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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after the mini crisis I reported earlier, I re-installed WinTV and got it running (no more black screen). While I was at it, I updated the PVR-250 drivers and WinTV application from this page . I tested for a while and got very pleasing results. PQ seems to have improved from the 1.6 drivers and 3.5x WinTV application. (Now I'm running 1.7 and 4.0x respectively).


I re-installed SageTV and got that running (not SageRecorder, though, not ever). I did some PQ comparisons and was surprised to discover the following:


1) I could adjust colors in WinTV, but (it's probably buried somewhere, under a blue button) I couldn't do likewise in SageTV. As a result, WinTV flesh tones and overall color balance was better (not as saturated/hot).


2) Even while using the Elecard Decoder/Dscaler combination, SageTV displayed a lot of "jaggies" on edges in fast motion scenes (panning, objects moving across the screen). WinTV did not exhibit this behavior. No matter which Dscaler setting I picked (I tried several) or what other codec I selected, "jaggies" took place.


3) The SageTV picture was sharper. This is a matter of preference, but I actually like the softer edges WinTV gave me. The SageTV picture struck me as harsher, though the color issue probably played into this as well. I wish I could adjust sharpness in either application...


4) This is probably related to Hauppage's latest app/driver combination, but now both the WinTV and SageTV full screen display (using overlay), leave a thin sliver of my desktop visible on the left edge of the screen.


5) I setup SageTV to record a program from the guide, left the SageTV app running, then set my PC into hibernation. Nothing recorded, so I need to do a little more research on how to make this happen. MyHD handles this beatifully, and I'd like my NTSC capture process to mirror it.


6) I figured out how to record VCR/VHS via the composite inputs of my PVR-250. Now I need to do a little more reading about which format will be best (MPEG2, DVD standard) for recording and how to perform some post processing (sharpening, de-noising) on the capture to improve PQ.


I haven't tried Snapstream yet, but if I'm willing do away with a guide (which I've never had before), WinTV might be all I need. Still thinking about that one, though...
 

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Item 5 can't be done. Sage does not support hybernation. All other issues are configuration issues you need to do in Sage. WinTV uses the 250 exactly the same was as Sage so it is impossible not to get exactly the same results. You just need to know how to coinfigure it. WInTV forces you to use the Hauppauge Intervideo decoder that comes with the card. You are free to use that with Sage as well. Same will go for SnapStream.
 

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Regarding item 2...


I have just installed the 250 and an trying out SageTV. It seems to me that there's something inherently wrong with the Elecard/Dscaler combo.


I plugged in MoComp2, which is my deinterlacer of choice, but the picture looks like utter crap. Conversely, I have the XCard/PDI combo, and by choosing the SigmaDesigns decoder from SageTV, the very same mpeg data sent to the separately running DScaler via. the capture card looks great (again, with MoComp2).


All I can conclude is that the SageTV/Elecard codec combo is not functioning correctly. If anybody knows wha I can do to clean this up, it would be very appreciated.


Also, have you tried the PVR-250 "optimizations" recommended on the sage.tv site?


Martin.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mlbdude
Sage does not support hybernation.
The way that I get around the hibernation/shutdown issue is go into my PC setup at bootup -- this is not in windows (certainly not in SageTV) but when you have to hit the delete key or F1 or some function key at bootup to get into the CMOS -- and set the motherboard's timer to make the PC turn on at a certain time. You may have to go into the power management and look around in there to see if you have a timer that you can set. On my Abit motherboard, the time is in military time where 12 midnight is 0. I typically shutdown the system or put it in hibernation when I'm away. Unless if the PC is left on, the PC turns on automatically at the time that I set to turn on the PC in order to record the shows I want recorded. This is very handy particularly on the nights during the week when I'm out or when I'm doing something else and forget to turn on the PC. I have most of my recording happen during primetime -- so I set the PC to turn on at 7:57 pm (19:57) everyday of the week. But on the weekends, the PC is typically on all the time.


This should be obvious, but you have to make sure that the PC is plugged into a live electrical outlet and that you don't have that outlet turned off, that your powerstrip (if you have one for surge protection) is turned on, or that your backup power supply is turned on. Needless to say, the PC needs to get the electricity for this to work. Otherwise, if the power is completely disconnected, then this obviously won't work.


I also typcially have windows automatically shutdown using a shutdown program usually activated after the late night talkshows -- you should know how to set "scheduled tasks" in windows -- where I have different shutdown times for each weekday except for friday when the PC stays on until sometime early monday morning.


ruel
 

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Elecard/DScaler works and looks great for me. By far the best combination decoder and deinterlacer that I have tried. At least on my TV. The others I have tried are the Intervideo ones (with the registry hacks to turn on hardware assist), and Cyberlink.


Xcard will definately look better cause it should be sending a properly interlaced image to your TV. Software deinterlacing can't compare.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mlbdude
Software deinterlacing can't compare.
Don't tell that to the people who build HTPCs purely to act as software-based scalers for their mega-buck stadalone DVD players!
 

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:) When I say that I am speaking stricly for standard old TV's. New digital progressive TV's are an entire different story.
 

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Hi everyone:


I've been researching a lot of HW PVR encoders and it looks like at the end of the day, the Hauppauge 250, if not the best route, is the safest (best supported and a known quantity).


So I look forward to hearing more results and experiences from current users.


But I have a couple of questions: Elecard is a software decoder, right? Audio and video codecs, I assume. But I was not aware that Dscaler could be used with software codecs. How is it that Dscaler interfaces with Elecard? Are there other SW codecs that can be used with Dscaler or is this unique to Elecard?


Wouldn't it be better to always play back recorded material through HW decoder (Xcard) / PDI which I also have?


DFA
 

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--New digital progressive TV's are an entire different story.--


I assume you mean monitors and projectors as well.
 

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Elecard is a software program. I also read that the Hauppauge 250 and 350 cards come with the Dscaler plugin so there is no need to install the Dscaler program. I got that from teh Frey's forum.

Im going to try it today. Wish me luck :)


Also going to use Powerstrip to set the scan rate to 71.96 hz or something for 1280x768 res. that was stated over at the Emerrsion forum.
 

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Dscaler the plugin (as opposed to the application) is a directshow filter. It is Dscaler the plugin that works with the Elecard video decoder. The Dscaler plugin (which is free) comes with SageTV, not the Hauppauge card.
 

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So the chain is as follows:


PVR-250 -> MPEG on Disk -> SageTV -> Elecard decoder -> DScaler Plugin -> your DScaler deinterlacer of choice -> video card overlay buffer


... correct?


If you have the XCard/PDI combo, you can do this:


PVR-250 -> MPEG on Disk -> SageTV -> SigmaDesigns decoder -> [PDI Combo] -> DScaler application -> your DScaler deinterlacer of choice -> video card overlay buffer


In the second case, you don't get any on screen graphics in the DScaler app window, and a blank (well, sort of really dark green) in the SageTV window (with the on screen graphics). Looks phenomenal, just not very user friendly.

Quote:
Elecard/DScaler works and looks great for me. By far the best combination decoder and deinterlacer that I have tried.
Hmmm. I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Which deinterlace algorithm are you using?


Martin.
 

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I actually prefer the latest Intervideo decoder with the reg hacks to turn DxVA on. Gets me a slightly better PQ than any of the Dscaler options I've tried, and cuts down on the CPU usage. I'm still not terribly happy with my PQ though. I'm outputting via the ATI dongle to a Hitachi 57" widescreen, and no matter what resolution I use I get a lot of grain and blur to the video. I've screwed around with the MPEG settings and it hasn't noticably helped, so I'm thinking I need to tweak the software in other ways.


A lot of people on the Sage forums seem to think that outputting via the SVideo out on the WinTV350 is the better choice, since you don't have to worry about any deinterlacing. If I had a 350, I'd try it. Might go pick one up this weekend just to see if it makes a difference.


-MP
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
WinTV uses the 250 exactly the same was as Sage so it is impossible not to get exactly the same results. You just need to know how to coinfigure it.
Too bad Sage can't match WinTV performance out of the box and requires the user to dig through to find the "right configuration"...

Just tested Snapstream; more of the same.
 

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Quote:
Hmmm. I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Which deinterlace algorithm are you using?


Martin.
I was initially using the Adaptive plugin. I am searching for the cleanest picture with the least amount of motion blur during motion scenes. The only problem with the Adaptive is you get some jaggies on the image. I have since gone back to DScaler Weave. It has more blurriness but not jaggies. I am still experimenting to find the best overall solution for me. Still less bluriness than the Intervideo codec though.


I actually lost quality when I enabled hardware assist for my Intervideo codec. Blockiness was much worse for me. And the Intervideo deinterlacing is pretty bad on my regular TV. Motion is jumpy and blurry.

Quote:
Too bad Sage can't match WinTV performance out of the box and requires the user to dig through to find the "right configuration"...
You are right, both of these apps will require some more user configuration. If they are too hard to figure out it sounds like you will be better off with WinTV. Especially since it may meet your requirements and is free.


Good luck
 

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Can someone please tell me what kind of video Weave and BOB is designed for? I know it was stated in other threads before but its hard to find.
 

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Ive been reading some posts and I think that maybe people shouldn't use any other horizonal frequency besides 60hz. Since this is a TV tuner with TV signal it should be displayed at 60hz. Only reason to play back video at 72hz is if your playing a DVD Movie.


I still don't know what kind of video BOB or WEAVE is used for. For example BOB is suppose to be for video based or film based video i think. Or that may be backwards.
 
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