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So got my hcpc running, not too impressed so far.

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by gizlaroc, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Decided to give the HCPC a whirl, as I had just tried out various scalers, and didnt see a great deal of difference between my quadscan and the new breed that i tried.

    The specs are

    P4 2.4 533bus
    512 meg ddr333
    i845pe m/board
    radeon 9700pro
    tv100 capture card

    winxp pro
    fresh install with the latest drivers etc.

    As I really want to use this as a scaler I thought I would try it with the cheaper capture card first , and if I like the results buy a H3D card for the component in and sdi. Keeping it very user friendly.

    Set it up last night with with sky using a JS rgb->S-vid converter and Dscaler doing the scaling.

    resolution was set at 720x576 50hz.

    seemed to be fine as far as de-interlacing was concerned but I cannot get the colour correct.
    there seems to be too much white detail, and if i drop the white level to a point where it is not, well, blooming then the picture lacks any snap.

    I played with the settings for about 3 hours last night and couldn't get a result that I was happy with.

    I tried adjuting the card controls and the overlay controls, and i the end gave up.

    this is going into a sony 1271 crt, and to be honest unless i can get this so it gives a picture , or I should say colour range, that at least matches the scalers then it will be relagated to a games machine.

    any ideas would be appreciated :)
     
  2. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Hi gizlaroc,
    I think the Dscaler/saa7310 driver has an automatic gain control enabled which I don't seem to be able to fully disable. The automatic calibration with a pal thx optimode dvd didn't seem to work right. I think it kind of gave-up and the YUV ranges didn't look right to me afterwards.

    However with patience I think I still managed a reasonable calibration by eye, although I don't haven't used any dvd optimode screens since, as I mostly just use Dscaler for PS2 and X-box gaming.

    I think from reading your post that it may be your output Overlay settings not right, sounds like you've calibrated the input, but not the output.

    Perhaps we should share our input calibrations settings for Dscaler or capture for this card in a new thread? I think these input settings will be fairly consistent for all users of this card, although some equipment may output a slightly hotter video signal than others
    e.g. X-Box S-Video, PS2 S-Video, Laserdisc S-Video, etc.

    Do you also realise that Dscaler can have the Overlay adjustment enabled to allow brightness and contrast to be adjusted on the output side. This is disabled by default, under Advanced I think.

    So, to sumarise,
    a) First calibrate the input card, use the YUV range option or try the THX Optimode screen and the automatic calibration feature.

    b) Then use the File menu, it has some options for internal pattern inputs, which you can then use to adjust the Overlay settings to ensure peak white and black levels in DScaler match what you want out of VGA in to your display.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  3. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Thanks Rob

    I will have another go tonight, and see if i can get it looking better.

    i will also try my sky+ box and see if teh s-video is better on that than on the Js box, as I am thinking that it may be the converter that is giving out hot white levels.

    A thread with everyones settings would be good to compare.

    will let you know how i get on.
     
  4. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    This is half the fun......

    I spent a couple of hours yesterday with dual monitors and finally got the sony driver to work, so now all the auto aspect settings work.

    Even yesterday got the correct setting from Powerstrip to work.

    Yes i'm up for a dscaler setting thread.

    Rgds

    nathan
     
  5. theritz

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    - Gizlaroc,



    - nfordenfield


    Oh yes, that would be a big help - any brave soul out there who'd like to write quick primer explaining the functions of various filters, de-interacing methods etc. would also be doing us a big service (even if you know of a decent explanation on the web, that would get me past the complete ignorance phase - I think !)


    Sean G.
     
  6. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    Alright stop showing off, some of us spent 4 hrs trying to get the 4.1 version going, which is reserved for the programmers.

    Seems like this could be the blind leading the blind then:smashin:
     
  7. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Tonight I have totally had enough

    in fact I have pulled the whole thing out !!!!

    I have a wife who is going mental cause she has to go through hell to get the tv on and a daughter who is just laughing at me trying to give lessons on switching to ntsc dvd.

    I have gone back to my scaler, at the end of the day the ease of use compared with the grief I have got from the family means that the scaler wins :rolleyes:


    So if anyone wants a 24hr old PC with winXP and all the apps installed and set up for pal and ntsc already make me an offer :smashin:
     
  8. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    How much would you be looking at for it?

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  9. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I was actually kidding zAndy1,

    I was just going to send it back, however because I have thrown the box out for the case and vga cable, I would have lost a bit.

    I bought the following,


    desktop case (black)
    2.4 P4 CPU 533bus
    512meg DDR 333 Crucial ram
    Wireless keyboard + mouse (rf rather than infa red)
    Seagate 80gig 7200rpm (because it is silent)
    MSI m/board (firewire, usb2 , serial ata, Gb Lan,digital and optical out, bluetooth , multi bios etc. ) intel 845pe chipset.
    Tv100 capture card.

    that lot cost me £525 plus delivery, there is no vga card, I had a radeon 9700pro which is probably overkill and at £300 I have returned it already, and to be honest with you a 9000 would be better at £60 odd.

    the bits that I was going to return come to £400 without the h/drive, you can have the h/drive as well for £400.
    If you want to give me that you can have it. save me chasing refunds etc.

    Plus the fact it is up and running and ready to go has got to be worth a few quid :)
     
  10. eddiewww

    eddiewww
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    if zAndy1 is not up for it...i'll have it for £400...
     
  11. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Can you give me a bit more info..

    Does it come with a DVD Rom drive?
    What case is it exactly and what sort of DVD Rom drive does it take i.e. would it take a Pioneer tray loader?
    Does it come with the Windows CD, if not can I have the product key?
    Can you give me till tomorrow to let you know about this?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  12. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Ok

    I will hold on then before sending it back, I have sent andy a PM regarding the kit and as it is bank holiday cant do anything till tuesday anyway, but will let you know by the weekend.

    you do realise that the £400 is without the graphics card ??

    cheers

    Guy
     
  13. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Interesting your comment re the Quadscan.. As you may know I have tried several scalers with a view to getting a better pic than the QS pro but nothing has thus far proven any better. Have to say it is (was - as CRT is now sold and gone) only connnected to a 'lowly' barco 701s but despite having high hopes for the CS-1 I could not notice any improvement over the QS Pro.

    I was gonna sell it (QS Pro) but due to lack of interest have decided it is worth keeping as it works fantastically well outputting an RGB signal over a VGA cable to my new digital pj.

    Tip: If anyone is looking for a scaler you really cannot go wriong with a nice Quadscan Pro for the price they go for on these forums. A real bargain at around the £300-400 mark if you ask me with a great collection of connections round the back too.

    PS Sorry to hijack your thread :)
     
  14. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Andy has said he will have it so if anything changes I will let you know ediewww.

    Guy
     
  15. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Picked this up yesterday, got it up and running (late night last night!), basically installed WinDVD and Zoom player and ffdshow and it's looking absolutely fantastic. I now know why it's worth persevering with HTPC as I can't imagine how the picture could look much better! DScaler is working great too yielding results with Sky+ better than using the RGB -> VGA convertor. Overall I'm well chuffed with getting my hands on this PC. Only thing now is that I bought a Thermalright SLK800 for my old Athlon Socket A pc that was going to be my HTPC and now I've got a Pentium 4 PC, I assume the SLK800 is no good for the Pentium PC, can anyone confirm that please? If so look out for it on the classifieds!
    Now need to get the usability sorted out and to be honest I haven't got a clue where to start on that one (lot's of reading to do I think!)...

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  16. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Oh, another thing, my Quiet PC PSU that I had in my old PC wouldn't fit into the new one (old is midi tower, new = desktop). Do you need different PSUs for desktop cases and if so what exactly? The overall size of the PSUs looked the same but I couldn't orientate the Quiet PC one so that it would fit in the right way around. Looks like I need a new PSU as well then... any recommendations?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  17. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    What you could do is replace the 80mm fan inside the PSU with a quiet fan (19db) from www.quietpc.com. I did that, and along with removing the finger-guard, reduced the noise from the pc by over 5db (measured from .5m in front of case).

    It may have reduced a lot more, but my sound level meter only goes down to 40db, and it was at 45+ before the mod.

    Gary.
     
  18. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    That's an option I suppose but I'm a bit confused about why the QuietPC PSU (or the old one I have in my other PC) won't fit in this desktop case. Aren't they supposed to be standard sizes, it's an ATX case (so I've been told). The problem is that the PSU has to be stood up on it's side in the desktop case and when I do that the PSU is too tall for the case. Wish I could explain the problem better....
    Might go down the quietpc fan route then....

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  19. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Oh and also the way the PSU is at the moment in the desktop case, the fan faces into the PC , literally next to the CPU, won't it be blowing warm into into the PC like that? Wouldn't have thought that would be good for the temperature inside the case!

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  20. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I saw a new pc where the cpu had a large heatsink but no fan - the cpu had a cowling over it, and the PSU fan sucked air from the pc, over the cpu via the cowling, and out through the PSU.

    Maybe that's how yours is working?

    Gary.
     
  21. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Don't think so, the CPU has a heatsink and fan, the PSU has a fan that like I said faces into the case right next to the CPU. The case itself has no fan and I think it's getting a bit warm in there (in the Bios health check it says the system temp which I presume is the temp inside the case is approx 48C and the CPU temp 61C, that was after it had been on a while, think ideally I want to get both of those figures down a bit). I dunno what to do about the PSU, taken a spare one I had to bits and I wouldn't fancy changing the fan on it, looks like soldering required to me! Ideally I'd get an Enermax or something but looking at a pic of that one on the web I don't think that will fit in this case either.

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  22. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Can I ask a quick question re case dimensions. This case I'm using is 134mm high, is that about right or lower than usual? I've seen for example the Dign cases are 162mm high which would accomodate the QuietPC PSU, beginning to think this case isn't the usual size.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  23. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Andy

    here are the specs of the case, hope it helps in finding the right psu.

    2x 3.5" and 2x 5.25" drive bays
    1x 3.5" hidden bay
    350 Watt PSU with +12V connector for P4, to ATX 2.03 standard
    Supports ATX, MicroATX, FlexATX
    Ideal for P3, P4, AMD
    Room for 2 optional fans
    H140 x W440 x D445 mm


    Guy
     
  24. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Thanks Guy, still confused to be honest, according to www.quietpc.com the size of an ATX PSU is approx 86 x 150 x 140 mm. The PSU in the case is 83 x 155 x 120mm. It's a mystery....

    Andy.
     
  25. mephistopheles

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    Desktop PSUs are standard 85 x 120 x 155 mm, which is what you have in your desktop case. I suspect the fan inside the PC case near the CPU fan is an intake; there will be a corresponding exhaust at the back (expelling outside the case). No-one even only half-way sane would design a PSU that exhausted INTO the PC case. Most 300+ watt PSUs these days have x2 fans at least; those visible inside the PC case being intake(s) with a single exhaust at the rear.

    Desktop cases generally do run hotter than towers because of their smaller capacity and shape (hot air rises and can be exhausted more easily from the top of a tower, thus the lower sections remain cooler via the front intake(s).

    You're unlikely to need anything more powerful than the PSU you've already got (you can't get much in a desktop to need big power) so unless it's too noisy and you're not up for DIY mods, I'd stick with it. The temps are a little on the high side, but very far from danger levels, and there is, apparently, provision to position 2 extra case fans for intake/exhaust, which would help matters, for which you could use low noise Papst or Panaflos.

    You probably established by now that the SLK-800 is for Socket A/Socket 370 CPUs, but you might want to take a look at the SLK-900-U, which is absolutely brilliant for both P4 and suitable Athlon systems. It bolts to the m/b so there are no cpu damage/transportation issues here and with a Panaflo 90x25mm low volume fan it is a highly efficient and silent HCPC solution, which would be hard to beat. I just fitted one on an ASUS A7v8X system and am tremendously impressed.

    Anyways, I for one am interested in relieving you of your SLK-800.
     
  26. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Cheers for that, so if need be where would I get a replacement (quiet) desktop PSU from as all the ones I've seen seem to be the bigger ones and won't fit in this case (eg Enermax, QuietPC PSU etc)
    I'm not sure what's making the most noise but it's very noisy at the moment, is the bog standard Intel fan very noisy? There are no case fans so it's just the PSU and the CPU fan that can be contributing to the noise level, mind you think there is another fan on the motherboard, probably cooling the northbridge perhaps but it's only small and I shouldn't think it's making too much noise..

    Andy
    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  27. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    By the way I was about to order a Zalman CNPS7000-ALCU which seems to be fine for what I need, any opinions , I know it's new but it should do the job..

    Andy
     
  28. mephistopheles

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    Yes, the stock Intel CPU fans are noisy. I would avoid the Zalman Aluminium/Copper unit, and definitely go for the Thermalright SLK-900-U + Panaflo 90x25mm Low Volume fan; you won't regret it (available from Overclockers UK and The Overclocking Store, respectively). If you must have the Zalman, though, go for the all copper one.

    You can replace the northbridge chipset fan with a Zalman ZM-NB32J solution. The smaller the fan the noisier they are, actually, because they spin much faster.

    What about the video card? Is there a fan on it, too? Again, there's a Zalman solution.

    Try that and see how the noise level is before thinking about changing the PSU. There's less market for specifically 'desktop' components so you'd have to hunt around for a silent unit, I'm afraid. Asking at QuietPC might point you somewhere if they can't help. Volt modding the PSU fan would not be a major undertaking, you know, and exchanging the fan would be easy; if there's a Maplin branch near you I'm sure you'd get all the help and pointers to appropriate components you'd need plus advice from here, too. It's worth trying, really. At the death, there is a QTech desktop PSU but I'm not sure whether it's got the silencing circuitry in it.

    You could alternatively/additionally use one of the Akasa silencing kits to line the inside of the case with acoustic insulation material (can't remember off-hand what it's called). You would almost certainly need to employ case fans (one intake + one exhaust)then, though, because of the extra heat build up, but in view of the temps you report I would be inclined to do that anyway. I would use Papst 80mm Medium Volume or another 2 Panaflo LV 90mm, if the latter will fit.
     
  29. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Thanks for the advice, unfortunately too late as I ordered a Zalman 7000-ALCU this afternoon, I think it will be fine, hopefully it will fit on the motherboard!
    The video card is a Radeon 9000 fanless so no noise issues there.
    It looks like the case will only accomodate 1 60mm fan, I've ordered one anyway so will see what difference that makes to the temperatures and noise levels.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  30. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Hi Andy,
    It's interesting that you find the
    s-video/pb tv100 input card/Dscaler/Radeon9000 better than a
    RGB-to-VGA convertor straight in to the Pioneer 433MXE plasma, as the HTPC is only getting S-Video to work with, not RGB component.

    Q: What resolution and refresh rate?

    regards,
    Rob.

    p.s.
    Q: Who would really put a HTPC in front of their family for day-to-day viewing? I only put up with the thing for the beautiful picture for films and big-big-screen gaming!
     

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