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Factors Affecting Video Playback Quality???

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by felix_li, May 25, 2005.

  1. felix_li

    felix_li
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    Hi all,

    In the DVD player world, there're some factors affecting the video playback quality, e.g. speed & brand of video decoder 12bits/216MHz, DVDO, etc.

    How about in HTPC world, e.g. CPU speed, video card, playback software etc.? And, is there any "video playback enhancer" software available doing some sort of re-samplings, re-solution upscale, etc.?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    hi felix,

    there are several things that can affect DVD playback qulaity in a PC. The video card is one of the biggest, the quality of hardware it has, the type of connection you use will both influence what you see. The current best choice for a mainstream card is (as far as I'm aware) the nvidia 6600GT range. These have the lastest hardware for decoding and post processing DVDs.

    The other big difference comes with the software you use, different dvd player programs give markedly different picture quality. I've just bought the latest version of theatertek (v2.1.1) which is the best I've seen on my system. This uses the lastest nvidia DVD codecs which will work with other video cards also (I use them with my radeon 9600se and they work fine, I just can't use some of the fancy post processing options that I could if I bought a new 6600).

    The other thing you can do to enhance DVD playback is use an independant post-processor like ffdshow, this is quite complicated to setup but gives an abundance of features for tweaking various aspects of the picture, including things like sophisticated scaling. This is where components like CPU and memory come in, the better they are the more ffdshow filters you can run without the video stuttering.

    hth
    owain
     
  3. felix_li

    felix_li
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    Hi Owain,

    Thanks for your reply. It's very useful for a beginner like me to start with.

    BTW, you mentioned "post processing" of DVD. Would you kindly quote some examples?
     
  4. owain_thomas

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    post processing is something done after the image has been extracted from the DVD and before it gets displayed. It is basically done to improve the perceived image quality. FFDshow is the only post processing app that I have any real experience of but with it you can do things like resize the DVD picture, sharpen it, remove noise from it, deinterlace it, lots of things really. The main ones I used to use were resize and sharpen. Now that I've got theatertek I find that I don't really need ffdshow any more as the picture from TT and the nvidia decoders is so good.

    The nvidia cards have hardware based post processing functions which I'm afraid I don't know an awful lot about as I don't yet have one, the things they would do would be along the same lines as what ffdshow does I would imagine.

    hth, any other questions just ask :)
    owain
     
  5. felix_li

    felix_li
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    HI Owain,

    Thanks again.

    Final few questions:
    1. How about DivX and Xvid? Does Threatertek support these formats and does the ffdshow help as well?
    2. How about the audio support? I find the Threatertek website it supports various audio formats. Will these formats be passed via S/PDIF to the AV/amp?
     
  6. owain_thomas

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    Do you know, I've not tried any mpeg4 stuff with TT so I'm not sure, I will do later and get back to you. If TT accepts them then you can use ffdshow with it to enhance them. If TT doesn't then you could use ffdshow with zoomplayer and this definitely plays them.

    TT has very good audio decoders and I use these through the analogue outputs of my soundcard directly to my amp. if you just want to pass digital sound via s/pdif then you can buy the cheaper version of TT without the advanced audio pack.
     

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