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HS10 + HTPC = :-) (I hope)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Pulsar, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hello all In AV land.

    I have been using the site quite heavily over last week or so, trying formulate a plan on where to go with my home cinema. Below I have listed what I plan on buying/using.

    Buy: Sony VPL-HS10 projector.
    Use: My PC for DVD source. Spec: Shuttle SS51G, P4 2.2 Ghz, 512 MB DDR 2700 RAM, 40 Gb Maxtor, Geforce 4 Ti 4200 with DVI out, onboard optical digital out.
    Buy: A PC DVD ROM drive (please suggest a good one)
    Make a screen using curtain black out material following one of the guides on this forum.
    Use: Yamaha DSPAX 620 AV amp.
    Use Monitor Audio Surround speakers and REL Sub.

    I will have the projector and the HTPC in a separate room, and will project through a glass porthole (To be made). This should resolve any noise issues with the projector and HTPC. The projector will be roughly 9'6" from the screen giving a 16:9 image size between 62" and 77". I will be seated 90" or 7'6" from the screen. I only want to use this setup for DVD's as I will keep my 36" CRT for other uses.

    For all owners of the HS10, will the PQ be acceptable when sitting this close to the screen, like screen door etc?
    How good/bad will my homebrew screen look, and any suggestions on materials I should use?
    I understand that Radeon graphics cards are highly recommended, but will the geforce give acceptable results until I get a Radeon?
    Is there a recommended DVD ROM drive?
    What software is required to setup the projector, and where can I get it from?

    I am sure that I have many more questions, but I can't think of them at the moment. All replies are appreciated.

    Cheers

    Rob.
     
  2. John_N

    John_N
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    I gather that the nvidia cards have problems showing a widescreen image with the HS10 over DVI. Using VGA is OK though.

    I have an HS10 and currently sit 280cm from the screen. The screen is 172cm wide. I don't see any pixel effect or screendoor at this distance. I have to stand quite close (about 2 feet) from the screen before I can see the pixels.

    I project onto a wall until next week when my screen comes. I looked at building a dedicated PC for watching DVD and thenn decided that my existing DVD player using component output was good enough.

    The glass porthole idea sounds good since I was thinking of doing that myself. However, it was mentioned to me that to ensure optimal image quality I might want to look at optical glass. I'm not sure at this stage what the effects would be of using normal glass.

    I'm sure the geforce will give acceptable results over VGA until you get the radeon.

    I don't know about DVD ROM drives but if you are having it in another room then noise isn't so much an issue.

    I would suggest going for one that you can easily flash with a firmware update to make it region free..

    Mine is a Toshiba and was about £35 I think.
     
  3. gothmog

    gothmog
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    Hello,

    I'm using an SS51/Ti4200 with my AE300.

    I have been using DVI without too many issues, the only thing I would suggest is that you have the HS-10 DVI as the primary display device in nView and the monitor (if there is one :) ) as secondary.

    If the Ti4200 can be made to work at the HS-10's native res over DVI then there's no reason that it should be worse than the radeon (visually at least :) ).

    I'm using this combo drive as my DVD-ROM:
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?action=info&p=25085&t=1226&l=1&AvdID=1&CatID=3&GrpID=6&s=pl
    It's a nice bit of kit and very quiet, but a bit more expensive than a standalone DVD-ROM.

    Ooh, just noticed they have a better one now"
    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?action=info&p=31191&t=1226&l=1&AvdID=1&CatID=3&GrpID=6&s=pl


    I can also recommend the 10m toslink cable from CPC for £8 ;) works fine with my Yamaha A5 and shuttle :)

    There's loads of monitor setup utilities out there for checking geometry and colour, in fact there may be some embedded in the latest nvidia drivers in the fancy desktop bits iirc :)

    -- Jon
     
  4. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hi John_N

    Thanks for the info

    Hi Gothmog

    How do you tell the SS51G to output vial the digital out on the back?

    Does the digital signal that is output from the Shuttle support DTS and DD?

    My monitor only supports 1280*1024 resolution, so will i have to disconnect this to allow the projector to be run at 1360*768, its native 1:1 resolution (I believe)?

    Is there the possibility os lip synch problems with HTPC or not?

    As before all replies and info are appreciated.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  5. John_N

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    If anyone can make the HS-10 display widescreen material at the full resolution then let me know... I would love not to have to buy a radeon card.

    I have a GF4 Ti4600 and the HS10. According to all my research on the subject, everyone who tries over DVI gets a 1024*768 4:3 picture - not a widescreen image - when using the Nvidia cards. This appears to be something to do with the nvida drivers taking too much notice of the information that the projector publishes over DVI about it's resolution - I gather that the projector 'says' that it is 1024*768 to the computer so the nvidia drivers say: "ok then - I'll throw away your custom resolution of 1368*768 and use that instead".

    That's my understanding.

    If someone else knows different then please let us know... I would love to be proved wrong on this one...

    J
     
  6. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    If that is the case, I will need to get a Radeon graphics card. What is a good spec card for use in HTPC, I do play some games, but that is not as important as HTPC performance.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  7. John_N

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    I was going to suggest getting the VGA cable and using VGA but I've just noticed that the cable is SIC-HS10 cable is £49+VAT and you can get a sapphire diamond radeon 9000 for about £70 ish
    plus the cost of the DVI cable.

    I intend to build a dedicated home theatre PC (therefore silent) and I chose the above card on recommendation because it doesn't have a fan and it is cheap and gets the job done.

    I don't know what this card would be like on games.
     
  8. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    John_N

    For me fan noise is a non issue as the PC will be in a different room. Can I assume that any card in the Radeon range will suitable from the 9000 upwards. Are there any exceptions? Are DVI cables expensive, and can you get performance / high quality DVI cables?

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  9. John_N

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    The assumption that I'm working with is that any radeon 9000 card will be OK.

    DVI cables are expensive and over a certain length are very expensive. You can get performance ones. See:

    http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/DVI_monitor_cables.html

    for examples.

    As you can see:

    6 feet long = $40
    10 feet long = $79
    12 feet long = $284
    25 feet long $395

    So if your PC is in a different room - make sure that the cable to the projector isn't too long.
     
  10. Spacecat

    Spacecat
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    a basic radeon ve card has dvi and vga outs and is far better than and Nvidia card for HTPC they cost about £20 2nd hand!!
     
  11. John_N

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    Which card would that be then?

    I'm looking to build a machine for HTPC as cheaply as possible. Sure I could put a radeon 9000 in it but if there is a cheaper card that will drive my HS10 properly via DVI I would love to hear it..

    What about the Radeon 7000 series? or 8500? I don't know much about ATI products having used NVIDIA for a while...

    J
     
  12. rooster

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  13. WebLoader

    WebLoader
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    Hi Pulsar

    You can get the Radeon 7500 card for about £40 ex vat from www.scan.co.uk , I am sure loads of other suppliers can provide it as well. This has Svideo, VGA and DVI ports on it. Also, a dual link DVI-D cable (10Metres) can be had from www.lindy.com for £37 ex vat.

    I am running this combination on my hs10 , 1366x768 , getting a nice widescreen desktop in Win xp ;-)

    cheers
     
  14. gothmog

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    Most complained about shuttle feature: optical out on the front!

    Unfortunately it's impossible to change this in software as SPDIF hardware is not bi-directional.

    DD and DTS pass-thru work fine with PowerDVD (select SPDIF out in the sound options).

    Bit tricky with the resolutions, using nView you can set a different resolution on the secondary display, which will scroll over the area of the primary display.

    The highest res my AE300 will accept over DVI is 1280x768 so I can't vouch for performance at HS10 native res.

    Haven't noticed any particular lip-synch, only the odd bit of tearing which seems to be a powerdvd issue as it's equally visible on the monitor..

    As for the Radeon, be sure to check out the 7000/9000 All-In-Wonder cards as I believe these have the remote etc :)

    -- Jon
     
  15. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Jon

    Thanks again for the information. What do you use for a screen with your projector? I can't afford a propper one for a while so I will try and make one.:(

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  16. gothmog

    gothmog
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    I use an 8ft wide projecta proscreen from Komplett, cost about £250 delivered and is fairly big (110" widescreen).

    Before it arrived I was using a white bedsheet from tesco drawing pinned to the ceiling, which worked suprisingly well :)

    I could also do cool rear projection for my neighbours too! :)

    -- Jon
     
  17. John_N

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    Hi.

    I was looking at the "hi end" cables which were more expensive.

    I'm impressed webloaded.... £40 for TEN METRES? Is it any good?
     
  18. WebLoader

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    Hi John

    Well its a screened cable, and its sending digital data down to the projector so I guess that opens up the old argument of is it worth spending extra on digital interconnects.


    On the windows desktop everything looks sharp and steady, there is no ghosting (which i guess is kind of obvious - it is digital not analogue!), so I cannot see what 'extra' a high end cable would give, other than perhaps better RF noise immunity, but unless you are routing your cable round a whole bunch of electrical equipment then I doubt it is worth it.

    have you been able to find any lab type tests regarding the differences?
     
  19. gothmog

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    Yep, it'll either do the job or it'll be obvious that it isn't up to it.

    It's worth carefully checking the specs of the cables some are only good for 1024x768 over long runs.

    A guy over on the AVS forum was seeing some corruption with his 10m DVI cable so that one obviously wasn't good enough.

    In fact I have a nasty feeling that 10m is slightly longer than DVI is specified for :) definately a case of YMMV!

    Although you can always go here:

    http://www.dvigear.com/lonlendvicab.html

    If you won the lottery or something!

    -- Jon
     
  20. rooster

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    So am i right in saying its DVI-D both ends male to male single link for HS10?
     
  21. WebLoader

    WebLoader
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    rooster - yes that is correct, though the lindy cable is actually dual link.
     
  22. rooster

    rooster
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    So single or dual .. Doesnt matter?

    I phoned Lindy up 2 weeks ago and they said they couldn't take orders till website was up . How comeyou guys got them?
     
  23. WebLoader

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    i dont think it matters - the duals have a higher capacity but I think the single would work. In any case, the dual is the 'default' cable that they supply.

    here are the details of the 10M cable i ordered, which as I say is running from a Radeon 7500->HS10 using powerstrip to get 1366x768

    41243 DVI cable M/M : qty 1 : £36.75 (ex vat)

    Steven Rollinson
    Technical Sales Executive
    LINDY Electronics Limited
    Sadler Forster Way
    Teesside Industrial Estate
    Thornaby
    Stockton-on-Tees
    TS17 9JY. ENGLAND.

    Tel: +44 (0)1642 754000
    Fax: +44 (0)1642 765274
    E - Mail : steven.rollinson@lindy.co.uk
     
  24. John_N

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    OK. So we've found a supplier for a cheap 10M DVI-D cable.

    I thought my problems were solved and suddenly I remembered the audio... sigh.

    Has anyone found a supplier for a cheap 75ohm "digital audio" coaxial cable? I'm finding that lots of people seem to be charging rip-off prices for what seem to be merely high quality lengths of 75 ohm coax terminated with two good quality RCA phono plugs.

    Has anyone found a decent supplier? Otherwise I may have to experiment and see what 75R cable and terminators I can get from farnell or RS.
     
  25. gothmog

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    John,

    CPC (Farnell cast offs ;) ) do a wide range of 75ohm cables suitable for the digital stuff. They range from stupidly cheap and nasty through to decent! A search for '75 phono' turns them up along with the worlds worst set of component video leads :)

    If you can use optical I got a 10m toslink cable from them for <£10 which works fine :)

    (Yeah ok the build quality is naff but if you never need to move it it's not going to be an issue ;) )

    -- Jon
     
  26. John_N

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    Thanks for the info.

    I also found out that keene do a range of cheap cables http://www.keene.co.uk

    I've decided to compromise on my home theatre PC build and temporarily just buy a radeon card to put upstairs and put my Geforce4 in a bag for a while.

    I'll run 10m DVI and 10m audio through the walls to the projector downstairs with any luck. I may have to move the study furniture though to get close enough. Hope not.

    I'll plug the sound into a Philips Acoustic Edge card and hopefully off we go!

    Screen arrives next week. Then all I have to do is get it all working and start looking at the house modifications to get the projector silent. The latest idea is to fit a custom made piece of furniture into the wall with a ready built hush-box in there. Then I can vent the box using ducting to the outside. I'll stack up lots of silica gel in there to keep the air in the enclosure dry just in case.
     
  27. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    I see that a lot of perople use a product called AVIA. Can anyone explain what it is? What it does? Where can I get it? How much? Are there any better alternatives?

    Thanks for the help.

    Rob
     
  28. rooster

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  29. WebLoader

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    hi rooster

    that is the same cable that i am using, just the 3m version. It does actually say in the description DVI Digital !

    cheers
     
  30. rooster

    rooster
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    cheers webloader . Will order one tonight
     

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