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I want DVDs to look nice on my pc. (1 Viewer)

Bob Kavanaugh

Second Unit
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Jan 17, 2003
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282
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?
 

JustinCleveland

Senior HTF Member
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Dec 23, 2002
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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.
 

Jeremy Allin

Supporting Actor
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Oct 6, 2001
Messages
895
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.
 

DaveGTP

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Messages
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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.
 

Chris Purvis

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
151
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.
 

Bob Kavanaugh

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
282
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
 

Ryan Wong

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 6, 2002
Messages
134
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?
 

Mike Graham

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Messages
766
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;)
 

Ricardo C

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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.
 

Bob Kavanaugh

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
282
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.
 

Colin Davidson

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 6, 1999
Messages
409
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
 

Scott Kimball

Screenwriter
Joined
May 8, 2000
Messages
1,500
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
 

Robert Dunnill

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 16, 2001
Messages
375
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
 

ChrisBEA

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 19, 2003
Messages
1,657
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!:))
I run it using PowerDVD XP
 

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
6,500


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
 

Scott Kimball

Screenwriter
Joined
May 8, 2000
Messages
1,500
LOL- tell that to the thousands of us with hometheaters built specifically around HTPC dvd playback.
I have no doubt that there are thousands (at least) using HTPC systems... but I stand by my statement. You can get a superior picture on a PC... but even if you get past the NTSC / PAL issues, which some systems handle very well, the fact that DVDs don't deliver to the resolutions that PC monitors are capable of is the cause of much disappointment for people who expect a 1024x768 or larger image to be sharp.

I'm not knocking HTPC systems... I'm just saying that the DVD format, as it exists today, is not up to the task of delivering the resolutions that many people demand on these systems. Those who understand the effects of resolution and scaling know what to expect, and are generally more forgiving.

As for me, I only have a 17" PC monitor... so I'm much happier viewing movies on my 32" WEGA. And it's free of scaling artifacts.

-Scott
 

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