[mythtv-users] [OT] VideoDVD playback quality of xine

Scott catfather at donpoo.net
Mon Jul 25 09:21:57 EDT 2005

On Jul 25, 2005, at 6:46 AM, Phill Edwards wrote:

> I've just started looking into using MythTV/xine to play my DVDs
> instead of my stand-alone DVD player. I've got audio sorted, but I've
> noticed that the picture quality from xine is very poor compared to
> the stand-alone DVD player. The video lacks colour and vibrancy - it
> just looks quite washed out and dull

I have the same setup. I use Xine + MythTV for all DVD playback but  
have a stand alone Onkyo 5 disc changer hooked up to the same A/V  
receiver and projector.

> - My stand-alone DVD player has component out, whereas I only have
> S-Video from MythTV. Could that make such a big difference?

Yes, this could make a large difference. For my setup I run Xine ->  
HTPC -> DVI -> Projector and my Onkyo DVD player runs Player ->  
Component -> A/V Receiver > Component -> Projector. Despite the two  
high quality signal paths both my wife and I readily see a difference  
in quality between Xine and the Onkyo player. For us play back  
through Xine is much much better. To be fair, the signal remains 100%  
digital with the DVI connection and Xine which is a clear advantage  
over using component video. There's also the case of using the HTPC  
as a scalar and for deinterlacing vs using the deinterlacing of the  
Onkyo and sending a 480p signal to the projector which then has to  
scale to the native 720p.

I'm not sure Xine would do so well against a high end Denon 5910 DVD  
player with a Faroudja chip but I think Xine could beat the output  
quality of any standalone player someone might pick up from a box  
store. The bottom line however is the end results matter the most and  
whatever source and signal path gets you the best output is what  
should be used.

> - Could it be that the DVD-ROM is cheap & nasty (it's a LiteOn)? Would
> it make a difference if I bought a more expensive one

Not likely. You would do better by using a DVD calibration disc. My  
suggestion would be to zero out the hue, brightness, contrast, and  
saturation controls in Xine and then using a DVD calibration disc  
follow the instructions using your TVs controls to adjust the picture  
according to the disc. The best way I've found to zero out the  
picture controls in xine is to edit the ~/.xine/config file and set  
the four gui.vo_* options to -1 which is the xine default. The  
sliders via the Xine gui are way to imprecise to be of much use for  
fine tuning.

> - I saw that there are hue/contrast/saturation/brightness controls in
> xine, which I can't get to work at the moment. If I could find a way
> to adjust these could I expect much difference and could I make the
> changes permanent or would I have to adjust for every DVD I want to
> play?

They would be permanent. I cannot say for sure but these controls  
might only affect the Xv output. If you're not running Xine with Xv  
video maybe that's the problem? For my ATI 9200SE I have Xv setup and  
have Xine using Xv for video playback. The contrast, hue, saturation,  
and brightness controls all work as expected and retain state in  
between DVDs. Note that if you change video cards you can expect to  
have to reset these then adjust them again.

Before you give up on Xine + svideo try calibration. The picture  
might be good enough depending on what kind of display you're using.

Scott <catfather at donpoo.net>
AIM: BlueCame1

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