[mythtv-users] How to improve capture quality

Jay Mallar jaymallar at gmail.com
Mon Oct 22 16:46:02 UTC 2007

My machine:

Intel Quad Core (Q6600)
Asus P5N32-Plus MB
EVGA GeForce 6200-LE
Hauppauge PVR-250

My video card is connected to my monitor via the VGA port and to my 
TV.   The TV connection is S-video out to an RF Modulator to my TV's 
cable input.

The quality of video captured via the PVR-250 isn't what I'd hoped for.  
I thought at first that the video card or the connection to my TV had 
been the problem, but that isn't the case.  I've watched DVDs and AVIs 
on the machine via the same video connection to my TV and the images are 
sharp and clean.

However when I capture video and replay it, it is grainy at best.  When 
the image changes rapidly, I get what I can only hope to describe as 
problems with refresh timing; I see this big horizontal lines where it 
looks like the image was painted to a certain point and then repainted 
again before it finished.  It's worse with high-contrast, fast action.

I suspect I need to tweak the capture settings, but I'm curious what the 
best values are.  I tried using the settings from the Wiki 
(http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Recording_Parameters), but those 
don't seem to be getting me where I'd hoped to be. 

At the very least, shouldn't I be able to get the quality I see when I 
hook my TV directly to the satellite STB or to the output from my TiVo  
(Are these TiVo values accurate?  http://alfter.us/tivo2svcd.shtml?)

Setting the resolution to anything higher than width of 480 seems to 
have no effect.    Myth won't let me change height above 480.  I got a 
bit lost the settings for bitrate etc..    Not sure if bitrate is avg or 
min or both, and not sure if Myth uses VBR or CBR.  From what I've read 
avg bitrate should be set below max bitrate, but I'm not getting good 
results trying to tweak on my own.

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