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Ffdshow FAQ - Page 5

post #121 of 4374
I'll just do whatever you say Mastiff....

I'll post back when I'm done..
post #122 of 4374

After reading your various comments about matching resolutions, I tried to input 1366 x786 but fddshow resize will not accept those values - that's why I used 1440x 960.

If you know of some way around this, please let me know. It would save the video card from rescaling.

That said, the PQ is pretty impressive.

post #123 of 4374

That is a strange resolution dude.
All resize values have to be divisible by 16 or they are rejected.


The ffdshow resize - sharpen dude
post #124 of 4374
Owen, stupid question what exactly do you mean it must be divisible by 16? Literally I know what it means, but in releation to ffdshow could you elaborate for a noob?

post #125 of 4374
If you can divide the resolution with 16 and get a full number (like 1600 divided on 16 will be 100) you're OK. If you get a number with decimals (like 1610 divided by 16 will be 100.625) you're not OK. Simple as that. It's a limitation that lies in may types of video files and players.
post #126 of 4374
Mastiff both the horizontal and vertical or just the horizontal res? I would imagine both. Can you belive what ffdshow is telling you via the OSD? I'm just having a hard time because I really can't tell a diff. I have a desktop res of 864x648 and a ffdshow resize of 1440x960. I do not change the res on the desktop before I launch TT, I let ffdshow take care of that and the OSD tells me that my outputsize is 1440x960, so I guess all is good. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

post #127 of 4374
Yes, both. And I believe the OSD's correct. The output size is scaled back to 864x648 by your graphics card.
post #128 of 4374
Mastiff if I'm understanding your last post, even though I'm scaling up to 1440x960 via ffdshow when I launch TT and my desktop is 864x648 TT is NOT playing the DVD at the ffdshow res but the desktop res of 864x648 "The output size is scaled back to 864x648 by your graphics card." So, what I need to do is increase my desktop res > ffdshow of 1440x960 and then scale back down to ffdshow's res of 1440x960 when I launch TT? Please tell me that is a corrupt assumption!

post #129 of 4374

Excuse the typo in my note - the Sony 11-HT native resolution is 1366 x 768.

Ok, the 1366 is not an even multiple of 16, so I have the following choices:

a) resize fddshow using 1360 x 768 - Radeon will upscale to 1366x768

b) resize fddshow using 1376 x 768 - Radeon will downscale to 1366x768

c) leave my fddshow 1440x960 alone - the Radeon is already downscaling
I'm already quite pleased with this PQ.

Which option do you recommend?

post #130 of 4374
I have a similar question to go along with millerrj...

I am currently running a res of 1920x1080i out to my Sony RPTV via DVI. I have ffdshow resize set to 1440x960 and the picture looks good. However, would it be better if I set resize to 1920x1080 to match the output res? I already tried setting resize to match the output res of 1920x1080 but the picture was choppy--it wouldn't play smoothly.

I'm wondering if I should upgrade my AMD1.8GHz 'Barton' to something faster. The question is, would it be worth my while? Or would the differences be so insignificant it would be a waste of time/money? BTW, I'm running a Radeon7500. Thanks for any insight.

post #131 of 4374
Govnah, you need to try for yourself what's best. Maybe upscaling and then downscaling is, maybe you should let ffdshow scale to your native resolution (providing you've got a digital projector).
post #132 of 4374
I think my whole issue is that I'm tryin to accomplish this using a direct view 40" Sony XBR, which is a pain in the ass.
post #133 of 4374
well, I got it all working now...almost....
I can set the output to 1440x960, but I cant see a difference in zoom....
OSD from FFDshow doesn't come up, either , so does that mean the setting isn't applied to ZP?

I'm not sure I got all the settings in zoom right, so could you please explain it to me step by step, Mastiff, the settings in zoom?

... for some types in ffd, I have the choice of disabled, or libra-something..
is libra the best?
post #134 of 4374

I use ffdshow thanks to Owen and bbq and others to my hearts delight and experimented with it.
The secret is not the down or upscaling to the projector but what happened before that in the digital domain, The original data per frame is altered digitally (filter), in this case making it sharper. if you would use ffdshow and change the resolution to 1440x 960 but keep chroma and luma sharpen zero you would hardly notice any difference between using ffdshow or not.
The more you rescale up before the filter steps in, the more refined or subtle (read: less perceivable digital negative side artefacts) the sharpening effect will have. try chroma and luma sharpening with resolution 480x300 and let the graphicscard do the upscaling to 1366x768 (strange choice of Sony) the effect will be horrible.
If you do the reverse, say 1920x1080 (if CPU can handle it) and let the gr. card downscale to 1366, the effect will be better with actually much less negative artefacts. Altering still pictures like in photoshop follow the same principle.
The rule of thumb is roughly try to find out how high can you go with the filter in action and then bring back the resolution to the native screen resulution.
this is theory. In practice like many said before, you have to try. In the chain, conversions by themseves do create distortion.. WHich upscaling is the cleanest? done by ffdshow or card? Or is downscaling by card cleaner or less clean than letting ffdshow scale to the native resolution of projector? If I let ffdshow scale to screen resolution as it is cleaner than the graphicscard, I will loose the PQ advantage of altering the image on a higher resolution and let the card downscale.
Only trial and error will let you find out. theory is only a guideline here
post #135 of 4374
A Barton 1,8 gig is the 2500+? This is on most motherboards with an FSB of 166 easy to o├žlock to >2,0 gig. A mini mum of12,5x166 w. a voltage of 1,85 volts is almost 100% guaranteed.

another way is to use DVD Shrink and copy yr DVD to hdd. And use ZP + ffdshow to alter the PQ. You need much less CPU to process a DVD from hdd than from a disk in the drive.

I add both . I o clock my barton 2500+ and copy the disk (mostly within 40 minutes) to hdd. watch the movie and afterwards delete the +/- 5gig from my hdd.

the difference is roughly 15 - 20 % less cpu time from hdd compared to disk in DVD rom
post #136 of 4374
The Barton 2500+ runs at 1833MHz, but as kyrill said is easily overclockable to 3200+ speeds(or 200x11=2.2GHz). That's a quick and easy upgrade right there, and should be really fast since the 3200+ is the fastest AMD Athlon XP CPU you can get right now.
post #137 of 4374
Ok, now I am quoting myself. If you are a noob, read this several times until you understand it.

There is a lot of miss information getting around about ffdhow resize-sharpen.
Everyone seems to recommend doubling DVD resolution (720x480NTSC and 720x576PAL). This clean 2x multiple resize may be good idea if your display is 1440x960NTSC or 1440x1152PAL but there are not many displays of this exact resolution.
Now we have a dilemma. Since the display resolution will almost always be a non even multiple of the DVD resolution, is it better to have ffdshow resize to the exact display res or resize to a higher resolution and let the video card do a second resize down to the output/display resolution ?

We all know to output at our native display resolution to avoid scaling by the display/ projector. So why not avoid scaling by video card as well?

There are two ways to go here. Resize to desktop / display resolution or double DVD resolution. (Even something in between could work for you.) You will have to try both methods for your selves to find what works the best for your system. There is no perfect setup that everyone should be using, so there is not much point asking others for there settings, as what looks good to them may not look good to you.

For people with low resolution displays (Standard Definition TV's etc) I still recommend resizing to higher then there display resolution and downscaling in video hardware so that the Luma - Croma Sharpen part of the resize filter can be used. Double DVD resolution should be ideal here, as it will be halved for display (even scaling multiple). But dont be afraid to try lower resize settings.

Don't sweat it if your system cannot handle resize to double DVD res or more. Lower resize settings still work 90% as well. It's not worth stutters in playback just to get the perfect resize.
Another point to consider here for people without super computers is that a more conservative resize could allow you to run other useful filters like Gradual Denoise, Dscaler Sharpen etc. It's all about compromises.

The other reason to use ffdshow resize (apart from Luma - Croma Sharpening) is so that the Gradual Denoise filter can be use on the upscaled image. This allows higher denoise settings than could otherwise be used, and makes the Denoise filter more subtle and useful.
Remember that ffdshows filters are run in the order in which they appear in the filter list. From top to bottom. The order can be changed by dragging filters up or down the list.
Filters placed below Resize on the list will be acting on the Resized image. And with a much higher CPU overhead.
Descaler Sharpen filter in ffdshow works differently to Resize Sharpen and is recommended for bringing out fine details. But should be used before resize for best affect. It can introduce grain or noise if overused.
I like to use all three filters above. Resize Sharpen and Descaler Sharpen work differently and can be used to good affect together.
I generally don't use the filters under the Sharpen tab in ffdshow (asharp,unsharp etc) as they are very harsh and artificial looking. But I have seen them put to good use on crappy, blurry TV's.

As for how to setup ffdshow Resize.

1. Go to Resize & aspect menu. Check Resize in upper left-corner.
2. Check Specify Size
3. Enter required size (must be multiple of 16)
4. Check Resize Always
5. Check "no aspect ratio correction" (aspect ratio is adjusted by your player)
6. Go to Settings tab and adjust Luma and Croma sharpness as required. I also recommend changing resize Method to LANCZOS

Last, don't forget to set your desktop resolution to your display device resolution.
People with CRT's have some flexibility here. Digital displays generally do not.

Also note that Resize (and resize Method) cannot be enable and disable /changed on the fly.
You must close and restart your player. The Luma and Croma sharpen settings can be change on the fly, while you watch.


The ffdshow resize - sharpen dude
post #138 of 4374

OK - I get it now. It's more of an art than science as PQ is subjective.

I will experiment a bit more...thanks.

post #139 of 4374
Owen, I think I'm crazy! I was very satisfied with my picture quality, but still used four hours trying to squeeze out a few percents extra. But that's not why I'm crazy. I'm crazy because I think it was worth it! I actually did manage to make a change.

Yesterday, when my wife went to bed at 11 P.M. (early for a Friday, but she was tired) I went down to the Cinema Inferno. I had in advance semi-prepared the server with an image of the HTPC (same motherboard, but slower 1800 processor versus 2600 on the HTPC and older Radeon 7000 versus 9500 on the HTPC). It of course took an extra half hour to get PowerStrip settings, but finally I got it to a point where a fast doublepress of the control button on my IR keyboard could change between the HTPC and the server without any change in scan frequency on my very well adjusted Barco Graphics 808. Then I did another half hour of finetuning convergence (it wasn't strictly necessary, but I could see a slight difference afterwards in some parts of the image). I finally did a bit of Girder magic so that one press of pause, play, stop, next and previous chapter would work at the same time on both computers. Then in with the same movie rip (full DVD rip played as DVD file in ZoomPlayer, of course), "The Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring". And let the games begin! Mind you most of the time I had no way of knowing what computer I was watching simply because I did a random number of jumps between them with doublepresses on control so I shouldn't fool myself. To see where I was I had to move the mouse into view since the IR keyboard/mouse combo was connected to only one of the computers. Also I did it without sound so I shouldn't be distracted.

First of all I could hardly see the difference between the two images when using Sonic filters and no ffdshow. There was a minute difference in very fine details, but nothing one would notice in practical viewing. I found that Gimli's beard and the buckle on Boromir's shoulder belt just behind him and to the left in the scene before the Fellowship leaves Rivendell was a very fine way to check for fine detail.

Then we go to the big filter shoot out. I have spent a few days (only a short time every day, though) getting WinDVD Platinum 5 working with ffdshow (registry settings, ffdshow from the 23rd of May and Abstract filter). And it turned out to pay off. There was a distinct (not large or huge, though) in detail and clarity between WinDVD and Sonic's Cinemaster. No doubt there. Sonic had something I would describe as "warmer colors", but nothing that couldn't be attained with hue in ffdshow.

Next step: Both computers running WinDVD's filters. And the duel of the video renderers. My XP1800 is not able to run WinDVD evenly in VMR 9, so that had to stay in overlay, while the XP2600 HTPC got the VMR setup. Surprise, surprise: Again not a huge, large or even big difference, but distinct. Again more fine detail in the VMR picture, and it seemed to have a tad less noise as well. And those are of course related since noise will mask fine details.

Then, to be able to compare apples and apples I went back to overlay on both computers and fired up ffdshow as well (with abstract as the VMO filter that enables ffdshow to work with WinDVD). And the big one: 1280x960 resize on the HTPC, 1024x768 on the server. My eyes was getting kind of crossed by then, at first I was unable to see what was best. So I took a short break and a Coke and went back. The difference was not even distinct anymore, but it was there. And the winner is...1024x768! Which incidentally is my desktop resolution. I was happy to see that, since it of course taxes the processor less.

The hour I had left (it was 2 A.M. by then, and I wanted to get some sleep - which was partly destroyed by our dog (and I partly destroyed the dog!)) went into fine adjustments with ffdshow. I ended up with settings that fits my projector perfectly, but may be to extreme especially for digital projectors. Here's my new setup:

Video filter: WinDVD Platinum 5
ffdshow resize: 1024x768, both luma & croma sharpen on 2
dScaler sharpness filter: 133
Picture properties: Luminance gain 140, offset 8, all gamma corrections off, hue 4, saturation 82

Also, for purists this will be to extreme no matter what projector or TV you're using, but I prefer colors on the bright side and a bit of extra sharpness. Now this taxes my 2600 a lot, I get an even 100 % on ffdshow's OSD, while Windows' task manager shows jumps between 80 & 100. But the picture and sound has no jumps or dropouts, and I have 100 % stable pans, so I'm not to worried. But I have increased the speed of the CPU fan... Weird, isn't it? Just like the room on a desk your processor needs will within a short amount of time hit the roof of the last upgrade. But I guess that's why Intel's reporting increased earnings... And if I keep doing this I'll increase AMD's profit by myself!

Burre, if you don't see the OSD you're probably not getting anywhere. It should be there. As for "libra" I don't know. But there's one sure fire test to se if ffdshow processes your image: under "Miscellaneous" there's the possibility to flip the image. If it doesn't flip, you're not using ffdshow.
post #140 of 4374

Descaler Sharpen filter in ffdshow works differently to Resize Sharpen and is recommended for bringing out fine details. But should be used before resize for best affect. It can introduce grain or noise if overused.

This I don't understand.
the effect before resize wil be worse in relation to using the effect after resize. This is easy to see when using FLT_sharpness set on 256 before and after the resize filter with chroma and luma sharpen set to zero.
The grain (negative side effect) can be controlled with the slider. Using less than 128 will reduce the sharpening effect and its negative byproducts. So using Dscaler Sharpen after resize but in your case <128 (maybe much less?) will be smoother and less harsh.

Helas I cannot do this plus dscaler sharpening, my cpu oclocked 2500+ Barton is at least 30% too "small" and I wonder if the 3 gig pentium will ever handle it.

In some cases resize sharpening plus other ffdshow sharpening seems to be incompatible. each on its own can be pleasing ( but i still need a lot of tweaking,[ so many complex sliders]the efect is also interrelated to the PQ of the dvd) and effective, but not together.

Another thing on my calibrated 1360x1024 D-ILA projector I cannot see any PQ difference when exactly doubling the PAL or NTSC (finally possible with the Barton) or "sitting" slightly less under or above. I agree with yr opnion on this.

I learned the higher rescale the better and let the filters do their work in the upscaled domain.
I have no experience with "superscaling" so the graphic card must downscale to 1360x1024.
downscaling from1440 to 1360 is odd.

I let ffdshow upscale to 1360

You showed yr desktop resolution but what is res. of your Barco?
post #141 of 4374
Mastiff, did you have to do anything special to get VMR to work with WinDVD filters in ZP? Try as I might, all I get is a blank screen with WinDVD filters, but Sonic filters work just fine (but don't look quite as good).

Any tips?

post #142 of 4374
Kyrill, the resolution is whatever I want it to be. Ever heard about CRT projectors? Notice that I mention that the settings may be to harsh for "digital projectors" (read inferior LCD and DLP projectors (flamebaiter, me?)).

bblue, no, nothing special. The only thing is the registry settings mentioned in my post to Burre earlier in this thread. You might try that (DXVAPAl, er something like that). But you have to use the abstract DMO filter to make it work. You're probably doing that, though, since I believe ZP will crash every time you try to play if it's not used.
post #143 of 4374
Hmmn, its weird that you find WinDVD to be better than Sonic. Have you tried PowerDVD? WinDVD for me has appalling black levels, its easily noticeable - do you experience this?
post #144 of 4374
[quote]Originally posted by Mastiff
[b]Kyrill, the resolution is whatever I want it to be. Ever heard about CRT projectors? Notice that I mention that the settings may be to harsh for "digital projectors" (read inferior LCD and DLP projectors (flamebaiter, me?)).

I understood that comparing CRT with a digital pj is comparing apples to oranges.

I have seen both and the Contrast ratio of CRT is stunning compared to digital pj. black is really black and more shades in the shadow can be seen. However the downside is, it is less sharp with higher resolutions on a big screen. and it is not a subtle differerence.
In evaluating filter settings in ffdshow these apple and orange conditions will have an undeniable effect
owen: "I find that double DVD res gives a smoother or softer image. Good for digital displays but not so good for CRT."
The nice thing is on my D-ila it is not only smoother it is sharper as well (if a sharpening filter is used), the word soft does not describe the effect well
post #145 of 4374
Goi, PowerDVD is not impressive in any way, and totally disqualifying if it's true what I've heard, that it won't work with ffdshow. As for the black level I guess that with a real projector it isn't a problem. How can you hope to get anywhere in the same ballpark as real blacks with a 1400 ANSI LCD projector?

And I disagree that we're comparing apples and oranges when looking at a picture. When over all picture quality is what counts, I couldn't care less what makes it. If I found a digital projector in a price range I could afford (I paid around 5000 USD for my Barco Graphics 808) that gave me a better picture, I'd gladly dump the monster. But I haven't, and I don't think I will for a few years, at least. The big problem for me is black level. I lived with an LCD the first three years of my home theater and was annoyed with two things: The screendoor effect (I use a ten feet wide screen, masked down to about 8 feet, so tha old 800x600 was totally inadequate), but that is of course a lot less pronnounced on newer digital projectors, and the black level. I just can't tolerate a grey shine on the screen in scenes that are supposed to be totally black. In the beginningof Fellowship of the Ring, with The Lady of Light's voice, I don't want to be able to see anything! I actually had to put a piece of tape over the LED on my IR remote extender since it was to annoying. That is how dark I want it!
post #146 of 4374
Kyrill, I agree about the contrast and blacks, but I have not seen any LCD/DLP projector that has a picture on DVDs which is so much sharper that I feel like trading down my color and contrast for it. On a computer image, with computer letters, of course. That's what those things are made for. But I must admit that I'm not sure if I've ever seen a D-ila (it's a JVC thing, isn't it?). Anyway since I use my projector abot 90 % for movies and a little bit for FPS-gaming, I have no problems with clarity. Actually I can read extremely small letters on a desktop very clearly as well.
post #147 of 4374
bblue, now I know what it is! I ran it with a ripped DVD (to the harddisk), and it works on that, but not on the same movie directly from a DVD. I suspect it's macrovision that creates the probolems. This was not good news, I'll have to invest in new harddisks for this!
post #148 of 4374
Well, the projector might be a factor here, but the fact that the black levels on WinDVD sucks compared to either PowerDVD or Sonic Cineplayer says something about WinDVD.
post #149 of 4374
Right now I'm finished with Fellowship of the Ring EE, and I think I can put a finger on what's different in WinDVD's dark scenes compared to Cinemaster: More detail. I saw things I wasn't able to see with the Cinemaster filters, and if that isn't good I don't know what is. As for black when black is needed, at the begining I was totally unable to see my hands in front of my face. If that ain't black, I don't know what is. When the rings have been given to the kings of men, it fades to black with one point of light in the upper middle part (between the two torches). Everything else in the image was totally black, but I could still see that point of light (the fade goes to black for only a split second).

Where I saw most difference (we're not talking scientific here, but perceived since I didn't do A-B comparishment today) was in the scene in Saruman's tower where he talks to Gandalf and then fights him. It seemed clearer than any time before.

And tomorrow night it's The Two Towers that's on in the Cinema Inferno. Yeah! I think we should just agree to disagree since I see no hope in reaching any thing else. But I hope you have as much joy from your system as I have from mine. If you do, it's money very well spent no matter what!
post #150 of 4374

Entertain post dude. Maybe you should give up your day job and take up writing. Must have taken you the rest of the night just to type it.
I'm glad I encourage you to try WinDVD and that you found it to be an improvement over Sonic. I try not to disseminate bad information. After you get some sleep you should compare your old setup with your new setup. The combination of several small improvements should put a smile on your dial.
Just when we think that we can't squeeze any more quality out of our systems, some new toy, or info comes along and raises the bar that bit higher. Will it ever stop?

Your final settings are very similar to my own for a 1024x768 CRT display. But I don't need to adjust anything in picture properties. My hardware is tweaked to be very close without needing any adjustment in ffdshow. I have no doubt that these settings would be way of the mark for a digital display. That's why I like ffdshow and HTPC's so much. You can adjust everything to be optimal for any display.
Are you using LANCZOS resize method? If not try it.

As for VMR9 v Overlay, I find that after adjusting picture settings to be as close to identical as possible, that there is very little difference between them on a Radeon 9500. Sometimes I prefer VMR9 and others Overlay, so I stick with Overlay and be done with it.

It's too early to tell if there is a definitive answer to the question of which is better resize. Double DVD resolution or desktop resolution. I need more feedback from others before I would comment. At least your findings concur with mine. I feel that the people with digital displays may prefer double DVD res for displays under 1440x960NTSC or 1440x1152 PAL. For those with HD displays (1920x1080). Desktop res sounds like the best option as it avoids hardware scaling. You will need a fast PC for that though.
As long as people test both options and don't assume that double DVD res is always best. It is not.

Are you a native Norwegian? Your English is outstanding. How did you get so fluent?


The ffdshow resize - sharpen dude
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