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What is the best way of connecting a computer to a plasma screen?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by sberemski, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. sberemski

    sberemski
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    I am thinking of buying the 434 HDE to which I intend to connect sky and a computer. What is the best way to do this?


    The reason why i am buying the 434hde is becuase of its high resolution for displaying images from a computer.

    Should I use DVI or TV out ( or something else?) to connect to the plasma?

    Will I need a cable for DVI to plasma?

    Is there anypoint in feeding the sky through the PC (either using a radeon all in wonder or TC card) and then out through the TV out/DVI?

    Sorry but I am a noob at this!!!
     
  2. Branxx

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    Pioneer PDP 434 HDE has quoted resolution of 1024 x 768. This is in 'computer world' definitely not considered a high-resolution. For example only the low range current laptop PCs would have such a low resolution.

    However, I think the main problem is that this Poneer model has non-square pixels (physical screen dimensions are 16:9, while resolution is 4:3). Windows based PC generally assume square pixels, which means anything on the screen would look streached.

    Some software DVD players can compensate for this (PowerDVD, TheaterTek).
     
  3. ultraman

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    dvi has a much 'cleaner' signal transfer as it is digital, 15 pin dsub cables (which are 'normal' monitor cables) are analog.
     
  4. sberemski

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    So would I need as special cable DVI cable to connect a PC to a plasma screen?

    So do you think that its is not worth outputing video from a computer to a plasma screen?
     
  5. Joe Fernand

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    sberemski

    Your PC will connect to the VGA socket which is behind the drop down panel on the R04 Media Box - the HDMI (read DVI) input on the Media Box is for Video signals only.

    I just received our first stock of Gefen DVI switches and later tonight I'm going to try using the switch between an R04 Media box and the DVI input on the 04 HDE Plasma screen and see if I can switch to a second source.

    On the 04 HDE units if you disconnect the R04 Media Box from the screen on ether the comms or the video cable the screen shuts down after a few seconds; I'm hoping putting the Gefen DVI switch in the system will keep the screen running.

    Your SKY Digibox will simply connect to the R04 Media Box using a decent quality SCART to SCART cable - if you have a decent quality scaler in your PC Graphics engine you may get some picture enhancements running the Digibox via the PC; though I doubt your PC card will input RGB from the Digibox in the first place and you may have to stick to S-Video (SKY+ only) or Composite (a waste of time).

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. sberemski

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    I was hoping to run sky through a pc using a TVIN card and then output the video signal to the plasma using the DVI connection of the video card.
     
  7. fishyuk

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    If you intend to use the PC a lot with your new screen then you are better off looking at a large screen LCD. I've just evaluated a Samsung 29" LCD (now discontinued and replaced by a 32" version) along with my HTPC and it was fantastic.

    PC connection was native WXGA (1280x768) to the DVI input of the Samsung. PC display and games were incredible. I use showshifter to run a DVB TV card and play my videos. Setting a 150% Dpi in the display tab made all windows text readable at around 10ft without going to a lower resolution.

    TV was acceptable but DVD output was exceptionally crisp.

    If the PC is only for occasional use and TV is the priority then you are probably better off with the plasma. If you do get the plasma and want to try out a PC DVD player then I recommend you download the showshifter demo from:

    Showshifter

    It has aspect ratio correction options inlcuding one for connection to Plasma Screens and normal CRT TVs so your image won't look stretched.

    For those with Home Theatre PC setups like my own I can strongly recommend the Samsung LCDs. The one downside was that xbox games looked blocky via the Scart as they are too low res. The single DVI connector and no DSUB rules out getting a high res Xbox to DSUB cable, but the 32" model has DNIe that supposedly improves lower res images.

    Alex
     
  8. sberemski

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    I was actually thinking of inputting TV channels through the PC and out to the plasma using DVI. Is there a site where I could see photos of how a DVI pc output looks on a 42 inch plasma?
     
  9. Branxx

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    I am quite convinced that you have a wrong plasma model for what you are trying to achieve. Windows bases PC and non-square pixels are very incompatible.

    On the connection front, any PC with DVI video card would connect to DVI of your plasma, there is not much to it, but you will not like what comes on the screen.
     
  10. sberemski

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    So do you recommend that I connect Sky to the plasma seperately, and then have the media PC connected to the PC just when i want to use it?

    Are there any photos which show how a DVI outputed image from a PC looks on a plama screen?

    Just how good is the image going to be if one connects a PC to plasma? They do it in conference rooms dont they?
     
  11. Branxx

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    Videos coming from PC would be much better than what is coming through s-video or composite video inputs.

    I use Fujitsu 50" plasma exlusively via HTPC (I don;t use Sky only Freeview) and the picture quality is astonishing.

    I have not reason to believe anything less can be achieved with a PC and your plasma except from the picture geometry problem. When PC thinks it is drawing a perfect circle on the screen, you will see it as an elipse, i.e. the high of the circel for its displayed widths will be in ratio 1:1.33.

    I know PowerDVD, TheaterTek and DigiTV can compensate for this, all other Windos' programs, including the desktop. I use those players with my projector and anamorphic lens which result in reates exactly the same effect as your plastma, i.e. projectors square pixels become non-squared when they appear on the projection screen.

    In order for Sky TV images to be processed by a PC you need to check if dScaler application can handle non-square pixels.

    I could not find any photos of DVI outputed image by check this article.
     
  12. sberemski

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    I assume that by this you mean that video which comes into the PC through the TVIN and then out to the plasma through DVI is going to be poorer quality?


    Is there any way of overcoming the picture geometry problem? Just how serious is this when non video (i.e destop content) is being outputted from the PC DVI to the plasma?




    What does this mean? Does it have something to do with my TV card supporting a SKY signal?


    I am thinking of building my own mediapc with the following components:

    SoundBlaster Audigy 2ZS ----> Creative Gigaworks 7.1 speakers
    (will the sound quality provided by this been good enough?)

    Video card: Either a Radeon All in Wonder card with DVI output or a normal radeon ( fanless) with a dedicated TV card.
    (which solution is better?)
     
  13. Branxx

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    Video that comes into PC needs application like dScaler to make something that once it comes via DVI will be better looking than if the same signal is to come into plasma directly.

    The geometry problem is probably most irritating for video material unless you like people looking really fat and cheeky (their width extended).

    There is no Pc based TV that I know of that supports Sky satellite signal beyond free to air programs. Sky never released CAM modules required to access their encrypted transition. I think this is total not starter. The only way is to get s-video out of Sky didgibox into a PC and than out via DVI --> dScaler again.

    If this is not what you had in mind originally you need to reappraise your video system set-up. I hope you are not committed to the screen yet as this would be the first component I will consider alternatives. Look for plasma screen where the quoted native resolution is the same as the physical aspect ratio,. Screen that are advertised as 16:9 should not have resolutions like 1024x768, 1280x768, but rather 1024x576 or 1280x720.

    Radeon All-in-wonder has built in TV receiver to terrestrial analogue signal only. There is no way it can receive Sky channels.

    I have no experience with Creative Gigaworks 7.1 speakers. Someone else care to comment?
     
  14. sberemski

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    I have not commited to a screen at all!

    I think I have changed my setup so that the SKY video signal goes straight to the plasma via SCART. The SKY audio signal goes to the SoundBlaster Audigy via optical cable and then out to the speakers.

    I will still have a DVI output going to the plasma. How have you connected your media pc to your plasma? Do you now suffer the same problems (stretched image)? If so, how did you solve them (to Branxx)
     
  15. Branxx

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    My plasma’s resolution is 1366x768 which is exactly 16:9 so the additional problems with non-square pixels are not present.

    I’ve created a custom resolution for my video card to exactly match the plasma’s resolution (well not exactly by 2 pixels, the video card thinks it is 1368x768 as the numbers have to be divisible by 8). HTPC is connected via VGA port and the plasma synch perfectly without any clock or phase errors. The only advantage of DVI is that it does not suffer clock / phase errors like VGA can.

    On the projector with anamorphic les the non-square pixels are handled by setting PowerDVD to compensate for it. I don’t watch Sky so I never tried if a similar solution exists for external sources.
     
  16. RickA

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    Hi,
    I have a Pioneer 434 Plasma TV and would like to connect my laptop computer to the TV. I have connnected via a s-video link to the Media Receiver and there is no picture on TV screen on input 4. I have also pressed the PC button on handset and got caption saying PC in top right of screen. Please can anyone advise what else I need to do. Thanks Rick
     
  17. brethy

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    do you have the 15 pin sockets at both ends to link a vga lead?
     
  18. Joe Fernand

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    RickA

    If for some strange reason you have to use S-Video between your laptop and the Media Box (which is bound to look poor as Video Out on most Laptop's is not brilliant) you have to select Input 4 on the Media Box then ensure your laptop is configured to output via its S-Video port, most probably not its default state.

    As brethy says far better to get an HD15 to HD15 VGA cable between the laptop and the Media Box and then select PC on the Media Box - again you will usually have to 'Toggle' the external monitor VGA output to 'on' in your laptop settings. (My Compaq uses the Function (FN) + F4 keys).

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  19. RickA

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    Hi Joe,

    Thanks was only going to try to use s video cable because I have one! I will get the HD 15 to HD15 VGA cable you suggested I have Compaq Presario 2100 and there is a little blue TV box under f5 so I guess I use fn and f5. Will get cable and try tomorrow. Thanks again

    Rick
     
  20. sberemski

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    Do you know where I can find screen which can do this(I am looking for a 42 inch plasma)? I know how to edit the resolution of the graphics card.
     
  21. Branxx

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    I found this site that lists plasma resolutions.

    As far as I can see, the only 42" 16:9 plasma with square pixels are 852x480 models.
     
  22. sberemski

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    Would the Pioneer 433 MXE @ 1024 x 768 work? Thats a computer resolution? How do you find out if plasmas have square pixels?
     
  23. philipb

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    Maybe this is the time for somebody who is struggling along with a poor old Pioneer 433MXE plasma with strange non-square pixels feeding it Sky stuff via a HCPC (I can give you all the details if you want) to stick in his twopennorth.

    I love it - great PQ and if the picture is distorted I'm not aware of it. As ever it is the evidence of your own eyes which matters most.

    BTW - don't assume a DVI feed is always superior to VGA just because its digital v. analogue. Its a close run thing, but I just about prefer VGA over DVI on the 433 and I think other screens may be the same. Also the DVI output is not well implemented on some graphics cards.
     
  24. Branxx

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    To find out if a particular model has non-square pixel you can apply the following test:
    • divide the quoted native screen horizontal resolution with the vertical resolution. For example in the case of Pioneer 433MXE that means 1024:768=1.3333.
    • Divide the quoted aspect ration of the plasma. For Pioneer 433MXE this is 16:9=1.7778.
    • if the result from the both divisions is equal to at least 2 decimals the screen has SQUARE PIXELS. For example 1.3333 IS NOT EQUAL to 1.778, i.e. Pioneer 433 MXE does not have SQUARE pixels.
     
  25. sberemski

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    How are you feeding sky into your PC? Do you have a seperate cards for TVIN and DVI/VGA out?

    Could you take a photo of Sky being shown on your plasma from you pc?
     

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