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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings. I am taking my first foray into the world of HTPCs, well, actually, I suppose you could call it the second, this is the first attempt to hook things up to my main television, but I am having some picture quality issues. If I'm in the wrong forum on this, forgive me.


I started roughly a year ago, ripping (using handbrake) my rather extensive DVD collection to .mp4 on a portable external hard drive to make movies easier to watch while at work (we sometimes have extensive down time, and are allowed to entertain ourselves as we see fit, to a point). Picture quality is wonderful when watching my library on the internal screen on my early 2008 Macbook and my new, inexpensive Compaq laptop. It was also quite acceptable on the 26" Dynex LCD which is in the bedroom, connected via an adapter from mini-DVI to composite video (from the macbook).


The problem came when attempting to connect to the Sanyo 42" Plasma in the bedroom. The connection is made using the same adapter and composite video set up as the in the bedroom (again from the macbook, I do not think the issue is related to which laptop is being used), however picture is muted, and slightly grainy, similar to what occurs when watching '70's and early '80's OTA TV series. As a test, I viewed several rips as well as the corresponding DVDs through the macbook. Viewing the DVD through the macbook results in a slight increase in quality, the graininess disappears, but the picture is still muted. This issue does not exist when watching through the stand alone DVD player.


I suspect a two fold issue and am seeking confirmation. The suspected issue is using the composite video, and also, potentially the encode settings within handbrake.


The TV does not have VGA in, and I am out of HDMI ports on it (additionally, I'd have to experiment with being able to get non-HDMI audio to the TV if connecting via HDMI). I will be happy to list my Handbrake settings if necessary.
 

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I wouldn't think the encode settings would cause to be muted on one device and not another. However, the graininess could be from having compressed the image too much using handbrake. The larger the screen, the grainier it will appear - assuming you are sitting reasonable close to the plasma.


Can you output via hdmi from your computer? If so, what about temporarily trying hdmi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by pheare /forum/post/19615994


I wouldn't think the encode settings would cause to be muted on one device and not another. However, the graininess could be from having compressed the image too much using handbrake. The larger the screen, the grainier it will appear - assuming you are sitting reasonable close to the plasma.


Can you output via hdmi from your computer? If so, what about temporarily trying hdmi.

Reasonably close being across an apartment living room. I cannot output HDMI directly, it would require 2 adapters I believe (mini-dvi to vga and vga to hdmi). It certainly is worth a try.
 

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can you play the actual dvd disc from you computer and output to your tv. Compare that. Probably your best bet. If the actual dvd looks just as bad, then probably an issue with your video cards ability to output.


and do you really mean composite? or do you mean component? component has three cables to plug in. If it is composite, that is like part of the problem as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes I really mean composite. I suspected that was part of the problem and am picking up the appropriate cables and adapters to test if quality improves.


When playing the dvd through the computer, the grain disappears but it still has an old film ota look. I did some digging on handbrakes forums and found that the grain was likely a results of my encode settings.
 

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I'd say you have your answers then. I'd really look into doing 1:1 rips to mkv. hard drive space is so cheap these days. MakeMkv is a super easy way to do it. Just gets a little tricky if there are forced subs in the movie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by pheare /forum/post/19616950


I'd say you have your answers then. I'd really look into doing 1:1 rips to mkv. hard drive space is so cheap these days. MakeMkv is a super easy way to do it. Just gets a little tricky if there are forced subs in the movie.

I will certainly look into mkv. At the moment, the only subs I'm interested in are the forced subs. And the only issue with hard drive space is I want to keep everything portable, there it kinda sucks when the movie you want to watch while out and about is stuck at home.


Thank you


Edit to add. Got my new components home, and the picture is awesome, without re-encoding.
 
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