[mythtv-users] TiVo Convert Experience - HDTV Video Card Recommendation

Jim Shank jim.shank at gmail.com
Wed May 16 22:51:29 UTC 2007

Thanks Doug for the response. It seems to be working well except on one
channel. The stream is playing in slow-motion (same with the audio) and very
stuttery. I checked it in vlc on my Windows box and it plays fine. Just
another something so that keeps my focus on the Myth box. Too funny about
your wife, I am racing against the clock to get everything working before my
wife gets back from Phoenix TO Colorado. Auto-commercial skip is awesome and
the only thing that has interested her in the project, I am sure yours will
love it. 


From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org
[mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Douglas Wagner
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 4:05 PM
To: Discussion about mythtv
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] TiVo Convert Experience - HDTV Video Card


I don't know that anyone ever responded to this for you Jim:

A 3200+ is just fine.  I'm running only HD OTA stuff (no cable, no sat.) but
there's no issue with a 3000+ AMD chip.  I have pretty much the same board
you do (ASUS A8V-N or something like that...it's the PCI-E version) and i'm
running an NVidia 6200 (PCI-E not AGP since I couldn't find a board with AGP
on it for a price I liked).  

My prior machine before this upgrade was a Pentium IV 2800 HT processor, I
was getting sound sync problems on ABC (sound up to 4 - 5 seconds off in
recordings and live TV...didn't happen when played through Xine)...however
after the upgrade to the 3000+ everything runs smooth as silk...now If I
could just get my damn keyboard to work correctly before the wife gets home
from Colorado, i'll be a very happy man with a very happy wife...I just
found the auto-commercial skip feature in the setup last night...boy will
she be surprised. :) 


On 5/2/07, Jim Shank <jim.shank at gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for the great feedback. Is the AMD Athlon 64 3200+ considered
underpowered for this application?

-----Original Message-----
From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org 
[mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Michael T. Dean
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 3:34 PM
To: Discussion about mythtv
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] TiVo Convert Experience - HDTV Video Card 

On 05/02/2007 05:10 PM, Jim Shank wrote:
> want to take
> full advantage of 1080p on the new TV which leads me to asking for a
> recommendation for a video card that will properly drive the new display. 
> I can't begin to explain the suffering I went through in order to get the
> ATI card to work at 640x480 via S-Video on my existing TV and still have
> bowed edges to the picture. I have spent the last 5-hours Googling MythTV 
> and have determined that an nVidia card is the way to go.

Yes.  For MythTV, I see it as: ATI = pain; NVIDIA = bliss.

>  The FX5200 seems
> to be the de-facto standard but there are some complaints about not being 
> able to keep up with 1080i/p.

I've done 1080p output (using everything from PVR-x50-encoded 480i60 to
OTA HDTV at 720p60 and 1080i60) on a GF4MX440, a GF5200, GF6200, and a
GF7800GTX.  As far as TV goes, they're all fine. 

If you have an underpowered CPU and use XvMC for HDTV, you'll want at
least a 5200 (and anything more won't really help).

The main difference comes into play on the OpenGL.  The menu-based
effects are not a problem for any of the cards.  However, for the GL 
transitions in MythGallery, the MX440 didn't even come close.  The 7800
is more than enough for these, but it's really overkill in the grand
scheme of things (i.e. the GL transitions aren't worth the $--I just 
happened to get it for another project, so...).

Also, the MX440 required me to scale Goom to a quarter size for
reasonable performance.  The 7800 works with it (and all of Project M
visualizations) at full res. 

>  The 6200 is rumored to handle the resolution
> better but appears to have problems with video-overlay namely the lack of
> OSD colors.

However, as someone who just replaced a GF4MX440 with a GF6200, I highly 
recommend getting a 6200.  The main reason is because it will be "one
step later" before NVIDIA "end-of-life's" the card.  Besides, if you're
a good shopper, you can find one for the same cost as a 5200.  While I 
can't tell you when the 6200 will become a "legacy" GPU--let alone when
the 5200 will be--since they're both the same price, it's almost
definitely going to cost you more to get a 5200 that you'll want to 
upgrade once it's legacy (assumes you upgrade your kernel and/or video
drivers every once in a while).

The lack of playback picture controls on the 6x00 and above is only an
issue if you're the type who likes to change 
brightness/contrast/color/hue while watching TV.  You can use
nvidia-settings to change them however you like and leave them there,
but the main difference is that approach affects the GUI (i.e. X) as
well as video playback.  (I, personally, happen to be an all-defaults 
kind of guy, so it's not an issue for me.)

And, the 6200 should be fine for the GL transitions in MythGallery as
well as the visualizations in MythMusic/xine/xmms/...

>  It also seems that anything above that is a waste since this is 
> a 2D application and the system won't be used for anything beyond that. I
> would appreciate a recommendation please.

Basically, yes--with the exception of OpenGL transitions in the gallery. 

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