PC vs DVD Player (with headphones)


Well, today I have been busy setting up my PC to output DVD from the TV. This doesnt sound like a long job, but believe me I encountered quite a few problems with it in the beginning (which many people probably dont encounter, but thats just my luck innit).

The reason for doing this was because I was unhappy with the picture and sound quality of my Pioneer DV350 player. The picture quality, I reckon is down to the poor quality SCART lead that i've got. However, the sound quality issue remains. The dynamics are compressed and the bass is weak. Listening to headphones really does show this up with disturbing results.

I have set my computer up to output from my Geforce4 graphics card via S-Video to my crappy old 28-inch TV. I am using TV Tool to give me full control of the settings for outputting to the TV. As usual, sound is supplied by the good old Terratec EWX 24/96. I am using PowerDVD v5.0 to playback from a Liteon LDW-851S DVD+/-RW drive.

Not only is the sound quality far superior on the computer, but it also offers a mode called Dolby Headphone. This emulates Dolby Digital / DTS in headphones, and the result is surprisingly good. It feels like I am in a movie theater now when I use my headphones. The bass is powerful, the sounds are positioned much better, voices are clearly audibly better, sounds are more realistic, and most importantly, dynamics are improved greatly, to the point where things sound exciting, involving, and give you a fright when you need to.

As for picture quality, well its certainly on par with using a cheap DVD player and SCART cable AFAICT. Those lucky enough to own flat panels and the like can take a straight feed from the DVI output resulting in presumably magnificent picture quality.

Its certainly another indication that Home Entertainment PC's are going to feature strongly in the future.

Its just a shame then, that movie labels are planning to make it as hard to play DVD discs on PC's (and, invariably, many DVD decks) as the music labels already have done with music CD's


Well-known Member
Paul you got some PM

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