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Scientific Alantic 3100HD converter and 480p??

Old 07-08-02, 03:50 PM
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Scientific Alantic 3100HD converter and 480p??

SA 3100HD and 480P

I just found out the TW Cable is offering HDTV in NYC, but they told me that the 3100HD will only officially support 1080i.

What would happen if I plugged in the component cables to my 480P Fujitsu plasma set? Will there be a noticable improvement or no picture at all?
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Old 07-08-02, 06:29 PM
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Probably wouldn't sync up at all since it definately is 1080i coming out of the component jacks.

jr
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Old 07-08-02, 08:22 PM
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Is there a way to "down convert" it to 480P?
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Old 07-08-02, 08:30 PM
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Not sure if anyone makes a convertor box like that. Probably not since there wouldn't be a big market for it. Are you sure the component inputs on your plasma are 480P only? What is the model number?

jr
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Old 07-08-02, 08:37 PM
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Its the Fujitsu 4203.
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Old 07-08-02, 08:48 PM
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What is the best way to take full advantage of 480p, if that is the highest level the 4203 has. Is an external line doubler worth getting?
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Old 07-08-02, 08:54 PM
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Ok, your set can take an HDTV signal but you have to input it through the VGA (DB-15) input. The 3100HD box only outputs component so you will need a component to RGBHV transcoder.
This Audio Authority model HERE is inexpensive and works very well.

Your set doesn't have enough pixels to fully resolve the HDTV picture but it will still look very good.

jr
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Old 07-08-02, 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by skinsfan
What is the best way to take full advantage of 480p, if that is the highest level the 4203 has. Is an external line doubler worth getting?
Do you sit close enough to the screen to be able to see the scan lines? If not then you don't need a doubler. If you watch a lot of DVDs you might consider getting a progressive DVD player since they are getting very cheap now (much cheaper than a decent line doubler).

jr
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Old 07-08-02, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Ok, your set can take an HDTV signal but you have to input it through the VGA (DB-15) input. The 3100HD box only outputs component so you will need a component to RGBHV transcoder.

AWESOME!! That's great, I'll order it tomorrow. Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-08-02, 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by skinsfan
Quote:
Ok, your set can take an HDTV signal but you have to input it through the VGA (DB-15) input. The 3100HD box only outputs component so you will need a component to RGBHV transcoder.

AWESOME!! That's great, I'll order it tomorrow. Thanks for your help.
After checking around some more I can't find anyone that is using that set for HDTV. There are a few people at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/ who have owned them. You may want to go to the plasma forum there and ask if anyone has had success inputting HDTV before you spend any money.

jr
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Old 07-09-02, 04:15 AM
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There are devices out there in the pro and commercial field called image scalers. The word scaler (in this context) generally refers to a product that has the flexibility of converting a signal up or down in resolution. The other type of product would be a down-converter. You obviously want one that is adaptable for component video. Some of these will only work in the HD15 arena.

A company that is very well known for its switching and converting boxes is Extron. It is a staple name on the pro side of things and they have an excellent and legendary knowledge database on their website www.extron.com . Ther are dozens of other manufacturers as well. Check in your area, there should be a pro A/V house in your region that should easily be able to help you out. If not, post it and I can make a few suggestions.
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Old 07-09-02, 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by John Richmond


After checking around some more I can't find anyone that is using that set for HDTV. There are a few people at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/ who have owned them. You may want to go to the plasma forum there and ask if anyone has had success inputting HDTV before you spend any money.

jr
After checking with these folks, the jury is still out, but encouraged. They directed me to Key Digital transcoder which will take 1080i input. I spoke to Key and they tell me it will work, but some of the board members are still sceptical.

The installation is on July 26th, stay tuned...
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Old 07-09-02, 12:46 PM
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That Key Digital transcoder won't do any better of a job than that AudioAuthority one I linked to yesterday. The only difference would be the Key costs more.

jr
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Old 07-09-02, 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by John Richmond
That Key Digital transcoder won't do any better of a job than that AudioAuthority one I linked to yesterday. The only difference would be the Key costs more.

jr
That's not good!!! The one that you linked me to didn't mention that it could accept 1080i. At any rate, I appreciate all of your help. I'm still skeptical, but keeping my fingers crossed.

I'm really dissapointed with both SA and Fujitsu, you would think companies of their size would have product hotlines!!
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Old 07-09-02, 06:20 PM
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Knockout blow came this afternoon, after I finally got the number for technical support!! The tech said, he really wasn't sure, but he didn't think it would be close to HD quality.

He said I'd get an output and it might be, but I don't feel like spending $400 to find out.

Thanks again for your thoughts
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Old 07-10-02, 08:49 AM
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Unfortunately you have hit upon one of the drawbacks to plasma technology. Like LCD products, plasmas have a native resolution. Regardless of the source they are only capable of producing a single resolution. Everything else from a standard 480i signal to a high-def 1080 signal must be up- or down-converted to fit the native resolution, in your case it's 852x480 for your model. Basically, 480p is as good as it gets. Even if you get a scan converter or image scaler, it will convert the 1080 signal to 480p.
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Old 07-10-02, 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by macsax
Unfortunately you have hit upon one of the drawbacks to plasma technology. Like LCD products, plasmas have a native resolution. Regardless of the source they are only capable of producing a single resolution. Everything else from a standard 480i signal to a high-def 1080 signal must be up- or down-converted to fit the native resolution, in your case it's 852x480 for your model. Basically, 480p is as good as it gets. Even if you get a scan converter or image scaler, it will convert the 1080 signal to 480p.
I'm told that this TV has a very poor internal doubler. Is there a cheap (<$400) way to improve it?
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Old 07-10-02, 11:54 AM
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Just to make sure we are on the same page: Because there is rarely any information to the contrary, most people are under the misconception that a line doubler takes a 480 line image and makes it a higher resolution 960 line image. What actually happens is it converts a 480i image into a 480p image. It is called a doubler because an interlaced picture produces odd scan lines (half the picture, or 240 lines) on 1/60th second and even on the next 1/60th making a full frame every 1/30th. When you convert an interlaced picture into progressive you are doubling the lines produced at any given moment.

That being said, does the picture look bad to you when your are watching standard broadcasts or VHS tapes? Another effective test is to check with your DVD player. See if your player will simultaneously send video over composite and component connections (most will). If it does, simply make both connections to the plasma, switch between the inputs and compare picture quality. If your composite signal looks definitively worse to you, then a line doubler would be in order. I'll need to do some checking around. I haven't looked at the price of strictly line-doublers in a while.

Shawn
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Old 07-10-02, 02:43 PM
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That diagnostic was a great suggestion. The verdict is that the picture from my Toshiba 5700 progressive is better than from the s-video interlaced, but not wildly so.

The big issue that I've got is that different channels look significantly different within the digital cable. The movie stations (HBO, Showtime,...) are generally very clear, similar to the DVD. The lower stations, including the newtworks, are pretty much a mixed bag-not overly sharp.

That's what started me on this quest. My thoughts were that if I got the HD box from TWC that it would "tighten the picture".

What do you think I should do?
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Old 07-10-02, 02:57 PM
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Well, for one thing, the HD box from TWC would only help the picture (minimally on your set) on the few HD channels that they have. All the rest would look the same as what you are getting now.

jr
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Old 07-11-02, 03:24 AM
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I've got digital cable as well and I have noticed quite a bit of digital artifacting, mostly pixilation of the picture where I can see a bunch of blocks. The rub of this is it's the digital compression the cable system is using and they can vary the compression rate from channel to channel. So essentially, it's not anything on your end. As to whether changing to the HD box will correct this: Probably, on the programs that are broadcast in high def, but those are few and far between and you will still see problems on everything else.
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