[vdr] Any really working HD video output systems for VDR?

Mattia Rossi mattia at technologist.com
Fri Jun 5 10:56:39 CEST 2009

On Fri, 05 Jun 2009 09:35:19 +0200
Nicolas Huillard <nicolas at huillard.net> wrote:

> Gerald Dachs a écrit :
> > VDR User schrieb:
> >> VDR + hdtv has been pretty stable for me for some time now.  The
> >> few problems I ran into (with VDPAU) were quickly fixed by the
> >> xine-vdpau devs.  I'm not the only one either, I know a bunch of
> >> guys doing the same.  It's a highly discussed topic and I'm
> >> honestly surprised to hear someone suggest it's in an
> >> unstable/crashing/unusable state.  My experience has been
> >> basically the opposite of that.  I would recommend you make sure
> >> to have a nice good signal, proper configurations, etc.
> > 
> > I agree with VDR User, I use it for months now without problems.
> Could you please both detail a bit the DVB sources, software
> versions, plugins, patches, etc. related to HD, that you actually use
> now ? (DVB-T, DVB-S or S2, DVB kernel patches, VDR core,
> xineliboutput or xine plugin, xinelib patches...)

I think it would also help if we could reach an agreement over the
terms "stable" and "good quality" and "everything is working"
because they are highly subjective.

For me a "stable" configuration of vdr is one where (I have a dual ff
card setup at the moment):
- I can record two streams from two different transponders and watch a
  third one (either from one of the two transponders, a recorded one,
  or with mplayer) without pixelation, without skips and with no
  audio/video desyncing
- The osd is fast and clear
- Zapping from one channel to another takes less then .5 seconds
- everything is controlled from the remote

"good quality" in an SD environment means that I am used to the
video quality of the s-video output of the FF card to a Mitsubishi VPR
with a 100" screen (it isn't blue-ray I know, but except for the
resolution, the output quality is really exceptional)

"everything is working" means that I have a computer that I use as an
stb (no keyboard, no mouse, no video) and that I can power up with my
remote, that is completely controlled via my remote, where vdr is able
to autostart and record on its own, where I can burn shows either to
DVD or Xvid files, where I can play every media file mplayer can, with
PCM or AC3 audio depending on the media, with subtitles in mplayer
media, and the occasional streaming to a vlc client around the house

I do have an eHd card I'm playing with, together with an s2-3200 card
on a separate machine, I haven't played with xine-vdpau yet, and until
I can find a video card that will be able to run vdpau with < 10W
consumption I don't think I will be tempted to try it ... we'll see

At the moment I have a running system with one s2-3200, vdr1.7.5,
extensions patch, reelbox3, filebrowser,xinemediaplayer (took me about a
weekend of fiddling with patches, drivers, small corrections to the
reel code, lurking the german boards and swearing, lots of swearing)
and some other plugins, hd output on the eHd is really nice, I am not
so happy with the quality of SD output either at native resolution or
scaled to 1080i .... the non scaled quality is in my opinion much worse
than what I have on my FF card, and the scaled quality depends on the
media, but it is generally bad, in my opinion.

From what I have understood lurking on the German folders (I'm italian
so German is a no-no for me) low sd quality on the ehd is a common
complaint from eHd users, and one that won't probably be tackled from
Reel since apparently it is a hardware/firmware limitation of
the chip used on the eHd and production and support for the this
chip has been terminated from the original manufacturer
Also, it doesn't look like there will be an 'Oliver Endriss'
that takes the situation in hand like it happened with the FF cards
firmware and releases updates even if the original chip developer has
ceased support. (on the other hand, since I can understand about one
word in ten of german and usually use google translator to understand
the meaning of the posts, it may be that sd quality output can be
fine-tuned to FF quality and I simply don't know how)

This means that if the situation doesn't change (reel multimedia gets
the source code for the embedded chip in the eHd and tries to improve
on it) the next version of the eHd won't use the same chip/there won't
be and eHd anymore, and sd quality won't improve, unless Reel finds a
way to improve it using other methods.

Since here in Italy the selection of HD channels not related to
football is non-existent (and I'm not interested in football), there has
been no incentive for me (so far) to move from a "stable", "good
quality" and "working" sd solution to an equivalent hd one with lower
quality sd.

Also, I am not using file sharing programs to download hd content and I
am not ready to tackle blu-ray yet .

> Maybe there is an english howto somewhere ?

Hmm, not that I'm aware of, the most reliable howto is on the german
VDR wiki:

this covers the ehd and vdr basic install, while for the
xinemediaplayer (that requires you to compile a custom version of
xine-lib and the xine-hde plugin) I had to delve into the german board
and improvise and do some manual changes in order for all the plugins
to compile/run correctly on my setup (ubuntu 9.04 32bit) .... from what
I understand depending on the host system and the architecture and gcc
version and a couple other factors the plugins should compile with
minimal adjustments/force you to manually correct compilation errors
(that was my case)

It would be great if someone that has a "stable, good quality and
working" eHd setup that also outputs "good quality" sd video could step
up and point us non german speakers to some documentation/thread (even
german would do) and/or patches and/or suggestions about how to obtain
good results with the eHd




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