720p plasmas and htpc's - advice please

T

tokoro

Guest
Hi

I want to use an htpc with a 720p plasma as my budget is around 500/600 quid.
It will be used to watch movies/tv so ideally I'd like to get the nice black levels etc that plasma provides over LCD.

I realise that the "ideal" for htpc is 1:1 mapping - This has been fine on the cheap samsung LCD I have been using via vga so far as the res is 1366 x 768.
From what I can gather all non 1080p plasmas seem to use 1024 x 768 so I guess that means rectangular pixels.

So, my questions are - what is the best thing to do?

get a 720p plasma and connect via hdmi and not worry about 1:1 mapping?

get and LCD and put up with worse picture?

I am assuming the vga on plasmas of this type will do funny things to the aspect ratio, is this correct?
Does anyone have experience with this? I don't have the budget for a 1080p plasma.

edit: Sods law, I have now found a couple of threads that discuss this although the answers don't seem to be definitive.

Thanks
 
Last edited by a moderator:

boxrick

Well-known Member
What i used to do with my old px80 ( 1024 x 768 resolution ) and my older pioneer pdpsx4280 ( 1024 x 768 ) was set it to 1360(6) x 768 so the aspect ratio was correct and the vertical resolution matched the native. It actually looked suprisingly good, plasmas deal with none native resolutions so well anyway but matching just the vertical did the job.
Then i disable all the overscanning rubbish and it was fine... actually much easier than trying to match a graphics card to 1366 x 768 resolution which is an absolute nightmare of adding custom resolutions and timings etc...

:thumbsup:

1:1 mapping on most LCDs and plasmas is known as simply disabling overscan, which virtually all modern flat screens do. 1:1 pixel mapping as you know it exactly matching pixel for pixel you will not find on any television and only on a few rare monitors!

Hi

So, my questions are - what is the best thing to do?

Get a plasma disable overscan and use 1360(6) x 768 resolution

Hi

I am assuming the vga on plasmas of this type will do funny things to the aspect ratio, is this correct?

Due to rectangular pixels if you feed it its native resolution of 1024 x 768 you will find the screen to be perfectly crystal clear but "stretched" horizontally. Not the situation you want. There isn't any real fix for this other than changing the resolution.

Hi
Does anyone have experience with this? I don't have the budget for a 1080p plasma.

Certainly do see my initial response!

edit: Sods law, I have now found a couple of threads that discuss this although the answers don't seem to be definitive.
Thanks

Anymore questions let me know, ive been putting pcs through plasmas for ages :thumbsup:
 
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boxrick

Well-known Member
did a quick edit so refresh page if you were reading... :smashin:
 

choddo2006

Distinguished Member
I don't completely agree.

I have used 1:1 to my two plasmas. The first was 1024x768 (Panasonic PHD8) and it was 1:1 over analog VGA, nothing to do with having overscan on or off.

It's true the desktop looked stretched because of the rectangular pixels, but nearly all media players support setting a different AR and rescale to suit, so I could get correct AR for movie playback no problem.
 

boxrick

Well-known Member
I don't completely agree.

I have used 1:1 to my two plasmas. The first was 1024x768 (Panasonic PHD8) and it was 1:1 over analog VGA, nothing to do with having overscan on or off.

It's true the desktop looked stretched because of the rectangular pixels, but nearly all media players support setting a different AR and rescale to suit, so I could get correct AR for movie playback no problem.

So inputting for example 800x600 provided a centred image with a black bar of around 3~~ inches all round the edge of the visible image?

If so then that was 1:1 pixel mapping... :smashin:
 

shooey

Standard Member
I too have my computer connected by VGA to my PX80 and use 1024x768. I just use Zoom player, with the aspect ratio set to anamorphic, and everything plays perfectly.

Initially, I did have my doubts as to whether this was the way to go, but have since tried it via HDMI and couldn't see any improvement at all, so have stuck to VGA as it leaves an HDMI socket free, and I get 1:1 pixel mapping.
 

wHoMe

Active Member
I too have my computer connected by VGA to my PX80 and use 1024x768. I just use Zoom player, with the aspect ratio set to anamorphic, and everything plays perfectly.

Initially, I did have my doubts as to whether this was the way to go, but have since tried it via HDMI and couldn't see any improvement at all, so have stuck to VGA as it leaves an HDMI socket free, and I get 1:1 pixel mapping.

Not sure why your doing it that way with zoom player as it wont be exact, zoom player has a relative stretch calculator which calculates the exact stretch needed then you can set it to apply that to all formats and aspect ratios from there on

VGA to the PX80 @ 1024x768 is very good indeed

There's another option with MPC-HC you can set your desktop to a 16.9 resolution and then set MPC-HC to select 1024x768 when ever its in full screen mode, there's already a preset filter on MPC-HC to correct the aspect when using 1024x768 its on Right Click > Pan Scan > Scale to 16.9 TV
 

shooey

Standard Member
Wow - never knew about any of that stuff. That gives me something else to play about with now! Glad I joined in - thanks.

Not sure why your doing it that way with zoom player as it wont be exact, zoom player has a relative stretch calculator which calculates the exact stretch needed then you can set it to apply that to all formats and aspect ratios from there on

VGA to the PX80 @ 1024x768 is very good indeed

There's another option with MPC-HC you can set your desktop to a 16.9 resolution and then set MPC-HC to select 1024x768 when ever its in full screen mode, there's already a preset filter on MPC-HC to correct the aspect when using 1024x768 its on Right Click > Pan Scan > Scale to 16.9 TV
 

choddo2006

Distinguished Member
So inputting for example 800x600 provided a centred image with a black bar of around 3~~ inches all round the edge of the visible image?

If so then that was 1:1 pixel mapping... :smashin:

It would have done, yes, although I never used anything other than 1024x768.
 

perceptionist87

Active Member
Wow - never knew about any of that stuff. That gives me something else to play about with now! Glad I joined in - thanks.

Hi there,

So the pixels are actually rectangular ? Thats the only mathermatical solution but I just couldn't believe it.

I have a PH10es and the professional displays allow to set horizontal and vertical zoom pixel by pixel.
Very appreciated.

So I input 1080i and reduce zoom untill the picture has 1:1 size compared to the full hd screen in the living room.
Of course there is pixel bias, but really the loss is marginal and from where I sit I can't make out any loss to the PZ80.
More the opposite is the case, the colours are much more accurate and the picture looks superbly natural and that's what counts at the end of the day.
 

BYF

Well-known Member
I have a 37inch PX70 with a native resolution of 1024x720, I connect via dvi to hdmi, and set resolution to 1280x720 @60hz and adjust over/undercan using the ATI control panel.

For some strange reason 1360x768 appears slightly clearer for text and on the desktop as there appears to be less scaling issues, but on BBC Iplayer it suffers from screen tear and ripples, which is non existent at 1280x720.


It's not going to look as sharp as a 1:1 pixel matched TV on the desktop or for browsing/general use etc but for playing films, media etc it looks great.
 

dave_st185

Active Member
I realise that the "ideal" for htpc is 1:1 mapping - This has been fine on the cheap samsung LCD I have been using via vga so far as the res is 1366 x 768.
From what I can gather all non 1080p plasmas seem to use 1024 x 768 so I guess that means rectangular pixels.

It's generally the smaller HD Ready screens, like 42" ones, that tend to be 1024x768

Usually the 50" versions are 1366x768, my 50" Fuji 58 series is and my friends 50" Panasonic PX70 is too
 

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