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HTPC - Should i go for a hi-def DLP?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Lobo, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Lobo

    Lobo
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    Ive recently been looking at the Scrrenplay 5700 and loved the picture on this projector. However, Im looking to hook the projector up to a HTPC. Would a hi-def projector give me a visibly better picture from this source?
     
  2. KraGorn

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    IMX it depends on how big you're projecting and what you're projecting.

    If you're playing SD material, ie. current DVDs as opposed to HD stuff, then if you use a 1280x720 projector you're going to have to scale the image, that in turn introduces problems such as softening due to interpolation of pixels and you end up going down the road of post-processing using FFDSHOW to improve the scaling quality.

    The issue is whether the pixellation at the lower resolution is noticeable on your screen size and viewing distance .. in my case on a 92" screen at 10' I decided it was so I switched from 1024x576 to 1280x720, this improved things quite a bit and the slight softening was acceptable, but if I'd been projecting somewhat smaller or viewing further away the decision could have been to stay with the lower resolution.

    By and large this trade-off is independent of source, though a PC will generally give you better scaling than a DVD player (without a dedicated scaler).
     
  3. Peter Parker

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    Adding to Kragorns comments (and his provisos) - you should notice a difference playing Hi Def stuff back on an XGA or 1024 x 576 pj compared to DVD, and you should see even more improvement with a 720p projector, so either way, you will get a better picture from HTPC and Hi Def.

    You will notice an improvement form the HTPC via DVI or HDMI over a standalone player anyway, even if you dodn't play Hi Def stuff, so I think the HTPC alone will be an improvement.

    Gary.
     
  4. Neelix

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    I recently tested a 5700 with a DVD via Denon 3910 hdmi connection... it was fantastic. I then tried some WMV HD content 720p via my laptop vga and it was better than the dvd. So, even if the resolution of the 5700 is only 576p, playing HD content will improve the picture regardless.
     
  5. KraGorn

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    Yes, playing HD material will generally be better and whatever resolution you settle on because at worst it has to be down-scaled which has a far lesser impact on PQ than up-scaling due to the natre of the two proceses.

    Just to clarify my comments, I was only considering playing SD material which is, and will remain for some time the main type of material on HTPCs for some time at least.

    If you're looking at the medium term (say 12-18 months) then I think it wise to consider mainly SD material playback when thinking about options, beyond that then HD may be a factor, but maybe that's because I don't have a craving to get into the world of HD at the bleeding edge .. yet. ;)
     
  6. Lobo

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    I know you can get some movies available that can be played in hi-def of a PC, eg Terminator 2. I also see that more are becoming available. This means that having an HTPC would give instant access to hi-def content. Also, although Im not much of a gamer, the occasional go at a PC game on a big screen seems appealing. And since these can run at extremely hi definitions on a good PC, it would seem to be an advantage to have a hi-def projector.

    Would something like the BenQ 8700+ (using the HD2+ chipset) have a comparable image quality to a Screenplay 5700. It can be purchased at a similar price and if Im using an HTPC as my source, then maybe some of the scaling and processing hardware in the more expensive projectors would be redundant. Or am I wrong?
     
  7. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    To be able to compare, you need to demo them both really. I found my HT1000 to have a very film-like image with no noticable artefacts or image noise, but HD2+ pjs tend to bring more noise to an image in comparison (those that I've seen anyway, including my Optoma H77). This may or may not be an issue, as some people don't notice some things like others, but you need to see them both to see if this is the case here, and if it bothers you.

    I use lens filters to bring the lumens down to a more 'cinema' like level, and that can help reduce image noise, but some people prefer a bright image so this wouldn't work for them.

    Hi Def stuff tends to have better compression and less noise anyway, so that may be another factor to push you towards the BenQ, and as you're getting it for Hi Def, that seems the obvious choice.

    I guess it all boils down to what you want from an image. There's a lot more to it than resolution, so if the advantage of the higher res is negated by picture quality, you have to decide what's more important to you. I've not seen the 8700 so i can't help there.

    I think I would be inclined to go for the BenQ, but only after I've done some reading over on avs and seen what current owners have to say about it first. Can you get a demo of the BenQ?

    Using HTPC and DVI/HDMI does normaly by-pass the projectors internal scaler, so yes you're right in that respect, but I Think I read that the first 8700 had issues via DVi so you'd better make sure they're fixed on the 8700+. Pay avsforum a visit and use the search facility. :)

    Gary.
     

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