[mythtv-users] Group advice sought on setup please.

Cory Papenfuss papenfuss at juneau.me.vt.edu
Tue Oct 5 10:04:55 EDT 2004

 	There's a few issues going on here.  There's the perceived problem 
of interlacing, and then there's the *induced* problem of interlacing. 
NTSC/PAL *IS* interlaced.  Get over it.  Any amount of "flicker 
filtering," scanline conversion, downsampling, resolution, modelines, 
overscan, etc, etc, is *NOT* going to change the crappy quality of SDTV. 
That is the perceived problem of interlacing that with the appropriate 
video card, scanline converter, PVR-350, the quality can be made better. 
Almost always, the performance of VGA TVOUT cards sucks because the card 
has to do hardware scaling and resampling of the actual high-quality video 
it's putting out the VGA port.

 	That leads to the "induced" problem of tvout cards.  All the rate 
conversions, scaling, etc, etc process the video to somethign different 
than the native one (e.g. 800x600 at 75Hz).  Some do this better than others, 
but the "flicker-filter" is generally a band-aid to try to make a crappy 
solution look less annoying.  I just tried a GF4-MX440 with tvout I had 
given to me.  Better than my GF2-MX400 that had sub-par VIVO, but still 
crap with weird interlacing artifacts.

 	The problem is that computer graphics cards and monitors are very 
flexible.  Gone are the days of VGA, SVGA, XGA and fixed-frequency 
monitors so people have gotten used to being able to set the resolution 
and frequency to whatever their multiscan monitors can do.  TV has a 
specific standard that must be adhered to, or it won't work.  The vast 
majority of the tvout cards do the glue to make whatever you set the card 
up for compatible out the composite port.  They basically took the hard 
work from you and did it for you... with a number of tradeoffs that you no 
longer have control over.

 	If you've got the VGA-Component setup and can work through getting 
the myriad of configuration issues *NECESSARY* to put out a 
spec-compatible signal, you will be disappointed with the quality of most 
other tvout solutions.	Besides, TVOUT cards generally have configuration 
problems of their own (xorg.conf file hacking, overscanning options, etc, 

 	Sorry for the rant, but I feel it had to be said... :)  I'll say 
it again.... SDTV sucks.   It always has, and it always will.


* Cory Papenfuss							*
* Electrical Engineering candidate Ph.D. graduate student               *
* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 			*

On Tue, 5 Oct 2004, Christopher Flynn wrote:

> On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 09:03:34 -0400, debian at nc.rr.com <debian at nc.rr.com> wrote:
>> I just tried that...  I've been using the 350 tv-out for over a year now
>> with no problems at all, before that I used the tv-out of my nvidia card
>> and it was horrible for watching sports and it looked worse than my TIVO.
>> IMHO the 350 is easier to set up because you don't ever worry about sync
>> problems, never have to worry about colors or resolution _AND_ it does
>> the interlacing correctly.
>> BUT the problem is that the 350-TV out is only good for TV and not much
>> else.
>> I just tried the VGA-Component converter... really easy to set up... or
>> at least to get to work but then I have problems with sync and the
>> colors and the resolution and the overscan and worst of all, the
>> interlacing is all screwed up! you watch a football game and it make you
>> laugh... I hope I can find that receipt or soon you'll see a barely used
>> VGA to Composite converter.
> I would actually suggest a video card with S-Video output as the best
> solution. VGA was meant for monitors and I've heard lots of people
> with success stories but probably as many people with horror stories.
> The PVR-350 is a good option if all you want is TV but since the
> original poster wants to use it for DVDs as well then I would really
> recommend a video card with DVI, S-Video or Composite out (depending
> on your tv) on the card as this is fairly easy to set up and I think
> it offers the most flexibility. If room is an issue and you have no
> space for a video card or cost is an issue then the PCR-350 is
> certainly a viable solution.
> -Chris
> --
> You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Gandhi

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