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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 06-21-2005, 10:24 AM
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wexsmith wexsmith is offline
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Wink SageTV - The program I hate to love

Last night I finally upgraded my HTPC to SP2, added the NVidia DVD Decoder, rolled back to my video drivers to 71.84, upgraded to Java 1.5(5.0) and added ffdShow. After playing with settings for hours I get the best quality I've ever seen from Sage if I use the Sonic decoder with no ffdShow. My problem is I'm stuck between two choices now:

a) Sharp picture and perfect color (noticable ghosting)
b) Smoothed picture with washed out color (little to no ghosting)

For right now I'm sticking with "a" since most of my recordings don't have a lot of fast motion. The WAF has gone up considerably with these settings too. The ghosting doesn't make a show unwatchable, but it does make it less enjoyable.

When I playback my recordings slowly it looks like every 2nd or 3rd frame becomes blurry. Then the quality becomes sharp again. Is this a limitation of the PVR-250? Are there known drivers for the 250 that I can rollback to for minimal ghosting?
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Last edited by wexsmith; 06-21-2005 at 10:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2005, 02:58 PM
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Are you not having the quartz.dll problem since you just upgraded to SP2? That's more of a stutter/skip/jerky playback issue though..
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2005, 04:31 PM
flavius flavius is offline
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I use the 22254 drivers with my PVR-250 (type 16). I'd look at the decoder first, though. The tearing I saw at first - after I switched to an ATI 9550 video card - was caused by the ATI version of the cyberlink decoder.

Now I use my old NVidia (2.x) decoder, and everything's fine.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:42 PM
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wexsmith wexsmith is offline
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I updated my quartz.dll soon after updating because of the posts I've read here on it. My ghosting problem seems to lie in every 4th and 5th frame of a recording. It's very noticable in cartoons. Basically if I go in slow motion I can see a ghosted image on every 4th and 5th frame, while frames 1, 2 and 3 are crystal clear. I've tried several different decoders and the problem stays. I could have sworn that I read something about it being a hauppauge issue, but I can't find it now. I'm hoping to minimize it and/or find a decoder that handles ghosting well.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:52 PM
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What happens if you disable hardware acceleration in the nvidia control panel?

You've likely seen this thread, but here it is anyway:
SP2 causing ghosting
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2005, 08:26 AM
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wexsmith wexsmith is offline
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I'm now running on Sonic, VMR9, DVXA Mode B with 3D Accel. enabled. That gives me a very smooth picture with little ghosting. The colors and quality seem washed out though. Also, I've gotten no visible tearing with VMR9.

Video Renderer, DXVA MPEG Mode and 3D Acceleration seem to be the three most common settings to change quality for whichever decoder is used. Overlay Color Keying makes absolutely no noticable difference, other than the menus, in my setup. I've used Sonic, NVidia Decoder, NVidia Post Processor and SageTV Decoder with almost every single combination available and every single combination plays video just fine. The problem is it leaves me with the same two choices I had above.

I get to choose between having a dark rich color with a crisp picture that has ghosting. Or I get a smooth out picture with washed out colors that has little to no ghosting. If I go frame by frame I can see the difference in what each one is doing. It's very noticable in cartoons. The nice picture will leave a ghosted 'weaved' image, like two frames are being displayed at once. The washed out picture will blur the image together so there is no ghost image. That makes it kind of blurry though and still noticable, but not as much.

With SageTV 3.0 coming out sometime this year, hopefully, I'm not sure if I want to spend too much time tweaking my current setup.
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Shuttle SN41G2B | Athlon XP 2600+ 333Mhz FSB | 1GB PC3200 @ 333Mhz| On-Board Audio | Maxtor 120GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache | Seagate 200GB 7200RPM 8MB Cache | GeForce FX5200 128MB | Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250 | NEC 2.4X DVD+R (stealthed)
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2005, 12:18 PM
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nielm nielm is offline
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To fix the washed out color in VMR9, recalibrate the TV-out of your vid card, or recalibrate your tv...

Brief technical explanation of why (search for a VMR9 color calibration thread for more info)

Video does not use the fill 0-255 range of brightness (more like 16-232)
Overlay mode expands that brightness range to 0-255
VMR9 does not, which is why Overlay looks crisper/more contrasting than VMR9

So for VMR9 you need to expand the brightness range somewhere else, either on the video card's tv-out, or on the TV's input. Both of these mean your windows desktop no longer has the correct color range: whites will be too white, blacks will be too black.

An alternative workaround is to use FFDshow as a decoder or post-processor and use that to expand the brightness/luminance range from 16-232 to 0-255. This will give marginally worse quality than the other method, but means your windows desktop has the correct colors!
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