Andy's HTPC

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Andy's HTPC

Postby asc99c on Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:02 pm

Finally got my new TV just as I was finishing getting XLobby into a format I like. It's all up and running 'live' now. Just pondering now whether to go for Sky HD ...

Image

Check it out here http://andyc.ac/htpc/
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Postby P3rv3rt B3ar on Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:10 pm

Running at that resolution, the edges are cut off the image so it has to be cut back to 1824 x 1028.


Ehh?? one word: WARRANTY!
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Postby asc99c on Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:30 pm

Seems to be a 'standard' feature of HDMI stuff, I was expecting the problem anyway. Most shops I've visited with PCs hooked up to TVs like this have the problem, and 'HDTV Resize' is a standard feature of the nVidia drivers. I've also seen many reviews of BluRay / HD-DVD players complaining at an estimated 5% image being cropped which sounds like the same problem.

Wish I knew the solution...
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Postby P3rv3rt B3ar on Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:24 pm

asc99c wrote:Seems to be a 'standard' feature of HDMI stuff


I think u better go to the salesperson who told u that, and stuff that set to his/hers ar$e sideways...

I was expecting the problem anyway.


:shock:
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Postby Marbles_00 on Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:53 pm

Most TVs overscan the image. The main purpose of this is to eleviate the wide open standards of the broadcasting companies. Here's a WIKI post on overscaning worth a read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overscan

The other thing are that manufactures are very devious in their specifications. One will say that their set is HDTV ready. You would think that this means that the set is capable of displaying 1080i or 720p. Well it may accept that resolution, only to downconvert the resolution to what the TV can actually display (Samsung's are notorious for this). Here's a .pdf specification of one of their TV's. Though it can accept 1080i, if you look at the first line IN BOLD it indicates its max resolution is 1366x768...which doesn't quite work out to 16x9 (close by rounding numbers).

It not unusual to have to tweak your video card settings to display images properly. nVidia has this built in, and I think ATI Catalyst drivers have multi-resolutions and tweaks built in as well. You can also use Powerstrip, which works rather nicely to further tweak the image.
Image
Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

Xlobby Free Zone
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Postby P3rv3rt B3ar on Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:25 pm

Marbles,

I might reveal my ignorance here... but where does scanning insert to the picture? COMP->HDMI->LCD set... sounds totally digital chain to me...
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Postby Marbles_00 on Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:54 pm

It doesn't matter if its digital or analog stream. It is totally up to the TV itself and how the image is displayed. All TV's (analog and digital) will have some overscanning (5% and up) no matter what the medium input is.

Most television display manufacturers "overscan" the pictures on their displays (CRTs and PDPs, LCDs etc.), so that the effective on-screen picture may be reduced from 720×576(480) to 680×550(450), for example. The size of the invisible area somewhat depends on the display device. HD televisions do this as well to a similar extent.


Taken from this Wiki page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Display_resolution

Or even better article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overscan_amounts

And even another one:
http://www.digitalfaq.com/dvdguides/cap ... m#overscan

Hey, I have to admit, it is a very confusing subject. We all want the best out of our investments, this along with de-interlacing, and all the other jargon can get pretty confusing. I'm only learning this now as I have a RPTV Panasonic that is supposed to be 1920x1080i, only to find out that I have to down-scale the resolution to get my computer image to display on the screen properly. Sucks...and rest assured, I'll be looking more at the specifications on my next purchases.

Oh, and Andy, nice clean setup by the way. What was the ball park figure you paid for your HTPC?
Image
Mayhem Creations
where my:
    -Music Distribution
    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

Xlobby Free Zone
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Postby defrag on Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:05 pm

hmm, have you tried setting the pc output to the resolution of your tv? Have you a VGA or better still a DVi input? You would at least get a decent image and let your video card handle scaling the video. My 32" has a resolution of 1366x768 which I match (well I get 1360) through my nvidia card. The picture is very sharp.

I also have Sky+, check my set up on this list to see how I have got it all together.
XPro - The Widescreen 1360x768 Skin
xWOL2 - Wake On Lan Plugin with Network Monitoring
xLiveShout - Live Shoutcast Browser Plugin
My HTPC
Image
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Postby asc99c on Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:13 am

The resolution of the TV is a full 1920x1080. With the 1824 resolution, you can even see where the pixels are being doubled up to get to 1920. It wasn't a salesman who convinced me this was the general case. I had a play about with a similar setup in a Sony shop, and with a Toshiba TV and unknown PC, and both had the same problem. Once you've got XLobby / video being shown, it's not noticeable though. I don't think it's worth worrying about for video - it's only when you drop back to windows explorer that you can tell.

The total for the HTPC is around £500. £160 was the case / remote, which in the end I wasn't too impressed with, although I still really like the look of it. The other expensive bit was the CPU at £150.

Thanks for the articles on overscanning. It's something I'd heard of before but it never occurred to me that digital TVs did it also, even with a digital signal. I'll have a check whether there's a way around that somehow.
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Postby asc99c on Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:21 pm

Marbles you're a genius! I sifted for five minutes through the manual and found the TV does have an 'underscan' mode in which it doesn't do the overscanning. There's a button on the remote to toggle the modes. Proper full HD is now working great!

To be honest there's not a noticeable difference with video (from what I've tried so far), but text looks a lot better.
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