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Best Laptop to LCD setup? (32PF9830)

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs Forum' started by Jaggers, Oct 30, 2005.

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  1. Jaggers

    Jaggers
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    Hi,

    I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Philips 32PF9830. In my mind's eye, I look forward to watching HD content, sourced from the Internet, and outputted from the laptop to the LCD screen. And I think I'll be able to achieve higher quality (upscaled?) output if I use the same setup for watching DVDs too? My standalone DVD player is ancient, with only a SCART output. My Laptop is a cheapish Sony Vaio VGN-B1VP, which so far as I can tell doesn't even have a line out for the audio!

    I would very much appreciate any advice for best setups to achieve this,with details on any cables, software, and other hardware needed. Also, are there any particularly good sources of HD content on the Internet? Perhaps something DivX?

    My current plan is to use the VGA-DVI cable which is apparently supplied with the 32PF9830, and to purchase a SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook (PCMCIA). With the latter I imagine I can either use a line out to the LCD, or perhaps connect directly to my GigaWorks 7.1 speakers. I've heard mention of software called Powerstrip, but don't know how this fits in. Also, is there any particular DVD software player that is recommended?

    I *think* my laptop, on VGA-out, will do 1024x768, 1280x768, 1280x1024 amongst other resolutions.

    A final question I have, referring to the Philips 32PF9830 product specification PDF...

    http://www.p4c.philips.com/files/3/32pf9830_10/32pf9830_10_pss_eng.pdf

    ...is this: I think DVI will provide near loss-less digital video input... but what about digital audio? On the second page of the PDF the rear-connectors include a complex looking array for digital audio (six connectors, next to DVI?). Can this be put to my advantage? Are these anything to do with SP-DIF? I think the Soundblaster has SP-DIF out.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Many Thanks.
     
  2. cooperda

    cooperda
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    I'm not sure but doesn't HD video - Divx, mpg4 and H264? - need at least a 3GHz processor or beefy graphics card to run with framedropouts?

    Cheers, Dave C.
     
  3. Jaggers

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    Hi - that is a fair point - I hadn't thought about that. I've found www.divx.com/hd/ which reads...

    ####################
    What are the system requirements for viewing DivX® HD on a PC?

    To watch DivX HD on your PC, you will need a 2.4 Ghz Intel processor or equivalent, 384 megabytes of RAM and a monitor which supports video resolutions of at least 1280 x 720.
    ####################

    My Laptop is a 1.6Ghz Centrino, with 500MB RAM. I think a 1.6Ghz Centrino is at least as good as a 2.4Ghz P4. Should be ok I think. I'll let you know if I manage to get it going.

    Anyway, if not, I've also got a beefy Desktop which will be more than adequate, although I don't want to have to wheel that around everytime I want to watch a DVD!

    Ps... I hadn't heard of H264 before. I'll have to go and do some research!
     
  4. Tomcat23

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    Try www.apple.com for H.264 man.. The wonderful codec from Quicktime 7.0 : But strong PC/Mac needed.
     
  5. peebee01

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    Jaggers,

    A VGA-DVI cable should work. This is no digital interconnection so the quality of the cable will probably play a role. I never understood if a DVI-DVI connection would be any better as that one can also be an analog connection, but anyway that's probably a little too off topic.

    On the six connections on the back, only three are for digital audio, two inputs and one output. The inputs are linked to a specific input (SCART, DVI, HDMI, Component Video or the inputs on the side) using the setup menu. The output port is connected to a receiver, allowing the TV to switch digital audio between your DVD player or sat receiver (in my case) when you switch the channel.

    The other three connections behind the digital audio ones are for the component video inputs.

    You mention you would want to upscale video, you know there are programs like FFDshow that do that, together with other wizardry like deinterlace and so on. Anybody have any experience with these programs and if they provide a noticeable improvement when scaling video over regular "fullscreen" dvd playback?
     
  6. smallmanongn

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    Just bear in mind the graphics ability of whatever notebook you use,my Acer is only 16MB in-built graphics and it really struggles to play HD demos either with Windows Media Player or Power DVD,they stutter like mad!
     
  7. Jaggers

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    Hi All - thanks for the replies. To bring you up to date...

    ...on my laptop performance - it seems to be able to handle MicroSoft's 720p demos quite easily. However it stutters badly with 1080p demos. I'm not too worried, as the desktop does both happily.

    ...on the LCD, which I've had for two days now, I have not yet managed to get the VGA output from the laptop working with the DVI input on the LCD. Sound works (using standard stereo inputs at the mo' for simplicity) but no picture.

    Following a chat with a knowledgable Maplins techie, I'm using a VGA to DVI-A adaptor with a single link DVI-D to DVI-D cable. The adaptor plugs straight into the VGA port on the back of the laptop, and the DVI cable connects that to the DVI input on the Philips. No picture tho!

    The Laptop outputs fine to my PC monitor, and I've tested the VGA to DVI-A convertor.

    I don't have any way to test the DVI-D cable though. Although I do have a multi-meter which suggests 8 of the pins (including the bar pin at the top) seem to show infinite resistance - ie they aren't connected to anything.

    I also wonder I'm not properly choosing the Source device from the Philips menu. I have a choice of None, Recorder, DVD, SAT, Game, Digital STB, PVR, HD, Cable or Other. I was expecting to see PC ! Which out of those should be selected? What is Digital STB?

    Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Jaggers

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    Just a quick footnote to the above - the DVI-D cable is a Profigold PGM1422 ( see www.profigold.com ). It seems their single link cables include all the pins you'd normally see on a dual link cable - just these normally dual link pins are dead. So I'll revise my quote from 8 dead pins to 2 dead pins - the flat bar type pin at the top, and one of the pins on the top row next to this bar.
     
  9. Jaggers

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    Me again - another update... I think I may have got to the cause of the problem. In a nutshell, I think the DVI-D cable simply won't accept the output generated by the DVI-A convertor. I think the solution is to swap the DVI-D for a DVI-I cable.

    Basically I think the VGA output (Analogue) goes into the VGA to DVI-A convertor (still Analogue) then finds the DVI-D cable (Digital only?) and just can't get through. I believe a DVI-I cable can accept both Analogue and Digital signals.

    Both I and the Maplins techie were mis-directed by the Philips instruction manual which I took with me to the shop - the images of the DVI connector clearly show a DVI-D connector, and I think it is in fact DVI-I

    I have managed to test the DVI-D cable I have using the DVI output from the desktop and that worked, which means all the components do work individually - just not all together.

    Anyway, hopefully this will all be of some use to someone!
     
  10. cooperda

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  11. Jaggers

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    Um - not sure... though I think those four pins do have something to do with analogue, since they seem to be the only discernable difference between DVI-D and DVI-A / I.

    Anyways, getting that DVI-I cable solved the problem - for the first time I've managed to get a picture on the LCD from the laptop.

    Now I have to see what this screen can really do...
     
  12. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    Indeed the extra 4 pins are for VGA style RGB and sync

    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     

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