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AVR300 and Mediacentre PC

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by SteveBot, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. SteveBot

    SteveBot
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    I have an AVR300 with a Panasonic Plasma using RGB via scart as the output to the screen.

    My dvd and Sky digibox input RGB to the AVR300 high quality video inputs.

    The whole setup is hidden away from the room with the screen.

    I now want to use a Mediacentre pc as a PVR and to allow me to play my MP3 collection via the home cinema speakers with the menu on the plasma screen.

    What I'd like to know is has anyone worked out how to connect a pc graphics card to the AVR300 using RGB or component as the input?

    Most graphics cards seem to output S-video or worse. ATI cards can output YPrPb with a dongle that seems to be available only in the US.

    I haven't found a pc graphics card that will output RGB + comp sync or YCrCb.

    I know I could run S-video to the AVR or I could run another feed direct from the pc to the plasma screen but one results in poorer quality video and the other loses the ability to switch audio and video feeds both at once using the AVR remote.

    I have found professional scan converters but these are going to cost as much as the media pc.

    There are also websites offering circuit diagrams for converters and while I can solder a scart plug without burning the house down I don't want to get any more technical than I have to.

    Any ideas gratefully received.
     
  2. cwick

    cwick
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    Why don't you just get the ATI component dongle ? Several people on the forums have used them with some success.
     
  3. SteveBot

    SteveBot
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    Thanks for the reply.

    Will the AVR300 accept YPbPr (which the ATI converter produces) without colour issues?
     
  4. bedders

    bedders
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  5. SteveBot

    SteveBot
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    Thanks Nik,

    Unfortunately it doesn't. It is an RGB to VGa converter rather than the other way round.

    Afte much Googling I find there are at least two definitions of YCbCr, one digital and one analogue. Seems the analogue is often confised with YPbPr as my AVR300 is marked YC... while my Arcam DVD is marked YP... and presumably they are compatible when used in component mode.

    Reading the AVR300 manual I found the bit that says I can't mix RGB and component inputs on the HQ video inputs and since the Sky Digibox output is RGB that is what I need for best quality.

    More searching shows I need a scan converter. I have asked the distributers if a Corioscan Select / Connect will produce RGB & comp sync (between £200 and £260) from VGA. Professional kit costs a lot more. Fingers crossed.

    Now I need to think about a pc sound card with digital output...
     
  6. dgc

    dgc
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  7. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    I'm a bit confused, why does the video need to go anywhere near your processor / Amp.

    Can't you send the signal directly from the PC to the TV/Plasma/Projector. Then send the audio to the Amplifier to play with? Without putting the video signal through it at all.

    Steff

    EDIT: OK, i've read more carefully you have a plasma. If it has enough inputs then I would have thought that one from the Amp, for sky / video etc...and one input directly from the PC would be fine?
     
  8. SteveBot

    SteveBot
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    The idea was to be able to use the AVR300 remote to switch between video and audio sources at the same time so keeping the number of remotes needed to a minimum (currently running at 7 in that room alone).

    Thanks for the suggestion dgc, I now plan to run the output from the PC through a Corioscan Connect scan converter (£200) to get an RGBS signal. Now trying to work out the optimal spec for the PC.

    I'm about to take the chaser to the living room wall and, while the plaster is off, I may take your suggestion booktrunk and run another cable to the Plasma anyway (might as well since I've got to run Scart, IR and separate mains).
     
  9. bedders

    bedders
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    re 7 remotes!

    Have you considered using something like a Philips Pronto URC (universal remote control)?

    This website gives you info on the Pronto... http://www.pronto.philips.com and there is an excellent community website for URC's at... www.remotecentral.com which has some great reviews of many different types of URC :)

    N
     
  10. SteveBot

    SteveBot
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    Yikes!

    Nice looking piece of kit but the Pronto Pro is almost as much as the Mediacentre PC!

    Might try running Noviiremote on my Palm T3 first. I've downloaded the trial version to see if the IR on the T3 has enough range. Otherwise there is an SD module that will beef up the power.
     

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