How to calibrate video output of HTPC? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I use Plex and am really enjoying it.

I started with a Samsung blu-ray player that had a Plex app client (and put the Plex Media Server on a dedicated server PC).

I wasn't happy with the Samsung version of the Plex app (no chapter support being one reason) and experimented with the PC client on the same PC as the server. Performance was much better but I felt the quality of the video in terms of color, contrast etc suffered. I didn't do anything about it for a few weeks and a couple of days ago I went back to the Samsung Plex app.

Omg, the video quality is so much better (again, talking colors, not resolution).

So... what is the way to calibrate the output of a Windows 7 (or 8) PC. I remember some NVidia apps on other machines but the PC in question has on-board Intel graphics.

Any guidance appreciated - thanks!
Ian_Currie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 04:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 165
The best thing to do is use your TV's controls. Unless you hack the registry, you need to set the TV to 16-255 with an nVidea card.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #3 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The best thing to do is use your TV's controls. Unless you hack the registry, you need to set the TV to 16-255 with an nVidea card.

I don't think that would be the best thing in my case as I use an overhead projector that was professionally calibrated - and I have other sources beside the HTPC.
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #4 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 05:40 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 165
Hmm. The display device should always be calibrated to the input source. This is why I have one source, basically.. my HTPC.

Why are you using Plex for your playback? While it is good for what it does, especially streaming to phones, tablets and other such devices, the player is not the best for HT use, especially with a projector.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #5 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Hmm. The display device should always be calibrated to the input source. This is why I have one source, basically.. my HTPC.

Why are you using Plex for your playback? While it is good for what it does, especially streaming to phones, tablets and other such devices, the player is not the best for HT use, especially with a projector.

Hmm, I might be able to use a different memory in my projector.

As for Plex, I haven't found anything better than Plex - at least not yet. XMBC is the only other thing I've tried and they're pretty identical. If there's another product, please advise.

Thanks.
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #6 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 06:18 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
stanger89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Marion, IA
Posts: 17,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Currie View Post

I don't think that would be the best thing in my case as I use an overhead projector that was professionally calibrated - and I have other sources beside the HTPC.

There are two parts to calibrating a display, The one you need a professional (or knowledge/equipment) to do is an "output" calibration, calibrating RGB offsets, biases, Gamut (primaries/secondaries) gamma/grayscale. The second is "input" calibration, brightness/contrast mainly for each input. These are generally entirely separate and the second you can pretty "safely" do on your own.

If it's a decent projector (and if you had it professionally calibrated it should be) the brightness/contrast (input) setting should be separate per input. Your calibrator should have done the first (which applies to everything) and the second for each source you had a the time. It sounds like the PC is a "new" source, so you'll need to go through and calibrate the input yourself. First things first, if everything else is calibrated, you should look for a input level setting "full/limited", "PC/Video". If you have one of these setting it to limited/Video should solve your issue. With HDMI you really shouldn't have to adjust brightness/contrast on a calibrated display. If you don't have such a setting, you'll need to fire up some test patterns and adjust the brightness/contrast setting.

A good set of (free) test patterns is here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/948496/avs-hd-709-blu-ray-mp4-calibration

FWIW, if your professional calibration didn't do Grayscale and Gamut (at the very least Grayscale), I wouldn't call it a "professional" calibration.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
stanger89 is offline  
post #7 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

There are two parts to calibrating a display, The one you need a professional (or knowledge/equipment) to do is an "output" calibration, calibrating RGB offsets, biases, Gamut (primaries/secondaries) gamma/grayscale. The second is "input" calibration, brightness/contrast mainly for each input. These are generally entirely separate and the second you can pretty "safely" do on your own.

If it's a decent projector (and if you had it professionally calibrated it should be) the brightness/contrast (input) setting should be separate per input. Your calibrator should have done the first (which applies to everything) and the second for each source you had a the time. It sounds like the PC is a "new" source, so you'll need to go through and calibrate the input yourself. First things first, if everything else is calibrated, you should look for a input level setting "full/limited", "PC/Video". If you have one of these setting it to limited/Video should solve your issue. With HDMI you really shouldn't have to adjust brightness/contrast on a calibrated display. If you don't have such a setting, you'll need to fire up some test patterns and adjust the brightness/contrast setting.

A good set of (free) test patterns is here:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/948496/avs-hd-709-blu-ray-mp4-calibration

FWIW, if your professional calibration didn't do Grayscale and Gamut (at the very least Grayscale), I wouldn't call it a "professional" calibration.

Thanks for the response. I have a 3 chip DLP projector (Sim2 C3X1080) that was calibrated by Jeff Meier; grayscale and gamut was done.

I only have one input calibrated on the projector as all inputs go into a Classe SSP-800 processor. I am very experienced with setting brightness and contrast myself (I have several test discs), but from what you're saying I may not need to do that.

So, if I understand you correctly, I should probably 'copy' the settings from the calibrated input memory to a second one, then adjust from there, specifically the bandwidth (full/limited vs PC/video). Is this related to 1-255 vs 16-nnn (i.e. could it be the labeling on this setting is different)?

Thanks again!
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #8 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 06:42 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
stanger89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Marion, IA
Posts: 17,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 112
Does your Classe have any calibration features? For example I run everything through a Radiance XE, I calibrated my Planar 8150 with the Radiance built-in test patterns, and then I tweaked any inputs as necessary on the input calibration in the Radiance.

The other thing to check, is on the PC side, see if you can pick Limited/Full (16-235/0-255) or similar. I suppose either way you shouldn't have to much with brightness/contrast, especially if everything you have is HDMI.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
stanger89 is offline  
post #9 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 06:58 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 165
MPC-HC with madVR is probably the best way to go for a player. It can be launched from MB. You need good hardware to do this.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #10 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

MPC-HC with madVR is probably the best way to go for a player. It can be launched from MB. You need good hardware to do this.

Sammy2, why would this be better than Plex? I am building a fast PC this weekend (Intel i7-4770k) so I'm guessing hardware won't be an issue. Again, would love to know what the advantages are over Plex. Performance only - or are the librarian aspects superior too?

I have a large blu-ray collection that I have ripped to MKV files and that is the main purpose of the HTPC.

Thanks.
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #11 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

MPC-HC with madVR is probably the best way to go for a player. It can be launched from MB. You need good hardware to do this.

I'm also confused. If MB is 'Media Browser', why do you need MPC-HC and madVR to play files? I've done some googling on madVR and I can see it's some sort of video processing software, but what's the need for this? Does it do something beyond what a blu-ray player would do?
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #12 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 07:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
FantaXP7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,029
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Madvr has filters that can improve video quality.
FantaXP7 is online now  
post #13 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 08:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 165
A Blu-ray player is just that. A Blu-ray player. It has nothing to do with the discussion here.

MPC-HC is a highly configurable PC video player that, among other things, allows you to load madshi's Video Renderer called madVR which can be used for video rendering that exceeds anything that Plex can currently do.

MediaBrowser is a library organization program that natively uses the Windows Media Center player but can be set up to load MPC-HC as the player.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #14 of 40 Old 08-13-2013, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
OK, I think I get the concept now, thanks.

I'll look into it.
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #15 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 03:52 AM
AVS Special Member
 
StinDaWg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Liked: 121
You don't need MadVR. I can't tell the difference in quality between that and XBMC internal player. I have nothing against MadVR but it's total placebo effect to me and many others. I'm a videophile at heart, and I would be using MadVR if there was a difference but there isn't in real life use. If you are satisfied with what you have now I would stick with that.

I do use MPC-HC+MadVR "film mode" for 1080i files that need IVTC (inverse telecine) because it's the only combo I have found to play back these files properly. Everything else is handled by XBMC internal player just fine.
StinDaWg is offline  
post #16 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 05:01 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

You don't need MadVR. I can't tell the difference in quality between that and XBMC internal player. I have nothing against MadVR but it's total placebo effect to me and many others. I'm a videophile at heart, and I would be using MadVR if there was a difference but there isn't in real life use. If you are satisfied with what you have now I would stick with that.

I do use MPC-HC+MadVR "film mode" for 1080i files that need IVTC (inverse telecine) because it's the only combo I have found to play back these files properly. Everything else is handled by XBMC internal player just fine.

I can't tell a difference either.

Many can though.
assassin is offline  
post #17 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Maybe it depends on screen size?

The idea of getting 3 pieces of software to work together (MB, MPC-HC, MadVR) sounds a little daunting but I will probably give it a go.

Btw, does MB3 also work with the other two?
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #18 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 07:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 165
The video quality of Plex is garbage. It is soft and mushy whereas MPC-HC with madVR is crisp and clean.

The difference between WMC and MPC-HC/madVR is less noticeable but you won't have 3:2 pull down cadence because madVR does frame rate switching for 24p content.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #19 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 07:23 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Postmoderndesign's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,074
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 28
Personally I like to start with cheap and fast. If i like the results then I think I did the right thing while others may prefer matching some standard.
1. I search google for calibration settings for my display and I start there.
2. I click the Microsoft Windows icon in the bottom left of my Windows 7 screen and type calibration in the dialogue box. Then I click on the color calibration program which is also in control panel. Then I work through the calibration steps. When I like the results I am done and I go on with life.
Postmoderndesign is offline  
post #20 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The video quality of Plex is garbage. It is soft and mushy whereas MPC-HC with madVR is crisp and clean.

The difference between WMC and MPC-HC/madVR is less noticeable but you won't have 3:2 pull down cadence because madVR does frame rate switching for 24p content.

Hmm, I would have thought pixels were pixels and there wasn't room for interpretation.

Does MPC-HC support all the high resolution (non-lossy) audio formats?
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #21 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 09:34 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
stanger89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Marion, IA
Posts: 17,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Currie View Post

Hmm, I would have thought pixels were pixels and there wasn't room for interpretation.

Partially true, madVR's benefits are in scaling, so you'd potentially see the benefit on things like upconverted DVD, though remember that even Blu-ray has subsampled chroma, so there's some benefit is chroma scaling even with Blu-ray.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
stanger89 is offline  
post #22 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 10:13 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 165
And with LAV filter, LAV Audio and LAV Video you get all the HD Audio you want.. If you need to decode you install dtsdecoder.dll from arcsoft.

Here's is a good place to start down this road..

Sammy2 is offline  
post #23 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 11:53 AM
Member
 
JL-F1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 14
If you switch everthing HDMI to one input on the Projector you should adjust the brightness/contrast in the intel video driver settings using the AVS test patterns linked above.

Not every device, especially a PC, outputs video the same as the test pattern generator the calibrator used. Adjusting the pc settings will get you MUCH closer.
JL-F1 is offline  
post #24 of 40 Old 08-14-2013, 05:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
StinDaWg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Liked: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The video quality of Plex is garbage. It is soft and mushy whereas MPC-HC with madVR is crisp and clean.
I don't agree with this. I don't use Plex but I use XBMC which is based on the same code. The video quality is not soft and mushy, it's perfectly clear, and looks the same as MPC-HC+MadVR. Are you specifically referring to 1080p content or 480/720 upscaled? I use Lanczos3 upscaling in XBMC and it's razor sharp. MadVR provides the same upscaling options with the addition of Jinc (which is actually a bit softer than Lanczos).

If you really think the picture quality of Plex is "garbage" then you don't have something set right.
StinDaWg is offline  
post #25 of 40 Old 08-15-2013, 03:46 AM
Member
 
HDWorld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

I use Lanczos3 upscaling in XBMC and it's razor sharp. MadVR provides the same upscaling options with the addition of Jinc (which is actually a bit softer than Lanczos).

And with the addition of chroma upscaling option and antinringing filter option, for example.

MadVR Jinc3 chroma upscaling:



MadVR Antiringing filter with lanczos upscaling:



Without antiringing filter:



Open each picture on a new tab and change between tabs to observe, look at the word "meter" or the second circle border ringing artifacts for example.

Plus, as he/she said "MPC-HC with madVR is ...", with MPC HC you can choose to apply Sharpen Complex 2 (among others) or not, for example.
HDWorld is offline  
post #26 of 40 Old 08-15-2013, 07:18 AM
AVS Special Member
 
StinDaWg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Liked: 121
I've seen all the test patterns and blown up pictures a million times. There is a technical difference, but in actual moving video content there isn't. I don't watch low quality SD content (where AR is most useful), and I don't see ringing on 720p->1080p upscaling at all with regular Lanczos3 or Spline36.
StinDaWg is offline  
post #27 of 40 Old 08-15-2013, 12:59 PM
Member
 
HDWorld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

I don't watch low quality SD content (where AR is most useful)...

To clarify:
Quote:
madVR (AR) does not look at a frame and try to remove existing ringing. Instead madVR modifies the resampling algorithm itself to not introduce ringing in the first place. I think for clean sources madVR's approach is better because it is less probable that madVR's algorithm harms image quality in any way.
HDWorld is offline  
post #28 of 40 Old 09-23-2013, 04:12 AM
AVS Special Member
 
madshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,414
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 108
Just stumbled over this thread. Here are my 2 cents:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Currie View Post

Hmm, I would have thought pixels were pixels and there wasn't room for interpretation.

Technically it's not that simple. When talking about "pixels", you're probably thinking of RGB pixels, cause that's what the display ultimately renders, right? However, video is encoded in YCbCr 4:2:0. Which means e.g. for Blu-Ray brightness information is stored in 1920x1080, while color information is only stored in 960x540 resolution. So color information has to be upscaled to full resolution first (as stanger89 mentioned), for which different algorithms exist, with different quality levels. This fact alone means that there already is some room for interpretation. Afterwards you have to convert YCbCr to RGB, which is a floating point matrix multiplication. So you end up with floating point RGB pixels. However, HDMI doesn't support floating point numbers, and HTPCs usually only output 8bit. Some years ago madVR introduced dithering to convert the floating point RGB data to 8bit RGB. At the time nobody else in the HTPC was doing that, so madVR had a quality advantage. In the meanwhile some other HTPC developers followed madVR's lead (e.g. LAV Video Decoder) and also implemented dithering. But all of this is quite technical stuff.

Practically, when talking about playing back Blu-Ray content on a 1080p display/projector, you shouldn't expect day-and-night differences between madVR and other video players. The difference can be very small to almost undetectable if the other video player is doing a good job. The situation can change the more scaling you need (the bigger the scaling factor is), because madVR has some advanced scaling algorithms. But even then, depending on your screen size, the type/quality of the source content and your "videophile grade" tongue.gif the difference can vary between very small and quite obvious.

madVR does have some extra features, which can make a quite noticeable difference. E.g. it has a nice IVTC algorithm (as mentioned by StinDaWg). Or if your display doesn't have a good 24Hz mode, madVR's smooth motion FRC can mostly fix that. Or the next version will contain a high quality convergence/panel alignment correction algorithm for 3-chip projector owners, which I hope/think will be of higher quality than what the projector manufacturers (e.g. Sony) currently offer. More to come in future versions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Currie View Post

Does MPC-HC support all the high resolution (non-lossy) audio formats?

If you download a newer nightly build, it should already come with LAV filters built in. Those support bitstreaming of TrueHD/DTS Master Audio. They can also decode TrueHD. DTS Master Audio can be decoded, too, with the help of an external decoder DLL (from ArcSoft).
jkleslie likes this.
madshi is online now  
post #29 of 40 Old 09-23-2013, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
Ian_Currie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Holliston, MA
Posts: 1,338
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

Just stumbled over this thread. Here are my 2 cents:
Technically it's not that simple. When talking about "pixels", you're probably thinking of RGB pixels, cause that's what the display ultimately renders, right? However, video is encoded in YCbCr 4:2:0. Which means e.g. for Blu-Ray brightness information is stored in 1920x1080, while color information is only stored in 960x540 resolution. So color information has to be upscaled to full resolution first (as stanger89 mentioned), for which different algorithms exist, with different quality levels. This fact alone means that there already is some room for interpretation. Afterwards you have to convert YCbCr to RGB, which is a floating point matrix multiplication. So you end up with floating point RGB pixels. However, HDMI doesn't support floating point numbers, and HTPCs usually only output 8bit. Some years ago madVR introduced dithering to convert the floating point RGB data to 8bit RGB. At the time nobody else in the HTPC was doing that, so madVR had a quality advantage. In the meanwhile some other HTPC developers followed madVR's lead (e.g. LAV Video Decoder) and also implemented dithering. But all of this is quite technical stuff.

Practically, when talking about playing back Blu-Ray content on a 1080p display/projector, you shouldn't expect day-and-night differences between madVR and other video players. The difference can be very small to almost undetectable if the other video player is doing a good job. The situation can change the more scaling you need (the bigger the scaling factor is), because madVR has some advanced scaling algorithms. But even then, depending on your screen size, the type/quality of the source content and your "videophile grade" tongue.gif the difference can vary between very small and quite obvious.

madVR does have some extra features, which can make a quite noticeable difference. E.g. it has a nice IVTC algorithm (as mentioned by StinDaWg). Or if your display doesn't have a good 24Hz mode, madVR's smooth motion FRC can mostly fix that. Or the next version will contain a high quality convergence/panel alignment correction algorithm for 3-chip projector owners, which I hope/think will be of higher quality than what the projector manufacturers (e.g. Sony) currently offer. More to come in future versions...
If you download a newer nightly build, it should already come with LAV filters built in. Those support bitstreaming of TrueHD/DTS Master Audio. They can also decode TrueHD. DTS Master Audio can be decoded, too, with the help of an external decoder DLL (from ArcSoft).

madshi, thank you SO much for this post. It is very educational.

I have noticed that madVR does wonders for upscaling standard definition content.

I have given up on 24fps playback so I will check and see whether I'm properly using the smooth motion feature. I suspect I am because I couldn't tell any difference between 60fps and 24fps.

I have a 3 chip DLP projector with a very large screen, so that upcoming convergence feature sounds very appealing!

Thanks again.
Ian_Currie is offline  
post #30 of 40 Old 09-23-2013, 10:38 AM
AVS Special Member
 
madshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,414
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 108
What do you mean with having given up on 24fps playback?

The madVR smooth motion FRC is off by default, so unless you have manually changed the madVR settings, it's not active. Motion with 24Hz should be smoother compared to 60Hz, especially when looking at smooth camera pans. However, some displays and projectors have a badly implemented 24fps mode: They internally simply pullup those 24fps to 60fps and show them with 60Hz again, so they reintroduce the typical 3:2 pulldown judder. For such displays/projectors you might want to enable madVR's smooth motion FRC algorithm. Doing so will get you quite near to a display with a properly implemented 24fps mode. However, please make sure you use fullscreen exclusive mode for that because smooth motion FRC doesn't always work correctly in windowed or overlay mode.

If you're not sure about 24Hz and whether motion is smooth or not, do this:

(1) Search for a movie with a nice long smooth camera pan.
(2) Play it back on your main computer or laptop, with the display set to 60Hz.
(3) In the madVR settings set up keyboard shortcuts for enabling and disabling smooth motion FRC.
(4) Then during playback of the camera pan toggle between smooth motion FRC on/off by using the keyboard shortcuts.

Doing this should make the difference between proper 24fps playback and 3:2 pulldown judder *very* obvious. Once you know what to look for, you should also be able to see this on your projector setup.

Edit: Better use a Blu-Ray for testing, to make sure deinterlacing doesn't screw up the testing. If you use DXVA2/hardware deinterlacing with a hard telecined DVD, you'll have the 3:2 pulldown judder baked in. So better use a 24fps source, just to make sure. For NTSC DVD movie playback I recommend to set madVR to forced film mode. That way you will also get smooth 24fps motion for NTSC DVD playback.
madshi is online now  
Reply Home Theater Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off