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447 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 112516 11-Dec-2012 16:18 Send private message

There's a thread on the Sky forum (http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=106&topicid=112444) where I'm having a bit of a whine about how Freeview HD looks better on the screen than Sky HDi.

There's some ongoing discussion about why/if that's true.

My question is this: if I build an HTPC based on an HVR-2210 tv card and A4-3400 chip, will I lose any picture quality?




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 730607 11-Dec-2012 16:26 Send private message

Since it's digital, so long as you have a good signal level then the resulting output will be identical. Some software can do post-processing on the resulting stream so it may actually end up slightly better on your PC.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 730653 11-Dec-2012 17:06 Send private message

Picture quality will depend entirely on how well your video card works with your TV.



447 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 26


  Reply # 730711 11-Dec-2012 18:20 Send private message

sbiddle: Picture quality will depend entirely on how well your video card works with your TV.


Eek!

What can I do?

Wracked with FUD....




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2

871 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

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  Reply # 730712 11-Dec-2012 18:22 Send private message

"Normal" processing like deinterlacing also has an effect.

871 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

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  Reply # 730750 11-Dec-2012 19:03 Send private message

turb: There's a thread on the Sky forum (http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=106&topicid=112444) where I'm having a bit of a whine about how Freeview HD looks better on the screen than Sky HDi.

There's some ongoing discussion about why/if that's true.

My question is this: if I build an HTPC based on an HVR-2210 tv card and A4-3400 chip, will I lose any picture quality?

Could you clarify just a little...

You start by talking about a comparison of the picture quality of Sky HD and Freeview HD... which I think is is a reasonable debate because as far as I'm aware the encoding parameters for the two sources are not necessarily identical. In other words, there is no guarantee that the picture quality you get from Sky will be identical to the picture quality that you get from Freeview.

What I don't get is the connection between that first thought and the topic "...quality retained on HTPC..." and question "...will I lose any picture quality".

In what way were you thinking picture quality could be lost?

You could think of an HTPC as a much more general purpose STB.

There is no loss in quality in the signal reception stage. In other words, assuming reasonable signal quality, the stream that is transmitted is exactly what the video/audio decoders in the STB and HTPC get to work with.

As far as I understand it, the video and audio decoding is also completely deterministic. In other words, there should be no variation between the STB and HTPC in terms of the decoded video and audio.

Beyond that there is post-processing - deinterlacing, colour space conversion, frame rate conversion, scaling - and display. For a digital signal, this is the only stage where variation could be introduced, and your TV can probably introduce just as much variation as an STB or HTPC.




447 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 26


  Reply # 730806 11-Dec-2012 21:06 Send private message

My plan is to ditch Sky and build my first HTPC.

I've been assuming the FV picture will look just as great after its been though my HTPC as it does on my FV enabled TV.

Just want to check with the experts that this assumption is correct. Given that the whole rationale is to save money, I'm nervous about spending that much money and then someone saying "Of course everyone knows you were never going to get the same quality from an HTPC".

I'm only going to get one shot at this, so don't want to jump out of an expensive frying pan into a poor quality fire.

(not looking for guarantees, just reassurance!)




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2

871 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

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  Reply # 730882 11-Dec-2012 22:05 Send private message

turb: My plan is to ditch Sky and build my first HTPC.

Right, okay.

I've been assuming the FV picture will look just as great after its been though my HTPC as it does on my FV enabled TV.

Just want to check with the experts that this assumption is correct. Given that the whole rationale is to save money, I'm nervous about spending that much money and then someone saying "Of course everyone knows you were never going to get the same quality from an HTPC".

I'm only going to get one shot at this, so don't want to jump out of an expensive frying pan into a poor quality fire.

(not looking for guarantees, just reassurance!)

Well my opinion is that as long as you pick a reasonable GPU and tuner you shouldn't have too many problems on that front. Such a machine should be capable of delivering equivalent picture quality to your TV.

In general, HTPC software solutions are relatively mature these days. It can be more time consuming to configure an HTPC, and there is always the temptation to tweak.

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