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Connecting PC to TH37-PV500

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by MIB, May 30, 2005.

  1. MIB

    MIB
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    I'm thinking of jumping into the world of plasma...

    Like a lot of people I'm very tempted by the 37" PV500. Seeing a demo in a couple of weeks when my local independent shop has stock coming in. They've quoted £2,100 for pedestal stand and free DMR-ES10 DVD Recorder which seems reasonable.

    If I want to conect a PC to the PV500 I've noticed the current PC resolution is 1024 x 768 and the Plasma is 1024 x 720. Does anyone know what this would look like on screen and would I need to do anything to make it fill the screen?

    I'm also thinking of changing PC to a mac - will this display ok on the panasonic?

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. thornton

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    I have tried both types - look up Mac and PV500 under search to see my report on Mac Mini to 37 and 42 PV500 and also Hitachi 7200 plasma.

    With my SONY laptop the result is pretty similar. You can either get 1024 by 768 stretched horizontally or 1280 by 768 non-stretched. Best results again in analog mode. I have settled on the 1280 by 768 which is OK despite slightly more pixels being pumped to display than it can show. Photos look great, text best if enlarged
     
  3. AdrianMills

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    It looks good in 1024x768 in my opinion. Only tried the VGA port so far.

    Just remember that if you're going to be running a DivX player for movies (or any other player for that matter) you'll probably need to change the PC settings so the PV500 is the primary display device or you won't get an image - on my laptop it's just a matter of hitting func+f4.
     
  4. puntograle

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    I have used software such as 'powerstrip' which will allow you to select customer resolutions on the PC as well as vertical refresh rates. Takes a little messing around, but you can then get a 1024 x 760 1:1 pixel matching picture. This is still stretched horizontally as the pixels on the PV500 are not perfect squares.....
     
  5. puntograle

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    Any experience of connecting PC via a HDMI/DVI connection?

    On the D-Sub connection you can only select 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios. Does this improve over HDMI?
     
  6. mehullakhani

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    Any ideas anyone ?
     
  7. puntograle

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    OK messed with it some more last night.

    Getting 1024x720 over powerstrip was turning out to be not easy....the picture does not 'centre' on the plasma screen properly - either to do with my IBM thinkpad or needs lots of messing around with powerstrip settings.

    However, the plasma takes a 1024x768 signal and scales it very well.

    The other trick, if you want to play video files, is to download a player like Videolan or BSPlayer. Using either of these, set the source aspect ratio to 4:3.

    If you are viewing 16:9 content, this will correct the perceived aspect ratio on the plasma and you get a completely filled out screen.

    I was watching some high definition content and it works very well. Now, it is not strictly 1:1 matching in the vertical domain if you are using the 1024x768 resolution, but not too bad either.

    Will post again if I get the 1024x720 or 1280x720 resolution cracked properly.
     
  8. AndyH

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    *bounce*

    Right, I have come to this part of my 37PV500 experience and it reminds me what a s*d Windows and Media Center (in particular) are.


    After one night of fiddling -

    It seems that 1024x768 is the way to go, although I'd like to try 1280x768 when I get home this evening.


    I agree that 1024x720 via Powerstrip was not looking good. But why does the manual suggest this is the way to go with a PC? It seems to contradict the table near the back of supported PC resolutions which are basically the standard VGA 4:3 ranges.



    Interestingly, I've found in Windows Media Player a very much lesser known property page where you can set pixel ratio by dragging a bar until a circle appears circular. As we know, at 1024x768 on the PV500 it appears squashed. Go into Tools, Options, find Display under the Devices tab and click Properties.


    So this fixes the problem for playing video in Media Player, but Media Center doesn't take any notice of this.


    On the subject of Media Center, I have more fiddling to do this evening because it kinda still thinks it is hooked to a 32" CRT via S-Vid.



    How are others getting on with PC's hooked up via VGA? I was starting to wonder if investing in a graphics card that had component outs might be an alternative way to get pukka 720p.
     
  9. MAW

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    Tools, options, devices, highlight display and click properties, for anyone still looking. Works for me. 1024/720 is not supported by the screen. You can get a picture, but position is random, and odd size wise too frequently. Component out would give yoy 720p in 16:9, you could do this via HDMI as long as you have the patience of a saint.
     
  10. AndyH

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    I've cracked it!!

    Short story - When you're in PC input mode, bring up the Setup menu and where it says resolution "XGA", change it to "WXGA" - bingo, it all works. The nasty scaling effects I was seeing previously with 1280x768 all vanish.


    Long story -

    I've got Powerstrip running my GeForce 4 in 1280x768. This is enough of a widescreen resolution to make MCE figure out it should be doing "16:9" stuff.

    No need to tweak the circle in Windows Media Player.

    And what's best, it only needed a quick nudge around with Powerstrip - and then I realised you can do this from the Panny menus anyway, so everything perfectly fits the screen.



    Thanks MAW for clarifying the 1024x720 thing.

    puntograle - I hope this is a solution to you trying to get 1280x720 working.
     
  11. leeboy22001

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  12. AndyH

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    Ha!

    Like I was going to find that in a search ;)


    That's a great thread - must re-read it now, the brain couldn't quite handle it late last night!
     
  13. puntograle

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    I've been using the above for a while now to display a 1280x768 picture. Yes, the PC Setup menu gives a few options to get a decent picture. Alternatively, I use 1024x768 and the VideoLAN player setting the source aspect ratio to 4:3 to get a very clear, and correct aspect picture.
    Great for watching DivX and other High Def content

    I still am hunting for the elusive utopian solution of 1:1 pixel mapping on a 37PV500.

    I am currently still not getting the same kind of high def quality that I saw running in the Panasonic demos in the Shop@Panny stores. Where they using component or HDMI or ??

    As posted on another thread, I have been waiting for someone on this forum to connect a PC via HDMI/DVI to the 37PV500 and report back whether it gives a faithful 1280x720 or 1024x720 picture that fills the screen (directly mapping in the vertical domain, obviously or 1:1 if 1024x720). And if whether this mode of connection gives any noticeable improvement over VGA. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have tried only the VGA input which will scale as if the panel has 768 lines and not 720.

    My one is hanging above a fireplace and thus not easy to test - though I would if I knew that it does work

    So, has anyone got experience of HDMI/DVI with PC on the 37PV500?
     
  14. k0rn

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    Yes, I watch HD all the time with my 37PV500 hooked up via HDMI/DVI. Resolution is set tp 1280x720 (720P)

    The picture quality is amazing. HD movies/shows look perfect. YOu can see the scaling on the Windows fonts which are only 99% smooth. And you'll see some overscan... but on the other hand, if you feed your PV500 with any 720P source you`ll end up with some overscan.

    On the other hand HDMI will give you a much much sharper image than any VGA output. VGA outputs vary very heavily and there are no real good video cards anymore out there. DVI/HDMI, however is always the same because it's digital.

    That said, I tried VGA with my 37PV500 and got it to work fairly well with 1024x768. 1024x720 was very messed up and I wasn't able to set it up correctly. When using 1024x768, there's still scaling involved but the fonts looked a little bit smoother.

    Overall, I'll still prefer DVI because it's always sharp regardless of the video card and as I said HD Movies just look great. Plus the aspect ratio is perfect so you don'T have to mess around with that.
     
  15. avman69

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    I have had a PV500 for some time now and have had my P.C. connected via both vga to vga & dvi to hdmi. When i started with the hdmi it was overscanning both desktop & in games. I downloaded the latest video drivers from nvidia which allowed me to underscan the desktop to 1216*684. Now the desktop is perfect fit.
    When i did this, it became a res that i could select to choose on both half life 2 & far cry. For non widescreen games i went in & edited the ini or config file to change the res to 1216*684 & also changed the field of view to give the proper widescreen aspect.

    I have to agree with korn that dvi to hdmi is giving me a far sharper image for both hd clips & pc gaming than native res through vga. Some people on the forum have commented that the pannys analogue inputs are every bit as good quality as there digital counterpart, which may be the case, but when connecting a pc your relying on the feed from the graphics card which always gives out a much sharper signal through its digital out, compared to its analogue counterpart
     
  16. k0rn

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    Very well said. :smashin:

    I played around with the "scaling" of the windows desktop to fit the screen, too (ATI). But I feared that I would sacrifice some quality because the whole windows desktop would be "scaled" by the video card. But I'm not sure if this is true.

    I've compared 720P with a "cropped" resolution that fills the screen 100% and while it is visible on the Windows Taskbar, during video playback you can barely spot if there'S overscan or not.

    Another thing: I'M confident the VGA-input of the PV500 is proper. During my work with CRT monitors & VGA in the last years I know that 99% of today`s video cards output a very very bad signal quality. Most people don'T notice it but sadly It's true. Quality has been going downhill since Nvidia entered the market some years ago... Matrox cards still offer sharp picture quality, but they don'T offer any good video hardware acceleration as ATI and Nvidia do.
     

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