Video resolution questions

By jsmileb ยท 7 replies
Jul 13, 2006
  1. I am using a Media Center as a video recorder. I currently use the S-video configuration to replay the video on an HD TV. I know I am not set up for high def, but I am disappointed with the video quality of the replay. I have looked at HDMI cables to be run via adapter to the DVI connection on the video card (Radeon X600 with hypermemory). My question, is the video connection the issue or the format that Media Center saves the video? In other words, wil HDMI inprove the quality, or is the quality limited by the format in Media Center?
  2. XenaWP

    XenaWP TS Rookie Posts: 53

    Svideo cannot carry HD signals. You must use component, DVI, or HDMI to carry HDTV video.
  3. jsmileb

    jsmileb TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 73

    I know S-video cannot carry HD. The signal I'm recording is not HD, its just a cable TV connection. My question is, can I expect a better video resolution on a big screen TV with an HDMI connection versus S-video, or is the recording format of Media Center the limiting factor?
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    It's hard to predict what exactly about your image quality is the source of your frustration. If it's mainly artifacts or compression artifacting, it could indeed be the limitation of your recording method/media center recording.

    I can say with clarity that driving a Sony HDTV, we noticed a profound improvement in quality when switching between S-Video and a component output HDTV cable @ 720P resolution. Figure SVideo ~ 480 lines of resolution, versus the 720P resolutions... plus component signal has much better color representation and sharpness.

    This is a double-edged sword though- with more sharpness, increased resolution and better color clarity... compression artifacts are obviously more noticeable. Lower bitrate compressed streams are indeed more of an eyesore than they were on SVideo.

    I should also warn you that some protected media wont allow 720P or higher resolutions.. but require you to downgrade to 480 resolutions. This is likely for DRM media players on HD resolutions. Example- many newer DVD's played at 720P will simply stop/error and disallow playback.. and wont even play windowed until resolution is downgraded to 480.

    I also believe ATI's shop has a cheaper, HD component cable rather than pricier HDMI->DVI adapters which may give you what you're looking for if you have component inputs. They plug into the svideo port on newer ATI's and provide 480/720/1080 resolutions out the tv-out port vs. eating up your DVI port.

    [EDIT- I'm also referring to ATI hardware- X1600, AIW X800 and AIW 9700 hardware using HD outputs. CCC has a lot of great support for HD resolutions, scaling and such. I'd just say try to pinpoint where your grievance lies- be it compression artifacts or just overall signal quality issues to determine if hdmi will make things better or worse!]
  5. XenaWP

    XenaWP TS Rookie Posts: 53

    I see. Sorry I misunderstood.

    Consider the old saying: GIGO. SD material is never going to look great, but it can look good. It is entirely, totally source dependent. And highly individual. Some people prefer using the SD connection, some people prefer a HD connection. I recommend trying both.
  6. Griffon327

    Griffon327 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    I am not disagreeing with you in fact I have seen nothing but poor video quality from any S-video cable in regards to HDTV but if this is true (I am siding with you on this mind you) then why does all the Nvidia cards come with S-video to component video adapters? I mean why not simply make a DVI to component adapter such as the one made by ATI for select ATI video cards? I know as I purchased one of these to use on my 7800GTX video card and it does not work on Nvidia cards.
    part number 151-V01093 and works great on ATI cards and is called a HDTV component Video Adapter or DVI to TPrPb adadpter dongle
  7. Superinc

    Superinc TS Rookie Posts: 66

    DVI to HDMI (digital) is better than DVI to component(analog)

    and to answer the O.T. , your losing great deal of quality through the s-video, another factor might be the encoder format used in Media center..
  8. Griffon327

    Griffon327 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    Granted DVI to HDMI is better but when your TV does not have DVI or HDMI
    Component is the only option

    Although for being analog I have noticed that the quality of the cables play a far more important role in the quality of the picture. I have about 4 different grades of Component cables and the picture quality on the $150 Monster cables out shine the cheaper $80 cables. I think the biggest difference between the analog and digital is that on the digital cables you do not need to spend a lot of money on the cables to get a clean high quality picture.
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