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advice please: using laptop with USB as audio and video source

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by roboldham, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. roboldham

    roboldham
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    Hi there

    I have a Philips 32PW9527 and DVD player / amp etc.

    I also have a lot of music and video (good quality) on a small 2 machine network at the other end of the house.

    I was thinking of using a spare laptop I have (with USB and PCMCIA) as a wireless network unit that could output Video to ehe TV (widescreen 16:9 32 inch) and audio to my Amp.

    PCMCIA could be used for the WiFi wireless network and pulls files from my other machines.

    But the question is are there any USB (or PCMCIA!) devices that can output quality Video and / or Audio.

    I have looked @ Creatives Etigy for audio - but what about Video??

    Many thanks

    R
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
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    Sorry mate, you want to display on the TV? You need TV out on the laptop, I can't think of a USB device to do that, video is more bandwidth than USB1 can handle. Especially if you are using the USB bus for sound as well with a separate device. Extigy V. good quality for computer type speakers, if you have an amp that takes dig. in you probably should look at M Audio Sonica instead.
     
  3. roboldham

    roboldham
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    Hmm.. I would have thought USB2 may ve the bandwidth but yeah - I'll have to research.

    I have seen these products : what do people think?

    ADS instant DVD

    uTV VGA to TV usb thing

    R
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    USB1 is 1.2mbit/sec I thought, obviously USB 2 is the biz at 480mbit/sec. PCMCIA has the bandwidth, that 1st one seems to use USB for control only, and outputs video via pcmcia. At that cost level, check out keene and lectropaks for non-pc based conversion hardware, something that takes VGA from the external monitor port and turns it into video of your choice. Synching that with audio might not be that simple, there's a delay with many converters. Only trial and error will tell, you'd be better off starting somewhere else than a spare laptop really. Most have a composite out port nowadays, surprised you haven't got one.
     
  5. roboldham

    roboldham
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    Hi there

    It does have one but I can only output whats actually on the screen of the laptop rather than a controllable video mirror (like I have on anoth machines GeForce 4600ti - nowhere near the TV room!)

    The picture quality is very harsh and I can't seem to make it fit the 16:9 WS TV properly.

    I tried a Digisender from the comp with the GeForce but the sound was poor quality and its a hassle running from room to room!

    R
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    In my experience, that's what computers put on TV screens, mine's horrible too. The answer is to use a plasma or projector, but of course they only display the same as the pc, just that they do it properly.
     
  7. Desmo

    Desmo
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    USB is 11mbit.

    Rob, you say the laptop is a spare. If this is the case I'm asumming it's a slightly oldish machine? If this is the case then I doubt it has USB2.
     
  8. vep

    vep
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    roboldham:

    I am planing to buy Philips 32pw9527. I will use it a lot for watching videos and DVD-s which i have on my computer through TV-out (Nvidia Gf4 video card). I wonder if you have tried the same with your computer (you mentioned you have GF4 as well), not your notebook. If so, what is the quality of picture in this case. Is it comparable with standalone DVD player connected to this TV?

    Thanks
     
  9. roboldham

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    Hi there. Yes the GF4 looks pretty damn good through the tube. I have been watching as composite video tho - and plan to investigate using one of the DVI outs as RGB too for improved (hopefully) quality.

    The Video Mirror tools on the GF4 are a little fiddly but once you have set them up just right the whole thing works really well. I had a few driver headaches with my flavour of card (Gainward GoldenSample) and had to revert to ones a few weeks older to get it all working - but not too much hassle.

    Dont forget to set up a good profile for watching "dark" movies on the GF4 video mirror setup - it makes a huge difference.

    But yeah - quality is fantastic if you get a good rip. Most of my good ones are full length movie over 1.4Gb (ie. two CDs worth)

    On "middle of the road" rips you may well see some artifaxing cos the tube is so good ;-) but its a small price to pay.

    HTH - if you need to know any more , just ask!

    R
     
  10. vep

    vep
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    roboldham:

    Just a thought. Have you ever tryed TvTool (http://www.tvtool.info). It is a fine software for Nvidia Tv-out settings.
     
  11. roboldham

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    Never tried it - what does it do over the standard control panel setup?

    R
     
  12. vep

    vep
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    roboldham:

    There are a lot of settings which are accessible through TvTool (Diferent TV resolutions, flicker filters, color settings ...). If your GF4 has Conexant TV-out chip, there is a special future available which makes quit a difference in sharpnes.

    You should try it and play a bit with the settings. There is a shareware version available for download on the page metioned above which works for 15 minutes everytime you start it.

    Try it i belive you won't be disapointed.
     
  13. roboldham

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    Will do!

    Now all I need to do is figure out the best way of getting movies of my network into the TV room.

    Currently thinking I should just buy a mini-PC with a spare PCI slot and stick another GF4 Ti and wirelass lancard in it!

    R
     
  14. MAW

    MAW
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    Bandwidth, mate! Make sure you get the latest 22mbit/sec wireless, the original is 11mbit/sec at best, probably not enough for streaming dvd video+DD sound.
     

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