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HTPC with Projector & Various Video inputs

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Rob_Quads, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. Rob_Quads

    Active Member

    Feb 14, 2004
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    I am in the middle of planning/building a HTPC for the living room. I am happy with most apects of the system but the area i am not sure on is the video interfaces to use. The confusion lies with the best way to connect up all the video sources I have to the TV & Projector. Below is a list of the equitment concerned and the connections available.

    Sanyo SU20 Projector - Composite Video, S-Video and VGA Input
    Budget Amstrad 28" TV - Scart input (RGB & Composite)

    Sky Box - Scart
    Yamaha Amp - Composite Video output
    Video Player - Composite Video output

    Currently I have the following setup (NON HTPC)

    Sky & Video -> Yamaha Amp -> TV & Projector : All via composite video.

    I have read lots of reports that it is possible to get a much better picture out of the projector by pulling in the RGB/Scart? signal from the Sky box into the computer and then using it to process it (with DScaler?) and then output it to the projector.

    The HTPC i am building is using the Matrox G400 DualHead Graphics cars which means I can output the signal back out of the computer in composite as well meaning i can output it to the TV if i want to (to save on bulb life)

    So little bit of a complicated/confusing one this one, anyone got any recommendations on the best way to connect everything up to get the best picture output to the projector

    Thanks in advance

  2. Pootle

    Standard Member

    Apr 14, 2002
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    Rob, I've been down a path similar to this, and there are many ways to do this, but my conclusions are this:

    You REALLY REALLY want to get RGB to the projector, it will give you a much better picture than any other input.

    I don't do the analogue capture / d-scaling thing as I am currently all digital, the picture quality is just so much better with an all digital path. (but I don't think you can do this with Sky)

    You will probably find that a TV is not much use as a computer screen - its big bulky and tiring to use even at 640 X 480 - just not crisp enough. I bought a 15" LCD screen to use when we don't need to use the projector, its fine for TV and computer use.

    I assume you are going to play DVD's through the computer only?

    In the days when I used a DTT set top box, I used the scart RGB output into a converter to s-video and then into a radeon AIW card and then to the projector. This gave as good a picture as direct from set top box to projector and meant the computer drove everything (as well as allowing me to record using the computer).

    I have given up on all my old VHS tapes. Even pre-recorded ones are painful to watch on the big screen.

    A lot of people say the sweetspot is a good consumer video capture card, given that you cannot get sky into the PC digitally, this would probably be the best option.

    To see the relative quality of different capture methods into the PC, have a look here:
    (This isn't the setupI run now - I use a nebula digital TV card as the software and image qulaity is far better than the Nova-T.)

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