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Using Sweetspot or Direct RGB?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Bluestraw, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Bluestraw

    Bluestraw
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    Hi all,

    I'm just building my HTPC, and hope someone can give me some advice!

    I'm trying to decide whether I need a Sweetspot capture card... From what I read, I see the following :

    1) It is the BEST way to view Sky via HTPC
    2) It is not sensible to use this for e.g. scheduled recording, due to the huge filesizes involved

    Based on this, what is the reasoning to use a Sweetspot as opposed to a direct connection to the TV via RGB scart? Does it produce a better picture somehow?

    Thanks guys for any help!!
     
  2. lisag

    lisag
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    The sweetspot is the only way I am aware of that you can input RGB quality video into a PC... other more common options, in order of quality are svideo, composite, and the rhf aerial socket. There are some converters around (JS Technology) that may convert the RGB scart to s-video and maintain a higher quality.

    lisa
     
  3. darktherapy

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    I'm sure you will notice that the signal quality from Sky is pretty bad. The sweetspot allows you to feed a high quality signal into the PC and scale the picture to the native resolution of the plasma using DScaler. You can then add filtering such as FFDShow or the internal DScaler filters to your Sky signal improving the picture quality.

    When I flick between a direct signal using an RGB-VGA converter and the signal going through the PC, the PC signal is much better.... even the missus has noticed the difference.

    I haven't tried recording the signal yet.
     
  4. DaveP

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    When you say "TV" do you mean a bog standard set with RGB Scart connection or are you referring to a Digital TV/Plasm/LCD with HDMI/DVI/VGA inputs? TBH I think you will only see a difference if you are using the latter. I doubt you'd see any improvement even if you were connecting to a CRT via component.

    Just my 2p worth
     
  5. Mr.D

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    Its only relevant if you are feeding a progressive display. Dscaler's primary goal is to provide a good deinterlacing pipeline . Which it does extremely well for very little outlay.

    You could try it with an svideo pipeline using a cheaper capture card and either a sky box with an svideo output ( if such a thing exists) or an RGB to svideo convertor as lisag suggests( the JStech ones are about the best).

    You could use your HTPC as a PVR for sky . The haupage PVR series cards have hardware mpeg encoding so the filesizes are smaller. I'm not too impressed with the quality of these cards but others find they work well.

    Alternatively get sky+ and record on that and use the HTPC purely for display purposes with a good capture card and Dscaler.
     
  6. Werner

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    just as a muck around, has anybody tried taking a mce machine (or any other hardware mpeg2 based pc) and feeding that output to ANOTHER pc with a sweetspot card/dscaler combo and form there onto the plasma to see if you can improve things? I have an mce2005 machine and it has rgb out from the vga (modded), I also have enough hardware to get another pc together and a sweetspot card laying "spare" so the thought has crossed my mind a few times...I am just not sure if there will be any improvement worth the effort..the pq I have right now is pretty good..
     
  7. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I don't understand why you would do this?
     
  8. Bluestraw

    Bluestraw
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    Thanks all. I will be feeding a new 32" Philips 9830 LCD, so it is progressive. But I think the panel's de-interlacer is supposed to be pretty decent, and I wonder if I'll really see any benefit at that screen size for passing the signal via the HTPC. Any thoughts?
     
  9. BiggieBig

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  10. darktherapy

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    Yes, I have got sweetspot working in media portal, but the picture quality is significantly better in DScaler.
     
  11. symanski

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    Not many people know this, but the original RGB to S-Video converter was designed to connect to a PC. A friend wanted to record Buffy the Vampire Slayer! One of the first HTPCs!

    All the best,

    Dr John Sim.
     
  12. -Hitman-

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    symanski,

    I see that you are from JS Tech and i have a question if you don't mind!

    I've been thinking about how i could improve on a SKY+ RGB feed that is feeding Sweetspot card as the Sweetspot can also take Component.

    Would using a JS Tech RGB - Component converter produce a more enhanced picture or would it be of the same PQ and not bring any benefit, only inducing noise due to the added conversion?
     
  13. symanski

    symanski
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    Dr HTPC,

    the whole point of our converters is to do it to the very best without adding noise! The way we designed the component converter is different to how you'd typically do it. Rather than using an off-the-shelf chip that does everything, I designed using discrete component. The advantage to this is that we have a higher bandwidth, which means picture detail is preserved.

    As for the Sweetspot card, I can't honestly say as I've not done a conversion. Technically RGB and YUV are very similar in quality. But, different displays work better with one or the other. So it may be advantageous to use component input.

    Have you tried component already from say a DVD player? Did that make a difference?

    All the best,

    John.
     

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