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ellie and htpc?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by carol harvey, Jun 9, 2001.

  1. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    Iv`e been thinking of upgrading my projector to an ellie,can anyone help as to what resolution is best with this machine-and in fact what is it capable of at best?(i couldnt get any joy with my other projector!)
     
  2. mjwhitehouse

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    I do not profess to being an expert in this field but when I connected my machine I could get 640 x 480 with no problem or effort whatsoever. The picture was excellent, solid and because it is VGA no problem with the picture saturating the projector "blink?". I also managed to get 800 x 600 but the picture physically shrunk and so was not as impressive as it should have been but I believe that could be down to my computer and graphics card (Intel 8215). I tried to change things with Powerstrip but failed miserably. Having said all that I am putting together a PC just for this purpose as even the 640 x 480 picture is excellent quality.
     
  3. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    What i dont understand though,is apparently the ellie can support resolutions input of 1024 x 768 interlaced-but it also only supports certain types of graphics cards?
    Would this mean that within properties/advanced/change on windows you would select a monitor it was compatible with?-i`m puzzled..
     
  4. Chris Frost

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    The Ellie has a little difficulty handling multiple Hi Res computer signals. It is a little quirk of how the unit sets up.

    You'd be best with 640x480. This means that the scan lines won't overlap (which reduces sharpness) and the picture will be at its largest size.

    Regards
     
  5. GaryG

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    Jim at ScreensUK was gracious enough to allow me to take my HTPC and Quadscan scaler along to a demo and give the Ellie a good work out. At the time my HTPC had a Geforce2 MX and despite a lot of tweaking was unable to work succesfully with the Ellie above VGA resolutions. However, the demo was interesting in that it showed that the built in scaler was very good indeed, and fed with a s-video signal gave very good pictures and skin tones, better in fact than my Quadscan scaler. So, for HTPC use the Ellie XS2000 may not be the best bet (take a look at the new XS3000) but for high quality DVD player use, for the price, it takes some beating.
     
  6. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    Would the picture input in vga at 640 x 480 then be line doubled?....would this produce a better picture than the s input?
    Is 640 x 480 good enough to resolve all the detail in the dvd picture?.what is this softness?
    Sorry for all the questions,but i would just like to know the best resolution the Ellie would accept and what monitor setting in properties/advanced/change i would need to use?
     
  7. GaryG

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    CJ

    At the time of my demo the best possible picture was obtained using s-video and the in-built scaler. My advice would be that you contact Jim at ScreensUK to get specific answers to your questions, better still go and have a demo, you may feel that you don't need to bother with the hassle of a HTPC, maybe the new Skyworth progessive DVD player in conjunction with the Ellie will do all that you need.
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The progressive signal from the HTPC would not be line doubled by the internal unit in the Ellie.

    An NTSC DVD has 480 lines of vertical resolution. So, 600 x 480 (vga) will be capable of resolving all that is on the disc. PAL has more of course. VGA is probably the correct setting for the Ellie.

    Jim will give you the best advice about his product.

    Gordon
     
  9. Steve Kinsey

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    Does this mean that there wouldn't be any advantages in using a high end DVD Player over a budget model with the Ellie?
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    No that's not what it means, sorry. You still want to make sure you get the best quality infomation coming out the DVD player.

    The difference between an OK DVD player and a great one should be more noticeable on a big screen than a small one.

    Gordon
     
  11. mjwhitehouse

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    There is one advantage of VGA input to the Ellie and that is the "bounce" that was remarked on in the HCC article (or was it the other magazine I can't remember). Anyway with VGA input and exactly the same settings, the bounce does not occur. I know it is designed to do this but it annoys me and so I am trying for a cheap PC solution. Having said that my wife and kids think the picture is brilliant and that I am stark raving bonkers.

    "What's that? I don't know, it just came with it"
     
  12. Craig Crane

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    Personally, I wouldnt touch the ellie with a barge pole. If I were you, I'd look at the Seleco range. Even though the Ellie says it offers high rez images, I very much doubt they will come anywhere as close as the Seleco's.
     
  13. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    I`m sorry if i`m a bit dense,but now i`m really puzzled? The Ellie specs say that it is capable of 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768-though popular opinion says it can only do 640 x 480.I`m not convinced that the reason it cannot lock to a higher resolution is down to the Ellie.I believe that within windows(monitor properties)you need to feed the Ellie the right combination.i.e.-select the correct monitor at the correct resolution(change).
    I think the right combination will produce a higher resolution accepted by the Ellie?..apparently within the Ellie instruction manual there is a list of p.c. graphics boards whose specs are compatible with the Ellie? SO THE QUESTION REMAINS..what is the correct setting within windows to elicit the best from the Ellie?..does anyone know?-should someone try and find out?-because it seems the best has not been seen from this projector yet..
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Whether the Ellie can do 1024 x 768 or 800 x 600 isn't really the question you need to ask.

    They are misleading, irrelevant specs. A bit like "how many BHP has your car got?"
    Here's why.

    A CRT works by drawing a horizontal line across the face of the tube...very quickly. Then it flys back and draws another, then another, then another until it's drawn all the horizontal lines on the image at which point it goes back to the top and starts again.

    In an interlaced (non doubled) image it actually draws the odd lines first then goes back and draws the even lines after, but we'r talking about a progressive signal here so lets carry on.

    So, you have an NTSC DVD with 480 vertical lines of resolution (that is a measure of the amount of horizonyal lines in the image). Lets say that your CRT projector, when in 16:9 mode draws this image with all 480 lines up on the screen at one time, all being well you will not see any gap between each scan line. If this is the case then what do you think happens if you try to draw 600 or 768 lines in the same space? Well, the answer is that some projectors have the capability to fly back and draw those lines but they are drawing each consecutive line overlapping the one that went before. This means that the image loses detail and softens.

    The ideal output resolution for a scaler or HTPC is the one which allows the scan lines to just abut each other and no more without overlapping. The more astute of you will have also worked out that this means if you have a 4:3 shaped screen and with your doubler you can't see any scan lines watching a 4:3 image, you will be overlapping scan lines when you squash down to an anamorphic setting. Just another reason why a constant height screen may be useful with a CRT projection system.

    So, if line doubling on a 4:3 screen is the ideal for an Ellie there is no benefit to trying higher resolutions than 600 x 480.

    Hope this is a little clearer. I know it can be hard to get your head round. God, it's taken me long enough......

    Gordon
     
  15. Steve Kinsey

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    I asked Jim as Screens UK about the Ellie with HTPC and he basically gave the same explanation as Gordons. He also said that for applications such as PC Games, Web-browsing etc you should be able to get a decent 800x600 using Powerstrip to tweak it.
     
  16. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    Thanks for the explanation Gordon-now i`m being really dense i know,but is the p.c.outputting a progressive scanned picture and should this theoreticaly at 640 x 480 at 4.3 produce a better picture than line doubled s video input?..is it also true that peaking of the video signal(sharpness)is inoperative in vga input mode?(..and does this matter?)
    Thanks for your help,this seems really daunting!!!
     
  17. mjwhitehouse

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    I have to say the picture from an Ellie in 640 x 480 is gorgeous, sharp and stable. As far as not touching the Ellie with a barge pole I think this is very sound advice. Barge poles are long heavy wooden objects, the use of which I cannot find anywhere in the Ellie handbook. I think Craig may be mistaking an Ellie for a curiously long thin boat that travels on a canal. Obviously in these circumstances a barge pole would be the most appropriate thing to touch it with, in spite of what Craig is advising. If anyone wants to see an Ellie I think they will be impressed, but if they fear they may mistake it for a boat then also visit the Shropshire Union canal just to set there minds at ease.
     
  18. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    Excellent Mark-and thanks!
     
  19. Craig Crane

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    Yeah ha ha, very funny. Sarcasm aside, the Ellie has always struck me as a Beer Budget Projector. The very fact that HCC Rave about it is not enough of a reason for me to put it on a possible purchase shortlist. Having had the misfortune of dealing with their marketing Dept a while back, I can honestly say that I have never come across a company so unwilling to do a home demo. I seriously had to ask myself why they were so reluctant. Owl, on the other hand, were only too willing to do a home demo for me some 8 years ago. And this is why I still use Seleco today. I know that as well as counting on them for a quality product, but I also know that their after sales service is 2nd to none. I hope the Ellie boys can offer you the same satisfaction in 8 years time.
     
  20. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    PC's RGBHV outputs (vga) are progressive scan. Will this be better than feeding an s-video signal to the Ellie from a normal DVDplayer. Well that depends on the DVD player and the quality of the de-interlacing hardware/software in the PC. I can't answer that one.

    Gordon
     
  21. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    gordon,
    I have a 64mb nvidia chipset-3d hercules prophet 2 working with dxr3 hardware.
    My dvd player is the sony 7700.
    If i opted for say-the ellie,which method would produce the best picture?
     
  22. ReTrO

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    You'll get the best pic from your graphics card, just use an 15pin d-sub cable and you should be fine. Don't loop through the dxr3, you'll get loadsa noise in the pic.

    rick
     
  23. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    Retro,
    Thanks for that,but can i still get a picture by going straight from the graphics card,because at the moment to get the dvd picture i go out from the dxr3 to the graphics card and out of the graphics card to the monitor?
     
  24. ReTrO

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    CJ: I assume that you mean loop through the dxr3 card from the graphics card.

    To benefit from the best pciture you will need a copy of WinDVD or PowerDVD. This will use only the chip on your Prophet 2, and your dxr3 should be left out of the equation. You may want to use it as a digital sound feed though as it will still stream DD from its coax.

    Hope this helps!

    Rick
     
  25. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    RETRO..MANY THANKS-YOUR A LIF E SAVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  26. ReTrO

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    Thanks CJ!

    U thought of joinging the Yahoo forum?

    Rick
     
  27. carol harvey

    carol harvey
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    Is it a good forum?..if your there i`m gonna join.. :rolleyes:
     
  28. jason t

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    hi retro not meaning to cause any offence but are you sure your comment below is correct ??
    i posted a topic called can i ? ? ? which asked that exact question about the dxr3 and all the replies said i couldnt

    jason
    This will use only the chip on your Prophet 2, and your dxr3 should be left out of the equation. You may want to use it as a digital sound feed though as it will still stream DD from its coax
     
  29. ReTrO

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    JasonT:

    Just to ease your mind. My mate was running a dxr2 card in his PC for a while, until I suggested using WinDVD, which he promptly did and said it was much better. He was using a Voodoo 3 graphics card (dunno which version, but was AGP), and used the digital co-ax to stream the DD to his DSP A5.

    Should work hopefully!


    Rick
     
  30. jason t

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    if only you had answered my post can i???
    you could have saved me some money!!!!!!bummer

    jason
     

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