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Is the MXE1 better with a Scaler or HTPC

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by creative-av, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Hi All,

    Title says it all really! Bought the MXE1 with the intention of building a HTPC to drive it but am now weighing up the idea of getting a LumagenHDP instead(thanks to Joe@TMF for emails already received)..

    So, people who own MXE's or who have experience with them, what are your opinions. It seems a lot of people use HTPC's with MXE's, why? What made you choose a HTPC over a Scaler and vice-versa?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Anyone?
     
  3. MAW

    MAW
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    The scaler versus HTPC argument is chiefly flexibility over robustness. You can do more with a PC, but the bottom line is that it's still powered by Mr Gates' finest, which has been known to cause sense of humour failure! Scalers can crash too, but usually once a year rather than once a month, or more. They are IR remote controllable in a transparent manner, where PC remote control is often complex to set up etc. I use both, just to confuse the issue!
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Steve: I think the answer to your question is that it depends on the scaler and the HTPC. Not all HTPC's are the same performance....even those that use the same parts. Not all scalers are same performance. Both can be great and both can be not so great dependant on their configuration and set up. There are several MXE owners with scalers as well. I can think of four forum members who have Lumagens and MXE's straight off the top of my head.

    Gordon
     
  5. MAW

    MAW
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    I didn't bring quality into the argument because of the multitude of configs. It's perfectly possible to build a PC as good with signals as Gordon's finest Lumagens, probably about the same cost too! I'll be willing to bet the scaler will still be scaling brilliantly long after the 3rd re-install of XP Pro though. I have customers with both setups, one or 2 may be the ones Gordon is thinking of. You don't choose one or other for PQ, you choose because you want a PC or you don't.
     
  6. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Thanks guys.

    So basically it is just about convenience? I have been looking at the LumagenHDP or if I was going the HTPC route my budget would be the same as the scaler cost.

    Maw - do you use your scaler and HTPC for different purposes? Do you prefer one over the other?

    Gordon - Have you had any experience of someone using a HTPC on a MXE and then going the scaler route? If so, was there any difference?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  7. MAW

    MAW
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    LOL I have scaler and HTPC for demo use, and to do sainsburys to you from the sofa of course. Personally the PC is used only for web browsing, I could not be a***d to use it for anything else. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Now I just push the button on the remote and it happens.
     
  8. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Ha, Ha! Use the laptop for that!

    Have you seen a MXE with a Lumagen? How does it look?

    Steve
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    Yes, Gordon and I have a mutual client in Winchester who has the Lumagen, the big fella. His screen is a 50", it's calibrated, and it certainly has the 'wow' factor. I also have several clients with 43 and 50" screens who have DVDO scalers, which also come up well. I'm seeing a guy on Wednesday who has the MXE50 and DVDO, and more sources than you can shake a stick at, including Euro1080i (shame about the content, PQ is simply amazing) MXE's are born to have scalers or PCs, they only show of their best with the digital input. I use this setup for demos frequently, as quite a number of my clients choose their plasma by simply saying 'I want that one'. They make a lovely couple, as they say.
     
  10. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Sounds like my decision is becoming easier.

    Must admit I was already swaying towards the scaler for the convenience. I don't mind playing around with PCs but not all the time and not just to get Sky to display!

    So, looks like I'll have to put an order in soon!
     
  11. MarkTy

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    Does anyone know when the MXE1 will be upgraded ? Are Pioneer planning a new model soon ?
     
  12. creative-av

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    Hi Mark,

    Don't think there is a new version of the MXE1 on the way. There are talks to release a new HDCP video board but nothing has materialised yet in Europe.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  13. philipb

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    A Cinemateq user rather than Lumagen, but by using a SDI splitter I can watch Sky SDI via the scaler and the HTPC side by side - well by switching inputs anyway. PC is hooked up to the VGA input, Cinemateq to DVI.

    As for the comparison, I wouldn't want to live or die by the difference. Scaler is excellent and miles more convenient. If you already have a PC which can be upgraded to take a Sky input (SDI or say a Sweetspot) then that is a much cheaper option and will give top quality pictures. The ability of the MXE1 to take a 50 Hz input has made it much more HTPC friendly - so long as you can use Powerstrip and dscaler. But if you only want the PC to act as a scaler and the money is not a problem then go for the scaler.

    Gordon says there are only 4 Lumagen/MXE1 users on the forum. I'm almost certainly the only Cinemateq/MXE1 user, and the combo is excellent. I'm sure the Lumagen would give as good results - different features.
     
  14. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Thanks Phillip.

    I think I am pretty much sold on the scaler now. I would have to build the HTPC from scratch so cost would be the same but I think I would just like the convenience of just switching on the scaler and thats it!

    Steve
     

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