How Do I Improve Video Quality? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I have just recently purchased a Dell Media Center PC and while everything is working fine I am a little disappointed with the video quality, i.e., lack of sharpness & detail as well as somewhat faded colors. I have Windows Media Player 11 installed. Here are my questions:

1. Is the default Media Center video player Windows Media Player? If so, are there free plug-ins that will improve video quality?

2. Is there an alternative free video player that will access DVD content stored as files in disk storage that will give me better quality?

3. I do not have a Media Center remote control. Will I need one for configuration reasons, i.e., are there any features not accessible via mouse/keyboard? If so, which one should I buy and how expensive are they?

Thanks.

Fred
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 11:09 AM
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yes windows media player is the default and ONLY playback software within MCE. But you can improve playback with better mpeg decoders.

Are you running vista? or MCE 2005? Have you tried using the nvidia pure video decoders?

There isn't anything free that you'll like, you can try Media Player Classic, but I'd recoemend spending some money and getting TheaterTek, btw Theatertek comes with the nvidia pure video decoders to boot.

No there arn't any additional settings or anthing that can't be access by a mouse or kb, but having the MCE remote is by far better and easier to use than a kb or mouse, besides you can get the remote and USB ir reciver for $30.

- Josh
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 11:13 AM
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2 improve quality check out the FFDSHOW sticky in the HTPC part of the forum

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26

What video output does your Media Center PC have you will get the best picture from dvi/hdmi or component out. Wut kind of video card do u have and what kind of TV inputs are there?

Did u buy that PC from a store? I thought every "Media Center PC" is supposed to have a remote? or is it just a regular PC with MCE 05 as the OS? I
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feraltoad View Post

2 improve quality check out the FFDSHOW sticky in the HTPC part of the forum

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26

What video output does your Media Center PC have you will get the best picture from dvi/hdmi or component out. Wut kind of video card do u have and what kind of TV inputs are there?

Did u buy that PC from a store? I thought every "Media Center PC" is supposed to have a remote? or is it just a regular PC with MCE 05 as the OS? I

FFdshow ONLY works with thrid party programs like Theatertek, Zoom Player or MPC. It won't work in windows media player or MCE.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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My system is an AMD 3800+ w/nVidia 6150 on the motherboard (Dell model C521) and MCE 2005.

Fred
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 12:20 PM
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ffdshow absolutely works in MCE. I use it to decode divx and xvid content. I use purevideo for mpeg2.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdisker View Post

ffdshow absolutely works in MCE. I use it to decode divx and xvid content. I use purevideo for mpeg2.

Yes it works as a codec pack, but you can't use the post processing features of FFDshow within MCE. You need a player like Zoom Player, Theatertek and MPC to integrate FFdshow to get the post processing features.

- Josh
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

Yes it works as a codec pack, but you can't use the post processing features of FFDshow within MCE. You need a player like Zoom Player, Theatertek and MPC to integrate FFdshow to get the post processing features.

- Josh

It does use the post processing features for AVI files, you just can't wire it up as your mpeg2 decoder, so you can't use it post processing features for TV or DVD.

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 12:43 PM
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As far as image quality, the two big things I can think of that can really hose the image beyond repair are video connection, are you using svideo, component cables or DVI/HDMI?

Svideo will give you a terrible picture that cannot be "fixed".

The other issue is output resolution, TV's have a specific native resolution so they display the absolute best picture when you feed them a singal in that native format. For some LCDs that resolution is 1366x768, which often neccitates using DVI or VGA connection.

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post #10 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 12:44 PM
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but why the hell would you even post process divx/xvid or other video files? FFdshow folks here pretty much only (including myself) use FFDshow for dvd post processing only.

- Josh
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-12-2007, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm using VGA to a Sony 40" LCD model KDL-40S2010 HDTV. I have to check the resolution but I think it's set to the highest configurable (picture fits the screen perfectly) including 32 bit color @ 60Hz refresh.

Fred
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