My next stage in building my pc for plasma use....Software dvdplayer? Which is best?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by bigval, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. bigval

    bigval
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    Ok, got my set up off and running.

    Screen is LG PX11

    Get the video and audio sent to the screen no probs.

    Tried a dvd using windvd (Old free version with a dvdrom) colours were terrible as was the quality of video :(

    Is this my dvdrom or the Software player?

    Using Liteon basic dvdrom. Have an NEC dvdrw and a pioneer 108 dvdrw that I could use.

    The screen when windows is on seems ok at 800X600. What res am I meant to be aiming for?

    And I read about ffdshow and powerstrip. What exactly will these do for me?

    Any help is appreciated

    Thanks
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    WinDVD isn't a poor player, some people use it as their first choice, so something needs sorting out in terms of the connection between the PC and the display.

    The LiteOn (which I presume is something like an LTD-166S) is a good drive, I've used several, so is the 108 and probably the NEC .. whatever your problem is it isn't the optical drive.

    What video card do you have? What type of connection are you using? What resolution is the PX11?

    Turning to your software questions, Powerstrip is a utility that sets a custom resolution for the Windows desktop (and in turn the resolution of video streams). It's used when the display device (eg. TV, projector etc.) has a native resolution which isn't standard to Windows, eg. 1280x720 being the most common. A few display devices, some plasmas for example, won't accept a native resolution signal but most can.

    That's the resolution you should be aiming for: native display size.

    FFDSHOW is a video post-processor. After being decoded by the DVD player the video stream is then passed to FFD which is primarily used for scaling (ie. resizing from DVD resolution, ie. 720x576 for PAL, to that being output by the PC, possibly set by Powerstrip), though it can also be used to clean up some poor DVDs and do other massaging.

    To begin with don't even attempt to use FFDSHOW, get your system running with just the DVD player and then go from there.

    There are 3 main software players, ignoring open-source for the time being as like FFDSHOW I don't consider them useful for someone new to this area unless they have a good technical background due to the fact that they're work in progress (such as the DScaler MPEG decoder) and often need twiddling to get installed and running.

    BTW, I'm not trying to be patronising. :)

    The software players most used are TheaterTek, PowerDVD and WinDVD .. not necessarily in that order, though TT is probably more common the other two certainly aren't 'bad' and as I said to begin with many HTPC owners prefer those to TT.

    You'll see mention of ZoomPlayer, this is more techie-oriented, it's powerful but it doesn't come with an MPEG decoder so 'out of the box' can't play DVDs (for which you need the paid-for version).

    If you give us the information I mentioned to begin with I'm sure we can help you get started.
     
  3. bigval

    bigval
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    Graphics card is currently radeon 9700pro. Which I am sure is good enough for the job in hand.
    Its connected from the VGA out on Video card to the RGB on plasma using VGA cable.

    I havent changed the screen resolution I think it is currently 800X600
    It does support 640X350, 720X400, 640X480, 848X480, 852X480, 800X600, 832X624,1024X768, 1152X864 (RGB ONLY), 1152X870 (RGB), 1280X960 (RGB), 1280X1024 (RGB)
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    What is the plasma's native resolution?

    While it can accept all those it'll re-scale whatever it sees to its' own size. To get the best PQ you don't want it to do this, you want the PC to do the scaling by setting the desktop resolution to the native panel size (probably using Powerstrip). When the plasma sees the input signal is the same resolution as itself it'll usually not engage its' scaler.
     
  5. bigval

    bigval
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    Just looked thru the manual and in product specs it has:- Resolution 852X480 (DOT) would this be what I set powerstrip to?

    And will this increase the PQ?

    Not even starting trying to run my sky+ thru the capture card and descaler yet :eek:
     
  6. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Yes, that's what you should be setting Powerstrip to, you'll almost certainly find PStrip comes with that resolution in it's pre-set list.

    As I said in my previous reply, by setting your desktop to the size of the display you'll be using the grpahics card to do the scaling from 720x576 (PAL DVD) to the native size of the display, bypassing the plasma's scaler .. I'm assuming your plasma will accept that resolution, some don't but I've no idea which ones they are.

    DScaler isn't too difficult .. you'll find FFDSHOW a tad more complex but to be honest since you have a low resolution display you'll not be needing much scaling so the Radeon's drivers will probably do a good enough job.
     
  7. bigval

    bigval
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    Ok I will give that a go tomorrow when I get time.

    This should help my PQ on dvd then I guess?

    Also I am going to have to make 100% sure I got the latest radeon drivers
     

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