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PC input on 435XDE...

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by kevlatimer, May 2, 2005.

  1. kevlatimer

    kevlatimer
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    While I haven't actually bought it yet, it's at the top of my list and wouldn't even be prompting debate if it wasn't for the issue of PC connectivity. The way I see it there are three reasonable options (excluding S-Video/Composite) for getting a decent quality pic and I'd like some feedback on anyone who's tried them:

    1. Use the VGA on the front - how bad does this actually look for continuous use? One of the reasons I'm buying this model is for it's aesthetics so if it looks really pants please tell me ;)

    2. DVI to HDMI converter. Okay, so the video parts of DVI and HDMI are pin-compatible but I've read on here (and on the PowerStrip forums) of some hellish experiences getting an output without awful amounts of overscan or resizing issues. As I won't be using an HDMI DVD player as yet this would be my favoured option if anyone can give me any success stories (and perhaps some pics showing a desktop so I can get an idea what I'd be letting myself into?).

    3. DVI to YPrPb/Component. Only recently heard about this option from ATi, and would mean I sacrificed my current DVD player in favour of a premature upgrade to an HDMI-equipped one. Has anyone used one of these converters, and is it any good? ATi link

    Thanks for any input (no pun intended)...

    Kev
     
  2. Orangelo

    Orangelo
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    OK, one at a time...

    1.- Depends what you want it for. VGA looks good but you will not get smooth playback of PAL DVDs that way, for reasons that I wouldn't want to explain. If you want to use it as a computer monitor, for web browsing, gaming, etc., VGA will look pretty good. You can get 1:1 pixel mapping using the the full 0-235 spectre (that means computer and not video black levels). The only difference with HDMI is that you wil occasionally need to adjust phase & tracking to match the pixel clock of the video card as a certain degree of desync will be introduced by the D/A - A/D conversions, and you will also lose some punch due to the more limited bandwidth, but that is only noticeable if you do a direct comparison between an analog and a digital connection.

    2.- No success story here, sorry.

    3.- The link you supply relates to the ATI dongle, which is not a "converter", just a wirebox. What happens is that ATI cards can output Component Video as well as RGB, so no colorspace conversion is needed. Otherwise, you would need a transcoder, that converts RGB to Component Video and vice versa. Also, when you mention DVI to YPrPb/Component you are referring to a thousand things at a time... DVI (as well as HDMI) is a physical connection standard, it does not make any assumption on the kind of codification that it will transport. Therefore, you can get RGB or Component Video through DVI or HDMI, the only thing is that it will be Digital RGB or Digital Component Video (YCbCr). YPrPb means Analog Component Video, so you would need an D/A convertor to get that from an HDMI / DVI source, but I do not think you are really referring to that... come to think about it, I don't think I understand question number 3 at all :eek: ... Oh, never mind, the only thing I wanted to say is that the ATI dongle is just a dongle and can only be used with top-line (or hacked) ATI cards, not with standalone commercial DVD players.
     
  3. MAW

    MAW
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    Kev, just how serious is your PC use? I have spent fruitless hours on here trying to tell HCPC users the screen is totally pants for their uses, yet they still buy it. Basically, if you are planning on DVD playback, possibly digital TV and lots of web content, gaming etc, this is simply NOT the right screen. It's a consumer TV, for the plebian masses. Buy an MXE-1 if you are a pro user with a PC. The grief you go throung to connect via the HDMI port, all for some weird non-native, non-optimised resolution, don't go there. Theoretically you can use 1280/720. You get a picture, but it's overscanned by about 8%, leaving you with no taskbar, and 1/2 your left hand row of icons cut off, not to mention missing the equivalent proportion of the picture from games etc. So you go and tweak in powerstrip to make it fit the screen. The screen internal scaling is optimised for 720p video.... VGA, 60Hz only there, meaning that any games will refresh too slow, but PAL video from DVD will judder due to frame rate conversion. Do the right thing, don't be seduced by that poxy black surround, ever heard of the emperor's new clothes?
     
  4. kevlatimer

    kevlatimer
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    Orangelo:

    Sorry, my bad on 3, trying to say too much in a small area. Currently, I would be using component out of my Pio 565 for my DVD and "something else" for a PC. I was looking at the option of using component via this adapter as my PC input, leaving me to buy an HDMI-equipped DVD player which I was hoping to put off until HD-DVD or similar was about... however, no success stories as yet.

    MAW:

    I was expecting you to pop up and tell me to buy the MXE-1 :D
    The PC input would not be my primary source, it would be used as an occasional input for a MythTV box and one or two games. If I was expecting to drive the plasma with an HTPC all the time or usae it as a monitor then I would be with you 100%, but it is going to be a focal point in my room and I just don't want it to look like a boardroom panel - that's what put me off the the Panny PWD7 in the first place.

    Out of curiosity, what's the cost difference between an MXE and an XDE of the same flavour, taking warranty and total inputs into account?

    Cheers,

    Kev
     
  5. MAW

    MAW
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    Well, you'll have to put up with the PC being a bit crap then. The MXE would likely be about £2400 inc some connectivity, you might like a component converter for digital TV. The MXE has 1 DVI, not HDCP, 1 vga/component port, 1 RGBHV/component (same really but for the connector) s-video and composite. It will do RGBS from scart if you ask it nicely. The lack of HDCP is the big issue. If the PC is occasional, then the XDE is less of a poor bet. Still mildly crappy on scart, yes I know I will get flamed by about a million XDE owners, I do this for a living, it simply does not compare well to what can be achieved with other plasmas.
     
  6. -Hitman-

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    Hi,

    I am using an XDE with a PC in a dual monitor config with no problems at all, took a while to research the right equipment and set up right and now its excellent along with the outstanding PQ! :)

    I have mine connected in the following manor,

    PC (VGA) - VGA (MB) used for web, PC gaming etc..

    PC (DVI) - HDMI (MB) used for Sky+ and a pure digital DVD player, both scaled using Sweetspot RGB capture card, Sigma Digital DVD card and a software deinterlacer (D-Scaler).

    Component now used for HD Xbox.

    The DVD player you can create within the PC using your DVD rom can be made to be completely digital to the panel, which i have tested along side my Denon 3910 (which i have now sold) and proved slighlty better PQ and cost me the fraction of the price, but you will need both cards i mentioned above and make use of the digital Pdi interface, so you would not need to buy an expensive dedicated HDMI DVD player!

    I tried the Ati Dvi dongle which is a Dvi - Component converter and has options for HD outputs via a DIP switch but i found that HDMI was the best route.

    I only have around 1% overscan using HDMI as i have been able to resized the image using D-scaler.

    This way i am definately getting the best out of this panel and unlocked its full potential!

    If you want to build your own HTPC and go this route, ask and i will help you!

    Also it is worth mentioning that i am using the 1080 interlaced config on the HDMIso you are not stuck using 720 progressive that some members are having to use!

    Maw,
    Obviously not seen this panel setup right, hence your OWN opinion!

    Dr HTPC.
     
  7. Orangelo

    Orangelo
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    IMHO, with an HTPC, you either get 1:1 digital @48/50hz from the start or you have to "emualte" a 720/50p or 1080/50i signal using Powerstrip and playing around with the porches to correct overscan (or use some some hardware that will do the emulation for you like Dr HTPC seems to be doing with his X-Card/PDI combo). For me, any option other than 1:1 digital @50hz is more trouble than it's worth, especially because you will never get quality comparable to pixel perfect mapping with fluid motion.

    MAW, I understand that most people here want a Plasma TV, not just a computer monitor. Are there not any Plasma TVs out there that will take their native resolution at 50/75hz through DVI/HDMI? I am buying a plasma soon and I definitely want to use my HTPC with it. I thought that the Pioneer consumer line was the exception, not the rule, but you are scaring the hell out of me. Which Plasma TVs are computer friendly?
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    Dear Doctor, I have seen the panel set up as right as is possible, it's still crap COMPARED to what can be achieved with 1:1 pixel mapping from a scaler say, with Pioneers own MXE1, sorry. I have had them side by side, with Pioneer rep beside me, and a large scale Pioneer distributor's technical man. There was no doubt about which one was more stylish, likewise no doubt about which had the better picture.
    Current 1:1 addressable HD compliant plasmas, a list of 1. It's the Fujitsu 50XHA40. The 42 is not pixel addressable, being ALIS. The DVI takes native, at 75Hz I am promised, the HDMI is HD compliant, and does not quite do native, but near as dammit, more research being done here as we speak. There are some very happy forum members who own them, now I have had it faithfully promised to me that 1366/768 at 75Hz is possible, I put them on my PC friendly list.
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    Re reading that post, perhaps I should have replied that there a re NO plasma TV's, zip, zero, none, that are PC friendly, as my list of 1 has no TV tuner, speakers, designer black surrounds, and features that otherwise well informed folks here seem to find essential. Most of these features are a major hindrance if you are seeking the nearest approach to perfection available. You don't get THX certification out of your TV speakers.
     
  10. -Hitman-

    -Hitman-
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    Which means sweet FA (might as well have had a NASA scientist too :rotfl: ) and definately either not setup correctly or a dodgy panel.

    I welcome anyone to come round and see my setup. :cool:
     
  11. MAW

    MAW
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    Dear Doctor, I've seen hundreds like yours thank you.
     
  12. Leerock

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    Dear maw
    I suggest changing your sig to " I m not getting down Am I?" :)
     
  13. -Hitman-

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    :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

    Nice one!

    Maw, you may know certain things but not everything :lesson:
     
  14. -Hitman-

    -Hitman-
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    I didn't know you was like that, oooh err,

    I'm not that way inclined, missus.

    Ahumm.
     
  15. MAW

    MAW
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    I know my opinions are not always popular, particularly for those who've spent their hard earned on something I have a go at. They are of course just opinions, but held in the light of a lot of experience. It's great that you are pleased with your screen, just that it's not the be all and end all, there are better for the original poster's purpose. I like selling XDE's as a box sale, you never get a call sayng 'how do I do this?' which you do with many other screens, and for 95% of people, the PQ is 'fabulous, the best, amazing'. But most people saythis about the screen they've bought. I don't own an MXE, no nor an XDE. I have no axe to grind, one sale is much like another as such, except for customer satisfaction, and mine in having done my job right.
     
  16. Orangelo

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    MAW, I need a Plasma TV because it will be replacing the TV in my living room. Other people will be using it (more than I will, as my job is quite demanding), and they want to press one button and see some broadcast onscreen. Turning on a separate DVB tuner is already a nuisance, but I may consider it. Add a separate amp and a set of speakers and it's totally unacceptable. Besides, I don't regard a plasma display as a "videophile" component, the technology is quite limited IMHO, I have other things for that. But I still want to use my HTPC with it, and I regret to learn that very few Plasma TVs provide that option. I have seen the new LG line (PY) and they seem to go native through DVI @75hz, but I could not check it myself.

    I've been reading some Pioneer litterature and the specs in the MXE line do not state that the panel will take 1:1 digital @50hz, but I take your word that it does. I have seen countless projectors that take 1:1 digital @50hz without mentioning it in the specs, basically because the specs normally provide a list of standard VESA signals that will be synched and nothing below 60hz is "standard" in the computer world.

    Many thanks for the info, anyway. If you come across a Plasma TV that is HTPC friendly, please let us know. I will appreciate it.
     
  17. MAW

    MAW
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    Manufacturers of plasma TV's do not yet have PC interface at the top of their priority list. The MXE does definitely take native at 50Hz, the LG takes video resolutions at 50Hz, never tried native. They are however, in a different quality league to Pioneer kit, you may not like that. Try the LG thread for a taster, it's interesting reading in small doses.
     
  18. Orangelo

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    Ok, thanks MAW, one final question, I understand that the different generations in the Pioneer consumer line can be distinguished by the last digit of the model number, i.e., 434 being 4th generation, 435 being 5th generation and so on. What about the MXE1 panel? I have seen some references to MX1, without the E, is it an older version? What is the latest model in the Prioneer pro line and what does it compare to in terms of consumer line?

    Cheers
     
  19. MAW

    MAW
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    MX is probably a misprint, the model is PDP43MXE-1, and has the same glass and front filter as the XDE435. Not surprisingly it has the same contrast and colour count too. It has far more adjustments available than the TV versions, and along with the 5003 or 5004 video card, has vga (RGB/YUV) DVI, component/RGB, s-video and composite in/out No tuner of course, though a card is available, I've never tried it. Might be of interest to you though? Trouble is, I think it will not enable some of the critical video modes you will want, which require the 500x card installed, even though they are going via VGA or DVI. With these modes, not only can you put a 50Hz native signal into the DVI, but all internal processing is then done at 100Hz, unlike the XDE. This is 'FRC mode 2' Find more with a search here. It's a bit weird, you must set this mode 1st, then lock your DVI signal in. Other way round gives you a lot of general digital video weirdness like the XDE does on HDMI when you get it wrong, strange 'bevelled' edge to the picture, shearing, non-adjustable picture offset, you name it. Just when you think it's useless, you start again, do things in the right order, and it's as easy as falling off a log.
     

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