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got my hd3000 - getting mb and athlon - which video card?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:44 am Reply with quote
sean
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I want to set up a basic pvr connected to a panasonic 47" rptv. I want to run 1080i.

I've got the hd3000, ordered a mb with an athlon-xp 3000. 512 mb.

Now I need some help on video cards and vga -> component converters.

Looks like everyone ( almost ) uses nvidia. The FAQ mentions MX series and the FX5200.

1. Does anyone make a card with component tv out? My rptv does not take dvi.

2. Geforce 2 MMX 400-440 go for $45-60

3. GeForce FX5200 go for $75-90.

Any recommendations? Or is there a better card out there?

vga -> component converters:

I've found audio authority and key digital converters. Looks like you just plug the vga cable in one side and the component cables the other. Is this what I should get? Is one any better than the other?

sean
well - does anybody use an radeon 8500?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:58 pm Reply with quote
sean
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I've now found a little ati component adapter that will take the dvi output from my 8500dv and turn it into component - $35.

This seems great. But does anyone know if the radeon 8500 has enough juice for 1080i?

sean
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:50 pm Reply with quote
SigTom
 
Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 26




Id get an nvidia card as thats the one the HD3000 has extended capabilities for, and get the audio authority converter, its whats worked the best for most people. Ive got no clue if your dvi-component adapter will work, just know that the ATI cards dont have the best linux support and they def wont give you the 'best' pic compared to the nvidia.
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440 mx or fx5200
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:06 pm Reply with quote
sean
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OK. I'm there. This will be a dedicated machine. Is a 440mx enough, or do I get any benefit from the fx5200?

sean
Re: 440 mx or fx5200
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:13 pm Reply with quote
cmumford
 
Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 36




sean wrote:
OK. I'm there. This will be a dedicated machine. Is a 440mx enough, or do I get any benefit from the fx5200?

sean

I would get a 5200. I am currently using one and have also tried a 400 and a 4000. The 5200 supports motion compensation, where the 400 and the 4000 did not. I don't know if the 440 supports this, or if other 400's and 4000's do, but being that I bought a 5200 from Fry's for $29 I would just recommend getting one of those. The motion compensation is XvMC. With it I could play back 1080i at 19% CPU usage, without it it's over 70%. If you get a video card that comes with the nvdvd software package then I believe that you will be assured that it will support XvMC.
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ended up with 6600
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:04 pm Reply with quote
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I eventually found that there are both nvidia and ati cards with component out. There's an abit x600-pro-hdtv that has component out built right on the card ( takes two slots ). There are a bunch of nvidia 6600 cards that have a dongle that converts s-video to component.

All the advice I got here and on the mythtv forum was to use nvidia because of the drivers. So I got a 6600 for $120 from newegg.

I'm a little concerned about the s-video -> component dongle. Does s-video really carry all the info that component cables do?

sean
Re: ended up with 6600
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:39 am Reply with quote
cmumford
 
Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 36




Anonymous wrote:
I'm a little concerned about the s-video -> component dongle. Does s-video really carry all the info that component cables do?
sean

No, component is better than s-video, which in turn are better than composite.
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but is there enough info in s-video for component?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 10:34 am Reply with quote
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I understand that s-video is "worse" than component, but doesn't the s-video signal carry all the info. IOW, the pcHDTV takes the ATSC signal and assembles an mjpeg stream that ii decodes to a 4:2:0 YUV stream. Then (for ntsc ) it further transcodes to a 4:1:1 stream.

xine-hd plays this out the video card ports. ( vga, s-video, dvi, et al). Now as I understand it the s-video cable only carries y and c, not the y,Pr,Pb of component. So how does the dongle make component?

Do I have this right?

sean
Re: but is there enough info in s-video for component?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 12:07 pm Reply with quote
cmumford
 
Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 36




Anonymous wrote:
I understand that s-video is "worse" than component, but doesn't the s-video signal carry all the info. IOW, the pcHDTV takes the ATSC signal and assembles an mjpeg stream that ii decodes to a 4:2:0 YUV stream. Then (for ntsc ) it further transcodes to a 4:1:1 stream.

xine-hd plays this out the video card ports. ( vga, s-video, dvi, et al). Now as I understand it the s-video cable only carries y and c, not the y,Pr,Pb of component. So how does the dongle make component?

Do I have this right?

sean

Well you've exceeded my level of understanding on this topic so I will be waiting for somebody else to post a more educated answer to your question.
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Re: but is there enough info in s-video for component?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:54 pm Reply with quote
inkling
 
Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 342




Anonymous wrote:
I understand that s-video is "worse" than component, but doesn't the s-video signal carry all the info. IOW, the pcHDTV takes the ATSC signal and assembles an mjpeg stream that ii decodes to a 4:2:0 YUV stream. Then (for ntsc ) it further transcodes to a 4:1:1 stream.

xine-hd plays this out the video card ports. ( vga, s-video, dvi, et al). Now as I understand it the s-video cable only carries y and c, not the y,Pr,Pb of component. So how does the dongle make component?

Do I have this right?

sean


The pcHDTV card demodulates the ATSC signal, which is an MPEG-2 Transport Stream. This is sent over the PCI bus at about 2.5Mbyte/sec. Think of it as a receive-only 20 megabit wireless modem, at least for ATSC mode.

NTSC analog mode is sampled by the bt848 or newer chip, and sent over the PCI bus as a YUV data stream. Depending on the chip and the driver, you may have several format options for this YUV data. The data rate required for the YUV data is very high.

Most solutions to the NTSC YUV bandwidth problem involve setting the wintv card to use PCI-to-PCI DMA, bypassing the CPU entirely, and having the wintv card dump the YUV data directly to the frame buffers on the video card, via the PCI bus. So you may think that CPU usage is low, using say XawTV, but the PCI bus utilization is way up there. Too bad there aren't any cheap methods available to monitor PCI bus utilization.

Those WinTV PVR cards have an MPEG encoder hooked up directly up to the NTSC decoder, so they can output MPEG stream to the PCI bus, thus keeping the high data rate YUV internal to the PVR card, at least for MPEG mode captures.

However, digitizing a low grade NTSC signal produces, yep you got it, a low grade MPEG stream.

The HD3000 has inputs for composite and s-video so that you may connect your PS2, VCR or your cable/satellite box to the composite / svideo inputs. You'll have to watch those inputs in analog mode, same as any NTSC wintv-type card.


The software player is what converts MPEG-2 into YUV so it can be loaded into the frame buffers on the video card.

The YUV data generated by the player is, yep you got it, high bandwidth. Very high bandwidth for HDTV, near or over the maximum bus bandwidth for the normal PCI bus.

The only reason why it doesn't choke an average system, is because most video cards are on the AGP bus. This AGP bus is a different, higher speed, single device PCI bus, so it can be saturated without affecting the PCI devices on the normal PCI bus.

Once the YUV data gets into the frame buffers of the video card, how it gets to the output device depends on what the chipset supports and what the manufacturer decided to use.

My nvidia ti4800 has a 'dongle' for video-in/video-out. It plugs into a port that looks similar to s-video, but has more pins. This video-in/video-out adapter 'dongle' has composite and s-video connectors, but I never use it.

The original WinTV PVR had some kind of composite converter that plugged into the svideo input on the WinTV card. The image quality was terrible, using that 'converter'. Yes I know wintv is not a video card. I'm giving examples of some of video 'converters' that I've actually seen.



So far, I haven't seen an nvidia chipset or card that offers YPrPb (component) outputs, even as an option, but I also haven't browsed the feature lists in over a year.

ATI's windows driver will switch the 8500 into YPrPb output mode if it detects the component out adapter 'dongle' on the DVI port. There may also be an adapter for the VGA port. Don't know if the linux ATI driver can do the same.

The ATI adapter 'dongle' appears to merely take the analog DVI (or VGA) signals and sends them to the YPrPb connectors on the dongle, without any conversion that I'm aware of, other than possibly voltage level shifting. It requires that the video controller be set to YPrPb output mode, a feature a lot of controllers lack, apparently.

It's the driver for the video card that actually puts the card into YPrPb output mode. Under windows, you would also need something called 'powerstrip', which basically does the same thing the modelines in your X config file do, i.e. set the screen resolution and refresh rate.

What's the difference between YUV and YCrCb and YPrPb?

Black level value and white level value, mainly.

Google for 'Poyntons Color FAQ' if you want to know more about these color schemes.



So what video card to use to connect to your HDTV?

I don't know.

If you already have the 8500DV, why not get the 35$ adapter and tell us how it goes?

You'll have to experiment with the modeline timings in X to get it working on the TV, mainly because of an issue they call 'overscan'. I'll let you look up all the fun stuff concerning overscan.

You'll also want to know the maximum specs for the various video modes on the HDTV, so you don't fry it trying out wrong video modes. Be careful here! Know what you're doing, well in advance of actually doing it.

Set xine-hd to use Xv output mode. Yes, Xv uses more CPU, but not enough to change the CPU temp much. It is more likely that Xv will work on the ATI, than XvMC.

If worse comes to worst, you could always splash out the few hundred needed for one of those fancy VGA-Component converters. For me, it would be the last resort, if it proved to be impossible to do it with any existing cheap video adapters from nvidia or ati.

One last thing, if you want to do 1080i, you might have to use the ATI card, if it supports interlaced mode.

My nvidia cards do not, GeF2 MX400 and GeF4 ti4800. Ran into that when I tried to use my old NEC MultiSync 3d at 1024x768 at 87Hz interlaced. The nvidia cards wouldn't do it. I don't know if newer nvidia cards will do interlaced.

My 19" monitor can't do 1920x1080i (and card can't do interlaced), so I use 960x540, which mostly eliminates the need for software de-interlace and looks mighty fine.

If the ATI card does interlaced mode, you won't need the software de-interlace that xine-hd can provide, as your display device should handle it nicely. Only possible gotcha there is making sure the field polarity is correct, and that's up to the ATI driver to set that.


-ink
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:49 am Reply with quote
florin
 
Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 15
Location: Mountain View, CA




XvMC is pretty damn near mandatory for HDTV. I think the lowest card that supports it is the 5200.

As for the video connector, it would be great if your TV could support DVI right off the bat. I don't currently own an HD set but, when i will, it will almost certainly have a DVI input.

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XvMC is not mandatory for HDTV
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:50 pm Reply with quote
inkling
 
Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 342




florin wrote:
XvMC is pretty damn near mandatory for HDTV. I think the lowest card that supports it is the 5200.

As for the video connector, it would be great if your TV could support DVI right off the bat. I don't currently own an HD set but, when i will, it will almost certainly have a DVI input.


No sir, no sir, XvMC is not mandatory at all.

I've been using Xv for over 10 months, and it works fine.

XvMC is broken, bug-ridden and unreliable, to me. While nvidia does a lot of things right, XvMC isn't one of them.

It's been available on nvidia since at least the GeForce 4 series. It still doesn't work right, even three years later.

I don't see a large reduction in CPU usage when using XvMC, and the bugs aren't worth 10% less CPU usage.

The only DVI connector an HDTV will have is the broken DRM HDMI DVI connector.

I'd rather have nails driven through my palms than use HDMI or any other form of DRM.

-ink
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Re: XvMC is not mandatory for HDTV
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:08 pm Reply with quote
cmumford
 
Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 36




inkling wrote:
florin wrote:
XvMC is pretty damn near mandatory for HDTV. I think the lowest card that supports it is the 5200.

As for the video connector, it would be great if your TV could support DVI right off the bat. I don't currently own an HD set but, when i will, it will almost certainly have a DVI input.


No sir, no sir, XvMC is not mandatory at all.

I've been using Xv for over 10 months, and it works fine.

XvMC is broken, bug-ridden and unreliable, to me. While nvidia does a lot of things right, XvMC isn't one of them.

It's been available on nvidia since at least the GeForce 4 series. It still doesn't work right, even three years later.

I don't see a large reduction in CPU usage when using XvMC, and the bugs aren't worth 10% less CPU usage.

The only DVI connector an HDTV will have is the broken DRM HDMI DVI connector.

I'd rather have nails driven through my palms than use HDMI or any other form of DRM.

-ink

What is broken about XvMC? It seems to be working just fine for me, and using mplayer with just xv seems to have more visual artifacts.

A 1080i channel takes 40% of my 3 GHz CPU with xv, but only 19% with XvMC. 720p takes 32% with xv and only 13% with XvMC. That's with a 3 GHz system. I would think that there would be a much greater difference with a slower CPU.

I don't think that HDMI necessarily means DRM unless it uses HDCP.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 10:37 am Reply with quote
Scott Larson
 
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 713
Location: Portland, OR




xine has some serious problems with XvMC. 60p streams often go screwy and break up making xine non-responsive and it gives some 1080i streams vertical banding. I often have to switch to Xv when using xine because it has so many problems with it. mplayer works with XvMC without any real problems. It doesn't support deinterlacing as delivered but it's easy to fix in vo_xvmc.c. I don't know why xine has these problems with XvMC but I certainly wouldn't rule out Nvidia's crappy drivers. I've been comparing xine and mplayer code for months and I still haven't figured out what the problem is.

I didn't see a lot of difference in CPU usage with a 4X AGP card with using XvMC, maybe 20%. With an 8X card, it's a significant difference. 1080i streams with Xv saturate my CPU but with XvMC they use up about 50%. 720p streams use about 30% and never drop frames. I guess if you have a 3 Ghz CPU that has nothing else to do, you won't need XvMC. My CPU runs at a mere 2.1 Ghz and I like to use it for other things.

My HDTV has both DVI and HDMI connectors (as well as component inputs). I use them both. I'm actually using the HDMI input with a DVI cable so it's like a secondary DVI input.
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Re: XvMC is not mandatory for HDTV
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 12:14 am Reply with quote
inkling
 
Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 342




cmumford wrote:
inkling wrote:
florin wrote:
XvMC is pretty damn near mandatory for HDTV. I think the lowest card that supports it is the 5200.

As for the video connector, it would be great if your TV could support DVI right off the bat. I don't currently own an HD set but, when i will, it will almost certainly have a DVI input.


No sir, no sir, XvMC is not mandatory at all.

I've been using Xv for over 10 months, and it works fine.

XvMC is broken, bug-ridden and unreliable, to me. While nvidia does a lot of things right, XvMC isn't one of them.

It's been available on nvidia since at least the GeForce 4 series. It still doesn't work right, even three years later.

I don't see a large reduction in CPU usage when using XvMC, and the bugs aren't worth 10% less CPU usage.

The only DVI connector an HDTV will have is the broken DRM HDMI DVI connector.

I'd rather have nails driven through my palms than use HDMI or any other form of DRM.

-ink

What is broken about XvMC? It seems to be working just fine for me, and using mplayer with just xv seems to have more visual artifacts.

A 1080i channel takes 40% of my 3 GHz CPU with xv, but only 19% with XvMC. 720p takes 32% with xv and only 13% with XvMC. That's with a 3 GHz system. I would think that there would be a much greater difference with a slower CPU.

I don't think that HDMI necessarily means DRM unless it uses HDCP.


AMD 2000XP, 266 FSB, 333 mem (KT333), using xine-hd and Xv with ti4800 at 4x.

some updated info based on latest testing:

1080i averages 67%, spikes to 75-85 on glitches, never really see it drop below 60 on good stream. The fact that it's scaled down to 960x544 on my setup probably adds and not subtracts video scaler workload. However, it does reduce the video shifter workload.

720p averages 75%, spikes to 85 on glitches, never really see it drop below 70.

XvMC gave me average of 58% for 1080i and 66% for 720p, but had speckles all over the place, like the colorkey was letting something bleed through, or it was bad math or bad memory. Xv seems to rule out bad memory, as Xv doesn't have any of the speckles I see with XvMC.

Maybe my video card is crap and doesn't have enough caps on the bus to handle XvMC. So for me, XvMC didn't and doesn't work right to this day. Simple fix is use Xv. It's not like the AGP bus is getting even half saturated of 2x.


One thing to beware of: CPU utilization numbers. X can croak and hog 99% of CPU (according to top) doing nothing, yet ssh into the apparently dead box and it responds fine, lets you kill X without delay, restart it, pretend nothing happened, until you kill X then find only console working is the ssh again.

If it's indeed the nvidia driver doing a scheduler yield, it's getting 99% usage from the scheduler finding nothing to do and being forced to loop without any kind of timeout.

Which does explain why it responds immediately, it's bored to death in a scheduler loop, with no sleep likely but sorely needed.

I noticed a similar problem in my attempts to get threads to yield to each other properly in pchdtvr. I fixed that and both the card read and file write threads get along nicely now.

yield then sleep was the fix for pchdtvr, I think. vice versa did not work as well.



Last I heard, HDCP was mandatory for all HDMI DVI interfaces manufactured after some date before 2007, as in this year. I don't have the exact quote, but if you search for the relevant documents, you may be just as disappointed as I was last year when considering buying HDTV with DVI.



I hold my arms out and measure the view angle of my 19" monitor 24" away. Same projection on the wall is 50" DVI HDCP HDMI HDTV I'll never afford. I'll stick with the 200$ 19" monitor. At least I have control over what it does.



Thanks for the heads up on 3Gz numbers. I can see quite clearly the 2000XP will work fine until it burns itself up. That should be unlikely, if I clean off the dirt, as CPU seems to spend the majority of its time in a schedule_yield waiting for video sync for the next frame load via DMA.

That maybe explains why xine-hd crashes. The frames never arrive, because the X schedule yield nop death loop kicks in, and never gives back time to the other child threads of X, like xine.

It maybe also explain the consoles going south, because X has hooks in that do the switch back to text mode. Once you kill X, those hooks are gone and not to be seen again.


ssh works because it's not part of the X thread context, or so I surmise.


Cheers!


-ink


Last edited by inkling on Thu Jan 06, 2005 12:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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got my hd3000 - getting mb and athlon - which video card?
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