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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a new Toshiba 42H81 (540p / 1080i). Right now, watch mostly DVDs and cable TV -- because cable TV is cheap.


Can anybody out there with H81 RPTVs tell me how much better cable TV is through dScaler, versus the internal line doubler in the Toshiba?


Thanks.
 

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dscaler will probably do a better job of upconverting standard ntsc content than your rptv although there are a couple of things to be aware of. first, garbage in garbage out. dcaler will not turn a crappy cable image into a picaso. second, it will take time, effort and money of which only you know your limits and tolerances. third, the improved scaling may be offset by some video noise depending upon your configuration.


that said, i like having an htpc with my rptv. hopefully one day i will finish it ;)
 

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Can't tell you how DScaler fairs against your Tosh, but against my Sony KP-54HS10 it doesn't do so well.


The Internal Sony line doubler (DRC) gives a much sharper and clearer picture. I suspect this is the garbage in garbage out problem with a twist. The capture card is probably causing most of the problem. I used a Hauppauge Win-TV 401 and now a Win-TV D. Thw Win-TV D is better, but still gives noise. I have a KBK modded zoltrix to go in next, so we'll see how much the capture card really is the problem.
 

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I have the older model Toshiba TN55X81 and I think its line doubler is not bad.


But I still like my digital cable better through DScaler, and usually also first through my Tivo.


- Tom
 

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This is not the resounding endorsement I anticipated.


Because Toshiba's don't accept VGA in yet, after springing for an Audio Authority, and putting together another PC, I'm looking at about $700. Minus the $200 I'd get from returning the el-cheapo Toshiba progressive DVD player I just bought, this comes to $500 for a TV tuner...
 

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Ok, so let me tell you what DScaler does for me.


I brought a lot of PAL video tapes with me form the UK and have a PAL playstation. DScaler is far better at getting those PAL pictures on screen than my video convertor. It's also automatic now , so I just leave the HTPC running DScaler and when I want to play a PAL surce I just switch my TV to the HDTV input and there it is.


Unfortunatley DScaler is often let down by poor quality capture cards picking up noise form the PSU or somewhere.
 

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In defense of the HTPC...


I never seen a high quality line doubler/scaler in action. However, I have seen at least 6 different tv tuners cards using various software in action on my RCA 52110.


I've personally have seen the noise, the gentlemen above mentioned.


My current system has no noise. The dscaler picture is flawless and frankly I feel limited ONLY by the compression quality of my satellite service (Dish Network) and my satellite receiver (501 PVR).


I believe the reason some people have noise has two factors, one being software - which can be ruled out because Dscaler is the best software available.


IMHO, the primary factor in tv tuner noise is Memory/PCI/AGP bandwidth. People will get noise when the tv tuner is exceeding the bandwidth of the motherboard, pci and agp bus. I've heard of people wrapping their cards in tin foil to reduce EM noise from other components to no avail. I've heard of people distancing cards to reduce interference to no avail. Where does that leave us? The motherboard itself.


I've since moved to an AMD DDR solution. I'm currently using a Shuttle AK31 Rev 3.1 ($80), I scrapped my expensive Hauppauge and ATI tuners and bought an Avermedia TV98. This tuner is $38 at buycomp.com, the tuner is not stereo but if you use an external tuner you can input and output a stereo signal.


It works excellentand would highly recommend it.


Obsidience
 

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i think the Memory/PCI/AGP bandwidth does play a role although its probably one of many factors including the quality of the powersupply and other pc components. i've tried about 5 different cards as well and also found the haupauge cards to show a bit more noise. In the end I have settled with the 40 dollar iomagic card because the image was the cleanest with good color clarity.


good luck
 

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q2-


Where did you buy the Iomagic card for $40? The specs for it says that it uses an "Audio loopback cable". Does this plug into the input of the soundcard and does it support stereo? I have the M-Audio 24/96 card and I'm curious whether this will work or not.


Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm just trying to figure out the best way to go for PC TV. Oh, and I suppose it works well with DScaler?
 

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the iomagic pcpvr card sells for 39.99 at compusa which is where i purchased it. i think they also sell it online for the same price.


the audio loop back cable is stereo as are the connection on the card although know one that i know of has been able to produce a stereo signal from the onboard NTSC tuner. whether this is a function of the tuner itself not being able to decode a stereo signal or related to drivers im not sure although i suspect the former.


most people using this card (and most capture cards) are using it for scaling external sources via the S-video input, bypassing the audio input on the card and connecting directly to your soundcard or audio component. the audio capabilities of the card are really only a factor if you plan on using the NTSC tuner or if you are using it for scaling a cable tv signal which was stereo.


to sum it all up, no i do not believe the iomagic pcpvr card supports stereo although its not important if your primary function is for a clean S-video input for usage with dscaler.


hope this helps.
 

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Thanks q2. I'm actually looking for use with cable TV. I've heard some say that an external tuner is the best way to go. I guess I'll keep researching. I was just hoping for a decent tuner card w/stereo.
 

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Ivan has almost got the stereo working pretty good with VoodooTV200 atleast on the 30A version, havent been able to see what improvements has been done with all the changes happening in Dscaler4.0. I'll get this WinCVS working yet to help Ivan for NTSC users.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by obsidience
My current system has no noise. The dscaler picture is flawless and frankly I feel limited ONLY by the compression quality of my satellite service (Dish Network) and my satellite receiver (501 PVR).


Obsidience
What are the settings you use with Dscaler?


I have a TIVO connected via S-Video to my DISH 5000 and I am trying to get a better picture out of the thing.

So far, the line doubler in my Mits HDTV is doing a better job than Dscaler.


With Dscaler, I am feeding the Mits via RGBHV using a Radeon. The Custom T&R I am using is 720x480P.


I am using the IOmagic card and with the defaults set in Dscaler except I get video noise that I have to remove by turning on Temporal Noise Reduction.


My system is a CUSL2-C 866Mhz P3 with 256MB running Windows 2000.


Thanks,

Joe
 

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hi joe


i also have a tivo and am currently feeding s-video into the cheap cybermail card. i have a lot of noise and am thinking about doing the iomagic card.


i thought i might get a clearer picture if i took Tivo out of the loop. Signal in from time warner - either analog or thru the digital decoder box... or i could get OTA for my analog shows. i'm worried about the sound output though.


would you trust powervcrII to record your stuff instead of tivo?

will my pic. improve if i let the pci card be the tuner then dscaler it?


thx
 

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jaymer,

I did not even load the Powervcr software so I can not answer your question.


I only bought the iomagic card so I could try out dscaler with the TIVO output to improve the PQ.


I am a little puzzled at your question though.


I love the functionality of the TIVO and it's going to be a long way off before we see a true HTPC TIVO like capability.

Why would you want to skip the TIVO?


While I am disapointed with the PQ, it is a really cool device:)

I am enjoying stuff that I never even knew was on before. You know, the late night SCIFI movies and such.



BTW, I did try feeding the TIVO through my HIPIX card since it does output in 1080i but it did not improve the PQ. The HIPIX acted more like a straight through device in this mode.


Now that Michael is working for Telemann, I am going to have him look at whether the Hipix card could have firmware or driver software that would do DVDO Iscan type deinterlacing.



Joe
 

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Hi Joe,

I'd only consider moving away from Tivo for several shows a week - Buffy, Angel, Roswell, Enterprise


Those shows are on local affiliates and while I enjoy Tivo tremendously, if I could get better PQ I'd consider watching them LIVE via direct input from Cable into a PC-Tuner card. My hope would be that removing an extra step of A/D, D/A would clean up the picture a bit. Where I am (Tampa, Time Warner Cable, using a Digital Cable box) those channels aren't in the "high" digital range so they can be tuned in directly without the digital thingy.


So, by removing the digital box and the svideo cable into Tivo and the svideo cable into the PC-Video Capture card, I would hope things would look better. Only problem is sound quality.


PS _ I hadn't considered doing RF cable FROM TIVO OUT into the analog antenna input on AccessDTV - tune it to Channel 4 and still control the Tivo. Would be interesting to see what the signal looked like from that tune. Thx for the idea.
 

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jaymer -


I don't know how it is in your area but where I live the Tivo actually seems to have a better tuner than my digital cable box, which has only composite output anyay.


So I use an amplified splitter before the cable box and let the Tivo be my tuner, which sends svideo into my KBK modded Zoltrix card for DScaler.


But happily here, 3 of the shows you mentioned are also now on UPN which is sending them digital OTA, upconverted to 1080i.


Though I've somewhat been losing interest in Roswell this year for some reason.


- Tom
 

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Tom you lucky buggar!

How sweet digital UPN would be here.

I've got an amp from the cable company already - just the quality of these channels is a bit noisy sometimes. Wish there was a way to check out a KBK card without buying it. Its like these super SVideo cables I bought - they're going back cause I saw NO improvement on my dscaler picture - a loaner KBK card would help 'make a sale' if I saw that ON MY SYSTEM it really did help.


As it stands I'm going to try and get a cheapo iomagic card second hand - throwing good money after bad for another experiment.
 
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