Projector+Monitor=Switch Box?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John_Bla, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. John_Bla

    John_Bla Auditioning

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    Hi everyone.
    I just recently purchased a NEC projector [I'm pretty dang excited to be jumping into the FP world...now when it just GETS HERE! lol!].
    Since I don't have a scaler [1024x768 native res]...or the MONEY to buy a scaler, I'm going to be using dscale to get the type of picture I'll be looking for.
    However, since replacement bulbs are so expensive, and I often use higher resolutions like 1600x1200 for school-related graphic design work, I'm wanting to keep/continue to use my computer monitor.
    I'm assuming the best way to get to do this would be to purchase a monitor switchbox?
    None are available from local electronic stores [Best Buy, CompUSA], so I need to turn to online dealers.
    I've found some, but I want to make sure I'm getting a 'good' one, if there is indeed 'good' and 'bad'...
    the ones I've seen are only like 15 bucks, which is CERTAINLY fine with me! ... as long as they're good.
    All I'll be switching is from monitor to projector and vice versa, so I don't need a switchbox that changes mouse, keyboard, and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink. [​IMG]
    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
    John
     
  2. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    John-
    The whole "good" / "bad" is really a function of perception. I would go ahead and get the switchbox you've found, hook it up and try it out. CompUSA usually lets you return products that don't perform as expected, so if you see any problems, just return it.
    I'm sure there are more expensive solutions, but I'd give that one a try first.
    Some other good stuff for you to check out as a first PJ owner:
    Cheap, good scaler: http://www.pcnation.com/asp/details.asp?item=383583
    Good deal on NEC bulbs at Dell: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=51849 (not sure which NEC you have, but Dell probably has the right bulb)
     
  3. John_Bla

    John_Bla Auditioning

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    They don't carry monitor switchboxes at CompUSA anymore unfortunately though...so should I still take a chance ordering one on the internet.
    I mean, they're cheap so it's not a huge deal, but that would be kinda poopy to get a lemon. [​IMG]
    That scaler looks very appealing, especially considering they usually cost so much...
    I've been reading in the forums (and AV science forum) that using a capture card/dscale combo yeilds very high quality results, so I'd purchased a WinTV (model 401) at compUSA for about 99 bucks...though I think they had the ViewSonic you recommended also.
    The ViewSonic would be nice, since I woudln't have to have my computer on while watching movies (and the thing has LOADS of fans in it, so it's fairly loud! hehe!).
    But, one thing to take into consideration is refresh rates.
    At 1024 x 768 the ViewSonic goes to 60hz, maxes at 75...my video card/scale combo could put me at the projectors maximum of 120hz (btw, you guessed right, I got a LT150 -- and that Dell bulb deal is amazing!).
    Do you think it would be more beneficial to have the View Sonic and have some convenience (and a little more silence), or to have the dscale/capture card combo for a higher refresh rate?
    Thanks again for your time!
    John
     
  4. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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    Another Idea is a VGA splitter. They have the amplified distribution units, but I found a simple cable splitter for $5.00 that seems to do the job without degrading the signal. I can use either my monitor or projector, or I can use both at the same time!

    I got it from TNT Cable Industries (619) 874-0372
     
  5. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    If they have both locally, there is no harm in bringing each home and giving them a try. Over at AVS Forum, most people cited similar performance between the Viewsonic cheesebox scaler and DScaler, so I'd give both of them a shot. The convenience factor of just switching the Viewsonic on instead of booting the HTPC and then keeping it from crashing is what interested me. Dscaler definitely looks like a good alternative, and the good news there is that it keeps getting refined and hopefully better.

    As far as noise, the LT150 is a pretty loud little beast. It easily drowns out my HTPC, and I don't have any of the "silent" fans in the case, just normal el cheapo muffins.

    Has your LT150 shipped? I had to call 6 different places to get mine...lots of them wanted to take my order, but only one actually had stock.
     
  6. John_Bla

    John_Bla Auditioning

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    Hmm, well those guys over at AVS forum certainly seem to know what they're talking about...and so if they did indeed give about equal likeness between the two, I think I'll likely go with the viewsonic...convenience certainly IS nice!

    Do you think the difference in refresh rates would be a factor, or not really?

    Thanks to the both of you for your input!

    John
     
  7. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    I would say the resolution isn't as much of an issue. You're probably going to want to run the PJ in its native resolution (or higher, according to some tweakists); offhand, I think that the max refresh for the LT150 running at 1024x768 is between 75-80 Hz; the 120 Hz is for 640x480.

    So in that respect they are pretty much equal, being that the Viewsonic runs up to 75 Hz and DScaler would max out at 79.

    The only reason I haven't picked one up for my setup is that I'm getting rid of cable, don't have VHS, and never watch LDs anymore.
     
  8. John_Bla

    John_Bla Auditioning

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    Thanks, I just got back from CompUSA...exchanged the WinTV 401 for the View Sonic.

    I was considering trying both like you said, but they charge a 15% restock fee...and since refresh rate isn't an issue at 1024x768 anymore, I'd rather have the MUCH more convenient -- and quiet -- solution via the View Sonic.

    Thanks a bunch for the heads-up and advice!

    John Blalock
     
  9. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Let us know how it works out; it seems a great solution for people who have just gotten into FPTV and don't want to drop the dough on a big budget scaler/doubler.
     

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