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Old January 17, 2007, 01:43 PM
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The ATI tuners are pretty good. IMO. You may want to do some research though becasue if you want to use third party software you want to make sure your tuner is compatible. For your Soundcard if your really serious about geting good sound then Auzen is the way to go. I own a X-Meridian and they are simply amazing.
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Old March 9, 2007, 07:07 AM
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I should warn you that though the ATI 550/650 cards are PHENOMENAL when properly set up with the right software (the included stuff sucks most seriously), they do not much care for nVidia video cards in the same machine. Mind you, for HTPC purposes I think that the x1*** series of ATI cards are superior to nVidia ones because their pulldown detection with AVIVO is better than PureVideo.

If it's not for high end gaming but just for HTPC and stuff I'd pick up a cheap x1300 or x1600 series card to go with the ATI650 Theatre card.

And yes, you can buy them at NCIX now.
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Old March 9, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Parrothead View Post
I should warn you that though the ATI 550/650 cards are PHENOMENAL when properly set up with the right software (the included stuff sucks most seriously), they do not much care for nVidia video cards in the same machine. Mind you, for HTPC purposes I think that the x1*** series of ATI cards are superior to nVidia ones because their pulldown detection with AVIVO is better than PureVideo.

If it's not for high end gaming but just for HTPC and stuff I'd pick up a cheap x1300 or x1600 series card to go with the ATI650 Theatre card.

And yes, you can buy them at NCIX now.
I have a ATI650 right now and a Nvidia 7600GT with HDMI. I've heard great things about AVIVO and the pulldown detection. I might have to give one of those ATI cards a try.
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Old March 27, 2007, 12:13 AM
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what is pulldown detection?
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Old March 27, 2007, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Misoprostol View Post
what is pulldown detection?
Here's a good explaination from Home Theater Blog

What is Pulldown, and if it’s so great, why would you want to remove it?


Modern high-resolution or high definition displays advertise “pulldown removal” for optimal display of film content, such as that found on DVD. Just what is pulldown, where does it come from, and why would you want to remove it? Pulldown is a method that was created as a way to distribute film content in the world of video.

Modern film is projected at 24 frames per second. Video, in the U.S. and many other countries, is displayed at 60 pictures per second. So, when we want to convert film content to video, as long as we can come up with a way to repeat each film frame an average of 2.5 video pictures, our job is done. One way to do this is to repeat the first film picture 2 times, the second film picture 3 times, and so on: 2, 3, 2, 3. You might have heard of 2:3 or 3:2 pulldown -- this is where those numbers come from. 2:3 and 3:2 pulldown are the same thing -- they are not ratios, like they first appear to be.

Of course, it’s more complicated than that.

The 60 pictures per second shown in video are not really complete pictures. In fact, they are half a picture each. Video pictures are drawn with lines. About 480 visible lines make up a standard definition video image. Half of these -- every other line -- are shown every 60th of a second. The other half of the lines are shown the next 60th of a second. This display method is called “interlace” and it is an early form of video compression that was invented before computers had anything at all to do with television. It counts as a form of compression because it effectively cuts the required transmission bandwidth in half for a given image resolution. As with any compression system, it has its drawbacks. Since interlace trades vertical spatial resolution for temporal (frame rate) resolution, certain types of moving images or objects with lots of near-horizontal lines can create artifacts such as flicker, moiré patterns, or other distractions.

These video half-pictures are called “fields”, and two of them make up a video frame. So, pulldown actually repeats film frames into (alternately) 2 and 3 fields. The machine that transfers film to video is called a telecine and automatically creates the pulldown sequence during the transfer process.

Video with pulldown can be displayed directly on an interlaced CRT display, and in fact, that’s pretty much what you’re limited to doing on such a display. Ever since film has been shown on television, pulldown has been displayed on interlaced displays in this manner.

However, given the modern processing and memory available in a high definition display device, we can remove the pulldown and extract the original 24 frames-per-second film content. Once the film frames have been retrieved, they can be scaled up to the display’s native resolution without any interlaced artifacts. The result is a sharper picture.

Many high-end CRT displays, and all so-called “fixed pixel” displays (such as LCD, DLP, and LCoS) can display 60 full (non-interlaced) pictures per second. You might have heard these called “progressive” displays. When connected to a standard definition video signal, these displays can up-convert the interlaced signal to progressive. In the days before pulldown removal in displays, they did this by creating the “missing” lines from each field before it got displayed. They still do this for non-film content. The missing lines usually get created by blending the lines above and below. This is an estimation, an interpolation -- so-called “line doubling“ cannot create content where none existed. Let’s take a look at the process:

Figure 1 shows two sequential fields from a scene where the camera is rapidly panning. You can see how the image has shifted quite a bit between each field, since the fields were captured 1/60 of a second apart in time. By the way, in these images, I’m going to scale down the image resolution from “real” video images by a factor of 5, so these 480 line images are only going to be 96 lines tall.

[click to enlarge]


Figure 1 - two sequential interlaced fields If these images were from a typical video sequence, a progressive display would fill in the missing lines, creating the images in figure 2.

Figure 2 - two fields with the missing lines filled in (line doubling). While this kind of progressive display is an improvement over an interlaced display, we can do much better if the content was originally film, and transferred to video using 2:3 pulldown.
Modern displays can detect the 2:3 pulldown sequence, and recombine the fields together back into the original full frames, and then display those. Figure 3 shows a full resolution frame after pulldown removal. This image has twice as much vertical detail as those shown in figure 2.

Figure 3 - full resolution after pulldown removal Pulldown removal techniques first must determine when pulldown is being used, and where the 2 or 3 field repeats are. To further complicate matters, if video with pulldown is further edited (which often happens when trailers for films are edited for television), or when a film being broadcast cuts to commercial, the pulldown sequence may change or disappear and then reappear later. Furthermore, if there are scenes without much image contrast, or without much motion, pulldown detection may turn off, reverting to regular line doubling. Pulldown removal systems react to these situations differently, some better, some worse.

Examples of pulldown removal systems include Sony’s “Digital Reality Creation™ (DRC) Multifunction with CineMotion®” and Mitsubishi’s “Automatic Film Mode.”

For a high-resolution progressive display device, pulldown removal is a key technique to making film content on video appear the very best that it can.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old April 30, 2007, 06:50 PM
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i am looking for a tuner card with good pic quality that will work with bell express vu satellite and a good software like beyond tv
i also herd beyond tv will decode the bell signal so i don't have to use there receiver, is that correct please let me know if anyone else knows
thanks
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Old April 30, 2007, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spankingmidget View Post
i am looking for a tuner card with good pic quality that will work with bell express vu satellite and a good software like beyond tv
i also herd beyond tv will decode the bell signal so i don't have to use there receiver, is that correct please let me know if anyone else knows
thanks
spankingmidget? you weren't that short in the store today hahahah.

Good question and and I'd like to hear an answer on this.
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Old April 30, 2007, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spankingmidget View Post
i am looking for a tuner card with good pic quality that will work with bell express vu satellite and a good software like beyond tv
i also herd beyond tv will decode the bell signal so i don't have to use there receiver, is that correct please let me know if anyone else knows
thanks
I stand to be corrected, but my understanding is that you need one of the long awaited "cable cards" to be able to decode digital signals without the top box.

Unfortunately due to DRM concerns these will not be available as stand-alone products. The only folks who will be getting permission to install them in computers will be the big box boys like dell, HP, Compac, etc...... (They're worried that if the "great unwashed" get their hands on them we'll reverse engineer the drivers/firmware to allow us to overcome the DRM limitations thus enabling P2P trading of files).

Don't know if this is the full story behind these, I got this info from the "why you don't need VISTA" article in Maximum PC.
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Old May 15, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Bump for the ATI Theater 650. Who needs a fancy cablecard tuner card anyways when you can recording OTA HDTV with the 650? a $100 antenna suppsedly can get you at LEAST 10-12 channels of HD goodness. =D
(I'll let you know about my HDTV reception results once I have my antenna for my new system, HD Recording ftw!)
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