I want DVDs to look nice on my pc.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bob Kavanaugh, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I searched this forum, and came up empty.

    Why, when playing DVD movies on my perfectly capable computer (Athlon 1400, 512 mb DDR, and ATI Radeon 9100 with 128mbDDR) and monitor (21" Hitachi at 1600x1200), does it not look like I expect it to? I would imagine my PC to have the capability to display a more detailed image than my tv, but with DVDs it doesn't. The picture isn't jumpy or anything, just "fuzzy".

    Is this the way it is, or am I missing something?
     
  2. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,063
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Real Name:
    Justin Cleveland
    What are you using for software? If possible, use Win DVD or Power DVD.

    Also, I used to have a decoder card, you can pick one up from Sigma Designs for cheap... made a world of difference on a great computer.
     
  3. Jeremy Allin

    Jeremy Allin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, even though your monitor is displaying at 1600 x 1200, DVD's resolution is only 720 x 480 - that's just a constraint of the format.

    Granted, DVDs do look very nice on my monitor (currently displaying 1024 x 768) depending on what title I'm looking at. For instance, Toy Story 2 looks incredible whereas something that is regarded as looking sub-par will be accentuated by your monitor.

    What title were you viewing? Try a few different ones to see if you're getting similar results.
     
  4. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You're getting a LOT of upscaling at that resolution. Try cranking the resolution down a bit and see if that helps. DVDs on my fiancee's Athlon 1.1/Original Radeon look Excellent (and that's using ATI's DVD player). She's got a 15" monitor, so it's running at 800x600.
     
  5. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Another possibility:

    Check the video settings in your software dvd player - look to see if Hardware Acceleration is enabled (this is the default on several players). If it is, turn it OFF.

    A machine that fast does not need it, and depending on your video card/driver combination it often makes the image look like crap.
     
  6. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Justin : I use PowerDVD
    Jeremy : I was watching Star Wars AOTC
    Dave and Chris : Thanks for the suggestions, I'll try them out

    Thanks everyone
     
  7. Ryan Wong

    Ryan Wong Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Does anyone have PowerDVD 5?
    It claimed that can provide the best video and audio out of DVD, but I hardly see the different.

    And, how to set the resolution not to upsampling itself?
     
  8. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Computer monitors are a lot harder on video quality for DVDs - especially when sitting up close. This may have something to do with monitors usually having a higher refresh rate and resolution then a television. Also, I always found monitors a lot harder to calibrate then a TV, but maybe thats just me - try and adjust the video overlay controls for your video card to what you like, and try not to sit so close[​IMG]
     
  9. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bob, I've suffered from the same issues ever since I started playing DVDs on my PC. The picture looks as though it's being rendered with only 256 colors. There's dithering, fuzziness, etc. The resolution and detail are far better than they are on my TV, but the colors are terrible. I have MPEG-1 files that look better.

    I'm only upscaling to 1024x768, so no, it's not a scaling issue. I use PowerDVD XP coupled with a GeForce 2MX card w/32MB of RAM. My system is an Athlon 1.4 Ghz w/256MB RAM. Prior to that, I used to have a Pentium 500 with a Diamond Stealth III card. It was even worse then.

    I'll post a few screencaps soon so you guys can see what I'm talking about.
     
  10. Bob Kavanaugh

    Bob Kavanaugh Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well I was running an older version of PowerDVD, so I got the trial version of PowerDVD5, and tried running the movie at the correct size on my current settings, then I played around with my screen area. I put in A Bug's Life and was pleased with the results, but I still want more, even though I may be viewing it as clearly as possible. Oh well.
     
  11. Colin Davidson

    Colin Davidson Second Unit
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    110
    I have/had WinDVD 4 and since upgrading to XP Pro I have not reinstalled it. For WinDVD 5 Gold the upgrade price is $5 less than the full price. I also noticed that they have a plug in for the Windows Media Player for $15.

    My question is, does anyone use the Media Player plug in and how does it look/work compared to the full blown version?

    Thanks
     
  12. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2000
    Messages:
    1,500
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    DVD movies were not designed for playback on a PC. They have all the limitations of NTSC or PAL, which a computer monitor is not limited by... and they have a resolution which is severely limited compared to today's computer monitors, as well.

    These facts conspire to not only offer video which cannot take advantage of a computer's abilities - but also make compression artifacts which would be invisible on a TV monitor readily apparent.

    -Scott
     
  13. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2001
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use an HTPC with TheaterTek with my widescreen, but even an old 2.X version of WinDVD on my regular PC delivers a fine image on my 19-inch monitor (GeForce GTS video card).

    I don't know what to say except (off the record) that sometimes a reinstall of the OS and its service packs and drivers is necessary to get DVD playback or deinterlacing to work.

    RD
     
  14. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I watch my DVD's almost exclusively on my PC and they always look great to me (not counting the transfer quality)
    I have a 17" monitor running at 1024x768 and a TNT2 32 mb video card(don't laugh![​IMG])
    I run it using PowerDVD XP
     
  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    LOL- tell that to the thousands of us with hometheaters built specifically around HTPC dvd playback.

    My advice to original poster is to visit AVS (www.avsforum.com) and check out the HTPC area there.

    -V
     
  16. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2000
    Messages:
    1,500
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page