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No1Daemon

172 posts

Master Geek


#21138 16-Apr-2008 20:17
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Hi

Since I started experimenting with building an HTPC I have never had a decent picture.

By comparison, I have a DVB-s satellite maxplus set top box connected via composite cables and the picture is far superior to anything I can get from the htpc.

The HTPC is DVB-T connected via a breakout cable to component inputs. The video, dvds and television is grainy and loads of artifacts.

I upgraded to the hvr2200 tuner from hvr3000 to try and get a better picture, which didn't help.
I upgraded from the onboard graphics to an 8600gt, which didn't help.
So there must be something I am overlooking? I am connecting to an onkyo receiver which upconverts video so I have sometimes wondered if that is responsible for the image quality problems. Over the next few days I will be experimenting with direct connection to the television.

Is there any other considerations? The motherboard doesnt have any other effect on the video quality does it? It is the asus m2a-vm.

Any ideas would be good as I am pulling my hair out.

Thanks
Steve

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DS248
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  #124209 16-Apr-2008 22:27
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I only have experience with the HVR4000 card, but there maybe some relevance.

When I first exprimented with it I connected to our 1080p tv via the "PC" port (analogue vga) & the output (Freeview HD demo etc) was not that great (esp. contrast).

Went out & got a DVI-HDMI cable & connected to the HDMI port on the tv & the difference was like night & day.

 
 
 

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Batman
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  #124235 17-Apr-2008 00:17
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are you able to play ALL the test feeds by fossie without issue?

DS248
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  #124241 17-Apr-2008 01:01
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Haven't tried the test feeds. 

I can view all DVB-T channels live fine except occaisional de-interlacing issues on TV3 (some 1080i programs OK, others not).  I have only used PowerCinema so far.  Problem is there appears to be no way to turn hardware acceleration on in PowerCinema.  

Fortunately "There will be an updated version of Powercinema availble to fix issues in New Zealand DVB-T" (http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/board/showthread.php?t=13980&page=5).   The update is currently in beta phase.



No1Daemon

172 posts

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  #124257 17-Apr-2008 07:40
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joker97: are you able to play ALL the test feeds by fossie without issue?


I haven't tried all of them. I will do that and get back to you.

No1Daemon

172 posts

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  #124259 17-Apr-2008 07:45
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DS248:
Haven't tried the test feeds.

I can view all DVB-T channels live fine except occaisional de-interlacing issues on TV3 (some 1080i programs OK, others not). I have only used PowerCinema so far. Problem is there appears to be no way to turn hardware acceleration on in PowerCinema.

Fortunately "There will be an updated version of Powercinema availble to fix issues in New Zealand DVB-T" (http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/board/showthread.php?t=13980&page=5). The update is currently in beta phase.

Are you saying this is particular to certain hardware? and the enable hardware tick box doesn't actually do anything.
Sounds close to the mark but not entirely as I am still getting 25-38% cpu usage when viewing tv. I would guess it would be higher though with no hardware acceleration at all. Unless it is because the video is displayed so poorly at low resolutions and that is all the horse power it takes for that quality.

No1Daemon

172 posts

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  #124280 17-Apr-2008 09:11
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joker97: are you able to play ALL the test feeds by fossie without issue?


I played all the new HD feeds from fossie.
The Freeview HD one didn't play at all in Mediaportal. In DVBViewer it played only if it was the first file I opened. Thereafter I got a graphedit error saying it couldn't find a combination of filters to play it.
All 3 of the other feeds played in both DVBViewer and Mediaportal although they hardly looked HD to me. Greens, blues and blacks were pixelated most of the time. In mediaportal the tv 3 feed broke up a lot.

Does that give you any clues?

DS248
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  #124305 17-Apr-2008 10:12
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No1Daemon: Are you saying this is particular to certain hardware? and the enable hardware tick box doesn't actually do anything.


As far as I can tell it is a software issue, at least in my case.  There does not appear to be any "enable hardware tick box" in PowerCinema.  Certainly not on my system & I have seen posts on other sites to the same effect. 

Maybe that only occurs with the HVR4000 card, but I presume not.



hazza87
352 posts

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  #124326 17-Apr-2008 10:54
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I am using Powercinema as the codec for mediaportal dvb-t feeds. I can be almost certain that hardware encoding is on as i never get more than 10% cpu usage when watching dvb-t. Have you enabled EVR in mediaportal or dvb viewer if using vista?

Batman
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  #124329 17-Apr-2008 10:58
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I played all the new HD feeds from fossie.
The Freeview HD one didn't play at all in Mediaportal. In DVBViewer it played only if it was the first file I opened. Thereafter I got a graphedit error saying it couldn't find a combination of filters to play it.
All 3 of the other feeds played in both DVBViewer and Mediaportal although they hardly looked HD to me. Greens, blues and blacks were pixelated most of the time. In mediaportal the tv 3 feed broke up a lot.

Does that give you any clues?


first things first - i am sure you have all the latest of everything - latest dvbviewer and latest nvidia drivers. i do not have an nvidia card so pardon my ignorance but you somehow have got nvidia purevideo "installed" yah. also i'm not a fan of mediaportal (not very reliable) so mainly talk about dvbviewer.

video-
you need to have:
- proper aerial (may explain your pictures, HOWEVER if downloaded feeds are poor may have following issues too)
- codecs- all i know is powerdvd 8 deluxe and above gives you both video and sound. powercinema - i'm not sure as do not have it. if your codecs are not compatible somehow it gives you artifacts. i found that powerdvd 7 codecs gave me artifacts so bad i could see no picture, only multicoloured and grey squares - is this what you're suffering from?
- enable purevideo under the cyberlink thing which i'm sure you have
- cyberlink setting and dvbviewer config
-overall: the test feed will tell if you can decode 576p properly, 720p properly, 1080i properly. it sounds like yours can't decode either properly, so probably codecs i'd say. also this is my NON expert opinion so anyone else?


however it could just be your powercinema, dvdviewer and/or its settings - try reinstalling and redoing the settings
- make sure your audio is set to cyberlink and h.264 set to cyberlink.
- make sure in dvbviewer you have EVR selected as your video renderer (only works with Vista, use VMR9 for xp)
- and there are some deinterlacing settings in both cyberlink and dvbviewer - every setting seems to work for me - applies to only the "i" resolutions ie tv3. tvnz7


sound-
you need to have codecs (for aac lamt. you didnt mention if there was sound in each of the feeds.
- i've found powerdvd 8 the only one to give me sound for each feed. having said that i do not have powercinema. some dudes have managed to get the sound codecs free (search the forum) but i couldnt make them work.

hazza87
352 posts

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  #124334 17-Apr-2008 11:11
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Mediaportal includes the audio drivers for DVB-T in the form of the free Monogram decoder (Works perfectly for me) (Also powercinema codec works for me in MP with hardware acceleration) saved me $100

No1Daemon

172 posts

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  #124336 17-Apr-2008 11:15
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hazza87: I am using Powercinema as the codec for mediaportal dvb-t feeds. I can be almost certain that hardware encoding is on as i never get more than 10% cpu usage when watching dvb-t. Have you enabled EVR in mediaportal or dvb viewer if using vista?

Yes I have enabled EVR

No1Daemon

172 posts

Master Geek


  #124342 17-Apr-2008 11:27
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Joker97

Thanks for the massive post.
I do have the latest of everything. I am going to try Mauricio's post about integrating DVBviewer into vista media center and try using that instead of mediaportal.

As long as I can get the mce remote to work under dvbviewer I will be happy enough with that.

I do have audio in all the feeds so it is not an audio codec problem.

I didn;t buy powerdvd, I used the trial version to obtain the codecs and registered them. I have also tried using the free azurewave codec that comes with the twinham digital tv application. They all seem to decode it well so I don't think they are the problem.

I can try uninstalling and reinstalling everything with different settings, as I can't make anything worse can I?

I will see what I can take from your post and let you know if I get any improvements at all.
Thanks

hazza87
352 posts

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  #124359 17-Apr-2008 12:00
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As far as i knew the trial versions of powerdvd do not enable hardware acceleration.

No1Daemon

172 posts

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  #124360 17-Apr-2008 12:04
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The twinham digital tv azurewave codec seems to.
Put it this way. The HD demo is nearly perfect except for slight jerkiness when panning.
All the other channels are grainy and poor quality.

Dingbatt
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  #124397 17-Apr-2008 14:50
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DS248: I only have experience with the HVR4000 card, but there maybe some relevance.

When I first exprimented with it I connected to our 1080p tv via the "PC" port (analogue vga) & the output (Freeview HD demo etc) was not that great (esp. contrast).

Went out & got a DVI-HDMI cable & connected to the HDMI port on the tv & the difference was like night & day.


Have you tried the direct digital connection to your display?

My set up is very similar to yours but I connect from the daughter-board on the M2A-VM HDMI (on-board graphics) directly to my plasma using HDMI-HDMI.

CPU runs at 75% on TV3(HD) and65% freeviewHD.  Clear but will need a bit more video ooomph in the future.

Mediaportal 2.0.3. #18566 (server and client)




“We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science technology. Carl Sagan 1996


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