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Thread: pvr150 picture quality

  1. #1
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    pvr150 picture quality

    Has anyone else besides me noticed lower picture quality from the pvr150, as compared side-by-side to a vcr tuner or the tv tuner? I notice the following: 1) fuzzy edges on objects in picture, 2) less detail such as wood grain on a park bench, 3) brightly colored objects are washed out or seem too bright, 4) picture seems to be less rich, 5) blacks are hard to distinguish in low light scenes(loss of detail in low light is very noticable), etc. My home theater system contains: yamaha rxv-2095 receiver(high end model) and a sony kv2781r trinitron tv. Does anyone have experience or any information on this?
    SirJYK

    Win XP Pro, SP2, PVR-150 capture card, Antec Solution Series case - NSK2400, Athlon 64 3Ghz, socket 754 90 nm, Asus K8N-VM, 2 gigs of ram, integrated audio, Nvidia 8800GT
    Waveland, MS USA

  2. #2
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    anyone?
    SirJYK

    Win XP Pro, SP2, PVR-150 capture card, Antec Solution Series case - NSK2400, Athlon 64 3Ghz, socket 754 90 nm, Asus K8N-VM, 2 gigs of ram, integrated audio, Nvidia 8800GT
    Waveland, MS USA

  3. #3
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    I have a similar problem (everything looks like it's behind a soft filter) but I don't think the PVR-150 is to blame. If I record a show with GBPVR, burn it to CD/DVD and then watch it on a regular DVD player, the quality is good, which indicates that the capture part is good. I'm assuming that the problem lies with my video card and/or my connection to the TV. I'm in the process of upgrading to a better card with component out connectors. Hopefully that will give me a picture closer in quality to my TV (and my Tivo) tuner.
    GBPVR v1.3.11 HVR-1250, ES7300, 4GB, GeForce 9300, LianLi, Vista.
    GBPVR v1.0.08 PVR-150, P4 2.26GHz, 1GB, GeForce 6200, Coupden, XP

    Author: UbuStream plugin, UbuRadio plugin, EPGExtra utility.

  4. #4
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    hmmmm.....i have a 7600gs. i think that should be sufficient, shouldn't it?
    SirJYK

    Win XP Pro, SP2, PVR-150 capture card, Antec Solution Series case - NSK2400, Athlon 64 3Ghz, socket 754 90 nm, Asus K8N-VM, 2 gigs of ram, integrated audio, Nvidia 8800GT
    Waveland, MS USA

  5. #5
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    let me clarify, 7600gs using the s-video out with an adapter to rca. the rca jack goes into the receiver.
    SirJYK

    Win XP Pro, SP2, PVR-150 capture card, Antec Solution Series case - NSK2400, Athlon 64 3Ghz, socket 754 90 nm, Asus K8N-VM, 2 gigs of ram, integrated audio, Nvidia 8800GT
    Waveland, MS USA

  6. #6
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    I have seen this too...

    I have had a similar problem as well. PVR150 outputting to SDTV through a nVidia FX5200 (Svideo). Though watchable for the most part, it is just not as sharp as viewing direct to TV. I suspect it is related to playback only and not capture. I have not found the magic combination of codecs and/or settings in hauppauge tweak tool. I am also running win2000 which may or may not be a factor.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac'sRock
    I suspect it is related to playback only and not capture. I have not found the magic combination of codecs and/or settings in hauppauge tweak tool.
    As I said above, you can test the capture quality by burning a recording to DVD (or VCD) and playing it on a regular DVD player. My take is that the PVR-150 does a pretty good job of capturing to MPEG2. Choice of video encoder codecs seems a matter of trial and error but I've finally settled on the InterVideo NonCSS Video Decoder that comes with the Hauppauge card as a "least worst" option. After much fiddling I've come to the conclusion that the tweak tool doesn't make a huge amount of difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirJYK
    hmmmm.....i have a 7600gs. i think that should be sufficient, shouldn't it?
    I don't think it's a question of "sufficient". To oversimplify a bit, it seems that there is no particular angle in throwing a very high end card with lots of bells and whistles at the problem, since these are optimized for 3D use (games, computer-aided-design, etc.) whereas GBPVR is only using the card's 2D capabilites. More important seems to be the chip the card is using for TV output, the kind of connectors on the card and the quality of the drivers for a given card. There are folks getting very high quality displays using a fairly inexpensive card but using a DVI connection, for instance. I don't have DVI on my TV so I'm hoping that switching from S-Video (I've tried composite RCA, too) to component will give me the best picture I can expect without upgrading the TV.

    If you search the forums you will find numerous threads discussing video cards and their merits for HTPC use. (This one, for instance).
    GBPVR v1.3.11 HVR-1250, ES7300, 4GB, GeForce 9300, LianLi, Vista.
    GBPVR v1.0.08 PVR-150, P4 2.26GHz, 1GB, GeForce 6200, Coupden, XP

    Author: UbuStream plugin, UbuRadio plugin, EPGExtra utility.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirJYK
    Has anyone else besides me noticed lower picture quality from the pvr150, as compared side-by-side to a vcr tuner or the tv tuner? I notice the following: 1) fuzzy edges on objects in picture, 2) less detail such as wood grain on a park bench, 3) brightly colored objects are washed out or seem too bright, 4) picture seems to be less rich, 5) blacks are hard to distinguish in low light scenes(loss of detail in low light is very noticable), etc. My home theater system contains: yamaha rxv-2095 receiver(high end model) and a sony kv2781r trinitron tv. Does anyone have experience or any information on this?
    In my experience it is not the capture card at fault, but rather the playback and display configuration at fault. When using TV-out to a SDTV, there are several issues that contribute to a fuzzy picture. The big causes are display scaling, TV-out anti-flicker, and poor deinterlacing. My recommendations are:

    1) Use latest video drivers (to access latest hardware deinterlacing). ATI 6.3, Nvidia 84.21
    2) Set screen resolution to same as source (to eliminate scaling), ie for MPEG2 recordings then: 720x480 for NTSC, and 720x576 for PAL
    3) Make the TV-out the 'primary' display and set screen refresh rate to same as source or close multiple, ie 60Hz for NTSC, 50Hz for PAL (this will eliminate temporal-rate conversion, ie stop horizontal bars going up or down the screen)
    4) Disable TV-out scaling and anti-flicker. For ATI, enable "video mode", and for Nvidia set anti-flicker to zero (far left on slider).
    5) Use hardware deinterlacing. First ensure DXVA is enabled on the video card driver (ATI specific). Next configure GBPVR to VMR9. Finally configure video decoder for hardware acceleration (DXVA) enabled, and deinterlacing mode "auto". You may also need to configure the video card to "single display", ie disable clone or dual display modes because this can block DXVA from working in some instances. The key concept is DXVA+VMR9 forwards the deinterlacing function to the video card hardware, and this hardware deinterlacing has advanced pixel-adaptive deinterlacing capabilities. Note if your using the Nvidia Purevideo decoder, then configure its deinterlacing mode to "VMR Default" AND click ok (click on ok even if the setting is already shown to ensure it is actually applied).

    The video decoder plays an important part with repect to colour because it determines the 'colour space' used. The best performing video decoders use a 12-bit colour spaces, eg "YUY2", those being PureVideo, DScaler5, and Intervideo. "NV12" colour space is well known for giving washed-out colours, so stay away from any decoder using that colour space. Note there is an Nvidia driver colour space issue that was resolved as from 84.12 onwards.

    The video decoder also controls what deinterlacing function is used. If DXVA is disabled or you are not using VMR9 then it will default to 'BOB' deinterlacing which is well known for producing a blury picture on interlaced content (TV).

    The lack of detail in the blacks is a luminance/chrominance (brightness/contrast/colour) configuration issue. You should ensure the video decoder and video driver settings for brightness/contrast/colour are default (zero) (in the driver this applies to both the Overlay and Direct3D settings). You then need to adjust your TV settings using a professional video setup DVD. I highly recommend 'Digital Video Essentials' 2003 edition.

  9. #9
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    Ireland
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    Yes, the picture is not as sharp as via the TV. But the picture will be worse if your source signal has some interference.

    I have noticed that the encoder seems to have problems with darker frames. Nice bright frames are fine, but darker frames appear grainy and sometimes a bit pixelated.
    AMD Sempron 3000, XP Home SP3, Maxtor 200GB SATA, 512MB, PVR-150, NOVA-T-500, ATI 9550, Silverstone LC13

  10. #10
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    I'm never quite sure exactly what people mean by "sharp" or "fuzzy". My picture is actually sharper than my regular TV tuner in that the edges of things are more clearly defined. But it looks like I'm viewing it through a glass of weak tea (or the bottom of a nearly empty glass of Guinness ).

    Fiddling with decoders and various settings has improved the "sharpness" and removed any stuttering, pixelation, etc but the picture still appears opaque and "soft". What is confusing to me is that I don't experience the same problem when playing high quality web streams with Windows Media Player or DVDs with PowerDVD. Yet they must be using the same decoders, DirectX and video card settings.

    Thanks, csy, for your succinct summary of the issues. I'm about to try a new video card and I will apply your checklist when setting it up.
    GBPVR v1.3.11 HVR-1250, ES7300, 4GB, GeForce 9300, LianLi, Vista.
    GBPVR v1.0.08 PVR-150, P4 2.26GHz, 1GB, GeForce 6200, Coupden, XP

    Author: UbuStream plugin, UbuRadio plugin, EPGExtra utility.

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