compare that to what people say is an outstanding picture from the Holo3d. So... what I really want is to understand what it gains me versus just outputting from my Raedeon 9500. Is it some sort of processing? Is it that I would then use Dscaler? Do I need another piece of hardware to go with this solution? And most of all, do I need the Holo1 or 2? If I had the 2, could I run the component ins and then output from it via VGA? It's all so confusing :). Thanks for any help, pointers, reading material, etc; anyone can provide me.


-MP
 

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If you want to use the component outs on the 3100hd and you want to be able to watch it in hd quality you're only reasonable option would be the Holo3d II. It doesn't record or anything. It processes hd signals.


So basically it sounds like you want two hd inputs (vga and component) on your projector but since the X1 only has one, your options are limited. The Holo3d II would work in this situation. You hook up the component outs of the 3100hd to the component ins of the Holo3d II. You can also hook up your video card to it as well. It has an output that will work with your projector (vga I think, please correct me if I'm wrong here). The first Holo3d card has component ins but is limited to 480i. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Tom. I guerss my next question then is whether this gains me anything over the $30 I would sepnd on a component-VESA cable and the VGA switch box I already have sitting on a shelf. Is it going to be able to drastically improve image quality for my DVDs? I'm not spending $900 to get a VGA switcher :).


-MP
 

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Yeah, I don't blame you. I personally wouldn't do it but others have and rave about its quality.
 

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The Holo3d is mostly a scaler for external components. For example if you have a stand alone DVD player/Tivo/Sat signal that you would like to up convert to the native resolution of a fixed pixel display or to a higher resolution for your projector you can run it through the H3D. It will also scale the output from an X-card so you could watch movies played on your PC at a higher resolution.


I don't know about your projector specifically but if your display can handle it, using an H3d-II+HDAUX combo you could input 1080i from your HD cable box and ouput 1080p.


If you don't have any external components you would like to scale then the H3d really doesn't get you anything. Your PC with Powerstrip can already output higher resolution signals.
 

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There really is no point in doing that on such a low-res projector. If he had a crt with 9" guns, then your solution would be perfect (and display a very nice picture too at 1080p).


The native res of that projector is 800x600. So getting something like the Holo3d II would probably be overkill. The Holo3d might not though. But the Holo3d can't accept HD signals so it can only be used for 480i.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I could go 480i out from the Holo to the 480i input of the projector, if it would gain me anything. I guess I'm seeing here though that it won't :). That's cool, I don't mind not spending money.


-MP
 

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The X1 has excellent processing of 480i material. That doesn't help you since you need the pc to play dvds and your pvr files. I'd look into getting one of those cheap manual switches. That seems like it would be sufficient for what you want to do.
 

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Since you are using a fixed pixel display, if you had some external 480i sources, like a sat box, tivo, or dvd player, you could run them into the H3D and output 800x600 to match your native display rate.

With the HDAUX added you could input your 1080i cable signal and down convert it to the native resolution. The HDAUX will also allow you to set custom aspect ratios so you could have you DVD player set to output 16:9 and have the HDAUX unsqueeze it to fit within the 4:3 area of the display rather than let the DVD player letterbox the image.


Back to my main point though, if you don't have any external sources you wish to scale then the H3D is not necessary.
 

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This is a real dumb question but it has been bugging me... I want to do a HTPC at 1280x720 which is native for my new Panasonic LCD rear projection set. If playing a DVD on the computer full screen and the computer's DVI/VGA out is set to 1280x720, does windows (XP) do some kind of scaling already? So is it simply that a Holo3d does it better? Kinda confused in this area!
 

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Not a dumb question at all. Windows XP doesn't do the scaling. Your video card does. It scales the dvd (720x480) to 1280x720. Holo3d doesn't work with a dvd that's played from a computer dvd drive (minus xcard pdi combo). It's used for external sources, like set top dvd players or cable or satellite boxes.


It's up for debate which looks better, the Holo3d with an external dvd player through svideo, or a pc playing a dvd using a software player like theatertek. Either way, your video card would be doing the scaling. If you get the Holo3d II then that would do the scaling because it has dedicated outputs.


DVD film is stored as 480i at 24fps. To make this compatible with the ntsc standard of ~30fps, flags are inserted to tell the dvd player which fields to repeat so it can display it at 30fps. What the Holo3d, dscaler, and progressive scan dvd players do (such as software dvd players), is create a progressive image (60fps).


The benefit of doing this using a software dvd player is the entire process is done digitally. It doesn't have to look at the fields to create the progressive scan image, it just combines them. Using the holo3d the picture would be converted to analog from the dvd player, then back to digital when it goes in the holo3d. Then it gets converted back to analog out to the display. The software dvd players just go from digital to analog.


Now, people are saying they get a better picture from the xcard/pdi holo3d combo than a software dvd player. That's because the first d/a conversion is skipped (since pdi is a digital interface).


It all depends on how much money you want to spend. The software dvd player is the cheapest solution and provides excellent results.
 

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Thanks Tom. What about when you play a DVD in a window full screen (rather than overlay)? Does the video card still do the scaling? So it boils down to the software (DScaler) is able to better scale an image from 480 to 720 (or whatever) than the video card?


I'm trying to figure out (before buying all my HTPC parts) what the best route would be for my DirecTV Tivo into my digital projector TV. I've noticed very poor scaling on some DirecTV channels and I don't know if it is because of the signal (I know it isn't as good as DirecTV used to be) or the TV scaling up the DirecTV image and compounding the problems. If its the later, would using DScaler or Holo3d give me a better picture than S-Video straight to the TV?
 

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Dvd in a window isn't scaling if the video is at the dvd resolution. It's still deinterlacing though. Dscaler doesn't scale, it deinterlaces. Your video card scales. Using Dscaler with your video card will produce excellent results from directv. Directv through an htpc using dscaler will most likely yield a better picture. I don't know how big your screen is. I use it on a projector and the difference is quite noticeable. One a
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tbdombrosky
It's up for debate which looks better, the Holo3d with an external dvd player through svideo, or a pc playing a dvd using a software player like theatertek. Either way, your video card would be doing the scaling. If you get the Holo3d II then that would do the scaling because it has dedicated outputs.
Just to be clear, The HDAUX is required to have scaling and output from the H3D-II/HDAUX without the use of a video card. The HDAUX actually does the scaling and contains the output as well as inputs for progressive and HD sources.


tbdombrosky, why do you mention the dvd player connected via s-video rather than component?


One other thing to know is that the H3D has good comb filtering so if you have some composite sources it may provide a better picture than your display alone does. Many displays have pretty poor comb filters.
 

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Just my two cents on using the Holo3D-I card principally to deinterlace S-Video input from DirecTiVo to my plasma (848x480).


Pros of the H3D Card:

1. Picture is much better than the built-in electronics of the plasma, due, in part, to ultra-clean svideo analog input on the H3D card and the superior deinterlacing of the card's hardware. I've also tried disabling the hardware and using DScaler to deinterlace with similar results, suggesting that the clean analog input is a large reason for the good results on my setup.


2. Card was a huge improvement over my first capture card/DScaler combo (using an inexpensive capture card and a Hauppage TV card with a tuner), again largely due to the better analog input on the H3D.


3. Card's software is easy to use and has good "hooks" for control with Girder and/or a separate remote.


Cons:

1. H3D has been tempermental (at best) in two separate systems. The video routinely freezes and cuts out on me after playing for more than one hour. I suspect the culprit is heat, but my mobo temps and CPU temps are well within the safe range.


2. The card is particular about what slot it resides in. Changing PCI slots has fixed my problems for the short term, but it still craps out after a while. Again, the issue may be heat.


I intend to install an additional case fan and a slot fan next to the card and see if it solves the problem. If not, I'll go to a FlyVideo2000/DScaler combo and sell the H3D-I.


Just my personal experience; take it for what its worth.


- Ken
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gtrogue
tbdombrosky, why do you mention the dvd player connected via s-video rather than component?
I have no idea why I said that. Component would obviously be a better solution even when dealing with 480i video.
 

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I have the flyvideo 2k and it has a VERY clean input. It beats any bt878 card I've had. I highly recommend it.
 

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Ken,

I have the H3d-II and haven't had any of the problems you mentioned. Do you have an early rev of the H3d-I? Also, are you using the most recent drivers and application? The newest drivers are from July or August and the app is from August, I believe.
 

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T:


I was an early adopter, so I have an early revision of the H3D-I card I guess. How can I tell? I bought it from Cellar Cinemas when the cards first became available.


I am using the most recent drivers and application, so I don't think the problem is software related. Its part of brand-new build and a completely fresh install of WinXP. In fact, there aren't any of the old drivers on the system, b/c I've only had one set of drivers installed (the newest).


I'm pretty sure its hardware-related. Originally I had the card next to a MyHD card, which gets pretty hot. I moved it one slot away, which solved a problem I'd been having with the MyHD, but didn't solve the H3D problem. I also upgraded the power supply from 300W to 430W (I'm also running a DVD drive, two hard drives, two case fans, and a Radeon 9500 with a fan).


- Ken
 

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I believe the rev # is on the board near the white label on the card. I think rev 7 is the most recent H3D-I revision.
 
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