HD picture quality problems

I have just got into building a new HTPC. I am using the following:
ATI 3870 video card
E6700 CPU
1440 x 900 samsung display 940bw
Vista 32 bit RC-1
2 gigs of DDR 800

I am dissapointed with the video quality that I see. In my previous system, using an AGP video card, I had better picture using XP and HD.With my new system I don’t even see a difference between regular DVD and Blu Ray movies. This made me think maybe it was a HDCP issue so I installed anydvd HD, still no difference.

I used the Cyberlink advisor and all is green except for my video card, which is probably newer than the program.

When I load a HD disc Vista switches to basic colour. I am not sure what this means but I did select all components to be compatable with HD.

I know my display is not 1080 compliant but since I have seen my previous and older computer system perform better than my new one, what could be the problem?

Moved to the Blu-ray and HD DVD Hardware, Software and Blank Media forum.

update the gfx drivers!

I have almost the same setup in my HTPC system

ATi HD3470
Cyberlink 7.3 with current update (as of 3/3/08)
AMD AM2 X2 4200
3GB DDR2 PC6400
32" 720p/1080i HDMI/HDCP compliant display
Vista 32 with all patches (but not SP1)
2x Nova-TD dual tuner USB sticks (4 tuners in VMC)

There is a marked difference between HD and DVD playback.

I know there is a bug in Cyberlink with PiP discs (I believe it shows up on some versions of Borne trillogy discs but I have never seen it on any of my discs) where the PiP code causes the program to resample down to 480i and then resample back up.

Try running Cyberlink in software mode, your CPU should have the power to do this. Just remove the tick marked “Hardware Acceleration” from the video tab in Cyberlink properties when the disc is not playing.

3 things that are missing… What drivers are you using, what version of Cyberlink and what discs does this happen on (if all, please list a few).

I have updated all my drivers.

I am using PowerDVD 7.3 Ultra.
I unticked the hardware acceleration in PowerDVD but it did not help.

Is it normal for windows to switch the colour scheme to basic? It says that it will switch back to AERO when Cyberlink is finished.

Your display Samsung 940BW is HDCP and so does your ATI HD3870 so it should not be a problem.

After the new updated drivers, does Cyberlink Advisor shows all green?

I suspect there’s a software conflict in Vista, unfortunately I’m not familiar with Vista.

Did you install ATI Catalyst Control Center?

Yes, I installed ATI Catalyst Control Center. All are green in advisor except for the video card. I probably have an older version of advisor.

The Movies I have are Total Recall, Terminato2 & Troy.

The worst picture is with Total Recall followed by Terminator2 and the best of the three is Troy. The only pattern I see is that Troy is the best because it is the newest disc. The difference in picture between the various discs is apparant.

I will try a bit longer but at the end I think I will have to go back to XP, at least I had a stunning picture using it.

Try using the newest Cat drivers. The new 8.3’s have slider controls that can allow you to adjust some extra features (like edge enhancement, noise removal etc). They also fix some pritty serious bugs in the 8.2 release that they did.

In my case it has improved image quality alot.

I went to ASUS and other forums and the talk is that there is a problem with the P5E-VM HDMI motherboard. When playing back HD content the video resolution scales down. Asus is blaming Intel and Intel is blaming Asus. Time will tell but I reverted back to XP and the picture has improved but not as good as I have seen with my previous system.

It’s disappointing that Intel still can’t get the graphics right. Even when installing another video card the motherboard still has screws up the video. I don’t know of another motherboard using the G35 chip so I can’t say whether its Intel or Asus. It’s OK because I am in need for another computer for business so this one will do just fine. I have learned my lesson, no on-board video ever again.

For just a pure HTPC setup the new onboard video is ideal

The new ATi 780 motherboards do provide full HD decoding but I have not seen if it supports full picture processing in the same way the HD3470 and above PCIe cards can. Also the inbuilt GPU is overclockable to the same speed as the HD3470 so should have the performance to do it, it just needs extra cooling / fan assistance for the overclock.

The new 8xxx nVidia motherboard is reported to also have full HD decoding, this has not been released and I don’t know of any benchmarks for pre-release ones yet.

Intels new integrated chipset (the one after the G35) is also reported to support full HD decoding. Personally I will only believe it when its released and reviewed.

Alot of the problem comes from the chipset manufacturers, alot of them stated that their integrated chipsets were able to play back HD content but all they could really do is play back video at the needed 1920x1080 res with no hardware assistance. The newer chipsets are now providing this support.

I don’t make it a practice to believe manufacturers specifications, My selection of this motherboard was based on: if it can’t do HD I can always add a video card which I did. What has pissed me off is even with the video card the chip set interferes with the image resolution, that I never expected.

I now don’t believe that any on board video will come close to beating a dedicated card. Why would Nvidia or ATI make a product that cuts into their lucrative video card market. Intel is nowhere near making it possible based on what I have experienced. At best, on board video will be for office use or simple computing.