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Auto PAL/NTSC refresh switching - DVDautorefresh

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Rob.Screene, Feb 24, 2002.

  1. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    DVDautorefresh is a simple utility I've written. It seems to work beautifully for me, put a DVD in and it swaps HTPC resolutions and refresh rates seamlessly, automatically before my DVD player (TheaterTek1.1) is open.

    It also uses the NTSC/PAL flag on each DVD and isn't bound to any region assumptions.

    There are currently two very minor cosmetic issues in the ReleaseNotes and they are nothing to worry about. I think it's ready for for a small beta test

    If you're interested, please see http://jump.to/dvdautorefresh
    for documentation and a download of the setup package. Please email be using dvdautorefresh@jump.to to let me know what you've run it on and how you got on, see the ReleaseNotes link for an idea of what testing I've been doing and format of response I'm looking for.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  2. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Hi Rob
    Sounds cool
    What does it do to change the refresh.
    My settings only live on desktop icons which trigger Powerstrip.
    Can your utility be used hand in hand with this?
     
  3. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Yes, absolutely.

    It uses Powerstrip itself. In fact it does exactly what you would do manually, calling one of the PowerStrip shortcuts to load up a powerstrip saved setting.

    One-off 4 step setup:

    a) User your desktop shortcut to set your fav PAL/Region2 PowerStrip profile and then save that as dvdPAL
    b) Do the same for your fav NTSC/Region1 setting and save that as dvdNTSC
    c) Download SetupDVDautorefresh.msi and run it install it.
    d) Under Start, Programs, DVDautorefresh, open DVDautorefresh.
    You should see the Options form appear:
    [​IMG]

    That's it, you don't even need to click anything on the form. You'll most probably be fine with the default settings, unless you installed PowerStrip somwhere than it's default under c:\program files\Powerstrip.

    Insert any disc and DVDautorefresh will minimise and call-up your PowerStrip profile automatically, while your DVD player is opening.

    You should never have to open or look ad DVDautorefresh ever again.

    When you start your HTPC it will autorun and be minimised, sitting there watching for new DVD's to be inserted.

    It's beautiful being able to insert and DVD without looking and the Barco text flashes 71.928 or 75 at the bottom to show the refresh rate was changed, just before TheaterTek opens.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  4. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Nice one Rob - I'll try it over the weekend
    Cheers
    Alex
     
  5. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    DVDautorefresh v1.1 is now tested and available. :)

    Imagine it like an automatic setting in a scaler, such as a Rock+ which automatically switches output refresh rate between 75 and 71.9 depending on the disc being played :blush:

    This v1.1 adds a system tray icon to ckeep your taskbar tidy and fixes an annoyance in the setup on Win2000 and Win XP where Windows XP and Windows 2000 users were told "Configuring DVDautorefresh" for about 10 seconds.

    It's pretty much all there now, unless I hear of any horrible bugs but I really doubt it. It's been tested on WinME/TT1.1, WinXP/Pdvd4 and Win2000/WinDVD2000.

    Anyone with an earlier release is strongly advised to uninstall that before installing 1.1. Let's keep those HTPC's clean people!
    See http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rob.screene/DVDautorefresh for the kit and updated documentation.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Rob,

    You are selling yourself short, the Rock+ can't even switch between PAL and NTSC automatically let alone the refresh rate.

    Jeff
     
  7. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Excellent job Rob:D
    I haven't tried it yet but your web page explains everything really well.
    Nice to see my question on there already:D
    It's great to see things like this being done by avforums members that specifically target the needs of us PAL users.

    DScaler is already set to trigger my PAL 75 setting so I'm pretty much sorted.
    Just thought - Damn! - that means I have to redesign my interface - removing the NTSC/PAL buttons :rolleyes:

    Well done
    Alex
     
  8. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    No redesigns required.

    You'll need PAL video/camera and NTSC video/camera buttons!

    If the DVD is not film source, I think if it's properly deinterlaced, PAL will need 50/100Hz and NTSC will need 59.<mumble> respectively!

    I assume that 50 half-fields per second video deinterlaces to 50 frames per second out to the overlay?

    Can anyone from the dScaler team confirm how this works with deinterlacing a 50 fields per second video source:
    a) with dScaler
    b) a PC DVD player when playing camera/interlaced material.

    cheers,
    Rob.
     
  9. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Ah - is pal not 25 fps then? If it is 50 then you're right.
    Yes, just thought - my import consoles will need an NTSC 60.
    I thought I could get away with it as I have no video NTSC dvds.
    I guess I'll need the same number of buttons - just label them differently.
    Cheers
    Alex
     
  10. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    It depends!

    Because PAL is interlaced, you only get all the even or all the odd scanlines, it swaps between them 50 times a second. Hence you get 25 even scanlines and 25 odd scanlines drawn per second.

    With films on PAL it's simple each even and odd pair represent on film frame (which was slightly sped-up when recorded) to match 25fps. dScaler notices that and calls it 2:2 pulldown. It would then only need to be output to the overlay 25 times per second.

    The issue (for all 100Hz TV's too!) is that for non-film source "camera" stuff (like a football match) is that each and every one of the 50 fields in each second are from a different point in time, no two are from a same film frame. If de-interlaced to progresive scan to get rid of the even/odd interlacing I sure this would have to be output 50 times per second.

    What does dScaler and software players do with this issue?
    Rob.
     
  11. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    For PAL film stuff DScaler outputs 25fps as said above

    For video stuff it outputs 50 progressive frames per second so for smoooth motion you ought to use 50 or 100 however 75 works pretty well in my experience.

    John
     
  12. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Thanks John
    I've been running at 75 for sky and have never noticed any judder.
    I guess I can get away with just one button now for NTSC 60.
     
  13. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I noticed two issues last night, while watching Dances With Wolves (PAL/R2)

    1. It was recognised as NTSC. This is the first disc of 10 tests to get it wrong. I will manually check the .IFO file to see if the disc is flagged properly. [update; checked and the disc is incorrectly mastered, having a 0 at 100h in VIDEO_TS.IFO means NTSC! according to the DVD-Video standard]

    2. General question, this disc appears jumpy and occasionally line structure is visible (which I haven't seen before with my setup). I assumed that it was poorly encoded, so I tried it from my Playstation2 via dScaler. That couldn't find any 2:2 film mode either and stayed in Greedy 2 frame until I decoded TheaterTek looked just as good. It was strange to see juddering as I haven't seen that for a good while on any other film on the HTPC! :D

    3. I can't get the right-click pop-up meny for DVDautorefresh to appear on my HTPC. It works before and it still fine on the Win2000 and WinXP test machines. Anyone else noticed this? :confused:

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  14. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I completed testing of a significant new release of DVDautorefresh 1.1(11) and it is available for download at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rob.screene/DVDautorefresh

    If you don't know, this simple utility can call Powerstrip or Girder appropriately when PAL or NTSCdiscs are inserted into the HTPC.

    This allows you to get your resolution and refresh rate perfect for both region 1 discs and others.

    I think this is a must have for CRT projector HTPC users.

    The FAQ page now includes such things as how to use two refresh rates that share the same resolution and how to call Girder remote control events on disc insert.

    1.1(11) Added read of [Corrections] from a DVDautorefresh.ini file for incorrectly mastered discs, such as PAL Dances With Wolves R2 (see the FAQ).
    Added change of icon to a right hand when a PAL disc is found.
    Added Fixes for WinMe - did not reliably detect disc inserts, Right click on system tray icon does not give right-click menu. No way to restore form without using task manager to end task and re-running - all fixed now.

    regards,
    Rob.
    [Moved to keep thread context]
     
  15. NickBull

    NickBull
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    A very usefull side effect of using this untility is that if you mess up powerstrip settings and get a possitive synce so the CRT won't display screen, all you have to do is inset a DVD and it will switch to the PS settings that can be displayed. No more lugging a 17inch monitor into the HC room to reset things.

    This utility is great, it has revolutionised the way I use my HTPC, not it starts up in TT player, is remote controled and i don't have to see a desktop ever! How cool?
     
  16. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    Thanks Nick.

    I also like to use BZiconhider which moves the cursor off screen after a couple of seconds. I think this is very important for CRT users, although TheaterTek seems better at hiding the cursor than other players.

    This, Girder and a black desktop pretty much hides the WinME desktop. I replaced the MyComputer logo with a faint, dark DTS icon (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rob.screene/HTPClogos/dts red digitalsurround grey.bmp), renamed SCALER computer name to a single space! and used Microsift's tweekUI to hide all the others.

    A replacement C:\LOGO.SYS (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rob.screene/HTPClogos/LOGO.SYS) bitmap replaces the Windows startup with a THX, DD and DTS logo.
     

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