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Please help with setting up a portable HTPC for demonstration while calibrating

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Gregg Loewen, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi guys

    Sencore, the company that makes my HD signal generator, is offering a $900 upgrade, that will allow me to show HD video on a display. It is a 20 second clip. I think this is pretty rediculous as this generator has already cost me $5000 to purchase to begin with.

    Then I was thinking...I carry a laptop with me on every calibration job anyways, so why not just play some HD content off of that? Please help me with this.

    I currently have WM10 loaded on my laptop. It is a dell 8600 with 768? megs of ram and a 128 meg video card. Using the docking station I have a DVI output. The processor is a centrino. Is my laptop up to the task? I do have a WMV HD Sampler disc with more than enough demo clips on it.

    My purpose is to show a little bit of HD material when either the client does not have HD connected or if there is no HD content being shown (ie: OTA during day time hours).

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks in advance!!

    Gregg
     
  2. Darryl_St

    Darryl_St Member

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    Just make sure you have your resolution set at 60hz, custom resolutions might already be available for your video card, you can check under the display properties, if not you'll need powerstrip to create your display modes for you, or update your video driver.

    There are lots of HDTV compatible timings floating around, search for custom timings.

    Not all will sync to all displays.

    Once you have your 60hz HD resolution displayed on your laptop, plug your cable into your display(powered down)and turn on, you should see your desktop, go into powerstrip(or display properties) to center and size for the display.

    Darryl
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    Gregg:

    Yeah, depends on the capabilities of your laptop, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem to show HD at all on most computers with enough juice. You can download quite a few WMV HD clips from the microsoft site, as well as you can get a few DVDs with WMV HD on them, listed as well on the microsoft site. You can also playback .ts files so you can get HD content from any OTA or any other sources you want for instance.
     
  4. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Well-Known Member

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    Gregg,

    If you can play those WMV files on your Notebook without any problems, like lags, then you should be fine. Just have the Notebook output its display to the display that you are calibrating and the set should be able to display the HD materials.

    Just be sure to turn off any background processes, like anti virus, etc.

    The signal generator that you use is probably nothing more than a strip down box with software. I'm sure you can find a software that does the same thing via Notebook.
     
  5. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi guys!!



    I dont think that this could be farther from the truth. It is well established that there are no consumer type PCs that can replicate a reference signal. Conversely, I am not looking for a reference signal, just looking for something that can output "something which is better than nothing" for the client that either has no HD source, or has a HD source that is not currently broadcasting in HD (like OTA networks during the day time hours).

    I am going to try this tonight and will report back.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    btw gregg, I will get back to you on email... just away from that pc for a little bit.
     
  7. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi guys

    I got it working but the image was slightly vertically squished.....like watching a 2.35 ratio movie.

    Help?? my video card is the Nvidia.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    hmm, what kind of resolution are you using? I don't know why it would be squished...is your laptop monitor widescreen or something?
     
  9. Darryl_St

    Darryl_St Member

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    Gregg check that you have maintain aspect ratio unchecked in your video player, once the screen is filled your aspect ratio will be corrected.

    Darryl
     
  10. Dan Stone

    Dan Stone Well-Known Member

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  11. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    I have that already :)

    The trick is to get it onto a portable PC so i can carry it with me.

    I am finally back at home and will be trying to get this working again tonite.

    thanks!!
     
  12. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hmmm...okay guys Im getting frustrated.

    I set my laptop ot 1280 x 768 which is the closest I have to my 720P LCD panel, and when I do the image has the 2.35 looking bars (the image is vertically squeezed). The LCD panel is in full mode...when I switch to zoom it looks correct. There is enough overscan to not allow me to see my entire desk top (which is also frustrating).

    I can not find settings to manipulate??

    Help! (yes I am a computer moron!) maybe I should have boughten a Mac?? LOL!

    Added note:
    I am trying to use WMP and yes my laptop (dell 8600) is a wide screen.
     
  13. Darryl_St

    Darryl_St Member

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    You're probably running at the wrong resolution, or timing. Get PowerStrip, and go to 'Display profiles | Configure | Advanced timing | Custom resoltions'. On the left you'll see pre defined resolutions in a list, select "1280 x 720 (HDTV standard)".

    Also look at this for instruction on setting things up;

    How to configure User Defined HDTV Modes using ATI Control Panel

    You may want to check that you have your video driver updated, older drivers may not have the proper modes available.
     
  14. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi guys

    I can not seem to get my laptop to set any resolution about 800x600 for output to the Samsung LCD panel. The samsung documentation says that the ideal resolution for it is 1360x768 and 60Hz.

    Is my DVI port ON MY DOCKING STATION the issue?

    I installed the 128 meg video card a few weeks ago and thought that this would be breeze??

    I have installed Powerstrip, but can not seem to change the rez using this either.

    I am running my laptop as monitor 1 and the Samsung panel as monitor 2. Windows says the Samsung is a plug and play Windows driver. I dont think this is what it should be?

    Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

    Again, my video card is a Nvidia Geforce FX G05200 128 meg and my laptop is a Dell 8600 Inspiron.
     
  15. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    I just re read my Samsung manual...it states " the HDMI / DVI In terminal does not support PC ". Have my efforts been futile?
     
  16. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    if you can get the right res output, it shouldn't know the difference. The problem, likely, is getting control of this on a laptop, which unfortunately I don't really know too much about except that if you have a primary monitor and a secondary one on any video card it can be difficult to do, which is the case on the laptop. The normal route would be to just use powerstrip, or new card drivers which usually give you the same manual control over resolution, but then not sure that you have that degree of control over a secondary monitor... i dunno...
     
  17. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    here we go again....

    I have tried to make some custom resolutions but didnt have much luck...

    the RBG / PC is working at the 1360x768 rez.

    the HDMI input is working at 1024x768, with the display correctly formating the WMP material.

    Are we there yet??

    The next step is to see if I can replicate this on another monitor.....I see my sony 34xbr960 across the room....
     
  18. Darryl_St

    Darryl_St Member

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    Greg, right mouse click on your desktop, select properties, select advanced(bottom right).

    Select the Monitor tab, this will depend on your system but you should have a box to Un-check to allow all video modes( even the ones your laptop cannot display. Now you should be able to select any mode.

    It will also depend on the monitor you have defined for your Secondary, if it is un-defined(Generic Plug and Play monitor)it will not allow you to choose high resolutions.

    Also you might try and define the monitor on the secondary, I use one of the high end Sony's the GDM-W900. To do this, select the monitor tab, Properties, Driver tab, Update driver,when it comes up with Upgrade Device Driver Wizard, select Display List, select Show all hardware, go down on the list and select Sony Corp, now select GDM-W900.
    The Sony will take very high resolutions, this will enable you to set your secondary to anything.

    Updating your Display driver from Dell or NVidia will give you more resolutions and faster graphics also.

    Darryl
     
  19. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi Darryl
    thanks!!

    Another question...for WMP there horizontal bars on the top and bottom of the image (the bottom one displays play, pause, etc)....This would disappear when putting the image onto the 2nd monitor correct? I can not make it disappear. There must be a setting to do this but I can not find it...

    Once I get this licked I think I will have it!!
     
  20. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    if you are using WMP, there is a setting somewhere that has "auto-hide" or something for the OSD in fullscreen mode I believe. If you don't mess with the mouse for a few moments it should go away, at least it does on mine. I don't use WMP for WMV playback though. I will email you as soon as I get home gregg, sorry I keep forgetting I've been really hectic lately! [​IMG]
     

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