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View JPEG's on HDTV with media server (without computer)

Ted Eimon , May 06, 2007; 02:09 a.m.

I would like to view JPEG photos on a HDTV at the highest resolution possible but my laptop only has VGA output. So I'm thinking of using an AppleTV or other media server to connect to a HDTV using component cables. Problem is, when I've burned JPEG's to DVD and viewed them on a HDTV, or when I've connected the laptop directly to the HDTV via VGA-to-RCA composit video cable, the colors always seem bright and washed out. I read somewhere that this is because HDTV's display fewer/more colors than computer monitors? In any case, do the better media servers modify the color settings so that the JPEG's don't appear washed out?

Which media servers work well for viewing JPEG's in higher resolutions (720p or 1080p) on a HDTV?

The media servers I am contemplating are units that include their own HDD storage. These include: AppleTV, Mvix MV-4000U and Tvix HD M-4000. I'm also open to other suggestions.

Responses

Karim Ghantous , May 06, 2007; 02:27 a.m.

I'd suggest the Apple TV but of course you should check the specs on Apple's Web site before deciding.

I don't know why you're having these problems. I don't think that the HDTV displays fewer colours than a computer monitor. Or at least I've never heard that. Mind you I dislike the image quality of a lot of flat panel TVs - I am amazed at how poor the image can be considering the price you're paying.

Anyway, your TV may need to have its brightness and contrast adjusted when you view still image - different devices can give different outputs. Try different computers if you can, you might find some variations. But it seems that your TV's settings might be the quickest solution.

David McGee , May 06, 2007; 02:30 a.m.

I've been doing it with an AppleTV and couldn't be happier. I used to burn DVDs, but then I was putting a standard def DVD onto a HDTV, and it just never looked right. With the AppleTv, I get to see my stuff in HD. It's got a 40GB drive, which is plenty for showing some pics to family/clients. Just remember you need to sync it, it will not stream photos from a remote computer.

Hope that helps!

Benjamin Kux , May 06, 2007; 02:40 p.m.

Another vote for AppleTV: a breeze to set up, quality seems excellent on my Pioneer Plasma. As was mentioned before, streaming of photos is not possible. If 40gb of storage are not enough, there are plenty of instructions online on how to swap the build in hard disc for a bigger one, though.

Anthony Johns , May 06, 2007; 06:49 p.m.

See, that's the damn problem with computer to tv. They don't output the same black levels or color range. With a properly adjusted tv with ntsc smpte 75% color bars and a computer screen adjusted to them, the computer won't be able to exactly match the tv. When you use calibration software and then view color bars, they look a bit different than the ones on a tv in respect to luma. But adjusting your tv to ntsc smpte 75% color bars(what tv studios use) will get you as close as is possible in the general output. What I'm saying is, given a tv is adjusted, and a computer adjusted with software, the computer will not display the color bars exactly as the tv will even though theoretically they are calibrated to their standards. They differ in gama mainly.

Anthony Johns , May 06, 2007; 07:07 p.m.

Adjust your tv with these: You can read on the internet on how to use them. Basically you want the yellow like a lemon, not too orange or green. The plug bars should be set so that the right 11.5 one is just visible. The rest you should look up. Don't trust all the color bars you find in google as alot have been modifed. Don't send the color bars through any software like photoshop either. I've look through tons on the internet matching them to the standard color bars in video suites and these are the best that I've found. Good luck, Anthony


75% Saturation Color Bars

Ted Eimon , May 11, 2007; 02:04 p.m.

Thanks for all the input. I do have some more questions:

1. Has anyone used the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 to view photos? If so, how is photo quality on an HDTV? In terms of specs, these units can output video in 1080i as opposed to AppleTV's 720p.

2. Also, AppleTV only runs slide shows (sequentially displayes all photos in a folder) and will not allow you to view thumbnails or select individual photos for viewing out of order - a fatal flaw if you have large numbers of photos in a single folder. Do either the Xbox 360 or PS3 allow you to browse thumbnails and then select individual photos for viewing?

3. This is a rather minor point, but I assume it doesn't matter whether a media server's video output is interlaced or progressive when it comes to displaying still images?

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