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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm using PowerDVD XP 4.0 right now. I think it looks good. But I'm reading here about so many other programs and filters and such, like Cineplayer, DScaler, TomsMocomp, Theatertek, Zoomplayer, Ravisent, Windvd, nvdvd, ffdshow etc... it's very confusing to figure out what is needed and what isn't.


Anybody want to point me in the right direction here? I want to use the best quality player obviously. Right now PowerDVD seems good to me, but it also has some stuttering during pans, and one large stutter every once in a while. So what's the best? And what filters or whatever do I need and how do I install them? I have read as much as I can from the threads here and faq, but all this info is confusing. Thanks so much.


If you need to know, I'm playing DVDs from my dvd drive in my computer out a GF4 vga, into a SVGA lcd projector.
 

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Many things effect your overall visual output... What is your display device...Screen... Projector / Digital / CRT....


Without knowing more it is hard to advise...


PowerDVD shows some detail but seems to overemphasize the MPEG transitions (to my eyes, it gets very religious / zealotry about player preference sometimes)... Its hard to describe but search on posts by fakefactory to see some enlightening captures....


I am pretty impressed with the captures from NDVD (though I am not using it and hear it may have some (micro) stutter issues)....Simply put, for my money the 2 reference visual players are Sonic 1,5 (with ZP) and TheaterTek)... If you want to tweak and try every filter combo then Zoom Player is the tool of choice, but it is not a low maintaniane app (it would be if I could just stop screwing with it... But thats is the carrot and stick in one sentence... Powerful / customizable / yet also always wanting that last incremental edge....


TT on he other hand is plug in and press play (with Girder/ pronto CCF's)... I recently left the TT camp in favor of the sonic and catalyst packs but now these are all Incorporated I have to say how happy I am to be back...


One costs money... One does not (though donations for something this good are welcome)... One is simple and is powerful....


When TT has an analogue decode (and LCD control) then I will finally feel happy with this combo... AS it is I am nearly in bliss....


Having come from 2,?? of WDVD and PDVD all i can say is how happy I am we have such close competition ....
 

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The best video quality is the Sonic cineplayer video filter. You can get it 3 ways:


1) Sonic Cineplayer 1.5 - $50

2) Sonic Decoder Pack and then use the free Zoomplayer - $15

3) Theatertek 1.5 - $70


Dscaler is for deinterlacing tv tuner and composite/s-video input (Laserdisc).


Ffdshow is optional and only for those who know how to build and tweak dvd graphs.


Ravisent is the old cineplayer owner. They were bought out by Sonic.


NVDVD 2.xx appears to have improved video quality (1.xx was mediocre) but I haven't seen how well it handles pans yet.


Tomsmocomp is a deinterlace routine for Dscaler; it's very good but requires a 1ghz+ cpu.


Theatertek has the best interface, the Decoder pack+Zoomplayer is the cheapest package but requires understanding of various elements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. For more info, I have Win98se, using an 800x600 LCd projector from the VGA output of a GeForce4.


So it seems Sonic is the best decoder at the moment. What is girder/pronto/catalyst?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by anticowboyism
...Right now PowerDVD seems good to me, but it also has some stuttering during pans, and one large stutter every once in a while. So what's the best?...
Whoa, regardless of anyone's opinion of the PQ of PowerDVD4.0, this statement doesn't ring true... anticowboyism, you've got a problem within your system set-up. I would suggest you solve this "large stutter" problem first before buying and adding on more filters, etc.


Is your DVD-rom's IDE channel in DMA mode? You might want to check.
 

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I also saw a similar problem with stutter in PowerDVD4.0, I was able to fix it by turning on the hardware aceleration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I have the DVD in DMA mode. It is a Lite-on LTD163, Firmware version GH5P. It is on the same IDE cable as my CDRW, but when watching dvd's I obviously don't use the cdrw at the same time. Strangely, it seems to occur less often using software decoding. It is like a 1/4 second pause maybe twice per movie using software decoding. It happens 3-4 times per movie with hardware decoding. I have overheard some people talking about cache settings in relation to this, but I'm not sure what settings they used.


I think my system is plenty for simple software dvd decoding. Athlon 1.2, 512 ram CAS2, GF4 Ti4400... etc. Any help on that problem would be appreciated.


I will look into the Sonic deocders now. Thanks a bunch! Oh, still wondering about girder/pronto/catalyst?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok, I found out what girder/pronto is and that looks very nice. I need something like that. And I'm guessing catalyst you mean the ati drivers, which don't apply to me. So I have just one more question.


What's the future hold for dvd software? What is everybody waiting for now? Theatertek 2.0 with better audio decoding? Something else? What's the eta on that?
 
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