Home Theater Notes

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Designing my HDTV / Home Theater

Trying to capture my thoughts and requirements for building a home theater.

  • 60" or larger HDTV, probably rear projection
  • PlayStation 2 with 1080i component out
  • XBOX 360 with 1080p component out, maybe HDMI later
  • Probably eventually a PS3 instead of PS2 with component out
  • DishNetwork HD satellite receiver with PVR; HDMI out
  • Home Theater PC: probably a laptop with VGA out to start with; also DVI out
  • OTA antenna for HD and digital locals
  • A stand that will hold all this with glass doors for IR-controlled components, and other doors that close to hide junk

Among other things, this means is that the TV itself isn't going to be doing very much up-scaling or de-interlacing of 480i content: the satellite receiver or DVD player/game system will be doing that. Not sure yet about 3:2 pulldown, whether the players will do that or the TV will.

This means the TV I choose has to have these inputs:

  • Two component inputs on the back accepting 1080p
  • Two HDMI inputs on the back with 1080p
  • VGA or DVI-to-HDMI input that can accept 1080p and fill the screen with it, ideally with 1:1 pixel ratio (why do these losers insist on overcscanning and rescaling digital content that's already made up of pixels?)

Which TVs meet these criteria?

  • The Mitsubishi line passes, but 1080p isn't available on component, only HDMI.
  • The Samsung 61" passes these tests.
  • Toshiba fails completely - no 1080p input at all.
  • Sony XBR2 probably does fine. (But what about the Green Blob?)

Things to buy/prepare

PS2 component-out cable
Premium bundle with component cable, wireless controller, larger hard disk, maybe HD-DVD player. Actually needs to use VGA to get 1080p from an HD-DVD.
DishNetwork equipment
HD receiver $199 lease fee including a local installer's visit; HD programming (pick a package!)
HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) connections
DVI to HDMI converter, for feeding DVI to display; otherwise just VGA from laptop to display
OTA antenna for digital and HD channels
Radio Shack has indoor antennas, Samsung TV has an amplifier inside if needed

Get cables at www.monoprice.com - somebody said good prices and no performance problems.

Another vendor for cables that's well-regarded in the AVS forums is Blue Jeans Cables.

Samsung HL-S6188W (WX?)

This is probably going to be the TV that I get in January.

  • 2x component in on back (that take 1080p?)
  • PC in
  • 2x HDMI in, one of which takes DVI also and has separate audio inputs. But the manual says this is not compatible with a PC ?!
  • Analog audio out connectors are not active unless you mute the TV. This is a shame: you can't connect to an external audio system but then use it only when you want, just by turning the volume all the way down. The optical audio out is always active.


Here are the calibration packages ratings: http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/...ation_tools.htm

There is a $25 calibration disk that you download and burn as an image to a DVD. GetGray's Calibration Disk. It's at www.calibrate.tv and the thread about it is at or near this posting.

See my notes in f:\apratt\hdtv\calibtraion.txt on the main computer.

AVSForum has a calibration DVD available but it might be too "easy" and not "confusing."

There's another product at "Spyder" reviewed here.

For those who wish to learn and perform their own calibration: http://usa.gretagmacbethstore.com/i...Display%202.htm  considered not a bad hardware and software package for $249 MSRP!

A posting on AVS about using the DVE disc for user calibration: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=8986054&&#post8986054

The highest rated user calibration package is the ColorEyes Display Bundle 3.2:
and cost about $325 MSRP

If you can burn an HD-DVD, there might be something at by dr1394 in www.avsforum.com, post6049851 (but I didn't record what thread), with a link to a disc image here: http://www.w6rz.net/hdtestpatterns.zip




This page was last edited April 26, 2008.