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Playing Live TV on 7MC

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Just got my new HTPC up and running.
Using a Compro E650F Tv Tuner and Radeon HD5450 graphics card.

Using the native Compro DTV software, both analogue and digital signals come through clearly.

I tried using the Live TV function on Windows Media Center. I find that digital TV (DVB-T) looks just fine and everything works 100%.
The analogue channels however have shocking quality on 7MC. All the edges of text/lines become jagged, whites become noisy and general picture quality decreases. (Sort of also looks like way too much sharpening has been applied)

I have tried changing the default video decoder using Shark007 codec, and it did help a bit, but audio sync goes a few milli-seconds out, and even so, it is still not as clear as the native software is.

I suspect it has to do with the way 7MC is ENCODING the analogue signal. Is there any way to fix/improve this?
Should I invest in a hardware MPEG2 TV capture card like the Compro E850-F? Could the Compro brand be an issue and maybe I should change to the Hauppauge brand? (although if the actual tuner was the issue, why does it look fine on the native software?)

Please advise what you'd recommend to get as good quality in 7MC in analogue mode as in the native Compro software.

Thanks
Edited by alkit - 5/20/11 at 2:16am
post #2 of 8
Hmm, I have used Hauppauge and ATI TV tuners and never had an issue with analog picture in WMC. Analog will look worse compared to digital since it is a much poorer resolution, and on a 1080p monitor/TV, it will be very noticeable. Maybe the Compro software is tweaking the analog signal, but WMC is sending the raw signal unchanged?
What CPU and motherboard are you using?
I don't know anything about the Compro tuners or software, so this is just a guess.
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blupupher View Post
Hmm, I have used Hauppauge and ATI TV tuners and never had an issue with analog picture in WMC. Analog will look worse compared to digital since it is a much poorer resolution, and on a 1080p monitor/TV, it will be very noticeable. Maybe the Compro software is tweaking the analog signal, but WMC is sending the raw signal unchanged?
What CPU and motherboard are you using?
I don't know anything about the Compro tuners or software, so this is just a guess.
Thanks for the response.
I'm using a Celeron E3400 with an Asus G41M motherboard.

Would you suggest going the Hauppage route just to be safe (it's almost double the price of the Compro), or should I rather get the Compro E850F which claims to have a Phillips MPEG-2 hardware chip with noise reduction?
post #4 of 8
From my experience, the analogue signal will be different and much worse for several reasons.

One - WM7 does NOT upscale. For example, when I plug an analogue source directly to the TV, even non HD resolution items get upscaled by the TV hardware. This does provide a minor improvement or difference in appearance.

But when running TV through WM7 you do not get this upscaling so the quality would look lower because it is actually displaying it in the original resolution sans upscaling.

Another issue I noticed was when I used to use AT HD650's the digital channels looked great but the analogue channels definitely showed poorer than expected quality.

When I upgraded to a Ceton InfiniTV quadtuner the problem disappeared. The analogue channels now displayed much clearer than before - they still aren't upscaled but they are much clearer than when received on the ATI HD650's

Part of the problems may be inherent to your tuner and how it chooses to handle the feed pretty much.
    
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by werds View Post
One - WM7 does NOT upscale. For example, when I plug an analogue source directly to the TV, even non HD resolution items get upscaled by the TV hardware. This does provide a minor improvement or difference in appearance.

But when running TV through WM7 you do not get this upscaling so the quality would look lower because it is actually displaying it in the original resolution sans upscaling.
That's not exactly true. Everything that goes through the computer gets upscaled. On an HTPC, you're normally outputting just one resolution to the TV - usually either 720p or 1080p. All content gets upscaled to the output resolution, assuming you're playing them fullscreen. It just so happens that the TV's tuner's noise reduction and upscaling is probably better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by werds View Post
Another issue I noticed was when I used to use AT HD650's the digital channels looked great but the analogue channels definitely showed poorer than expected quality.

When I upgraded to a Ceton InfiniTV quadtuner the problem disappeared. The analogue channels now displayed much clearer than before - they still aren't upscaled but they are much clearer than when received on the ATI HD650's

Part of the problems may be inherent to your tuner and how it chooses to handle the feed pretty much.
There are two options here:
  1. The Ceton InfiniTV4 has better noise reduction than the ATI HD 650.
  2. The "analog channels" you refer to are also available in digital/encrypted QAM and require a CableCARD tuner or set-top box to view.

I'm inclined to think it's the latter. It's easy enough for the cable company to have simultaneous analog and digital standard definition feeds of some channels. For every SD cable channel/frequency, I believe you can cram around 2~3 HD streams or 8 or more SD streams.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post
That's not exactly true. Everything that goes through the computer gets upscaled. On an HTPC, you're normally outputting just one resolution to the TV - usually either 720p or 1080p. All content gets upscaled to the output resolution, assuming you're playing them fullscreen. It just so happens that the TV's tuner's noise reduction and upscaling is probably better.


There are two options here:
  1. The Ceton InfiniTV4 has better noise reduction than the ATI HD 650.
  2. The "analog channels" you refer to are also available in digital/encrypted QAM and require a CableCARD tuner or set-top box to view.

I'm inclined to think it's the latter. It's easy enough for the cable company to have simultaneous analog and digital standard definition feeds of some channels. For every SD cable channel/frequency, I believe you can cram around 2~3 HD streams or 8 or more SD streams.
You are correct on all counts sir! (I am just not an expert and couldn't remember the proper terminology)

Yes I believe through the cable card they are presenting the analogue channels on a digital signal. The only thing I thought though was when you display a picture that has 480 pixels it does not get made into 720 pixels - they merely "stretch the 480 pixels" across 720. Similar with video on the internets, when I get a low res video feed when I make it fit on my larger res monitor it does not display at 720 just a stretch version of the original resolution. So this may be why I missed it - just not properly understanding it all
    
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by werds View Post
The only thing I thought though was when you display a picture that has 480 pixels it does not get made into 720 pixels - they merely "stretch the 480 pixels" across 720. Similar with video on the internets, when I get a low res video feed when I make it fit on my larger res monitor it does not display at 720 just a stretch version of the original resolution. So this may be why I missed it - just not properly understanding it all
The stretching/resizing is part of the upscaling process. There just happens to be some algorithms (or hardware) that handle it better than others. Not all video players/renderers are created equal, either. Try madVR (only works with a handful of players such as MPC-HC & ZoomPlayer right now). It produces awesome PQ.
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post
The stretching/resizing is part of the upscaling process. There just happens to be some algorithms (or hardware) that handle it better than others. Not all video players/renderers are created equal, either. Try madVR (only works with a handful of players such as MPC-HC & ZoomPlayer right now). It produces awesome PQ.
OOOO! Cool thanks! Always love picking up new tidbits like that.
    
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