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Front Projector - with or without HTPC?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Daryl RL

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Posted November 05 2003 - 05:27 PM

Those of you running FP systems - how many are doing so via Home Theater PC's? Is the HTPC necessary or just another set of tweaks to get the most out of the FP?

The HTPC has me concerned about the extra cost, the extra time building/tweaking, etc., and whether or not the system will be too complicated for the wife and kids to use. I could see adding it in later...

Any feedback would be appreciated!

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 05 2003 - 05:52 PM

It depends on the capabilities of the projector. Plain video grade projectors won't really benefit, because they can't do very high resolutions anyway.

CRT projectors benefit significantly, because you can reduce scan-line visibility, and hit the sweet spot of the resolving capabilities of the particular projector and your setup skills.

Digitals also benefit a great deal from processing the video up to a higher resolution.

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Ralph P.

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Posted November 06 2003 - 02:45 AM

Greetings,


I am running a Sony HS10 LCD PJ without a HTPC. The PJ's resolution is 1366 x 768. I running both High Def ( via a digital cable box ) and DVD. I added a color correcting filter ( CC30R ) and had the unit ISF calibrated. Image quality is excellent.
Regards,

Ralph

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Daryl RL

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Posted November 06 2003 - 06:15 AM

Thanks for the replies!

I guess another question (for those using HTPC's): Can you make them "user friendly"? Is this an issue for your family/other users of your system?

Thanks,
Daryl

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Dave_Olds

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Posted November 06 2003 - 06:35 AM

I use a HTPC with my AE100....I think they are piece o' cake to operate (especially with the add-ons available) but a pain to setup....Once setup - its simple....

The Windows like interface at the very base of the OS is just like a Computer - If your wife or kids can run one, then they can run this....Just open the programs...Icons on the desktop....

From there thanks to ATI & Zoom Player, my DVD, TV, SAT, etc is all remote controlled just like a regular TV or DVD player....My kids have run the system without my help quite often....

Basically the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The HTPC does all the scaling which in all but the high end PJs is their weakest link. Its simple to operate. The biggest single drawback is the setup - its not for everyone - sometimes getting everything to work together does not go well on the first try....But if you have some knowledge, patience and willing; the payoff is pretty darn good....

Also, You can use a mass-produced PC as well. Not as expensive as you think....Just need a very good video card, a DD5.1 sound card, video capture card (or ATI All-In-Wonder) and you are good to go....I actually bought mine at Aldi's, a discount supermarket chain and it was complete with everything I needed, believe it or not....

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   alan halvorson

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Posted November 06 2003 - 10:21 AM

What does setup of a HTPC entail? I'd like to get an excellent scaler on the cheap, but everytime I read about HTPC's, my mind goes into a fog - I only understand some of what is being talked about.
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#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Dave_Olds

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Posted November 10 2003 - 01:39 AM

Are you asking about the hardware? or the software?

Hardware consists of:
Good Video Card
Video Capture card
DD5.1 Sound card
DVD player

If you are just gonna use as a scalar - just a video capture card and video card is all thats needed...

Also, as far as the software setup...just using as a scalar is very simple - the only major problem of HTPC setup is getting DD5.1 output of the DVD software - there always seems to be some "tweaking" there....

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Mitch Stevens

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Posted November 10 2003 - 09:56 AM

Why on earth would you need a capture card? If you have a DVD-ROM drive on your computer already, and have a good video cards that outputs DVI, I don't understand what the Capture card could be used for?

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 10 2003 - 10:02 AM

Most people feed other video through the HTPC, just as you would with any dedicated scaler/video processor. However, instead of running the DVD video into the computer, it's better to let the DVD get taken care of by the computer the whole way through. People often feed other hidef sources for scaling, or regular NTSC sources to at least make them look better than they would directly to the projector.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Dave_Olds

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Posted November 11 2003 - 02:07 AM

Quote:
Why on earth would you need a capture card? If you have a DVD-ROM drive on your computer already, and have a good video cards that outputs DVI, I don't understand what the Capture card could be used for?


Satellite
Cable TV
OTA TV
VCR
Video Gaming Systems

The list is as long as the many video sources available to the viewing public Posted Image

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   andy_brehm

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Posted November 11 2003 - 02:49 AM

i had a question about this topic myself. i plan on purchasing a x1 in the near future and was wondering if it would be necessary to run it through my computer. what advantages/disadvantages are there to running a X1 through a PC. my initial thought was not to run it through a pc, but ill reconsider if there are benefits.

i have also been wondering about the lack of a digital input or DVI input. I would like to get a projector with a digital input, but my money contraints dont allow that. if i hook the x1 up to the computer do i have the addition of digital inputs now?

thanks

#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Dave_Olds

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Posted November 11 2003 - 06:23 AM

Quote:
i had a question about this topic myself. i plan on purchasing a x1 in the near future and was wondering if it would be necessary to run it through my computer. what advantages/disadvantages are there to running a X1 through a PC. my initial thought was not to run it through a pc, but ill reconsider if there are benefits.


Its not necessary but the benefits are definitely there. The scalars in projectors are always the weak point. Any decent computer can make the scaling and send a picture to the PJ in its native format....A computer can take a non-digital format such as OTA TV and convert it to a digital format for *much* improved presentation....

In short, it is not necessary, but you can definitely improve the picture quality of any lower priced PJ with the HTPC doing the "dirty" work. If you use multiple sources, such as DVD, Satellite/Cable & regular TV with your PJ - the HTPC can handle the input/output of these quite easily - simplifying hookups...

The only drawback is the fact you have to dedicate a PC to this PJ and some setup time is required...But all the tools to do it are available cheaply and readily available on forums such as this....a PC is far cheaper than a dedicated scalar as well...

All in all, it just depends on your overall application (what you plan to use with the projector as source materials)and how "finicky" you are about picture quality....

If you want get the "most" out of your PJ - you pretty much need to go HTPC.....

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   andy_brehm

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Posted November 11 2003 - 11:30 AM

what kind of equipment or pc cards would be needed to run a DVD player and cable through a pc? possibly a ps2 as well if there are any benefits. also, what kind of specs would the computer need (processor speed, ram, etc) i am very interested in this possibility and would like to learn more, do you know of any place i could start learning about this?

one last question. i know there has been some talk of a cheaper x1 to come when it looses the fadojura (sp)chip. if i ran the projector through the a PC first would the loss of the chip make any difference or could i get just as good a picture by running it through the pc without the chip?

thanks!!

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 11 2003 - 11:58 AM

i am very interested in this possibility and would like to learn more, do you know of any place i could start learning about this?


The ONLY place to be is the HTPC forum at AVS. That place is CRAZY.

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Dave_Olds

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Posted November 12 2003 - 03:24 AM

Quote:
The ONLY place to be is the HTPC forum at AVS. That place is CRAZY.


That would be correct....You can learn anything and everything concerning HTPC there...

www.avsforum.com

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Wes

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Posted November 16 2003 - 10:27 PM

I run a CRT PJ with a Scaler that bumps the DVD resolution up to 1024x768 and does away with scan lines. This makes a beautiful picture and is very user friendly. See screen shots on my site!

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   alan halvorson

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Posted November 17 2003 - 01:27 AM

Wes: Which scaler? Which CRT projetor? And how about a link to your site?
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They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
- Napoleon XIV

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   andy_brehm

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Posted November 17 2003 - 01:40 AM

you can get to his site by clicking on the "www" icon next to a house in his edit pannel at the top of his post. i know he has some equipment lists, but im not sure if he has scaler info.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   BrianMagog

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Posted November 17 2003 - 03:51 AM

I started off with an HTPC configuration a few years ago, then switched houses, which caused my screen size to go from 100" to 85". I decided to abandon the HTPC on an LCD projector. The benefits just aren't there right now with the reduced screen size, my wife couldn't use the thing at all, and she's not computer illiterate.

I plan to upgrade to CRT at some point in the future with a dedicated theater room, at which time I'll revisit using an HTPC, but as for now, I don't miss it.

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Wes

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Posted November 18 2003 - 01:31 PM

I run a very inexpensive scaler made by Viewsonic (VB50). It's really made to hook up free standing equipment to your computer monitor and it has a ntsc tuner. But being that it has RGB out and thats what my CRT PJ requires it works great. It even has a RGB pass through for my HDTV receiver to pass along 1080i. Scalers can run from my VB50 at $100. to several thousand dollars depending on what you want to spend. Like most scalers the VB50 has a remote that lets you make changes in resolution, picture quality and inputs.
The only draw back is the VB50 brings out the macrovision in DVD's so I had to buy a MV free DVD player, so $100 for the scaler and $100. for the MV DVD player and I was set.

The scaler sits ontop of the two DVD players in my equipment photo on my site.

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com





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