1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Urgent Sweetspot Drivers

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by sneaky, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have just received a Sweetspot/XCard combination. It is all setup ready to go but I have left the driver disk at work.

    I have been able to get the DScaler and XCard software but I cannot seem to find the Sweetspot stuff can anyone help me tonight.

    I am eager to have a look tonight.

    Thanks

    Chris
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Have you tried D-Scaler? As far as I understand it sometimes it'll detect the card without having to install the drivers.

    All the software is downloadable from Sweetspot's download page, you need the BtWinCap one from down the bottom.

    Also, you HAVE to use the version of D-Scaler they supply, unless version 4.1.9 has been released IIRC, until then support for the Sweetspot isn't in the mainline version .. again, assuming I understand what I've read. ;)
     
  3. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks Kragorn,

    I saw the BTWincap drivers but for some reason I didn't think I needed these - maybe I have got it wrong. I read in the literature that these were only to be used in certain circumstances.

    Are you using your sweetspot/xcard or did you send it back.

    Chris
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I sent the X-Card back, kept the Sweetspot mainly to feed my NTL STB into the PC.

    To clarify the driver issue. There are no drivers in the sense that you install them when New Hardware Wizard detects the card, I don't know what the BTINSTALL installs but it seems to have something to do with D-Scaler's detecting the card rather than being a convention device driver.

    The documentation is totally opaque as to when these are and aren't needed :) .. in one part they say they may not be, in another set of instructions I was sent I was told to install them .. on my system it appears I do need them, D-Scaler couldn't find the Sweetspot without them.
     
  5. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes thought that about the instructions, really misleading.

    Did they take the xcard back ok or was there a kafuffle.

    How does the quality of the Sweetspot compare to your theatertek setup.

    Chris
     
  6. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    No problem at all, David offered to take it back when he couldn't come up with any obvious cause of the dropped frames playing DVDs. It could well be a DMA problem with the nForce drivers as someone else suggested and David said he was willing to spend some time trying to get to the bottom of it but to be honest I wasn't convinced a solution would be found in a short time and I'd spent longer than I was willing to getting nowhere with it.

    PQ was definitely better with TT but as I think I said to someone recently on here I was willing to accept the slightly inferior PQ for the convenience of the X-Card's operation and also JovePlayer which uses the X-Card remote.

    If I was a PowerDVD user I'd have been happy with the X-Card, it was a lot better than PDVD on my Z2.
     
  7. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Is Joveplayer a DVD frontend?

    The XCard DVD player is no good to man nor beast, a real strange animal.

    What do you think of the sweetspot? What do you use it for?

    If I was to use Theatertek. What other software do I need to get to get some decent quality from TT.

    From what I can see.

    Sonic cineplayer drivers.

    Powerstrip - what is this I havent really work it out yet.

    Have you seen any decent posts on getting the settings right for a TT setup?

    Chris
     
  8. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    TT comes with the Sonic drivers. TT basically just works. The drivers can be bought separately and used with something like ZoomPlayer which many people like, I just never felt the need, especially since TT works with the ATI Remote I have.

    Powerstrip lets you set up non-Windows standard resolutions and refresh rates, allowing 1:1 pixel mapping to a display, it's web site is here.

    The JovePlayer site is here.

    I use the Sweetspot to feed my NTL STB to the Z2 .. I'll also use it to feed my VCR, I've a collection of VHS tapes which I just can't be bothered copying to hard disk then DVD, I watch them too infrequently mostly to bother.

    One day I'm hoping maybe there'll be a way to record the input signal, I may then try ripping the tapes.
     
  9. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have found the PQ of the XCard is alright.

    When the Sweetspot is setup with a Radeon does the quality improve.
     
  10. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    I doubt the type of video card affects the Sweetspot .. which is really of course D-Scaler doing the work. TT/PStrip 'know' what a Radeon is, I don't think D-Scaler does so its' PQ won't differ per se because it's going out via a Radeon as opposed, say, to an nVidia.
     
  11. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Oh Bum, I think I have purchased something that I don't need. From what I can see all I can get from Sweetspot is the the input flexibility.
     
  12. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    What do you mean?
     
  13. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Good as a capture card but doesnt really give me anything else.

    Remember I am a newboy so making talking rubbish.

    Chris
     
  14. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Well, what you've got is a good quality DVD player which can feed a digital signal to a projector or plasma fitted with a DVI connector. True, a TT/Radeon solution gives a slightly better PQ, but not major, certainly not the scale of difference I saw between X-Card and PowerDVD.

    The Sweetspot is needed to get the digital quality from the X-Card, if you take a feed from the X-Card itself it's not at good at all as when it's fed into the Sweetspot and into D-Scaler .. it's D-Scaler that does the hard work.

    Note also that the slight inferiority I saw from the X-Card as compared to TT may be because I hadn't twiddled with D-Scaler enough.

    If you're looking for high-quality DVD playing then X-Card/Sweetspot/D-Scaler are far better than many popular progressive scan DVD players .. and for the cost of $39.95 for AnyDVD or DVDRegionFree you get to 'lose' region locking, UOPs (User Operation Prohibited) like skipping copyright warnings etc. Some region-free hacks for players let you do some of these, on a PC you can do all of them and more. :)
     
  15. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Well thanks for that, makes me feel a lot better.

    My interest in this stuff is born out of doing research for my job.

    I work in a school and we have electronic whiteboards linked to projectors etc. We have loads of them and even more on the way.

    A lot of stuff is appearing on DVD now so I thought we would incorporate DVD's into these setups. I think XCard will do us fine, we mainly use VGA which the XCard outputs(not the best quality but good enough).

    The remote will be useful for the teacher.

    Hardware is always easier to support than the software players for the support lads.

    from what I have seen when software DVD players are used, it is best to have clean setups. The machines we will be using will have all manor of stuff on there and the XCard seems to do the job.


    Hope you don't mind me asking some more questions.

    All the Discs we have are PAL R2. Am I right in thinking that PAL discs should be set for 50HZ. If so in the XPlayer there is no such setting.
     
  16. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    What is meant by film source/mode - Video Source/mode on DVD's.

    Is the picture quality better than just the cheap progressive scan DVD players or the stuff like denon 2200 etc.

    Im going to try Joveplayer which has a 10 day free trial - do you know if TT do the same sort of thing.
     
  17. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Not sure on this one, something I'm often confused about, but I THINK you're right. :)

    It's how they need to be de-interlaced. I can't tell you the first thing about the details, and to be honest it doesn't really matter. The important thing is that in general you leave it at 'auto' and the player figures it out. Sometimes it gets it wrong, in which case you're better off setting one or the other .. if you see jagged-lines a lot then de-interlacing isn't working very well so try the 'other' setting. If you're really interested I can try to dig up a link or two to where you can read all the gorey details. :)

    In general the PQ is better than ANY system that uses an analog connection between the DVD player and the display, until you're into the thousands of pounds category :). The point here is that the signal stays digital from the DVD to the display device it never gets converted to analog, which is where signal degradation starts.

    Apart from de-interlacing the other critical thing is image re-scaling, ie. converting between the resolution of the image on the DVD, ie. PAL or NTSC res., and that of the display. PCs are able to get 1:1 mapping usually which means the usually-less-than-stellar scaler on the display is bypassed. You need to spend hundreds and hundreds on a re-scaler/de-interlacer that can produce equivalent results, and even then at that price you don't get a digital output feed.

    Again, a cheap PC, Radeon video card and the Sonic drivers will beat a 2900 easily, I've seen that, whether a Denon A11 gets close I don't know but that's well into 4 figures just for the player!

    TT doesn't offer a free period because their license with Sonic doesn't permit it. They offer a 7-day refund period which I have never seen anyone claim they didn't honour when asked.
     
  18. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks again Kragorn.

    The help and your time is much appreciated.

    Chris
     
  19. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    :) .. hope your experiments with Jove bear fruit, I though it looked like a noce HTPC front-end.
     
  20. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have just downloaded TT as well. I have tried to find some advice on setup of TT on the forums but have failed. Do you have any good addresses or threads that I can have a look at.

    What do you mean by NOCE HTPC.
     
  21. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Noce as in nice .. typo. :D

    Don't really know what you're getting at about TT setup Chris. What aspects are you concerned about?

    They have their own forums where you can pick up lots of useful info, check the Hints and Tips forum for example.
     
  22. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have heard the guys on the forums discussing stuff and there seemed a lot of settings to be changed. Just wondered if there was a sort of tick list of wich settings work and which don't.
     
  23. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    TT allows you to adjust Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Gamma and a couple of others, I guess that's what you were readong about.

    These can be done by eye or using a calibration disc such as Avia. The only one I found necessary to change 'out of the box' to any extent and which I did without a test disc was Gamma .. but as usual it's more down to what pleases you rather than what's technically correct.

    Without a test disc adjusting Brightness and Contrast is hit and miss, you could easily degrade the picture. Also, do you want to calibrate the display or the player? I calibrate the display for each player I connect, others will calibrate the player.

    I suggest you install it as is, view the results and see if anything doesn't look quite right then ask about that .. many people are viewing defficient images perfectly happily .. many others were perfectly happy till they learned what they liked was 'wrong' and now spend all their time worrying about it and twiddling calibration settings all night. :D
     
  24. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    The last bit of your post is very true. So just a case of trust your eyes.

    One thing I don't one to be doing is constantly tweaking and playing with stuff, I just want to watch good quality stuff on the screen and good sound of course.

    Which Radeon do you use? There are so many and difficult to know whether a 9200 will be good or you need a 9600. Seems to depend on who you are chatting to.

    I think it is best to calibrate the display.

    That was actaully going to be one of my questions - (which to calibrate)

    What is Gamma.

    Is it possible to use the XCard with Descaler on its own without the sweetspot.
     
  25. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    SeaneyC's reply in your "Which Kit" thread I think is correct after doing some more research.

    While the X-Card can be used stand-alone you must have it connected to a Sweetspot to be able to process its' image through D-Scaler.

    I've no idea technically what Gamma is, however its' effect is to lighten or darken the image but in a way different from Contrast which simply changes the level of white ... in TT select "Adjust Video", make a note of the default settings so you can go back to them then try altering the Gamma value, you'll see a drastic change in the image.

    Using something like the Avia setup DVD it's easy to adjust Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation and Hue .. there are many others one can do but I've not felt the need.
     
  26. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    Well I have download TT an have it setup. I am at the moment playing LOTR to a 19" Monitor through onboard VGA. The quality is excellent but a little dark.

    Presumably when I get the Radeon in and get it connected through DVI it will be even better.

    Is SVideo Better than VGA.

    Just hope they will take the sweetspot back(its not what I thought it was) - I will keep the Xcard and buy a few more for the Multimedia machines. Just makes life easier for the support guys.

    Do I need a Radeon 9600 or will a 9200 do the job.
     
  27. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    If it's a bit dark tweak up the Gamma.

    I really can't advise on the 9200 vs. 9600 issue, how much better the 9600 is I don't know, whether you'd see that in your situation I wouldn't know. I bought a 9600 because money wasn't a prime concern.

    S-video is considerably WORSE than VGA, but which I take it you're referring to using the VGA or TV-Out on the card.

    How do you plan to use the X-Card without the Sweetspot .. using the X-Card's VGA output? The quality of that won't be up to that through the Sweetspot/D-Scaler but you could compare it to what you're seeing with TT and the PC's VGA.

    BTW, if you think the quality is 'excellent' with the video you have, maybe you'd be best sticking with that for a while. ;)
     
  28. sneaky

    sneaky
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    North East
    Ratings:
    +0
    So you must use the sweetspot for inputs, VCR. Sky etc.

    Are DVI cables a much of muchness or do they come in different qualities.
     
  29. KraGorn

    KraGorn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,740
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ratings:
    +27
    Well Sweetspot is just one solution for connecting VCRs etc., I chose it because it feeds D-Scaler for de-interlacing. NTL outputs RGB and which is also the main input Sweetspot is designed to accept .. you can switch to Component as an alternative to RGB.

    DVI cables come in various qualities, round here Lindy are usually recommended, that's the brand I use.
     
  30. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    544
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hi Sneaky

    yes, SweetSpot has a range of analogue input types for these external devices, and also the digital PDI input.
    One of the unique features is that you are able to capture RGB - there is no other solution at anywhere near the price that lets you do this.

    The SweetSpot connection types are ordered in quality as follows...

    1. PDI (a direct digital connection to a RealMagic Xcard)
    2. RGB(RGsB/RGBS - often available from set top boxes, DVD players etc, and as an optional connection on games consoles.
    3. Component(YpbPr - typically available on mid range to high end DVD players and some games consoles.
    4. S-Video - a general purpose connection found on many devices. It is also sometimes (but incorrectly) referred to as SVHS
    5. Composite. - the most common, and the lowest performing video connection.

    Use the connection type that is highest in the list and is also supported by your video source. This is typically RGBS for satellite receivers, RGBS/Component for recent DVD players and games consoles and S-Video for older equipment. Composite may be the best you'll get from VCRs and digital cameras.

    there is more information on our faq - see http://www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot/support/faq.html

    regards
     

Share This Page

Loading...