SP4805 in poor college kid's living room, advice

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Adam Smith, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Agent

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey guys,
    This is probably only my third or fourth post on this forum but a lot has happened. My current setup is this: a ceiling mounted Infocus ScreenPlay 4805 in an approximately 18' long by 16' wide living room, which opens up into the rest of my house (missing the left wall). The acoustics are terrible because of the bare walls but that's another story. Anyway I have the projector mounted to the rearmost stud in the ceiling and have the zoom cranked to get a horizontal screen width of approximately 100". The projector gets signal from a VGA cable running to my multimedia server. I am currently typing this on that computer. Cool. [​IMG]
    Anyway, I was wondering.
    1. What kind of screen material to use and how most people attach their screens to the wall? Are the $30 eBay screens any good?
    2. The MM server runs through VGA at a resolution of 1280x720 (720p). However, the edges of the screen (left and right) are cut off, and the top and bottom are cut off if the resolution is changed to 800x600. What is causing this? Overscan is not on, and it doesn't matter if I change the aspect ratio (native and 16x9 do the same thing). I can't adjust this with any video card settings (GeForce 4 MX 420, a card I had laying around).
    3. Is there any better way to get signal from the computer to the projector? Would a DVI cable improve anything? The projector's input is DVI-I, so I'd assume it would look identical. Also, I can't find a DVI-I cable long enough for the setup I want (with MM server in front, next to receiver). (Right now the MM server is on a big tower to make the short VGA cable reach, which includes an end table, a spare computer case cover, and a Wal-mart shopping basket.)
    4. I'm running optical out to an optical-to-digital converter, then digital to my roommate's Pioneer VSX-D514 5.1 receiver (I didn't choose it..) On the receiver's display it says DVD/LD and in the corner DOLBY DIGITAL, but it still must be in 2ch (nothing comes through the center channel). What gives? The sound card's a Chaintech AV-710 7.1. Is there a way to do 5.1 out through optical or digital?

    Sorry for the huge post, and thanks in advance for answers to any questions.
     
  2. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,687
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #1) Don't know enough to be too helpful. I know a good screen costs $$$. A $30 ebay screen won't be great (is it even 100" wide?), but it will be better than a sheet or blank wall(common among the college crowd [​IMG] )

    #2) DVI will be a nice step up over VGA. Don't know what to tell you about the cord length.

    #3) I have the same problem (although I knew it when I bought my sound card). I got a 5.1 sound card specifically for its digital output, but all the ones I looked at only put out 4.1 digtally. I only use it for music, so it doesn't matter. If you wan't 5.1 for movies you're better off just getting a standalone DVD player.
     
  3. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 1999
    Messages:
    4,948
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds like a cool setup, Adam.

    1) The subject of screens and screen materials makes that of projectors seem simple. I used "blackout cloth" from a fabric store for mine, but check out
    this forum for lots of options.

    2) Not sure, but the answer to #3 might help...

    3)DVI is the best way to feed a 4805 and will allow pixel-mapping from a pc. The input on the pj is not actually a DVI port, it's an M1 connector that needs an adapter to accept DVI. I use a 10m M1-DVI cable from InFocus.

    4) Optical is digital...I assume you mean coaxial?
     
  4. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Agent

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    1. Must've missed that forum entirely. I blame it on being awake for too long!

    3. I'll be sure to check out (and probably purchase) that M1-DVI cable from InFocus then, sounds exactly like what I need.

    4. Yeah I meant digital coax.. see reasoning in 1. [​IMG]
    Does anybody know of a sound card that does 5.1 on optical or on digital coax that's inexpensive? I had a friend's computer hooked up with a very expensive M-Audio card and the display said PCM stream, 96 kHz, and we watched movies in 5.1. I know it's possible, but I wanted to try my $27 Chaintech card I had laying around first (was previously driving Grado SR-80s, its intended purpose).

    Thanks for the link to the correct forum (durr) and I think I'll have to order that cable!
     
  5. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Agent

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK here I am, bringing back threads from the dead. A lot has happened since I ceiling mounted the projector. I ran the Infocus VGA to M1 connector for a while at a resolution of 1280x720, and the projector said "720p". All was good, except for little VGA artifacts. I purchased the Infocus 10m DVI to M1 cable with high hopes. Here's the problem. I cannot figure out how to get EITHER 720p (with scaling on the projector.... preferred) OR per-pixel mapping to work over DVI. I have both NVIDIA and ATI cards at my disposal, although I would prefer to use the ATI. For some reason it is thinking the projector has a maximum resolution of 1024x768, and therefore 1280x720 will scroll since 1280 is higher than its "maximum" of 1024. Overriding their recommendations, my best result yet is 848x480.. but it's STRETCHED. With text, there are waves of thicker and thinner text, as it's trying to filter four extra pixels in. Stupid. If someone were to make a .inf file for the ScreenPlay 4805 I believe the problem would be solved. I really don't mind 1280x720, because when playing DVDs I really can't see upconversion and downconversion - it looks just as good as the 848x480. However, I do a fair amount of web browsing and such on the projector and 848x480 is too small. However, if someone could help me with per-pixel mapping I can live with it.

    Anybody know how to either let the damn thing output 1280x720 OR how to set up 1:1 pixel mapping? I don't want to go back to VGA, because that means I have to relocate the computer back to on top of the stolen Wal-Mart shopping basket, instead of nicely tucked away in our TV stand..
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't mean to sound like a smartass, but if you can afford to, why don't you buy a basic Sony/Panasonic/Pioneer/etc dvd player and avoid all this hassle? I see these all the time for $60-$80.
     
  7. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Agent

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It would defeat the purpose of having a PC to control everything, plus we use the HTPC/PJ combo a lot during parties for music/music videos. Also, I don't want to run 33 feet of component, and then climb up to the ceiling to switch input sources every time (we lost the remote). It's nice to have everything all-in-one, as I have a TV card in there as well for TV viewing. At one point in time we were using a separate DVD player for DVDs. It wasn't nearly as convenient. Also, if we used a DVD player for DVDs, I would still need the problem with DVI fixed. :]

    OK, as happens with most of my posts, I figured out how to do it about half an hour after I posted. I was fumbling around last night in the NVIDIA display properties again (the green NVIDIA tab in settings) and right clicked the monitor. There was an option for "Use monitor as HDTV" which was checked. I unchecked it, then checked it again and it let me pick which resolution I wanted to send to the HDTV over DVI. I picked 720p and boom, everything worked. It's just as it was before. A little blurry because the 4805 is scaling to 480p, but I can live with it. I no longer have missing edges of the screen, either. There were also options for "480p EDTV" and "576p EDTV", but neither were widescreen. What gives? I thought 480p was 854x480 or whatever. Hmm..
     
  8. Paul-D

    Paul-D Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Please check out this forum for way more information. You'll probably have to do quite a bit of searching.
     
  9. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Agent

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the thread.. but I think I got it figured out. Read above post [​IMG]
     
  10. Adam

    Adam Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 1998
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Adam,

    Did you get the sound part figured out? I do this with my laptop. You need to go into the sound properties/speaker setup for the audio card and select digital passthrough, (external decoder). This will allow the uncoded digital signal to pass throught to the Pioneer, which will decode the 5.1 format. If you select 5.1 or 2.1 in the card setup then the PC will decode the signal and only send out the front two channels even on the digital cable. Usually with PC sound cards that can decode DD and DTS there is a 5.1 channel dongle that connects to the 5.1 channel analog inputs of a receiver or 5.1 channel PC speaker set, but you don't need this if you you the optical cable and passthrough.

    Hope that helps.

    Also,
    Adam.
     
  11. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Agent

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's good advice.. I wonder how I could make it just output raw PCM. Here's what my control panel looks like:
    [​IMG]
    It's a Chaintech AV-710 which is the VIA Envy24 chipset, 7.1.
     

Share This Page