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HTPC & LCD Screen

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jameson_uk, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    Thinking about a 32" LCD screen. Firstly I guess that I can ignore the "PC" input on the screen and just use the DVI input ?

    Secondly, what else would I need to do. I have read a lot about scalers and the like but if I set the PC resolution to be the same as the screen do I need to do this ??
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    If you are using an HCPC then you don't need a scaler, the video card will do the job for you. Also I'm not sure a scaler would be worth the money on a 32" screen even if you were using a traditional DVD player.

    DVI would be the best input.
     
  3. Gillykid

    Gillykid
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    You may be refering to DScaler. If you are planning to put Sky or Playstation / XBox through your HTPC this software scaler may help get a better picture.
     
  4. Nicky

    Nicky
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    Hi, there are basically two things you need to worry about:

    Resolution: you want an LCD you can drive at its native resolution. There is a lot of discussion about this on the LCD forum. That's normally a good place for checking out what the current opinion is on best LCDTV to connect to a PC is. One of the biggest issues is that a lot of LCDTVs are 1366x768 which causes some graphics cards problems. I'm a big fan of 1280 by 768 but this isn't a common resolution now.

    Refresh Rate: this doesn't get the attention it deserves (IMO). Ideally you want to be able to drive the screen at both 50Hz (for PAL) and 60Hz (for NTSC). Quite a few have problems with 50Hz.

    Finally, once you have these two sorted out there's a freighening world of fddshow and things like that to scale TV, DVD etc to your screen resolution, but this comes after you've got the basic set-up working.

    Nick
     
  5. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    What is the deal here then (The one I was looking at has this res). Can this not be sorted out by using powerstrip ??

    I take it Pal @ 60Hz would not look right ?? Being digital as well, this is real 50Hz and not interlaced ??

    OK, if I do go for the screen, I guess I will get it working first but then I will look at this. I take it that in essence you are taking a TV or DVD resolution of something like 560x480 (4:3 ???) and turning this into the native res of the screen ?? This sort of makes sense except I am not sure I can see why this would be of benefit. If the original source in only in x by y, surely you can not add any extra detail you are just stretching the pic to fit the screen??
     
  6. Nicky

    Nicky
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    Res: Powerstrip normally works but it can be a little graphics card dependent. You just need to check the feedback for whatever card you are intending on using.

    Refresh rate: Pal @ 60Hz means you only have 50 frames for each second of video but you need 60. Consequently you end up showing some twice. I imagine you get a pattern of frames along the lines of 1.2.3.4.5.5.6.7.8.9.10.10.11...This leads to motion becoming less smooth. If you can get a screen that will do 50hz it should look better. Pretty much all PC resolutions are 'real' (progressive) rather than interlaced.

    Scaling: You're bang on the problem. You have a 480 or 520 line DVD or TV picture and you want to get it to (say) 768. If you don't do anything the graphics card will normally handle the scaling. However you can do this in software instead with potentially better results. I'm not qualified to say whether you can 'add detail' or not. I could imagine a solution which grabbed data from prior and subsequent frames to enhance the current one though I don't know if any systems do this. However you can do the scaling well or badly, and doing it in softwares give you more flexibility on how to do it.
     
  7. DaveP

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    Sorry to butt in but why are you a fan of this res?

    This gives an AR of 15:9. I'm a fan of 1280x720!

    Dave
     
  8. Nicky

    Nicky
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    Why is 1280 by 768 great?

    It seems to be a more standard resolution that 1280x720 or 1366x768 so it tends to be easier to support. You often don't need powerstrip.

    I find 15x9 better for normal PC use than 16x9. 16x9 is just getting a little too wide.

    1280x720 is a fairly uncommon resolution (for LCD screens, not projectors I believe). If you restict yourself to that there are very few actual screens. That said 1280x768 is also fairly uncommon now.

    But probably most importantly, if you watch a 16x9 film on 1280x768 you actually get the image on a 1280x720 pixel array with bars top and bottom so you still get 1:1 pixel mapping for a 720 line source.

    Consequently I think you get a stack of advantages over 1280x720 with very little downside.

    That said this is largely 'in theory'. I actually own a 1366x768 screen - I couldn't find a 1280x768 I was happy with for general picture quality.

    Nick
     
  9. DaveP

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    Thanks for taking the time to explain.

    My LCD is 1280x768 (as are a lot of the newer 26" panels) and it plays DVDs (16:9) in full screen so things look taller and thinner than they should.

    I think 2.35:1 movies suffer the same way but it is less noticable.

    Dave
     

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