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Actual HTPC question: I figured out YXY, now what does Powerstrip do?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Since AVS is a bit over my head when it comes to HTPC, reading older threads has been little help. I downloaded and played with YXY and got a feel for what it does, just wondering what POWERSTRIP does that YXY does not.
    Anyone use it?
    Vince
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    http://www.musicianassist.com
    AIM: VinceMaskeeper
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  2. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Vince,
    Powerstrip will let you pick any combination of resolution and refresh rate. Even 16X9 resolutions (True 16X9 desktop) provided your video card can do them. I use 960X540P 16X9 when viewing DVD's on my projector via my computer. Basically powerstrip lets you find the sweet spot for your display device.
    What video card and display device do you have?
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Will have the Radeon VE 64mb sdr sending to the NEC LT-150.
    The NEC is a native 4:3 projector, 1024x768. I'm using a 16x9 screen that (obviously) will only use the middle 1024x576 area. I don't THINK you could send the NEC a 1024x576 image and have it stay letterboxed (i assume it would try to scale it to fullscreen if it recognized it at all).
    So I'm essentially looking for software that would windowbox 4:3 material inside the 1024x576 used picture area. I played with XYX and it worked, but it was clumsy and not all that stable.
    From what I see on my normal screen- a dvd software piece like Power DVD kinda handles anamorphic and non anamorhic the same way, when zoomed to fullscreen on a 4:3 monitor- non-anamorphic just puts it's bars above and below, anamorphic just has bars generated by the player. The 1.85:1 area is taken up the same regardless of how it does it.
    Anyway- I'm just playing around and trying to figure out what options I have to make the configuration work the best- and the mmost seamless. The best thing would be if there was a way for the projector to get a 1240x768 feed from the computer, but have windows believe the desktop was 1024x576 so it would never use the top and bottom 96 lines for any reason, and would then maintain 4:3 aspect ratios inside that area (the only thing I would need then would be a zoom for non-anamorphic letterbox). But I don't think anything can do that.
    Anyway- so I was trying to figure out what Powerstip does!
    -Vince
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    http://www.musicianassist.com
    AIM: VinceMaskeeper
    Do you want SOUTH PARK on DVD in order, rather than themed sets? Join our overwhelming majority !!
    [Edited last by Vince Maskeeper on November 05, 2001 at 11:24 PM]
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    OK, I posted this before... but figured I'd spell it all out again in hopes someone (anyone) was reading:
    As I'm delving into the HTPC world, I have my MOBO and Processor here in box (Athlon 1.4g XP and the new Epox Ep-8KHA+ board) waiting for the Rackmount case and other components to arrive over the coming 2 weeks.
    Now I'm beginning to plan for the software end of things. As a result, I downloaded YXY and played with it a bit on my desktop machine, and got the hang of it pretty well. It was a bit clumsy and not all that stable, but I think adding Girder with sending my keystrokes directly to it would probably work better than what I experienced.
    However, now that I've seen the wonders of YXY, I'm wondering exactly what Powerstrip offers that YXY doesn't, and more specifically if Powerstrip would be useful in my situation at all, and if it could help me solve my specific problems...
    I searched for a Powerstrip based intro/faq/for dummies type post and found little... so if this has been covered before- PLEASE point me in the right direction, I'm more than happy to read a hundred old threads if they contain info at a level I can grasp.
    Specifically my situation is like this:
    NEC LT150 Projector, native 1024x768 4:3 projector
    Projecting onto a 1.78:1 screen that is 68 x 38.25
    Will be using the Radeon VE 64mb DDR...
    The NEC is a native 4:3 projector, 1024x768 native resolution. I'm using a 16x9 screen. I'm not using anamorphic lenses or anything like that. NEC doesn't offer any sqeeze that would allow 1024x768 anamorphic DVD to be squashed to proper aspect (at least not that I know of), so I will only use the "middle" 1024x576 area of the display.
    From what I see on my normal screen on my desktop PC- a dvd software piece like Power DVD kinda handles anamorphic and non anamorhic the same way, when zoomed to fullscreen on a 4:3 monitor- non-anamorphic just puts it's bars above and below that is in the full screen video signal, anamorphic just has bars generated by the player, and 4:3 takes up the full screen.
    For widescreen, The 1.85:1 area is taken up the same regardless of how it does it. It doesn't make anamorphic stretched to full screen, rather maintains proper aspect ratio.
    I'm essentially looking for software that would:
    • windowbox 4:3 material inside the 1024x576 used picture area (768x576??),
    •zoom the middle of non-anamorphic DVD to 1024x576,
    • as well as maximize anamorphic DVD to 1024x576.
    I played with XYX and it worked to do all that- but not all that smooth of an interface. So my issue is how to make a 16x9 picture area work the best with a native 4:3 projector:
    • The best thing would be if there was a way for the projector to get a 1240x768 feed from the computer, but have windows believe the desktop was 1024x576 so it would never use the top and bottom 96 lines for any reason, and would then maintain 4:3 aspect ratios inside that area (the only thing I would need then would be a zoom for non-anamorphic letterbox).
    Also this would cause desktop applications to maximize to 1024x576 and keep all desktop icons in my screen's picture area. This would be a bit more to my liking as far and smothness of interface.
    But I don't think anything can do that. Or can something do that? If not, what would be the preferred approach? I know I can build custom scalings in YXY, but it seems like a 16x9 desktop would be preferred. HOWEVER, I don't THINK I could send the NEC a 1024x576 image and have it stay letterboxed (i assume it would try to scale it to fullscreen if it recognized it at all). Would changing from square pixels have any use in this kind of situation?
    • One other small wrench in the monkeyworks is that my projection setup isn't ideal... so I actually am not using the "middle" of the 1024x768 picture area- my image would actually have to be shifted up slightly, so it would essentially use the top portion of the 768 for the needed 576 pixels.
    So a real perfect solution would be what I described above (Windows sees a 16x9 desktop but sends a 4:3 to the NEC) that would allow me to shift the "active" desktop pixels up a bit.
    Again- I know I can do this on a 4x3 desktop with YXY for DVD playback- but obviously running windows this way would be far more elegant.
    So can anyone clue me in on Powerstrip and what it offers, and if any of it would be useful to my situation. Does anyone understand my situation and have a suggestion of the best approach? Any other NEC LT-150 owners running HTPC and 16x9 screens and if so, how have you solved this problem? How about the new TheaterTek DVD player, can this solve the problems?
    Thankfully, again, I know YXY can handle all the issues I'll have (custom windowboxing, zooming, and image position)-- but wondered if Powerstrip would be something I could consider to lock in a permanent desktop to solve these issues. I know it offers custom 16x9 resolutions (with some cards)- but I didn't know how the NEC would react (1024x576 is not a supported res, and I fear the effects of "accublend").
    -Vince
     
  5. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I think the LT150 can indeed handle a desktop resolution of 1024x576 sent to it via Powerstrip. That will give you the ability to use a 16:9 screen and send a constant height image to the screen, ie a 4:3 image will be displayed with black bars from the projector.

    However, making your Radeon output that non-standard resolution takes some fairly advanced tinkering in Powerstrip, and you really should do a search over on AVSForum. I know I read about this exact topic only yesterday evening - I'm actually pondering a HTPC+LT150 combo for myself, and remember being thrilled to discover I could run the projector at 1024x576 and thus be able to use a 16:9 screen.

    I believe the projector does indeed have a squeeze mode to allow you to view anamorphic 16:9 material.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  7. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    I'm using a HTPC with a Radeon VE 32mb sdr and an LT150 with a 16x9 screen. I only use YXY now.

    I used to have custom res (16x9) for the radeon via a reg hack in Win2k but for some reason it wouldn't work in XP. So now I just live with the desktop at a native 1024x768 with plenty of spill over my screen. But I configure everything on a seperate monitor anyway, which is why I went with the VE in the first place. I set up every aspect ratio in YXY and then added every DVD I own to the YXY database. Now I just start up WinDVD and have YXY running and it autodetects which DVD I play and sets the appropriate masking and aspect ratio. Couldn't be easier and I don't have to worry about custom timings etc. Just a standard 60hz refresh rate which is the native refresh of the LT150. This also works great for 4:3 material and I have custom settings set for Dscaler for broadcast tv.

    Hope this helps some.
     

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