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HTPC as a Video switch / processor?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by calvinhobbes, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. calvinhobbes

    calvinhobbes
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    Hi All

    I have the following system and wanted to know whether it was worth using the HTPC to route and process everything.

    Sources:
    Homechoice: (RGB) Scart Output only
    Xbox: Composite Video
    HTPC inc DVD Player: 2xDVI/VGA out
    Denon 2805 (3x component in, 1x component out, 6xs-video/composite, upscaling to compoent)

    Displays:
    Sony VPL-HS50 10m away from sources: 1x Component, VGA, HDMI, Composite Inputs
    Pioneer MXE1 3m away from sources: 1x Component, VGA, DVI, Composite Inputs

    I see two options in terms of cabling:

    1. Standard
    Use Denon as switcher / router, add a component splitter/DA to split the 1x Denon component output to the two displays
    Homehoice: Use Scart>Composite into Denon (upscaled to the 1x COmponent output)
    Xbox: Use Composite into Denon (upscaled to the 1x COmponent output)
    HTPC DVD player: Use DVI cables backed up by VGA cables to both displays directly.

    2. HTPC
    Use both Denon and HTPC as a switcher and router.
    Basically, exactly same as above, but have the 1x Denon component output to go to a Sweetspot video capture card on the HTPC instead of the splitter/DA, then use HTPC's dual DVI/VGA out to displays directly.

    Any thoughts on the two options or any suggestions in terms of other options?

    Cheers
     
  2. whats_this

    whats_this
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    Using the hcpc as a processor will definitely bring big improvements but as a third option you could buy an rgb switch box for about 50 quid and use all your sources as rgb then scale them using the sweetspot card to both outputs. Although the denon does component upscaling it doesn’t actually improve the image at all it just sends it out on a different output. Using the switch box would allow better connections (RGB scart) and allow you to scale all your sources.

    Although this would cost probably the most money it would bring the biggest improvement to all your sources but whether it is worth it is up to you of course.

    Using ffdshow (which is free btw) u can achieve amazing scaling that can vastly improve the image. It helps to have a decent processor (2.8ghz or higher is generally recommended here) but i get good results with my xp3200 (2.2ghz) although it does stutter if i try to bring more filters in.

    Had a quick look at the specs of your plasma and seems to be 1280*720 which is perfect for u as both screens have the same resolution and therefore it should be little trouble duplicating 1:1 pixel mapping on both outputs simultaneously.

    It sounds like you know about the overscan on the hs50 and know you need to use vga into it for the time being at least.

    In the long run you could then add a high quality soundcard rme/lynx and use ur pc as audio processor aswell, sell your 2805 and buy a poweramp that would give you massive audio improvements without spending mega money. Cant help but mention it im afraid, am a huge fan of the hcpc audio/video processor route.
     
  3. Neelix

    Neelix
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    Calvin you have a very similar setup to what I have/will have. I recently purchased an HS50 and will be buying my plasma in a few days. I have decided to go the HTPC route and will therefore be looking to add similar cabling. You say your graphics card has dual DVI and VGA. Is the VGA using an adaptor connected to the DVI? What sort of card do you have/recommend, a 6600gt?
     

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