Here's a comparison of of what I believe is the identical video frame being presented by PotPlayer 1.6.49952 64-bit and also by Windows Media Player. Sapphire DDR5 AMD R7 250 video card, running latest Catalyst Omega 14.12 driver, Win7 Pro x64. Eizo S2433W 24" LCD monitor.
Look at the difference in the rendering of the out-of-focus background guitar player in the upper-left corner. Night and day difference in the two presentations.
The video being played is an edited MPG clip (using VideoRedo) of a WTV program recorded by Windows Media Center. There is zero re-compression done by VRD into the MPG clip via fast-frame-copy. So the MPG clip is simply the new wrapper format (instead of WTV) for the identical bit-perfect copy of the original underlying HDTV program content which is MPEG-2 recorded from OTA/ATSC antenna via Hauppauge HVR-2250 TV tuner card and WMC.
As you can clearly see, there are two VERY DRAMATIC DIFFERENCES from the two players:
(1) The image produced by WMP is DRAMATICALLY SHARPER than the image produced by PotPlayer. This is truly dramatic, and almost inexplicable. But why is WMP so much sharper and better and clearer. It is very noticeable, especially when looking at the hair on people's heads that is blond. In the following image there is a single blond hair standing up at the top of Danielle's head, which is clearly visible in the WMP rendering but is almost not seen in the PotPlayer rendering.
(2) There is a definite color difference in the rendering by the two players. This is easy to see in the above two screenshots.
And again, notice the easy-to-see difference in the out-of-focus backup guitar player on the right side of the the frame in the above image.
So, my question is simple: what can I do, if anything, to improve the presentation by PotPlayer? Should I be using external filters or change the rendering setup, and if so what specifically do I need to do?
Is the built-in default PotPlayer mechanism so clearly inferior to that of WMP? Do I need to change the decoder setup, and if so what do I need or what should I try? Do I need to activate FFDSHOW or not? What about DXVA or not?
What is the explanation for the above differences, and what can I do to improve how PotPlayer plays MPEG-2?
PotPlayer experts, please help.
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Last edited by DSperber; 17th Dec 2014 at 18:57.
Why would you want to? The WMP video is oversharpened and probably has the wrong colors. But if you must, go to the Video -> Video Renderer settings in PotPlayer and try a different renderer and different settings. Also all the other settings under Video, like Video -> Colorspace and Video -> Video Processing.
There's different methods for converting YUV video to RGB on playback. SD video uses one method, HD uses another. The colours are slightly different. Mostly the method used is based on the resolution of the video. The colourimetry info can sometimes be written to the video stream but it's probably mostly ignored and the method used is based on resolution. The colour difference in your screenshots looks like classic "wrong colorimetry" to me, only I'd say Potplayer is getting it right. The WMP screenshots look too orange. People don't have orange skin.
Is the video in question being resized? If so, the sharpness of the resizer might be making a difference. I don't use Potplayer so I only vaguely know my way around it, but if you go into Preferences, under Video, you can change the renderer. Try EVR Custom Presenter. That'll also let you choose a resizer. The Bicubic resizers are a bit sharper than the default. Or under Video/Video Processors there's one for sharpening if you want to try that. I'm not convinced WMP isn't sharpening too much, but it's hard to judge from a screenshot.
You might also want to visit the control panel for your video card and look for any video enhancing crap that might be enabled and disable it. For my old Nvidia card there's settings that apply to all video, but it's possible your card has video settings that can be configured on a per-player basis. I'm not sure, I've not owned a Radeon card.
Last edited by hello_hello; 18th Dec 2014 at 03:31.
Can you provide the sample? I'd like to try it.
Vivid color is adjusted in CCC
And yet, I would say that as far as color is concerned, your screenshots from both WMP and PotPlayer look the same as each other, and also look as my own PotPlayer screenshot does. Whereas for some reason my WMP color definitely looks a bit more "orange" (or at least not quite as red). Note that on my Win7 x64 R7 250 system the color from WMP is the same as is presented by Windows Media Center, so whatever rendering mechanism is involved for WMP/WMC it's the same, and apparently different than PotPlayer is using.
Same with the sharpness issue. Again, WMC looks like WMP, both of which are definitely sharper than produced by PotPlayer.
Note: the original is 1920x1080i, but I set both PotPlayer and WMP to 50% size so that I could take the screenshot showing both frames right next to each other. But I'm not actually doing any other "re-sizing" per settings, it's just that the window size for both is set to 50% and that's where the re-sizing is occurring, and where sharpness of the re-sized result might be what I'm seeing. I'd honestly say though that WMP produces a much better re-size than PotPlayer in terms of that sharpness. This isn't over-sharpened, but it's actually retained its original HD sharpness better than what PotPlayer did which in my opinion is a softer more blurred re-size.
If a video renderer is not guilty for the quality, there could be a video processing filter/different video decoder having video processor in the filter chains of WMP/WMC. I'm pretty sure it's not normal anyway. Think about if you're using codec package or something like powerdvd.
In theory both players should display using the same colorimetry, unless one has been manually re-configured. I don't think Potplayer can convert the colors unless it's outputting RGB. You haven't enabled RGB conversion by any chance? Or unless Potplayer has decided to output RGB when the setting is on "auto". Anyway...... Preferences/Video/ColorSpaces. If the output colour space is set to auto, try setting it to YV12 or Nv12 just to see if anything changes. If Potplayer is not outputting RGB then it shouldn't be doing anything different to WMP in respect to colour. The YV12 video would be converted to RGB by the renderer...... I think...... and as long as Potplayer and WMP are using the same renderer, the result should be the same.
It's possible the video card drivers are fiddling with the colour, and it's possible they're doing it incorrectly (although hopefully not too likely), and it's probably also possible they're fiddling with the colours when one player is used, but not another. That's why I asked if there's any picture enhancing crap enabled in the Radeon control panel and/or whether it can be enabled on a per program basis. My card only has one bunch of settings which effect all video regardless of the player, but these days video cards might be more clever.
Thinking about it, does the same thing happen when playing other video or just your captured video? I ask, because I guess it's possible the video stream contains colourimetry info, but maybe it's not the standard HD colorimetry, and one of the players is making use of it while the other is ignoring it..... or something like that. It's not something I've really thought about much..... mpeg2 video and colorimetry........ I wonder if the mpeg2 decoder might be seeing any colourimetry info in the video stream and making use of it or passing the info to the renderer?
Anyway...... if you try another 1080i or 1080p video (Bluray video, for example) and the players both display it with the same colours, then it's probably an indication the captured video itself needs a closer look, and then maybe you could try to work out what's gone wrong with one of the players from there.
The default resizer Potplayer uses isn't very sharp. I've compared resizing methods when upscaling, but I've never compared them when downscaling as it's not something I do much. It's likely Potplayers default resizing isn't terribly sharp when downscaling either, so using a different resizer might help.
Last edited by hello_hello; 19th Dec 2014 at 08:02.
Decided to try the experiment again, but this time on my Lenovo W530 laptop. It uses nVidia K1000 M discrete graphics, and the following screenshot is using an external 24" monitor (via DP connection) at 1920x1200.
Again, both PotPlayer and WMP are running with 50% frame size. Video resize setting is still set at "do nothing", and yet obviously the 1920x1080i original size has been reduced in half. I didn't check the other resize setting options because I didn't know if this would force 640x480 which was originally grayed out and which comes to life when something other than "do nothing" is selected. Anyway, this is very confusing as to what I might try here but for sure this screenshot is with "do nothing", and getting default 50% reduction technique by PotPlayer.
For one, it appears that the color difference has disappeared. This may simply be because it's a different set of colors in this image than my earlier one. But for sure, the color issue seems to not be present.
But I'm much more concerned about the SHARPNESS problem which again appears undeniable. The difference looks even more dramatic with this example using nVidia K1000M graphics (and latest 341.21 driver) than it did on my desktop machine with AMD R7 250 graphics (and latest 14.12 driver). It's honestly very easy to see that PotPlayer's rendering of this 50% resized video frame is awful by comparison with the same job done by WMP.
I wonder if it's got something to do with the interlaced nature (1920x1080i) of the underlying MPEG-2 video?
There don't appear to be any "interlace jaggies" in either picture, so obviously both players are deinterlacing.
But perhaps WMP (like WMC) just does a much better job of deinterlacing for 1080p presentation on the display screen than PotPlayer does? The result appears as "superb sharpness" and edges. Look at the cutout of the sweater, and the hair resting on her chest. I mean there's truly no comparison in these two images... the WMP image is FAR SUPERIOR.
NOTE: my desktop situation is on a machine that at one time was used as my HTPC, recording HDTV. It's no longer used for this but it is the same installed Win7 system. Perhaps I installed FFDSHOW for use during video editing and burning, and maybe that is somehow figuring in to explain the slight color difference on that machine vs. no color difference on my W530 laptop which has never been used in this way.
But there still must be some explanation (or some tweak) for the sharpness difference, and the fact that the WMP playback simply looks much cleaner, clearer, brighter and sharper, than the PotPlayer playback. And this is true whether I run both at native 1920x1080i fullscreen (and no window frame, so there is zero resizing done for presentation purposes... they are both native 1920x1080 size) or these 50% resized playbacks.
Also, my 50% resizes are exactly 960x540, not the manually and oddly resized 890x501 of your screenshots. Also, my screenshot tool is Fullshot, and the grabs are "pixel perfect" with a high-quality JPG compression for the result. In all honesty, I do see some "noise" in your JPG grabs, compared to my own, that is clearly coming from the JPG compression rather than from the original MPEG-2 video frame.
Last edited by DSperber; 21st Dec 2014 at 03:59.
Reset potplayer and try again after enabling dxva for hardware deinterlacing in preferences. That could make a difference as MS decoder is basically running under DxVA mode. Or you can even use a same decoder being used by WMP. IIRC, wmp does nothing special for video processing. It's pretty much simple than any other player. As for resizing, potplayer uses it provided by windows default (bilinear hardware scaler: EVR default). It's not different from the one used in WMP.
Potplayer provides s/w resizing filters like lanczos or spline too. Or you can simply use madVR with potplayer as the player supports it. Again, I can test it for you in my environment if the above sample is provided. I don't think there will be any difference.
And you were correct, modifying both of PotPlayer's deinterlacing method option boxes to use "use hardware deinterlacing" rather than "use software deinterlacing" magically made all the difference in the world!!!
I think you'll agree that these two images are essentially identical now.
Glad to hear that you get it sorted out. BTW, could you provide the sample one more time? I'd like to verify the default deinterlacing filter of the player if possible as I find no issues using s/w deinterlacer with a previous sample.
I'm using 1.6.51540 (x32). As x32 and x64 version do not share its configuration, you can safely try it without losing your setup.
Last edited by sheppaul; 21st Dec 2014 at 10:12.
You're right. That BOB(2X) filter is decent.
But overall, I think the hardware deinterlace seems to provide the "crispest, sharpest" result. There also seems to be a bit better brightness and contrast as well (although that may just be in my mind), so that the overall image just looks a bit better. I'll still vote for hardware deinterlace, based on what I've seen here.
Anyway, I think the mystery and challenge appears solved. For these interlaced (1920x1080i) HDTV clips, the deinterlacing mechanism used IS the explanation for why I think we'll agree that the default "blending (recommended)" software deinterlacing technique does NOT produce a great result from PotPlayer. But it doesn't appear to be PotPlayer's fault I suppose, since just changing the external software filter used can produce much better results.
Ok. I'm satisfied. Hardware deinterlace it is.
Thanks very much for your interactions and suggestions.
i did, but there was no difference (video still blurry just like the OP). but i dont think my video utilizes deinterlacing so its a different cause. i suspect its something weird with my filter setup but I'm still very confused.
WMP and MPC are both very sharp (see attached) , where as Pot player, KMplayer are blurry . All settings are default.
this is the video sample i am using: http://www.demo-world.eu/download-2d-trailers/?file=sony_paris-DWEU.mkv&pic=sony_paris.jpg
it is most notable in the grass and the tower in the scene in my attached, please view photos in original 1080p size
**one thing i suspect, is that MPC is using LAV decoder. is that the cause..? UPDATE: nope, tried installing LAV filter and set to use LAV splitter and video decoder. no difference in sharpness..
Last edited by fuc847; 21st Feb 2016 at 23:00.
I tried with your video sample but found nothing different from mpc. Probably your setup looks not correct for some reason.
ps. It has nothing to do with deinterlacing as the source is a progressive video.
Try this one:
Before installing it, remove the registries of potplayer.
Last edited by sheppaul; 22nd Feb 2016 at 05:01.
The issue is probably which video renderer and the scaling method you're using. Go to Preferences -> Video and try different renderers, especially EVR Custom and Direct3D9. Set the scaler to one of the bicubic options, not bilinear.