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Hello friends,


Quickly my saga. Started looking at buying an HDTV and wanted to have the optimal signal (whatever optimal means). I had decided on getting a DVDO line doubler thingie when I stumbled on this site . . . and it was all over then.:D


I started reading posts in the HTPC forum and quickly realized that HTPC was the way to go. I have built many machines and overclocked the hell outta them, so I thought to take the plunge.


My goal was to have the best DVD picture quality I could afford. To that end it was the Li On mod capture card with XCard. I made the modification (success on the second attempt), but no real picture quality improvement and a jerkier than jerk chicken picture (when it worked).


The project sat on my desk as I slaved at work for more than 120 hours a week (there are only 168 hours in a week). The sad state of academic medicine.


Had a little time off and I tackled the problem again.


In the couple of months I was working madly, I sold my budding HTPC. It was a "testing" computer with a PIII and GeForce 2 ultra in it. I sold it before it would cost me to get rid of it. So all I was left with was my solid, stable work horse (I shuddered when I had the thought of "improving" that computer). You know the feeling, having a working STABLE computer and then you decide you can "improve" it.


Anyways I realized that I had dual monitor support via my Ti4200 (nVidia). My SGI 1600SW is connected to the digital port and I could connect my Monivision 34XGA-D2 via the 15 pin VGA connection.


I got everything working. Meaning Windows was happy with the dual set up, no driver problems after restart. I had a signal on the Monivision via the Li On modified capture card (modded my me) DScaler - XCard combo.


The DVD PQ was ok, but it was choppy as all get out. I was dropping frames like a mother. My video card is not the fastest (anymore, but overclocked, it is decent) and running at 2.9GHertz on the processor should be enough? Right?


Well it turns out that the signal was not getting from the DVD to the system fast enough. I downloaded Intel Application Accelerator (free from Intel). After making a couple of changes, smooth video.


So now I had smooth video and it really looked much better once it was smoothed out. My girlfriend thought the picture was much better and we left it at that. I then updated all my drivers to see if I could get any better PQ or "improve" the picture (1024x768 on the Monivision).


I read how people like Kharvel were getting 1280x768 on their monitors. Turns out the official nVidia (latest) drivers were not doing me justice. I went to Guru3d and downloaded their optimized drivers. They allowed me to go to 1280x768x32bits at 60Hertz.


All I can say now is WOW. What a difference 250ish lines make (then again that is 1/5 or 20% resolution improvement). Everything looks great and stunning. Smooth video and a damn awesome PQ.


Everything is wonderful with the system, but change is ever present. I am going to be moving soon (
 

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Liver:


I was glad to hear of your tales and results. I knew you had done the mod yourself from the original "DVD-ROM to Dscaler" thread but then did not hear any more from you. You were one of the early DIY individuals and adopters.


I decided to take an ATI / Cinemaster hardware decoder card and make it work in lieu of the Xcard. These (Cinemaster HW) cards can be had for about $5.00 from ebay. In the end, the ATI card requires a mod to get Bt656 on the header but the mod itself is not difficult taking about 2 hours.


I also bought a Zoltrix capture card off ebay which has the GPIO pins and clock to a solder pad that requires the installation of a header. The arrangement of the pins on the Zoltrix card calls for a bit of a convulted ribbion cable makeup, but again, not too difficult.


So, for about $30.00, I have a working PDI setup. I'll not mention the time invested to figure out what I had to do with the Cinemaster card (if I was to put an hourly cost rate to it, I could have bought a car load of Xcards, but that was not the point. I wanted to do something different and off the beaten path).


Good to hear from you again and don't be a stranger!


DFA
 

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Liver,


Congratulations for making your set-up work with your Monivision. I'm glad to hear that you are happy with the PQ from your HTPC/Monivision set-up.


I am curious about one thing, though. You mentioned 1280x768x32 bits @ 60 hz. Are you sure this is not a typo? I got only 1280x720x32 bits @ 60hz. That is the 16:9 resolution and I think 1280x768 is 4:3? Could you please clarify? Thanks!
 
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