Panny HD 6, DVI & all that stuff

andyatkins

Standard Member
Bit of a long-winded question this - but please bear with me! I have been close to making a decision to go for a Panny HD6 (42 or 50 depending how flush I am at the time) based on the general view that Panny panels are best (Contrast, Black drive etc etc)

I pretty certain I will be wanting to run this with an HCPC. I can't drive my Sky + box from other rooms remotely due to distances & thick walls etc so will be using a PC anyway to control with REdRat & Girder driven by a PDA over Wifi running Netromete (phew! still with me so far!). Hence I might as well use the PC possibly as an AV hub to pass through Sky+ V2 box & Terrestrial , & DVDs (via PCs DVD Drive) using a SweetSpot Card for input, and consequently want to use the Panasonic DVI blade to get pure digital input for Digital sources at least (yes I know my Sky V2 can only output analgoue - unless someone has more up to date news on getting an SDI out from a V2 box?).

However - reading the posts on here & AVSFORUMS there seems to be some uncertainty to say the least as to whether the Panny DVI blade works with HCPCs. An exampel of the many posts (from AVSFORUM in this case) is:-

"Due to a known flaw in the card, only 4:3 resolutions work via DVI from PCs. I tested this today and found it to be the case. So I can't use DVI with the HTPC until Panasonic fixes the problem."

I read further through the forums with talk of flashing the DVI blade's EEPROMs etc etc until my brain hurt, hence the reason for this post.

My question (finally!) is does the Panny DVI blade work properly with HCPCs or not? I really want to get a pure digital signal feed through to the native panel rez & therefore get the best PQ wherever I can & I'm happy to invest time & some money on the HCPC side to do this (Pixel Perfect card etc?). But if it boils down to having to do low-level stuff like hex-editing & flashing the DVI card to get it work then I'll probably re-condier investing now unless someone can advise of a reliable source for modding the blades?

If the view is that it still doesn't work with no fix in sight from Panasonic then what is the view that the next gen Panasoinc Panels will fix it (they're supposed to have HDMI Input's aren't they?)

THanks for you patience getting this far with my rambling & appreciate nay wisdom on the above
 

MAW

Banned
MOst of the reported problems are from using DVI DVD players and PAL video sources, and also with the SD 42" panel. With HCPC and the HD panel or the 50" 1366/768 panel, you will find life a bit easier I think. There are quite a few members with just this kind of setup, I'm surprised they have not yet chipped in. Stoomonster is probably the prime exponent of this, he'll be along soon we hope. Both of these plasmas have a fan inside, the noise is bothersome to some people, bear that in mind, but other than that there is no serious flaw in your plan.
 

andyatkins

Standard Member
Thanks MAW - I notice you're listed as a Retailer - do you offer these product sets then?

Stoomonster - would you care to comment please? - from your posts you do indeed seem to be already doign th things I'm looking towards?

Thanks in advance
 

MAW

Banned
I'm always willing to enter sales negotiations! Stoo is considerably more knowlegeable than me on DVI stuff with the Panasonic, though I have the necessary to get is sorted. Where are you? we tend to divide geographically as much as possible, I am based in Cobham, Surrey. I do prefer my clients local, it enables me to offer the retailer services I feel go with the high end nature of the product. Swap out warranties and all that are hard to manage from one end of the country to another. If I can be of help, drop me a PM for my contact details.
 

andyatkins

Standard Member
Ok - thanks for that - I'll PM you on the supply side once I;ve made my mind up!

Whilst I've got your thoughts in mind do you have any comment on the PQ displaying say a 576P source 'upscaled' to a 1024x768 or 1366x768 panel? Given it's clearly not going to be 1:1 is it still good PQ or does it look like my laptop screen when I scale-up 800x600 to fullscreen - ie crap?
 

MAW

Banned
No, scaled by a decent PC graphics card it's the dog's danglies in terms of PQ. Come and see us and be convinced. We've got a HCPC projector setup to make grown men weep, done exactly this way.
 

buns

Banned
so can the panny plasmas handle a 1:1 map from pc or scaler? I thought otherwise..... guess that is good news :D

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andyatkins

Standard Member
I think I'm beginning to understand, is this correct - The Panny DVI blade can't display PAL progressive signals for whatever reason, so you put your PAL progressive signal signal through a scaler (Dscaler on HCPC?) to upscale it the panels native rez....?

How am I doing ?
 

MAW

Banned
You could do that with a pc, it'd be the only way with sky, though very clunky. Better to get a Nebula DTTV card. Full pvr functionality etc all in a PCI card
 

buns

Banned
so still no pal..... but you then say below that you could take PAL into the scaler (or hcpc) and output at native res..... thats what i meant..... so it can do that ok (but as you say, can the scaler!?)?

Can it do pal prog via something else?

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MAW

Banned
Pal progressive via analogue only I'm afraid. So as far as I understand it, this eliminates iscan HD, yes. But.....I will have one tomorrow, so rumour tells me, so maybe some questions could be answered. I do however, have a job to do as well, so don't expect 15 pages on it by 9am! As I guess quite a few guys will get theirs tomorrow too, it could be an interesting board by the evening.
 

buns

Banned
well you could always use a lumagen then..... you could do your ntsc with dvi and then component analogue for pal..... im sure the dvi ability really doesnt change things that much (im sceptical about digital!)

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buns

Banned
that is quite soon..... looks like no plasma for me anymore! stick with the crt!

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N

Nick Peacock

Guest
Originally posted by MAW
No, scaled by a decent PC graphics card it's the dog's danglies in terms of PQ. Come and see us and be convinced. We've got a HCPC projector setup to make grown men weep, done exactly this way.
MAW, I want to know what it takes to make me cry. Can you describe the minimum system requirements for a newbie to achieve this effect?

Cheers, Nick
 

andyatkins

Standard Member
Going back to the original subject - can I ask for (sensible) responses as to whether this is a true understanding of the Panny 6 DVI issue:-

The Panasonic DVI board does not accept PAL signals, however this (& any other compatability issue) can be overcome by front-ending all signals through a HCPC running DScaler that upscales all signals to the Panel's native resolution.

This approach ensures both full compatability with all sources whilst offering the best possible PQ by keeping all digital sources within the digital domain & scaling all sources, digital or analogue to the exact Panel resolution.

Perhaps you can see my thinking here - my thinking is by going through an HCPC with a well-supported constantly evolving s/w scaler + an entire industry of low-cost h/w upgrades this mitigates incompatabilities of connecting pure 'black-box' solutions.

Well guys - what do you reckon?
 

MAW

Banned
The short answer, yes. Be aware that analogue video processing with a pc is not that slick. You could chuck in a satellite card for EuroHD while you are at it.
 

andyatkins

Standard Member
Thanks for that MAW. Would your view on the processing of analogue signals (Sky for example) alter if it was done by the iScan HD or is it a generic view on processing analogue siganls?

Interesting point about EuroHD - would I be correct in thinking I would need another dish to complete the solution? (std Sky Digital one at present)
 

MAW

Banned
iscan is painless. There are quite a few people who do what you are proposing, but personally I've got a life to lead. An iscan HD would do it all so nearly as well as a PC, complete with audio delay for lipsync problems, you know it makes sense. DVI connection should be fine, though I will check this, there's one by my feet.
 

andyatkins

Standard Member
(repeating another post in the HCPC area here) I take it you're not concerned about the iScan's lack of HPCP support then? D you not see that as an inhibibitor as more HD materia r olls out in the future?
 

MAW

Banned
I see universal HDCP encryption and HD material as some way off yet! Besides, the iscan HD has no digital inputs apart from a DVI pass through, which will be as compliant as the devices on either end. The output will be acceptable by HDCP displays, so no, I see no problems per se. At some point in the future I suppose someone will have to make an HDMI scaler, but there are currently so few HDMI sources it isn't worthwhile. The better analogue sources are still way better than HDMI. There's also the chance that China will blow a hole big enough to sink the Titanic in HDMI/HDCP
 

Jasonjo

Well-known Member
IIRC AV-Sales tested the HD with a PW6 DVI input for me a couple of days ago. Apparently the picture results seemed good, but did produce some "sparklies" and this is being looked into by Owl/DVDO in order to ensure compatability with PW6 DVI.

Correct me if I am wrong, but everyone seems worried about the DVI not supporting PAL. However PAL in this sense is just a 50Hz signal - therefore with the HD could you not just output 50Hz at a different framerate which the DVI input does support, like 60Hz.

Also, IIRC the DVI input does support 576P from what others on the forum have said, or am I confused???

Along the same lines as MAW, I would challenge that the picture on my PWD6 using a Bettercables VGA=>RGBHV cable direct from the HD into the TM6Y video board would give DVI a close run anyhow ;)

JJ
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I am unsure how big a difference you would get on an HD Panny. I have not seen one in the flesh. Once I am allowed to I will discuss the DVI out of the Lumagens when partnered with HDMI inputs etc against the same inputs and analogue outs to the plasma.

I have discussed the differences before when I used the Key Digital scaler to do this. With that device I ended up using analogue and continue to. This could all change of course.

Gordon
 

David PluggedIn

Novice Member
Hi Andy

The only points i would add are that as you are obviously comfortable with the extra features/configurability/complexity of an HCPC solution then that is a good route to go down vs seperate dedicated units. But, as always its horses for courses :), we supply both and each has its own appeal...
Finally, I would agree that using VGA vs DVI (particularly on a relatively small (compared to a PJ) display) is a close run thing. It makes much less difference to the overal picture quality than say using analogue vs digital from a DVD source.

best of luck
 

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