[mythtv-users] Recording/live-tv video quality (aka do PVR150 encoders suck?)

Scott Traurig straurig at comcast.net
Tue Jan 29 14:09:06 UTC 2008

On 28/01/2008, Steve Smith <st3v3.sm1th at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 28/01/2008, Scott Traurig <straurig at comcast.net> wrote:
> >
> >   Thanks to all who replied.
> >
> > To answer some of the questions:
> >
> > I'm encoding 720 x 480 at 6 Mbps (9 Mpbs max.) MPEG-2 PS stream.
> >
> > Remember it's apples to apples I'm talking about, source vs. the same
> > stream washed through the PVR150. Forget about the tuner.
> >
> > As for what it looks like the best I can say is that it all looks very
> > soft and out of focus. It's as if I lost all the high frequency video
> > information.
> >
> > Movement is smooth with little artifact. I don't see any pixelization.
> > De-interlace on or off makes no difference. Higher bit rates buy me
> >
> > Perhaps I should try encoding at a higher resolution than 720 x 480?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Scott
> >
> Scott,
> Yes that sounds like a PVR-150 through a composite connection I'm afraid!
> Is it a long cable connection? Maybe a short high quality cable will help?
> (if you don't have that already)
> But yes if you look at that comparison review of a ATI card that I posted
> you can see the softness of the picture.
> There should be some controls you can set in the driver somewhere to tweak
> colour, sharpness etc, you have to ask on the IVTV mailing list. (There
> certainly used to be things you could tweak on the Windows drivers if you
> had the right tool).
> But otherwise, it sounds like it's down to the card. The PVR-150 is a
> budget product, unlike your old purpose built DVR solution.
> And until the likes of ATI give us some Linux drivers it looks like we'll
> be stuck with it! grrr
> Cheers
> Steve


Thanks for the very helpful response! So I'm not crazy! :-)

I might fool with the IVTV controls a little but I suspect there will be
little improvement.

I looked at the spec's on the ATI cards and the PVRxxx cards are toys in
comparison. And the ATI cards are not that expensive. I did not see your
review but just looking at the doc's the ATI cards should look much better.
I had no idea the Hauppage stuff was so weak. I'm surprised that myth users
would be so accepting of the quality but I suppose many are more motivated
by the convergence aspect rather than being "videophiles". I'm definitely
more "videophile" than "Linux jock" for sure ;-)

I wonder if anyone has tried this: http://gatos.sourceforge.net/?

Thanks again,


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