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

Steve Smith st3v3.sm1th at gmail.com
Tue Jan 29 15:12:59 UTC 2008


On 29/01/2008, jedi at mishnet.org <jedi at mishnet.org> wrote:
>
> > On 28/01/2008, Steve Smith <st3v3.sm1th at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> On 28/01/2008, Scott Traurig <straurig at comcast.net> wrote:
> >> >
> >> >   Thanks to all who replied.
> >> >
> >> > To answer some of the questions:
> >> >
> >> > I'm encoding 720 x 480 at 6 Mbps (9 Mpbs max.) MPEG-2 PS stream.
> >> >
> >> > Remember it's apples to apples I'm talking about, source vs. the same
> >> > stream washed through the PVR150. Forget about the tuner.
> >> >
> >> > As for what it looks like the best I can say is that it all looks
> very
> >> > soft and out of focus. It's as if I lost all the high frequency video
> >> > information.
> >> >
> >> > Movement is smooth with little artifact. I don't see any
> pixelization.
> >> > De-interlace on or off makes no difference. Higher bit rates buy me
> > nothing.
> >> >
> >> > Perhaps I should try encoding at a higher resolution than 720 x 480?
> >> >
> >> > Thanks,
> >> >
> >> > Scott
> >> >
> >> Scott,
> >>
> >> Yes that sounds like a PVR-150 through a composite connection I'm
> >> afraid!
> >> Is it a long cable connection? Maybe a short high quality cable will
> >> help?
> >> (if you don't have that already)
> >>
> >> But yes if you look at that comparison review of a ATI card that I
> >> posted
> >> you can see the softness of the picture.
> >> There should be some controls you can set in the driver somewhere to
> >> tweak
> >> colour, sharpness etc, you have to ask on the IVTV mailing list. (There
> >> certainly used to be things you could tweak on the Windows drivers if
> >> you
> >> had the right tool).
> >>
> >> But otherwise, it sounds like it's down to the card. The PVR-150 is a
> >> budget product, unlike your old purpose built DVR solution.
> >> And until the likes of ATI give us some Linux drivers it looks like
> >> we'll
> >> be stuck with it! grrr
> >>
> >> Cheers
> >>
> >> Steve
> >>
> >
> > Steve,
> >
> > Thanks for the very helpful response! So I'm not crazy! :-)
> >
> > I might fool with the IVTV controls a little but I suspect there will be
> > little improvement.
> >
> > I looked at the spec's on the ATI cards and the PVRxxx cards are toys in
> > comparison. And the ATI cards are not that expensive. I did not see your
> > review but just looking at the doc's the ATI cards should look much
> > better.
> > I had no idea the Hauppage stuff was so weak. I'm surprised that myth
> > users
> > would be so accepting of the quality but I suppose many are more
> motivated
>
>   If you are a "videophile" then TV is pretty much eliminated anyways.
> TV has always been crap to some degree. OTA has been total crap and
> cable isn't necessarily better.
>
>   The tradeoff between convenience and quality is nothing new to longtime
> PVR owners. This is the first thing that you are struck with when using an
> actual Tivo. Compared to basic Tivo compression, the pristine capture
> quality of a PVR150 is not that big of a deal.
>
>    If I want "quality" I get a DVD. I avoid the whole issue of commercials
> and will likely get more complete content (Star Trek TOS).
>
>    I mean... well... you know... It's TV.
>
> > by the convergence aspect rather than being "videophiles". I'm
> definitely
> > more "videophile" than "Linux jock" for sure ;-)
> >
> > I wonder if anyone has tried this: http://gatos.sourceforge.net/?
> [deletia]
>
>    Then there's the issue of content...
>
>    "Deal or No Deal" at pristine 1920x1080 is still "Deal or No Deal".
>
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>

Scott,

Yes I've looked at gatos... it doesn't seem like there's a driver there.
Although I got a sort of hint that the Theatre Pro chips might be supported
by the official catalyst drivers in one of their readmes.

In the end though you might need .....Windows!!! (and if you do make the
leap over there I can recommend GB-PVR as a good free PVR software).

Cheers

Steve
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