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MXE vs HDE - Iscan and HTPC

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by mikeycrawford, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. mikeycrawford

    mikeycrawford
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    Quite an involved question, so apologies in advance. It is related to another recently started thread on Pioneers and interlaced output.

    From what I have read the main disadvantages of the HDE compared to the MXE are a) future expandability b) slightly inferior picture quality (8 bit vs 10 bit) and c) lack of PAL progressive ability.

    I have a HTPC (an Aldi special - Medion job). This has a video capture card that takes S-video In/Composite in and can output S-video or composite, as well as VGA (obviously), but I would be more than happy to spend a few quid on an upgraded card to get better results if needed.

    Q1) If I use this HTPC through the HDE tuner box's VGA input, and play a PAL DVD on the HTPC, would this give the same result (or equivelant) to watching a PAL Progressive DVD on a PAL Progressive capable Plasma with a Progressive DVD player?

    I will mainly be watching SKY TV on the plasma and read here that the ISCAN Ultra can produce good improvements by deinterlacing the (SKY) input.

    Q2) Would the HTPC inherently provide the same capability if used for viewing TV? The VGA signal from the PC will be "non-interlaced" and so would I expect to see a similar improvement in picture that the ISCAN provides for £500?

    I am buying the plasma with a view to increasing the space in the living room. I would like to house all the AV equipment in a corner of the room rather than directly underneath the plasma and so will need longer leads because of the distance.

    Q3) On the HDE, would the picture quality be affected by using the longer umbilical cord rather than the normal length cord? (guess this is a Joe Fernard type question?

    I will probably be looking for some kind of surround sound setup to go with the plasma.

    Q4) Can the optional speakers on the pioneer plasmas be used *through* the plasma/tuner for this (i.e. no need to run additional speaker wire from them into a 5.1 box?). Or should I forget about trying to use these speakers if I want surround sound?

    Any and all thoughts are most welcome.
     
  2. briandzo

    briandzo
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    Regarding cable lenghs.

    If you intend on supplying the plasma via RGB or component inputs. Then these i/ps will tend to use 75ohm bnc cable.

    This is the same spec of video cable that is used in every TV station throughtout the World.

    You can as far as i know run lenghs of this cable for hundreds of metres without signal loss.

    Of course the quality of cable you intend to use will be important. But please dont get sucked into arguments that you need to spend hundreds of pounds per metre. you dont . i know this through experience. Ive worked in most major TV stations throughout the world & they sure as hell dont spend that kind of money. Yes buy quality, but please dont go overboard its unnessary....

    There are of course many ways to run video signals to plasmas.
    This method may not meet your requirments.
    You may intend on using long VGA cables or scart leads.
    others can comment on there use as far as long runs are concerned.
     
  3. prof yaffle

    prof yaffle
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    I think running a video picture into the VGA input on the HDE media box is a non-starter.

    I have tried this using a Centrestage 2 scaler - same principle as the HTPC option you are considering - & could not get a stable picture. The image suffered from terrible frame rate conversion causing moving images - esp pans across - to look very jaggy.

    Having done some research (principally on the US AV forum) I think the reason is as follows: the HDE will only accept native resolution inputs (1280x768 on the 50" model) via the VGA input at 60Hz... however, when displaying images, it upcoverts everything to 72Hz. It's this conversion step that screws up the picture.

    After many painful and unsuccessful hours of playing with the settings on my scaler (changing input resolutions & frequencies) I gave up & am now waiting for my dealer to swap my HDE for an MXE. :)

    The MXE doesn't suffer from the same frame rate conversion issue (I've tested the CS2 on a 503MXE) - it also accepts PAL progressive directly & has an upgradeable video card slot. It's also normally a few hundred quid cheaper. If you're planning on using some form of scaling solution with a Pioneer plasma then choosing the MXE is a no-brainer in my view...

    If you should decide to go with the HDE, I believe umbilicals (basically a DVI cable joined with a Pioneer control cable) are supposed to degrade the picture on long runs - but I have used the 7m (max length available I think) HDE umbilical for several months without noticing any (non-scaler related! issues.

    Best of luck...
     

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