Dscaler / ffdshow with Freeview?


Standard Member
I've had a PJ / HTPC for a while, capturing SKY+ via Svideo and using Dscaler.

I'm just about to buy a 37" LCD and I'm thinking for certain viewing, I could maybe extract more quality by missing out the analog step and using a freeview card. Really all I have in mind is the F1 racing...

I'm currently using a PBTV100 and an ATI x1600 Pro. I would get a Sweetspot for RGB but with Sky HD looming large I don't think I'll get much use out of it.

So I guess given you can choose an Mpeg2 decoder for Freeview, you should also have the ability to add ffdshow to the chain? Sky+ has the chroma bug, so that is something I could certainly avoid using Freeview HTPC.

I think I remember reading a while back Dscaler team were looking at DVB-T support but it doesn't seem to have come about..?

Is this worth while or would the difference between this and capturing from Sky+ be too small?

I don't have much experience with Freeview, I've been a Sky+ lover a long time but what I have seen of Freeview has really impressed me..(for what it is)


Distinguished Member
I don't think HD is exactly round the corner, and you may get good mileage with a sweetspot. Results differ, but some report better freeview results using a digibox and sweetspot, than DVB-T cards - mainly because of the advantage of using dscaler to deinterlace. And the results from sky+ would benefit too.

Although it is almost certainly possible, I've not heard much talk of using a DVB-T card and ffdshow. The advantage of the DVB-T card is that it is a digital signal end-to-end - there is no analogue conversion, so it should be broadcast quality (ie. approaching DVD levels).

But not all DVB-T cards are alike, in terms of the supplied software, and some do a better job of deinterlacing than others. I'm quite happy with my Nebula card and software, but in theory I may be able to squeeze more picture quality out of it, if I were to invest effort in trying to use different mpg decoders and perhaps ffdshow. But I don't considered it worth the effort, so far. (and my PC probably isn't up to the job anyway).

One thing to bear in mind is that for fast action sport (F1 racing), you really need good deinterlacing, and digital signals can sometimes be quite blocky or fuzzy in motion scenes. Dscaler is as good it gets for deinterlacing - which is an option you may not get with a DVB-T card (the dscaler mpg directshow filter isn't ready for prime-time yet, but the dscaler capture software certainly is).

On the other hand, the BBC are talking about HD transmission tests on freeview this year, and Nebula are proposing to support it.

Confusing isn't it?:)

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