Improving SD content on budget HTPC. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-01-2013, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

I am not on to my journey in the HTPC world. I have been ripping my movie collection in my spare time. I am just recently purchased my first Blu-ray player. I was always pretty happy with how DVD looked on my old 42" rear projection tv. Now after being spoiled with my new blu-ray player as well as my EPSON 8350 projector on a 102" screen, I am certainly not as happy as I was when I was oblivious to the quality of HD.

I am now on a mission to do what I can to improve my viewing experience with my ripped DVD collection. I have read a fair amount on the forums about ffdshow, MadVR and all of the various upconverting/upscaling threads. After reading all the threads I think I have come away more confused. I found a tutorial on homecinema-hd.com that seemed fairly straight forward. I get lost on if I need MadVR or not. What would be the best/efficient way to improve my perception of the SD content?

My equipment:

Display: Epson 8350 Projector
Receiver: Denon 2312CI
My Budget HTPC Build:
- G540 processor (I am using onboard graphics)
- ASRock H77M Mobo
- 4 GB Crucial Ballistix RAM
- PNY 120GB SSD
- 1.5TB WD Green Hard Drive
- LG Blu-ray/DVD Drive

I appreciate the info. Please feel free to dumb it down, I may need it.

Jason
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-01-2013, 06:55 PM
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MadVr buddy, (read advance mpc-hc setup guide in the root of this forum category).

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post #3 of 20 Old 04-01-2013, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Is my budget build able to run that. I am using onboard graphics. No video card.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 07:16 AM
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What are you using as your frontend? XBMC, WMC, mediaportal?
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I am using WMC with medi browser.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 09:37 AM
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I really don't think that gpu is powerful enough to do the advanced scaling algorithms.

Beyond that they really work best with MPC

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 09:39 AM
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WMC internal player uses Intel driver's upscaling algorithm = a variant of Lanczos. MadVR includes a better algorithm, called Jinc, but you will need a good discrete graphics card to use it. For example, Radeon HD 6570 for movie and HD 7770 for movie and video.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I did download mpc-hc. What can I do with my current set up. How do you make mpc the default player in wmc, or can you?
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Broadway View Post

Thanks for the info. I did download mpc-hc. What can I do with my current set up. How do you make mpc the default player in wmc, or can you?

http://mikinho.com/wmc/open-with/

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post #10 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 10:47 AM
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Install madVR, then use it with MPC-HC (check the sticky thread "Advanced MPC-HC Setup Guide" for details). You can launch MPC-HC as an external player from within Media Browser (how).

With G540, the best settings in madVR is perhaps

- Chroma upscaling: Bicubic 50
- Image upscaling: DXVA2

So basically you will get the same PQ as WMC (i.e. DXVA2 upscaling by Lanczos). You still need to add a discrete card if you want better PQ.
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Broadway View Post

Thanks for the info. I did download mpc-hc. What can I do with my current set up. How do you make mpc the default player in wmc, or can you?

its pretty easy to do with media browser. go into the configuration settings and then the advanced settings under external players. select whatever types of files you want to use mpc to open.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 12:34 PM
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I would suggest trying mpc-hc without madvr first and see if it is any better than wmc, then try it with madvr.

At this point if you can actually tell the difference then set it up to launch as an external player.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 12:55 PM
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When using MPC-HC with EVR-CP (the default renderer), you can do some customization and may see improvements (in your eyes). The default resize is Bilinear, a poor scaling method, that you should avoid. With EVR vanilla, PQ is more or less identical with that of WMC/WMP (as they use exactly the same driver's upscaling algorithm).
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 12:59 PM
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On one of my computers(GeForce 610 + core 2 duo 3ghz) I can use the cuvid decoder of lav coupled with softcubic chroma 100/jinc3
Image.

This is only with no deinterlacing though, that's when it starts to become very demanding. Nevertheless, I was very surprised, best bet is to just tweak what you think looks best compared to how much your computer can cope with.

If you do watch interlaced video like tv recordings. Make sure you test with both sd and hd samples.

You can just press ctrl j when playing to toggle madVRs playback information to see dropped frames.

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post #15 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. My brain is on overload. Does one see improvement when comparing WMP default to what MPC can do without MadVR? I just dont think I will be able to run MadVR adequately.

Jason
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I tried MadVR and thats definitely a no go with what I have.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 04:06 PM
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You can improve your situation for under $100, probably $60 but if you want to go the max you'll need to spend upwards of $200.

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post #18 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

You can improve your situation for under $100, probably $60 but if you want to go the max you'll need to spend upwards of $200.

These new mid range solutions from AMD and Nvidia are pretty powerful, the HD 7790 and the GTX650Ti Boost. They are around a $150 for the 1GB versions. They should take you pretty deep into the madVR realm. I have seen Comcast SD and HD using MadVR and Cuvid at the Lancos level on an EVGA GTS 450 and it looks lovely. I am seriously considering a 7790 for my main PC... not quite ready to shift from WMC to JRiver for certain usability reasons but the picture is great.. I have JRiver at my desktop, but I need improved usability out of the GUI before I give up on WMC for the much improved picture quality.

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post #19 of 20 Old 04-02-2013, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the recommendations on video card options. Budget wise adding a card is a luxury. I will be needing to add more storage space first. Also my 2 pci-e are being used by my tuners. In time I willed step up to a dedicated gpu.

I will just have to experiment with wmp and mhc more. I knew with my budget build I wouldnt be able to do it all. Back to the forums and internet for more reading.


Thanks

Jason
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post #20 of 20 Old 04-10-2013, 11:20 PM
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There's a bunch of settings in madVR to help run it on a lower end video card. Look in the trade quality for performance section.

For me, using LAV filters helps me use madVR on lower systems-for a start I have found using software instead of hardware decoding helps madVR perform better. If you have an Nvidia card the CUVID decoder should help lots in LAV video.

Like already said if you can't run madVR then you may as well stay with WMC. I use WMC for recording and when I need to pause tv, otherwise I play my recordings in mpc-hc or watch live tv(without pvr) in mpc-hc. That way I always get the highest quality. I also use codec tweak tool to use LAV in MED.

I believe the only other solutions for pvr using madVR are jriver and dvb viewer pro.

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