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Pioneer 436XDE - Anyone connected a MediaCenterPC over HDMI?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by JKlepZ, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. JKlepZ

    JKlepZ
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    Hi,

    I'm thinking of buying a Pio 436XDE. Besides watching movies from a DVD player I want to connect a MediaCenter PC. The Pio only has a VGA connector on the front behind a flap. It doesn't look very nice connecting the MediaCenter PC this way al the time.

    So, I'm wondering has anyone connected a MediaCenter PC over HDMI? (DVI to HDMI cable)
    Are there any pitfalls/downsides connecting a PC over HDMI?

    Thanks in advance.

    Joop.
     
  2. -Hitman-

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    Overscan is the issue with the HDMI connection and this is really a video only connection as far as a PC is concerned but there are ways around this by adjusting the video size to fit the screen correctly.

    I use an RGB capture card for Sky+, along with an Xcard for a pure digital dvd player in my HTPC and use dscaler software to produce an excellent image that i resized to fit the screen correctly.

    I believe that theatretek DVD player for windows also lets you resize the video to fit.

    You will need to send video standard resolutions on this connection to get a picture in the way of 1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080 etc....

    For normal PC resolutions 1024 x 768 etc.., use the VGA port.

    I use this input for web, email and gaming.
     
  3. JKlepZ

    JKlepZ
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    Thanks Dr HTPC,

    Would the program PowerStip (link) be of any use to display not only the movie output but also the UI of MS Windows Media Center etc. on the screen?
     
  4. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Could someone expand on this as I just don't seem to get it...There is constantly this talk that a PC using the HDMI input provides overscan. But why is it any different when the PC is sending HDTV signals (like the Nvidia 6600 or 6150) then a STB or Games console or upscaling DVD player or say a standalone scaler...
    I'd really appreciate an explanation as I don't seem to be able to figure it out...
     
  5. MAW

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    Well, you or me Dr? Me first. Overscan is fixed into video inputs, the setup discs tell you to set between 2 and 5%. This prevents you seeing edge artefacts, things you've never seen on a CRT cos their overscan is stupendous usually. 5% is enough to hide the windows taskbar, but not enough to miss anything important in the film. When you see arty directors doing that framing thing with their fingers, the overscan would be so you can't see the wrinkles! Pain in the backside for PC use, as loads of things go on at the edges, massively important things. You can't adjust this on 99% of HDMI inputs. Pioneer make another plasma for HCPC enthusiasts, you don't see it in currys cos it doesn't have an aerial socket, so they won't be able to make it work. The PDP43MXE1, it has DVI, native res at 50Hz, internal processing at 100Hz, it's silky smooth with pans, pixel perfect out of the box with the PC. Without a doubt it's the best PC plasma there is.
     
  6. -Hitman-

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    Looks like Maw got up earlier than i did, me spending time with the wife etc..! :devil:

    The MXE1 is a good PC only plasma but it is a bit dated, why Pio don't release an updated screen is a mystery!


    Powerstrip can help with the desktop overscan via HDMI and some Ppl have managed to get it to work with 720P but its not for me as the text always looks out of sync and blurry, not as solid as using the VGA port.

    As i have said before the HDMI is really for digital video only display!


    All sources, DVD, Games console etc.. have overscan, so part of the Picture is missing, as Maw says, to hide the edges that contain distortions and artifacts.

    One usually accesses the sevice menu on the Plasma to adjust the overscan H/V using a calibration disk so that the overscan is set to 2%, which just hides the abnormalities.

    Manufactures now seem to be removing this adjustment, so with DVD etc.. you are stuck with the set overscan 5%+.

    A PC however can be adjusted instead of the Panel to achieve the correct 2% overscan and overcome the overscan limitation of the Panel.
     
  7. MAW

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    Well I'd disagree about all consoles, PS2 always seems to underscan, maybe it's just mine?? The future certainly is digital, mostly cos setup is easier, it's not always obvious that it's better, except all Pioneers like their digital inputs. The only screen I can think of which has both digital video that works, and DVI-PC that works, is the Fujitsu P50XHA40US. And at that price, you'd expect near perfection!
     
  8. Dillz

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    Could anyone comment on the difference in movie playback quality between using the HDMI socket and VGA ?
     
  9. dejongj

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    I actually went out yesterday and got a DVI-HDMI cable for my laptop. Best to try it out for yourself. I must admit that I was blown away by how easy it is to connect my laptop to my 435. Set my graphics card to output at 1280x720 (instead of the normal 1920x1200!!!) and of I went....No fooling around with powerstrip or anything...My taskbar was visible for about half...But then again who needs a taskbard in a MediaCenter PC!!!
    I then run MediaPortal and Tvedia and both looked perfect, even got built in over/underscan correction. I couldn't resist so I downloaded some WMV-HD material and WOW!!!! Absolutely amazing stuff. I also tried the Quicktime h.264 demos and yeah baby! This is television!

    So my conclusion, yes there is overscan by about 14 pixels, nothing to worry about when using it as a HTPC with media centre software!

    But it still leaves me with one question, excuse the PUN but what am I missing? Why does the PIO always gets bad reports for HTPC connections, it's great I think. Or is it because there is no 1:1 pixel mapping possible, so I'm not really bypassing the internal equipment! My gut feel is, who cares if it looks that good ;-)

    @MAW; My PS2 underscans badly as well! And it depends even on the game being used.
     
  10. MAW

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    Just imagine how it would look on an MXE with 1:1 pixel mapping on DVI! Really really, it makes that much difference.
     
  11. dejongj

    dejongj
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    In that case I don't want to see it :D :rotfl:
     
  12. MAW

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    Fair point!
     
  13. JKlepZ

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    Thanks Dr HTPC and MAW. It's all clear to me now. Also thanks to dejongj for putting my question into better perspective. :thumbsup:

    I was hoping to avoid connecting my HTPC via the front VGA input which doesn't look nice. :rolleyes:

    Does anyone have a clever solution on connecting a PC via the front input? :confused:
     
  14. MAW

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    The only clever thing to do is use such a sexy cable that you don't mind seeing it. Nice gold plug, and some nice colour contrast on the cable!
     
  15. -Hitman-

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    If your into modding and a clever solderer, then you could remove the front socket and re-fit and wire it to the rear of the Media box.
     
  16. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Sorry can't think of any better than putting it behind closed doors...
     
  17. jwramsay

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    Like that, but imagine explaining that one under a warranty repair :thumbsdow

    Did ask the Pio blokes about that at the Hifi show in Glasgow, like "why in gods name do you not put the VGA connector round the back or the MR?"

    Answer was "Good question .... " followed by a load of bull.
     

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