[mythtv-users] S-video quality

Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Sat Nov 24 17:51:19 UTC 2007

On Fri, Nov 23, 2007 at 08:18:47AM -0800, Mark Fink wrote:
> Let's say I want to build a Linux HTPC running MythTV. I will never use
> it as a typical desktop PC -- the primary use will be TV
> recording/playback and DVD playback.
> In this scenario, what are the pitfalls of attempting an s-video
> configuration? How will s-video output in this scenario compare to
> s-video output from a Comcast cable box or a set-top DVD player or a
> Tivo (all of which look good to me on my SDTV)?

I've have been involved with television semi-professionally for 25
years.  I look at lots of engineering monitors in a year.

When we moved my sister's box from composite to S-video into her
consumer TV (a 27" Sylvania), the increase in picture quality was quite
noticeable (if not to her, well then, to me :-).  It's effectively
equivalent to what comes direct off the analog cable in through the
set's tuner, and more than good enough to watch; the remaining
artifacts are analog snow, and MPEG breakup on borken network feeds.

If you *can* run VGA, HDMI, or the like into whatever your display
devices is, of course, you'll get better quality than heterodyne color,
even when it's separated.  But for most people, when properly set up, I
suspect S-video is Good Enough.

You didn't say how *big* your SDTV is, nor how new.  I suspect my rule
of thumb holds out to about 32" on tubes and maybe 27" on LCDs,
anything larger likely has higher quality inputs anyway.

Output interlace handling will then be your issue.

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                   Baylink                      jra at baylink.com
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates     http://baylink.pitas.com                     '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA      http://photo.imageinc.us             +1 727 647 1274

	     Witty slogan redacted until AMPTP stop screwing WGA

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