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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a standard VCR with composite output into my composite in for LT150. The picture is downright nasty. Will a new SVHS VCR with Svideo out improve my cable TV image? This is not HDTV just plain old cable TV. Cable TV looks good on my RPTV but I want to improve the image for football on LT150. Please advise if any of you tried SVHS VCR Svideo output compared to composite VCR output. Is it worth the $130 to get new SVHS VCR?


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Huey ;-]
 

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I hate to say it, but probably not. I spent all day last sunday trying to get the best picture out of my 2 sources for football - dish & cable. It all wound up in my PC through a relatively noiseless capture card, and a/b'ing S-Video and Composite showed verrry little difference from a cable TV source. If I were in your shoes, I'd call your cable company and get a digital cable box for a month to try out your S-Video input rather than buying a new VCR (what's a VCR?)....



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Darren Rogers


God Bless America,

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, My home sweet home.



NEC VT540 & HTPC in my stealth theather
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your input. I may have to go with digital cable or satellite for better video. My Sony VPL-CX1 did pretty well with cable deinterlacing compared to LT150. For DVD and progressive sources LT150 is by far superior.


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Huey ;-]
 

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Running cable through my JVC SVHS VCR definitely inproves the picture.


I have digital cable with svideo and the picture is much worse if I run a signal directly from it.




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The JVC probably has noise reduction circuitry. I know mine does. That would account for an improvement when running the signal through it as opposed to from the cable box directly.


That in addition to going to S-video over composite should IMHO give an improvement in image quality. It would of course also give you much better quality on any recorded material you yourself tape on the SVHS machine.



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/Kimmo
 

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I would have to say the $130 will be well worth it. You will never get a great image from an NTSC signal, but the best image I have gotten so far is from the s-video feed from my VCR and using "native" mode on the LT150. Still not completely satisfied, but it beats anything I try with my Quadscan.
 

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I'd look at the JVC 7000 or 9000 series VCR's as they have better color separation than the 3000 series machines. The ghost reduction circuitry in the 9000 series can also make a big impact on ghosting if the signal carries the guide signal. Overall, the luma resolution should visibly improve if you switch to the higher grade color separation afforded by the upper end JVC S-VHS machines. They give my Faroudja's color separator a good run for the money.


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Guy Kuo
www.ovationsw.com
Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD


 

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Would a cable amplifier help? I have seen them in Home Depot for 39.95.


If not, what is a cable amplifier used for? Boosting signal for longer cable runs?
 

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I will mention that the absolute BEST conventional TV picture on a progressive display like the LT150 is via the DScaler software running on a PC containing a TV tuner card. Have you ever noticed that the projector menus are really sharp compared to the video picture? That is the nature of the difference I am talking about. The improvement is not at all subtle - you look at a fullscreen picture with no visible line structure, one that can only be distinguished from a DVD by the lack of sharp focus - miles and miles better than the built-in line doubler in the projector.


I want to offer a counterpoint to what has been said already about S-Video. The way NTSC television works is that the luminance and chrominance signals are first combined into COMPOSITE VIDEO and then this signal is used to frequency modulate (FM) the picture carrier. Whether you distribute the signal via satellite or cable or OTA broadcast matters little - the major picture degradation occurred when the studio combined the signals before modulation.


You have no choice but to accept the signal as delivered, of course. It is how you process the signal and deliver it to the projector that matters the most at your end. The absolute best way is to demodulate the signal inside a PC tuner card, line double and scale it via DScaler, then drive the projector via the best interface it has, the progressive VGA input. The S-Video projector connection will only be incrementally better than the Composite Video you have now. The progressive VGA input will be significantly, positively, noticeably better than either type of interlaced video input.


When I watch live sporting events on my analog cable, I get a picture almost HDTV-like. The differences are the afore-mentioned softness of focus (from a relatively low resolution NTSC TV source) and a slight amount of noise visible as light horizontal sparkles. On high contrast moving scenes (like a white jersey against the darker playing field), the edge of the moving object displays "combing artifacts", while the rest of the picture is sharper. When I switch to either the S-Video or Composite video inputs using the same source material, the whole picture (both stationary and moving areas) gets so fuzzy and unfocused looking, you frankly could not tell if you had video artifacts at all (yech).


My reccomendation is get an HTPC for your LT150. You can also use it for PC gaming and the best quality DVD playback you can get.


Gary


[This message has been edited by Gary McCoy (edited 09-18-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What brand is your tuner/capture card? I saw Cybertainment AV for $40, WinTV-GO for $40. I have Geforce2 GTS Pro and uses HTPC for DVD now. Is the tuner card difficult to install and setup? I read some Dscaler problems on HTPC and got scared. I may get both Svideo SVHS and tuner/capture card with Svideo in for best of both world :)


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Huey ;-]
 

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I use and reccomend the WinTV-FM/dbx, aka Hauppauge model 401. This card was $99 retail at CompUSA. I didn't care about the FM (because I have FM/AM on my surround receiver) but I wanted stereo TV sound. This board comes with a couple of TV applications plus and FM radio application, plus driver software for the board, plus an infrared remote control and a remote application. Installing it was easy, the first time, with all the stuff on the CD. It also worked fine although the picture is inferior to the DScaler application - but stereo sound was working reliably.


What was a little more challenging was downloading and installing the latest Hauppauge WDM driver and matching TV application off the Web. I actually abandoned that application because DScaler had much better video performance - at the penalty of unreliable stereo sound detection. If stereo (not presently working reliably in DScaler) is not a high priority, then I would think the $49 WinTV would be OK (but get the PCI board not the USB version for DScaler compatibility).


Note that I said I downloaded the "WDM driver" - this newer standard (Windows Driver Model) replaced the older VFW driver (Video for Windows). The new driver for the board is required for compatibility with Intervideo's PVR software, a product called "WinDVR". This and DScaler are what you use for TV - DScaler for live broadcasts, and WinDVR for time-shifting TV to your hard disk (as with TiVO or ReplayTV). WinDVR software is $99.


Gary
 

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Hey Gary: I am not very happy with laser disc playback on my LT150. Could one run that signal through the JVC and would it help? DVDO doesn't seem to improve things much.
 

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The best way to improve both Laserdisc and S-VHS playback is to input the interlaced signal to one of the TV cards mentioned above, through either the S-Video or Composite video input of the card. Then you select that video input using the DScaler software and tweek the deinterlacing algorithyms for best picture. Depending upon your source fidelity you get varying results, supposedly the very best Laserdisc recordings approach DVD quality in still scenes, with some of the artifacting I mentioned above in moving, high-contrast images.


I don't own a Laserdisc player myself - but I've occasionally used my JVC S-VHS for "keeper" recordings, and have a few more from my old Sony standard VHS. I am trying to replace these with DVDs but some of the material is just not available. Playing an old VHS tape of a broadcast program is definately far below what my current system is capable of - but if that's all you've got...


Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just bought JVC HRS3800 on sale at www.onecall.com in Spokane, WA for $120 and $20 S+H. Lord knows when it'll arrive as their web site was goofy when I ordered it. Next target is a cheap but decent capture card. Sound not important as I have VCR running through surround receiver. Cybertainment AV with Svideo in sounds OK for $40 and should be compatible with Dscaler (fingers-crossed). I'll wait til my VCR is hooked up first via Svideo and see how it looks as STB DVD player via Svideo was not too bad (but not even close to HTPC (Geforce2, Athlon 1.4G, 384 MB Ram, Hitachi 12x DVD)).


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I'm using an antenna (no cable!) hooked up to a WinTV Go ($50) card and dScaler. The picture is rather mediocre, but part of that could be my reception. Will things improve significantly with a satellite via s-video and dScaler?
 

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Keep us informed on the outcome. I really want to know how much of an improvement a capture card has over the s-video via VCR for NTSC signal. I am only about 70% happy with the s-video, and would really be interested in the HTPC solution really gets substantial improvement. I wanted to avoid having to have an HTPC, but if it turns ugly cable into a good image, I will do it.
 

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I am having good luck with the Toshiba DST3000 DirecTV HDTV receiver. It is great because I get "free" HDTV off the air with my antenna and it scales any video signal including cable when you output through the component video out. Even though there is a limited amount of true HDTV-the regular digital TV broadcast(ota) are exceptional in quality and are far superior to any analog cable or regular DirectTV feed.

Lenny Eckian




[This message has been edited by leckian (edited 09-19-2001).]
 

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Gary thanks for the info re laser disc improvement. This sounds like a good DIY project. Is it safe to assume that a pentium III with about 128 meg of memory is enough HP to run the cards and software you mentioned?
 

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That should work. My main HTPC is 850Mhz PIII with 192MB. It is an older 440BX board with a 100Mhz FSB.


My other machine is a Celeron 466 with 64MB @66Mhz FSB. It runs DScaler and DVD player software, but I haven't tried WinDVR on that machine - somebody told me that requires 600Mhz but I don't remember who.


Gary

 
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