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HTPC, DVI equipped DVD ?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Gadjet, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. Gadjet

    Gadjet
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    Hi,

    Can anyone particulary messiah please explain in laymans terms what this means and what equipment it is. And how when set up, is better than the normal or "good " dvd player to the pj. And if not asking enough how much would this cost to set up?

    Thank you,
    phill

    hi messiah if you are there
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    You can build a basic htpc for around £250 (not including software). Just make sure you're using a Radeon graphics card and a 5.1 capable soundcard with spdif or optical output. ebuyer.com has everything you need.

    Make sure the Radeon has DVI out, as then you're totaly eliminating any digital to analogue and a to d conversions. Having said that, dvi isn't fantastically better than the vga output when viewed on my projector. That may be down to the projectors onboard processing though.

    Radeons are very good at dvd playback, and the graphics card will scale the output to perfectly match the display device, plus the output is progressive too.

    HTH

    Gary.
     
  3. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Phew. Where to start. OK.

    DVI equipped DVD player - a film is stored digitally on a DVD so the best way to display this digital information on a digitalk display device is with as few conversions as possible. When you output from a DVD player via composite, S-Video or component connections you first have to convert the digital signal into an analogue one (they are analogue connections) and then when they reach the projector (digital display device) convert them back to digital again (hence the d/a and a/d notations often used). These conversion processes introduce all sorts of problems which result in loss of quality.

    A DVI DVD player therefore uses the digital DVI connection to take the digital signal and maintain it digitally along the path from DVD disc out to the projector. This means no digital to analogue and analogue to digital conversion and therefore no signal loss. However, you are still dependant upon the scaling and progressive conversion within the DVD player/projector so will not maintain a 100% original signal/image. Using DVI is a similar step up in performance as Component is from S-Video. DVI players are currently only available to import and will likely cost around £300 all in under brnads such as Momitsu, Brainwave, Bravo etc.


    HTPC. A PC is obviously a digital device which can output a signal either in analogue fashion (via VGA) or digitally via DVI if you have a graphics card which has that connection type. The benefits of a HTPC are mainly that the processing capabilities of a PC are generally far greater than the chips they use in DVD players and projectors so theoretically you should get a better final image due to the better quality processing done by the PC. The other benefits of a PC are that it can be used for much more than just playing DVD material (either directly off a DVD disc via the DVD ROM drive or from the hard disc if you transfer the DVD to disc first). Acting as a DVD/music jukebox, playing games, surfing the Net etc etc. A very versatile device.

    However, the downsides to a HTPC are the initial setup to get them performing correctly and operating smoothly via infra red control to maintain the DVD/CD player type functionality and all the usual ongoing tweaking etc to keep them functioning correctly. If you are considering a HTPC simply for DVD playback then I would strongly suggest you go down the DVI DVD player route or alternatively....

    you could look at something like the iScan Ultra which includes DVI output. The plus side here is that it can handle most/all of your input sources such as Sky, DVD, games consoles etc through it's very flexible range of connections. However, the downside is that you will still have an analogue to digital conversion in getting the input to the Ultra in the first place (e.g. component out from DVD player to Ultra).


    You need to ask yourself (and share here) what ayou are wanting to do and hoping to achieve. If it is to improve Sky (as I know you have posted your dissatisfaction with footie etc) then I am not sure either of these solutions will suffice as you will still need to get the signal out of the Sky box in an analogue fashion to start with.

    I guess we could write pages and pages about this but hope this has helped a little if not a lot :) Happy viewing and make sure you check out the HTPC forum.
     
  4. Gadjet

    Gadjet
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    Hi Gary and Messiah
    Thanks for your time again, I will go to the forum did not realise it was there. It would be great if it solved sky, but I am forever trying to find ways of increasing dvd quality display.

    Cheers again ,
    Phill
     
  5. keyser

    keyser
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    "DVI players are currently only available to import and will likely cost around £300 all in under brnads such as Momitsu, Brainwave, Bravo etc"

    There´s also the Samsung DVI DVD player, HD-931(I think), and it has a Faroudja deinterlacer(the other ones have mediocre deinterlacing), but it has the FLI2300 TrueLife setting set high, so it adds edge enhancment. So currently there are no really good DVI DVD players.
     
  6. Messiah

    Messiah
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    A DVI connection, whether HTPC ort standalone player will definitely improve on the component connection. It's just by how much and whether it is worth the extra hassle and cost
     
  7. keyser

    keyser
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    Although DVI will improve the image, especially when using a digital display, it won´t if it means the DVD player is worse in other ways. If it has bad deinterlacing, then it won´t look as good as a properly deinterlaced scene with component inputs. And currently there are no really good DVI DVD players.
     

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