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Discussion Starter #1
Took my first steps into the HTPC world this weekend by installing an IOMagic card, Powerstrip, and Dscaler and hooking my PC up to my Mits 65807. The result was a big disappointment. While the desktop and DVDs looked good at 540p, the image through the IOMagic SVideo port was dark, blurry, and lacking in detail. An A-B comparison between the Svideo from my Tivo processed through Dscaler vs direct to my TV showed the direct connection to be vastly superior. No matter what deinterlacing options I chose (Adaptive, Greedy HM), the Tivo OSD glitched heavily under Dscaler, and the PQ was unacceptable. Am I missing something here? I bought the IOMagic based on recommendations in this forum. I love to get this setup working, but for now it doesn't look worth the effort. Any advice would be appreciated.


My setup:

P3 1ghz/ 440BX

256MB PC100

Geforce 2mx (latest official Detanator drivers)

IOMagic PC PVR capture card

Dscaler (latest version)

Mitsubishi WS65807 (with VGA -> RGBHV breakout cable)]

Tivo SVideo output routed through Denon 3802 reciever
 

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Hi Seth--


If you have Avia or Video Essentials, try to calibrate some good colors with your DVD through s-video. Auto calibration is available under the Hardware menu.


Also go to Advanced--Advanced Video Flags and make sure Full Luma Range is unchecked.


Circle back once you try those out.
 

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I have to agree - with my I/OMagic card, the brightness needs to be cranked up substantially to be able to see anything on my 17" monitor. I was thinking it was my video card (8 mb TNT) and was going to wait until I upgrade soon to work on the problem.
 

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did you go into the video settings for dscaler and try adjusting the brightness, contrast, etc?


the dscaler default settings on mine have a muddy look as well but it is easily corrected with a quick adjustment. on my rptv, the brightness in dscaler is around 45-50 with a contrast of ~200. these numbers are highly variable depending upon your individual monitor settings, personal preferences and the content you are viewing.


also, i might suggest confirming that you are able to get a good clean image on your pc monitor before connecting to your rptv.


hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have run Avia on my HTPC, but only through PowerDVD on my DVDRom drive, not through DScaler. The desktop and DVD image is very close to the levels of my SD inputs, so the problem has to be with Dscaler or the IOMagic. I will try running Avia on my standalone DVD player through Dscaler and running the calibration. I'm also going to see if moving the PCI slot my IOMagic is in helps. When I first installed, it was between my network and SBLive cards, and there was heavy interference on the tuner. After moving it to a slot without cards on either side, the interference was less (but not perfect).
 

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I have a MITS46805, IOMagic and Dscaler and must say that the PQ is pretty good - better than s-video direct to tv. Definitely go to the video settings section in dscaler and tweak till you get what you're looking for. When I first installed Dscaler and the IOMagic I also noticed a dark, muddy picture but after adjusting the video settings I got it too luck pretty damn good!


BTW, I have a Sony AT-50 hooked up to the IOMagic card through the svideo input.


Let us know how it turns out.


Paul
 

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Can anyone post their setting in dScaler? i am using dScaler with IOMagic as well, sending the output to the VGA input of my Mits 65857 and am getting a dark picture. I have the contrast and brightness on the TV setup at the 50% position and the Hipix 480p output looks good, but IOMagic/S-Video/dScaler looks very dark and not that sharp. The mits also disables the sharpness control on the VGA input, so I have to use dScaler. I tried increasing brightness and contrast, but the picture looks very muddy.


Any suggestions?


skubersky: were you able to solve this problem?


Thanks,

Sal
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Much thanks to everyone who posted with advice.


I did eventually improve my Dscaler image. By running my Tosh 5109 through the IOMagic, and using Dscaler auto-calib (Avia and THX from TS2) I got the image close. But it was still dark until I calibrated manually, bringing up the bright and cont until it matched the image from PowerDVD.


In the end, though, I decided that my HTPC project was not worth it on a price/performance basis. The best thing about it was the ability to greatly reduce overscan, expecially on letterbox 4:3 material, vs using the formats on my Mits. But any improvements were offset by the subtle but noticeble noise introduced by the extra A-D-A conversion in the IOMagic. While I believe that this capture card is cleaner than most, I found the moving chroma noise to be very distracting. I'm sure it's a function of the average power supply in my 4-year old Dell case.


I'm sure that an HTPC is worth the trouble in an FP system, and I did have some fun playing with it. But the money I'd have to invest to get a box that runs to my satisfaction is better spent elsewhere. I'm keeping the IOMagic for VitualDub to compress Buffy episodes. I've got a new obsession -- PocketTV on my new PocketPC!


Again, thanks to everyone who tried to help out.
 
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