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Xcard / Sweetspot or Transcoder ???

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Atari, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Atari

    Atari
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    I would like to know what people here think about the benefits of the Xcard and the Sweetspot cards. People say that with a good ATI card that you can get a very good picture for Projector etc. so would you need these additional cards.

    I currently have an Panasonic AE300 and I am wanting to connect my HTPC via component to my projector. I have looked at both the Xcard and the sweetspot , but think that a trancoder might be a better solution (and a bit cheaper). I have even seen details of how to build one for around 55 pounds.

    many thanks

    Atari
     
  2. Alex Simon

    Alex Simon
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    Hi there
    I'm confused as to why you wouldn't use the DVI/VGA formats to connect your HTPC to AE300.
    I know that the AE300 has problems accepting a native resolution, but VGA/DVI would still be the easiest way to connect them.

    If you do need to use Component, then SweetSpot isn't absolutely necessary as Xcard can output Component at HD resolutions itself.
    SweetSpot would help, however, with getting all your other video sources into one interface (DScaler) in the best possible way if you find a way of converting the output of your PC to Component.

    Hope that helps
    Alex
     
  3. Atari

    Atari
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    Alex

    Many thanks for your reply. My HTPC is at the moment in another room and I am switching my video inputs through a Yamaha RX-V630RDS and this only has component inputs/outputs. If I ran a VGA/DVI cable this would have to over 10M and add more cables to our already crowded living room (I am at the moment using component over CAT 5 because of the distance).

    I really wanted to know if there were significant advantages with the Xcard and Sweetspot over the output from my AT Radeon 9600.

    many thanks

    Atari
     
  4. Alex Simon

    Alex Simon
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    Hi Atari
    In a situation where you were using Xcard to output Component then SweetSpot would have no function (Xcard would essentially behave like a standalone DVD player that could output HD resolutions).

    If you transcoded the VGA from your Radeon card to Component using a very high quality transcoder that kept the HD resolutions intact then using SweetSpot+Xcard would see an improvement over a directly connected DVD player.

    If DVD was the only use for your HTPC then I would think that you *might* get better value for money using a software DVD player instead of the SweetSpot+Xcard combo. TheaterTek for example.

    However if you also wanted to connect other analogue sources (SKY, consoles, Freeview, etc) and see them in the best possible way on your projector then SweetSpot in your HTPC is perfect for what you need.

    Hope that helped
    Xcard is always a difficult thing to explain - so feel free to ask more questions:)

    Alex
     

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