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New Sweetspot installed, where do I go from here?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by DaveP, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. DaveP

    DaveP
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    My Sweetspot arrived yesterday (thanks Pulsar!) and I was keen to get it in and working so that I could watch my local Rugby team in a quarter final of the European Cup on my Sony HS20 pj.

    The pj is currently connected to the RGB scart output of my Sky+ box via an RGB to Component converter. This gives a pretty good picture.

    I currently don't have a long enough connection to use the Van Damme cable to connect to the Sweetspot so I have configured it for Component Input for the time being and just swapped the cables over from the HS20. I know the Van Damme will give a better signal but I need to buy a scart coupler to get the distance required.

    I installed the supplied version of Dscaler and latest Sweetspot drivers. After selecting the card and input, I left all the other settings on default and maximised the image on the pj screen.

    The settings obviously need a bit of tweaking!

    Can anyone (Dave?) suggest some basic ones to get me started? Should I dump the supplied version and try using version 5.0?

    Any help would be much appreciated. My wife thinks I have just wasted a load more money on this addictive hobby!

    Dave
     
  2. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Try running the autocalibration routine with suitable test material. Remember to select the appropriate test footage to let Dscaler know what image its calibrating from(THXoptimode is probably about the easiest to get ahold of).

    Also its a bit fiddley but try and ensure that the boxes on the pattern are all lined up with the target areas ( don't have a target area crossing over two boxes..it will be obvous in practice). They are normally quite close anyway but resize and move the picture around if they are not.

    Assuming your display settings are calibrated you can then tweak the overlay controls in Dscaler to get the pictutre correct : again using DVE or Avia or if push comes to shove the optimode again. Don't change the video settings as these should be somewhat correct after the auto-calibration.

    I leave deinterlacing on auto ,auto 3:2 pulldown enabled , judderterminator on (useful for the HS20 if you are using the 56Hz or 60Hz refresh rates). A lot of these will be set as the default anyway. For video deinterlacing I use tomsmocomp ( you might have to select this).

    The component input on the sweetspot is very clean so I don't use any noise reduction filters. I do use adaptive noise reduction at its default settings on the svideo input but its mainly because its hooked up to an SVHS deck rather than the input itself being noisy.

    On the HS20 you may feel the picture benefits from using the sharpening filter at sensible levels.

    Apart from that you should find the default settings pretty good on the whole.

    If you play 60Hz video ( not film or frame this will be fine) through Dscaler into the HS20 at a refresh rate less than 60Hz it will judder like mad as the graphics card will drop frames to reach the 56Hz refresh rate. If you do ever watch this sort of footage then use a 1280x768 at 60Hz resolution into the HS20 and the judders will be gone. (this also applies to the Xbox in 60Hz mode). In fact this alos applies to 60Hz video played back in a software player including some Hidef material depending on how its mastered/deinterlaced.
     
  3. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Thanks Keith, that's a lot to take in. I'll print it off and have a play tonight.

    Dave
     
  4. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Sounds a lot but you can do the whole calibration stage in about 5 mins.
     
  5. DaveP

    DaveP
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    I assume the 5 minutes you are referring to is measured in some alien timescale!

    For three hours I have been pulling my hair out with one problem after another.

    To start with the picture was so blurred I could hardly read the text on the sky menu. And this was in a window and full screen!

    I remembered reading about setting the resolution so I set it to 768x576. This gave a much sharper picture but I had a wide green column down the RHS. So I thought I'd try 720x480. This gave the good pq and removed the green column. I should have been happy with that and left it but no, I had to try other resolutions. BIG mistake. Dscaler crashed out with a green error message about not being able to change resolutions.

    The next two hours were spent trying to get a good picture without the error and running at 720x480. I finally achievedd this and inserted a THX Optimiser disc and started to run the automatic calibration. After a few moments I noticed the picture was in black and white so I clicked on stop to stop the calibration. This was a REALLY BIG mistake!

    This presented me with a black screen instead of the THX Test Screen.

    It's been over an hour now and I still have the black screen. I have tried everything short of formatting the disk and doing a fresh install of XP.

    I have uninstalled, re-installed, gone back several versions and it's still a black screen.

    Please tell me I haven't broken the card!

    Dave
     
  6. mdekkers

    mdekkers
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    you can reset all your calibrations - there should be a *default* button on all settings pages. I am assuming you ran the THX optimiser disc from a dvdplayer connected to your sweetspot card, instead of your pc's dvd player, yes?
     
  7. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Yes, I was running the THX optomiser against the screen you get from the optimiser video setup. It was on my standalone player.

    I have had time to install a new install on a seperate partition. This works fine, although I haven't tried the optimiser yet. So at least I haven't broken the card!

    The thing is though, as I have removed all references to dscaler from the registery and re-installed from scratch where is it remembering the corrupt settings?

    Dave
     
  8. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Well, as I said, I had a new install and it worked fine so I re-booted into the original and tried out dscaler again. This time, most strangely, there was no sweetspot card in the list of devices. I re-installed the drivers and re-booted and hey presto: I have a picture again :clap:

    So I shall go back to trying to tweak the settings after running the Auto Calibration.


    Thanks for taking the time to reply and trying to help :smashin:

    Dave
     
  9. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Well it's not working again.

    On the original install it's back to a black screen. On the new install I'm back to the problem setting the res. This is the error I get:

    Anyone else had this?

    Thanks again

    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

  10. sniffer66

    sniffer66
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    From your post it looks like you have installed and are trying to use the direct show drivers


    I never used them (as recommended by PluggedIn). Once I had physically installed the sweetspot then I just selected the Card in the hardware setup manually and away i went


    Does this help ?
     
  11. DaveP

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    It might do if I knew what you meant!

    I installed the card initially and IIRC there was no option to allow me to select the desired input on the card, ie, s-video, RGB etc. I ran the driver install that came with the card: Sweetspot_WDM_Driver.Exe.

    Is this the Direct Show driver? Either way, how do I uninstall the Directshow drivers?

    There's nothing in Add and Remove Programs

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  12. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Dave

    In summary, this is what you need to do

    1. install the card - on bootup in Windows just cancel out of the hardware detection dialogues

    2. install the WDM driver that is on the CD - http://www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot/support/downloads/sweetspot_wdm_driver.exe

    3. Install DScaler , again from the CD - but here is the link http://www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot/support/downloads/DScaler417p4.exe

    4. When going through the card detection in DScaler, select SweetSpot from the list.

    Now, when you then run DScaler, you should select SweetSpot as the input source. Dont select the directshow inputs (which allow you to select various input resolutions) as DScaler has built in support for the card rather than using the directshow interface.

    You can then select the various inputs from the menu in Dscaler, RGBS etc.

    Out of the box you should see a sharp, stable image. The calibration perfects the image, but even without it it should be basically sound. The sharpness problems and green bars definately sound like you are using the Directshow options.

    let us know how you get on

    regards
     
  13. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Thanks David. I'll give it a try this evening. Do I have to change the resolution though. The picture is almost un-watchable as the default.

    Dave
     
  14. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Dave

    no problem :)

    no, you dont need to make any resolution changes in DScaler when you select the SweetSpot input, you just leave everything as default. It is the directshow options where you have a whole range of resolution settings, but again you dont want to be using them with DScaler as they dont work as well as the native support. The directshow options are for use in 3rd party recording applications.

    Of course the other thing to ensure is that you have your PC video set to map correctly 1:1 to your display - so that you are getting a razor sharp PC desktop. Download this little application to check that you have this - http://www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot/support/downloads/nokia.zip

    cheers
     
  15. DaveP

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    Thanks again David. I just popped home to try it. The picture does indeed seem better. Where I have been going wrong (one of many places!) was selecting PMS Sweetspot PDI Deluxe Capure (DShow) form the sources menu :oops:

    I'll do some tweaking tonight!

    Dave
     
  16. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Well I connected up the Sony last night and fired up Dscaler and I have only one thing to say: WOW!

    Even my wife had to agree the Sweetspot was worth the money. the improvement to the sky picture is awesome. And this is running through the RGB to Component converter. I hope for some small improvement when I am able to feed pure RGB (I need a long scart extension lead).

    So many thanks to all concerned and I apologise for commiting the greatest sin of "Not Following The Instructions"!

    The only issue that did come out was that during close ups the lips seem to be having difficulty giving a smooth motion as they speak. Is there a setting that will affect this in Dscaler?

    Thanks again

    Dave
     

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