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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
RE: How is ATSC digital channel transport stream capture from a PCI tuner card dependent on my video card?


I have had been trying for two years to get satisfactory PVR operation with digital channels using an ATI 650 PCI and an ATI 9550 graphic cards. From my point of view, I've been getting nothing but redirection of my questions to endless other supposed issues. The lastest is regarding requiring graphics card interaction with my tuner card during transport stream direction to a file. By my understanding, software such as Beyond TV uses the TV tuner card to stream the ATSC over-the-air transport stream directly to a file. It is inconceivable to me that the graphics card is a part of this process. My latest manufacturer support feedback is:

"The TV Wonder products are input only devices. A DX 9 hardware complaint video card is required, Radeon 9500 series and higher."


Is my understanding of the transport stream saving to a file missing how a graphics card is involved in that process?


I really need help to separate out the redirection, and find the appropriate forum for this question to upgrade my understanding.
 

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I don't know about your tuner card, but -

I have an ATI Radeon 9550 AGP8x video card with 256 MB of memory, and I'm using a Hauppauge WinHVR1600 PCI tuner to watch / capture HDTV on my Athlon64 3700 running Windows XP Pro SP3 and otherwise patched up. I display to a Samsung 953BW Syncmaster that has 2ms response and 8000:1 dynamic contrast. Before I got the Samsung, I was using a 17 inch CRT. It's gorgeous.


I'd have to know more about the rest of your setup to give you a good answer.
 

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Do I understand correctly that you are using BeyondTV to record but not watch a digital OTA channel and that while doing this you are getting an error concerning lack of DX9 support?

Doe you have the problem with 480i,730p and 1080i digtal programs?

What version of what OS are you using?

Have you tried running DXDiag?

A Radeon 9000 is certainly DX9 complient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the speedy post.


This post was trying to get myself going on the redirection/misdirection I've been getting from the manufacturer. But our systems sound very similar.


Topic one.

I am understanding you are not responding to the relationship between the graphics card and transport stream capture. My underlying confusion is how can five streams be captured simultaneously and have the graphics card involved?


I have Pentium D 3.2 GHz on ASUS P4C800EDeluxe using ATI 650 PCI and Hauppauge 1600 tuners with Beyond TV, 9550 graphics card, 2GB dual channel memory.


Topic two, my underlying ongoing problems

I have on ongoing problem with washed out colors and image smearing with fast movement on 1080i digital TV in cloned mode (VGA plus S-video), 1024 x 768 resolution, TV overscan.


The washed out example should have a background black color matching the letterbox bands. The colors are similarly washed out compared to the black.


NBC ATSC over-the air broadcasts at 1080i, about 22mbps (my best understanding of rate) are the most impacted. 720P broadcasts have no problem.

 

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I beleive your problem may be that S-video is standard NTSC 480i resolution which only takes a Picture of your primary screen using a scan converter chip so you are not actually sending 1024x768 to your secondary display and this is why it looks washed out.


This is especially true with your 1080i sources since it is being downscaled to 1024x768 for use on your monitor and then it is being scan converted to 480i S-Video.


I am trying to understand the record only problem with the graphics card issue and some of my questions which you did not answer were specificaly addressed towards understanding that problem better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RE: Does transport stream capture have anything to do with graphics card?

I am trying simply trying to understand if this is true. If not, it doesn't matter what graphics card I have. If true, then I may need a different graphics card. I wouldn't know the required parameters until I understand what is needed for clean transport stream capture via whatever software assuming it's not software dependent. The only variation I am aware of in stream capture is some software captures the whole transport stream as is including all subchannels (transport stream different from mpg mainly in that there is added error correction information) where-as some software extracts the subchannel information on-the-fly and directs the stream to mpg (where the added error correction has been removed). Either makes no use of the graphics card to my knowledge, which is the underlying question I'm asking about.


RE: What amounts to a playback issue; washed out colors and smearing.

I think I will need to post this to a different area. However, for those that have asked, here is some more information. First, I noticed I misspoke on the processor'; should be Pentium 4, 3.2 GHZ. The operating system is Windows XP Professional 32 bit. Capture and playback is with Beyond TV. Both the VGA and TV/S-Video outputs have the same appearance in Beyond TV. 480i and 720p do not show the problem. Running S-Video out or VGA out individually (one output) does not have the problem. ATSC over-the-air NBC and CBS have some programming for which the problem is more obvious, all at 1080i. The Tonight Show has been my best example, for which the rate seems to be as high as 22 mbs. I believe it happens to be more evident on NBC and CBS because their programming includes true ATSC over-the-air HDTV. Other stations with many subchannels are using 480i and/or 720p on all of their programming; it's the only way they can stay within their bandwidth with so many subchannels. I am running dual outputs for at least a couple of reasons. The TV output is in overscan so that the visible portion matches what is seen on a regular TV screen (no annoying erratic scanning lines visible at the top or bottom). In overscan, the entire desktop is not visible on the TV out, so I do maintenance using the VGA so I can see the entire desktop. Besides software stability maintenance, I'm also regularly manipulating files and checking on the system status.
 

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I think it is possibly a Beyond TV problem since I have never seen your problem reported berfore.

Also since it ony happens with some 1080i HD broadcasts (Ie NBC and CBS) and not with 720p HD broadcasts (ABC and FOX) it does not appear to be a graphics card problem. And as you state there is no reason to suspect that the graphics card is being used when recording.

Also since you do have DX9 support on your system the error appears to be coming from Beyond TV and not from any code that is actually tries to perform a DX9 function.

In any way could the error be dependent on the number of digital broadcasts you are recording concurently of if the problem only occcurs with the 650 card oronly with a 1600 card.
 

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What is the actual native resolution of your digital TV? That you are sending 1024x768


I do not believe that recording of the input stream has anything to do with your graphics card unless when Beyond TV starts receiving an input stream from a tuner driver that before it checks to insure that the system has the resources available to decode and display it. The decoding and de-interlacing of 1080i inputs requires the most resources do to the larger frame buffers and the amount of processing required to de-interlace the input to these 1920x1080 buffers.

One transport stream consists of only one sub-channel.

What error do you get when you try to record 5 channels? Does the error occur when you try to select to record the 5th channel or when the recording of the 5th channel actually tries to start?

Are there any event log entries corresponding to the time the error occurs?

When you are trying to record 5 programs are you trying to record 3 HD and 2 SD programs or 3 SD and 2 HD programs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The problem is most evident on 1080i, somewhat on 720P, and not on 480P. NBC and CBS were only examples. There are other local stations that use 1080i.


I did not say that the problem of washed out colors and smearing is only with Beyond TV. So far as I know, any software that plays back the video on both displays exhibits the problem. What have others used for playback which does play back on both displays of a dual display setup?


I have not found any evidence of processor speed limitations from zero to four simultaneous DTV stream captures, zero to six simultaneous analog captures, or any scheduled combinations that has arisen while playing back of any one.


My TV is standard definition. I am very satisfied with the results when not washed out or smearing.


I am not surprised of no previous problem reports for several reasons. The graphics adapter industry is driven by shame: I don't have a 1000W system with Pentium i7 having cross-connected graphics cards and triple channel DDR3 memory...generally the support message is "need more be said?" Most forums I see have users just giving up and going to other brands.


Also, since I find that video cannot be captured to file when using a single output due to intentional Windows operating limitations supposedly for copyright issues, it's been impossible for me to "show" the difference simple jpg images.
 

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1. S-Video output from a PC always has fairly poor PQ since To generate S-Video graphics use a low qualaity scan converter which actually takes a 480i SD picture of your grahics image. For many years you could get separate scan conveter cards costing anywhere from 30 to 300$. The higher the resolution of the source the poorer the S-video output will be.

Which of your displays is the primary display? Are you using clone or extended desktop mode?

With the TV disconnected do you still get poor quality with the monitor.


2. I don't understand your recording problem unless you are trying to record premium program content such as HBO which are flagged for no recording by the sender. Please provide more detail or a example sequence.


3. I think you have a disk through/bandwidth problem. Since SD programs are recorded at a 2GB/hour rate 6 SD recordings requires 12 GB/hour of bandwidth. HD programs are recorded at 8GB/hour so 4 HD programs would require 32 GB of bandwidth.

What is the full text of the "Need More.." message. If it is saying more memory it can be referring to main memory or to disk space.

I don't know how big each data block is when receiving data from the tuner cards but I do assume that the HD program data blocks are bigger then the SD progarm data blocks and therfore main memory of 2 GB may not be sufficient.


I look forward to your feedback on the 3 issues above.
 

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Recording ATSC/clear QAM/Firewire stream has nothing to do with the video card, they simply write down the incoming bytes to the hard drive (with some possible filtering). Software analog tuners are a different thing...


When they mention the video card requirement, that is only for the playback or live tv.


As for your actual problem, yes two down-conversion + a clone display thrown in there, that is asking for trouble...
 

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I have another hypothis for the number of recordings problem.

I think you have a digital tuner resource problem.

The number of HD recordings you can record is less then then nuimnber of SD programs since HD programs can only be received using the digital tuner on your analog/digital combo tuner cards.

How many combo tuner cards do you have? I had assumed 3 till you said you could record 4 concurrent DTV broadcasts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What do others use for playback on VGA + TV, cloned, video seen on both outputs?


There seems to be agreement that the stream is simply captured to file. The capture is not relevant to the playback. There is no problem with file corruption.


There is no problem with the file itself. The hard drive bandwidth is fine, especially considering four simultaneous DTV recording plus playback of any one is OK. The difference in video seen is with VGA + TV, cloned. There is no smear or color problem with any one single output active. There is no hard drive bandwidth difference between the two conditions, one is OK (dual cloned), the other is not (any single).


Don't read into the DTV vs. analog numbers any resource problems. It's how I've chosen to set up my tuners. I also have a Hauppauge 500 Dual PCI tuner which adds more analog than digital tuners.


There is no issue with TV or monitor native color, as I am speaking of a difference as seen on each in an A vs. B comparison looking at the same display.
 

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It would help if you listed exactly how many tuners of each make/ model you have installed and also if you stated the fulll text of the errror you get when you try and record with 5 digit tuners or try and record 5 HD resolution programs.


Since you stated that when in clone mode that you get poor PQ on both displays it is very important to know which display you have designated as the the primary display and since if that display is connected its resoution will be use for both displays.


Users who have a TV capable only S-video input and a digital capable of other resolutions normally have to configure their primary display at 800x600 and they recognize that the PQ of the TV getting the S-video input will be a lot less then that on the monitor.

I want to see you get to the bottom of the problems you are experiencing and your answers to all of my questions are important in doing that.

It would help to know how may digital broadcasts and how many analog broadcasts you want to record concurently and what is the source of the analog broadcasts.
 

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Your problems are making sure I have insomnia so here are some more thoughts to replace and or supplement the ones in my above post.

1. Number of recordings problem:

Based on the fact thay you can record 4 DTV broadcasts or 6 analog broadcasts I currently assume that you have 1 650 tuner casrd, 3 1600 tuner cards and 1 500 tuner card and that you receive you analog programs over cable is this correct? With this combination you have 4 DTVs tuners and 6 analog tuners with availale.

So when you stated that you cannot record 5 programs I assumed that you mean that you cannot record 4 DTV programs and 1 or more analogs program concurently.

Which 650 card do you have I have assumed the Combo PCI model? See:
http://ati.amd.com/products/theater650pro/index.html


Poor Picture Quality problem:

It is important to determine if your poor PQ is caused by your recording or by your decoder and graphics card.

I assume that you have best quality or highest bandwidth for recording selected for each of the analog tuners.

Do you have PQ differences on the LCD between: recorded analog programs, DTV

SD programs ,and DTV HD programs?

If you watch Live TV with one of the analog tuners with no time shifting enabled do you get better PQ than with a recorded analog program.

If you play a DVD on your system do you getter better PQ than with recorded programs.
 
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