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RGB conversion £200 better than S-video conversion?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Fuchida, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    I have recently ordered a home cinema system and although it hasn't arrived yet, I want to make sure I get the best possible picture when it does. The DVD player should be OK but I am concerned about my SkyPlus box. I am outputting from SkyPlus to a Denon 3803 AV receiver and from there to a Panasonic PT-AE300 projector

    The 3803 converts S-video to component video, with the obvious limitation of the quality of the original s-video signal. My other option is to buy an RGB-Component convertor plus good scart and component video cables.

    Does anyone have experience of using both the convertors and the 3803 S-video conversion? If so, is the convertor+leads worth £200+ in terms of improved picture quality

    I am also considering an iscan pro to improve the quality of the DVD and skyplus outputs. With the system specified plus a Sony NS930 DVD player, would the iscan be a good investment?

    Any advice appreciated.

    Steve
     
  2. fredflintstone

    fredflintstone
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    I've a Denon 3803 and Panasonic PT-AE300 projector as you do but only a SKY sat rec. not a Sky+ box though, I use a RGB to component converter I got from: (@£75)

    http://www.lektropacks.co.uk/product/technical.asp?dept_id=101&sku=593

    It works well with some good 5m 3 phono cables and I use the 3803 to switch between the DVD and any RGB sent to the converter.
    I would be very interested what anyone has to say about the iscan pro and also the Sony NS930 DVD player which if I am not mistaken is PAL and NTSC progressive capable from people like

    http://www.techtronics.com/uk/shop/50-sony-dvp-ns930vb-multi-region-dvd-player.html
    I have a Toshiba 510 with Progressive NTSC which you do notice a difference.. what you see on PAL Progressive is yet to be determind...
    Fred
    :)
     
  3. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    Everyone I spoke to seemed to agree the Sony 930 handled NTSC progressive but I received varying opinions on whether it handled PAL progressive. I have changed my order this morning and swapped the Sony for a Denon DVD-2900 which definitely has support for PAL progressive.

    Steve
     
  4. fredflintstone

    fredflintstone
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  5. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    I spoke to Denon today and they confirmed the 2900 is PAL progressive straight out of the box.

    Steve
     
  6. Alex Simon

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    I guess it depends on whether £200 is a lot of money to you or not.
    Assuming it is then you might be better off putting that money towards some kind of scaling solution. Most standalone solutions will be better than the internal scaling of the pj. They are a fair bit more expensive than the convertor but will help give a better picture to ALL your sources.

    I haven't had any experience with the RGB-Component convertors but, in theory at least, it should be lossless.

    I'm a big fan of Home Cinema PCs and one could be built from as little as £500 but it isn't a 'no brainer', it requires a great deal of effort to get a stable, quiet and easy to use system. The performance benefits are well worth it if you have a critical eye.

    Hope that helps
    Alex
     
  7. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    What is a Home Cinema PC? Is that a PC used to modify the video or a PC using the projection screen as a monitor? If it is the former, does that mean you can customise a PC to perform the same type of functions as an iscan or scaler?

    Steve
     
  8. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Yes an HTPC/HCPC uses the PC to run like a scaler, basically utilising the VGA/DVI outputs of a good graphics card to run the PJ. See the forum on HCPC for more info.
    (Denon DV2900)has some issues mate if its not too late change to a HK DVD30/25 (30 is DVD-A) 25 is Pal & NTSC out the box.
     
  9. Alex Simon

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    Yes, that's exactly what it means.
    You can do it in all sorts of ways.
    The most common is...

    DVD drive to play dvds
    Software to do the MPEG 2 decoding
    Radeon graphics card to do the scaling and output to your display.

    The main benefit is that you can match the output resolution of the PC exactly to your display device (obviously the biggest gains are when the display is high res).

    There's a section on these forums down in 'tech talk' dedicated to this so drop in:)

    Obviously it doesn't have to end with DVD - many people use the same PC as a music jukebox, games machine, image browser and PVR (personal video recorder).

    All good fun!:)
     
  10. Alex Simon

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    beaten to it I see:suicide:
     
  11. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    Now you're worrying me :) The Denon arrived this morning so too late to change it now. What type of problems does it have and are there any solutions?

    Steve
     
  12. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    I have the DVD drive and a Radeon card but I would need to check out the software. Does it need to be a specific radeon card? I have a Radeon 9700 Pro (128Mb) that I bought primarily for games.

    Steve
     
  13. Alex Simon

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    The 9700 is fine (pretty much any radeon card is fine)
    Some people choose the ones without fans for quietness but that's all.
    The software is either WinDVD, PowerDVD or IMO the best is TheaterTek. But you'll get a good idea of what's possible with a free trial of the first two.
    Your sound card needs to have SPDIF output and you could do with Powerstrip to set the resolution of the PC to EXactly that of the display. Then use the DVI output to have a totally digital system:D
     
  14. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    I have an audigy 2 soundcard in my PC and I think that has SPDIF output (what is SPDIF BTW?) and the Radeon has DVI output. I already have both WinDVD and PowerDVD so it sounds like I am good to go except for Powerstrip. Where could I get hold of that?

    My PC is currently running with creative labs 6.1 speakers so I guess I will have no problem using the sound card to send the appropriate signal to the Mission M3 series speakers. Should I run the sound from the audigy into my Denon 3803 just as I would from my 2900 DVD player but bypass the 3803 for the video signal and plug that straight into the DVI on my PT-AE300?

    Presumably, I could also play games on my PC and send them to the projector as well using the same method.

    Steve
     
  15. Alex Simon

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    Setup is exactly as you describe with connections.
    Yes to games
    SPDIF is Sony Philips Digital Interface

    I've just been reading about your projector and it looks like it has trouble being fed it's native resolution. It's worth a read on the HCPC forum and the Projector forum.

    You should still see some improvement though.

    Powerstrip is free (with an mildly annoying tip popup) here
    http://www.entechtaiwan.net/ps.htm
    but it seems as though your projector will scale anyway so it might not be too critical.

    I wouldn't expect everything to be great right from the off, you'll need to do some reading on the forums to get the best from it but you should get a decent result pretty quickly.

    Hope that helps
    Alex
     
  16. Fuchida

    Fuchida
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    How should the two potential setups compare.

    A) Denon DVD2900 DVD Player using component to send a progressive signal via the 3803 to the PT-AE300 and an optical audio signal for DD or DTS to the 3803.

    0r

    B) PC with Radeon 9700 & Audigy 2 sending DVI to the projector and SPDIF to the 3803.

    Any idea what would give the best picture / sound. I am sort of hoping its the former or I may have just wasted some money on the 2900 :)

    Steve
     
  17. Alex Simon

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    Well the former has higher Wife Acceptance Factor!
    It's hard to say with the projector not allowing 1:1 pixel mapping. If there's a workaround I would think the PC would beat most standalone unscaled dvd players (even progressive).

    Even with the resolution problem of the pj, it could well beat it. Ultimately, you'll have to see for yourself. It sounds like it's not going to be too difficult to give it a go.

    With audio, most consumer (read games) sound cards don't perform as well as a standalone dvd player (even though bits should be bits). Look to the budget M-Audio cards to compete.

    If you want to scale other sources as well as DVD then the PC really wins - using our SweetSpot (http://www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot) card, you can input RGB from Sky and use a fabulous piece of (free)software called DScaler to give you a truly magnificent picture.

    Have fun:D
     

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