[mythtv-users] tv-out quality problems

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Mon Oct 24 15:07:30 EDT 2005

Michael Bochynski wrote:

>On Mon, 2005-10-24 at 13:41 -0400, Michael T. Dean wrote: 
>>Michael Bochynski wrote:
>>>I want to replace one of those components, by my question is whether 
>>>it makes more sense to get PVR-350 (I don't need dual tuners of 500, 
>>>since I use cable box)  or nice NVIDIA graphics card for better 
>>>support for linux?
>>IMHO, the PVR-350 is a waste of money (and I wasted money on one) in 
>>today's world.  It made sense when 720x480 MPEG-2 decoding strained 
>>general-purpose CPU's, but any processor that's worth using in a Myth 
>>box (1GHz or better) will barely notice the effort.  I'm using an NVIDIA 
>>card (and not using the TV out on my PVR-350) because it has so many 
>>    - OpenGL support
>>    - Choice of resolution, overscan, etc. (allows you to choose the 
>>best combination of scaling, size, position, etc. for your needs)
>>    - Choice of outputs (i.e. built-in TV out, using VGA to a VGA to 
>>NTSC/PAL converter, using VGA/DVI to a monitor/digital TV, etc.)
>>    - If you get a 5200 or better, ability to support HDTV when you 
>>decide to switch
>>    - Is not a single-purpose device, so it continues to be useful even 
>>if you stop using Myth.  (OK, I don't think it's possible for someone to 
>>stop using Myth once they've started, but it's the principal of the matter.)
>>And only one disadvantage:
>>    - Does not provide the placebo effect for users, so video quality is 
>>significantly worse.  ;)  (Which actually means you must learn how to 
>>configure it for good video quality.  With a PVR-350, you just need to 
>>learn how to configure it and you get good quality--the PVR-350 is an 
>>all or nothing configuration because it doesn't give you the options 
>>that I mentioned as a benefit above, so you can't configure it for 
>>poor-quality output.)
>>OK, so the NVIDIA proprietary drivers are the real disadvantage, but 
>>they're much better than the ATI drivers, so if you've got to pick one, 
>>NVIDIA's the way to go.
>Thanks for suggestions. before spending any money I will play around
>with settings. 
>However, honestly, the advantages of NVIDIA card you presented are not
>overwhelming. The MythTV box will be used for MythTV only, nothing else,
>hence OpenGL does not matter, am I right?
OpenGL is currently used by MythMusic (Goom!!!! among other 
visualizations), and many games that are played using MythGame.  Then, 
there's OpenGL vsync for smooth frame delivery.

Also, MythUI--which will probably show up in 0.20--will use OpenGL as 
the painting backend by default and will be the best reason to have 
hardware-based OpenGL acceleration support.

>I don't even have, and don't
>plan to have, a regular monitor/LCD at home which I could use :) Signal
>(MythTV) goes to TV out only. 
>Right now I output TV to my receiver and then to TV. While HDTV is a
>nice-to-have, i do not expect to have it in the next 6 - 12 month, while
>I will watch TV in the next 6 - 12 months :) Hence having DVI, HDTV and
>so on is not the highest priority. I will probably want to add it, 
Yeah, me too.  But then again, plans change.  I just bought an 
HDTV--something I've been saying I wouldn't do...  But, it's your 
decision to make--I was just trying to answer your question, "whether it 
makes more sense to get PVR-350 (I don't need dual tuners of 500, since 
I use cable box)  or nice NVIDIA graphics card for better support for 

I'm just thinking that if you're truly concerned with the pursuit of 
video perfection, you'll eventually find that NTSC/PAL--not your 
video/capture card--is the weak link in the chain.  :)

>I am going solely after the  picture (TV) quality. I do not mind
>proprietary drivers, since I hope I have my compile-from-source times
>behind me, starting with the (very) early Linux times. I know, however,
>that ATI (proprietary) drivers are worse than NVIDIA ones. BTW, which
>NVIIDA card is worth looking at? I don't want to end up with card which
>is not supported under Linux at all.
Like I said, the PVR-350 will provide that placebo effect that makes you 
believe for sure that you have the best possible picture quality.  ;)


Totally OT rant:  I've got to admit that having received this message 
from you, I'm extremely disappointed with Evolution.  I know it's trying 
to be the Outlook replacement, but do they really want to make it as 
awful as Outlook?  It actually puts a one-celled table containing 
another one-celled table containing your entire message (and, therefore, 
the entire body of the HTML page) in the HTML version of your multipart 
message.  And, it does the same HTML-obfuscation that MS FrontPage 
does--i.e. opening and closing font tags all over (although FrontPage 
goes much farther than Evolution with the obfuscation).  And, I won't 
even mention the deprecated HTML 4.01 instead of xHTML (or even 
xHTML-like HTML)...

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