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hmm mot impressed with tv :-(

sparky1

Established Member
Hi all
Ive just completed my home build of my HTPC ive wanted to do this for so long i finally got the go ahead from th G'vnor.
ive made it up from bits laying around the house asus A8N-SLI Premium - 4200 x2 cpu - 2gig ram - new ati 4670 - dual dvb-s card ect..
the main reason for doing this was to replace sky+ and my tiring XBMC.
The music and movie side of things is great but the dreaded tv is nasty to say the least, its a pinnacle 7010x card with sat cable from dish into it, ive tried dvbviewer and vmc, vmc is nicer and more wifey friendly but on both the picture is not nice at all it looks like an old vcd pirated dvd stretched to fit the tv (panny 42" px80b) ive been messing on for days trying to get a decent picture, how can this be as through the sky box its perfect using the same dish and cable, this is not helping my cause to ditch sky+ the G'vnor aint having none of it :rotfl:
im using HDMI from the ATI card at 1280-720p res i think :) please help me out fella's BTW mediaportal doesnt support the pinnacle 7010x card :rolleyes:

Many thanks in advance

Mark
 

bushbrother

Established Member

sparky1

Established Member
ahh will have a look at your thread bushbrother when i installed it it said i didnt have ny hardware for tv :confused:
does your picture look ok then, as good as sky ?

thanks very much
 

sparky1

Established Member
wow yours looks fantastic with all the plugins installed, fanart , epg ect..
thats exactley how i want mine to look and operate.
guess i need to read up a bit more eh to get to that stage :rolleyes:

hows the recording part, does it work ok ? will my setup be sufficient for that?
 

bushbrother

Established Member
wow yours looks fantastic with all the plugins installed, fanart , epg ect..
thats exactley how i want mine to look and operate.
guess i need to read up a bit more eh to get to that stage :rolleyes:

hows the recording part, does it work ok ? will my setup be sufficient for that?

I think the real demand is not really on the processor if your GFX card supports HW Acceleration. Which card do you have? Im pretty sure it will be ok though as your CPU is powerful enough ...

Recording works fine, I use ForTheRecord (For The Record) as long as you follow the PDF instructions its all good. If you need a hand I am happy to help, just post your questions in my post as I check it more often ...

As for the picture, I never had a Sky subscription so cannot comment there, but I will say it definately depends on the channel, all the main Freeview type channels work fine, aswell as a fair few others, but some are fairly low quality broadcasts.
 
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jameson_uk

Prominent Member
Install the BlackGold drivers mentioned somewhere in here

I found they made the card more stable for Freeview with MP.

As for why you have bad picture quality, I am assuming this is across the board on DVB-Viewer / VMC etc ?? Is your TV showing that it is actually getting a 720p signal in??
 

sparky1

Established Member
bushbrother i have an ATI 4670 but to be honest im not to sure how to set it up to get the best out of it, its just on default settings at the moment :confused:
ive reinstalled MP but im not sure how to setup the tv server thing its asking for username and password ? do i use sql server 2005 or my sql 5 ? whatever they are :rotfl:

jameson_uk yep the tv shows 720p upon booting the pc ive tried all the resolutions upto 1080p they all work just naff picture in TV mode.

thanks for your help :thumbsup:
 

jameson_uk

Prominent Member
Have you tried with your PC attached to a monitor?? Is it just the whole thing is bad or is it mainly with your TV and HDMI?? (I know this might be difficuly as you are comparing a small monitor with a large TV but might give you an idea if it is setup or TV)

Failing that does your TV have a VGA input?? what does the signal look like via VGA?
 

sparky1

Established Member
thanks jameson_uk at the moment im experimenting with the settings in dvbviewer ie; changing which codecs to use, its looking better using the ATI decoder although a little too sharp which is causing outlines over emphasized ie faces have a high contrast edge ?

im stuck at the moment trying to set up this damn sql thing any ideas please ? as MP wont run it keeps crashing because the tv server isnt setup
 

jameson_uk

Prominent Member
im stuck at the moment trying to set up this damn sql thing any ideas please ? as MP wont run it keeps crashing because the tv server isnt setup
If you chose all the default options I think the username is sa and password is MediaPortal (case sensitive)
 

sparky1

Established Member
hi jameson_uk
Yep, well sort of ive gone back to trusty old Vista media centre as this works better and is definatley more wifey friendly, the Guide works, were as MP was very iffy and i kept getting crashes.
as much as id like to get it runing like bushbrother i think ive not got the patience to get it all squared up.
i think i maybe being too fussy comparing it to sky picture quality and there is some really awful channels on freesat :D but hey its free i suppose and when i setup both dvb-s ports hopefully i can get the recording sorted.

thanks again for your help
 

divil_a_bit

Standard Member
I have this card too and I'm getting fantastic picture quality (better than my Sky+ receiver).

This might be very obvious and you may have tried it, but I thought Id mention it anyway:
Green Button -> Settings -> TV -> Configure your TV or Monitor ...

This can make a HUGE difference to the quality of the picture.
 
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Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Though the videos used for display alignment in Vista Media Center can be less than helpful if you are aligning an HDMI display...

Here is my list of things I did to get decent quality TV in Vista Media Center :

1. Make sure that you are running your desktop at a 50Hz refresh rate for UK SD and HD TV and DVDs. (If you run at 60Hz or 72Hz etc. you'll get horrid motion judder)

2. If you are using a standard HDMI display via an HDMI output (or a DVI to HDMI adaptor supplied with your video card - but not a 3rd party model) then :
a) Ensure that Catalyst is configured for YCrCb Limited or RGB Limited output - and 4:4:4 is preferable to 4:2:2 (This setting is in pixel format)
b) You may find that to get consistent blacks (and not washed out colours and grey blacks) that you need to add the BT601CSC=1 registry setting. (*)

3. Check that you have recent Catalyst / ATI drivers - and that the de-interlacing mode is either automatic or Vector Adaptive. Decent video cards should support Vector Adaptive (the best de-interlacing method widely available in PC-land for native interlaced content)

4. If you are watching 1080p Blu-ray movies and your TV supports 24p - then configure your display for 23/23.98/23.976/24Hz - if your display doesn't have 24p support - or if the Blu-ray is 1080i - then configure your display for 59/59.94/60Hz. Again this will avoid motion judder.

5. If you find that 4:3 content is being stretched or 16:9 content is being squashed - check the zoom settings in INFO. I usually run on 1. - pillarbox - which should show 16:9 full-screen on a widescreen display (if Windows is configured with a 1920x1080, 1280x720, 1366x768 resolution) and 4:3 content pillarboxed not cropped/zoomed or stretched.

Checking that the BBC News Channel or Sky News ticker is smooth and doesn't judder or break up into lines is a good test for refresh rate and de-interlacing set-up. Looking at the black letterbox bars on show on one of the 4:3 channels like UKTV History or one of the music channels is a good test for black levels being right - they should be very similar to the black on the pillar box bars added by Media Center.

I have set-up three profiles in Catalyst - one for 1920x1080/50Hz, one for 1920x1080/60Hz and one for 1920x1080/24Hz - and I have set-up the Hot Key Manager to flip between them on ALT+5, ALT+6 and ALT+2.

(*) There is a bug in Windows spec for the EVR / Driver interaction (Extended Vista Renderer - the system that Vista uses to render video to your display) that means that SD and HD video is not handled consistently - meaning by default that you either get washed out video on DVDs/SD TV OR crushed blacks in HD Blu-rays etc. The BT601CSC=1 tweak forces the ATI drivers to treat SD and HD identically - meaning you get proper black levels for both video types.

This is partially caused by Microsoft dropping the ball with digital broadcast video standards (used for all digital SD and HD broadcast and all DVD/Blu-ray releases, and also for HDMI - but not always DVI) which use a 16-235 rather than 0-255 dynamic range - meaning black is at 16 and white at 235. (This is for very sensible quality preservation reasons)
 
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sparky1

Established Member
thanks very much for all your comments guys it seems to be better after messing with ATI ccc, too many settings in there :confused:
where im at now is a pretty good picture (not as good as sky) but the skin looks plastic close up like its having trouble showing detail.

is there any way i can record a bit then upload it somewhere to show you ?

all the best

Mark
 

sparky1

Established Member
OK update chaps

re-installed windows with just using

Haali splitter
xvid
powerdvd 8 ultra
Blackgold drivers

and thats it no CoreAvc - ffdshow ?

and the TV picture is brilliant using VMC im well chuffed, dont know what was causing the problem before ? im hoping i can live without ffdshow ?

cheers all
 

jameson_uk

Prominent Member
the TV picture is brilliant using VMC im well chuffed, dont know what was causing the problem before ? im hoping i can live without ffdshow ?
FFDShow is one of those things you should only install if you know you need it :rolleyes:

Many people suggest FFDShow as the solution to all problems and whilst it usually does solve problems it can cause others. The sheer volume of options etc in FFDShow in itself is frightening and it is not the most user friendly thing.

As you have seen, the codecs you have there are really all 99% of people use to get decent playback
 

sparky1

Established Member
had a bit of a problem playing an mkv file npthing would play it so installed vlc player this played it but wouldnt play with DTS sound, it was very stuttery (unwatchable) but ok with 2.0 stereo.
So installed KM Player using its own codecs and bingo all is good again :)
1 thing i had to do was install flash player using IE NOT firefox otherwise kept getting an error on starting/closing KM player saying clas not registered but fixed it with flash player install , weird 1 that :rolleyes:
 

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