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Recommended Scaler to replace HTPC

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dnoon

Guest
Guys,

I have been messing about with a HTPC using FFDShow for a while now and when the thing works the picture is superb. The problem is that the stability of the solution is very poor and I find myself still messing around with it after about 9 months tweaking.

So...I am thinking of replacing it with a good DVD player and Scaler, but I still hope to still see the benefits of re-sizing and sharpening of the picture. Lumagen seems to get a lot of positive feedback, but what about the Cinemateq boxes? I assume they are both flexible enough to allow picture enhancement and refresh rate changes to avoid pan judder?

Any advice appreciated, thanks!
 

madshi

Established Member
You need to answer a few questions before getting recommendations:

(1) How much money are you willing to spend on the DVD player?
(2) How much money are you willing to spend on the scaler?
(3) Hopefully your display allows native resolution in over HDMI?
(4) Do you need a scaler which gives you the optimum for HD movies (24/25 fps based), too? Or are you satisfied with a good scaler for SD?
(5) Do you need a scaler which gives you the optimum for HD video (TV shows/sports, 60fps based, interlaced), too? Or are you satisfied with a scaler that is good for HD movies, only?
(6) Are you willing to wait a few weeks to get one of the new scalers/DVD players coming out soon? Or do you need to buy today?
 
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dnoon

Guest
(1) How much money are you willing to spend on the DVD player?

500ish

(2) How much money are you willing to spend on the scaler?

1000

(3) Hopefully your display allows native resolution in over HDMI?

Yes, I have a Panasonic PTAE700 over HDMI now running at 1280x720

(4) Do you need a scaler which gives you the optimum for HD movies (24/25 fps based), too? Or are you satisfied with a good scaler for SD?

Dont use HD today, so SD would be fine I guess

(5) Do you need a scaler which gives you the optimum for HD video (TV shows/sports, 60fps based, interlaced), too? Or are you satisfied with a scaler that is good for HD movies, only?

Not a big sports fan, movies only


(6) Are you willing to wait a few weeks to get one of the new scalers/DVD players coming out soon? Or do you need to buy today?

No rush, I have been messing about for 9 months, a few more weeks wait is cool :)

Thanks for your reply
 

madshi

Established Member
Ok, in that case I'd suggest getting a Lumagen or iScan scaler, preferably one that accepts HDCP. Then I'd suggest the Sony NS975, cause that is one of the few DVD players which is able to output 480i over HDMI. Alternatively you can buy any good DVD player and do a SDI mod on it. The sense of 480i over HDMI respectively a SDI mod is that you get the data from the DVD to the scaler with hopefully no additional video processing done by the DVD player. The external scaler is usually better than a (cheap) DVD player with processing the video signal, so using 480i avoids image quality losses.

Another possibility would be to not use any scaler at all. Since 1280x720 is one of the predefined HDTV resolutions, every good upconverting DVD player should be able to deliver that resolution just fine without the need for an additional scaler. You could then e.g. use a Denon 3910 which has quite good deinterlacing+scaling inside.

When dropping the external scaler you'll obviously lose the possibility to run your tuner through the scaler (or anything else besides the DVD player). That's no problem if you only want to use DVD for your projector, anyway.
 

David PluggedIn

Established Member
Hi Madshi

a great set of questions there, should be the standard for every 'I am thinking of a scaler' post.

An interesting idea about the upscaling DVD, these are so cheap now you can try it and if you dont like it then bin/ebay it!
 

madshi

Established Member
@David: Thanks!

Yeah, I think the upscaling DVD players are nice, but only if the native resolution of your display device is one of the predefined resolutions supported by the DVD player (luckily 1280x720 is), and if you don't need any other sources apart from DVD to be scaled, as well.
 

madshi

Established Member
P.S: Now that I see that PlasmaEnhancer in David's sig, that would also be an alternative to the iScan and Lumagen, of course!
 

KraGorn

Established Member
dnoon said:
I have been messing about with a HTPC using FFDShow for a while now and when the thing works the picture is superb. The problem is that the stability of the solution is very poor and I find myself still messing around with it after about 9 months tweaking.
Exactly the reason I abandoned my HTPC in favour of an 868->HDMI->LumagenHDP.

Not sure what 868s go for these days and the HDP could be replaced with a DVI to save money .. superior PQ which just 'works' when you press the 'on' button. :D

Oh, and consider spending a small amount ot have Gordon calibrate your system, money well spent and an education into the bargain. :smashin:
 

fatrich

Prominent Member
Gordon calibrated my PV500 at the weekend and it looks very good indeed my combination of gear is

Arcam FMJ27 (sdi modded) into a Lumagen HDP in to the HDMI on the panny, works well for me


cheers

richard
 

DFL

Established Member
@ fatrich

I am in the process of buying a panel and scaler. I am interested to see you bought a "tv" and scaler. I have been looking to get my panel in the UK and have it pre-calibrated before it is shipped over. However, I do like the aesthetics of the tv's and just wonder what your decision to get the tv over the PHD8 panel?
 

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