Poor TV-in video quality on Toshiba 5205-S705 Satellite

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by kschriever, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. kschriever

    kschriever Guest

    Hello. I'm new to all this and need some help/advice or minimally, a
    credible 'too bad, that's as good as it gets'.

    Just picked up Toshiba's new MCE notebook a little while ago. I am
    tremendously disappointed in the picture quality I'm able to obtain
    from my Direct TV system. The picture is severely degraded by
    rippling lines and waves, and color is badly washed out. Some of
    these resemble symptoms I've come to know over the years as being
    signs of a loose connection somewhere, but unfortunately that's not
    been the problem.

    The tuner, first off, only supports a coax connection in...there's a
    dongle with a coax adapter. No S-Video. Initially, I ran a coax
    cable from the satellite receiver's 'Out to TV' port into a splitter
    and then hooked it up to the adapter. When I first saw the picture
    quality (or lack thereof), I eliminated the splitter and shelled out
    for some Monster Cable gold-plated coax. This accomplished nothing.
    I tried both of my satellite receivers (both of which furnish a
    terrific picture to my TVs) and also tried switching between channel
    3 and 4....nothing doing. At this point, I'm beginning to believe
    based on my own experience and a couple reviews (PC Magazine,
    Time.com) that the tuner stinks and I'm just plain out of luck...but
    I could easily (and hopefully) be wrong, so I'd appreciate either:

    -- knowledgeable info re how to make things better given what I
    already have at hand
    -- solid information about known issues with the tuner supplied with
    the Toshiba 5205-S705 (their live tech support and so-called support
    forums have both been incredibly lame on the subject) and maybe even
    how to overcome them
    -- or information about possible alternatives, like maybe an external
    tuner?

    As things stand, there's no point in recording anything at all.

    ALSO: it'd be nice if the forum admin could add a Toshiba group to
    the other vendor groups (HP, Gateway' et al.) already here.

    Thanks.

    Kurt

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    kschriever, Jul 7, 2003
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  2. kschriever

    Peter Near Guest

    You're right, those do sound like symptoms of a bad connection.

    Clarifying question:
    Do you get a good quality picture from the tuner when using the coax-out and
    plugging that into your TV using the same monster cable?

    Pete
     
    Peter Near, Jul 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. kschriever

    sfajeff Guest

    I read a post on another board where gunner666 said that the TV
    quality on his was "Not Great". I have never seen one of these
    notebooks in action so I cant vouch for his post either way, just
    thought you might like to know.

    Also did you buy the notebook from Toshiba or a store? I ask because
    if you bought it from a store I would go back and show them a snippet
    of TV that you have recorded on it and see what they have to say. I
    would actually go as far as asking to record somthing off their cable
    signal (or mabey a coaxel DVD out) to see if it makes a difference.

    As one final thought, I dont know what kind of chip the tuner in your
    system uses but if you are comfortable with regedit you can do a
    search for:


    BrightnessValue
    ContrastValue
    HueValue
    SharpnessValue

    These values are used by Avermedia and Hauppauge tuner cards (in tower
    MCE PC's) to control the TV picture before it is recorded. I dont
    know if they will be present in the notebook but is always worth a
    try. Do note that if you have these values and end up adjusting them
    you will need to reboot before the changes will take effect.

    Jeff Griffin
    www.nacontap.com

    -- Posted via http://www.xpMCE.com --
    Windows XP Media Center Edition Forum
     
    sfajeff, Jul 7, 2003
    #3
  4. kschriever

    kschriever Guest

    -- I'll check the coax-to-TV connection...you're right, Peter, that
    was an oversight. Not that it'll resolve any problems, but if it's
    bad there, too, I guess I can look beyond the Toshiba tuner for the
    real source. Thank you.

    -- Jeff, I purchased it direct from Toshiba. It's a killer machine
    other than this issue, BTW. As far as the registry modifications go,
    yes, I'd seen this documented elsewhere and printed the specifics out
    for future reference, but it doesbn't look like these four settings
    speak directly to my problem, which looks to be more in the way of
    interference/signal loss.

    Posted via http://www.xpMCE.com
    Windows XP Media Center Edition Forums
     
    kschriever, Jul 8, 2003
    #4
  5. kschriever

    Michael Guest

    Kurt,

    I have a Toshiba Laptop also. It does sound like you
    have a connection problem. I was disappointed in how the
    recorded(and live) tv shows looked when viewed on the
    laptop screen.(kind of fuzzy/grainey, but viewable) The
    the video out back to the tv looked ok (from the composit
    video out plug, not the TV out from the tuner, that does
    not work at all for me). Also, Shows burned to DVD using
    the Toshiba Laptop looked ok when played in my set top
    player.(used Primetime to burn DVD, also did it with
    MYDVD4, shrunk it with DVD-Shrink & burned with Nero, but
    that was too much work.)
    The Desktop & folders screen when viewed on the laptop
    looks GREAT, but looks terrible when viewed on my tv
    through the video out port. I can live with this since I
    will mostly watch the recorded shows throught the TV and
    do any computer work right from the laptop & LCD display.
    Something I don't understand is when I play a DVD on
    the Laptop using WinDVD, it does not show up on the TV
    screen. Yet if I play it in Media player it does show up
    on the TV.
    I too would like to see a Toshiba group added to the
    forum. I'd like to find other Toshiba owners to share
    ideas with and iron out all the bugs.

    Michael
     
    Michael, Jul 8, 2003
    #5
  6. kschriever

    sirnh Guest

    I thought the same thing as you k. I spent a few days researching,
    and learned a lot from this forum. Here is what I did to improve the
    image...

    First, purchase nvDVD. It's MPEG2 encoder is compatible with MCE, and
    it's much better. I started the app and went in to the video
    properties, set De-Interlace Control to Automatic, Enhanced nView
    Support to VMR9, then restarted nvDVD, went back into the video
    properties and selected VMR Pixel Adaptive for the De-Interlace
    mode.

    Next I opened Reg Edit, and wehnt to
    HK_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media
    Center\Recording and changed the Encoding quality string to 2000000
    4000000 6000000 8000000. This setting makes a large difference. It
    seems best mode was adjusted for this laptop compared to the settings
    other people have reported in this forum. Best was set to 6Mbit, and
    changing it to this setting ups it to 8Mbit, greatly reducing the
    ringing. Bad thing is, you reduced your storage time by 33%.

    Then make certain you are always viewing in best quality mode in your
    MCE recording settings.

    These changes should dramatically improve your viewing quality.

    Posted via http://www.xpMCE.com
    Windows XP Media Center Edition Forums
     
    sirnh, Jul 9, 2003
    #6
  7. kschriever

    kschriever Guest

    Based on many of these replies I get the sense that my explanation of
    the problem I'm trying to resolve was not clear. That or I'm just
    not understanding.

    I have a RECEPTION problem. The signal being received by my PC
    appears degraded and shows interference-like symptoms, just like you
    used to see on regular old over-the-air TV, or when a cable
    connection gets loose. It's not related to recording quality, nor to
    viewing the TV-OUT results on my television. Until I get the
    immediate problem worked out, I won't even be ATTEMPTING to have
    those problems, which kind of infer that the original signal is good
    enough to bother with.

    I checked out the coax signal to my television and picture quality was
    fine. At this point, it sounds like I'm down to the dongle and the
    tuner...both of which are Toshiba issues. Thanks to all for the info
    so far.

    Posted via http://www.xpMCE.com
    Windows XP Media Center Edition Forums
     
    kschriever, Jul 9, 2003
    #7
  8. kschriever

    sethdeneen Guest

    This isn't a problem with the TV tuner. Its actually just that bad.
    I also have a toshiba 5205-s705 and while I love the laptop - the
    tuner is, in my opinion, not high quality. The picture I recieve is
    almost impossible to discern. Sometimes depending on the channel on
    my reciever(direct TV) it will come in clearer than others, but the
    picture quality is still not decent enough for me to be satisfied
    with the tuner.

    Posted via http://www.xpMCE.com
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    sethdeneen, Sep 24, 2003
    #8
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