Upgrades and Picture Quality

I decided to spend some time on our MythTV computer today. The less-than-perfect picture quality drives me nuts, and there've been some upgrades that I haven't installed yet.

Picture Quality: What I've Tried

By far, the biggest disappointment I've had with MythTV has been that the picture quality is definitely not as good as straight from cable to the TV. (Err, I should clarify: the quality from the IVTV driver has not been the best.) We're using the highly-recommended Hauppauge PVR-150 (two of them, actually). I've tried a variety of capture resolutions and compression settings in MythTV, as well as the IVTV tools and their varying options to get a good picture, but haven't had much luck.

The picture quality isn't bad, it's just not very good. There's some color bleeding and a general lack of sharpness to all channels, and this is especially obvious with widescreen TV shows, where I'm stretching the picture to fill our widescreen TV. It's aggravating to see a great picture when the cable is plugged into the TV, but not when plugged into the MythTV computer.

Having tried the RCA jack input, I can verify that the trouble is with the PVR-150's tuner, but I guess that's all I know for sure. I've tried a PVR-150 in our Windows XP desktop, and the picture looks pretty good, but I haven't hooked that up to the TV to see how it compares when it's so large. I've also tried newer versions of IVTV as they've been available, up to 0.4.7, but that didn't help much.

Everybody agrees the PVR-150 is one of the best, and most say the picture is about as good as cable. I have to wonder if I'm just being too picky (I doubt it; nobody would find this picture to be "about as good" as cable). Or maybe I got two bad cards?

From KnoppMyth R5B7 to R5D1

We're using KnoppMyth to run our machine, and today I did an upgrade from version R5B7 to R5D1. The upgrade went smoothly; I followed the hints.

R5D1 includes IVTV version 0.7.0 and after only a little time with it, I think it's a noticeable improvement to the PVR-150's picture quality! There's still too much bleeding and all going on, but it's definitely better. Something else immediately obvious is that the fonts in MythTV look much nicer.

At the moment I'm compiling MythTV 0.20 (we've currently got 0.19-fixes running) to move up to the latest.

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