This document was released last year, but the concepts described within it still apply.
Optimizing Video Quality for Windows XP Media Center Edition - 2.2 MB Word doc file.
This paper provides information about components that contribute to video quality on computers running the Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system. This paper is for manufacturers of systems that run Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and for anyone interested in a technical discussion of video quality for the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating system.
While this document is intended for platform designers and manufacturers of Media Center PCs, it can also serve as a good primer on the technical underpinnings of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 TV Tuning and Quality.
Included in this paper are topics on:
- TV Tuner/Capture/Compressor Device
- MPEG-2 Video Decompressor
- Graphics Hardware
- Summary of Recommendations for the Best Viewing Experience
- Measuring Video Quality
The summary of recommendations for the best viewing experience are split into two categories, one for the Media Center PC (hardware) and one for the Media Center software.
Media Center PC:
- Always use a high-quality 75 ohm impedance coaxial cable, rather than the free cables that come packaged with a VCR or WebTV® box.
- For S-video capture input, always use a high-quality cable, such as those manufactured by Monster Cable or BetterCables, rather than the free cables that come packaged with a graphics adapter or DVD player.
- Verify the signal integrity from cable or off-air sources by using an analog set-top box or television.
- Confirm that the coaxial cable is attached to the correct RF input on the computer.
- Confirm that the appropriate signal type is selected.
- Review custom video settings for the encoder to ensure that they match the settings for the Media Center PC.
- Use only displays that have a properly formatted EDID and properly report their native resolution.
- Set the display monitor to the correct resolution.
- Calibrate the display monitor to the video industry standard for the correct appearance of white, using the controls on the display monitor or a DVD title for step-by-step calibration.
- Run the desktop at a refresh rate that matches the TV video source (60 Hz for NTSC).
- Always set the desktop resolution to match the aspect ratio of the display monitor.
- For video quality problems with a particular DVD, adjust the handling of interlaced video through video decoder settings, if available. (for example, the Nvidia Purevideo decoder allows you to change the deinterlaced mode)
- Ensure that recording quality is set to "best" in Media Center.
- Run Media Center TV full-screen for best performance.