[mythtv-users] 350 Tv Out vs. Nvidia 5200

Louie Ilievski loudawg at comcast.net
Tue Aug 23 08:35:36 UTC 2005

On Monday 22 August 2005 10:24 pm, Mark Gardner wrote:
> Can anyone comment on the quality comparison between the two
> abovementioned chipsets?
> Advantages / Disadvantages, I have a 350 and have struggled on and off
> now for about 5 months to get it to work (Got it to work once but then
> the HD died).
> Mostly interested in quality of TV playback.
> Thanks

I used a 350 for many months before recently switching to NVidia.  I can say 
from my experience that the 350's TV-out quality is definitely superior.  It 
is simply beautiful.  There are no interlacing artifacts in motion scenes or 
anything.  I think this is due to it outputting a proper interlaced signal, 
directly sending the fields from the stream....I could be wrong on this 
though.  I think I remember reading somewhere that it has combing filters 
built into it.  So either those filters work really damn well or my guess 
above is true to some extent.

I have a FX5200 now and am not quite completely satisfied with the quality.  
Although good, the picture has a "softness" to it compared to a straight 
signal into my TV (could this be due to my 480x480 recordings having to be 
scaled to the 640x480 resolution???), and of course I have to deal with all 
the interlacing issues.  I really don't want to have to use de-interlacing 
methods.  Methods like kernel and linear blend seem to cause a jittery or not 
perfectly fluid picture in high motion (I was watching a baseball game on 
Live TV when messing with these settings recently), one field has its obvious 
disadvantage, and Bob, although perfectly smooth and fluid feeling, also has 
the disadvantage of the flicker and losing half the horizontal lines per 
"frame."  I've looked for hours for ways to perfect the NVidia output, 
including a fair chunk of the archives, but haven't found much.  Everything I 
find is for HD video.  I found a couple sites that gave some interlaced 
modelines, but none that I tried worked.  Always had hsync or vsync out of 
range errors (I thought I read that newer NVidia drivers broke interlaced 
modelines anyway).  I'm currently just running the normal "640x480" mode.

I must say that watching movies and such is excellent with the NVidia.  The 
progressive content looks beautiful, and I probably wouldn't be able to tell 
a difference between the NVidia and a DVD player.  It is nice and smooth, and 
one of the main reasons I switched over.  Plus you can do timestretch when 
watching recordings (such a valuable feature), run all the game emulators 
nicely, have nice music visualizations, etc.  Although the 350 driver is 
getting much better with Xv support, my tests have convinced me that it just 
isn't quite there yet, and still isn't the solution for everything.  Most of 
the game emulators don't support Xv as far as I know.

One other thing to note is that I don't think the 350 decoder is really that 
rock solid.  Pauses for extended periods of time caused my decoder and 
frontend to lock, and the decoder would freak out when doing really fast 
FF/RW for more than 5 seconds or so.  I just always had to worry when doing 
things besides simply playing the video, afraid of the decoder locking up and 
such.  Also, the decoder is slower to respond to jumps, seeks, etc.

Overall though, I believe that the benefits of using NVidia far outweigh the 
benefits of using the 350 (which, really I believe only consists of the 
perfect TV-out quality).

On a side note, if anyone has any tips, modelines, etc for making the NVidia 
output beautiful, please do tell.  My dream is to have no progressive 
"conversion" between the video stream and the output, as it seems to be now.  
I wish it would be possible to simply take my recording, don't think that 
it's being displayed on a computer monitor, and just pass those fields right 
through to the TV....something like that... I'm not extremely familiar with 
the in-depth technical side of all this, so if I sound ignorant, please 
inform instead of flame  :-)  I just hate to use de-interlacing, but I also 
hate to see those ugly interlacing artifacts!

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