MediaPortal Bad DVD quality

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by Jimbob123, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    First off, when I look at pictures, play games, etc the graphics are clean and spot on.

    However, when I watch a Blu-ray in PowerDVD 7.3, it all appears grainy and dirty, if you know what I mean. However, I'm not even bothered about bluray yet.

    When watching a DVD is MediaPortal, the quality is unbearable. For a start, where it tries to put a film as 16:9, you get this stupid greying bands at the left and right of the screen. Also, the picture quality is absolutely rubbish! I have even followed several of the online upscaling tutorials.

    Some enhanced DVDs will not even play! They crash MediaPortal.

    I find it hard to swallow that a £1200 HTPC will not even display a DVD remotely good, let alone better than a £200 Tesco's jobbie!
     
  2. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    How is your PC connected to display?

    Not sure what you are saying about 16:9. Is your display 16:9 ? What codecs have you set for DVD playback in MP ?
     
  3. sparky1

    sparky1
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    hey Jimbob i had a lot of bother with mediaportal, it takes a whole lotta configuring in my opinion to get it spot on.
    i eventually wiped the whole lot off and started from scratch with just vista,km player, powerdvd8, haali splitter and xvid and thats it and touch wood all has been brill, picture spot on with VMC + KMPlayer.

    KM Player with its default codecs
    VMC just TvPack and MSDTVVDEC.DLL alterations ;)
    Powerdvd using default except using Hardware acceleration 'ATI'

    'havn't tried blu-ray yet'.

    Mark
     
  4. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    Cheers Mark,

    I had KMPLayer at first, but then did a fresh instal and used FFDShow instread, since everyone else seems to be recommending it.

    I'm using PowerDVD version 7.3, which came with my Blu-ray player.

    Jameson_uk,

    I'm connecting to my Sony KDL32S3000 using a DVI-i to HDMI cable, with S/PDif going down the HDMI cable. The resolution is 1360x768, my TV's native resolution.

    Like I said, images or games look spot on. It's just the video quality with DVD player. Particularly, aspect ratios.

    When I watch lost episodes (.mkv files using CoreAVC) the picture quality is now quite good.
     
  5. sparky1

    sparky1
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    i know just how you feel :suicide: you go round in circles trying everything then forget where you started :rotfl: well thats me anyway.
    i found coreavc to be my biggest problem it made people look like wax and plasticy if you know what i mean :rolleyes:

    Also i havn't installed any codec 'packs' or ffdshow and i cant fault my playback atm its pretty damn good considering, my only gripe is the noise, my setup sounds like its coming into land when playing a disc :rotfl:

    hope you get it sort jimbob , jameson_uk will sort it im sure :smashin:
     
  6. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    Have you tried using 720p output? or 1360x768 via VGA ?? I found that my Sony 32" V series actually looked better when fed throught the VGA input then via a DVI=>HDMI cable.

    Lots more questions :)

    Are you saying the PQ looks bad in PowerDVD as well as MP?
    Have you installed any other players or codecs (FFDShow, MPC etc) ?
    What operating system are you using?
    What graphics card are you using?

    Probably HD video. Do DVDs from another source (your £200 Tesco job) look ok? Are these upscaled via HDMI or not ?
     
  7. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    Thanks chaps,

    Here's an overview of my system at the moment:

    Display device: Sony KDL32S3000 HDTV (native resolution 1360x768).

    Computer:

    Processor: Q6600
    RAM: 2 GB Corsair
    GPU: Gigabyte 9800 GTX+ 1GB
    HD: 1.8TB RAID 1 disk, with a 250GB system partition and a 1.6 TB media partition
    620 Watt PSU


    Software:
    Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium
    Drivers, etc
    MediaPortal (StreamedMP skin)
    FFDshow
    CoreAVC
    AC3Filter
    Other system tools (Nvidia HUD, etc)
    I have tools like VideoRedo, Handbrake, DVDShrink, Daemon tools, etc for coding, coverting video, etc).

    At the moment (in MediaPortal settings) I have the DVD menu program as the default (DVD menu), the codec is "FFDShow" and the audio is "AC3Filter". The audio by the way sounds very good, its the video I'm having problems with. The colour is bad and the picture quality is like watching a VHS!

    My Lost video files are from DVD (MPEG 2) but have been reencoded.

    My DVDs look substantially better when viewed through my DVD player, which is the Sony upscaling DVD recorder/free view recorder jobbie (can't remember is name or model, but yes, it is upscaled to 720p).

    I tried setting the HD TV to 720p, but everything is overscanned and I haven't been able to sort that out so have stuck to 1360x768, as it works well with games as well.

    I have never heard of MPC.

    Cheers for helping chaps!
     
  8. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    Do you have any other options here other than FFDShow? Have you added any post-processing?

    Have you installed a 64 bit version of FFDShow or not? In fact any reason why you have gone 64 bit?

    I would try a different codec and see if that improves PQ. If that does not cut the mustard try uninstalling FFDShow. Might be nothing to do with it but worth eliminating this first
     
  9. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    Hi,

    I installed 64-bit vista because I originally had 4BGb or RAM, however one stick is dodgy and is being RTBed, so at the moment I only have 2Gb.

    I have a post processor installed, as per the guide below:

    ProjectHTPC - HTPC Software Advice

    64-bit Ffshow? I didn't know there was such thing!
     
  10. sparky1

    sparky1
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    hey jimbob
    Id start from scratch mate dont install anything and try to play all the stuff ur likely to use then install the basic codecs for the formats you use ie; like ive done because i think all these codecs and post processing is more trouble than its worth especially if you not sure what they do like me.
    try X86 vista too its much easier for drivers and software i believe.

    hope you get it sorted :smashin:
     
  11. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    Cheers mate, I think I will do this on Saturday.

    I'm thinking of using MeediOS now instead, as it looks quite good.

    I'll keep you all posted!
     
  12. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    Indeed. I think Meedio is the best of all front ends by a long way. Only problem is lack of TV support. If they ever do sort out getting the MP TV server to work with Meedios then I will probably be back there fairly pronto.
     
  13. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    ah, I don't have a TV card. I record my shows on my satellite reciever and then dump the files onto my HTPC to playback. So no TV support won't realy be a ploblem for me.

    I downloaded the instal file ready for this weekend! Do you know if they ever did an emulator plugin for it?
     
  14. Nokmondoo

    Nokmondoo
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    What is the general opinion on the best way to playback standard dvd's? I haven't been able to get anything to look as good or better than playing a dvd on my ps3.
     
  15. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    I am sure there is one (was there not one built in anyway?)

    http://www.meedios.com/OpenMAID/detail.php?plugin_id={E720C133-E7C4-40A9-85FF-22A76EF222CD}&search=emulator

    might do ?? There are also some importer plugins
     
  16. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    Could be a million and one things...

    The factors at play here are graphics cards (well how good they are at de-interlacing and scaling), codecs and players. You also have to consider things like how your PC is connected up to your TV
     
  17. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    From playing around with various things, including: PowerDVD 7.3, MediaPortal, KMPlayer I have found the main problem is noise/pixelation. I can get fairly okay colour, and good resolution and sharpness, but it's the noise that I can't seem to get rid of. It is much more noticable when viewing darker scenes, or scenes where there is a large patch of solid colour.

    Are there any other decent MPEG-2 codecs appart form KMPlayer and FFdshow that support overlays, post-processing, etc?
     
  18. Nokmondoo

    Nokmondoo
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    To try and give you a better idea what could be causing me problems -
    GPU - 8800GT
    PC -> PHD8 Panny Plasma via vga
    Players - BS Player / MediaPortal
    Codecs - CoreAVC, FFDShow

    Have you any suggestions I could try? :smashin:
     
  19. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    at what res and refresh rate? What is the native res of the panel? Are you noticing any overscan? It is possible that your Panny is not great with VGA input. Have you tried the DVI=>HDMI route?


    What have you set in FFDShow. My initial tinkering with FFDShow in an attempt at post-processing actually resulted in more noise and pixelation than when it was turned off :eek:

    In MP I take it you have FFDShow set as your MPEG2 codec then? Have you tried any of the others available to you? (If you are on Vista there is an MS one built in)
     
  20. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    Right! I now have a clean intal of Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, with NO codecs or third party media software.

    I plan to use Meedios, but I'm not sure what codecs I will need.

    I have CoreAVC and Haali media splitter. Is the Vista MPEG-2 decoder any good?

    Will KMPlayer have a decent codec? Can I use this as an external player?

    Does anyone know if Graph Edit has an official site?

    Thanks!
     
  21. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    The Vista MPEG2 codec seems fine from my limited testing (is only my desktop not on HTPC). The audio codec however does not deal with DTS only Dolby Digital.

    Think you can set this up as an external player fairly easily. What codecs are you looking for ? It is a real pain trying to figure out what exactly is included with KMPlayer. It certainly has some form of codecs / splitters etc but there is lots of mud-slinging about them violating GPL terms and including various bits of other peoples code. It would appear that whatever is included is not available as directshow filters so won't work in other apps

    No it doesn't. It is part of a huge Microsoft SDK but finding it through them is stupidly hard (not to mention a 300MB dowload or something)

    Google is your friend here :thumbsup: I believe there is a product called Graph Studio which is meant to do the same thing but I have never used that.
     
  22. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    Thanks for replying Jameson_uk,

    I am at a bit of a pickle...

    I basically have a clean slate.

    Following your advice you gave on another thread, I think I will try to get DVD compatability first. I have the PowerDVD 7.3 disk that came with my Blu-ray player. I will be using this to play my BDs and perhaps DVDs, should I intall this first of all, before adding any other codecs?

    Second, I want to be able to play my video files. Most of them are, and will be re-encoded MKV files (I used handbrake to encode TV episodes from DVD into .mkv files encoded as H.264 and have found them to be good quality). I plan to either play them in Meedios's built in player, if the quality is any good, or more likely, using a KMPlayer, as I will be able to configure good video quality before installing a front end. Previously, I used CoreAVC to decode these files and I was very happy with the quality. I also had a few trailers and clips as .mov files that played very nicely, although I'm not sure what codec.

    It was .avi files and DVDs that were playing badly using FFDshow, I think. But from reading what other people are writing, it would seem that FFDshow is great. Perhaps there was some kind of conflict.

    So basically, stage 1: get DVD and BD working good. stage 2: get video files and codecs working good. stage 3: get a front end running.

    By working good, I mean good image quality, colour etc.

    Thanks very much.
     
  23. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    It is a good plan. DVDs and BD are standards compliant as they are real and not knocked off :eek:

    Also DVD and BD should require the same decoding as most files (MPEG2, H264 and VC1).

    As for FFDShow, yeah it is great but it is also fairly complex. There is a real good chance than FFDShow can actually make things worse...
     
  24. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    Just played the THX sample scene from Cars in Windows Media Player before installing anything. The quality was very good.

    I then installed Cyberlink BD Solution, which has PowerDVD 7.3. I played the same scene from Cars using PowerDVD and the quality is still excelent. I then played Pirates of the Carribean - the new one - and the quality was absolutely $h!t hot! Miles better than before I went back to a clean install. I'm going to make a backup before doing anything else - whatever I installed before definately reduced the quality for my DVD and BD playback.

    Anyway, I'm off to have a pizza now and give it a rest for tonight, will report back tommorow!

    Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
  25. sparky1

    sparky1
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    thats great news Jimbob :thumbsup:
     
  26. Nokmondoo

    Nokmondoo
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    I've put video rendering for mpeg2 back to the built in mpvdecoder and it seems to have done the trick. For mkv i've adjusted settings in coreavc a bit (brightness -7, contrast +4) and they are looking superb. So hopefully alls well for the time being! Thanks
     

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