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7200GS or 8400GS for mythtv?

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  • 7200GS or 8400GS for mythtv?

    I have finally given up on getting component out working properly from the integrated ATI X1250 on my motherboard (Y is ok, Pr and Pb aren't right), and so now I'm looking at two inexpensive fanless ASUS Nvidia boards: EN7200GS and EN8400GS. (These both come with the necessary adapater, so I won't have to hunt for that too.) Are there any driver related reasons to prefer one over the other? For instance, there are some posts around about the 8400GS having issues with uncontrollable overscan. Does this also effect the 7200GS, or has it been resolved in recent drivers? The TV it will be connected to is just a conventional CRT, so no HD issues to worry about.


  • #2
    The 8400GS is going to give you the ability to have accelerated HD content playback of x264/VC-1/WMV if you get the G98 version. Even though you are using it on a conventional CRT tv it will still aid in the playback massively with HD content. Having both cards I would have to say that the 8400GS is a better choice. I haven't noticed any overscan issues with the one that I have hooked up to the kids den tv. If it did have issues then it should be just a driver fix that is needed. The video acceleration is cannot be added to the 7200 so it's limited in it's capabilites.


    • #3
      Get the 7200GS, no question. all 8x00 cards/chips (and possibly later generations, I don't know for sure as I will have no interest in another Nvidia card until they fix this for the one I already have) completely ignore the overscan settings. 7x00 and 6x00 series models are not affected. No Nvidia cards(on UNIX) support an option for tvout position though, but that is tolerable at least, when the damn overscan settings actually do anything.

      The driver fix you mention, deanjo, is never going to arrive. Nvidia reps on nvnews have basically said "don't get your hopes up". They know they arbitrarily removed an essential(for tvout) feature, they know why they did it (Vista), and they've been listening to people complain about it for something like 2 years but still haven't done a damn thing about it.

      Those of us with standard def TVs have little use for acceleration of HD content. And for h264(which is just the bee's knees), at standard def resolution (even at 720p), a dual core CPU is more than adequate for smooth playback - and you can get by with a lot less.
      Last edited by oblivious_maximus; 29 December 2009, 02:00 PM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by oblivious_maximus View Post
        Get the 7200GS, no question. all 8x00 cards/chips (and possibly later generations, I don't know for sure as I will have no interest in another Nvidia card until they fix this for the one I already have) completely ignore the overscan settings. 7x00 and 6x00 series models are not affected. No Nvidia cards(on UNIX) support an option for tvout position though, but that is tolerable at least, when the damn overscan settings actually do anything.
        Is there not some way in Mythtv (for instance) to scale the image down to compensate for the busted overscan? That is, if the TV-OUT part of the driver sends an image that is 5% too large to the TV, embed the picture in a frame that is 5% smaller than the full window, so that the two cancel each other out to make the picture the right size.

        As far as offset, back in the day I recall there being parameters in the X server which adjusted the timing so that the screen could be moved around. This was nearly 10 years ago though, and perhaps those are no longer available, or just not available in the TV-OUT mode with these proprietary drivers.


        • #5
          I gather Myth can scale down its UI but fullscreen video will push out to the edges of the screen. If you hear otherwise, please let us know. Myth is way over the top for my needs but I'd consider it in that case.

          You can use -geometry to set the position/size on the X display of the windows of many X11 applications, but you can't position the Xserver itself. That would just be too awesome.

          With MPlayer you can position/size its window on startup, but -geometry doesn't do anything for fullscreen video. If only you could use that simple syntax to specify an outer bounding box which fullscreen video could not escape, that would eliminate so much hassle.

          I recently tried using Xnest for its geometry option, and it was going to be great(!), but the performance drop was ghastly and video was horrible(no xv support even). I couldn't get Xephyr(a newer alternative to Xnest) to offset itself from the top corner at all.

          I'm using an MPlayer video filter I don't remotely understand to accomplish some underscan but it's ugly and it constantly gets on my nerves, the occasional video being totally distorted and unwatchable.
          WS: -vf expand=-55:-0
          FS: -vf expand=-1:-32
          I wouldn't be surprised if those numbers were useless on another TV though. If you've got any insight into how to make any sense of that option I'd LOVE to hear it.

          *sigh* Such a pain. Nvidia has until the open ATI drivers mature on newer hardware (to fix their fucking driver already) before I try making the switch again. This time I suspect I won't be crawling back, ever.


          • #6
            Just buy a new hdtv


            • #7
              there's no guarantee that overscan will be adjustable (or not need any adjustment) with an hdtv. I'm quite content with my current TV thank you. It has an Svideo input. My Nvidia card has an Svideo output. Is it really so much to ask that Nvidia makes it possible to actually use these without this major hassle? fuckers (edit: nvidia, that is!).


              • #8
                Well a good hdtv should be able to disable overscan in its input menus for PC input. It even should disable movie optimisations because this would show a moving cursor faster - instead of calculating inbetween images and causeing a delay (and maybe a bad picture).


                • #9
                  Well good products are hard to find of late it would seem.

                  A good hdtv should be able to do the things you mention. It seems however, that a good many of them don't.

                  A good video card with an svideo output should allow the user to adjust the amount of overscan it outputs with. But I'm sitting here with one that doesn't.

                  Why should I have to spend more money than I already have, just to get some functionality I should have had from day one? I've already thrown money at this problem a couple times and here I am, still using this damn card and trying to find a way around this BS. Everytime I get used the ugly hack I'm using, which I don't even actually understand, I watch a movie and find the subtitles go off the edge of the screen, or I try to watch a video that doesn't agree with the ugly hack and displays a completely unwatchable, distorted picture. I'm so sick of living in a society where I'm just supposed to spend even more money replacing the defective products I've already spent money on. Oh just buy another! How about companies start selling products that work properly in the first place??

                  nvidia, you fuckers!!

                  I read yesterday that if you compile mplayer without xinerama, you can use the screenw and screenh options to define a smaller screen size in fullscreen mode. Great stuff, only you can't position it also so the picture starts at the top left corner. And it seems like if you set the size smaller than the video's resolution, mplayer starts up and shows the first frame but won't actually play, it's not locked up but it just sits there.

                  So after lots of googling and way too much trial and error, I've tweaked someone else's HD overscan solution to suit my SD setup, and can actually make some sense of it this time. Unfortunately I'm still using 2 different commands for 16/9 and 4/3. I could probably get by with only one (centred vertically) if I can get used to a little more of the picture being pushed off the sides.

                  -vf scale=592:-2,expand=640:480:20::0 # WS
                  -vf scale=592:-2,expand=640:480:20:19:0 # FS

                  scale: 592 resizes the video to 592 pixels wide, -2 maintains the aspect ratio with the given width.
                  expand: 640:480 sets a black background at 640x480, 20 pushes the scaled video in from the left by 20 pixels.
                  the WS option uses the default of centring the video vertically
                  the FS option pushes the scaled video down from the top by 19 pixels.

                  I have to use "xterm -e gmplayer..." in my script because without it these video filters somehow prevent pauses from sticking - when you try to pause, it just starts playing immediately. And this is exactly the kind of confusing crap I wouldn't have to deal with if Nvidia actually gave a damn about the satisfaction of their customers.
                  Last edited by oblivious_maximus; 15 February 2009, 09:34 AM. Reason: toned it down a little & added a little usefulness


                  • #10
                    In the end I went with an 8400GS (only 256MB) and at first mythtv was using a lot of CPU. It would go up to the 90s and sometimes lock up for a long time after going into the guide from watching TV. Then VDPAU came along, jyavenard's patches came out, and now the same system runs with CPU less than 10% most of the time. There is still the overscan issue, but I was able to compensate for it inside the Mythtv front end.

                    Anyway, if VDPAU is used, the 8400GS works really well.