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Topic: HTPC v.s
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Joined: Mar 27, 2005
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I have never fed my projector any signal other than the signal that comes out from my computer. most of the reviews and postings I have read at and here at seems to indicate that most (if not all) projector owners use other video devices (i.e. HD-DVD player, or high quality video processor / scaler). As I have not used any signal other than a computer signal I cannot make a comparison against other video devices to see whether a computer with a good graphics card can produce a better image than say a high quality video processor / scaler. I would like to think that a quality HTPC would outperform all other video devices. What do all of you think?
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
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I'm also very interested in hearing if the HTPC would outperform or even equal the video quality that processors provide today. If I go the route of setting up a HTPC do I still need a video processor or will the video cards provide the necessary scaling and doubling?
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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Excellent remark.

In fact you will see that the reason people need video scalers is to scale up/down to the projector's native resolution which, in most cases is 720p. If memory serves the Panny 700 even has an "RGB" added in front of the resolution. In other words, in the projection world the VGA cable beats the HDMI/DVI hands down. Good news is that with a program like PowerStrip you will match any resolution. See the the Canon Realis 50 projector with XVGA+? One step further toward 1080i and unheard of LCOS pricing. I am waiting until Fall when new and wonderful things will continue happening (Santa make me a $3500 1080i native pj plz

Remember the DVDO and Lumagen commercials "Go Native" with the tribal dance? Now i understand. See, HT projector are merely an offshoot of the projector sales, and most projectors will still be used to present material prepared on a pc.

You will be doing very well using your HTPC even for DVDs as this way your setup on a projector will beat the PQ of all the Denons and Pios. I have the Pio 59AVi player ($1000) and i think i will be selling it if what they say is true.

Just wanted to let you know that based on my research you are getting the real thing 100%. Of course, should you decide to get into 480p/i and 1080i, you will need a video scaler as the puny projector box jungleboard will never match a 200 lb Loewe Aconda (superb tube HDTV)circuitry.

Does this make sense?


[Edited by Bobpaule on Mar 28, 2005 at 6:00 PM]
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Joined: Mar 31, 2005
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I also have an HTPC I use to view DVDs in my home theater/projector setup.....wouldn't go any other way. I have done side-by-side tests with my HTPC and several different DVD players. THERE IS NO COMPARISON! The HTPC has a substantially better quality picture than the DVD players. However, I did notice that some DVD players render a better picture than others but none came close to the picture quality of the HTPC. Sorry, I don't recall the brands of the DVD players I tested with.

I have two friends with home theaters and they also went to a HTPC for DVD playback after seeing the difference.

For what it's worth......
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Joined: Feb 11, 2005
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Without question, PC cards provide better overall quality than consumer-level DVD players. It's simply a matter of providing the PJ with the perfectly aligned/scaled image it was born to see.

The comment about PJs being made to fit presentations is right: I'm the market, not you. (My facility purchases about 50-100 projectors per year at about $5000 per, depending on budget.) Some manufacturers, like BenQ and Optoma, have specifically targeted the HT market, and more power to them, but the vast majority of PJs are made for my clients.

That having been said, it makes perfect sense that most projectors would present an XGA or SXGA image far better than they would line-double a 480p DVD image. There are certainly scalers out there that will convert the image for you into a nice, native matrix -- but the ones that will do it right will cost you far more than the PC will (Analog Way, eg).

Don't get me wrong -- I use scalers all the time. They have their place -- but they're far more useful in an environment like mine where you don't want people to have access to the hardware than in your environment, where, presumably, it's OK for you to access your PC directly.

One final thought: Try to use 5-wire (5 separate coaxial cables) to connect your PC to your projector, and consider purchasing a projector that has RGBHV inputs (almost always on BNC connectors). Commercially available VGA cables have very substantial signal loss at anything over 20', and even pro VGA cables are not used beyond 50'. Use an HD15-to-5BNC breakout cable and run 5-wire Hi-res coax to the PJ if you can. Many companies sell these; the one virtually every professional uses is Extron.
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