View Full Version : Live TV quality query
05-18-2004, 08:35 PM
Hi all. My apologies if this question has been posted previously. I wasn't quite sure how to what criteria to search for.
I'm trailing BTV 3.4.4 at the moment on the following PC:
1 GHz PIII
500 MB RAM
ATI All-In-Wonder 128 (PCI)
Windows XP SP1
We've previously used the ATI software which is getting on a bit and I like the features of BTV. The one downside I've noticed is when watching live TV via BTV, the image is all pixelated, I guess cause I'm watching a copy of the TV show off the hard disk. The question is:
* Is this pixelation because I have Timeshift enabled and it therefore plays TV output from the disk as opposed to just passing through the TV output at full quality? (I should have tested this when I used it last by turning Timeshifting off)
* Would this be helped by using a video card with hardware MPEG compression (Which my ATI card lacks).
I'd hate to buy a new card and BTV, to find that live TV quality is reduced. I can live with reduced quality of recorded TV, but not what I watch in real time (I might as well just watch the TV through the TV tuner).
Thanks in advance.
05-18-2004, 09:15 PM
Check this thread out:
05-18-2004, 11:01 PM
Your computer is a bit underpowered for software encoding, but you should get very good quality with a PVR 250. You are correct that poor quality of Live TV with your setup is due to the way BTV displays Live TV. Make sure you are using Overlay mode.
I don't mean to double guess your viewing habits, but watching Live TV "real time" with BTV is a serious under use of the software. It's forte is the buffer, the pausing, rewinding, forwarding, skipping commercials and so on.
Oh well, each his own.
05-19-2004, 04:13 AM
Awesome stuff guys. Thanks for the info. Unfortunately the only price I've found for the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 here in NZ is NZ$640 (US$384) with the following statement on the retailer's web site:
"The Australian models are specially made for Aus/NZ as they require different tuner specs for our countries. Also the entire packaging must be modified just for the Australian market due to litigation threats from Win Television - who own the WinTV logo in Australia. This adds to the cost of the cards. US models will not work in Australia or New Zealand." :(
I found that the live TV quality was better when my recording format was set to Windows Media (Which unfortunately you can't use time shifting with) as opposed to MPEG2 (Which I'll attribute to the lack of hardware encoding). I wonder how it will look with the DivX add-on.
I'll certainly make use of the full feature set in BTV, it's just I noticed the quality issue while taking the software for a test drive while watching live TV.
I just don't want to fork out $640 for a new video card...:( (http://forums.snapstream.com/public_html/ubb/eek.gif)
05-19-2004, 07:07 AM
I just don't want to fork out $640 for a new video card.
At that price it might be cheaper to up your Mobo and processor.
I have had p3 1gig. It will software encode pretty good. It can not do live tv while encodeing high resolution good .
Try setting the Motion Estimation up in the profiles and useing high bitrates . 352x240 or 320x240 mpeg2 with software enodeing will work fine for live tv. Using a 3rd party decoder helps live tv queality and lowers cpu use.
You will have to make custom profiles and see if 352x480 will work. IT was to close to maxing out the cpu for me and doing anythign will watching and recording was risking ruining the recording. A pvr250 card will let you do anythign will recording . With a new cpu I still have to not play games while recording or the recording might be in slow motion with wmv .
07-11-2004, 08:51 PM
check out http://www.ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=119649available from Ascent for $357 incl GST
08-14-2004, 03:20 AM
I ordered the PVR250 off Hauppauge's web site store, and they shipped it out of their Singapore warehouse so that I got the PAL version, and it works fine in New Zealand. I paid $NZ260 incl outrageous frieght.
08-14-2004, 09:45 AM
Curious if you use a cable box there? If it outputs composite or svideo then I would think that you could record from that source with the US model, obviously the tuner source would be useless. Is shipping from here as bad?
08-14-2004, 11:12 AM
only if you're ok w/ spending more money should you get a pvr-250. get an avermedia m150 from newegg. pvr250 overpriced for same quality product. (unless you want another remote). m1fiddy works wit ms xpsp1 AND mce.
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