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Line quad-ubler/scaler...

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Pzycho, Apr 18, 2002.

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  1. Pzycho

    Pzycho
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    Ok, so I know this has been discussed previously, but none of the threads I found whilst searching really covered my situation.

    Basically I'm in the process of setting up a dedicated - well, semi-dedicated HT room. I've purchased a Barco Graphics 808s which I'll need someone help me install (Roland? Gordon?? I'm in TS28 - or rather, will be).

    This will mainly be used for watching DVDs from a Pioneer DV747A (got it modified to output progressive scan PAL also), but also occationally for LD (Pioneer DVL-909), Gaming (PS2), Satellite and VHS viewing.

    Now, I'm unsure whether the 808s I've bought comes with the internal Barco line doubler or not, but in either case I've been told that a line doubler really doesnt do the PJ justice and a quadscan or ideally scaler would be a better option.

    This is of course all fine, and I'll trust the more 'veteran' MT freaks on that - but where exactly do I find these scalers for sale? and how much should I look to be spending? I'll be connecting all the gear through a AZ1 amplifier so a scaler with single composite/svideo/rgb/component inputs would be fine as I prefer to do source switching at the amp.

    And before anyone mentions HTPC - Sure, that would be an option - but I've worked in the IT field for over 10 years, and I don't trust them not to lock up, crash or just generally **** up throughout watching a film.

    I'd also like some input on 4:3, 16:9 and 2.35:1 screens. I'm considering using a set-height 16:9 or 2.35:1 screen (90" wide) and setting up the PJ to show standard 4:3 images centered on this screen - probably also add some motorized curtains to make the screen seem smaller. Any ideas on this? Is this a viable option, or should I go for a 4:3 height adjustable screen?

    Does this make sense to anyone? Or should I repost/edit it when I'm more awake :D If anyone has a URL to a HT faq for newbies please post :)
     
  2. Roland @ B4

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    Arne
    The Barco line doubler really has had its day now. If its in the projector then fine but it would be out performed by something like the Iscan.
    However with a projector like the 808s you need to drive it with something like line trippled or even quadrupled video. The quadscan at around £1100 is a good entry level scaller.

    Do not be tempeted to go for a 2.35:1 screen unless you know that is going to form all your viewing. showing 16x9 and 4x3 images inside that is likley to burn your tubes early. Your may even find the PJ does not have enough horizontal adjustment to cope.

    Switching through your amp is a good idea but all your sorces will have to be the same for it to work properly because the amp won't convert the VHS to component video for instance. If you drop every thing down to S-video bar the DVD player that may work.
     
  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    As per Roland,

    The Quadscan is a scaler. It'll do all the rates you are after. There are better but they are at least 3 times the price just now, twice the price soon perhaps.

    I'd also not go with a 2.35:1 screen unless you are happy replacing the tubes faster. If you were going 2.35:1 you may want to consider going for a scaler like the Rock Plus which can do all the aspect ratio control with that shape of screen.I'll try and explain why.

    You would normally set up 3 memory banks per input frequency. 4:3 inside 2.35:1, anamorphic squash and letterbox'd zoom. The strain on the deflection circuits trying to squeeze in a 4:3 image to fit inside a 2.35:1 screen would be pretty severe for a CRT I'd imagine. Swapping between the three shapes is also a pain. The letterbox'd Zoom image would show more line structure than the anamorphic and 4:3 ones too unless you increased the output from720 to 960P or such like, every time you swapped aspect....

    With a scaler like the RockPlus you'd just do one anamorphic setting for each incoming frequency (PAL/NTSC) and then it would re-scale the image so that it was output in a shape that would look correct once fed to the anamorphic memory bank of the projector. ie It would stretch vertically 4:3 material and add black bars to sides .....This means less strain in the projector and easy access to different aspect ratio's when viewing...

    The Quadscan willl do this trick as well but only for 4:3 screens and 16:9 screens. The Rock is one of the few that accepts 2.35:1 screens as well. Having said all that I think 16;9 screen is best compromise. Rolands suggestion to make everything s-video, except DVD is one I agree with too.

    Gordon
     
  4. Matinee

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    I've not set up my own HT yet, but I dont see why a HTPC shouldnt be an option. In the IT field the key factors for creating a stable system are to use known good components in a proven configuration, then implement rigourously followed change control for any modification to that system.

    In other words - once you've set it up as effectively a limited function set top box, it shouldnt go wrong. There are programs to output quality DVD, to scale incoming video and also to control the whole PC via infra red.

    I would, however, recommend basing a system on Windows 2000 (or possibly XP) with the latest DirectX. W2K is generally very stable, and has all the necessary graphical facilities to do all the necessary gubbins to drive a projector.

    For the record I cant remember the last time my system at home crashed, and that's on 24/7.

    PK
     
  5. Pzycho

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    Cheers guys. Just the type of input I was needing.

    Few more things though. I'm assuming the quadscan has at least three inputs (Composite, S-Video, Component/RGB) and comes with a IR remote. If so, why would it pose a problem switching the component and RGB signals through the amp and simply setup another macro on the ProntoPro/RC9200 to switch input on the amp and scaler at the same time? Having RGB outs on both the PS2 and Sat system I'd really like to use it having seen the difference it makes to S-Video.

    Any URLs for the £1100 quadscan you mentioned and perhaps also the Rock or Leeza (both being recommended to me before - but without any info on where to purchase)?

    As for the HTCP route - I'm sure it can be made stable. But already having separate DVD/LD/VCD players it would really only be used as a scaler - and knowing myself as I do I would probably end up spending more or less the same £1100 on the PC that I would on a separate scaler. Of course - if you could come up with more suggestions as to why this is the better route, go ahead ;)
    Long term plans (once xDSL or another type of broadband is available up in the sticks) is to reimplement my home network as well as lightning/heating/intruder-visitor control so PCs will be used - so far I fail to see the advantage a HTPC has though.
     
  6. nfordenfield

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    I use a quadscan on my BG801s.

    Set up correctly it can detect 16:9 and 4:3. I use mine on a 16:9 screen with the scaler you get black bars on the side for 4:3.

    Quadscan can not accept RGB. Best to pipe component from PS2 and DVD player and use Svideo from the sky box.

    You can get a RGB/YUR converter if needed.

    Must recommend that you get a quality VGA breakout cable for the scaler, as this will effect the final picture.

    I use mine with component from the DVD and Xbox and SVHS from the SKy plus directly to the scaler, not via the switching on my Denon AVC A1SE. I just use the other SVHS in from the monitor out so that I can see the setup menus. Scaler does have an auto input selector in priority of Component then SVHS then composite.

    Set up correctly you should still just see scanlines on XGA (Triple). Although I can get it to hold Quadtrupled, this seems just a little soft to me. The 808 should be better at this.

    I've not seen any HPTC or Rock to give a comparison. Anyone out there want to demo?

    There was a quadscan for sale in the classified of this or another popular forum for £750 which seems a steal at that price.

    Or you could wait for the new Quadscan due out soon.

    Regards

    Nathan
     
  7. Jeff

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    Simple, picture quality. For DVD a Quadscan won't even come close.
     
  8. nfordenfield

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    Jeff

    What do recommend?

    I've never seen anyone using a rock etc, the next step up from a quadscan must be an expensive one?

    Must admit that having spent a couple of hours tweeking the pj, i can now see more noise.

    How much better can you get DVD without spending a fortune.

    Roll on Blue ray so we can finally get the software at HD, then no need for analogue scalers. Will just need a friendly American to record Stargate SG1 in HD and send it over to me to watch.

    Regards

    Nathan
     
  9. Pzycho

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    Jeff: Even if using a scaler capable of outputting a 1600x1200 image? Which is the max my PJ will take.

    Done a bit more searching on google and finally came up with the URL for the Rock+. It's pricey at $5199.00, but supposedly in the same class as the Faroudja DVP2200. Looking at the comparison here the specs also look pretty impressive. From what I understand though, the Rock+ is simply a HTPC capable of scaling only. Seems to be available in the UK for £3800 +vat - however I'm not 100% sure if this is Rock+ or RockLite.

    Now if I could only get a personal demo of a HTPC, the quadscan and a Rock+ to see for myself... any takers? I'm based in London for the next few weeks before moving up north.

    Been offered a quadscan for £1175 inc vat - so question is if the 3x pricetag also gives a 3x quality improvement.
     
  10. Boris Blank

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    Pzycho,
    Sit tight for a few weeks - there is a new version of the Quadscan called the Centrestage due soon which is likely to be considerably better than the exisiting Quadscan and will probably come close to The Rock etc quality wise. Cost should hopefully be in the region of £1800 - £2000 (we'll see). More info here; http://www.focusinfo.com/products/centerstage/centerstage.htm

    If you have the dosh then best to wait - I wouldn't buy a new Quadscan now as they are yesterday's news - you will see more than a few being sold off quite cheaply in the coming months I suspect.
    Regards,
    Paul
     
  11. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    Pzycho and others

    I don't mind offering the demo of the quadscan if others can offer the Rock and HTPC experience. Come on Guys SHARE. I can seats six in my mini Odeon with Air Con.

    If someone has a ROCK and wants to host a demo, i'll bring my QUADSCAN along for an A/B test. Need to see what i'm not seeing.

    Nathan
     
  12. Jeff

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    Very few scalers will do 1600x1200, no problem for a good HTPC. The Rock + is a fine scaler but it does use a Geforce 2 video card which has long been discarded for HTPC use because its not concidered good enough. The main problem is that you are feeding a standalone DVD player via an analogue connection. Unless you use a high end Arcam or Tag player or the likes you will be severely handicapped. Jenz has a Rock +, but he still insists on having a HTPC.
     
  13. Pzycho

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    Sounds good, and I'd definitely be there. Afraid I cant offer much hardware wise though - software wise maybe, but then again anyone with a crt and scaler probably have all the titles I do anyway :)
     
  14. Pzycho

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    Now that I can understand - there are SDI modifications available for the 747A I believe, but I'm not really looking into that at this time.

    Bottom line for me is; I would much rather have a set-top scaler than another PC around. Unless there are now fair-priced 'kits' or recommended hardware to use which will give me the same stability as a set-top and also the advantage of having EVERYthing IR/RF controlled. I've tried various IR interfaces for computers before and have always managed to find one fault or another.
     
  15. nfordenfield

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    Blown all my dosh on the hardware.

    Did have a decent collection but xmas before last, some yob nicked the lot. Insurance company gave me the cash instead so got more hardware.

    My mate has a collection to die for must be £1000 of pounds, so we have a nice little deal going. He get a seat reserved once a week and supplies the film.

    Watched Black Hawk down last week. Totally awesome sound track.

    Nathan
     
  16. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    Pzycho

    You could bring that 747A along so I could A/B test it with my 737 !!!

    Love to see what difference that makes.

    Nathan
     
  17. Pzycho

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    You're on. Should be getting the 747A returned all modified in about a weeks time.

    Now.. To get back to the scaler issue. I've been offered a near-new Quadscan Elite v3.06 for £780. I might just go for it.

    I'd love to wait around and getting a demo of various pieces of kit, but at the end of the day I'll be starting to move equipment into the new house pretty soon. I did see a Quadscan pro in action today, and I thought the picture was decent. I'm sort of in the same boat as you now nfordenfield - I'd like to see what I'm missing, but I doubt it's worth an extra two grand.
     
  18. Guest

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    Has anyone ever seen / built a good HTPC that will take either Component or an RGB input.

    I am also in the market for a scaler of some description and use a Tag DVD32R, thus i want to play the discs on this, not the PC.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  19. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    I'd be happy to provide the Rock+ for a demo. I'm sure Jeff could bring PC.

    I could even host it in Reading using an 808 or 1209 but not untill a few days after the Bank holiday.


    (Remind me Gordon, but isn't this how "Event 1" started.)
     
  20. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    Roland...This is how Event 1 started...Now...how about Event 2...Do you think I should just announce a date and be damned?

    It's hard to get to see scalers set up properly as generally the projector and scaler have to be "tuned " to each other. This doesn't make it too easy....
    Luckily Roland has been through this learning curve.

    Elliot: Yes there are Component input cards but they are usually nutter expensive. The Rock one is custom made by Key Digital for them and is not available as an aftermarket device as far as I know.

    The problem with HTPC is the sound is not in the same league as your DVD. I believe picture quality can surpass it though. I am attempting this myself. I also hope to address the basic audio issues to some degree but I know it's not going to be possible to get DVD32/AV32 performance....if I get close I'll be happy.....

    Gordon
     
  21. Roland @ B4

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    Do it, do it..:devil: :devil:

    From the previous learning cuve it will take about 12 days to set up.

    This really should be a thread in its self. - It's gonna burn
     
  22. Jeff

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    Any time. :)
     
  23. nfordenfield

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    Roland, use a 1209 and a Rock + !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reserve me a seat near the front in the middle please.

    Nathan
     
  24. uncle eric

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    Roly, Gordon,
    I'd be happy to bring along my Cinematrix moded player.

    Eric
     
  25. Jenz

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    Pzycho, if you wanna drive up to Milton Keynes I can show you a Rock+ versus a HTPC to a BarcoGraphics 808s.

    Jenz
     
  26. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    I would take up Neils offer...I did and now have PC bits on order...HTPC is not for everyone but in the right application and configured well (and Neil's IS) then it's pretty great!

    Gordon


    I'm going to chat to some folk this weekend then probably annouce Event 2 dates next week.
     
  27. jlcrawford

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    Psycho
    I live in The NE TS26 and own a rock/808s combo.
    I tried HTPC and it is great but the rock is easier.I just looked at the TAWFORUM.COM and they are selling a Rock lite for $1999.
    This would probaly be a good buy as I only use 50 72 75 Hz any way.If you were planning a trip to Florida you could do as I did a year ago and pick it up in person from Mr Taws home address.It save on duty etc if you're lucky
     
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