[mythtv-users] Recording/live-tv video quality (aka do PVR150 encoders suck?)

Steve Smith st3v3.sm1th at gmail.com
Mon Jan 28 11:38:33 UTC 2008


On 28/01/2008, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
>
> Brad DerManouelian wrote:
> > On Jan 27, 2008, at 8:08 PM, Scott Traurig wrote:
> >
> >> No s-video output from the STB is available.
> >>
> >> Scott
> >
> > You may be experiencing some RF interference with your computer
> > components, but it's hard to diagnose if you can't take the RF out of
> > the equation. Do you have another s-video source you can try to see if
> > the quality is better?  Not sure what you could do it if is better.
> > Shielding? Maybe switch slots on your motherboard to see if it's less in
> > another one?
>
> I don't know what your problem is, but I can tell you it *is* a problem,
> not the inherent performance of the PVR cards.
>
> I record with PVR-150s from analog cable and S-Video from a DISH receiver.
>
> While I can see the difference between these recordings and the original
> source material, nobody else in my family can.
>
> If you know what to look for no recording technique is transparent, but
> with the PVRs the degradation is nowhere near enough to interfere with
> viewing.
>
> In fact I continue to be amazed at the quality you can get with a PVR
> for under $100. I used to work with encoders/decoders costing hundreds
> of times as much (albeit long ago).
>
> All I can suggest is that you start eliminating things one at a time.
> Look at the quality of your initial signal, make sure it is as good as
> it can be. Try replacing/substituting cards, moving cards, using the
> cards outside of Myth (cat a file form the card then play it with VLC or
> mplayer). Make sure the PVRs have sufficient pure DC power. Check all
> the interconnect cables, twice.
>
> Check the grounding, shielding etc.
>
> Basically what you say is that DVDs look better than your cable TV, not
> surprising really. PVR recordings will look worse, but it's hard to
> quantify by how much, and everyone's eyeballs are qualitatively different.
>
> beww
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Ditto what Brian says!

I used to think my VCR was really good. Until I played it through my new TV.
Then I used to think the PVR-150 was good (Composite Video from an STB),
until I saw what a DVB-T card could produce....

But check the obvious, cables shielding etc Also check your recording
profiles particularly the resoultion. I always set it
to full DVD (PAL) resolution of 720x576 and it does OK. But it'll never
compete with playback of a DVD!
There's analogue in there!
But for the cash the PVR-150 does a pretty good job! I have read that the
PVR-250/350 was slightly better but only slightly.

Cheers

Steve
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