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  1. As background, when I play a 1080i live music video from my DirecTV DVR to my TV with the HDMI video output to my TV and Toslink audio output to my Yamaha receiver and Dolby Digital output selected on the DVR, the video is smooth even with motion, the receiver indicates Dolby Digital and I get great 5.1 surround sound.

    When I play the same exact video from my computer recorded as an OTA .ts transport stream file that I captured with a Hauppauge HVR-1265 tuner card, MediaInfo confirms that the audio stream is 384 kb/s, 48.0 Hz, 16 bits, 6 channels, AC-3 Dolby Digital. When I use VLC media player to play the .ts file with video output HDMI from my 11GB NVIDIA GE Force 1080TI video card and audio output through a Toslink cable coming out of the back of my my Creative SoundBlaster Audigy5/Rx sound card (software set for SPDIF Out) into the same Yamaha stereo receiver, the receiver reads PCM and definitely only plays 2 channel stereo. Also, although the video quality is pretty good, a discerning eye can tell that it's not quite as "smooth" as the video coming out of my DirecTV DVR box, particularly with fast motion.

    The same exact audio/video issues above occur when I use VLC to play an .mkv file that I recorded a couple years ago with a Skydigital USB U3.0 external capture card that recorded MediaInfo-confirmed lossless video + DD 5.1 audio directly from the DVR.

    Anyone know why the video is not quite as good when playing the .ts or .mkv files with VLC when the files are supposed to be lossless compared to the file on the DVR? Or how I can get DD 5.1 (that I know is there) to output from the sound card instead of 2 ch PCM?
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    Are you sure there is not a setting in VLC that down-mixes the audio ?
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  3. Not that I can tell. I don't have deep knowledge of all the settings in VLC, but he correct audio track is selected and Audio > Stereo Mode > Original is selected.
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    VLC has a setting for HDMI/SPDIF audio pass through, which enables DTS or DD audio streaming to an audio receiver via HDMI or S/PDIF. If you don't recall enabling it, look under Tools-> Preferences->Audio
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
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  5. Thank you usually_quiet once again! I missed those additional audio settings under Preferences.

    I know you use a Hauppauge HVR-2250 tuner card to capture OTA .ts transport stream files. I'm using a Hauppauge HVR-1265. Do you happen to know why the video from the .ts file recorded by the Hauppauge tuner card being played by VLC seems to be slightly subpar compared to the same exact recorded video (.tivo file) being played directly out of the DirecTV THR22 DVR? Shouldn't the .ts files, if anything, have superior video quality than the .tivo file recorded by the DVR?
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    Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    Thank you usually_quiet once again! I missed those additional audio settings under Preferences.

    I know you use a Hauppauge HVR-2250 tuner card to capture OTA .ts transport stream files. I'm using a Hauppauge HVR-1265. Do you happen to know why the video from the .ts file recorded by the Hauppauge tuner card being played by VLC seems to be slightly subpar compared to the same exact recorded video (.tivo file) being played directly out of the DirecTV THR22 DVR? Shouldn't the .ts files, if anything, have superior video quality than the .tivo file recorded by the DVR?
    VLC uses its own software decoders or hardware assisted decoding depending on settings and the GPU's ability to decode that format. Different decoders produce different results.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 28th Apr 2019 at 14:09. Reason: moved a capture suggestion to one of the OP's other threads
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
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  7. Thank you so much. I will definitely be checking out kmttg!

    For my current issue, the 5.1 audio issue is definitely solved as long as I choose the SPDIF Out setting in the sound card software. Choosing the Speakers setting definitely downmixes to 2 ch audio even if passthrough is enabled. Thanks again!

    For the video issue, there are a heck of a lot of different choices within VLC and I've tried a few but none seem to change the video issue, and there are so many. I refuse to believe that a 2012 era video decoder in a DirecTV THR22 DVR can outperform a 2017 era 11GB NVIDIA GE Force 1080TI GPU in a PC with a 10 core CPU and 64 (8x8) GB of RAM. Although the video quality is pretty good, a discerning eye can tell that it's not quite as "smooth" as the video coming out of my DirecTV DVR box, particularly with fast motion. With fast motion and sometimes slower motion on closeups, it has the appearance like a few frames are missing and the remaining frames are blended together but smoothed out. Does this make any sense? My issue seems to be motion-processing related and not color quality-related.

    Do you have any suggestions for video settings in VLC? Obviously I can experiment, but there are so many settings. Can you give me some guidance?
    Under Video, would changing the Deinterlace setting from Auto/auto to off or on or changing the Deinterlace mode to one of the 10 choices matter?
    Under Video, would changing the 'Output' setting from Automatic to one of the other 12 settings help?
    Under Codecs, hardware accelerated decoding is set on Automatic. Would using Direct3D11 Video Acceleration or DirectX VA 2.0 or disabling it altogether be expected to help?

    Would using a video player (even a paid one) other than VLC help?
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  8. In VLC set deinterlacing to Yadif (2x).
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  9. Thanks jagabo! Yadif (2x) with Deinterlacing set to 'Auto' or set to 'On'?
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  10. Auto usually works. If you find a video that needs and it doesn't automatically kick in you can force it while playing. Right click on the window and select Video -> Deinterlace -> On.

    Also, as far as I know, it only supports BFF sources properly. With TFF sources you get a very flickery/jerky picture.
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  11. Auto-deinterlacing with Yadif (2x) does seem to improve the motion artifact issue, but the overall picture quality playing the .ts file is a slight step below the picture quality playing the .tivo file directly from the DirecTV DVR. On the DVR, the picture seems a bit more bright and lifelike with sharper edges. I don't understand this given the fact that it is the same transport stream broadcast by the local affiliate that was recorded onto the DVR that was captured by my Hauppauge tuner card. The signal even comes through the same coaxial cable, then to a 2 way splitter and half the signal goes to AM21 tuner > DVR. The other half goes to the Hauppauge tuner card on my computer.
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  12. Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    On the DVR, the picture seems a bit more bright and lifelike with sharper edges. I don't understand this given the fact that it is the same transport stream broadcast by the local affiliate that was recorded onto the DVR that was captured by my Hauppauge tuner card.
    Not every device displays video the same way. It's quite common for devices to process videos before display. The DVR may be increasing brightness, contrast, saturation. It may be applying a sharpen filter, deblocking, deringing, etc.
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  13. I wonder how could I find out what kind of decoder a DirecTV THR-22 DVR uses. The specs in the manual are a joke.

    Could this slight decrease in video quality have anything to do with the quality of the capture device, i.e. the way in which the Hauppauge HVR-1265 tuner card captures the .ts transport stream from the OTA rooftop antenna? Not enough frames per second compared to a more expensive tuner card or something like that?
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    Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    Could this slight decrease in video quality have anything to do with the quality of the capture device, i.e. the way in which the Hauppauge HVR-1265 tuner card captures the .ts transport stream from the OTA rooftop antenna? Not enough frames per second compared to a more expensive tuner card or something like that?
    Both your TV tuner card and your DirecTV receiver record the broadcast transport stream as-is. This means that if the same program on the same channel was recorded at the same time with both devices with no transmission errors, the video for each would have exactly the same characteristics (bitrate, fps, etc.).

    Some TV tuner chips could be better at tuning a weak signal or better at handling multipath interference, resulting in fewer transmission errors (visible as picture break-ups) in the recording, but that is the only possible difference.
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
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  15. If the HVR-1265 is downloading the broadcast transport stream it's not changing anything. It's easy for you to check. Step through a panning shot frame by frame. Missing or duplicate frames will be obvious.
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  16. It isn't clear to me -- are you viewing the DVR and computer output on the same TV? Or is the computer output on a separate computer monitor? If the latter, frame rate difference in the displays may explain motion smoothness differences. Also, TVs routinely process the incoming signal because people like over saturated, over contrasty, over sharpened video. Computer monitors don't do that because they normally get a "perfect" picture from the graphics card. If you're viewing on the same TV, make sure the TV's proc amp settings are the same for both inputs.
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  17. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    It isn't clear to me -- are you viewing the DVR and computer output on the same TV?
    Yes I am, and it doesn't appear to matter if I use the same HDMI input on the TV or 2 separate HDMI inputs.

    And by the way, the same exact video/clarity/lifelike appearance issues that we are talking about here occur when I use VLC to play an .mkv file that I recorded a couple years ago with a Skydigital USB U3.0 external capture card that recorded MediaInfo-confirmed lossless video + DD 5.1 audio directly from the DVR. In other words, the captured .mkv file and the captured .ts file seem to have the same exact minor issues.
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  18. Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    I wonder how could I find out what kind of decoder a DirecTV THR-22 DVR uses. The specs in the manual are a joke.
    Anyone know how to find this out or how to make a good educated guess?

    And just to add one more question about the video quality issue. This wouldn't have anything to do with the length or quality of the HDMI cable running between the computer or DVR and the TV, would it? The video issues I've noted in this thread are using the same cheapo 6 foot HDMI output cable for both DVR and computer, yet the DVR video seems slightly better.

    And I don't notice any change in the computer .ts video whether I use a 25 foot long thickly insulated high end cable with gold HDMI connectors between the computer and the TV or a 6 foot cheapo cable.
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  19. Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    I wonder how could I find out what kind of decoder a DirecTV THR-22 DVR uses. The specs in the manual are a joke.
    Anyone know how to find this out or how to make a good educated guess?
    Open it up and look? Look for a service manual? Maybe you can find a teardown video. I found this but it doesn't show the model number:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7vQ73MNNdE

    It shows an STMicroelectronics STi5528GWB microcontroller.


    Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    This wouldn't have anything to do with the length or quality of the HDMI cable running between the computer or DVR and the TV, would it?
    Probably not. Mild HDMI problems show up as "sparkles" -- random dark/light/miscolored pixels. More severe problems result in a flickering picture or no picture at all as the source and sync can't handshake.
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  20. Would you expect there to be any degradation in audio quality if I capture the DD 5.1 AC3 stream through a 25 foot Toslink digital optical cable vs. a 6 foot Toslink digital optical cable?
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  21. Originally Posted by end-user View Post
    Would you expect there to be any degradation in audio quality if I capture the DD 5.1 AC3 stream through a 25 foot Toslink digital optical cable vs. a 6 foot Toslink digital optical cable?
    Could any of you friendly and knowledgeable people answer this one so I don't have to start a new thread?
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  22. Since it's a digital transmission any degradation will be obvious -- clicks, pops, screeches. Not subtle changes like slight loss of high frequencies, harmonic distortions, muddiness, etc. I don't think 25 feet is a problem. I've heard of 100 foot runs working properly.
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