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SageTV Software Discussion related to the SageTV application produced by SageTV. Questions, issues, problems, suggestions, etc. relating to the SageTV software application should be posted here. (Check the descriptions of the other forums; all hardware related questions go in the Hardware Support forum, etc. And, post in the customizations forum instead if any customizations are active.)

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  #1  
Old 07-22-2004, 12:01 PM
parra parra is offline
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Edges of screen image missing

I bought a bundle containing the PVR-250 MCE, SageTV software and a streamzap remote. I've got everything working great with one exception. The edge of the screen is missing on live TV and on playback of recoded TV. In other words, I can see the picture but I can only see the northwest third of each station logo on the screen. Any ideas how to overcome this?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2004, 12:30 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Are you saying it's cut of, running off screen? or that there are black bars covering it?
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2004, 12:43 PM
parra parra is offline
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It's like 20% of the edge of the image is missing. For example, on CNN you can only see the top of the scrolling news at the bottom, but it's the same effect on all four sides.
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  #4  
Old 07-22-2004, 10:02 PM
kny3twalker kny3twalker is offline
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change your overscan on your video card (adjust the screen)

it usually takes just a few minutes
ATI cards have two modes
as I remember when I lasted used svideo output

it is on your monitor/HDTV/and you may look at these for when using your SDTV as well adjust the aspect ratio settings
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2004, 10:28 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by parra
It's like 20% of the edge of the image is missing. For example, on CNN you can only see the top of the scrolling news at the bottom, but it's the same effect on all four sides.
I understood that, what I was asking was is the video off the screen, or are there black bars covering it up?

If the video is off the screen just use the Zoom settings in Detailed Setup -> Multimedia -> Aspect Ratio Settings. Just reduce the zoom until it fits on the screen.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2004, 06:32 PM
Malfunction Malfunction is offline
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I have had difficulty with a Powercolor Radeon 9600SE card. It has 2 ways of running, too small or too big.

If I use the "Displays", "Adjustment" I can't get the picture quite large enough to fill the screen. If I use "Displays", "Overscan", it'll definitely waste about 5% of the picture around the edges.

I can adjust Sage for this, but it kind of hoses up any other video player I'm using except for Media Player Classic...which has to be adjusted every time I run it.

The card also seems to be a bit unstable, and the size of the picture fluctuates as the card warms up. This is ONLY on TV out, the VGA seems normal enough.

I think I'll insist on a VGA port on the next TV I buy and forgo all this fun!
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2004, 01:58 PM
bgorrell bgorrell is offline
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Ditto. I struggled with ATI overscan for the past two years. There is simply no way to make it fit the screen perfectly on certain TVs. If you are using S-video to the TV, it probably won't fit perfectly unless you get a hardware decoder like the PVR-350. I settled on the "too small" setting and end up with small black bars at the top and bottom, but have gotten used to it untill I can afford a new TV with DVI or VGA inputs.

Of course, if I'm going to buy a new TV, I want all the latest features. I'm saving up for something like the Sharp Aquos 30" widescreen LCD which has a seperate box for all the connections. It has DVI, s-video, multiple component inputs, and PC friendly VGA that supports standard resolutions like 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768 as well as widescreen varients (i.e. 1280x768, which is the native resolution of the screen). It is currently as low as $2000, which seems reasonable. I think I will wait untill after Christmas though to see if it drops further or gets more competition. It's hard to wait though.
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  #8  
Old 09-30-2004, 09:24 PM
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teedublu teedublu is offline
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A low cost nvidia FX5200 chipset card has very good TV Out. While you may not be able to adjust it to fill your TV screen perfectly, I was able to fill my TV screen (all the ATI's I tried would not adjust enough vertically to fill the screen), even though there is a bit too much overscan on the sides.
Also like the support for 720 x 480 -- which I use.
Just make sure the FX5200 is fanless (most are).

TW
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2004, 11:30 PM
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mightyt mightyt is offline
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My ATI works just fine ... Just tweaked the overscan when a bit when I first installed the card.
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  #10  
Old 10-01-2004, 04:22 AM
mls mls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malfunction
I have had difficulty with a Powercolor Radeon 9600SE card. It has 2 ways of running, too small or too big.

If I use the "Displays", "Adjustment" I can't get the picture quite large enough to fill the screen. If I use "Displays", "Overscan", it'll definitely waste about 5% of the picture around the edges.
TV's are designed to run with roughly 5% of overscan. So, if you're getting that, then it is the correct behaviour. Compare what you see from SageTV to what your TV receives directly itself to find out how far off it may be.

Do not try to compare what is displayed on your TV to what you see on the computer monitor because monitors don't overscan (unless adjusted incorrectly) so you will see more than what you normally would on a TV.

You can fiddle with the adjustments, but 5% overscan is considered correct for standard def TV. Get either the Avia or Digital Video Essentials DVD's if you need more detailed info about overscan (and other picture adjustments).
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2004, 06:17 PM
bgorrell bgorrell is offline
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Like I said before, it probably depends on the TV as to whether you will be able to fill the screen without too much overscan. I have tried everything with the ATI 8500 (overscan on, off w/adjustments maxed out, different desktop resolutions, powerstrip, theatre mode, dual monitor mode, etc.). I can get close, but with overscan on it is way too big (about 10-15% overscan, unadjustable) and with overscan off, I can't quite fill the screen, leaving about an inch of black top and bottom. I'm happy with it for now though.

I can't see buying another video card in hopes it will fix it for my particular TV. I've heard of people with the nVidia cards having the same problems. Just because it works with one TV doesn't mean it will work with another. I'd try it, but no one around here allows video card returns (I'm in Fairbanks, Alaska, not many options). A definite solution would be to buy the 350, but think it would only be an interim solution in my case untill I finally get a TV with DVI or VGA inputs.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2004, 08:04 PM
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salsbst salsbst is offline
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Get some overscan, then zoom out with the sage TV settings.. you should be able to achieve 0% overscan with any ATI card. Perhaps I'm missing the problem?
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2004, 06:51 PM
mls mls is offline
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I'll point this out (again)... broadcast TV and DVD's are designed for a 5% - 10% overscan in the TV display. All important parts are kept within the 10% area. Any good DVD authoring software will also tell you about keeping titles and menue items within that so called "safe" area.

Although you can fiddle around with things to get 0%, there is no real reason to do so. Just because there is more picture data that can be displayed does not mean it needs to be (or even should be). Nor, would that be the technically correct way to set up the display.

If you are within the 5 - 10% overscan range, then you are also within the design specifications for NTSC display and theres no need to worry about it. If your above (or below) those figures, then you should try to make futher adjustments.

Again, I refer you to either the Avia or Digital Video Essentials DVD's for more info. Those DVD's also have test patterns to check the amount of overscan.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2004, 05:02 PM
bgorrell bgorrell is offline
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Salsbt: The "overscan" feature of the ATI drivers only works in "Theatre" mode, which uses a different hardware mode of the TV-out that bypasses SageTV zoom settings and OSD. You get video only, kind of like the PVR-350 used to be. It does not allow any adjustment of the overscan.

mls: I am not trying to get 0%. I would be happy with 5-10%. My options come down to a largest size of about -5% with overscan turned off and the zoom settings adjusted to their max, or a smallest size of +15-20% with overscan on. I can't get in that sweet range between these ranges with the ATI and my TV. It's definitely too much overscan since even the channel logos are mostly off the screen.
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2004, 05:04 PM
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salsbst salsbst is offline
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Quote:
The "overscan" feature of the ATI drivers only works in "Theatre" mode
Not in my experience.

Last edited by salsbst; 10-05-2004 at 05:06 PM.
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  #16  
Old 10-07-2004, 12:32 PM
bgorrell bgorrell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salsbst
Not in my experience.
Can you elaborate on your settings and how this works for you? I can select the "overscan" button in all modes, but the only way it has any affect on the TV display is if I use Overlay and Theatre mode. What settings are you using in the control panel tabs and in Sage? Also, what card are you using? Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 10-07-2004, 12:59 PM
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salsbst salsbst is offline
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I don't use it anymore because I got an HDTV.

IIRC, when I was using it, it caused the screen (the Windows desktop and all applications) to zoom in, such that instead of underscan, I had overscan.

Once I got to overscan, I used SageTV's controls to zoom out so that I recovered the edges of the SageTV UI and video.

This was with both a 7500 and a 9600 non-pro and probably back in the catalyst 3.4-ish range of drivers.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2004, 04:03 PM
bgorrell bgorrell is offline
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Hmm.... I found that Sage's zoom controls have no effect and I had no UI if I enabled Overlay. May be a difference among DX9 hardware. Don't know. Interesting. Still, since I don't have a return option here, I don't want to risk it.

I'm surprised ATI or nVidia hasn't just come out with a true hardware decoder like the 350. They could probably do it better than anyone if they realized the market. A DVD quality decoder chipset would be a sure sell to most PVR users.
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  #19  
Old 10-07-2004, 04:20 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgorrell
Hmm.... I found that Sage's zoom controls have no effect and I had no UI if I enabled Overlay. May be a difference among DX9 hardware. Don't know. Interesting. Still, since I don't have a return option here, I don't want to risk it.
Zoom controls don't affect the UI, for that you need to adjust the Overscan settings.

As for Overlay, do you have clone/theater mode enabled?

Quote:
I'm surprised ATI or nVidia hasn't just come out with a true hardware decoder like the 350. They could probably do it better than anyone if they realized the market. A DVD quality decoder chipset would be a sure sell to most PVR users.
The market for such a product is miniscule, probably 99% of ATI/nVidias customers are either OEMs or gamers. And within that 1% or so of customers who do the HTPC thing (on real TVs, not just on a monitor), an even smaller fraction are both: using SDTVs (where HW encoders/dedicated output helps) and are picky enough to care.

I know I for one have roughly no interest in a HW encoder, but then again I'm running an HDTV so something like the 350 would be a step backwards.

Dedicated HW decoders for PCs are end of life products, PCs have way more than enough power to play video, and the SDTV market is shrinking.
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  #20  
Old 10-08-2004, 01:14 PM
bgorrell bgorrell is offline
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Stranger89, thanks! I forgot all about the Zoom controls and, indeed I had some control over the size with Overlay enabled. It acts very strangely though. The "offset" values have no affect and the "vertical" option gives unexpected results, like sometime adjusting horizontal instead. I worked with it for a half hour and was unable to get acceptable vertical results untill I tried choosing 16x9 in the ATI control panel clone mode options. Really wierd considering my TV is 4x3, but this gave me 4x3 plus the extra 5% that I needed to fill the screen properly (with slight, appropriate overscan). Who knew? I remember spending hours on this a couple years ago when I first got SageTV and had given up on a fullscreen display.

Now, as for overlay, unfortunately this seems to be the only way overscan works for me. I have to select Overlay or "Default" (DX7) in SageTV and Clone/Theatre mode in ATI's control panel. The result is no UI. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve that might solve this?

As for not needing HW decoding in the future and being a small market, I have to disagree. Lots of people are on a tight budget. HDTVs with DVI inputs are still very expensive and I'm pretty sure well over 75% of the market still uses SDTVs. Lots of us bought SageTV as a "poor man's TiVo". Thankfully it has been much more rewarding than that. The hardware is really all that's lacking in comparison to the plug-n-play results of TiVo. Yes, eventually "PC friendly" TVs will alleviate the need for hardware decoders, but it will probably be at least another five years before more than 50% of the population are using them. In the mean-time, give us more "poor-man" solutions and we will gobble them up. After all, if a $50 DVD player can have a top-notch hardware MPEG2 decoder in it (better than the 350 really), why not a standard video card? And while were at it, newer DVD players even decode MPEG4 and DivX to the TV , so apparently the chipsets are out there, just not taken advantage of.
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