AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,141 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It has been about a year since I have posted to this forum and I am just now getting back to getting started with my dedicated HT. We purchased this house a little more then a year ago with the intention of building a HT in the third-bay garage, but money for my project went into other house remodeling, putting my HT on hold. At that time the Rock was just about to be released. I don't recall the price, but I do know it was nowhere near the $5K it is now. I am amazed at how expensive these things can get when so much of all other technology is coming down in cost. I do understand that a lot of it is development as a new product, but just how much of it is simply greed. I have looked at various HT setups around Phoenix area at some of the higher end A/V stores, but I am never very impressed with what I see. I can talk to ten different sales people and get ten different answers. The images are usually soft with not enough contrast and color saturation. I have read so many postings where people are saying they are getting near film like images, but I have never seen this myself, however I have not seen very many setups at all.


I have been visiting and posting to the HTPC forum here at AVS lately and been preparing to build a HTPC thinking this would be a good solution. However I am not sure if I am going to be happy with the image quality from this or not. I was at Showcase yesterday and mentioned HTPCs to the salesperson, which seemed to be a very well informed person on HT in general, and he advised me to stay away from this kind of setup. He said every HTPC setup he has seen looked like crap. Like I said above, you speak to ten sales people and you get ten different answers. Anyways, I have never met a salesperson I trusted. I really don't want to have to spend $5k, just on the processor, to get a film like image, but I do want to be able to enjoy what is being projected onto the screen without my wife hearing me analyze and criticize throughout the entire movie, critiquing the softest, lack of contrast, saturation, etc, etc.

I would like to hear from those who have seen or used both a good quality processor, like a Rock or Faroudja, and a good HTPC setup and have also used this system with a crt projecting onto a 85" wide or larger screen. Please let me know your opinions. I have heard from the people on the HTPC forum swearing by their systems, but I am wondering if they are just not use to anything better then the image quality they are getting. Or is it that the HTPCs are that good now? Like I have said, I have never seen a HTPC in action (either using a crt or otherwise).

I have a NEC 9pg crt and will be projecting it onto an 85"-wide screen (16:9). We have not decided on the screen as of yet (except for the size). We are thinking about making one, since everything else is costing us so much. At a later time we will get a Stewart screen.


Thanks for any and all advice you can provide on a processor, it is very much appreciated :).


BTW, is there anyone here from the Phoenix area?


Don
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,097 Posts
Hey StarsComeOut,


Few things:


1. If you ask 10 salesmen, you'll get 15 different answers.


2. The Rock's increase in price was caused by the following:

a. TAW discovered that if the price margin wasn't high enough, no distributors wanted to sell the unit. So, pardoxically, the more they increased the price, the more they sell...


b. They have made significant changes to the internal structures of the unit - in particular the wiring and input card(s). These are higher cost cards that improve the image dramatically.


c. To improve the image, they used software written by external consultants, which I assume, cost them alot. As anyone else would do, this translates into a higher fee for the end user.


d. In addition, due to customer request, they provide both ClearMatrix (one of the new deinterlacing algorithms which was licensed from KeyDigital) with Y/C delay control. Seems like the processing power to do both of these together was too much for the old Rock processor (which did not anticipate such an increase in processing requirements). As a result, they are now using a more expensive processor (AMD I believe) which adds to their cost.


e. There were a few complaints about failing or noisy CPU fan. In any case, they changed it to a quiet, reliable fan - which does cost a slight bit more.


All of these translate, of course, into a higher end-user cost. I've listed the items in order of probablity to increase cost to the end user.


Personally, I like the Rock architecture very much. It's all the benefits of HTPC without actually having to configure it, and the overhead of managing an HTPC (remote control setup, double clicks, software issues, driver issues, harddrive problems, etc.). And, of course, with the new software, the deinterlacing is now top notch.


Of course, this comes at the expense of the end user price. Sadly, the price at this point is way beyond my budget.


But the Vigatec/Immersive FX2 is REALLY catching my interest!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,833 Posts
Don,

Do a search for Tim Martin (E-TECH) on the CRT forum, he lives in Scottsdale. He has a system that you might want to check out for that "FILM" look that folk have been talking about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
738 Posts
HI.


Call or email Phil at TAW they have a few units of the original Rock on sale for in believe $2499. no sure but call him.


he also had a couple of electrohome projectors at a steal.


call him maybe you can get a combo deal from him.


hope this helps


carlos
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,962 Posts
If you shall ask you shall receive:


We have some Demo Vigatec units with SDI and HDTV scaling for sale at discounted prices.


Also get a great deal on a sdi dvd player from us to go along with the sdi in on the vigatec.


Again both at discount pricing.


Contact: [email protected]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,962 Posts
By the way if you can put up with the windows operating system and are PC savoy them the HTPC is is an outstanding performer for a lot less money than an outboard scaler.


We sell a unit all ready to go right out of the box with a Radian card for $1600. This is a proven unit and is very stable putting out an outstanding dvd image.

For a few hundred more add the HDTV hipix card and you now have HDTV recording to your hard drive.


For those stating HTPC has a crappy picture is ill informed. Come to my showroom and I will prove them wrong.


Good luck with your decision. Theres plenty of choices!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,141 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for your help and advice.


Alan,

How much difference is the picture quality between a Rock+ and a good HTPC? I was just getting starting ordering the parts for a HTPC, but if the picture quality is not all that great compared to something like the Rock+, then I need a new computer for my home office anyways, so there is no lost there. Is a HTPC and a Rock+ close in PQ or does the Rock+ far exceed a HTPC?


Thanks again :),

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,139 Posts
Actually, the HTPC slightly exceeds the Rock+ for film based (24FPS) sources. The Rock+ is clearly better for video based sources (30FPS).


So, the answer is: It Depends.


BTW, I have both in my HT.


Vern
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Starscomeout,

If you are only interested in DVD's, then I suggest you forget about a video processor and go with a good progressive scan player such as the Toshiba 6200. You can probably get one for about $400- maybe less. I'm using one with a NEC XG135LC on a 107" x 60" screen and the picture is absolutely beautiful and film like. From 16', the scan lines on anamorphic DVD's are not really discernable and the picture is smooth, sharp and clean. On your screen which is approx. 48" high, the lines will be even less obvious. You'll never notice them.

I've run my computer with an ATI Radeon card into the projector at 768p and the only advantage that I see is on non-anamorphic discs. However just about everything today is anamorphic so I don't think the problems associated with HTPC are worth the gains.

Trust me. Try a pro-scan player. You won't be dissapointed. And, you'll save yourself alot of money which you can put toward a new screen and other things. Good luck.

FAR64
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
943 Posts
If the shortcomings of a HTPC (convenience, ease of use, etc.) doesn't bother you, it will produce one of the most stunning DVD-sourced 24-fps video, and is surely the best value in terms of picture quality per dollar spent.


IMHO, unless you're well-versed with configuring PC's, you're better off with a pre-packaged HTPC like the ones from Alan.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top