Connecting NTL to PVR250 and aspect ratios

Discussion in 'Cable TV & Virgin Media TV' started by PAH, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. PAH

    PAH
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    Can anyone advise on the best method for a widescreen picture quality?

    Am I right in thinking that if I change the settings on my NTL Pace STB to output RGB (rather than composite), and then connect a scart output from the STB to the s-video socket on the PVR250 I should be laughing? If so, do I need a special RGB Scart to s-video cable or should any Scart to s-video cable work?

    I've tried using the standard ariel connection from the STB to the PVR250 and it only appears to be able to display 4:3 aspect ratio even though the STB is set to 16:9. I get borders to the sides and the picture is squashed. This is when connecting the PC to an LCD TV at 1280x760 via DVI. Will using the s-video input on the PVR250 fix this or is there something else I need to do (I've checked it with the hauppauge WinTV2000 and Showshifter with the same result)? When I go onto the AV channel on the LCD TV that the NTL is connected to (via scart), it all appears okedokie.
     
  2. mephistopheles

    mephistopheles
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    It's not as simple, unfortunately. First, if you want the STB to output RGB and then feed an s-video signal into your PVR250, you'll need to convert RGB to s-video via a converter box, eg JS Technology @ £75 here:

    http://www.js-technology.com/produc...id=34&osCsid=6bf0547c27875b26b91621a21fbb3bbf

    You would connect from STB into the converter by SCART -> SCART and then from the converter by SCART -> S-Video into PVR250. This probably won't correct the 4:3/16:9 AR issue, however, but will give you better PQ. You could try PowerStrip to sort out the AR, which you should probably use anyway to feed a 50Hz signal to the LCD for PAL compatibility. If you used DScaler as well to display the *.mpg recordings rather than PVR250 software, you can adjust AR with it, if necessary.

    Alternatively, you'll have to stick with a composite signal, which you could use a SCART break-out adapter to do, ie SCART adapter out of STB connected by RCA -> RCA into PVR250. This would be better than using RF via co-ax cable, but is still a fairly low quality signal. The same observations re PowerStrip and DScaler apply as regards AR.

    Incidentally, I also have NTL digital and sometimes have to switch between 4:3 and 16:9 in the STB setup menu to get widescreen to work properly via HCPC. One day it's 16:9 for widescreen, the next I have to switch it to 4:3. I also get an extremely variable PQ. This, I think, is down to NTL and their utterly cr*ppy software and sub-standard hardware infrastructure.

    Hope this helps...............
     
  3. PAH

    PAH
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    Ok, thanks for the info. Didn't think it would be straight forward somehow.

    I'll probably try the second (cheaper option) see if I can live with it and if not go for the first option. I take it you're using the first option with the JS Technology convertor box, so can vouch that it will definately work?
     
  4. mephistopheles

    mephistopheles
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    Sure, it works.
     
  5. PAH

    PAH
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    Currently it's displaying at 60Hz via DVI and looks ok. What would the likely differences be if I used powerstrip to output at 50Hz to get true PAL compatibility?

    BTW I'm leaning towards getting a JS convertor after changing the STB output to RGB, as just by doing this, the text of the OSD output by NTL is clearer, so it looks like RGB is deffo the way to go. Cheers.
     
  6. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi PAH

    As you obviously care about quality, you would be best advised to get your PVR250 on ebay, and then connect your NTL box via RGB in to a SweetSpot card. This way you dont need the JS box, and you keep the RGB signal all the way through to your PC. Furthermore, it leaves you with spare SVideo input option, plus the expansion capabilities for a digital DVD or Sky box feed.

    We sell the JS boxes and they are without doubt the best available, but obviously you will get better results if you maximise the signal path as much as possible.

    all the best
     

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