how good should pic quality be?

cygnusx04

Active Member
I appreciate this is like asking how long a piece of string is ...... but.

Vista 32bit on Aopen EPC945GT-m8 using onboard GPX and 2GIG RAM + Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T-500.

the GPX card is outputing via SCART to my CRT TV.

The picture is slightly soft.

If i plug my Freeview box straight into the TV, then the picture is razor sharp.

Should Media Center be just as good? Or will there always be degradation of PQ? If so why?

I have a NVIDIA card i may use to replace the onboard INTEL GPX card, but then i will lose the SCART capability and will be forced to by an HD LCD. :eek:

thanks
 

cygnusx04

Active Member
Using the SCART it looks like it defaults to 576P - MC is configured to use SVIDEO and there is no resolution configuration here. If i try and change the connection type to DVI i can got up to 800X600 and 1024X768.

I will give them a go and see if i notice an improvement. Not really sure what resolution i should be using or what connection type.
 

TCM2007

Novice Member
If you're using SCART the output is probably composite video, or maybe S-Video, both of which do look softer than RGB which is what the Freevew box will be outputting.

When I had a CRT, I got MCE working with a graphics card which supported RGB and the qulaity leap was huge.
 

Pat Pucker

Standard Member
Interesting point, but I'm using HDMI from my MCE PC (720p) and Scart from my (ancient) ITV digital box - which one looks better? You guessed it - the freeview box. How can that be?
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
The MPEG2 codec makes a huge difference. Try Nvidia PureVideo and see if that helps.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
Did you say this is on a Vista PC?
:oops: Yes, the OP does say he's using Vista. I've found the built-in codec is really good in Vista, but I know that others have got PureVideo working.

I think that it's the Scart connection that's ultimately the problem. I bought an LCD TV because it had a VGA/DVI connection, not because I necessarily wanted HD.
 

julianmclean

Active Member
I've generally avoided any regular video standards - I'm using some small Relisys LCD screens that support VGA and the quality is fine from both PC and xbox 360. I'll be hooking another xbox 360 up to my Panasonic plasma this weekend, either by component or VGA, so ill see what the difference is like. If your in PC land I would say stick with the PC standards for video - i.e. VGA, DVI or HDMI on newer cards. Anything else wll usually have had to be converted somewhere along the line.
 

cygnusx04

Active Member
:confused: thanks for the replys.

kinda puts me in a dilemma. The pic quality i have no on my CRT is pretty good. I know if if i go to LCD i will be dissapointed with the freeview pq. However i kinda feel i have to go down the LCD route for my XBOX 360 and web surfing, pics ...etc. Plus my CRT just takes up too much room.

Just wish the LCD tech was better at the moment.

Also wondering whether this MCE machine was a waste of money. Perhaps i was better off getting sky HD + sky plus + an LCD. :confused:
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
Just wish the LCD tech was better at the moment.

Also wondering whether this MCE machine was a waste of money. Perhaps i was better off getting sky HD + sky plus + an LCD. :confused:
Some of the latest 1080 panels from Samsung etc are amazing and the price is getting lower every week.

If you worked out how much Sky HD and Sky+ are costing you over a year, then an MCE PC has got to be cheaper!
 

Pat Pucker

Standard Member
Hi Stiggy, thanks for response. Codecs was going to be my next port-of-call, can't remember what I originally installed, some freebies off the web I think. Is PureVideo available for free? Where might I find it? Thanks.

Sy
 

cygnusx04

Active Member
flicked the snooker on earlier and noticed that watching the run of the ball was really jerky. Have never noticed this before, but it was clear when watching the balls rolling round the table!!!! :mad:

is this a refresh rate related problem?? any clues?
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
What TV do you have and how are you connected? If it's an LCD via VGA (like me) you might be stuck at 60Hz.

To check the refresh rate (on MCE) run DXdiag and go to the last tab. You should see an Override setting which should be a multiple of 25Hz (50/75/100). Your TV and graphics card will have to support the refresh rate though!
 

jon_c0

Active Member
Is the 50Hz/60Hz distinction that obvious?

I'm starting to wonder if that's partly what I'm seeing. Horizontal pans are generally smooth (maybe some very slight judder) but appear to flicker when slower e.g. a football rolling fast is fine, but as it's speeding up/slowing down appears to flicker/judder in small amounts. I'm currently stuck at 60Hz as I'm using VGA to an LCD TV that doesn't support 50Hz at its native resolution, and all manner of fiddling with different MPEG decoders and hardware acceleration/deinterlacing settings doesn't seem to make this any better?
 

cygnusx04

Active Member
my Aopen machine uses the Intel 945GT chipset. It was outputting at 60Hz - my TV is 21" Hitachi CRT set, i'm guessing its running at 50hz.

I swapped the TV for an old Iiyama 19 inch CRT monitor last night. The picture quality was a big improvement, nice and sharp and the motion was almost perfect, the tiniest amount of jerkyness. I did notice again watching the snooker, when the cue was against the green table cloth, there was a slight amount of jagginess and almost a kind of interlacing effect.

I'd set the monitor to run at 75Hz.

Can someone explain to me what refresh you are supposed to run at with Media Center systems? I'm thinking of getting one of the new Samsung LCD models R87 or R88 - i want to ensure i've got my head round this whole refresh issue.

One option i do have is to get rid of the intel onboard graphics and replace with a nvidia 7300LE which i have unopened.
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
Can someone explain to me what refresh you are supposed to run at with Media Center systems? I'm thinking of getting one of the new Samsung LCD models R87 or R88 - i want to ensure i've got my head round this whole refresh issue.
There's a whole thread on the R87/R88 here on AVForums.

It's still 60Hz via VGA at 1360x768 but it does have a PC THEATRE MODE (whatever that is).

If you use DVI/HDMI you can force 720i/50 if your graphics card supports it.

Apologies if I've said this before, but I through all this before installing Nvidia PureVideo on MCE, and I've learned to live with the 50/60Hz issue.
 

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