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post #121 of 146 Old 04-21-2008, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by HT Slider View Post

Thank you everyone for all the replies.

taz, I've tried uninstalling, rebooting and re-installing the audio drivers and it didn't help.

millerbrad, it is strange that only some ATI HD 2600XTs seem to have these issues and others dont. I wonder if ATI changed something in the hardware somewhere along the way and this causes this issue. Is your card a genuine ATI HD 2600XT? Mine is.

I have a MSI 2600xt video card and I'm having horrible stability issues with VMC following the SP1 update. VMC crashes pretty regularly. Some bloggers have contemplated getting another video card, but couldn't this be resolved with a driver update?
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post #122 of 146 Old 04-21-2008, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mediaslave View Post

I have a MSI 2600xt video card and I'm having horrible stability issues with VMC following the SP1 update. VMC crashes pretty regularly. Some bloggers have contemplated getting another video card, but couldn't this be resolved with a driver update?

Following SP1, I'm sure our stability issues with VMC have worsened also.

Today for example VMC crashed twice while watching SD content, recorded a few months ago using VMC and the PVR-250 TV Tuner card (basic stuff, not even HD).

I too am starting to consider switching video cards. The main problem is I hate spending money when I don't know for certain if it will fix the problem. On top of that, I only picked up the HD 2600XT roughly 6 months ago.

One thing for certain - our "old" PC in the study that is also running Vista SP1 has absolutely never crashed no matter if it is playing back SD or HD content. It has an Nvidia 6800 video card in it.

It is extremely annoying that our "high end" "new" HTPC with an Intel quad core Q6600 processor, 4 GB of RAM and an ATI HD 2600XT keeps crashing with VMC (and VMC only), yet our 4 year old PC in the study never crashes no matter what - even with SP1 installed.
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post #123 of 146 Old 04-21-2008, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mediaslave View Post

I have a MSI 2600xt video card and I'm having horrible stability issues with VMC following the SP1 update. VMC crashes pretty regularly. Some bloggers have contemplated getting another video card, but couldn't this be resolved with a driver update?

Can you provide a link to the bogger sites discussing the issues with ATI cards, VMC and Vista SP1?
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post #124 of 146 Old 04-21-2008, 12:52 PM
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I wonder if some of the registry tweaks from the ATI 2600 thread could be causing some of the problems? Did you ever apply them, HT?
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post #125 of 146 Old 04-22-2008, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millerbrad View Post

I wonder if some of the registry tweaks from the ATI 2600 thread could be causing some of the problems? Did you ever apply them, HT?

I don't think so. I've only used the TRDenoise and UseBT601(sp) in the past.

Right now I've most recently cleaned out everything to do with ATI and freshly installed 8.3.

Also, back in November when I did a fresh install of Vista on a separate partition, all I did was install Vista, install Catalyst 7.10 (I think it was 7.10), and install all Windows Updates. With just that, Media Center would still crash the same way.

I'm tempted to waste my time trying yet another fresh Vista install, using the latest drivers and SP1 to see if it still crashes, but I expect it will.
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post #126 of 146 Old 04-22-2008, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by HT Slider View Post

Can you provide a link to the bogger sites discussing the issues with ATI cards, VMC and Vista SP1?

No topic
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post #127 of 146 Old 05-06-2008, 08:53 AM
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Issues with VMC have been resolved since I did a fresh install and opted not to update to SP1. In fact, I cannot even locate the SP1 update on microsoft upate.
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post #128 of 146 Old 05-07-2008, 01:02 PM
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HT Slider... have you contemplated removing SP1 from your system?

I have the HIT 2600XT, and after waiting for the update to my SigmaTel audio drivers which finally came out, Windows Update is finally offering up SP1 to install. Hearing of others problems with SP1, I'm very hesitant to install it. I think I will, but only after I've created an image of my system, so that I can revert back to the previous state if I start experiencing the problems mentioned in this thread.
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post #129 of 146 Old 05-08-2008, 01:55 PM
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The biggest problem, crashing of VMC, didn't really get any worse with SP1 installed. Now that we've been using it for a long(ish) time, I'd say it crashes roughly the same as pre SP1.

Other than that, the other issues are not big enough for me to want to run out of date code. Instead, I'd rather move forward and let MS fix the other bugs through patches.

For the crashes I'm going to try an Nvidia card soon. If that works, I'll be happy and won't look back.
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post #130 of 146 Old 05-09-2008, 01:34 AM
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UGHH!
I had been going on about how SP1 didn't ruin my levels but that was only because it had never installed! It got hung up on some HW patch not having been applied anyway now that I have it does, in fact, do this. I was wrong.

UGH! And of all things TV is osmething I do sometimes watch in mini window on desktop so it should be PC levels if anything should!

Plus, it was able to use ICC profiles and now I have to go and mangle that trying to guess waht nvidia sliders too pull, but then I have to reload the ICC and then who knows if things are as perfect anymore.

So the one case where it is especially bad, in my situation, to have the levels NOT auto-expanded they are now, NOT autoexpanded.

HD DVD and Blu-ray are for me and yet HDTV which I'd even moreso prefer auto expanded is not!

Why don't they just give us a darn toggle button?
Does it kill a developer to give the user choice??
PC vs Video levels. A toggle. Pretty basic to code since they obviously have the code already ready to it both ways.
Same for recoding, sometimes i just want to record like 1 minute and who cares if I dont have free space to record the whole hour or three hours or whatever and i just want to clikc and record quickly before the moemnt is over, why not at least just pop up no free space for whole program record anyway?
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post #131 of 146 Old 05-09-2008, 11:58 AM
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It is worse that simply not having a toggle.

Right now on my PCs with Nvidia cards (post SP1), Media Center produces correct levels and Media Player produces incorrect levels.

First Nvidia needs to get their act together so output is consistent between EVR, VMR9 and overlay and then they could consider adding a toggle. My opinion is that a toggle is not really the answer since they should know if an HDTV vs a monitor is being used.

With ATI cards post SP1, grey levels do work quite well though (with the latest drivers at least).

ATI has consistent levels accross all software and if if component or HDMI is used, it automatically outputs TV levels for everything. If DVI or VGA is used, they automatically output PC levels for everything.

I'd like ATI to go one step further and check to see if DVI is used for an HDTV and automatically switch to TV levels since our HDTV is hooked up through DVI (and it is recognised as an HDTV). With ATI it is easy to convert to TV levels by using +16 brightness and 85% contrast so this is still workable.

I don't understand how Nvidia has this so screwed up though. My PC in the study is using a Viewsonic VP191b monitor (not even an HDTV) and it still outputs totally messed up video levels with Media Player (darker colors are clipped at black and bright colors are totally saturated and clipped at full brightness). At least Media Center works properly with it and I have hacked Media Center to share Recorded TV to our other PCs running Media Center.
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post #132 of 146 Old 05-09-2008, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT Slider View Post

It is worse that simply not having a toggle.

Right now on my PCs with Nvidia cards (post SP1), Media Center produces correct levels and Media Player produces incorrect levels.

First Nvidia needs to get their act together so output is consistent between EVR, VMR9 and overlay and then they could consider adding a toggle. My opinion is that a toggle is not really the answer since they should know if an HDTV vs a monitor is being used.

With ATI cards post SP1, grey levels do work quite well though (with the latest drivers at least).

ATI has consistent levels accross all software and if if component or HDMI is used, it automatically outputs TV levels for everything. If DVI or VGA is used, they automatically output PC levels for everything.

I'd like ATI to go one step further and check to see if DVI is used for an HDTV and automatically switch to TV levels since our HDTV is hooked up through DVI (and it is recognised as an HDTV). With ATI it is easy to convert to TV levels by using +16 brightness and 85% contrast so this is still workable.

I don't understand how Nvidia has this so screwed up though. My PC in the study is using a Viewsonic VP191b monitor (not even an HDTV) and it still outputs totally messed up video levels with Media Player (darker colors are clipped at black and bright colors are totally saturated and clipped at full brightness). At least Media Center works properly with it and I have hacked Media Center to share Recorded TV to our other PCs running Media Center.

Just give us a toggle, not everyone wants video levels even going to an HDTV! My TV does different processing on HDMI named PC and that is locked onto PC levels. Also, I think ICC profiling works with the levels better if they are pre-expanded to PC levels and I'd like to use ICC profiles for my V

Plus with video levels then if you run TV as a window on desktop then either the TV or desktop HAS to look wrong.

Before SP1 and running latest nvidia drives on a vista machine my results:
HD DVD and Blu-ray from PDVD7 or 8 are PC levels.
SD DVD is either PC or Video, but msotly video depending on various ways to play it back.
VMC HDTV ATSC was PC levels.
I'd just keep the input on my HDTV as PC levels (and flip to Video for SD DVD)
And if i tried to watch SD DVD on my PC monitor I'd have to fiddle with nvidia sliders blech.

Now it's:
same for HD DVD and Blu-ray and SD DVD
but now VMC HDTV ATSC is forced into nasty video levels

So PLEASE give us a toggle, don't assume (programmers) you know what we want. Right here you see that he wants video levels and I want PC levels going to my HDTV. Give us a darn toggle and we can each set it the way we want.
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post #133 of 146 Old 05-09-2008, 08:03 PM
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I'm not against a toggle at all, but I do insist on consistent levels being produced through EVR, VMR9, VMR7, overlay, desktop, video games, etc.

I'm also absolutely firm in my belief that the system should auto configure for PC vs TV levels dependent on if a monitor or a TV is hooked up. After that, a toggle would be an excellent addition and actually required for TVs or monitors that declare themselves incorrectly.

The way my Toshiba HDTV works is it completely throws away anything outside of TV brightness levels. No matter how much I crank up the brightness or lower the contrast on the TV, everything outside of 16-235 is clipped at either the same color as 16 or as 235. I've created test images, photographs and video as well as spent considerable time confirming this.

With my ATI card and using DVI, the video card outputs everything by default using PC levels or 0-255. This makes everything, including the desktop, photographs, video, TV, Blue-ray, etc. have a severe clipping problem where dark scenes are simply totally black and bright objects are simply totally white (or a color, if a basic color). For example dark scenes, including desktop and photographs end up mostly black. White objects such as white shirts end up as a solid white object, without any detail.

To fix this I have to manually crank up the overall brightness within the Catalyst Control Center to +15 and turn down the overall contrast to 85%. Once I do this, everything, including photographs, TV, video, Blue-ray, desktop background, etc. displays correctly and with appropriate grey levels.

I personally don't understand why there would be a need to provide different grey scale levels for desktop vs TV vs video vs Blue-ray, etc. If the display can only display 16-235, the video card needs to convert everything from 0-255 into 16-236 for output. Similarly if the display is able to properly display 0-255, then the full 0-255 levels needs to be used and since TV content comes into the PC at 16-236, this particular content needs to be expanded to 0-255. Photographs and images already are stored using 0-255 so they don't require any expansion.

What I'm saying is the first thing required is getting everything using a consistent output greyscale (probably 0-255), then having the video card able to recognise when a display capable of only 16-235 is used that it needs to convert everything into 16-235 as a final step as it is output from the card and finally providing an override toggle for cases where the output device isn't recognised correctly.

Right now this situation is a total mess with Nvidia cards - so much so that grey levels don't even work properly when PC monitors are used.

There is also a lot of confusion in the way video is captured too. My understanding is TV is transmitted using 16-235 and TV capture cards, analog TV tuners, and digital TV tuners/capture devices all actually record using 16-235. This means that the video playback software or hardware needs to first expand grey levels to 0-255. Right now it is the video card that expands video to PC levels during the DXVA decompression. If software decompression codecs are used instead of hardware DXVA, typically no expansion takes place and video looks washed out when PC monitors are used. To make things more complicated, the video card or codec needs to recognise if the video being played uses 16-235 or 0-255 and then expand as required. This gets very confusing and difficult for the card manufacturers to handle since video produced for use on a PC (like video game video recordings or movies within video games) already uses PC levels, yet video produced for use on TVs uses TV levels (such as content recorded from cable, DVDs, Blue-ray, etc.).

Regardless of what gets expanded and where it happens, ATI does have it working correctly right now (with Vista SP1 installed). With ATI, everything is output using 0-255 (expanded as required) unless HDMI, s-video or component video is used. With HDMI, s-video and component, it compresses it into 16-235 - probably as a final step just before output to the display (in other words there may be expansion followed by recompression going on). To be honest I'm not 100% certain that it uses 16-235 in all situations with HDMI. It is possible that the TV is able to communicate with the video card and establish the correct grey levels to use and instead tell the video card to use PC levels. What I do know is if I use the HDMI output on my ATI HD 2600XT with my Toshiba HDTV (through an HDMI to DVI cable since my TV doesn't have HDMI on it) that my PC uses 16-235 and if I use a DVI cable without the ATI DVI to HDMI adapter that my PC uses 0-255. In the situation where an HDTV is hooked up using DVI (like mine is now) it isn't all that difficult for us to tweak the output settings to convert the levels to 16-235 (but IMO it should be automatic).
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post #134 of 146 Old 05-09-2008, 08:42 PM
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How do you determine if what is sent to the TV is PC or TV level. I have a Sony KDL-32D3000 that has an HDMI connection and the ATI card has a HDMI connector so straight HDMI to HDMI.

When I installed SP1 the colors became washed out. I have to set the resolution of my TV to 1920x1080 to get rid of the washed out look that it has in the native resolution of 1366x768.

I just bought a MSI HD3650 with a HDMI port and will replace the HD2600 Pro with it and want to install CCC 8.4 because of the scaling that got fixed. How can I make sure that the proper level will come out of the card that will match the TV's input levels?

Thanks
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post #135 of 146 Old 05-09-2008, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one_2go View Post

How do you determine if what is sent to the TV is PC or TV level.

Get some video of a ramp, like from warz.net (don't use a photo, cos some drivers only expand video playback). Screenshot it, and fire through irfanview. There one click tells you the RGB values of any pixel.
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post #136 of 146 Old 05-10-2008, 08:29 AM
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The one GIANT difference SP1 made to me....

My BD-ROM is no longer called 'dvd drive' in My Computer.

Break out the parade
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post #137 of 146 Old 05-10-2008, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arfster View Post

Get some video of a ramp, like from warz.net (don't use a photo, cos some drivers only expand video playback). Screenshot it, and fire through irfanview. There one click tells you the RGB values of any pixel.

Thanks for your excellent help and suggestion. Just read your other post about CCC 8.4 and 1080p, bummer. Just bought a HD3650 good time to buy it $54 with $20 rebate, perhaps it will not be affected by the 1080p FS big.
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post #138 of 146 Old 05-10-2008, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one_2go View Post

When I installed SP1 the colors became washed out. I have to set the resolution of my TV to 1920x1080 to get rid of the washed out look that it has in the native resolution of 1366x768.

I just bought a MSI HD3650 with a HDMI port and will replace the HD2600 Pro with it and want to install CCC 8.4 because of the scaling that got fixed. How can I make sure that the proper level will come out of the card that will match the TV's input levels?

Thanks

Based on your description, it sounds like your TV is displaying using TV grey levels (16-235) for standard formats (like 1920x1080 or 1080i/p) and PC grey levels (0-255) for other resolutions (like 1366x768).

Unfortunately there is no way to configure the video card to change the grey levels or brightness/contrast automatically as resolution is changed (unless you use hotkeys - but even then you can't get PC levels output to HDMI in my experience).

If you want to output PC levels, you are probably out of luck when using an HDMI connection (unless there is some registry setting that I don't know about). Your best bet is probably to try a DVI cable or DVI->HDMI cable. I'm not 100% certain what triggers the PC vs TV grey level output, but from what I've seen DVI always outputs using PC levels. As soon as you add an ATI DVI to HDMI dongle, the video card immediately outputs using TV levels instead.

PC levels should produce a good image with your TV at 1366x768, but if your TV requires TV levels when 1080i/p is used, you'll need to manually tweak the brightness and contrast in CCC whenever you want to use 1080i/p.

One thing you might try is:

- Use a DVI to HDMI cable so the video card will output using PC levels (0-255).
- Within CCC, see if you can change the video timing so non-NTSC video timings are used (non-HDTV). I don't know exactly how to force this, but instead of NTSC/HDTV timings you want to select Generalized Timing Formula (GTF) or Coordinated Video Timings standard (CVT) timing.
- Hopefully, with the TV receiving PC timings, it will assume PC colors are also being output and configure itself to display PC levels (0-255).

Can anyone confirm if this is possible and if it works (before a new cable is purchased)?

Edit: One thing to note, ATI video cards often do a better job of deinterlacing when standard HDTV formats are used vs when oddball custom PC resolutions are used. With certain non-standard resolutions, I've seen ATI cards do a terrible job of deinterlacing in the past. In other words you may actually get the best image quality playing interlaced content when 1920x1080 is used, even though your HDTV will then be scaling the 1920x1080 down into the 1366x768 that it natively uses.
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post #139 of 146 Old 05-14-2008, 01:39 PM
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FYI... I finally got the WU install of SP1 completed. I was one of those waiting for the upgraded SigmaTel drivers.

The install went smoothly. But after restart, the SigmaTel drivers set themselves to the default analog out. But... reseting it to SPDIF did no good. I wasn't getting any sound from SPDIF. Long story short, I had to uninstal (and remove) the SigmaTel drivers, reboot, and then Vista finally installed the latest drivers from SigmaTel. Then, I reset those to send the sound out via SPDIF and all went fine.

So for all those waiting for the SigmaTel update, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

But... I am also experiencing the pixelization problem that others have reported. I have an HIT 2600XT, with an Intel DP35SP Motherboard and 2 gig of Ram. I think I'm running the 7.11 video drivers.

I don't think it's the video card, though, since I've seen others complaining on other forums that are running various Nvidia cards. And, I didn't have this problem prior to installing SP1. It just seems that everything is pointing to SP1 as the culprit for this pixelization issue.
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post #140 of 146 Old 05-14-2008, 02:36 PM
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@HT Slider
Thanks for the very informative post. I am in the mood for some tweaking and diddling once I get the 3650 installed. When I set the ATI resolution to 1920x1080 I get 60Hz, 50Hz, 30Hz, 29.97Hz, 25Hz, 24Hz when setting the resolution to 1366x768 I only get 60Hz as a choice.

Since I do have a fair amount of Blu-ray discs I do want to use 24Hz and with CC8.4 use the scaler to get a full picture.

Oh if all of this would only be easier.
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post #141 of 146 Old 05-14-2008, 05:02 PM
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>I'm not against a toggle at all, but I do insist on consistent levels being >produced through EVR, VMR9, VMR7, overlay, desktop, video games, etc.

since SP1, latest nvidia drivers, PDVD8, I now get:
PC levels for SD DVD, HD DVD, Blu-ray, desktop
but Video levels for VMC HDTV

>I'm also absolutely firm in my belief that the system should auto configure >for PC vs TV levels dependent on if a monitor or a TV is hooked up. After >that, a toggle would be an excellent addition and actually required for TVs >or monitors that declare themselves incorrectly.

I would say a toggle needs to be a necessity then. Supposing it senses a TV but I have it hooked up with HDMI port named PC, on my TV that means it wants 0-255 but my PC still thinks it is a TV and would then force 16-235 without a toggle . And what if I want to use ICC profiles? I can get them to work for SD DVD, VMC HDTV, photo viewing, if it forces video levels then it will apply the ICC wrongly! And what if I want to view photos on my HDTV, if it forces video it would totally mess over the photos! If you want it to automatically to default to something, fine, but then it MUST have a toggle for sure too.

>To fix this I have to manually crank up the overall brightness within the >Catalyst Control Center to +15 and turn down the overall contrast to 85%. >Once I do this, everything, including photographs, TV, video, Blue-ray, >desktop background, etc. displays correctly and with appropriate grey levels.

you are losing fidelity on your desktop and photos doing that, not that you have any choice though with that TV of yours that unfortuneatly only takes video levels

>I personally don't understand why there would be a need to provide d>ifferent grey scale levels for desktop vs TV vs video vs Blue-ray, etc. If t>he display can only display 16-235, the video card needs to convert >everything from 0-255 into 16-236 for output.
>Similarly if the display is able to properly display 0-255, then the full 0-255 l>evels needs to be used and since TV content comes into the PC at 16-236, >this particular content needs to be expanded to 0-255. Photographs and >images already are stored using 0-255 so they don't require any expansion.

most TVs these days are swapable between 0-255 and 16-235 with a menu toggle and i'm not sure if the there is anyway for the PC to know that, so how would it know whether to use 16-235 or 0-255 if it senses a TV?
I don't know maybe the TV does send a signal back that can be read by the PC.

>Right now this situation is a total mess with Nvidia cards - so much so that >grey levels don't even work properly when PC monitors are used.



>Regardless of what gets expanded and where it happens, ATI does have it >working correctly right now (with Vista SP1 installed). With ATI, everything >is output using 0-255 (expanded as required) unless HDMI, s-video or >component video is used.

but SP1 screwed it for nvidia for me.
I used to have it all 0-255 for the recent number of months but now
now VMC HDTV ATSC is suddenly 16-235 (even though SD DVD is 0-255 now).
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post #142 of 146 Old 10-31-2008, 04:12 PM
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Just curious if MillerBrand or any of you others were able to resolve their pixalization issues with Skip Forward or Skip Back? I had opened up a ticket with Microsoft a few months back, and after various suggestions and reinstalls and trying this and that, they told me that in order to get rid of the pixalization, I should un-install SP1.

Now isn't that a fine solution! They tried to blame a "non-standard" hardware configuration, yet wouldn't be specific on what that piece of hardward was. They hinted at it either being my HD Homerun, or my HIS 2600XT video card. The other hardware I have is an Intel DP35DP with 2 gig Ram. I really think they didn't want to own up to their obvious SP1 codec problem, and were just fed up with me pressing them to fix the problem.
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post #143 of 146 Old 10-31-2008, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Hendrix View Post

Just curious if MillerBrand or any of you others were able to resolve their pixalization issues with Skip Forward or Skip Back? I had opened up a ticket with Microsoft a few months back, and after various suggestions and reinstalls and trying this and that, they told me that in order to get rid of the pixalization, I should un-install SP1.

Now isn't that a fine solution! They tried to blame a "non-standard" hardware configuration, yet wouldn't be specific on what that piece of hardward was. They hinted at it either being my HD Homerun, or my HIS 2600XT video card. The other hardware I have is an Intel DP35DP with 2 gig Ram. I really think they didn't want to own up to their obvious SP1 codec problem, and were just fed up with me pressing them to fix the problem.

Funny you should ask. I actually ran into a fix for this issue within the last week. I basically replaced the SP1 video codec with the original RTM video codec.

Link to Instructions

Coincidentally, every single piece of hardware you just listed is also a part of my HTPC. I wonder if MSFT knows something we don't about a specific troublemaking piece of hardware...
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post #144 of 146 Old 11-01-2008, 08:49 AM
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Thanks. I hate mucking around in the Registry, but when I have some time I'll it a shot.
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post #145 of 146 Old 11-01-2008, 10:22 AM
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Thanks. I hate mucking around in the Registry, but when I have some time I'll it a shot.

You don't need to mess around with the registry.

Just search your harddrive for the SP0 MPEG-2 codec, take ownership of the existing SP1 codec in C:\\Windows\\System32, copy the original somewhere for backup, replace the SP1 with SP0 and then type "regsvr32 MSMPEG2VDEC.DLL" from an elevated command prompt in C:\\Windows\\System32

Restart Media Center and you will have no more of these problems.

Both the SP0 and SP1 decoders use the same GUID so you don't need to change anything in the registry.

To recognize which file is which version, hover your mouse on the file (or look at the file properties) and check the version:

SP0 version: 11.0.5840.6324

SP1 version: 11.0.6001.7000
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post #146 of 146 Old 11-01-2008, 10:25 AM
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Coincidentally, every single piece of hardware you just listed is also a part of my HTPC. I wonder if MSFT knows something we don't about a specific troublemaking piece of hardware...

The problem is HD Recorded TV that is not from CableCard.

The reason I had the same issue is I am using an R5000HD to bring HD Recorded TV into Media Center. The SP0 decoder works flawlessly (compared to the SP1 version anyway...)
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