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  #1  
Old 01-11-2004, 10:05 PM
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Cayars Cayars is offline
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Picture Quality & Differences Between BTV & Sage

Over the last couple of months I've noticed many posts mentioning that Sage TV has better Picture Quality then Beyond TV. While I won't argue the point either way, I do want to point out a couple of obvious differences in the setup of the programs and give you the setting so that you can try these in BTV.

The most obvious thing that comes to mind is that Sage's lowest DVD recording mode "still" uses a higher bitrate then SS's Hi-Res DVD Mode. Obviously, if you use a higher bitrate for your recordings they should and do look better (to a point). Also SS's Lo-Res DVD mode is only 1/4 quarter the screen size as the Hi-Res mode. Obviously this will not look as good.

So if you'd like to try adding comperable Sage TV recording setups to BTV try setting up the following qualities in the web admin (Configure, Advanced Settings, Qualities). Click the button at the bottom of the screen "Create New Quality" and fill in the following:

Name: 3.25GB DVD Standard Play
Type: MPEG-2
Audio Frequency: 48000
Audio Bitrate: 224000
Frames per second: 29.970
Dimensions (pixesl): Custom 720 x 480
Video Bitrate: 7250000
Bidirectional (Interpolative) Frames Per Group: 2
Predictive Frames Per Group: 4
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Enable: Checked
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Level: 20%
Motion Precision: 100%
MPEG2 Stream Type: Program Stream
Variable Bitrate Encoding Enable: Not Checked

Click the "Create New Quality" again and enter:
Name: 2.5GB DVD Long Play
Type: MPEG-2
Audio Frequency: 48000
Audio Bitrate: 224000
Frames per second: 29.970
Dimensions (pixesl): Custom 720 x 480
Video Bitrate: 5750000
Bidirectional (Interpolative) Frames Per Group: 2
Predictive Frames Per Group: 4
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Enable: Checked
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Level: 20%
Motion Precision: 100%
MPEG2 Stream Type: Program Stream
Variable Bitrate Encoding Enable: Not Checked

Click the "Create New Quality" again and enter:
Name: 1.8GB DVD Extra Long Play
Type: MPEG-2
Audio Frequency: 48000
Audio Bitrate: 224000
Frames per second: 29.970
Dimensions (pixesl): Custom 720 x 480
Video Bitrate: 4125000
Bidirectional (Interpolative) Frames Per Group: 2
Predictive Frames Per Group: 4
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Enable: Checked
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Level: 20%
Motion Precision: 100%
MPEG2 Stream Type: Program Stream
Variable Bitrate Encoding Enable: Not Checked

You have now created 3 new qualities in BTV that are pretty close to the SageTV settings. The only real difference is that SageTV uses an Audio Bitrate of 384K and the highest you can choose in BTV is 224K. Other then that they are about the same. The Motion Precision and Video Noise Reduction settings should be close to what SageTV uses.

I also changed the stream from DVD Stream to Program Stream as this allows files to be edited much easier outside of BTV.

Now that you have the 3 new qualities setup try each of them as see if you like them better then the SS DVD Hi-Res setting. You can do this from the web admin. Click Configure, then Recording Preferences then select the 3.25 GB setting (etc...) in the Default Quality drop down list box.

I think most people with a PVR-250 will like the 2.5GB or the 3.25GB results. You can obviously create your own Qualities as we did above if you find you might like something half way between two of these. I find the 3.25GB setting to work very well with sports shows while the 2.5GB is most excellent for normal shows.

Just wanted to wet your appetite a little and point out a major configuration difference between the two programs. I personally think BTV should come out of the box with very similar DVD setting and should default to the 2.5GB setting. I think anyone with a PVR-250 should try these settings!

REGISTRY CHANGES:
Open regedit and change the following entries from 0 to 1:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\IviSDK4Hauppauge\Commo n\VideoDec\Dxva

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\IviSDK4Hauppauge\Commo n\VideoDec\Hwmc

I would also suggest trying 1 or 2 at the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IviSDK4Hauppauge\Commo n\VideoDec\BOBWEAVE

A value of 1 causes de-interlacing to use both the Bob & Weave method. A value of 2 causes NO de-interlacing to happen. Forget what you thing the setting "should" be and try both to see which works best in your setup.

Carlo

PS while you're in the wb admin go to Configure, Advanced Settings, Player Settings and make sure the Preferred MPEG-2 Decoder is not the Default. If it is change it to InterVideo NonCSS Video Decoder for Hauppauge (or other decoder you have) and make sure the De-Interlacing Mode is set to None if you are outputting to a TV set in "normal resolution".

If you are running in HD or not using SVideo/Composite then check out this thread: http://discuss2.snapstream.com/vb/sh...5&pagenumber=1 and pay special attention to posts made by RobertH on de-interlace settings. <-- Very good info, should be a sticky.

Last edited by Cayars; 03-11-2004 at 10:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2004, 10:50 AM
elneckio elneckio is offline
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Interesting post, I have read people talking about Sage pq a lot but always wondered how with the same basic hardware and drivers it could be any different.

I haven't seen Sage's quality but will have a try with these settings and see if it improves on what I am already using.

btw your quotes for filesizes are these per 30min or hour ?
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2004, 12:42 PM
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Cayars Cayars is offline
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No, sorry I should have said GB per hour. I like thinking in storage per hour.

I think this is the major difference between Sage and SS picture quality. Sage can also use DScaler if and only if you are running the Elecard Codec. DScaler as implemented by Sage can also help if you play around enough with it. But for my puposes and those people i've helped setup SS it isn't needed as the setting above provide a much better picture especially on sports shows.

Carlo

Last edited by Cayars; 01-12-2004 at 12:46 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2004, 12:51 PM
cmasters cmasters is offline
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The other main post processor that Sage can use is ffdshow. I find that more so than DScaler is a big bonus.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2004, 03:23 PM
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Cayars Cayars is offline
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Has anybody else tried these settings? Did you notice a big improvement?

Carlo
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2004, 05:11 PM
crush157 crush157 is offline
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I am trying these tonight. I usually use 6400000 VBR with the base avg at 6400000 and max at 8000000.
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2004, 05:17 PM
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nanook105 nanook105 is offline
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I am trying the 2.5 setting

So far so good with 2.5. With the exception of sports broadcasts, BTV works great for me, and the 2.5 setting did improve sports broadcasts. I am in the process of editing recordings from the week, so I will also be able to see how the recordings did. I hope to try the 3.25 setting this weekend. Thanks for the post
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2004, 07:01 PM
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SHS SHS is offline
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There should be no Picture Quality Differences from SageTV vs BeyondTV becuase the Hardware take care of all that when it is encoding.
I'm pettey sure this stuff below has no effect on Hardware encoding I belive it meant for Sofware encoding.
Bidirectional (Interpolative) Frames Per Group
Predictive Frames Per Group
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Enable
Video Noise-Reduction Filter Level
Motion Precision

Any way there the real registry that can be use note this for OCT of last year I haven't update.
AllocAudIn
AllocDec
AllocEnc
AllocPcmOut
AllocVbiOut
AllocYUVOut
APITimeout
AudioCRC
AudioDataRate
AudioOutputMode
AudMode
Bitrate
BitrateMode
BitrateMux
BitratePeak
BitrateVbrPadding
BoardType
BrightnessValue
ClosedGOP
ContrastValue
CpChoice
CurrentPgm
DecAudBases
DecAudBuffAddr
DecAudXferSize
DecDmaXferCheckSumReg
DecDmaXferReadVerify
DecDmaXferSizePerLink
DecDmaXferSizeTotal
DecDmaXferUsePio
DecEnable
DecOutputSignalStd
DisableDiscontinuity
DisableEventNotification
DisableFinestQuantization
DisableVIMHeuristic
DispDataXferMsg
DontDownloadFirmwareOnWakeUp
DownloadFWAtBootTime
DVDCompatiblePTS
EnableBreakPointOnSrbTimeout
EnableVIMProtection
EncCheckVSync
EncDmaXferUsePio
EncoderFrameSize
EncoderNumberFrames
EncoderWorks
EncPauseBuffSize
EncSkipDigitizerProgramming
EncTestPatternBlockSize
EncUsingAVO2
EncWritingTestPattern
FltChrFlt
FltCoringChromaHigh
FltCoringChromaLo
FltCoringLumaHigh
FltCoringLumaLo
FltDisableFilter
FltDnrMaxUV
FltDnrMaxY
FltDnrMode
FltDnrSmoothFactor
FltDnrSpatFltLevel
FltDnrTempFltLevel
FltLumaNtlfLevel
FltLumaSpatFlt
FltMedianFilter
FltNtlfCoeffIndex
FltNtlfCoeffValue
FltSpatMultFact
FltSpatSubFact
FltTempAddFact
FltTempMultFact
FltVimZneHeight
FltVimZneWidth
FrameBasedVideoDma
FWVersionSel
GOPSize
GPIOProtection
HcwAllowSaveRegistryState
HcwAllowVideoDiscontinuity
HcwAudioNicamPrescale
HcwAudioScart1Prescale
HcwAudioScart1Volume
HcwBlackTime
HcwCPVideoBitrate
HcwCPVideoBitratePeak
HcwCPVideoMode
HcwDecoderPNP
HcwDecoderUsed
HcwForceDisableIRClock
HcwForceEnableIRClock
HcwForceEncMode
HcwInputsComposite
HcwInputsCompositeAdd
HcwInputsCompositeExclude
HcwInputsSVideo
HcwInputsSVideoAdd
HcwInputsSVideoExclude
HcwMCIdent
HcwMCRestoreDetails
HcwMinFineTuneSettle
HcwMinFineTuneSettlePercent
HcwPhantomTarget
hcwRadioBitrate
hcwRadioBitrateMode
hcwRadioBitratePeak
HcwRadioSSMinRFStatusForPllOffset0
HcwRadioSSMinRFStatusForPllOffsetMinus1
HcwRadioSSMinRFStatusForPllOffsetPlus1
HcwUsePhantom
HueValue
IndexINT
IndexMaxElem
InitialSCR
InsertCCInDvd
InsertNavigationPacks
InType
InverseTelecine
IsOSWin98
NeverDownload
NoI2CInDriver
NumberFramesPerDma
OldEncoderBitrateInterface
OutType
OversampleVBIData
PCMTimeStamps
RecoverFirmwareError
RegisterSeperateFilters
ReloadFirmware
Rsvd1
Rsvd2
Rsvd3
Rsvd4
SamplingRate
SaturationValue
SceneChangeMode
SetInitialSCR
SharpnessValue
StopCaptureBeforeChannelChange
SubDeviceID
TimerInterval
TransportOutType
TrickMode
VbiCaptureMode
VideoRes
YUVTimeStamps
ZeroByteCountRetries
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2004, 04:47 AM
cmasters cmasters is offline
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I found the biggest issue with BTV recordings was the Sharpness of the encoded picture. BTV does not allow you to modify this directly so I just did it in the registry. That made a big difference.

Other than that I still use Sage for playback of all shows (including BTV) since I can use DScaler and ffdshow. But otherwise I find little difference in the recordings.
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Old 01-17-2004, 06:10 AM
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Cayars Cayars is offline
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Oh yea, forgot about this one. This can be changed by changing the registry setting found at the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\Globespan\Parameters\ivac15\Driver\SharpnessVal ue

Valid settings are from 0 to 7. I think it defaults to 2. I have mine cranked up to 7 and it does make a difference.

Carlo

PS this has been added to the first post.

Last edited by Cayars; 01-23-2004 at 11:17 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2004, 12:09 AM
Soundman Soundman is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cayars
This can be changed by changing the registry setting found at the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\Globespan\Parameters\ivac15\Driver\SharpnessVal ue
Wow! That registry folder has lots of interesting values! But, what, exactly does this registry folder control? Are these Beyond TV settings? or PVR-250 settings? Are they recording-only or playback-only settings? Are these DirectShow settings?

Soundman
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2004, 12:13 AM
_Shorty _Shorty is offline
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those are pvr-250 settings
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:11 AM
bradpvr bradpvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cayars
Oh yea, forgot about this one. This can be changed by changing the registry setting found at the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\Globespan\Parameters\ivac15\Driver\SharpnessVal ue

Valid settings are from 0 to 7. I think it defaults to 2. I have mine cranked up to 7 and it does make a difference.

Carlo

PS this has been added to the first post.
FYI, sometimes having too much sharpness can be a bad thing, but if it works for you, great
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2004, 09:43 AM
nstocke nstocke is offline
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Divx Comparisons

Your suggested settings have made a world of difference in my recordings. Thanks for sharing. I am trying to save space so I have been using ShowSqueeze to reprocess after I record. Have you done any comparisons to see what bitrates are equal to the settings you recommend if you convert to the Divx format?
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  #15  
Old 03-08-2004, 10:17 AM
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Cayars Cayars is offline
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Your welcome.

I to am now compressing my mpg files to DivX. However, I am presently doing this outside of BTV as I find it to be to slow when done inside of BTV. I'm using network encoding where I have multiple machines on my network doing MPG to DivX and find this to work much better.

I've extensively played with Dr. DivX and like the following settings:
Certification Level: High Definition
Under Advanced Settings
Bit Rate: 1000
Variable Bitrate Mode: 2-pass
Frame Rate: x 1
MPEG 4 Tools: Bidirectional Encoding
Resize Filter: Bicubic Sharp
Deinterlace Settings: Progressive Output
Performance/Quality: Slow
Bitrate Modulation: 0
Psychovisual Enhancement: Slow
Preprocessing: Normal
Maximum Keyframe Interval: 300 frames
Scene Change Threshold: 50%
Preprocessing: Normal

This to me seems to be the best compromise between speed and quality. It is probably better quality then needed for a TV but also doesn't look bad on a computer.

If you find this to be to slow then I'd try adjusting the following in this order:
Psychovisual Enhancement: Fast or turn off
Preprocessing: Light or turn off
the first two may gain you a little speed but you'll probably find the next one to be the adjustment that will speed you up the most. If you "throttle" this one back then I'd set the first two back to "Slow" & "Normal" and then if you still need it to run faster then adjust these down also.
Performance/Quality: Standard

Carlo
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