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Connecting a PC to a PW6 - Best & cheapest option?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Planet__, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. Planet__

    Planet__
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    I'm now about to connect my PC to the Panny6 and was wondering what you folk think is best and/or cheapest option.

    I know I could use the built in VGA port, but that's taken up with Sky+ via syncblaster cable. Swapping connections whenever I want to use the PC isn't an option although the cheapest! So a few questions:

    Does anyone have a good price for a VGA board and a DVI board for the panny?

    What's the performance and benefits of a DVI board compared to the VGA?

    The video card in the PC is a Radeon 9700Pro and has a DVI connection so DVI to DVI is possible with the right cable. The resolution I'd like to run is 1920x1200 @75hz (60hz the max for the panny?) but little chance of that! So it'll be 1024x768 @60hz.

    What is the panny like running vga?
     
  2. MR2Harvey

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    Not sure why you would want to send a 1920 x 1200 res picture to the panny as it only has 852 x 480 res. If you can get your video card to output that res it would be best. Panasonic do a DVI input card about the same cost as any card for it I believe and this would be your best option I'd think.



    Harvey
     
  3. cwick

    cwick
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    Max res on the DVI card is a claimed 1366x768@60Hz.

    Can you actually buy a VGA board for the panny ?
     
  4. hornydragon

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    PW6 comes with a VGA input as standard.
     
  5. cwick

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    Sorry, I though Planet__ was talking about getting a 2nd VGA port 'cos he's already using the first one.

    If you've got to by another PC input, I'd go for the DVI option. Best to avoid the d2a-a2d conversion if you've got the chance.
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    The best resolution to run on a pw6 is 848x480. This cannot be easily achieved via DVI, the board is currently 'flawed' and in line for a firmware update. You can run natural res with a Radeon card, or with powerstrip. The pixels can then be 'snapped in' for a perfect match, no scaling, perfect. You'll never use a DVD player again.... Get a component/rgb board if it's cheaper, use RGB and synch for sky, or a YUV converter, and PC via VGA.
     
  7. Planet__

    Planet__
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    Thanks for all the info folk, interesting stuff!

    Cwick is right, I'm looking for an additional pc input....unless I do what Maw suggests (he always see's the different options!) and move the Sky off the VGA and convert it to YUV (with a JS or simillar) then the pc can connect to the built in vga port. Would mean getting another component board.

    The prices of the boards do differ, take a look at AV-Sales for example -

    http://www.av-sales.com/plasma/html/pan_6th_gen_boards.html

    VGA - £65.80 compared to the DVI - £130.43. The dosh saved going for the VGA could go to better cables.

    As for resolution, I run my desktop at 1920x1200 and would like to use the panny as a monitor for a bit. I know of the short-comings of the plasma as far as pixel count goes, but thought it might be bearable since I'm going to be 8' away from it! 1024x768 would be the minimum for internet and games.

    Has anyone successfully tweaked Powerstrip or configured a Radeon for 848x480? Shame games won't run in that res.
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    I haven't tweaked the radeon for a panny since 8pm yesterday, but I think I can remember. You can set this res 'out of the box' with the radeon, but it depends whether you want to 'clone' your desktop or 'expand ' it onto the plasma, cos running a cloned desktop you can only run the same res on both monitors. This will look total c**p on one or the other, if you wanted hi res PC, you have started with the wrong plasma. 1024x768 will not look good on the panny, only native will be satisfactory, at least in my books. You run into image stretching, scaling artefacts, and all sorts of places you just don't want to be. Getting the 2nd VGA board looks the cheapest, if you are happy with the existing arrangement. Re-thinking, you already have an ability to input component if you want to, via the on board vga, so no sense in doing anything but add a 2nd vga port.
     
  9. whuuf

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    I am going to have a very similar problem.
    I am currently running my TFT pc screen via dvi at a resolution of 1280 x 1024 but I am also going to want to run my panny pw6 at its native 848x480 resolution via vga through the dual output on my soon to buy radeon graphics card at the same time. What is the best way for me to do this without keep changing the screen resolution on the PC?
     
  10. MAW

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    You can extend the desktop onto the plasma and run 2 different resolutions, just the clone you can't.
     
  11. whuuf

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    Sorry If I 'm being dumb but how do you extend the desktop?
     
  12. Billilu

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    I don't wish to hijack this thread but I have a more basic problem, and I don't want to start another new thread on a similar topic.

    I've bought a new computer and want to set up the old one in the living room, using my Pioneer HDP434-HDE as its monitor. While setting it up, I can see a picture while it's loading, then when the Windows screen should come up, it says, "Signal not supported". I've got it linked with an RGB computer cable into the media box.

    The weird thing is it works using the same lead with my 6 year old laptop running Windows 95. The computer I want to use is Windows 98SE. I changed the resolution to the same as the laptop (1028 by 768), but it made no difference.

    Am I using the wrong lead or do I need an extra lead? I saw in a thread about something similar people mentioning DVI leads, but I'm not really sure whether the media box or my computer supports these.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  13. MAW

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    You can only do this with a dual head graphics card, like the 9700. Sorry I see you're buying one. It will be perfectly clear when the kit is in front of you, but tricky to explain without it! PM me when you've got it if you've got problems.

    Billilu, youve done everything right as far as I can see, but does your PC work with any other monitor you have? Sounds like driver issues, or some such. Windows uses a totally basic driver set when loading, only using the card drivers when it's up and running. So, we can deduce there is no hardware fault, but the graphics card is not talking to windows. You might try the HCPC forum for folks more knowlegeable than me, but check if it works on another monitor 1st, and if not, try starting in safe mode, F8 to bring up a menu during startup. if you can see it there, it's drivers.
     
  14. Mr THX

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    MAW
    Another quick question for you, I'm looking to link my PC to Panny PW6 to try out what all this HTPC is about,:confused: currently running a Denon 3800 to my Plasma in component (and am very pleased with results) but would be interested to see if I can get better results with my PC.
    Anyway Video card wise I have a Herc Radeon 9800Pro, I already use the DVI output to my desktop TFT so have only VGA port left.

    But which would be the best conection to use (At the Graphics card) and as mentioned in an earlier post which res should I use ??? best to just get Powerstrip to match (as close as) the resolution of my Plasma???

    Many Thanks..................
     
  15. MAW

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    VGA is fine, you should find the panny resolution in the settings panel after a right click onthe desktop, but to 'clone' your desktop for DVD playback, this will foul up your other monitor while you are doing it. It's so easy though, you can switch resolutions according to use. I do this with a projector 3 x a day, mines 1366 x 768, which doesn't sit well with my monitor. There is no 'as close as' to be done, it will be exact for you. Powerstrip allows live adjustment of all settings for perfect pixel alignment and pixel perfect viewing.
     
  16. Planet__

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    Sounds like I have some playing to do with the settings! I'll make some pictures at the mentioned resolutions - 848 or 852?x480, 800x600 and 1024x786 and see what it's like, just to test the quality. If DVD play back is as good as you say Maw, anyone want to buy a DVD player :rolleyes: lol! The idea of the pc connected to the display was originally for games - Half-Life 2 will rock at that size!:eek:

    Billilu, have you tweaked the refresh rate of the signal your sending to your display? When windoze boots up I think it uses a default (ie. low) refresh rate and then changes to the one you set in the desktop. I think the limit for the panny is 60hz depending on the resolution used. I think I think too much... :smoke:
     
  17. Billilu

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    Thanks for the tips there, MAW. (Oh and Planet too.) Yes, the computer works on both my NEC CRT monitor and my brand spanking new Dell 18" monitor. I'll try what you both suggested, but in the meantime, if anyone else has any bright ideas...
     
  18. Mr THX

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    Seam to have a problem ................

    Have connected my PW6 up through VGA cable, swapped the resolution through Powerstrip to 852X480, Alt F5 then lets me toggle between PW6 and TFT. Trouble is on the plasma I have a inch and a half strip across the bottom which I cannot get the desktop to cover:confused:
    Even within the advanced options in Powerstrip set as far South (so to speak) as the desktop with go there's still a empty strip across the bottom of the PW6 screen.
    Am I missing something or doing something wrong.............
     

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