[mythtv-users] 720p plasma with myth

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Fri Apr 30 19:03:28 UTC 2010

On 04/29/10 21:56, Joey Morris wrote:
> I'm considering buying a 42" 720p plasma TV to use primarily with
> Myth. The plasmas I'm considering have a native resolution of
> 1024x768. I have no experience setting up Myth with an HDTV, but after
> searching through the list archives I'm a little concerned I might run
> into some headaches.
> Specifically, I'm concerned about setting up the modelines correctly,
> dealing with overscan, losing quality because of scaling, and finding
> a Myth theme that works well at this resolution. Are my concerns
> warranted? I'm a bit out of my element, so I'm completely open to the
> possibility that I have no idea what I'm talking about. :-) Is anyone
> running Myth with a 1024x768 plasma and having a positive or negative
> experience with it?

I've got a 1360x768 LCD set. (The manual claims it's 1366x768, but when
I used a custom Modeline to get that resolution I found that it was
cropping the left or right side of the image by a few pixels, whereas
it's fine at 1360x768. Thus, I believe the specs in the manual are just
plain wrong.)

As just noted, I did fiddle around with custom Modelines when I first
set the thing up, but in the end I found that the default setting for
1360x768 worked fine. Since 1024x768 is a standard resolution, that
might work well; however, on a regular monitor that's usually a 4:3
aspect ratio, so you might need to override the aspect ratio setting in
MythTV. (I'm pretty sure there's an option for that somewhere, but I
don't recall precisely where it is.)

You may want to consider inputs. My TV has several -- VGA, HDMI,
component, S-Video, and maybe one or two others. Although my initial
intent was to use HDMI (via a DVI-to-HDMI cable), I found that this
worked poorly -- text-mode displays didn't work at all (during system
startup or when I switch to text mode via Ctrl+Alt+F1 to do some quick
text-mode task), and there was overscan in this mode. Thus, I'm using my
TV's VGA input, which works pretty well. The biggest problem with this
is that I've got fewer options for color adjustments in the TV, so I had
to fiddle around with the gamma settings in X to get the color balance
right. Of course, these details may be set-specific; HDMI/DVI might work
better than VGA with other sets.

Don't worry too much about the MythTV themes. As I understand it, they
get scaled to whatever resolution you're using, with high-resolution or
vector graphics and fonts as the starting point, so they should look
pretty good on any HD set, no matter what it's native resolution is.

Overall, I'd say you'll probably be fine. Just be sure you get something
that's flexible enough (lots of inputs, preferably with good control
over things like color balance, contrast, and brightness for all inputs)
and buy from a store with a good return policy so that you can return it
if it doesn't play nice with your MythTV system.

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