Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

AVIVO vs. Purevideo HD: What You Need to Know about High-Definition Video

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 8, 2007 11:43:31 AM

We are ready for HD video playback on the PC. But the question is whether or not it is really ready for primetime.
June 8, 2007 12:54:29 PM

I can't see most of the graphs in this article. :( 

May I also ask, why is that yet again we have an article appearing on "Tom's Hardware UK & Ireland" which discusses video processing but makes absolutely no mention whatever of European video formats, instead focusing exclusively on American/Japanese ones?

It's slightly more forgiveable this time round, given that BluRay and HD-DVD are actually 60Hz formats internationally, but any reference to SD or DVD video always betrays the author's apparent ignorance of the fact that there is a world outside the borders of the US of A. I wouldn't mind if this happened once, but that you keep doing it concerns me.

Can I assume that this subject will be revisited when RV610 and RV630 ship?
June 8, 2007 1:19:01 PM

What is it with the editors not proof reading things? Where are the charts? How in the world is it possible for almost all of Tom's Hardware articles to be missing graphs, wrong charts, or have conclusions that are not supported by any data?

I've been reading TH for 8+ years now and I think I have to find a better review site. Any suggestions?
Related resources
June 8, 2007 1:37:00 PM

Living in the UK there are currently very few titles available in either HD DVD or BLU RAY so the options are limited. however I have been watching high definition content from various sources, but read from HDD not an optical drive, on my PC for about 6 months now using an Optoma HD70 projector. Originally with an Athlon XP2800 w/ 9800 pro, this rig didn't like x264 but coped well with 720p VC1 (didn't like 1080p). I built a new PC in April with this task primarily in mind. It included an e4300, 2gb, and an 8800 gts 320mb.

My new rig has eaten everything I've thrown at it, regardless of codec or resolution. I've monitored CPU utilisation to fluctuate between 15% and 40% depending on the scene (action scenes with lots of movement cause the spikes), but rarely higher. This is using either PowerDVD7 or VLC, and it always looks incredible!!!

The projector is connected via a HDMI cable to DVI>HDMI converter. However I don't know if this converter is HDCP compliant, or if it even needs to be. But the connection should in theory be purely digital.

I wonder if there is any difference in performance between reading the content from HDD or off an optical drive?



(my first post... woohoo)
June 8, 2007 2:42:30 PM

Interesting article. Normally, I can skim through articles like this in no time... without charts, it makes it kind of hard to skim :oops:  :x

Then again, by reading the article, you kind of gain more knowledge on the topic (solely relies on how accurate the article is though).

*sighs*

I guess, in a way, it's not bad that my ATI X1900XT 512 GDDR3 broke, seeing as it didn't even support HDCP! :?

Why didn't they throw in other cards? My Leadtek 7900GS is HDCP compatable. I'd like to see how well this performs as well.

Btw, is there an actual HD-DVD ROM drive you can buy for computers? I mainly use newegg.com and I can never find HD-DVD ROM, but I can always find Blu-Ray ROM. Just wondering.
June 8, 2007 2:53:30 PM

Quote:
What is it with the editors not proof reading things? Where are the charts? How in the world is it possible for almost all of Tom's Hardware articles to be missing graphs, wrong charts, or have conclusions that are not supported by any data?

I've been reading TH for 8+ years now and I think I have to find a better review site. Any suggestions?


My sentiments exactly. Now I mostly lurk in the forums. Serious reviews are no longer found here.
June 8, 2007 3:46:51 PM

*sigh*
Sorry guys. I let them know so they could fix it.

In the meantime, here's the charts:

June 8, 2007 4:31:39 PM

How'd you get those? O.o
June 8, 2007 4:42:25 PM

what no acceleration with avivo :o 
and whats wrong with 8500 in vc-1
June 8, 2007 4:58:49 PM

Quote:
How'd you get those? O.o


He wrote the article...
June 8, 2007 5:15:35 PM

After reading this article, my main question is: How does the Intel G33 integrated graphics HD Video quality rate against these cards? For example, the Shuttle XPC Barebone SG33G5M Deluxe specs include HDCP over an HDMI output connector. Do I really need an add-in card if I don't play newer 3D games?

Also, what about testing using a real 1080p HDTV monitor? like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 8, 2007 5:52:27 PM

My bad, I didn't know.
June 8, 2007 6:10:25 PM

Quote:
After reading this article, my main question is: How does the Intel G33 integrated graphics HD Video quality rate against these cards? For example, the Shuttle XPC Barebone SG33G5M Deluxe specs include HDCP over an HDMI output connector. Do I really need an add-in card if I don't play newer 3D games?


Good question, I'm probably going to write a part 3 when the 2400/2600 cards are released, I'll see if I can get intel to supply me with a G33 sample mobo.

I should add though, if you have an e4300 CPU or better, you shouldn't have a problem playing HD DVD/blu ray with no video acceleration...
June 8, 2007 11:28:11 PM

Before reading this article, I knew next to nothing about HD playback on the PC. It provided a great intro to the topic and current offerings from Nvidia and AMD/ATI. While I have no plans to upgrade for HD content anytime soon (prices way to high - DUH!), it was informative. Thanks Tom's!

Dogman-x - not replying to you, not sure why it selected you
June 9, 2007 2:05:36 AM

Quote:
To be completely frank, 1080p video looks so darn good, I'm not sure it will make a big difference. Recall that DVD video is a mere 720x480 pixels: things like edge enhancement and jaggy reduction are quite noticeable. But when we up the ante to 1080p - that is, 1920x1080 pixels - it's hard to complain about image clarity. It looks really fantastic as it is. I'm sure I've offended legions of video quality enthusiasts, but I'm just calling this one as I see it guys.



This paragraph does not make much sense. You are talking about 1080i video in the HQV benchmarks where de-interlacing and jaggies are important, but you specifically mention 1080p content which is not interlaced and does not require any change to the video. Of course 1080p video looks great. The computer does not need to take the two frames of 1080i video and combine them into one 1080p frame.

The HD HVQ benchmark is a little misleading. It is designed to test the deinterlacing of HD video processors, but all HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs released so far are in 1080p format and don't require deinterlacing at all. Hence, it provides little insight into video quality of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs because they look awesome no matter what. However, every HD broadcast in the US using an antenna or cable, is either in 1080i or 720p. For 720p there is no deinterlacing just like 1080p, but for 1080i video broadcast from CBS, TNT, FOX, HBO, etc, the video processing is very important. These HQV tests are designed to test the deinterlacing processors in your TV, or a separate video processor between your cable box and the TV. They also are very important for HTPCs because you can now easily record HD programming on your computer. The only way to distribute HD material is on HD media and so they are released on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, but they really are for traditional mpeg2 broadcasts in 1080i from your local TV station.

As you can see, the video cards cannot properly deinterlace 1080i broadcast TV. Nvidia claims HD purevideo support on their website for all the advanced processing features like Inverse Telecine, Spacial Temporal Deinterlacing, etc, but apparently it does not work because otherwise the cards would score more than a zero. This should be brought to the public's attention and Nvidia should get slapped for this one.
June 9, 2007 11:27:49 AM

My screen is just under 100" but the room it's in isn't particularly large, so I sit only maybe 8 - 10ft away. At this distance I do not notice pixellation, but the interlacing on 1080i media along none straight edges is apparent when you look for it. However VLC's de-interlace filer seems to alleviate the problem somewhat. Unfortunately I don't have the HQV test, so I can't really make a proper judgement as to the de-interlacing effectiveness.

Is a hardware post processor likely to give me significantly better results?
June 9, 2007 3:01:27 PM

I knoticed that the article states that component video only support resolutions up to 1080i. I do believe it supports a 1080p signal just fine.
June 9, 2007 4:44:26 PM

No, he said that current computer hardware doesn't support the full 1080P resolution over component. The fact is the content, signal processors and monitor hardware for PC, TV, etc... are not all designed, built and manufactured by the same company so they can vary. His observation was limited to the content of the article: BlueRay and HD-DVD content playback on the PC, not the all encompassing statement you just made.
June 9, 2007 5:15:57 PM

Quote:
Firstly, analog Component video is limited to 1080i (interlaced) resolution. The full 1080p (progressive) resolution is not available on analog component video. It is available on an analog VGA output, however.
-The article

Actually, I did some research on the subject....

Quote:
For most consumer-level applications, analog component video is used. Digital component video is slowly becoming popular in both computer and home-theatre applications. Component video is capable of producing signals such as 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Component_video

Seems only digital component is capable of 1080p[/code]
June 11, 2007 12:29:00 AM

Quote:
My bad, I didn't know.


No biggie, most don't know. It is unusual that an author is this active, but Cleeve does a very good job and does it consistently.

one of my favorite people around here and damn good at video matters, he makes my head hurt sometimes... in a good way. :wink:
June 11, 2007 4:36:09 AM

I'll have to look over my notes guys to see the sources, but my research indicated that only 1080i was available through component video on the PC. (yes, I was referring to the PC and not component in general, and yes, I could have made that clearer).

I'll verify that though. Just keep in mind, Wikipedia isn't always 100% accurate. Not saying I am either, but I'll find out where I got the info and let you know.

Autoboy: The point is well taken. I probably didn't explain the situation nearly as well as I could have. Keep in mind though that noise reduction is something that should work in 1080p as well as 1080i... but yes, the lions share of tests were focused on interlaced performance and looking back I could have explained that much better than I did.

Thanks for your feedback gents, a pleasure as always. :) 
June 11, 2007 6:14:20 AM

purevideo still costs extra?
June 11, 2007 12:24:17 PM

My 8800 definately allows 1080p through component. Although I do not use it because I have a DVI>HDMI converter with a long HDMI cable, but the HDTV dongle that was provided with the card is certainly capable of suppporting 1080p.
June 11, 2007 12:46:42 PM

I must be missing something. I only know of two types of monitors that can support a 1080p signal:
1) a computer monitor
2) a new 1080p HDTV
Computer monitors use VGA or DVI.

For a new 1080p HDTV, a cable with HDMI on one end and DVI on the other is the best option. My 1080p HDTV (that I'm using to type this post) came with an HDMI/DVI cable included. I just plugged it in to the video card and it worked great.

Why would anyone want to use component for 1080p?

By the way, newegg just lowered the price of my 1080p HDTV to $899:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 11, 2007 2:36:58 PM

Quote:

Why would anyone want to use component for 1080p?


Some people may want to use component if they have an HTPC (home theatre PC) and want to output to an HDTV or projector that doesn't have a VGA or HDMI input.
June 11, 2007 6:12:53 PM

What about upscaling dvd's to a higher resolution? Standalone players are all over the place that can do it now, what's taking so long for PC's to have the same function? Would'nt it be nice to upscale your existing DVD collection on your nice LCD PC monitor?

Jaggies and colour correction are all well and good, but DVD pixellation has been around for so long on PC's. I want my pc to upscale already! That would save thousands on replacing my (huge) dvd collection!

As an aside to that, do any current HDDVD and Blueray players upscale regular DVD's? I have only seen it advertised in regular DVD players. I'd be more inclined to buy the new HiDef player if it also upscaled, though I find purchasing the first few generations of new media players is usually a bad idea (slow reading and processing time compared to later chips for a cheaper price).
June 11, 2007 6:54:15 PM

Quote:
purevideo still costs extra?


Nope, it's free like Avivo.
June 11, 2007 6:57:52 PM

Quote:
What about upscaling dvd's to a higher resolution?


Well, upscaling happens on the PC by the software everytime you run a DVD fullscreen on a monitor that's at least 1024x768.

From what I understand the CPU hit is negligable on modern hardware, but I wouldn't expect image quality enhancement from upscaling.
June 12, 2007 12:44:40 AM

Quote:
What about upscaling dvd's to a higher resolution? Standalone players are all over the place that can do it now, what's taking so long for PC's to have the same function? Would'nt it be nice to upscale your existing DVD collection on your nice LCD PC monitor?

Jaggies and colour correction are all well and good, but DVD pixellation has been around for so long on PC's. I want my pc to upscale already! That would save thousands on replacing my (huge) dvd collection!

As an aside to that, do any current HDDVD and Blueray players upscale regular DVD's? I have only seen it advertised in regular DVD players. I'd be more inclined to buy the new HiDef player if it also upscaled, though I find purchasing the first few generations of new media players is usually a bad idea (slow reading and processing time compared to later chips for a cheaper price).


The upscaling is happening, but in a very limited fashon.

DVD upscaling on a PC is possible, and quite easy to do.

I would visit www.avsforum.com and look in the HTPC section of the forums. Very detailed section on HTPC criteria. Whole new ball game there when it comes to HTPC and upscaling! But... Its all CPU based, and this is a videocard thread! 8)

~~~~

I have a 32" Sharp 1080p screen im looking at as I type, and cleve, 1080p is very possible through component.

Edit: Fixed link www.avsforum.com
June 12, 2007 11:39:18 AM

thanks clob. Cleeve had me disappointed to hear that the best I can get out of my DVD's is what I'm already getting (very obvious large pixellation on my 1680x1050 LCD). I will look it up (and stop diverting this thread).
June 12, 2007 2:19:56 PM

Perhaps I am being slightly naive here, but what about older graphics solutions? I am in the process of buying a mini media center with a NVIDIA 6150 IGP (not exactly cutting edge, I know, but it's better than an Intel 945G).

According to NVIDIA the 6150 (but not the 6100) supports H.264 hardware acceleration:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_31271.html
Quote:
Hardware accelerated HD video support via NVIDIA PureVideo™ technology—the only notebook IGP solution that supports hardware accelerated H.264 HD video playback.


What does this mean to me? Will my Athlon X2 3800 be able to decode it fast enough?

I know that they dont support HDCP over DVI etc but lets assume for a second that some *ahem* downloaded material isn't protected....

Or course this is entirely academic for me at the moment as my CRT tv runs at a resolution of 540i, but I thought I would throw it into the mix ;-)
June 12, 2007 2:49:20 PM

Quote:
Cleeve had me disappointed to hear that the best I can get out of my DVD's is what I'm already getting (very obvious large pixellation on my 1680x1050 LCD).


Torque, are you using a Purevideo or Avivo solution to play your DVDs right now? That would de-interlace the video and smooth out the noise, even enhace it with a bit of sharpening.

THere's alot of info on that in the Avivo vs Purevideo review part 1.
June 12, 2007 2:51:17 PM

Older graphics solutions and CPUs might have a problem playing a new H.264-encoded HD DVD or Blu-ray without skipping.

IN our tests, our Core2 e4300 had VERY high CPU utilization when it came to the H.264 disk...
June 12, 2007 3:06:51 PM

I will look over part 1 again. I am currently using the ATI driver and avivo software package (I think I installed the avivo driver anyways), but I don't have full Catalyst installed. Maybe that's my mistake? sapphire x1950pro AGP card.

I need to upgrade to the new driver anyways, so I'm going to do a clean wipe and reinstall using Catalyst this time and play with the Catalyst software settings you went over in part 1 to see if that makes me happier. :) 
June 12, 2007 3:36:10 PM

You'll need the catalyst, and you'll also need to set the 'pulldown detection' option on in the catalysts.

IN addition you'll need a copy of PowerDVD or WinDVD, and you have to make sure you set the 'hardware acceleration' to on in the player's options.

Good luck!
June 12, 2007 3:41:41 PM

Torque,

You need to enable 3:2 pulldown in the ATI video drivers. You also need to use a good codec for DVD playback. AVS forum can help you better than we can. I don't know much about the ATI hardware.

I use an nvidia card with the nvidia purevideo mpeg2 codec ($20 from nvidia store) and I can get good hardware upscaling without using ffdshow (the upscaling software people are talking about) by enabling inverse telecine in the graphics driver, edge enhancement and noise reduction are also available, and enabling spacial temporal deinterlacing in the nvidia decoder properties. Even without these enhancements, nvidia cards support advanced scaling alogorithms that should look as good as a decent upscaling DVD player. You monitor likely looks bad because it does not have any sharpening hardware or noise reduction like TVs do. You can enable these in the video drivers, though I don't think ATI gives you any options and enables them in default if you are using a codec that supports ATI hardware.

HD-DVD drives do a good job at upscaling as well and are amoung the best DVD upscaling drives around with the exception of the playstation 3 which has no scaling hardware and uses a software hack that is not very effective for DVD. The xbox360 does no scaling and outputs at 480p all DVD material and does a pretty poor job at that because it is all software based and hence, does not do inverse telecine, 3:2 pulldown, noise reduction, edge enhancement, and spacial temporal deinterlacing.

All systems capable of scaling video have scalers built into them. HDTVs, upscaling DVD players, gameboxes, appleTV, HD-DVD players, etc. The quality of the scaling is what matters. Many people have really nice TVs like the sony XBR2s with great scaling, and use pretty cheap upscaling DVD players. This is a bad move because the scaler in the XBR2 is much better than that in the DVD player and that person gets worse image quality. This is especially true if they use a 1080i scaler on the 1080p TV because the system needs to deinterlace twice, once from 480i on the DVD, then the TV needs to deinterlace the 1080i to 1080p for display. Pretty crappy IMHO. Do they care, probably not, they just like the placeebo effect of thinking thet get a better picture. A good article explaining scaling can be found here.
June 12, 2007 3:54:37 PM

autoboy:
Something that confuses me though. If you have a dvd player that does not upscale content, then surely the TV ends up upscaling it anyway. Why is it better to have the DVD player do it? Why are upscaling DVD players better than non-upscaling ones?
June 12, 2007 4:33:29 PM

I have a question about the inputs for AVIVO. If I were to purchase one of the new HD2X00 ATI cards and have a cable/satellite box with an S-video output, could I input the cable through the S-video jack on the video card and watch cable that way? Also, if I can do this, would I be able to use video capture software to make my HTPC into a DVR without a TV tuner card?
June 12, 2007 5:59:40 PM

thanks Cleeve and autoboy. your explanation of what hardware does scaling and how is excellent, I completely understand the scenario now. Good to know the new generation standalone media players do it too! That adds a lot of value to them for sure.
June 12, 2007 6:05:49 PM

Quote:
I have a question about the inputs for AVIVO. If I were to purchase one of the new HD2X00 ATI cards and have a cable/satellite box with an S-video output, could I input the cable through the S-video jack on the video card and watch cable that way? Also, if I can do this, would I be able to use video capture software to make my HTPC into a DVR without a TV tuner card?


The short answer is yes. As long as you have a tuner that's outputting a signal in S-VHS format you're good to go.

You could use any videocard with an S-VHS in, actually.

Your PC could even display from an HD tuner if your videocard supports component input.
June 12, 2007 6:11:04 PM

Cleeve, what do you mean by "tuner"? I was asking if I could do this without a SDTV or HDTV tuner card in the PC. Or were you talking about the cable/satellite tuner?
June 12, 2007 7:11:40 PM

Yes, an external tuner (cable satellite tuner) will work instead of an internal tuner. :) 
June 12, 2007 7:13:55 PM

ok, I understand, thanks!
June 13, 2007 4:11:16 AM

Quote:
autoboy:
Something that confuses me though. If you have a dvd player that does not upscale content, then surely the TV ends up upscaling it anyway. Why is it better to have the DVD player do it? Why are upscaling DVD players better than non-upscaling ones?


This all depends. Both the TV or the upscaling DVD player will upscale the image to fit your screen. Which one is better depends on the quality of the TV vs the quality of the upscaling DVD player. Many upscaling DVD players from well known sources are not much to speak of because they just use standard cheap hardware to do the scaling. Oppo makes good upscaling DVD players. The HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players are also very good at scaling. And of course, Denon makes awesome high end DVD players but why get one when a Toshiba HD-A2 HD player is only $250. If you have a crappy TV from China then any scaling DVD player will be better than the scaling you have. If you have a Sony XBR2 or Pioneer Elite TV, then you already paid extra for your scaling hardware, why buy more than a standard progressive scan DVD player?

If you have a standard 4:3 CRT display, all this does not matter to you. You don't need deinterlacing or scaling. You don't even need a progressive scan DVD player because all it does is deinterlace the DVD from 480i to 480p. If you don't know what 480i means, you need to read more.
June 29, 2007 1:06:37 PM

I have just found the following paper which has some additional infos to what was known previously:

http://www.nvidia.com/docs/CP/11036/PureVideo_Product_C...

Quote:

High-Definition Content
...
MPEG-2 Spatial-Temporal De-Interlacing
MPEG-2 Inverse Telecine


I am not so sure whether we will ever see PostProcessing for H.264/VC-1 HD source material...
June 29, 2007 8:50:11 PM

Wasn't there a coupon code for $5 off HQV products in one of the recent reviews here? I can't seem to find it now that i want it. :(  hehe
October 31, 2007 9:45:42 PM

I have an older computer XP3000 and would like to use it as a home theater PC. Is the ATI 2600 card capable of output of 1920x1080 over the HDMI or one of the DVI connections and standard 1024x768 over the other DVI connection.

I am asking because I would prefer to have the computer in a seperate room with a monitor for general use, and run a HDMI, DVI, or VGA connection to my 46" samsung LCD for watching videos or browsing the internet.

On a seperate note, is there any quality difference between the three connections or would VGA give me the same quality as the HDMI or DVI on a 50'-75' run of cable.

Thanks
!