[mythtv-users] How well does Unichrome work?

Joe Votour joevph at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 20 18:13:07 UTC 2004


Thanks for the observations.

I'm considering the Abit motherboard (or something
similar) for a couple of reasons:
1. I've actually used one at the past with a previous
employer (I built a PC for them, and it worked well
2. At least I can put a snappy processor in it if I
need more power than an M10000.

But, the Abit does have one drawback, and that is that
there's no S-Video or composite output on it.  So, in
order to get that to work, I'd have to go with some
sort of VGA to composite adaptor, and I'm not really
sure how well that would work (especially if the
resolution isn't something standard like 640x480 or

Definitely, DMA issues on the VIA chipset seem to vary
from board to board.  I had an Albatron KT400 board
(got it as part of a CPU/motherboard deal at Fry's),
and I was replaced the board with a SiS-based one
within a couple of weeks.  While my system wasn't
locking or anything, IVTV was giving a lot of DMA
errors, and the machine was just sluggish.  Much
better on the SiS machine.

I definitely await your conclusions on how well
Unichrome works, especially since you are able to
perform the "CNN test".  ESPN is another good one
sometimes (and I tend to watch it more), since they
sometimes have a lot of scrolling tickers.  Whereas
CNN is kind of smooth on the GeForce card, ESPN is
very choppy, but again, flawless on the PVR-350.

Thanks for the info.

-- Joe

--- Jarod Wilson <jcw at wilsonet.com> wrote:

> On Nov 19, 2004, at 21:44, Joe Votour wrote:
> > Currently my MythTV setup has a backend/frontend
> > machine with a PVR-250 for capture, and a PVR-350
> for
> > capture/playback.  While this combination works
> great,
> > I am truly disappointed about not being able to
> use
> > xmame on the PVR-350.  I'm itching for my fix!  :)
> >
> > So, after reading the archives and googling
> around,
> > one of the things that I am considering is
> something
> > with Unichrome based graphics.  Before I plunk
> down
> > the money for such a motherboard, I was wondering
> if
> > people could comment on how the picture quality is
> > using the Unichrome driver.  (I do realise that
> I'd
> > pretty much need to go with CVS, and I'm fine with
> > that).
> Absolutely, not pretty much. There's no support for
> the Unichrome stuff 
> in 0.16, period. I'm almost finished bumping all my
> boxes up to cvs, 
> one big reason being that I just got my EPIA back up
> and running using 
> the Unichrome driver.
> > (For reference, my problem with using a GeForce
> card
> > is that on my GeForce4 440MX card, watching
> something
> > like CNN with a ticker has a lot of jump to it. 
> It
> > might smooth out for a period of 30 seconds, but
> then
> > it jumps like mad.  This occurs regardless of any
> > settings I have tried).
> I should actually try watching CNN on all my
> boxes...
> > So, anybody out there using the Unichrome driver,
> is
> > the picture nice and smooth?  Could I watch a CNN
> > ticker until I get extremely bored and not have it
> > skip a beat?  (The PVR-350 is excellent at this,
> the
> > ticker is perfectly crisp.)
> I should know by the end of the weekend. Almost done
> compiling...
> > Also, considering xmame, does anybody with a
> > higher-end Epia (the M10000, I believe) know if it
> has
> > enough power to play some of the middle-end ROMs,
> like
> > Mortal Kombat II and 3?
> Not a clue. X itself is definitely WAAAAY snappier
> than when running on 
> the 350's output (on the same machine).
> > If not, perhaps I'd be better
> > off with a microATX Unichrome solution like an
> Abit
> > VA-10 (which uses the KM400 chipset).  If so, DMA
> > issues hopefully wouldn't be a problem, as I could
> do
> > the backend capture on another machine.
> I never had any DMA issues on my KM400 system with
> dual PVR-250s in it 
> (MSI KM4M-L, 2.4 kernel, ivtv 0.1.6 - 0.1.9-ish),
> but ymmv...
> -- 
> Jarod C. Wilson, RHCE
> jcw at wilsonet.com
> Got a question? Read this first...
>      http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
> MythTV, Fedora Core & ATrpms documentation:
>      http://wilsonet.com/mythtv/
> MythTV Searchable Mailing List Archive
>      http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/

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