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Sold on HCPC. But what display?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Bernard Barnett, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Having considered all the pros and cons I'm now contemplating buying an HCPC. But I need some guidance, if you'd be so kind, as to what type of display to choose. I've read all the threads in the plasma/LCD forum and the camps there are pretty evenly divided. Is the same true here, or does LCD perhaps have the edge for HCPC? I don't have room for a projector and screen, by the way.
     
  2. KraGorn

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    Sadly for you the choice of an HCPC doesn't affect the display choice in the least. :)

    The PC simply provides the best 'affordable' digital signal (via DVI) or analog signal (via VGA) to whatever display you have, there's no real advantage/disadvantage between a plasma and projector, nor between LCD or DLP projectors, in using a PC.

    Sorry, can't think of anything to say to help you choose. It's all down to how you intend to use your big screen which really determines what technology is right for you.
     
  3. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Thanks KraGorn.
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Actually there are displays that work better with PC's than others. Some for example only work well at 60Hz which isn't bad for NTSC stuff but useless for PAL. What you are looking for is something that works well at 48, 50, 60, 72, and 75Hz. The next thing to look for on LCP, DLP's and the likes is being able to display native resolution without engageing the internal scaler on the display. For the ultimate display that is able to gain the most from HTPCs look no further than CRT projectors, they are a match made in heaven.
     
  5. KraGorn

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    But a decent video card and Powerstrip can generate the required resolution/refresh in my experience. :confused:

    As far as CRTs are concerned .. of course they're the best PQ, they're also very expensive and need constant tweaking to keep in shape by all accounts .. few can afford them, even fewer are ALLOWED to afford them. ;)
     
  6. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Jeff, thank you for answering, and I have no doubt that CRT gives the ultimate quality, but as I said in my original post I don't have room for a projector and screen. Is there such a thing as a 36-inch CRT TV that can be directly connected to a PC?
     
  7. Pulsar

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    Bernard,

    Maybe one of the new JVC HDTV's would be suitable. That way you can get all of the benefits of a HTPC, in a normal sized TV set. I am not sure what input these TV's take, I assume component, so you may need to get a ATI component dongle from the US to connect it.

    Good luck.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    You are always limited by the display device, some only allow resolutions they were programmed for, others can take virtually anything. Same with refresh rates, my Samsung LCD screen won't take 48 or 50Hz, my other LCD screen takes them just fine and doesn't even reconvert to 60 Hz internally.
     
  9. MikeTV

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    With a 36" TV, it is unlikely that an HCPC will provide much improvement in picture quality, when viewing DVD's or digital broadcasts, compared to regular set-top boxes. However, the HCPC does have other advantages.

    Also at 36", it seems to me as though direct-view CRT's provide the best picture quality (as a rule), compared with other technologies (although why this should be is unclear - and you may find some good LCD's nowadays, or whatever).

    Another problem you may find is that the TV's at this size typically only support regular PAL interlaced signals (particularly CRT's), and are not really designed to accept computer signals (at least in Europe - in the U.S. they have HDTV, which is ideal).

    All-in-all, it is difficult to know what to suggest. If you can find a widescreen 36" CRT that will accept a VGA (640x480p @60hz) input signal, then this may be your best bet (although since PAL is 720X576i @50hz, perhaps not). Alternatively you may be able to get the PC to output PAL interlaced directly from the VGA port on the graphics card. You should avoid using s-video or composite video from a TV-out card in the PC, because this will be worse for picture quality than a regular RGB Scart connection from a set-top box. Another option may be to use an XCard, which I believe can output a PAL signal.

    For larger screen sizes, the configuration choices become easier. But at 36", it seems to be a tougher decision, mainly because the TV's aren't (generally) designed for PC usage.
     

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