[mythtv-users] New system w poor quality picture

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Jun 10 21:07:43 UTC 2009

On Wednesday 10 June 2009 14:53:26 Jim Morton wrote:
> Hi All,
> I've been lurking here for only about a month so I'm still a little
> wobbly on my Myth-feet. I just finished setting up a new Mythbuntu box
> (my first) front-end / back-end combo, and was able to record and watch
> live TV on it. This is just so freaking cool! But the quality of the
> live tv picture is a little disappointing. It is a tiny bit jerky and
> nowhere near as clean and clear as direct from antenna to TV. This is
> OTA only from an HD digital antenna. I think I might need to set up this
> VDPAU that everyone is talking about but I'm not real sure how I can
> even determine that. Or it may be some other problem.
> Hardware:
> TV - 42" Samsung LCD 1080P
> Tuner - HD Homerun
> Motherboard - Foxconn A7DA-S
> CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7Ghz dual core
> Video - Asus silent GeForce 8400GS 64bit PCIe
> Ram - Kingston 4GB PC2 8500
> PSU - Corsair 400W
> HDDs - Samsung 1TB x2 for video + Samsung 250GB for os
> Software: Mythbuntu 9.0.4 64bit
> Is there a how-to on setting up VDPAU and do you think I need it?

VDPAU is experimental right now, and will not be in any official release of 
Myth until 0.22 comes out.

There is an unofficial set of binaries that incorporate VDPAU into 0.21 fixes, 
but they are not supported by the official devs, though the author seems to 
do a good job of supporting users.

The reason it's unofficial is the devs can't guarantee it will work properly 
(though it is for many), nor can they guarantee a smooth upgrade path to 
0.22. There may be no problems, but the devs would rather work on getting 
0.22 out than spend time checking a retrograde setup, which I can certainly 

I"m a little surprised your system can't handle HD without VDPAU, you might 
want to check the video drivers and other things (like making sure your disk 
system is working optimally). There may be other setup parameters you can 
tweak to get acceptable HD performance. You might try different playback 
profiles and see if one of them works better for you.

Just because you receive something from an antenna does not mean it's HD. 
Digital does not equal HD.

Your machine should be able to handle HD, with the possible exception of h264, 
which requires a LOT of CPU to decode.

Also check your recordings by playing them back outside Myth to make sure the 
problem is in fact playback and not recording.

beww at beww.org

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