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HTPC set-up tips

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Mr.D, Jan 17, 2001.

  1. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Ok I've got a fairly hi-spec PC and I'm getting frankly rubbish dvd playback. (I suspect its a W2K problem). I have a geforce2 GTS type card but powerdvd will not enable hardware acceleration (this is a W2K issue). However I'm positive given the spec of the machine it should be top notch in software anyway: (900MHz Tbird with 512M ram : dvd is a memorex combi DVD/CDRW drive)

    Anyone know a good source of info for setting up HTPC dvd playback properly and for prog and scaling issues.
     
  2. Branxx

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    Apart from DD/DTS pass-thru everyting else should work well in W2K (at least it works for me).

    What is the exact nature of your problem(s)?

    One of the best source of information on HTPC's is AVSForum.


    [This message has been edited by Branxx (edited 17-01-2001).]
     
  3. HT Dude

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    I found that I had to install the latest NVidia drivers and then run Power DVD's calibration program before hardware acceleration would be enabled.
     
  4. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Running 6.31 on the card at the moment (slightly better performance over the Asus driver but I lose the capture functionality)

    I'll put the latest Nvidia driver on when I get time (7.17 is it?).

    However I'd have thought the core machine is more than adequate to handle dvd decoding in software. It posterises It drops frames. I get bad decoding errors: ghosts (when they run through the trees in gladiator) .

    I may play around with the refresh (currently at 85Hz) I thought it defaulted to 72Hz at 1024x768 on playback but I'll check. I can imagine its doing some weird interpolation to meet the 85Hz refresh rate. I've been going fullscreen from the desktop which is set a 1600x1200 32bit colour at 85Hz. I'll try dropping it down to 1024x768 at 72Hz in 16bit and see but I kinda thought this would happen when I went fullscreen through the player software anyway.
     
  5. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    It's running the Power DVD calibration test which did the trick.
     
  6. ReTrO

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    I would run the res. at 1280 x 1024 personally, since that is the one they use in digital cinemas.

    Rick

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  7. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Yeah but thats not derived from a 720x486 (thereabouts) image. Its 1280x1024 at its base res already. I was under the impression the scale to 1024x768 was the neatest one for anamorphic. Certainly in the horizontal and it pads with black in the y axis so it doesn't matter.

    I'm assuming I can get the calibration program form the powerdvd site???
     
  8. Guest

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    Mr. D,

    Don't you run the calibration tests from the System Diagnostic tool that installs into the same folder as PowerDVD?

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  9. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I'll have a shufty thanks. I got the powerdvd (V2.55 I think) with the card and its got zilch documentation with it. The readme is very basic also.

    I've seen reports that powerdvd doesn't utilise the motion compensation abilites on the Geforce2 GTS though. How true??

    I'll fiddle around this weekend.
     
  10. Branxx

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    Mr.D

    Your machine is powerful enough to run PowerDVD with or without hardware acceleration. When I tested this feature on my Piii 800MHz is had 60% processor utilization without acceleration and about 45%. The picture looked slightly better with hardware acceleration ticked off, so I left it like that.

    Trivial point: do you have DMA enabled for you DVD drive?
     
  11. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Thats what I'd thought. I've since been reading that the theoretical quality ceiling is higher with software rather than hardware anyway (software algorythms stay optimised whilst the hardware gets obsolete)

    DMA is enabled in the Drive controller options. There is no DMA option in the CD-rom drive properties (this is either W2K , normal, or screwed! Still looking)

    I couldn't find a calibration program anywhere in the cyberlink dir. Any idea what its called?
     
  12. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    They use 1280 x 1024 pixel resolution at D-Cinema's as that is the native resolution of the DMD arrays used in the projectors.

    I'll leave sorting out the PC stuff to you guys though!

    Gordon

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