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Oblong pixels on Plasma (Pio-433 in particular) any problems with that?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Acteon, Apr 30, 2003.

  1. Acteon

    Acteon
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    Gentlemen, I was reading this forum for a while already and is very grateful for the education.

    I'm almost ready to buy a plasma screen, almost locked on Pio-433MXE, but the is something that keeps me worried.
    I intend to use it both for DVD, DTT and VCR output and for PC output. I'd have a little home network linking my living room HTPC with the main desktop via Wi-Fi and then to the Internet.
    I'd like to use the living room PC not only for movies, but also for games, some web surfing etc. The point here is that I want computer-generated text to be readable, fine lines preserved etc.

    Now comes the question -- my understanding is that if you use the screen in it's native 1024x768 resolution, you would get a picture with stretched aspect ratio, and I think that this would bother me.

    On the other hand, if you make your computer think that the screen has 1280x768 resolution, you would get an (almost) right-proportioned picture, but scaled by 5:4 factor in horizontal dimension. Just remembering how such scaling works on, say, computer TFT screens, especially for text and fine lines, when you try to make them work in non-native resolutions, does not give me any warm feelings either.

    So the question is to the proud owners of the Pio433, who made it work together with their PCs -- how do you overcome these scaling/aspect ratio problems? Is it that bad? Or my worries are ungrounded and I just would not notice it in either mode?
     
  2. saggio

    saggio
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    Acteon,
    I have a very similar setup to what you will have: MXE433 linked to both AV gear and Hone PC network.

    The picture using a 1024x768 resolution is stretched, but that only bothers me if I am showing Photos or Movies. In this case I set the screnn to 4:3 mode, and although I lose a bit of size, the aspect ratio is correct.

    For general PC use (including Internet) the "stretch" is hardly noticeable. Actually I noticed that feeding the plasma with its native resolution gives an absolute cristal clear image: logos and text are sharp as knives.

    I do not think I have experimented enough, though and I will try the 1280x768 feed. Will report results here.
     
  3. Acteon

    Acteon
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    Saggio, thanks a lot. Eagerly expecting the results of 128x768 trial.

    Ironically, I would not be much concerned for the aspect ration while whatching movies, as any decent player or YXY program would allow to set it correctly. If it's 16:9 source, then you just ask the player to zoom it full screen. This would look stretched vertically on a normal screen with square pixels, but would be compensated by plasma. Other formats, like 4:3 or 2.35:1 ar a bit tricker, but also doable. Not without hassle, of course, so if the screen could deal OK with non-native resolution, this would be better.

    TheaterTek, Zoom Player and YXY would help you with that.

    I guess, the ultimate test would be to compare the picture fed by DVD player, computer in 1024x768, scaled by PC, and computer in 1280x768 scaled by plasma.

    Thank you again.
     
  4. MattB

    MattB
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    1280x768 via DVI is the way to go. Remember to select Wide XGA in the menus.

    Movies will be at the correct ratio and the scaling is not noticable.

    There are some mild scaling artifacts on fine text eg in forum explorer pages or windows explorer but perfectly readable and the larger desktop area is great!

    For sofa surfing at ~9ft distance I usually use 1.5 zoom which is then very easy on the eye.
     
  5. cjdshaw

    cjdshaw
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    I did some tests last night using 1024x768 stretched and 1280x768. I'd say the picture quality of video is ever so slightly worse using 1280x768 due to the scaling up then scaling down. It's fully compensated for by the convenience of being able to use any software in the correct aspect, though.
     
  6. saggio

    saggio
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    I have tested 1280x768 using Wide XGA. The aspect ratio is mostly correct, but I do not see any advantage over using native resolution (1024x768) and set the sceen @ 4:3. Maybe just a tiny larger (wider) image.

    With the native resolution, if you are not bother by the wrong aspect ration, using Dot-by-Dot you can use the entire screen area at cristal clear resolution....and playng Half-Life you are not really bothered if those mutant look a bit wider than they should...
     
  7. cjdshaw

    cjdshaw
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    And if you're watching a 2.35:1 Divx movie? You either have the whole thing stretched really wide or you watch it small with black above and below and grey on either side.
    If you're happy with Zoom player or something else that supports anamorphic playback, 1024x768 native is definitely the best option, but it's not for everyone.
     
  8. Darren Blake

    Darren Blake
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    I'm interested in this thread too because I can't quite get my head around how and where the scaling occurs. I plan to connect my PC to a 42" plasma screen with 1024x1024 native resolution, and then run the PC in 1280x720 or 1280x768. Connection will be via a 15 pin D-sub on the media box (we are talking Hitachi 42PD3000 here).

    So since this is not dot-for dot in either X or Y I would expect the vertical scaling to be artifact-free, whereas the horizontal scaling will show up some scaling artifacts.

    Am I right in assuming that the PC sends out its normal 1280x768 image and all the scaling is done in the media box and screen? Alsom how have you guys got your PCs connected to your plasmas? I assumed that 15pin was the way to go, but MattB suggested via DVI??? Can anyone tell me the advantages and disadvantages of either?

    Regards,
     
  9. Acteon

    Acteon
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    Well, I'd probably think the best solution would be to have the screen in 1280x768 resolution for applications were proper proportions matter, but applications can not do it themselves, so let the task to the screen, and switch it to 1024x768 for video watching and let Zoom player or TheaterTek to do the scaling. It's easily achievable -- PowerStrip can switch resolutions when an application is launched or switched to. This way one can have the best of two worlds.

    My initial question was how does the screen itself cope with the scaling, but judging form the response, it does it OK, so I guess, I'm making the plunge this week
     
  10. Acteon

    Acteon
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    Well, DVI is almost always the way to go. The reason for it is the way how computers (and DVD players and digital TV receivers for that sake) generate images. First, they create a digital picture. Then, if we a talking about VGA display, this picture is passed through DAC (digital-analogue converter), so analogue signal is modulated to match the digital wavefron, then this analogue signal passes over luminofor of the screen and lights up certain pixels, and you see the picture.

    However, if this signal goes into LCD screen or plasma , which are already pixellated, so every pixel is addressed individually, this analogue signal needs to be digitized, passed through ADC circuitry. You see, you get digital-analogue-digital conversion if you are using VGA cable.
    DVI connection allows to pass picture information digitally, thus preserving signal quality, stability etc.

    Besides, you can use your VGA socket for some worthy use, like putting your RGB devices like digibox on it (I would assume you'd plug your DVD player via component connection)

    Talking of disavantages -- DVI tends to be somewhat limited in terms of which resolutions it would accept. For example, Pio433 seems to not accept 1365x768 on DVI, and that's what you need for exact 16:9 picture. You'd probable be able to feed this resolution to the screen via VGA
     

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