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Ok, tech guys. Place your CONCISE, plain english LAYMAN's explanations here.


No off topic banter, especially within the first few posts. After you have finished your dinner, maybe, then you can play.
 

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Because it allows us to eliminate A/D conversions which are the main source of errors in DScaler.


- Tom


(I still haven't had dinner)
 

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What is SDI? SDI stands for Serial Digital Interface, and is a way to transport digital component video between video devices. In this instance, the video device that generates the component video is a DVD player and the video device that processes it is an HTPC.

Why is SDI beneficial? First, you do not lose any video picture quality as the video is transported. Second, the video is retimed upon arriving at its destination, so the video should be smooth. Third, SDI signals can be sent long distances without loss of quality.

What do I have to do to take advantage of SDI? In this instance, you need a DVD player and HTPC that both have SDI connections. DVD players normally don't come with SDI connections, so you have to get one specially modified ($525 for the mod). Until the beginning of this week , there haven't been any consumer-priced SDI input cards for HTPCs ($399 + s/h for the board).

What else is required for the HTPC to process the video? For best performance, for hardware you need a Radeon or GeForce 2 or higher video card and a CPU of about 800 MHz or greater. For software, you need the video processor application DScaler and many will want to use Powerstrip to dial in a good resolution and refresh rate for your display device.

Why bother with an HTPC, when you can get a good scaler that has better ergonomics? That is a very valid question, whose answer hinges on price and personal preference. Scalers are normally several times more expensive than HTPCs and/or have limited upgrade capabilities.

Why bother buying an SDI DVD player and SDI input card, when I can use WinDVD? Again, a very valid question. The answer hinges on many factors, of varying importance to each videophile. First, SDI appears to me to have a better image than WinDVD and the other software players. Second, SDI should have smoother video, especially on pans. Third, on video source materials and on improperly mastered materials, the DScaler video processor discussed above is superior to the software players.


There are other factors that you may consider. Normally, standalone DVD players have better controls than the software players. Also, standalone DVD players sometimes have other features, like DVD or SACD audio, for instance.

I want to input good quality analog sources to my HTPC. Can SDI help? Yes. There are SDI products on the market to convert to SDI from component, s-video, and composite. While not cheap, some of these solutions should produce fairly clean video for processing by DScaler.

What kind of cabling does SDI use? Standard 75 ohm cable with BNC connectors. Sometimes you will find 75 ohm cables with RCA connectors which will work OK too, if you buy two RCA > BNC converters. Better Cables sells appropriate cables, I think. Or you can use another outfit .

My SDI input card only has one SDI input. Are there any switchers available? Yes, switchers for SDI are fairly inexpensive and are controlled in a varity of ways. Please see the Poor Man's SDI Switch thread in the Video Processor forum for more discussion.

Why is SDI gear so expensive? In the past, SDI gear was used solely by professionals, where these prices did not affect how many people bought the gear. For videophiles, these rules no longer apply, and the community is making progress in keeping the prices affordable for the vast majority.

Will there be any way to get the SDI advantage with the DVD player in your HTPC? I don't know. The DScaler developers have looked at this a lot, but there appear to be challenges to making it happen at a satisfactory quality level for now.

Why is there so much banter in these SDI threads? Because everybody is happy. Previously, a videophile-good way of transporting video was unavailable for HTPCs. These methods revolved around doing an analog > digital conversion inside a PC case. A PC case environment is very interference-prone and resulted in "noisy" video.


More to come. I'll edit it in.
 

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Carl: I don't know. The DScaler developers have looked at this a lot, but there appear to be challenges to making it happen at a satisfactory quality level.
 

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Angeli662: That is the player that was used to make the screenshots in the opening thread for the SDI PCI board (Bob Cobler and I are selling the board for $399 + s/h). It's a good player, but costs several times more than the SDI DVD players that Immersive is offering by a link at the top of the HTPC forum.
 

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Dan you are right that DVD player cost between $2000 to 2500 dollars.

Now dont you have to have a video display with SDI in connector and I love the idea of be able to use my DVD player again, right now I use a HTPC with DVI to my PJ. what would be the diference between DVI and SDI? thanks Rick

Display divice with SDI Eletrohraph DTS-42GBDD (plasma)
 

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Angeli662: the nontechnical difference between DVI and SDI is that SDI allows for longer cable runs without loss of quality, and that cable is much cheaper. That said, there are few (no?) display devices in my price range that have an SDI connector.


My Compaq MP1600 has a DVI connector that I don't use because my projector is mounted on the wall and is 25 feet from my HTPC.
 

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I think this thread should be named "The Idiot's Guide to SDI":):)


Very nice explainatin indeed. Thus, being an "idiot" my self, here's the question :


Can any other video device have the SDI outupt added? i.e Playstation2, LD, TV tuner, etc?


I have HTPC with video composite input from the receiver (which act as video switcher), its router video (NTSC) signal from my VCR (TV), PlayStation2 and DreamCast. How SDI can help me in improving the video signal?


Thanks!

adzan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dschmelzer




Why bother buying an SDI DVD player and SDI input card, when I can use WinDVD? Again, a very valid question. The answer hinges on many factors, of varying importance to each videophile. First, SDI appears to me to have a better image than WinDVD and the other software players. Second, SDI should have smoother video, especially on pans. Third, on video source materials and on improperly mastered materials, the DScaler video processor discussed above is superior to the software players.

I am replying to this part of the post not because I disagree, but because I don't think that there is any PHYSICAL reason why the DVD/SDI/Dscaler PQ should be better than a HTPC/SWDVD player. (please correct me if I'm wrong) I have not seen the DVD/SDI/Dscaler combo and I don't doubt its superior PQ to an HTPC with WinDVD or the ATI player. But I think that the issue here is the superiority of Dscaler over the SW DVD players that we are using. The additon of an SDI interface gives one the ablity to transmitt the video information on the DVD without loss. You can't do this with S-video, component etc. The main point is that some other SW DVD player may come along, or one gets improved, and that could change the whole equation.


I like the idea of using STB DVD player ergonomics but with the cost of the mod and SDI capture card around 1k I'm not ready to jump on it when some SW player upgrade may cost $30.


One quick question, are the SDI signals transported via standard 75 Ohm coax?


John Moschella
 

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Nice home theater Adzan !


This is a very friendly comment, but you're at the extreme of the SDI unfriendly configuration ;) Why ? Because you already make use a lot of various analog sources. You can add some more easily, you can switch them (with audio) easily, and the grab card you bought costs a more than reasonable price.


To profit from SDI, you'll need a new grab card, and you'll need to modify the more single analog device you have (and we don't even know if it's possible). Also, you'll loose video switching as SDI inputs won't come in the near future in the back of integrated amplifier.


One easy thing for you to be would be to try KBK's modded card to get hopefully an higher grab quality.
 

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Use htpc now with ATI board and software. But also use YxY or DVD G. to move 2.35 image to top of screen.


If i go to SDI player into Dscaler, will i be able to move image in same way? (Can Dscaler shift the image?)
 

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Question: Why pay $900 (card+player mod) to use SDI and dScaler with a progressive standalone DVD player if the standalone player already has a de-interlacing chip with superior de-interlacing performance to dScaler?
 

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re: "Why pay $900 (card+player mod) to use SDI and dScaler with a progressive standalone DVD player if the standalone player already has a de-interlacing chip with superior de-interlacing performance to dScaler?"


Unless a standalone progressive scan DVD player can output any programmable resolution like a Rock or HTPC, there is a real need for HTPC's.


Over time, I suspect that dScaler's capabilities and de-interlacing quality with video source material will improve and surpass anything out there. It may take another year or two, but the forces of opensource (lots of developers working to improve dScaler) and Moore's Law ($100 3Ghz CPUs in eighteen months) will enable CPU-intensive processing to provide state-of-the-art deinterlacing and scaling.


SDI is a key enabler and provides a missing link to external sources and the HTPC platform.
 
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