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Phillips 37PF9986 LCD and scaler?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Tir, May 31, 2005.

  1. Tir

    Tir
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    Hi folks,

    I am a little new to the forums and not really up to speed with all this technology.

    I currently have a 37PF9986 with Sky+, and a 'bog' standard Phillips DVD player connected via RGB scart. I also connect a mac mini via DVI to the screen which is largely used for e-mail and web browsing and from time to time I play PS2 on the LCD when I get the chance.

    Having read the forums as last while I believe a scaler could be used to greatly enhance the image quality coming from the Sky+ digibox, the PS2 and the dvd player. Although I am unsure if an external scaler would prove compatible with the internal scaler in the LCD screen itself and I am not exactly sure where the mac mini would fit into the equation?

    Essentially I am wondering would the introduction of a Lumagen Vision DVI, for example, be worthwhile and would the results be worth the expense of the purchase.

    Any advice, pointers etc. will be greatly appreciated.

    TIA,

    Tir
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Tir

    We've installed the Lumagen VisionDVI into all sorts of systems - mostly partnering Plasma Displays and Projectors; though recently we've had a few to install on LCD TV's and Monitors.

    I see no reason why you would not 'see' the same benefits other users have seen once they add in and configure a decent processor.

    Your Mac Mini should be connected via one of the DVI Inputs on the Lumagen - with the Mac Mini set to the native pixel clock of your LCD Monitor. I've not used a Lumagen with a Mac Mini though cant imagine its any different to using it with a PC.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  3. Tir

    Tir
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    Thanks for the reply Joe,

    I have been doing some reading in the forums trying to familiarise myself with the technology involved. This has led to a lot of head scratching on my part :)

    So I am looking a few more pointers and a bit more advice.

    Having read the forums for some while now it seems that the Phillips 37PF9986 LCD has many peculiarities. For example if the screen receives a 720p input via DVI it will display the image in 1280x720 without scaling leaving black borders to the top, bottom and sides of the screen. Whilst this 1:1 pixel mapping gives a great picture it is a bit disappointing that you cannot make use of the full screen size particularly when it comes at such a premium. I presume outputting at 1080i might be an option allowing the inbuilt scaler to down scale the image to suit?

    It has also proven impossible to get the screen to display an image at its native resolution of 1366x768 from a graphics card. Many owners on the forums have tried powerstrip to no avail. If I understand things correctly there is some difference between pc resolutions and video resolutions and this beggars the question if a visionDVI was set to output at 768p would the video be displayed utilising the full screen or am I clutching at straws here?

    I also understand that it is sometimes possible to over-ride the internal scaler of an LCD by employing the correct output timing settings for the screen. Has anybody had any luck with this sort of thing?

    I am a bit in two minds with regard to introducing the Lumagen to my setup as I am not sure that the 9986 can really make the best of the technology or even worse that I might not be component enough to install the visionDVI so as it can make the best job possible of the 9986's display.

    If I am even to introduce a basic progressive scan DVD player to my system I will need a DVI switcher to switch between the DVD and mac mini due to the lack of component inputs on the 9986. These are an expensive item on their own whilst the VisionDVI will offer this and so much more for not a lot more outlay.

    The other option is to leave things as they are and invest in a screen in the near future that has a proven track record with these technologies, of course this means quite a big outlay and the possibility of divorce ;)


    Again any advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    Tir
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Tir: I've used a DVI with a 1366X768@60Hz LCD panel (Sharp Aquos). It worked a treat. I have never tried with a Philips. Many devices share similar resolutions but require different timings to get to work. The Lumagens have the ability to change all manner of timing parameters just like in Powerstrip...only probably easier to do.

    I'd expect the instruction manual of the display to tell you what resolutions and refresh rates are supported on each input. That would be a start for finding out what the best resolution to send to it would be.

    Gordon
     
  5. Tir

    Tir
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    Thanks Gordon,

    I have read on the forums that a few users have got their sharps to display 1366x768 via powerstrip although it was far from straight forward. And it is nice to know that the Lumagen has an easier interface for such things.

    As per your advice I have dug out the manual and page 22 states the following.

    The DVI input allows the following tv and monitor display modes:

    EDTV 640/720x420p and 720x576p

    HDTV 1920x1080i and 1280x720p

    VGA 640x480@60hz

    SVGA 800x600@60hz

    XGA 1024x768@60hz


    With no mention of the native resolution.

    Looks like my options would be 1080i downscaled or 576p upscaled but which would likely produce the better results? Is it a just case of try it and see?


    Tir
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Is it not possible to get full screen with a 1024 x 768 res image? I'd be trying that rather than 1080i.

    It is always a case of suck it and see in any case.

    Gordon
     
  7. Tir

    Tir
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    Hi Gordon,

    Tried the 1024x768@60hz on the mac via DVI. It does not give full screen. It gives the 768 lines on the vertical but again it gives black bands down either side of the display.

    To me the Philips seems a strange beast. I think it has the ability to manage standard RGB inputs and EDTV over DVI very well but it seems a bit lacking in its handling of HDTV.

    Kind of a pity I didn't release this before I bought it.

    That said there may be some sort of work around possible with the visionDVI but whether I have the patience and the know how to get there is another thing.

    I am still interested in acquiring a visionDVI and would if possible like to try one out. Could you recommend anyone in the Belfast area who might be willing to allow a trial of such equipment?

    Thanks for all your help,

    Tir
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    There are no dealers in Belfast with a unit on demo. I am coming over soon on a calibration trip and could possibly come to do you demo. If you are interested in this please email me direct.

    Gordon
     
  9. Tir

    Tir
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    Hi Gordon,

    Sent you an e-mail via the site. Look forward to seeing if we can arrange something.

    Regards,

    Tir
     

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