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Tips request for Dscaling

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Mr.D, Jul 28, 2002.

  1. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    My HTPC is running nicely now using Theatertek.
    I want to look into using Dscaler with a capture card for analogue sources. These being DTV (courtesy of digibox) consoles (PS2 and Xbox) and possibly an SVHS deck (low priority as I've used it about 10 times in 2years but you never know.

    The plan is to keep all these sources going as RGB for normal TV duties (same room as PJ) and use an RGB to s-video convertor and some switching boxes to change between sources feeding the convertor. ( I already sort of do this for feeding the svhs deck when necessary so I'm effectively just adding a couple of inputs to the convertor and sending the svideo to the HTPC instead of the SVHS deck). Good thing with this technique is that I can still choose to send RGB to the normal TV when I wish from any of these sources (this keeps things neat and tidy for the kids and the missus)

    I've been looking at video capture cards and I'm not prepared to spend out on the falcon just yet so I was looking at a pinnacle rave card or similar but I'm having problems verifying that these cards have an s-video input.

    The pinnacle rave card people on here talk about is I'm assuming the PCTV rave card but again I can't find any reference to anything other than a composite input.

    Anyone set me straight?? I'm dying to play Halo 9ft across.
     
  2. NickBull

    NickBull
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    I have a pinnacle Rave card, dirt cheap and it does have composite and SVIDEO inputs.

    I placed it in the PCI slot furthest from any fans to avoid noise from other components, and I 'shielded' it with a sandwich of tin foil and card in an A5 envelope. The noise isn't too bad at all. I hardly use any noise reduction in Dscaler.

    The best bet is to download the Adaptive noise reduction filters. These can be searched for on AVSFORUM. These are more subtle and give a better immage than the other filters.

    It's definately worth a try for the sake of £30-odd pounds. I did find that VHS wasn't brilliant, but SVHS should be a lot better. Laserdisc can look pretty good and when I use a stand alone Sony DVD player, the results are fantastic.

    I use a Video sender and Composite for Sky, and this is not ideal, but the results for Rugby League (all I watch) are better than the local pub's big screen. I think the way you plan to do it would give you a very good picture, limited only by the quality of the Digital TV picture. (this can be poor and it shows on a big screen!)
     
  3. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Cool bought a PCTV rave this afternoon : just need a new 3way switchbox and a long s-video lead and I'm sorted. Halo 7 feet wide grrrrrr! Corrie 9 feet wide ughhhh!

    Just installed it piece of cake no problems. Dscaler works fine. Very little noise to speak off (s-video from my standalone panny A350). Calibrated it using the optimode off phantom menace region2 be interesting to see what it makes of digital terrestrial TV and xbox ( and PS2 when I get bored).

    Colour looks a little bit pasty relative to internal TT playback and the picture is definitely softer but its certainly very watchable.

    Now off to find all those custom filters and deinterlacing routines!
     
  4. NickBull

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    There's so much adjustment that it can take a while to get things right. I messed about for ages with the video settings before I got the clolours to look pretty ok.

    There's a lot I don't understand, but people on here do!

    Perseverence pays dividends though, so stick at it and you should be impressed!

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  5. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Well spent last night watching DTV 9 feet wide. Had a quick play with the advanced deinterlacing options in dscaler and promptly made the picture lousy so back to the defaults.

    Overall its pretty good : works fine and dandy on film based stuff ( octopussy on ITV) Not bad on video still some hairies appearing every so often ( its cool changing channel and watching the deinterlace method switch from film to video a few seconds later).

    No dropped frames no posterisation : some blocking but suspect its the source. Pretty good on fast motion. (its better than Theatertek at dealing with video based material thats for sure)

    Colour is a little bit pasty: I auto calibrated to the Phantom Menace optimode and was within 4 stars of optimum or better on all parameters ( whatever that proves) but I did find the colour a little pasty and flat but put this down to the s-video source.

    Little bit of video noise (patterning) the temporal noise filter didn't really help too much will try the adaptive: suspect the convoluted signal path rather than the capture card as straight dvd in via s-video (rather than converted from RGB by the convertor) was clean.

    Played Halo on the Xbox for half an hour : picture OK the Xbox shows what looked like phase errors(flickering fine horizontal striations) but it wasn't too obvious at normal viewing distances. Again colour a bit pasty. I did get nauseous so it wasn't exactly the great gaming experience I was expecting. Also there is a slight delay caused by the PC relative to the Xbox which although not evident as an audi sync issue with any source did become perceptable when playing the Xbox ( found myself overcorrecting ever so slightly all the time). Maybe this can be lessened by dropping to a different deinterlace algorythm ( was on video high motion I suspect ,although the Xbox might be frame based)

    For 30 quid ( not including sundry items such as cabling and switchboxes and convertor) its a pretty good solution. ( the missus enjoyed watching Octopussy on the big screen anyway)
     
  6. NickBull

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    If you have a long SVIDEO lead it may be causing a problems, I think it was Roland B4 who said that long SVIDEO runs can have quite hign degredation.

    However, the fact that it is only a £30 card is probably the main cause. Someone told me the Falcon's main benefit is better colour depth and vividnes!!! I only use mine for sports and LD, and my LD player is bust at the moment anyway, got some output circuit problem, I'll try it again once it's fixed!

    Nick
     
  7. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    s-video lead is 5 metres but its a very good quality cable . Its OK though. i might invest in a falcon or similar at some point
     
  8. Timh

    Timh
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    I am also using a Rave tv card connected up to a rgb/svideo convertor from my Sky box, I find the picture very good using the adaptive filter and greedy 2 frame, I just have a faint horizontal banding which I need to erase, probably by trying the sandwich method mentioned by Nick.

    I watched LOTR last night from my Toshiba 510 in progressive scan, the picture didn't look quite as good as the rave card, this was down to seeing scaling being done on my AE100 PJ, I could see some faint vertical lines on sky scenes, I really need to get a decent sound card and use my PC for dvd playback.
     
  9. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Timh

    Did you ever get round to that review of The Time Machine, or did I miss it?
     
  10. Timh

    Timh
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    Garrett

    Ooooppps.. I forgot. I will try and post a short review on the dvd sction later tonight. Pushed for time at the mo.
     
  11. Kramer

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    So you find my settings good then!

    I also had/have this Tim.

    The "sandwich" method didn't work for me, but I found that earthing my digibox really helped.
    Digiboxes are double insulated, meaning only two wire connection (L&N). Try fitting an earth wire to the casing of the digibox & then to your plugtop (earth pin).

    I still have a very ocasional horizontal ripple, but I reckon it's mains induced as the supply fluctuates, & a 5m cable doesn't help!

    I'd definately try this B4 the sandwich, which made no difference.

    Try the S-video out from your Toshiba into PC & use dscaler - I'll bet your surprised by how good it looks!

    I'd say this is the vertical banding issue loads suffer from, certainly me anyhow.

    Slight darkened "lines", evenly spaced across the picture, visible on bright scenes (eg. sky).

    Unfortunately nothing will get rid of this, not even a HTPC (probably even makes it worse due to the "pixel perfect" clean feed).

    It's inherent in this & many other LCD PJs. A filter is said to reduce it however, but I can't confirm this as the filter I ordered 4mths ago still hasn't arrived :mad:

    Chat soon ;)
     
  12. Timh

    Timh
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    Kramer

    Yes.. I find your settings very good, I also stopped the judder by ticking the Judder Terminator under the deinterlace section.

    I made a sandwitch last night, I will test it later with Enterprise, this seems to show the effect quite clear as its a dark programme.
    If it fails I will certainly try earthing my Digi box (Sony) whats yours?
    I sounds like you think the effect is caused by the Sky box then?
    I sure will :)

    Whats this filter then, sounds interesting.

    Cheers :)
     
  13. Timh

    Timh
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    Hi Kramer

    The sandwich failed so I will be earthing by digi box tomorrow.

    Cheers
     
  14. Kramer

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    Tim,

    I thought so.

    Hope my earthing solution is more sucessfull.
     

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