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Discussion Starter #1
The advent of the TT player has sparked a very interesting debate for me, expecially because has uncovered for me the possibility of taking pieces of functionality (namely audio and video) from different DVD players and getting the best overall result.


My project is to use Zoom Player to combine the power of the ATI 5.0 video filters with the Power DVD 3.0 Audio filters on a Windows XPPro system, obtaining the best picture with SPDIF(DD/DTS) out.


Obviously I don't have access to TT... but I thought I would give a try to the above, to see if it is possible to come close to the results of the above player, without forking out the extra cash...

I like the challenge after all...


I have WinXP, and with the latest XP drivers (3276), for the ATI Radeon AIW card, you can find them here...
http://support.ati.com/products/pc/r...p_drivers.html


When I upgraded to XP I had numerous problems with the ATI 4.1, freezing and giving me error messages... Upgrading to 5.0 and to the new set of drivers has really fixed every problem but SPDIF out.


Now I am no expert, but running WinDVD 3.0, PowerDVD 3.0 and ATI DVD 5.0 on the same HTPC, I can only say that from my SUBJECTIVE point of view the picture quality TITLE belongs to the ATI 5.0 player:

- no stuttering or dithering of the picture, rock solid

- amazing contrast compared to PowerDVD, I found WinDVD very close, but still I was able to recognize the ATI picture for its cristal contrast and clarity compared to the WinDVD one


OK; so the best PQ comes from ATI, where can I find the best Audio? Most say PowerDVD over WinDVD...


That's why I have chosen the two players for this project.


Has anyone already accomplished the task? I searched the forum with no result yet....


I will post my findings over the weekend....


Let the games begin!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I guess that the PowerDvd Audio filter cannot really be used.


see the following Thread where Blight himself confirms the bad news...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ht=zoom+player


I tried over the weekend to cofigure Zoom Player to use the PDVD 3.0 filters... mmmh, using the trial version, I couldn't even find the damn filters


according to DVD.txt in Blight's packager PowerDVD comes with these filters:


"claud.ax" - PowerDVD's Audio Decoder filter.

"clvsd.ax" - PowerDVD's Video Decoder filter.


I had the files in the version 2.x, which did not pass SPDIF, disinstalled it and installed 3.0 trial version... and they are gone!


Any ideas...


So I guess is time to play with WinDVD 3.0, to see if I can get that working...


Also user reported that ATI DVD 5.0 does output DD, will test, and some others that using Zoom Player the sound improves when you use the Cinemaster filters sound filters (ATI) will test as well.


For ATI users, you might know this already, but there you go...

- new version of Zoom Player with overlay color control, see thread
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...threadid=90289

- how to enable overscan on an ATI cards
http://www.rage3d.com/radeon/r3dtweak/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great fun yesterday night... trying to get Blight latest version of Zoom Player to work on my XP Pro with the 3281 drivers that I got from the Rage Website:
http://www.rage3d.com/

I managed to crash XP four times in a row! Result! Screen going blank and cursor appearing at the top of the screen! Hard reboot required.... not so stable after all are we, Mr CIA man...


I had no problem with the 3821 drivers, but I had to let them go and revert to the good old 3276...

http://support.ati.com/products/pc/r...p_drivers.html


What I did:

- installed the Zoom Player V. 2.12 rc2 to access the overlay color controls via the Zoom Player.

- installed the R3DTweak.exe to to enable overscan


unregistered every single filter and then registered the

- Ravisend video filters

- WinDvd audio filters


Result: error messages all over the shop when I tried to use the overlay controls via the Zoom Player. Eventually I set them up via the Zoom Player Options as suggested by Blight


=========================================


Brightness: 5000

Contrast: 10000

Gamma: 100

Hue: 0

Sat: 12800

=========================================


Result: far too bright for my liking.... cannot post any pictures, but the blacks look gray.... not good.

So I try to use ATI 5.0 to change the overlay color controls (there is a tab in setup that allows you to control Brightness, Contrast etc.). No can do, ATI DVD 5.0 also is far too bright and changing those numbers will have no impact

See picture for the controls.


Looked for the explanation and found it (sort of) here
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1


__________________________________________________

As for the 7199 drivers and the ATI player, there will be problems if you use the 4.1 player and those drivers since the drivers are DXVA and the player is not. You would have to disable Harware Optimization in the Genie under the Cinemaster tab to make it work so that the player uses SW mode only. The 7199 drivers will work of course with the 5.0 player, Zoom and PowerDVD all using DXVA. The ATI player will brighten because every time you touch the video tab in the player, the overlay controls go nuts -- same problem as we had several months ago except this time you have two sets of controls fighting for dominance. My suggestion is to place the ATI player controls at default and then set your PQ in the overlay if you;re using the 7199's. The closest to the 0 IRE would be default for everything other than gamma which should be at +6 and saturation which should be at 112%. Looks good!

____________________________________________________


Obviously same problem here buddy with the 3821 (and 3276 I am afraid)... even thought I unchecked the overlay controls in the Zoom Player, and the colors are as they should come as default, the settings for 5.0 are f*cked... will play with it, but it really doesn't concern me, as what I want is the Cinemaster filter to work with Zoom Player... it is at this point that I notice something really interesting
....


The picture with ATI DVD 5.0 is muuuuch crisper that using Zoom Player, I mean a world apart... on Zoom the picture looks pixxellated on my 19" monitor, (and it jumps and jiitters.... veery weird...)


So I decide to revert to my old drivers (there it crashes) and unistall R3DTweak.exe ....


Rebooted, installed the 3276 drivers and the picture on Zoom Player is rock solid! ATI DVD 5.0 is still faaar to bright, but hey, I now have Cinemaster rock solid picture and the WinDVD SPDIF out capability via Zoom...


Now I have to move PC and everything else from my room to my HT setup downstairs... be patient ....


Interesting other thread... where Frodo suggest you can use the ATI player and register teh WinDVD filters to get DTS out without Zoom, I believe.... will test that as well....

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/013931.html


The game continues...
 

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I have used ZoomPlayer with the Rav/WinDVD combo under XP with perfect results for some time now , amazing PQ and full DD/DTS pass thru via the spdif . I have used the overlay settings for 0 IRE and they look stunning . I have done this on a Radeon and a GeForce - both worked fine under a clean WinXP Pro install . But what is really going to throw you for a loop is that both the new WinDVD 3.1 XP and PowerDVD XP 4 look just as good as the Rav/Cine filter when used under ZoomPlayer . Both of these new players have amazing PQ under WinXP but not as clean when running under Win9X/Me - Go Figure !

I will try the new filters and mix them up under ZoomPlayer to see what I can obtain .


Best Wishes ,

Jason Berg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Da Game,

do you have ATI DVD 5.0 installed?

I don't know how to capture a snapshot, but when I use the overlay tab in Zoom Player, doesn' really look that good....

Maybe I am doing something wrong...

I select Options in Zoom Player, then the tab "Mouse Wheel and Overlay", where I tick "Use overlay color control" and I insert the following values


Brightness: 5000

Gamma: 100

Contrast: 10000

Sat: 12800

Hue: 0


IRE 0 is grayed out.


I click on Apply and everything is faaar to bright.... maybe it is just me, but the black looks gray, compared to the top and bottom bands that won't change color (software related) when I run the DVD in Widescreen mode.

Basically I have the movie in original format displaying on my screen, above and below two "gray-black" bands, and above and below those, to the upper and lower edges of the screen, two other bands of pure black, which I guess belong to the player, and cannot be configured differently.


Is there any registry setting I should edit to get the color setting you all suggest, or what I am seeing is supposed to be the best display... furthermore, how can I capture the image I have on the screen (I have an AIW Radeon) so I can show you what I mean?


Tx
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gnollo
Da Game,

do you have ATI DVD 5.0 installed?

I don't know how to capture a snapshot, but when I use the overlay tab in Zoom Player, doesn' really look that good....

Maybe I am doing something wrong...

I select Options in Zoom Player, then the tab "Mouse Wheel and Overlay", where I tick "Use overlay color control" and I insert the following values


Brightness: 5000

Gamma: 100

Contrast: 10000

Sat: 12800

Hue: 0


IRE 0 is grayed out.


I click on Apply and everything is faaar to bright.... maybe it is just me, but the black looks gray, compared to the top and bottom bands that won't change color (software related) when I run the DVD in Widescreen mode.

Basically I have the movie in original format displaying on my screen, above and below two "gray-black" bands, and above and below those, to the upper and lower edges of the screen, two other bands of pure black, which I guess belong to the player, and cannot be configured differently.


Is there any registry setting I should edit to get the color setting you all suggest, or what I am seeing is supposed to be the best display... furthermore, how can I capture the image I have on the screen (I have an AIW Radeon) so I can show you what I mean?


Tx
what drivers are you using? Are they the ones that give you gamma in the Windows Display Properties tab, the latest ones?
 

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ahhh, I see 3281...so you have the ones that place the control controls into the universal overlay. What you need to do is stop using the 0 IRE settings and place all your values at default in the ATI player. Then, govern the changes from the universal overlay and stay out of the player's color control tab so that they will stick. These new drivers place a second color control panel in the Windows Settings screen and they will conflict with your other settings fighting for control of the overlay adjustment. Either revert back to older drivers that do not have this or stop trying to govern the picture from the player.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Mike,


- I had the 3281 and removed them from my system

- I am now running the 3276


Still, when I try to change the color settings in the Setup of the ATI 5.0, the numbers change, but not the color...


I guess, as you said, that the control controls are elsewhere... still into the universal overlay perhaps?

How do I find it?

(Sorry but I only started to play around with drivers):D


If not, where is stored the default setting for the ATI DVD 5.0?

I guess that if I find that, I find the solution of the problem (and uninstalling and reinstalling DVD 5.0 has not solved it...)


If I use Zoom player whith the overlay desabled, it shows the color settings that the ATI 5.0 displayed when I first installed it. Then I switch to 5.0 and there the colors are still way too bright...


Where can I edit the ATI player default settings, even in the registry (WinXP)?


"If you can't fix it f*ck it!"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tonight I will receive an LT150 demo unit, with screen...

Will wire up HTPC and Arcam AVR100 amplifier. This will give me a chance to test passthrough on my Creative 5.1 card....

Can't wait!

Hang on rainbows, here I come!
 

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Am I missing something here?, I've installed PowerDVD XP and using the Zoomplayer I can access under Windows XP both the audio and video Power DVD filters and change the settings. I must say this combination at the moment is absolutely fantastic :)


I`m just waiting for ATI to offcially release the mmc7.2 for my ATI AIW now...:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did you install the trial version that was Posted a while ago, or the retail boxed version? Reason I am asking is that I am currently using the WinDVD audio filters, even though is just a trial version.... maybe I could do that with PowerDVD too.

I am just a bit puzzled... Blight himself cannot use the filters on the XP version... I wonder why..

Which build Xp do you use?

And which build PowerDVD XP?

Did you try SPDIF out? Does it pass DD and DTS even when you use a different video filter (eg ATI 4.1 in sofware mode or ATI 5.0 in hardware mode...)

I've just downloaded the demo for PDVD, will play with it tonight (the japanese demo version...)
 

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Well , after trying many filter combo's with ZoomPlayer I can honestly say that none work as well as PowerDVD XP 4 itself [ in hardware mode under WinXP ] . The PowerDVD XP 4 audio filter will not pass DD/DTS via the spdif out using ZoomPlayer , the Video filter works wonderful however . I find that the PowerDVD XP 4 audio is a bit crisper than the WinDVD 3.1 DTS audio [ at least in my system ] . I tried many different combinations using ATI 5.0 filters / WinDVD 3.1 DTS filters / and PowerDVD XP 4 filters with ZoomPlayer 2.12rc2 but no combo made me as happy as the PowerDVD XP 4 player . Some were close and with all the added features of ZoomPlayer 2.12 it is a tough choice [ way to go Blight ] . I tried using a Radeon [pci] and a GeForce [agp] for testing and the results that I obtained with the Geforce using PowerDVD XP 4 were almost on par with the Radeon and ATI 5.0 player . For this reason I am sticking with the GeForce for best all around performance [ Gaming & DVD ] . The Radeon is impressive out of the box , but with a little tweaking the GeForce can come real close IMHO for DVD playback .


Best Wishes ,

Jason Berg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
After a veeery long weekend of testing, I am ready to post my findings... (by the way I loove the LT150 and I don't see rainbows, so does my girlfriend... :cool: )


Test equipment


==============

Pentium III 1Ghz 100Mhz

Pionieer 104-f Dvd Player

Ati Radeon AIW

Sound Blaster Live! Player 1024

==============


Test Software


===============

WinDvd 3.0 (not the xp version though)

Ati 5.0

PowerDVD XP 4.0

ZoomPlayer 2.12 rc2

===============


Goal: DTS/DD witn SPDIF OUT


1) ATI 5.0

Still the best picture when playing in Dolby surround. I can get DS into my amplifier and the picture is crystal clear, don't see artifacts, rock solid and no wavering or stuttering.

Tried with SPDIF Out (is one option of the player), with and without registering the audio filters, registering WinDVD audio filters... and THE PICTURE STUTTERS!!!

One major example is with X-Men...just before the Menu appears the camera pans around the Chamber that Dr. Xavier uses to increase his mental power, and the camera starts and stops several times... very weird...

Can anyone try, I would like to know if it is just me, or is it an ATI video filters problem (I think so, as it also happened using ZoomPlayer....)

Used the 3281 and 3276 drivers, no change on the performance


2) WinDVD 3.0

Good picture, DTS Out and DD Out a result with the player. No majour issue... I somehow prefer the sound and picture from PowerDVD 4.


3) PowerDVD 4.0 XP.

Great picture with hardware acceleration enabled... as good as the ATI 5.0 with Dolby surround? Nope. Still a touch of softness, but no stuttering whatsoever... finally! I have never seen such a rock solid performance, no breaking up of the picture or pauses in the playback, from Power DVD. Version 3.0 was unwatchable for me, after I used ATI 5.0, in terms of picture quality.

Great DD and DTS passthrough. Better then WinDVD? Yes... so overall great performance from PowerDVD XP, that gets the number one spot for DD and DTS playback, while for DSurround, I still think ATI 5.0 keeps the lead.

What about mixing and matching sound and video filters with Zoom Player? Let's See...


4) Zoom Player 2.12 rc2

Tried with both drivers 3281 and 3276.

a) Cinemaster video filters and WinDVD audio filters. Great picture at first, and DD and DTS passthrough. After a while the picture remained very crystal, but it continually pauses and stutters, while playing DD and DTS. When playing DS, the Cinemaster picture is instead rock solid.... Why?

b) Cinemaster video filters and Cinemaster audio filters. Great picture and Dolby Surround... No picture stuttering whatsoever...

c) Cinemaster video filters and PowerDVD 4.0 audio filters. Great Picture and Dolby Surround... No picture stuttering whatsoever...


So if I can get the solution a) to work flawlessly as it started, that would be my preferred choice.... tryed everything uninstalled and

- reinstalled drivers

- reinstalled Zoom Player

- reinstalled ATI Multimedia Center

same result, picture playback still stops and starts continuosly...


End result, unless Blight rescues me, PowerDVD 4 is here to stay...
 

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Sorry gnollo, I know it would be nice to have the author of Zoom Player do a few tests for you, but sadly, I'm a poor little author with no fancy hardware to test this on I'm afraid.


If anyone cares I'm using:


* P3/733

* 384mb PC133 ram

* Aureal Superquad 4-Speaker sound card (connected to 2-speakers, no room for 4)

* TNT2 M64 with bt869 TV-Out (didn't like the ATI Radeon quality for analog tv-out under XP)

* 19" IIYAMA monitor (monitor is the most important part of the PC, and the last the longest)



What I don't have is:


* No Projector

* No HDTV

* No AC3 system (whatsoever)



So you can't really expect me to do a lot of testing on hardware I don't actually have, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What you are doing already is more that I can dream of...

your Zoom Player has already considerably improved my DivX viewing...;)

I don't really have a problem with the SPDIF out side of things...

but I noticed that playback is choppy when I select the Cinemaster videofilters and the WinDVD sound filters with SPDIF out (forget about the sound quality, it works fine).

I was wondering if you experienced the same problem... I will play with disabling the hardware acceleration.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
WINXP

3276 drivers


Ok, more tests, all to confirm what I already know

Used DVD genie and played with

- hardware acceleration ON/OFF

- 3/2 pulldown

- deinterlacing options

using the

- Cinemaster video filters

- WinDVD audio filters

Result: playback stutters big time compared to ATI DVD 5.0 with dolby surround.

Once I set ATI DVD 5.0 to SPDIF out there goes the stuttering on the ATI player as well.

So to finally track it down to the ATI code, I used Zoom Player with:

- Cinemaster video filters

- WinDVD audio filters

and set the audio filters to Dolby Surround... no more stutter!


Please guys, can anyone who has WinXP give it a go and confirm that this is not due to my setup?

Software needed

- WinXP

- ATI DVD 5.0

- Zoom Player

- WinDVD trial version

You don't need an amp, I know that SPDIF out is working, but can you pay attention to the PQ, in particular, does it stutter in playback (like the old PowerDVD 3.0)?
 

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jrwood - are you able to use DTS decoding with the power dvd audio filters? I cannot even get the option for S/PDIF out for those filters. with WinDVD 3.1 audio filter, I can use DD/DTS out as well as DD 5.1 decoding, but no DTS decoding sadly.


gnollo - have you really come to the conclusion that pdvd xp video/windvd 3.1 audio is not the best option?


I think with Blight's recent release that there will be a very nice solution to most of the config problems. I think we will see all the filter capabilities that you can specify with any DVD player, in use in zoom player, in tandem with the ultimate flexibility of the zoom player, great combo. I hope. I think Blight will be getting more than just a poor man's donation from me this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
from hmcgrath


========================================

gnollo - have you really come to the conclusion that pdvd xp video/windvd 3.1 audio is not the best option?

========================================


Well I guess if I have to trade the audio superiority of PowerDVD with the flexibility of ZoomPlayer, the answer is I don't know.

I don't have a projector, have only tested the LT150 last weekend, so I haven't played with the video setting of ZP that much, but I could definetly tell the difference between the two players in terms of DD and DTS sound...


What does Zoom have in terms of settings that you cannot do without?


Just curious... hopefully I will need the info when I get my LT150:D
 
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