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dvd input to htpc

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by garyc, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. garyc

    garyc
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    Hi,

    If you connect an external dvd player to a htpc via either a pv-tv100 tuner card or sweetspot and use dscaler to sort out the display etc is there any way of getting the htpc to auto switch ntsc/pal video formats?

    cheers

    Gary
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    if you use powerstrip you can setup keyboard/desktop shortcuts to change between 50 and 60Hz. Not sure if it can be done automatically but it may well be possible.

    just as a thought though, might it not be better to use one of the excellent software DVD players available for the PC nowadays - theatertek 2 gets my vote.
     
  3. garyc

    garyc
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    Hi,

    cheers for the info. I'm using TT2 as a player with ffdshow but not looked at powerstrip so far!!

    Can i use TT2 to play the video feed from a tuner card?

    Does sweetspot operate in a different way and can feed TT2?

    sorry new to this & trying lots of different combos

    cheers

    Gary
     
  4. lisag

    lisag
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    Why not just use a DVD Rom drive?
     
  5. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    No, but I'm not sure why you'd want to, the quality of video directly from TT2 (as opposed to video fed in over svideo/RBG to a capture card) should be streets ahead.

    The place where a PB100 or sweetspot might be helpful is for a digibox so that you can scale sky and watch it on your display.
     
  6. garyc

    garyc
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    Well I have been trying that as well, just really to try different combinations. seeing which gives the better video & audio!!

    I have found the pc drive noisy -but thats only a comment not a problem
     
  7. lisag

    lisag
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    Yeah I had that - some are noisier than others, I found a Lite-on one that is fairly quiet, they are less then twenty quid.
     
  8. garyc

    garyc
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    think mine is a nec.

    In trying the htpc route I have been seeing whether the rest of family could use it with a problem!!!

    The other option is a scaler, even a cheap one is about £300 quid (ie lumagen vision) but how would it compare to a htpc running tt2, ffdshow, powerstrip etc?

    and do you ever stop tweeking the hundreds of settings?

    do you think must htpc users have just sold the standalone players?
     
  9. lisag

    lisag
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    Well, MCE is fairly family friendly, certainly should be as a dvd player at least - do you have a display device that can connect via something other than scart? And what tv do you have (cable, freeview, sky?)

    lisa
     
  10. garyc

    garyc
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    I'm running xp

    i have cable which is running through tivo - hence analogue tuner card

    htpc will be on a crt projector (one day hopefully) but only on a pc monitor at mo for practice!!!!
     
  11. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    fair play, its always a good idea to try out different options :)

    as for the noise of the DVD drive you could do as Lisa suggested and get a quieter drive (there seems to be a massive variation between makes, mainly stemming from whether they can/do read a DVD video at 1x speed I think). Another suggestion would be thinking about putting all your DVDs onto a media server/hard drive, that way you can get instant access to them without having to lift a finger. For me this is one of the big attractions of a HCPC, all of my audio and video media is ripped to disk and is accessible instantly from the network.

    but I digress, if you're after the best possible picture quality then I would say a PC with an nvidia 6600 graphics card and TT2 would trounce most stand alone DVD players. It would probably do a better job than an old scaler too. the trade off for this quality is a slightly less user friendly interface than a standard DVD player. Having said that the newest version of TT is (on my system) completely stable and can be setup easily to work with a remote making it pretty much indistinguishable from a traditional DVD player.
     
  12. garyc

    garyc
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    OK - So whats the reason to spend lots of cash on these input cards be it component or sdi for standalone dvd players when the htpc can do it all & better?

    Or am i missing the point - probably yes to that question!!

    cheers

    Gary
     
  13. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    The sweetspot rgb/component card is a very nice clean capture card compared with other models. You can see the difference but its maybe not so huge over the decent s-video cards ( tv-100 maybe...Xcapture was nearly as good IMO but the cards themselves can vary a fair bit and I get the feeling the quality off the sweetspot is generally more consistent from individual card to card

    . Dscaler is great for troublesome dvds that have had the cadence ( field structure) trashed . I use an external dvd player and sweetspot pipeline for video based material as I feel the deinterlacing is generally much better than the straight video deinterlacing on most dvd software players but most film sourced dvds go straight through TT 2 and ffdshow for me.

    I personally wouldn't bother with an sdi mod as the average quality from a dvd or digibox doesn't warrant it for the expenditure. The sweetspot is clean and sharp anyway. Things like the scaling quality on the graphics card are probably the more limiting factor.

    My drive is also a little noisy. I tend to rip the dvd to hard-drive and play back from there but I don't keep the rips I just overwrite them any time I want a nice optimum showing.

    I don't bother with a front end either these days. A windows enviroment is actually much nicer to use than a clunky big button front end ...especially with a gyration mouse.

    I find if family members spend a little initial effort its easier to use than a clunky gui anyway.
     
  14. garyc

    garyc
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    thanx for your reply.

    I guess that the sweetspot has the added advantage of component input over the tuner cards s-video.

    Q. Can dscaler handle both the tuner & sweetspot cards, and you just pick the input type from your menu?

    cheers

    Gary
     
  15. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    If the cards are compatable with Dscaler you can use both the analogue tuner stage and the video inputs ( composite, svideo componenet, rgb ....even sdi). You can also use multiple differing cards in the same machine ( eg , sweetspot , PB TV-100 , Xcapture pretty much any combination).
     

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