AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am just about ready to jump into FPTV, but my wife has informed me that I will not be doing it with an HTPC. She says I already have enough stuff in the living room as it is. What are my options? Does an LT150 work well with S-Video?


Thanks,

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
Forget s-video with respect to the LT150, IMO, and for most other projectors as well. No matter what projector you decide on you should at least try a progressive scan DVD player which means a component cable hookup. You could always purchase a descent scaler and this would give you the ease of the DVD player and the scaling of a HTPC. This could be a good compromise.


There is an interesting thread on this section about modified DVD players - check it out.


Cheers,


Grant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
Jeff, I have to agree with Grant on this one. Without some kind of outboard scaler, the 150's internal scaler, using s-vhs, is not worth watching. Toooo many artifacts!!!

A good p-scan DVD player, such as the Panny RP-91, or one of the newer Toshiba's, would give you a better picture, but for DVD's only!

Now, if you want to watch s-vhs, or DSS,

I would use a Crystalimage, or a Quadscan Elite scaler, for their ease of use, instead of an HTPC. From what I've read on this forum, HTPC is a little too involved for anything less than the serious vidiofile, and they seem to crash too often.

Either of the aforementioned scalers (I use the Crystalimage) would offer a great picture, ease of use, allow you to watch different formats, and mostly, give your wife a good reason for your purchasing this new toy!!

I'm sure she'd enjoy the results!

Of course, I could be wrong! LOL!

The guys at the AVS store could provide you with more info about your concerns.

They have helped me, as well as many others on this forum, in making their HT's a great source of entertainment.

Cheers, VB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
Jeff, you should elaborate on your watching habits a bit more so we know what you're going to use the projector for.


I believe the new Sony 11HT follows in the footsteps of its predecessor in having a decent internal scaler, which when coupled with a Faroudja/Sage Progressive Scan DVD player should put out a very fine picture and be very easy to operate.


I have a Quadscan/Panasonic RV80 combo with my Boxlight 38T/Sanyo XP21N LCD projector. I did this because the internal scaler is not so hot. However, because the Quadscan's user interface is so poor, it is definitely not Wife Friendly.


I've heard the new Sharp is amenable to a similar simple setup as the Sony, so I'd look hard at this one, particularly if you have a totally light-controlled environment.


Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Presently I believe I would use it to replace my 32" TV. We only watch DVD's occasionally. Our primary viewing is DSS through TiVo. I would say we are about 99% TV and 1% DVD.


Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff412
Presently I believe I would use it to replace my 32" TV. We only watch DVD's occasionally. Our primary viewing is DSS through TiVo. I would say we are about 99% TV and 1% DVD.


Jeff
If 1% DVD is the case the lt150 is probably not for you. I suggest a Toshiba RPTV. Less hassle than a projector especially if you are not going to watch movies. Also during the day, unless you have complete light control, the projector will be useless whereas a RPTV is still watchable.


That's my 2 cents.


Good Luck.


Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
556 Posts
Have to agree with Chris. I have the best of both worlds myself. Toshiba 50" RPTV for TV, ReplayTV & VHS and NEC LT150 FP for DVD's and shadow puppets. Viewing habits are about 75% NTSC & 25% DVD's. With your situation it looks like a new RPTV would be the best option.


Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,102 Posts
If you do not have a progressive scan DVD player, you may want to tell your wife that a regular interlaced DVD player would show a very crappy picture. If you buy a progressive scan DVD player, then it would actually be better to buy a HTPC. The HTPC would also have MP3 capability and you download all of it from the internet. My home theater has 4 components on the rack: HTPC, HD Sat receiver, Outlaw A/V receiver and an extron 2 VGA switch. To me that is way less than I have in my family room on top of my TV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,711 Posts
You might want to look at Epson. At work were we use a projector for videoconferencing, when our Sharp died, we borrowed an Epson 7250 to use. I found the picture was very good (especially when compared to the NEC that was eventually put in). But

1) any projector you look at make sure you test what you need

2) take your time when you are looking at it (don't let anything rush you)

3) Don't accept "that can be adjusted" if it can, make him do it on the spot, or else assume it cannot


But, remember a Projector is not a one time deal, you will need to replace the bulb, every so often, and factor that when you are making your decision
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I like the idea of a really large screen is the main reason I want to go FPTV. I do have complete light control, so light during the day won't be an issue. I don't have a progressive scan DVD player , but getting one is not out of the question. How much should I expect to pay for a good external scaler? Where can I get the best deal on one? Is the LT150 still the best way to go with an external scaler?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
Jeff, I gotta agree with the recommendation to use a big RPTV if you're watching 99% TV. NTSC and digital cable just don't have the resolution required for a quality picture, even if you're using an external scaler like I am. Before you lay out the big bucks for FPTV, find one where you can watch TV, such as DSS or digital cable, and make sure the picture is acceptable.


Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
So, nobody here uses their PJ to watch TV? If I go the HTPC route, will that give me the resolution I need to be able to use it for casual TV viewing?


Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
936 Posts
We use a Sony W400Q which has a very good internal scaler. With DVD the picture is quite good from an old 480i DVD player. We also have cable TV signal through a VCR to the composite input of the Sony. The cable picture is hard to watch, not because of a scaling problem with the projector, but just because the signal is to noisy, lacks detail, and just doen't look good on a big screen. If you want to run DSS you might get an acceptable picture. I've not tried DSS, but I think you would have a cleaner signal to start with. Maybe not any more resolution, but less noise and smearing. I also use a rather small screen with my W400Q, 60"X34".


Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff412
So, nobody here uses their PJ to watch TV? If I go the HTPC route, will that give me the resolution I need to be able to use it for casual TV viewing?


Jeff
The only TV that I watch with my projector are the Vikings and that looks like crap. Even then I usually have the TV on as well.


I watch 99.9% of NTSC broadcast on my TV. It simply looks best that way. My LT150 is very cool and the only thing that would make me give it up is if I were forced to only watch TV broadcasts with it.


Do yourself a favor and get a RPTV, you'll be much happier. If you decide you'll start watching movies then definately get a projector.


Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
jeff, allow me to add 2 more cents here.

When I want to watch TV, and use DSS, I mainly watch PPV. The reason being, it has a clearer picture than the regular DSS channels that come close to DVD material. The CI scaler, in combination with the PPV channels, is not a bad option for PQ. The CI scaler works quite well with PPV programming.

When watching regular DSS channels however, the PQ can vary quite a bit, depending on the compression that signal has, even with the scaler.

I would have to agree with Mojodeli about most NTSC broadcasts, especially sports broadcasts. If the transmision sucks, no amount of tweaking using a scaler or HTPC will have a significant impact on your PQ. Personally, I don't have a problem watching *Enterprise* using the 150, on the WB signal here in Boston, MA.

On the other hand, if you watch DSS HDTV signals from HBO, Showtime, or an OTA HD signal, your jaw will hit the floor!

The PQ is... well, unbelievable!!!...and since you are enamored with the large screen size of FP, this HDTV signal might offer an alternative for TV watching.

Some sports broadcasts, along with some OTA broadcasts (NBC, CBS, ABC..etc) offer HD PQ. This may also meet your TV viewing needs.

I know how you feel about the "BIG SCREEN" size, it's truly awesome!

I had 9 people over to watch the championship middleweight boxing match, between Trinidad and Hopkins, on PPV 3 weeks ago. The PQ was great!!

The funny thing was, when they came into the HT, one of them asked.."Where's the TV?"

When I pulled down the screen, they were in heaven.

Now, the cost of a scaler!!

They can range from about $1000- $5000.

I bought the CI scaler from the guys here at AVS for $1300. They were a big help in my choice.

I hope all our opinions have not made your options harder.

Cheers, VB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I have an SVGA LCD projector here at work that I have taken home and used with my laptop to play DVD's. The picture was very good.(not great, but good) I was thinking that it was the laptop that was improving the image. (No horizontal scan lines, but there was some screen door) Now from reading all your posts I think that I may be mistaken. Am I correct in assuming that if I were to run my DSS through a computer or scaler that the image would NOT be much improved over S-Video? Anybody out there in SE Texas that has a projector set up that I might be able to see?



Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
QUOTE: "I have an SVGA LCD projector here at work that I have taken home and used with my laptop to play DVD's. The picture was very good.(not great, but good) I was thinking that it was the laptop that was improving the image. (No horizontal scan lines, but there was some screen door)"


Well, your eyes have said it's either, *very good*, or *not great, but good!*


You see, there's the dilemna!



jeff, one of the drawbacks of LCD pj's is screendoor! Your laptop *does* improve the the PQ, but the adage that applies here is: Garbage in, Garbage out! No amount of tweaking is going to improve a poor quality transmission, whether you use an HTPC or external scaler!

They're just not going to make up for the poor quality in the compression artifacts associated with DSS!



QUOTE: "Am I correct in assuming that, if I were to run my DSS through a computer or scaler that, the image would NOT be much improved over S-Video?"



Essentially, you are correct! Although *I* see an improvement with DSS using my scaler, and even more improvement with PPV channels as I stated earlier, some previous posters expressed, based on what you stated were your viewing habits that, an RPTV may be beter suited for *your* viewing choices. Unless you can view the DSS signal for yourself using a scaler or HTPC, your eyes will ultimately be the determining judge of what is acceptable PQ!

I, as well as others here can attest, unless you can view the DSS sig through one of these devices, only then will your choice be clear to *YOU*.

Cheers, VB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I'm using a Nec vt540 with Iscan V.2 for DSS viewing as well as dvd, I'd guess 75% DSS and 25% dvd. The picture looks very good on dss via s-video to the Iscan. I also have 50" mits. RPTV(5yrs old) and the Pj looks very equal to if not slightly better than RPTV with the dss signal. Far better with dvd. I'd say it's all in the eyes of the beholder. If you want large screen and wow factor and don't mind light control for casual viewing than get a Pj. The effect for the 1% dvd viewing is well worth the few draw backs with dss.


Jamz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,225 Posts
We keep having this discussion and answering this question again and again in many forms. I'm going to switch to a different but equally valid argument aimed at anyone who may not be extremely PC literate but may have an understanding of analog electronics acquired in HS or college Physics. We are going to talk about signal bandwidths - bear with me. (I'd appreciate it if my fellow EE's would refrain from wordsmithing - I 'm trying to avoid those more precise terms we always use and talk the vocabulary of Introductory Physics.)


Interlaced video, whether Composite, S-video, or interlaced component video, has a maximum sweep frequency of 15.75Khz, and the bandwidth of the video signal alone is below 20KHz. Whenever you output a widescreen signal, some of this minimal signal bandwidth is wasted on those letterbox bars.


Progressive DVD players and HDTV settop boxes and DSS receivers that output at what we call 480p are outputting an analog signal with a maximum sweep frequency of 31.5Khz, and a video bandwidth below 40Khz. Yes this looks lots better than interlaced sources - it should, because the progressive signal has twice the bandwidth of interlaced video. (For tech weenies: the maximum available bandwith is fully utilized with 4:3 or 16:9 source material, when outputting to a display device with a matching native aspect ratio - because you are not wasting any bandwidth on letterbox bars or pillarbox sidebars.)


However, any display device that supports native XGA resolution - including the LT-150, the VT-540, and other popular projectors - for that matter, any cheap $150 computer monitor that accepts and displays XGA signals - has a video bandwidth of 85-100Khz, on the VGA input (the highest quality input available, and the one the projector design is optimized for). You do not want to waste 3/4ths or more of the available signal bandwidth on interlaced input, or half the available bandwidth on progressive DVD or other 480p sources.

Conclusion (same as the other argument we always use): You want to maximize image quality by driving the XGA display device with as high a bandwidth source signal as possible - that is, an XGA native resolution signal, either from a HTPC (around $1700-$3000 retail) or a good quality XGA resolution scaler like a Focus Quad Scan Elite (around $1500) or a CrystalImage (around $1800).

Why HTPC is best:Now for the controversial part. You can't ever put back the missing signal information, once it has been "squeezed through a narrow pipe" of reduced signal bandwidth. Thus an interlaced DVD video signal will always look worse than a progressive signal with twice the signal bandwidth. The progressive component DVD output will always look worse than the HTPC source with up to twice the available 480p bandwidth. Not twice as good - because the original source doesn't have twice the bandwidth of 480p, it's only 480X720 resolution on NTSC DVDs (less any signal bandwidth wasted on letterboxing or pillarboxing when source and display aspect ratios do not match) - but because the video board's A/D converter, the VGA cable, and the projector video amp on the VGA input do not further constrain the signal bandwidth. (Again for techies: This will be most apparent on widescreen anamorphic DVDs, where the active signal area has a 480p bandwidth, plus that extra bandwidth required for letterboxing.)

Why external scalers are not as good:When you input a reduced bandwidth, interlaced DVD signal to a scaler with XGA output, you've just moved the "narrow pipe" to the scaler input. Although the scaler has optimally processed the signal since it was input, and has not further constrained the video bandwidth, the damage was done by the DVD player and at the interlaced input, where bandwidth was lost. Even a 480p progressive DVD player input to the same XGA scaler has somewhat compromised the video bandwidth by squeezing the signal through a pipe "just barely wide enough" (or just slightly too narrow when some bandwidth has been lost due to aspect ratio changes to match source to display).


OK, anybody still with me?


Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff412
Presently I believe I would use it to replace my 32" TV. We only watch DVD's occasionally. Our primary viewing is DSS through TiVo. I would say we are about 99% TV and 1% DVD.


Jeff
The DTC-100 has a built in scaler with a VGA output that you can run directly into the LT150. That is what I use and it looks good on over the air digital channels and DirecTV channels. HDTV out of the VGA connector looks great. I don't know what Dish has for a scaled output.


With TiVo you have a problem since it is either an analog input TiVo or a non- DTC-100 receiver. Either way your picture quality is going to suffer.


If you want a large screen projector you really should get one that shows HDTV. The difference in picture quality is large. Just running scaled SDTV is a waste of a projector
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top