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Old 08-01-02, 01:56 AM   #1
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Question GeForce4 Owners: Need your TV Encoder & Board Info... please!


I've been trying to identify the GeForce4 boards(s) with the highest quality S-Video TV output. The work I've done to date has been on RedHat Linux 7.3 with the 4.2.0 XFree86 and nVidia drivers/GLX version 1.0-2960. So far, I've tried 3 different boards from 3 different manufacturers and gotten widely varying results. Each of the boards appears to have a different TV Encoder chip and I'm betting boards with the same encoder chips will have similar output qualities.

So far, the best quality I've seen (In my opinion) has come from a GeForce4 MX420 with what would appear to be only the integrated nVidia TV Encoder. The other encoders I've seen are a Philips and a Brooktree; however, my opinion is that the boards I have with these chipsets don't seem to put out imagery that is as sharp and readable (Actually, I was only able to get composite out of the Brooktree for some reason, so I'm really not sure about its S-Video Quality). In short, I'm really impressed with the quality of the NVIDIA TV Encoder based board over the others I've seen to date. To this end, I'm really interested in determining which TV Encoder each manufacturer has put on each of their boards. I know the Philips and Brooktree encoders are supposed to have more capability for the HDTV crowd; however, I'm not interested in HDTV! Since this encoder information doesn't appear to be readily available from all the manufacturers, I'd appreciate a hand from other GeForce4 owners.

If anyone knows of a URL charting manufacturer, board, and TV Encoder information, I'd appreciate knowing what the URL is; otherwise, I'd appreciate hearing from other GeForce4 owners about their board manufacturer, model, TV Encoder Info, and board TV connector information. I'm not sure where to look on the Windows OS for this information, but for the Linux users this information may be found in the /var/log/XFree86.0.log file. The particular line of interest is something to the effect of "TV Encoder detected" followed by the encoder manufacturer and/or model information. Thanks in advance for helping sort through the various manufacturer, model, TV Encoder, connector combinations!

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Old 08-01-02, 04:00 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Netherlands, Europe
Posts: 2,105

There are 4/5 tv encoder manufacturers:
- Philips with their SAAxxxx chipsets
- Brooktree with their BT 8xx chipsets
- Chrontel with their chipsets
- Conexant (these chips are Brooktree compatible)
- Nvidia with their builtin TVout encoders on most GF4 MX boards

One thing you need to do first is to use optimal tvout resolutions. For NTSC the max resolution is 640x480 @ 60Hz and for PAL 800x600 @ 50Hz. Don't choose a resolution higher than these since higher are scaled back ...

Also make sure that you use an S-video connector to connect the videocard to the TV. Composite really sucks.

Something else you can use for tvout is a tool called nvtv located at http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/nv-tv-out. This tool uses its own tvout implementation (not working with the stuff from the drivers) but it can do a lot more. Custom tvout resolutions, flickering tweaking ......
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