How to improve TV-OUT quality (1 Viewer)

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Portal Member
October 19, 2005
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Well, I know that there are many postings about TV-OUT quality with standard TV and graphic cards. I tried all the hints with my Nvidia FX5200 and Hauppauge 150, spending hours to download codecs and filters, configure overlay, brightness and registry settings... But let's be honest, the picture quality of TV-OUT cannot being compared to a direct plug-in of the cable into the TV. It is far away from what you get on even a old cheap SDTV (Standard Definition TV).

IMO the only way to improve picture quality is to add an additional piece of hardware. Therefore I am asking the community what is your recommendation for additional hardware to buy.

1. RGB Cable (50 Euros)

Is it also possible to buy such cables for the FX5200

2. VGA - RGB converter (100 Euros)

Which brands? Where to buy (Germany, Switzerland)

3. New graphiccard (100-200 Euro)

Matrox 400 (???) seems too old fashioned and has no DirectX support.

With Hauppauge 350 /XCard I see no use in conjunction with Media Portal. It is MP's ability to have OSD, videos and all media combined in one application which opens a whole new area/market of PVR/HTPC but Hauppauge 350 / XCard was never designed/targeted for that.

I am sure that nowadays (October 2005) there must be a graphic card giving good TV-OUT quality, supporing DirectX with hardware accelaration - no exhausted gaming necessary. Or am I wrong? Can we only expect "garbage out" from graphic cards for the PAL/NTSC standard?

4. HDTV with HDMI (1000-3000 Euros)

Well one day. But at the moment I am happy with my 50 kg 100 Hz Phillips

Thanks for your help.
 

pStar

Portal Pro
August 12, 2005
92
2
hi
have a look at "kab24.de" they do have a yuv to scart cable. but i don't know if your graphics card has a yuv output (via the svhs-out, i think some card have this feature).
regards
 

ziphnor

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  • August 4, 2005
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    I use a VGA->SCART cable which gives great quality but is annoying to set up, and doesnt work with nvidia cards without some extra gadget. Does your TV have component inputs? If it does it might pay of to check if your graphics card supports component out(maybe via an extra adapter), or otherwise get one that does, should give great quality without the hassle of the VGA adapter.
     

    upspace

    Portal Member
    October 19, 2005
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    ziphnor said:
    I use a VGA->SCART cable which gives great quality but is annoying to set up, and doesnt work with nvidia cards without some extra gadget. Does your TV have component inputs? If it does it might pay of to check if your graphics card supports component out(maybe via an extra adapter), or otherwise get one that does, should give great quality without the hassle of the VGA adapter.

    thank you for your suggestion. i appreciate any feedback which make my tv picture of better quality.

    yes my tv has scart adapters for rgb and yuv (component?) but my gfx card doesn't (nvidia fx 5200). what do i have to look for to get a gfx card with component out / what type of extra adapters are you speaking of? and why are vga adapters a hassle?
     

    pStar

    Portal Pro
    August 12, 2005
    92
    2
    due to your first post i assume, that you are from germany or swizerland. have a look at the current issue of the "c't magazine" (issue 22). they do have a purchase advice for all kinds of videocards and they also cover the video topic.
    for ati cards there is a vga to yuv adapter:
    http://www.videocapturecard.com/hdtvaiwr8500.html
    but be careful, i don't really "know" if this works.
    another tip (still assuming, you are germanspeaking ;)
    http://www.hardwareluxx.de/cms/artikel.php?action=show&id=41&seite=4

    regards
     

    BennieBoy

    Portal Pro
    April 22, 2005
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    Hi,

    I myself have tweaked my ATI X600PRO to produce RGB-Out on my scart. But, it is quite a hassle and you need a separate PC to configure your HTPC via VNC.

    Output is much brighter and noticeble clearer than s-video, but is still not what I expected from it. But then again, that can be the fault of my Sony 100Hz TV too.

    I know of one product which does exactly what you want, converting VGA to RGB-Scart. It is the Trust 1610RC http://www.trust.com/products/product.aspx?artnr=12737. I haven't seen any review of it, so if you find one, let me know.

    Here in holland they are sold between € 51,- and € 118,-. So be carefull where you buy it.

    Greetz,
    Ben
     

    Streamz

    New Member
    October 26, 2005
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    VGA to Scart? I see a Scart cable, but no Scart plug on the box.
    And VGA to S-video doesn't solve the problem.

    In my HTPC I use an old TI4200 graphics card with the Conexant 25781 TV chip on it. More info: http://come.to/tvout . And it works reasonably well. Such an card will cost you close to nothing. Worth a try.
     

    BennieBoy

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    April 22, 2005
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    Hi,

    On the Box there is a mini DIN connector which outputs RGB (it is next to the s-video DIN-connector). With the included cable (one end DIN, other end SCART) you can connect it to your TV's RGB-Scart Plug.

    So you are right in saying there is no Scart Plug on the Box.
    Indicating that the box can only output S-Video is wrong.

    I do not know what quality RGB-Out this box has, but if someone knows, please let me know.

    About all the graphic cards with s-video plug. They are all doing a reasenable job, but what we want is better then that, so that's why I tweaked by ATI card to produce PAL-RGB. If you are not into tweaking and soldering, the Trust converter box can be a nice alternative.

    Greetz,
    Ben
     

    AberDino

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  • February 17, 2005
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    The 'TV-Out' quality issue seems to come back every so often, and understandably so. I have a Philips 32PW9525 100Hz widescreen CRT television set, which is about 5 years old now. I'm using a dedicated HTPC with a Radeon card (initially 9200, now 9800 Pro) and I found the picture quality from the composite and s-video outputs very poor, so I started to look for alternatives.

    Initially I made the cable as described on http://www.idiots.org.uk/vga_rgb_scart/. I bought a VGA cable, cut it, with a multimeter found all the cores I needed to use, and soldered on the scart plug. Usually these VGA cables don't have a pin '9' (+5v) (as used on http://ryoandr.free.fr/english.html), so I took the voltage from the PC's power supply. Not using the +12v, as I'm switching the TV to widescreen mode using the +5v. Also, since I'm not using my TV for sound I didn't connect up any audio.

    When I started using this I found that I had a lot of interference on the other scart inputs on my TV, so had to look a bit further. Then found out that the composite sync that comes from the Radeon card is a TTL level signal (+5V). This would be fine for a monitor, but not for a TV! So, I had to find a circuit that would convert a composite TTL level sync to a format the TV is used to handling...

    Found this:
    vgascart.gif


    You can forget about the first bit of the circuit, that's to go from separate horizontal and vertical sync signals to a composite sync (which we already have straight from the Radeon card). So, you would need the circuit from point '8' onwards. The shopping list would be:
    - R3+R4: 1.8 kohm
    - R5: 2.7 kohm
    - R6+R7+R8: 47 ohm
    - U1: 74LS86 or 74HCT86
    - T1+T2: BC 547

    Once I included that circuit my TV was a lot happier; no more interference. Using this VGA -> RGB scart approach you get the best possible picture quality from a 'modern' PC on an old-style television set. I am extremely happy with the end result:
    - Much clearer picture, i.e. it's sharper but also the colours are much more vivid.
    - Strict control over the screen resolution, no stretched faces etc. I'm using a custom 1024*576 resolution with the TV automatically switching to widescreen mode.

    When playing with Powerstrip make sure you leave the ~5% overscan, that's how a CRT TV is supposed to work, makes the picture more 'stable'. This is not a problem in MP with the BlueTwo skin, as everything is based round the center of the screen, not the edges.

    Word of warning: My 100Hz TV does quite a bit of digital processing, but I don't know how good it will be on a standard 50Hz set.

    Enjoy the soldering!
     

    BennieBoy

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    April 22, 2005
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    Hi,

    My picture has no interference, so I do not need this schema. But I always can try it out to see if things get better. Do you have a picture of the board you build the hardware on?

    What I noticed was that the digital processing seems to be disabled for RGB in. I will do a recheck this evening by disabling the 100 hz functionality (by the way, I have a Sony 82 100Hz TV).

    What are your powerstrip settings?

    Greetz,
    Ben
     

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