To be or not to be.


Active Member
Again a newbie question so please bear with me.

I used to run a tosh dvd player into a barco 800 graphics crt projector, but had to sell the set up when I moved to wok abroad for a couple of years.

Now I've forgotten all I ever really knew about home cinema.

I have just bought a panny 500 projector:excellent.

However I now have a dilemma.

I obviously want to watch the projector with as good an image as possible.

I have two options:

1) 900 quid + on new iscan hd

2) go the HTPC route

Now I expect option two to be cheapest. However I am finding HTPC very daunting! I spent hours last night playing round with powerstrip and getting nowhere really until I realsied you cant output high resolutions via s-video.

I want to be able to connect at least:

sky digital

to the projector and to have hd dvd playback on it. I would prefer the xbox and digital to be upconverted to hd if possible.

If it were you would you go for the convenience (practically plug and play) of the iscan hd or with the cheaper but far more complicated hcpc route?

If you went for the hcpc route what would be the cheapest and most pain free (I'm a wimp) way to do this?

Cheers for your time,



Distinguished Member
If you already have a PC, and the projector has a VGA input, you could just use that (with standard windows resolutions - ie. without using powerstrip), and the quality should be good (better than s-video, for sure).

For xbox, and sky, you'll need a capture card in the PC, but since you'll be capturing a scart signal (at best) the results may not be any better than connecting the boxes directly to the projector (without using a PC).

However, this all depends on how well the projector itself scales/deinterlaces, and how demanding you are in terms of picture quality. You may be able to squeeze a few more ounces of
quality with an htpc/iscan, but it is less dramatic, when using lower quality input signals like scart/s-video.


Standard Member
I faced a similar dilema, wondering whether to buy a good DVD player ( e.g. Denon 2900 ) or go down the HTPC route. An hour with my wife's PC, a copy of powerstrip and a VGA cable connected to my AE100 convinced me that HTPC is the way to go.

Connect a VGA cable up to your AE500 and then try the following settings in Powerstrip ( ). If these don't work then they should get you in the right ballpark and some adjustment by you should get everything nicely 1:1 mapped - you can tell this because the Windows desktop pixels should be pin-sharp even up close to the screen.

The benifits I experienced included reduced artefacting and an increase in sharpness and colour detail. I would imagine these would be even more significant on an AE500.

If you decide to go down this route then DVI is probably the way to go for an even sharper picture...

Good luck



Active Member

I have ordered a dvi cable and will play around next week.

Thanks for the link :)


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