DVI-HDMI and a 505XDE


Well-known Member
Hi all

After all the chat here about high definition I finally decided to experiment with my 505XDE and new laptop (Acer TravelMate 8204).

Reading through the forums I bought myself a DVI-D to HDMI cable and a 3.5 mini-jack to TOSLINK cable from eBay.

Connecting everything up was easy enough, laptop to media box (DVI-D > HDMI) and laptop to amplifier (TOSLINK). I switched everything on and the plasma screen was showing my desktop, with some of the screen cut off around the edges.

A bit more reading and I realised that this was something to do with overscan. The graphics card within the laptop is an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 <listens out for the gasps as people here have been having problems with ATI>. The 'ATI Catalyst Control Center' (ACCC) software allowed me to add a custom setting of 720p, 1216x684 @ 60Hz. I then changed the Display Properties of XP so that the desktop was extended to the second screen and finally changed some more settings within ACCC so that whenever I played video it would scale the image to plasma screen.

The video playback software I decided to use were VLC and Media Player Classic with content downloaded from the Apple HD website and the BBC Motion Gallery site.

That's when I hit the first oddity. When I double clicked on an item, the software loaded up, the plasma screen would render the image but the image was tearing/combing. I found that I had to tick and apply the "Reduce DVI frequency on high-resolution displays" and then untick the same box and press apply through ACCC. This would refresh the plasma screen image and the picture would be solid.

The only other problem, which I haven't managed to sort out yet, is that of flicker. When watching this Pioneer 720p demo the brightness starts to flicker about 10 seconds into the movie and then it's very visible after 22 seconds when the camera is zooming out. I'm looking into it at the moment but if anyone can help out I'd be grateful.

I have also tried the VGA connector and even though I can get a 1:1 pixel mapping (and no brightness flickering or image tearing) the DVI/HDMI route is definately better for movies. It's possible to see the 'noise' generated by the digital-analogue-digital conversion process.


PS: The image tearing problem has sorted itself out. Don't know why but if I do I'll post the reason.

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