[vdr] OT: Best DVI Video Card for Xine

jori.hamalainen at teliasonera.com jori.hamalainen at teliasonera.com
Fri Feb 18 14:44:09 CET 2005

> I'm getting a 43" Pioneer 435XDE plasma TV delivered and want 
> to connect to it using the HDMI connection - obviously it 
> will be much better quality and capable of delivering High 
> Definition. Has anyone done this before?  

Yes. With DVI/HDMI the quality is superb. All the defects of DVB-picture are _too_ visible. With HDTV material system is great.. :-) 

But just to note, your display cannot make HDTV 720p resolution. Native resolution is 1024x768, 720p is 1280x720. But they advertise it being HD ready, so it should understand HDTV timings.

> What's the best way to do it and the best video card (I guess 
> a DVI based card with a DVI->HDMI cable??)

I use NVIDIA cards, which have full XXMC / XVMC acceleration with X11. My system is DVI->DVI cable to Sony projector.
I tried Radeon 9200 -card with DVI, but I could not get picture with 10m cable. NVIDIA worked instantly.

> Do people generally use X11 to display the output from VDR 
> xine, or do people use framebuffer? If so, which card has 
> acceleration best supported? 

I'd say NVIDIA card has best acceleration (MPEG-playback) support for X servers. It includes 2048x2048 XV overlays for HDTV support if card is new enough (Geforce 3 I think is the oldest model, but I might be wrong).

Lot of people are running with G400 series card, but I think it doesn't allow accelerated HDTV playback. But for SDTV it is ok.
> Are there any problems with aspect ratio, how does this work 
> and what's the best X11 set-up if using X? Is the desktop 
> properly hidden?

vdr-xine manages aspect ratios automatically. And on full screen mode desktop is hidden. I hope VDR could do aspect ratio thing this via signal tweaking (dreambox always 16:9-mode) or WSS-signals.

My setup isn't the best, I run standard KDE desktop and it works. But it is a bit heavy system.. :-) Initial trials I made with TVWM which worked ok.

You just need to make a decision how you want to drive your plasma TV:
- 1080i, probably TV's deinterlacer generates progressive frames with low VDR cpu
- 720p, xine has to make deinterlace => eats cpu cycles
- native 1:1 resolution of plasma TV => same as 720p 

Also Europeans sucked at defining 50Hz HDTV-modes (IMHO), not neccessarily you TV-set supports that. Major HDTV material is 60Hz or 24fps, and now for us it needs to be downconverted, because it was decided by 'idiots'. With PAL we got a larger resolution with 50Hz system compared to NTSC on similar video bandwidth. But with 720p/50 or 1080i/50 we do not gain anything. Just degraded quality. Ok, enough whining.

So your plasma might not support 1080i @ 50Hz, so euro-DVB video might judder. This information should be found on manual or net.

SMPTE 296M-2001 (720p/50Hz) modeline is already archived at vdr mailing list. I also have SMPTE 274M timings (1080i/50). ATSC 60Hz modelines are available on multiple places at Net.

Best regards, Jori

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