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Author Topic: Do I need a scaler?  (Read 2917 times)

Aaron McQueen

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Do I need a scaler?
« on: December 21, 2007, 11:27:32 am »

I've been asked to add a live feed of the service to our information plasma (Panasonic TH-42PH10UKA) in the lobby.  Easy enough, we already have a camera, a Canon GL2 and I already have cable path from the camera to the plasma.  The GL2 offers s-video and composite outputs.  For a quick test before I started pulling cable I ran an s-video cable from the camera out to the plasma.  The video didn't look that good.  The plasma has vga, component video, s-video, and composite inputs.  My question is, would I benefit from a s-video to vga or component video scaler?  How much improvement will I see?  Any suggestions on a scaler or other options?
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Brad Weber

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Re: Do I need a scaler?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2007, 12:35:19 pm »

Plasma, LCD or DLP displays actually scale composite and Y/C video internally, an external scaler would be replacing that internal scaler with a hopefully higher quality scaler that eliminates the internal scaling.  How much improvement you gain would vary, there should be some improvement but without spending some $$$ it might not be that dramatic.  Using the video output of the camera and then the video input on the plasma simply means a lot of processing of the signal occurring.

How far is the camera from the display?  That could also be a factor, especially if you used a smaller gage cable for the test.
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Brad Weber
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Derek Harkins

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Re: Do I need a scaler?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2007, 03:28:04 pm »

I agree what is the length of the Svid cable you may want to amp that.
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Do I need a scaler?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2007, 04:41:21 pm »

Quote:

How far is the camera from the display? That could also be a factor, especially if you used a smaller gage cable for the test.


Quote:

I agree what is the length of the Svid cable you may want to amp that.


I ran a 50ft cable down the hall to see what it looked like.  The actual cable path is longer, maybe 75ft.  I'll try a 6ft cable just so I can get a reference to what that will look like.  If it's acceptable than an amplifier is the way to go?
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Aaron McQueen

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Re: Do I need a scaler?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2007, 10:15:00 pm »

So, I didn't see much if any difference in the 6ft vs 50ft cable.  Am I just expecting too much out of a SD camera on an HD screen?
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Brad Weber

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Re: Do I need a scaler?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2007, 07:32:08 am »

With cost effective DV cameras some compromises have to be made for that cost and if the assumption is that users will usually use the DV output then the processing for the video outputs may be one area this happens.  You could look at the video output of the camera on a CRT monitor or TV as that should let you assess the quality of the video coming out of the camera.  If it looks good then the issue may indeed be with the scaling in the plasma and a good external scaler (Extron, Analog Way, TVOne, etc.) could help, but if the video looks bad coming out of the camera then a scaler won't fix that.

There is always the possibility that the problem is a combination of slightly questionable video to start with then some further minor degradation from the cable run and finally the impact of the internal scaler.  Each one by itself may be acceptable, but combined could be problematic.

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Brad Weber
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Re: Do I need a scaler?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2007, 07:32:08 am »


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