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Sweetspot questions

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Nick Cartwright, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. Nick Cartwright

    Nick Cartwright
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    I know there are a million threads on here that probably contain the answers I'm after, but I haven't really got the time to read them all. anyway, I'd really appreciate it if anyoen can answer any of the following :-

    1. I currently use Theatretek on my HTPC and the results are great, how would Sweetspot and the Xcard compare, I'm looking fortotally smooth pans as ~I still feel that even TT can judder occasionally.

    2. How would a stand alond DVD player and Sweetspot compare to TT? Is lip sync-ing an issue if you pass S/PDIF from DVD player straight to amp, but process the video via the card?

    3. I have a 1.3ghz Athalon, is this enough or would I need to upgrade?

    Any help, or if anyone can relate their experiences, would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

    Nick
     
  2. Alex Simon

    Alex Simon
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    Hi Nick
    1] Most customers don't get any judder at all through Xcard/SweetSpot although many people have TheaterTek smooth as well. Maybe people will chime in to report on their Xcard pans.

    2] A delay of a couple of frames is usual with SweetSpot. It's not much of an issue and can be controled by reducing the processing overhead. We have had a couple of people find it too much for them though.
    If using a DVD player into SweetSpot via Component or RGB, then there will be a drop in picture quality versus TT or Xcard (which is a digital path).

    3] That should be plenty to get you going - you may have to be careful in your DScaler settings but you should be able to get good playback. Try using Mocomp2 (search effort reduced to 2) no filters and no Judder Terminator. It should look great.

    Hope that helps
    Regards
    Alex
     
  3. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I used to run TT on a 1.4 P3 based W2K HTPC and it was perfect : recently I've upgraded the machine to a P4 platform and XP pro and TT skips and judders . I then installed Reclock let it do its thang and playback is now perfect again.
     
  4. Nick Cartwright

    Nick Cartwright
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    Thanks for the replies, it's given me something to chew over.

    Basically I need to simplify my HTPC so that my wife can use it. I've considered a scaler such as the Lumagen visions, but cost is certainly a factor (I have to pay doubly for everything, if I spend £1200, wife also thinks it's fair she spends £1200 too!). I try telling her the changes are for her benefit, but she doesn't seem to hear!

    It's be good to hear from anyone who was using TT and has now decided to change to Xcard and Sweetspot. I'm drawn to this idea because of the benefits to be gained when using external sources like Sky and Laserdisc.
     
  5. Alex Simon

    Alex Simon
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    It is a tricky decision to make.
    Running XMP (Xcard Media Player) at the same time as DScaler isn't as intuitive as we'd like, although mostly it can be ignored and the remote used instead.

    Xcard/DScaler are far better than TT for video-based DVDs and files.

    TT can be configured to be pretty much automatic with DVDautorefresh reclock and multiregion software.
    It's auto AR stuff is very good too.

    DScaler can be made fairly foolproof using a pronto and wife-friendly menus.

    The best bet is to try and get to see a well set up example of each.

    WRT Lumagen/Crystalio/Iscan/etc I have to say, since I've been testing/evaluating Crystalio, I haven't missed my HTPC once. It's only HD files that are keeping it in the rack :)

    I've not helped have I :)
     
  6. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Well you can always stick with TT for dvd playback and use a sweetspot on its own for external sources.

    Using a frontend like myHTPC can alos simplify things to a couple of big buttons ie DVD and Dscaler.
     
  7. Nick Cartwright

    Nick Cartwright
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    I have to admit that if money was less of an object (or I can sell my bike! GSX-R750L in need of work, just incase anyonme is interested!!!!!) then I would go for a scaler and a separate DVD player, possibly with SDI.

    As money is a big factor and TT is 99% what I need for DVD playback then alternatives to my TV card are a real consideration. £180 for a replacement just to play LD's is a lot, and with Sky I have additional problem in the faxct that the receiver is in the lounge and the cinema is in the cinema room, so I would need a decent line driver and a 15-20 metre run of cable to connect it properly(I use a composite video sender at moment and it is just about ok for sport, if you've had a couple!!!).

    I think I will spend more time monitoring the forums and decide later. As I mainly watch DVD filmes then maybe TT is still the way to go? But it would be nice to get decent Sky and LD too. Dscaler works great with the in puts I use, but a £30 TV card will never give a noise free signal.


    By the way, is Sweetspot Swiss? I am boycotting Swiss stuff after the performance of the referee tonight, what was wrong with englands second goal?
     
  8. Alex Simon

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    Nothing to my knowledge that we sell is Swiss :)
    That wasn't his only bad decision that night either.

    We have customers using very long runs of the SweetSpot cable with no problems.
    A 15m would cost £77.68
    A 20m would cost £88.31

    Decent prices but it all adds up - in your first post you mention judder - are you using Reclock?
     
  9. jimbob19

    jimbob19
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    How does compare with Holo3dgraph V1 , are there any benefits over it ?
    I would mainly want to use with Sage TV (for PVR use) and plasma ,
    would also like to copy to DVD's

    Thanks
     
  10. Alex Simon

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    If you already have a Holo1 then I can't honestly say it's worth changing.
    However, if you want an RGB/Component signal that is equal in pq for less money, then SweetSpot can offer that.

    SweetSpot is more widely used for PVR than Holo.

    I'm confused over the use of Sage TV with SweetSpot though - Sage TV's specialism is with HW mpeg encoders. SweetSpot use software solutions for PVR. There are many good ones out there. Lots are free - iuVCR is our current favourite, ShowShifter is probably the most wife-friendly.

    Hope that helps
    Alex
     
  11. jimbob19

    jimbob19
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    Thanks for the quick reply Alex , I haven't got either card yet
    I am (will be) in the process of putting together a HTPC to replace my Tivo , DVD etc . Sage TV looks to have most of the features my Tivo has , does this mean I would need a PVR350 card as well as a sweetspot ?
    I am looking to get a Plasma at the same time an dwanted to use a dscaler to improve the PQ of NTL cable as well as DVD etc


    Confused :rolleyes:
     
  12. Alex Simon

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    SweetSpot is mostly used for external sources such as SKY boxes/games consoles/etc

    It's also a good way of getting the Xcard's digital output into DScaler for great DVD playback.

    To use Sage TV then using one of it's most popular cards does seem like a good idea. Or you could use Nebula solution instead.
     
  13. Nick Cartwright

    Nick Cartwright
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    I'm not sure what re-clock is. I'm a bit out of touch with the HTPC world at the moment, I have had no developement since 2002 really. Mainly due to a ban on using this forum at my old work place.

    Now it's new job, and I can monitor the forums again.

    The cable prices are amazingly good by the way!

    Nick
     
  14. Alex Simon

    Alex Simon
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    Reclock info here
    http://ogo.nerim.net/reclockfilter/
    In my experience - it just works!
    In their words
    "It provides a new reference clock that is locked to the video card hardware clock, in order to ensure that frames are played at the exact speed of what is expected by the video card vertical sync."
    It's best when you're running a refresh at a direct multiple of the source - ie 48 or 72 for NTSC film.
    Glad your no longer banned!
    Cheers
    Alex
     

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