Hooking up a projector to HDMI
December 27, 2008 12:47 AM   Subscribe

Audiovisual question. What will happen if I plug the HDMI output of a Sony Playstation 3 to the DVI port of this max. 1280x1024 pixel LCD projector? I would of course have a HDMI-DVI cable. Will I be able to display 720p or 1080i stuff? And if it doesn't work, are there devices out there that downsample HD so I can use the projector for pseudo-HD movies and games? I really do not want to buy an HDTV. If it matters, a PDF manual for the projector (2.2 MB) is here.
posted by crapmatic to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It will take a DVI/HDMI lead (the video portion of both specs is the same, HDMI has audio+DRM extra).

A 1280x1024 display will allow you to display 720p natively, which is 1280x720. You'll want to switch it to 16x9 mode (widescreen) to have the ratio right, that's under setup/picture/screen aspect according to your manual.

It doesn't specify if it will handle 1080i/1080p or not (1920x1080), but assuming it does, it will have to scale it down to 1280x720 or 1280x1024 anyway, so just set your PS3 to 720p and you should be fine.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:55 AM on December 27, 2008

For what it's worth, I use a cheap projector for 720p playback on my 360, projected on a blank wall. It's bloody brilliant for gaming and films. The main limitation is you can't effectively use it in the day; even with a relatively high lumens, the colours are very washed out and the blacks well, aren't, so we use the HD TV for that.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:58 AM on December 27, 2008

At the very least a PS3 can output 480p over HDMI. So if you can't get the widescreen setting working on your PJ you can fall back to that. PS3 resolutions.
posted by travis08 at 2:01 AM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: It will take a DVI/HDMI lead (the video portion of both specs is the same, HDMI has audio+DRM extra).

Just wanted clarification on this -- I don't understand what "DVI/HDMI lead" is or if I picked the wrong cable. Thanks for answers so far.. 720p is good news.
posted by crapmatic at 2:17 AM on December 27, 2008

According to the link, the projector won't take 480p or 480i inputs.

The cable you have linked is the correct one, but the potential problem I can see is HDCP - High Def Copy Protection - that forms part of the HDMI spec. Since the projector won't support HDCP protected connections (I assume, anyway, based on the 2000-2003 production run dates), the PS3 may refuse to output at high def - most likely blu-ray movies won't work, I don't know if games will work or not.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 3:45 AM on December 27, 2008

you have the right cable HDMI-DVI. 720p will be best. I don't know if you will be able to watch blue-ray, unless the projector is HDCP compatible. (Encryption, so we can't copy blue-ray to something distributable). I'm not sure if the ps3 games require an HDCP compatible display. Worst case, you can run everything in 480p, over the same cable.

Have fun.
posted by defcom1 at 4:19 AM on December 27, 2008

duh. refresh. preview. what Nice Guy Mike said.
posted by defcom1 at 4:20 AM on December 27, 2008

PS3 games do not require HDCP compatibility for 1080p, it's just for Blu-ray. (Before I had my HDMI cable, I was using Sony's component cables, and was getting 1080p from my games but not my movies.)
posted by Remy at 7:33 AM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: I've got to worry about HDCP for perfectly legal Blu-Ray movies I rent from Netflix!? This is fricking ridiculous. Well, in that case, can I stick a HDCP stripper inline through to watch movies with this projector? Do they still work, or will the PS3 refuse them?
posted by crapmatic at 9:47 AM on December 27, 2008

You've got the right cable. You can do 720p. Just set the PS3 to output at 720p, and all is well; although the bitch of it is that if that projector won't take 480[i|p] then you'll have trouble selecting the proper video resolution--try using a regular TV to setup the video.

I've got to worry about HDCP for perfectly legal Blu-Ray movies I rent from Netflix!?

Well, yeah... that's what DRM is. Restrictions on what you can physically do with your perfectly legal media. If you don't like it, pirate your movies. You'll get them totally free of DRM, and you can actually use them as you'd like.

Your games will work fine. On the couple of 1080p games out there (most are 720p), you can get the top resolution with just component cables if you wanted. There is *no* video protection on video games.

BluRay's won't play without HDCP, though. They absolutely must have an HDCP-compliant display. There's no workaround on the PS3 side, as it's implemented in the HDMI hardware itself.

As for HDCP strippers. Probably not. Did you read the first hit of your search? It basically says everything I'm about to.

1) I don't know of an HDCP strippers on the market in the US. They directly contravene the DMCA, which means that anybody selling them here would wind up in legal hot shit. Furthermore, the license agreement that a company signs when it implements HDCP specifically says that it's not allowed to resend unprotected digital content. A company can't get the decrypt chips without that they agree not to help you.

2) The historical examples I can find were massively expensive. Expensive enough that you can buy a medium-sized 720p LCD at WalMart for the same price.

3) The HDCP standard includes the ability to revoke decryption keys. Furthermore, as I understand it, the video content itself has the ability to include revoked keys. This means that if you own a stripper, you might suddenly find one day that your $700 converter box no longer works with any new movies you buy. It should continue working with older movies that have worked before; but, new stuff won't play.
posted by Netzapper at 11:32 AM on December 27, 2008

HD Fury is what you need, no one will come busting down your door. You can get it for a hair above $200, a lot of people are in your boat, buying a projector that is not HDCP compliant. I believe the device does not actually "strip" the HDCP, but completes the HDCP handshake.
posted by geoff. at 11:51 AM on December 27, 2008

@geoff: All of the "HDCP strippers" implement the HDCP standard ("complete the handshake"), and then pass along the video. Including the HD Fury.

That one is definitely cheaper than the versions I found from a couple years ago.

However, and I cannot emphasize this enough, the HD Fury is violating the DMCA and the HDCP license agreement--it is sending full-resolution, unprotected content after removing the encryption. Nobody is going to come after you if you have one, but they will eventually go after the company that makes the HD Fury.

At that point, they will revoke the HD Fury's decryption keys. That revocation note will make it on to all future BluRay discs. None of those discs will allow the PS3 to export video to the HD Fury; they will not play.

So, it's a pretty good fix if you're comfortable with it being temporary. At some point, who knows how long, it will stop working with new releases.
posted by Netzapper at 12:00 PM on December 27, 2008

Although DRM-enabled HDMI, i.e. HDCP, will be required for bluray playback in the future, the 'flag' that will downsample bluray films is not yet enabled on current bluray discs. Last I heard, the ICT flag (Image Constraint Token) won't be enabled until 2012, at which point analog and DVI output will only allow 540p, with higher resolutions available only when using HDCP HDMI connections.

At this point though, and for the next couple of years, you should be able to play rented bluray discs at 720p on your PS3 via the HDMI-DVI cable you listed, though that is obviously subject to change in the future.
posted by ArkhanJG at 5:57 PM on December 28, 2008

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