17" Monitor OK for testing HTPC resolutions?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter Jessee, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. Peter Jessee

    Peter Jessee Stunt Coordinator

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    I will be hooking up my new HTPC to my Sony 53HS10 soon, and I have a question for those more experienced in these matters. I have a Radeon 7500 AIW video card if it matters.

    All the posts I've read say to try any video timings on your computer monitor before using them with your TV. I'd like to try resolutions like 1440 x 480 and 1440 x 540, but my Philips 107S only lists 1280 x 1024 as it's maximum resolution. Will it work with the higher HTPC resolutions?

    If not, what monitor resolution do I need to look for when I buy my next computer monitor?

    Peter
     
  2. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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    The maximum resolution for a monitor is occassionally the highest "recommended" resolution. However, you usually won't get anything near an accurate picture if you go beyond the max. res. anyway, so I wouldn't try it. YMMV.
    Ben Menix
    [email protected]
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I was able to get 1920x1200(!) on my 1996-era Compupartner 15" monitor, at 60 Hz interlaced while preparing my PC for my HDTV. [​IMG]
    It might work on your monitor.
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I use the Radeon 7500 AIW as well, and my system runs at 1024x768 on a 21" monitor. It's a sweet card! But to the matter at hand.
    Let's get this perfectly clear -- YOU DO NOT NEED A NEW MONITOR!!
    The maximum resolution that you need to test the video of any HTPC setup is 1,024x768. WHY?
    Because the default resolution for DVD is 720x480!
    Run WinDVD and throw a disc in. Even at 1,024x768, the video window does not come close to taking up the entire desktop because the resolution of the DVD is already less than the system resolution -- and TVs have less resolution than that! [​IMG]
    You will not get ANY benefit by going beyond 1,024x768 because even then you're already going beyond DVD resolution. So, save your money for a bigger monitor later down the road when you actually have need for one. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Peter doesn't say one way or the other, but he could be running HD off the HTPC, which can go as high as 1920x1080.

    Also, although DVDs are 720x480 (for NTSC discs), they are never actually shown at that resolution on a computer, because the pixels on the DVD aren't square. The image is usually upscaled to something like 960x540 or even 1024x576 (for 16:9 anamorphic). And while that certainly doesn't cover the desktop, it is (or is nearly) the full width. Also, at 800x600, which is also bigger than 720x480, you'd definitely be losing something.

    //Ken
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  7. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Actually, watching DVDs higher than the format's native resolution has the benefits of excellent upscaling. Watching a DVD on my HTPC at 720x480 through my HDTV shows obvious rectangular pixels in the image. However, upscaling to 1440x960 (exactly double the dimensions) eliminates them as the video card's scaling circuitry smooths them over (upsampling).

    Recall that almost nobody refers to HDTV resolution except in the number of horizontal lines (1080i, 480p, 540p, 720i, etc.). In a sense, horizontal resolution is "infinite". That is, in broadcast transmissions (NTSC or PAL), each line on the screen is composed of an infinite number of pixels. But there are a discrete number of lines!
     
  8. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    John, there are several cards on the market that let you tune HD (typically off the air). These cards can also record the shows onto disk. So the HTPC can act as an HD set-top-box with recording.

    //Ken
     
  9. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    John, the scaling that a PC can do for $1000 is better than some scalers costing $10000

    Also you can use programs like DVDSubberwhich lets you buy superior foreign versions of films and still have subtitles
     
  11. Peter Jessee

    Peter Jessee Stunt Coordinator

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    John Berger posted:

     
  12. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I only have a 40" RPTV. I can run at 1440x960i, which is interlaced of course. [​IMG] The set can't do any better than 540p in progressive mode. I prefer 1440x540p, as I hate the flicker and get nothing but blurred text at 960i anyways. [​IMG]
     

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