Composite and S-Video Connection of RADEON Cards to TV and
1. TV standards
2. Card's Connection to TV
3. TV-out adjustment
4. Movie playback on TV
5. Video Field Displaying in Interlaced Mode. DVD
Modern video cards have a wide range of capabilities, useful and
not very. ;-) One of such features is their connection to TV (or any
other device with a video-in). You may think that the only thing to
do is to connect them with a special cable and then enjoy movies or
games on a large screen, but there can be problems even at this
stage. This article will be your guide in connection of the RADEON
family to TV, but before you should read another one called
Introduction into DVD-video playback on RADEON based PCs.
Part 1. TV standards
Today there are three prevailing standards of color TV signal
transmission - NTSC, PAL and SECAM. All of them support separate
transmission of brightness (Y) and color (U, V) signals and
interlacing. Since the RADEON cards do not support video displaying
in SECAM, I will leave this standard aside.
At the dawn of TV development first TV standards had the frame
rate synchronized with the current frequency in the network because
of the problems related with power supply decoupling. It caused the
difference between the American and European Standards. In 1952
Germany offered GERBER to bring these two standards closer. They
asserted that its implementation would simplify development of the
standard equipment. The line frequency in GERBER was very close to
the American 525-line system but the frame rate was fixed at 50 Hz
instead of 50 Hz. Thus, the number of lines resulted in 625. This
system was adopted in Europe from 1952 to 1969.
The first color telecasting standard was NTSC which appeared in
1953 in the USA and was standardized by National Television System
Committee, or NTSC). NTSC-M (alias NTSC 3.58) was compatible with
the back-and-white standard adopted in 1941 and used in the USA, and
it had the same basic characteristics, i.e. 525 lines (480 visible)
and 59.94 Hz (before NTSC-M the frame rate was 60 Hz).
In 1961 Valter Bruch offered a conception of the PAL system
(Phase Alternation Line) which was actually an improved version of
NTSC. Telecasting in PAL started in Europe only in 1967. Its main
advantage was higher color stability in contrast to NTSC. All
telecasting systems with color coding in PAL (except PAL-M) have 576
visible lines out of 625 at the frame rate of 50 Hz. Brazil uses the
PAL-M standard which is very close to NTSC-M and differs only in the
color component coding technique.
Taking into account that the TV standards differ mostly in the
screen refresh rate and number of lines used, they have these
parameters indicated as well, for example, PAL 625/50 (color coding
system, lines, refresh rate).
Here you can find
out what TV standards are used in different countries and their
Part 2. Card's Connection to TV
The main rule when you connect a PC and a TV-set is to turn off
both units. You should not simply press the power button, but take
out the power supply cables from the socket. Otherwise you may burn
the TV-out of the video card and TV's video-in.
Before connecting the devices check what connections both devices
Fig.1. RCA connector on the video card.
It is used for signal transmission in the composite form. Almost
every TV set has RCA connectors. They are used for transmission of
video (as a rule, the connector is yellow) and audio (the connectors
are white and red). The bandwidth supported is only 3 MHz, hence low
sharpness (not more than 300 lines). Besides, it's impossible to
separate the brightness (Y) and color (U, V) components when
transferring a composite signal through one physical channel in the
limited frequency band, and it makes an effect of color crosstalk
aberration (reminds a net) which is perfectly seen on minor contrast
2. S-Video (Separate Video), alias S-VHS (though it's
Fig.2. On the left - 4-pin S-Video connector; on the right -
7-pin one. The figures mark numbers of the pins. The 7-pin connector
scheme is given for the RADEON cards.
Far not every TV-set has such connectors. S-Video provides much
better quality as compared to a composite connection because the
brightness signal (Y) which carries clock pulses goes separately
from the color one (U, V); it prevents color crosstalk aberrations,
and the frequency band of 6 MHz ensures higher sharpness at the
expense of 500 lines.
Modern RADEON cards usually have only a 7-pin S-Video connector.
That is why we need a special adapter to connect such cards to TV in
a composite form. Since the 7-pin S-Video connector on RADEON cards
receives exactly a composite signal, the S-Video->RCA adapters
bundled with the cards do not mix the brightness (Y) and color (U,
V) signals and take a ready composite signal from the S-Video
is the diagram of such adapter. All-in-Wonder cards need special
If there is only a 4-pin connector you can use the universal scheme
with a capacitor. Such connection provides inferior quality in
comparison with the pure composite signal. Remember that
S-Video->RCA adapters of other cards do not match the RADEONs,
though they support mixing of the brightness (Y) and color (U, V)
signals with a capacitor.
Fig.3. SCART connector.
This is a multifunctional connector which supports different
connection types. Sometimes TV-sets have a SCART connector instead
of a S-Video input. In this case you can use S-Video->SCART
adapters. If the SCART doesn't have S-Video soldered out, such
adapters will provide a black-and-white image because the brightness
(Y) S-Video signal proceeds to the same pin of the SCART connector
as the composite signal, and the color signal (U, V) gets
4. TV connection cable
Naturally, it's better to use a coaxial cable with the impedance
of 75Ohm which should be as short as possible. This is theory, but
in practice everything depends on cable's quality. Its length can
make several tens of meters without noticeable quality degradation,
but the longer the cable the stricter the requirements should be,
namely, cable core thickness, braid quality etc.
5. Interference on TV
If you get visible noise on the TV screen after you connected it
to the PC, it can be caused by pickups from the community antenna.
The simplest solution is to disconnect the antenna. Also, you can
try to ground the PC and TV correctly but it can be quite difficult.
Finally, the pickups can be caused by a poor-quality power supply
unit or line interference.
Part 3. TV-out Adjustment
1. Video Card BIOS Editing
RADEON cards can activate TV-out yet at the booting stage because
the refresh rate changes (50 or 60 Hz depending on the TV standard
used) before an operating system starts, and as a result, the image
gets narrower or shifts off the screen's center. Besides, some
monitors do not support 50 Hz which is set if one of the PAL
standards (B/G/H/I/D/K/N/combination N) is enabled. You can settle
it by editing the Video BIOS with RadEdit. Remember that
doing that you can damage your video card.
First of all, you must save the card's BIOS image in a file. Use
(alias atiflash or atiflash2). I'd recommend that you first read FAQ on flashing video
BIOS at Radeon2.ru.
Then open the file with RadEdit by pressing
Fig.4. Interface of RadEdit program.
On the figure above the arrow shows the menu where you are to
choose a TV initialization standard for PC booting from the standard
table in the video BIOS. The standard chosen will be used if the
video card detects TV connection during the booting and when text
and graphics DOS modes are displayed in the full-screen mode. By
selecting "None" you get rid of problems with the monitor's refresh
rate of a computer connected to TV, but you also lose the
possibility to display full-screen DOS modes on TV.
The TV initialization standard menu reflects the TV standards
supported by a given video card. If you tick off the checkbox
circled on the fig.4 you will get a full table of TV standards in
the video BIOS:
Let me make some comments:
NTSC is NTSC-M.
PAL is a family of PAL 625/50 formats.
PAL-60 is identical to PAL-M except the chroma subcarrier
frequency of 4.43 MHz. While most TV sets do not support PAL-M,
it's vice versa with PAL-60. It is used only for playing video
records in NTSC 525/60 on TV sets without NTSC-M support.
Supposedly, this standard is marked PAL K1 in the driver
NTSC-J is a variation of NTSC-M which differs only in the
black level signal value which complies with PAL-B/G/H/I/D.
SCART RGB - not only Matrox cards support standard TV-out in
RGB format. :-) For more information see the forum at
Radeon2.ru in the VIVO section.
PAL-CN is PAL combination N. Used only in Argentina.
PAL-N. Used only in Paraguay and Uruguay.
So, after all the operations save the BIOS in a file. Before
flashing in the Video BIOS you can check its operability with RAMBIOS
2. Adjustment of TV-out settings. Clone mode
Now you can start making settings for TV-out using standard
driver settings. Beside the drivers you need to install the control
panel and enter the settings. Go to the Screen Properties, choose
Setting, press Additional... and choose Displays. You will see such
picture or something alike:
Fig .5. Displays tab
How the panel above looks may depend on a video card used and
Windows version. But the main components remain the same. The
mark shows that the card does not detect TV
connection. Let's have a closer look at the TV settings of this
Display On/Off button - if TV-out is enabled, you will see a
copy of the monitor's image on the TV display. This is a clone
mode. On fig.6 the monitor is set primary and TV is switched to
the clone mode (the monitor is said to be master and the TV screen
- secondary). If a current TV resolution is not supported in the
clone mode (for example, because the minimal refresh rate in this
more is over 60 Hz), the secondary display will get a virtual
desktop. The desktop, thus, can't be fully displayed on the screen
set to the clone mode and it will follow a mouse pointer in the
window of the maximum resolution supported by a give TV
TV resolution stands for a current TV resolution, but not
physical, - this is a resolution of a digital signal applied to
the TV coder.
TV standard used.
Master display and Clone mode selection (for secondary
display) - in case of dual-head cards it determines a master
display and a clone-mode one. If you set both the PC and TV
monitors to master, the screen refresh rate will be set to 50 Hz
or 60 Hz according to the TV standard used. All R100 based cards
(i.e. single-head, they are currently marked RADEON 7200) have
only one option: both monitor and TV are master.
If you use VSync in 3D games, the maximum fps in the clone
mode will be equal to the minimal refresh rate of one of the two
displays. So, if the second display in the clone mode is TV, the
maximum fps will be 50 or 60 Hz depending on the TV
Full-screen text and graphics DOS modes can be enabled only on
the master display.
The settings described above and a current screen resolution
can be saved as the evoked scheme (but not the settings mentioned
below). You can apply the combination saved with hot keys or by
clicking ATI on the taskbar with the right button.
At the moment in the drivers control panel the combination of
Alt+F5 is set for consecutive reswitching between displays
detected. You can change this combination. Choose the respective
menu item, change the combination of keys and then save this
scheme above the older one.
Fig.7. ATI's logo on the taskbar for changing the
Press the TV button (it's shown with the yellow arrow on fig.6)
to access the TV attributes:
Fig.8. Attributes panel.
The Attributes panel provides information on a type of connection
of a given video card to TV, the maximum resolution and a refresh
rate supported on TV. Besides, you can adjust contrast and color
Fig.9. Adjustments Panel.
Fig.9 shows the Adjustments Panel. You can adjust the image size
and its position on the TV screen. But there can be some
Size and position settings are saved for each resolution
separately. When changing a TV standard (PAL 625/50, PAL 525/60
and NTSC 525/60) you have to adjust these parameters anew.
If in the clone mode both TV and PC are made master, changing
of any parameters will also change size and position on the
monitor. Therefore, the monitor can fail to display an image with
As a rule, NTSC-M and NTSC-J standards allow for the most
optimal adjustment of an image's position on the TV screen, but a
lot also depends on the TV. It can even ignore any changes in
settings. Besides, with PAL 625/50 you will hardly get rid of
black edges on the screen above and below. In both cases you
should apply overscan.
The Overscan button enables overscanning for all resolutions.
In this case the image extends to the full TV screen, but the
edges can be cut off. The best results for NTSC-M and NTSC-J can
be achieved in 640x480 (and 720x480), and for PAL 625/50 in
800x600. In the last case the image will be cut off below - there
will be only several pixels left from the taskbar, and you might
get a black edge below. You should also try nonstandard
resolutions (for more details see the fifth part).
If you enable overscanning, the image size and position
settings on TV won't work. It doesn't work in 1024x768
By default the TV-out settings do not have the Overscan
button. You should either edit the register manually, or tick
off a certain checkbox in the tweaker. If you use modified
drivers from Omegadrive or Radeon2.ru,
this button will be available without correcting the register or
dealing with tweakers.
Fig.10. Advanced Panel.
Sharpness adjustment doesn't help much except black-and-white
In case of composite connection there can be crosstalk color
aberration on small objects. They remind a net. Composite Dot
Crawl can change the character of this net. If you choose Standard
the net will start moving, in case of Frozen the net will stop in
NTSC and will move faster in PAL. ATI recommends the first option
(Standard) for movies, and the second one (Frozen) for static
images. But it doesn't make sense to follow the advice for PAL
modes because the net doesn't get frozen.
In case of S-Video connection the parameter Composite Dot
Crawl is missing, and Composite Sharpness is replaced with S-Video
Sharpness of the same effect.
Flicker Removal reduces flicker at the expense of the image
getting more blurry vertically.
Fig.11. Format Panel.
In the Format Panel you can choose a signal format for TV image.
Among NTSC-M and NTSC-M(JAPAN) the latter is preferable. In case of
S-Video connection among all PAL 625/50 standards you'd better
choose PAL-D as it ensures higher horizontal sharpness due to a
wider bandwidth (6 MHz). When the standard is changed it will be
suggested that you reboot the computer. However, if you change the
resolution, the standard will switch to the selected one anyway.
Besides, in case of the standard marked PAL K1 (supposedly, it is
PAL-60), the computer might hang. That is why think twice before
3. Desktop extension mode
If you use a dual-head card, in Windows 98/ME and XP, as well as
in Windows 2000 with RADEON 9500/9700 cards you will see the
following in the screen properties:
You can see two monitors with the right one being inactive. If
the card detects TV connection, you can permit (or forbid) using TV
as the second display in the menu invoked with the right-button
click. You will get two independent desktops - on the monitor and
TV, and you can set different resolutions for them.
Fig.13. Permitting the second display.
Clicking with the right button you can change positions of the
monitors relative to each other. You can carry over windows from one
display to the other, unroll them on one of them etc. without
disturbing applications on the other. On the Displays tab in the
screen properties menu the buttons for selection of the master
display and setting the clone mode have changed:
Well, they set the master and secondary displays.
In case of dual-head RADEON 9500/9700 cards there are some
problems with desktop extension in Windows 2000 (at least, with the
drivers up to Catalyst 3.1) - thus, you can't set separate
resolutions for desktops, the second desktop can be either on the
right or under the master, there is one common desktop instead of
two, i.e. half of the image goes to the first desktop, and half to
the second one. The TV desktop extension method is also
If you are going to use TV-out of dual-head RADEON cards by
extending the desktop to TV, I recommend that you use Hydravision
program that can be downloaded for free from ATI Technologies's site. Hydravision
includes a screen magnifier named MagnyFX available via the hot-key
settings, and you can use it, for instance, for presentations on a
large TV screen.
Part 4. Movie playback on TV
Before we go further I
suggest that you have a look at my article
on DVD-Video playback on RADEON-based PCs. Various filters and
settings are perfectly described by Dmitry Dorofeev and Aleksei
Samsonov (aka AëS) in TV-out
connection and adjustment for GeForce4Ti and GeForce4MX (GeForce2MX)
video cards with TwinView (nView) technology. Playback on TV of
DVD movies or movies with interlaced video will be touched upon in
the next part. Note that movies with the refresh rate of 25 Hz
should be played with PAL 625/50 enabled, and in case of ~24 or ~30
Hz you should use NTSC 525/60 or PAL 525/60. It will do away with
jerking caused by the difference between the screen refresh rate and
1. Clone mode
It was the first mode of first
RADEON cards (except RADEON
7000/VE). If you make the monitor master and the TV secondary in
this mode on dual-head (R100 based) RADEON cards, the TV screen will
be filled up with the "key color" while video is played in the
overlay mode. If overlay is not used (for example, like in PowerDVD
XP 4.0), the movie will be shown on both displays but the quality
will be rather poor. Probably, the future drivers will get the
support of overlay on both displays, but now for watching video in
the clone mode it's necessary to set TV as a master device. If you
make the PC monitor master as well, it will also show the movie but
refresh rate will be 50 or 60 Hz depending on the TV standard
In spite of the disadvantages, this mode can adjust the aspect
ratio and a movie size in Zoom Player. The "+" and
"-" keys on the digital keypad
adjust the image size with "keep
aspect ratio" enabled, and in combination
with "Alt" and
they adjust vertical and horizontal sizes (with "Fit to Window" set
to Disabled, R key used by default). In the modes with overscan
enabled, the cut-off image parts can be made up for by reducing the
movie size. Another advantage (which can be regarded as a downside
as well) is color correction in the overlay settings.
2. Desktop extension mode
The clone mode was followed by the mode of desktop extension on
TV which had all advantages of the clone mode. Remember that this
mode is not supported for RADEON 9500/9700 cards in Windows 2000
because overlay can't be enabled here. I hope it will be corrected
in the future drivers.
In case of other dual-head RADEON cards in Windows 2000 this
overlay works only on the master display. Besides, in the
full-screen mode the player tries to fit the window to the desktop,
placing the center in the middle of the common desktop displayed on
both monitors (with the second display showing only the key color).
Zoom Player has
tackled this problem, but the secondary display won't support
overlay anyway. That is why the only solution in this case is to set
TV as a master display and extend the desktop to the monitor.
it will be difficult to do.
If dual-head RADEON cards are used in Windows
9x/ME and XP, we
get two independent desktops and normal overlay when extending the
desktop to the secondary display (TV). To have a player's window on
the secondary display simply drag it there (even if the movie is
played) and unroll it there. But not all players can open their
windows there, and some minimize it in case of any operation
fulfilled (for example, if you click the mouse on the master
display). Well, you should use the right players. And Zoom Player is the best
in my opinion.
3. Theater Mode
This mode appeared long after the RADEON 8500 cards came to the
market. It can't be used for R100 based cards. In this mode the
overlay contents in the clone mode will be shown on the second display in the
full-screen mode. Some time ago there was a problem
in Windows 9x/ME/2000 when a user minimized the player's window or
put something above it, - the overlay got disabled, and the image on
the second display disappeared as well. To avoid it you should use
the filter settings (DivX, FFDShow and DivXG400) like it's described
by Dmitry Dorofeev and Aleksei Samsonov in this
article, or use the settings of Zoom Player (see the player's description).
Fig.16. Turning on the Theater Mode.
To enable the Theater mode you should only tick off the checkbox
circled above on the overlay panel. For movie playback on TV the
resolution will be set to 640x480 or 800x600 depending on the
movie's resolution (or rather, overlay size) so that it can be possible to avoid rescaling (i.e. not to
make the image smaller). If
you have a RADEON 8500/9100 card with the second RAMDAC non-unsoldered
the TV resolution will be equal to the monitor's one. You can
restrict the choice of resolution by forcing the refresh rate in
some of them over 60 Hz.
Recently the Overlay panel got more
Fig.17. New Overlay panel and new settings.
"Video overlay mode" - here you can choose a mode with Theater
disabled (Standard), with Theater enabled (Theater) and a new mode
(identical for all) when a movie is played on both displays
simultaneously. But at the moment the last option displays video
on both monitors not via overlay, making this mode useless.
Theater mode settings - available only in the Theater
"Set aspect ratio" - here you can either retain proportions of
the video displayed on the secondary display (Like in the video
source) or extend it to the full screen (Full screen).
Aspect Ratio - these settings work in a peculiar way. "4:3
(standard screen)", "16:9 (widescreen format)" - the program
either forces the vertical resolution of 480 lines on the
secondary display, or doesn't change it at all. Well, it's not
clear what this option is for. Maybe, they meant PALplus (PAL
625/50 with the anamorphous format 16:9 taking 574 lines instead
One more peculiarity of the new Overlay panel is that the
resolution of the secondary display can't be higher than that of
the master display in the Theater mode. But it can be smaller. Is
it because of the drivers?
I think, Theater Mode will be the most convenient one for playing
movies on TV in a while. But at the moment it has the following
Inconvenient overscan compensation (at present, it can be done
with DivXG400 filter).
Difficult to force a desirable resolution (a nonstandard as
well) on the secondary display (TV).
Impossible to correct overlay colors on the secondary display
Part 5. Video Field Displaying in Interlaced Mode. DVD
We tested DVD-video playback on the RADEON based PC several
months ago. After that we got several new drivers versions, and the
latest Catalyst 3.1 have all drawbacks of adapting deinterlacing
corrected for RADEON 8500 and 9500/9700 cards. Now its quality is
equal to the adaptive deinterlacing of RV250 based cards (RADEON
9000/9000Pro). Beside the new drivers we got new versions and
updates of software players - 2417 patch for PowerDVD XP 4.0 and
several new versions of WinDVD 4.0 including Platinum.
1. Fields displaying
Before we turn to peculiarities of playing DVD on TV I have
something to say about displaying fields by RADEON cards on TV. The
following algorithm is most likely used for displaying on TV:
Odd fields are taken from odd frames, even fields from even
If the vertical resolution is equal to the number of visible
lines of the TV standard used, odd fields will be taken from odd
lines of odd frames, and even fields -from even lines of even
If we use weave deinterlacing fields will be displayed on TV
correctly. :-) Here you must use the modes with the vertical
resolution of 480 or 576 lines for respective standards and avoid
vertical image interpolation to retain the correct structure of the
How to add a resolution required? One'd better use Rage3Dtweak or PowerStrip for this
purpose. The latter can add a new resolution for the second display
as well. Let's have a closer look at both, but first look through
the list of nonstandard resolutions supported by the TV-out:
720x480 - standard for NTSC DVD.
720x576 - standard for PAL DVD.
848x480 - I managed to "beat" the black edges above and below
in NTSC-M/J modes with overscan used only on Panasonic TC-2166R
TV-set which ignores changes in the TV-out settings.
Fig.18. Rage3Dtweak settings.
The Rage3Dtweak settings needed for nonstandard resolutions are
shown above. You must tick off "Enable HDTV TV Modes" (indicated
with the arrow on fig.18 on the right). Choose a needed resolution
from "Custom Modes" and press the green button on the left, save the
settings (press Apply or OK) and restart the computer. The new modes
must appear in the display properties.
Fig.19. PowerStrip settings.
On fig.19 have a look at the buttons marked with arrows - you can
use them to choose the master and the secondary displays, but before
enable the desktop extension mode. Press "Additional Parameters..."
and then "Other Resolutions...".
Fig.20. Here you can add resolutions and frequencies you
Then you will get to the menu shown on fig.20. You can choose
preinstalled modes (on the left) and set your own modes (on the
right). Note that it's necessary to provide the refresh rate of 60
Hz for TV-out. When a new resolution is added restart the computer,
and then it will be available in the list.
For correct field displaying set weave
deinterlacing mode and disable "keep aspect ratio" in the player
settings (beside a correct resolution). Remember that movies in the
anamorphous widescreen format will be extended to the full screen,
and you have to set the TV to the widescreen 16:9 mode to view them.
Besides, it's necessary to set the filter switch of flicker removal
to the left position in the TV-out properties (see fig.10).
Beside correct field displaying with the method described above
you can use the adaptive deinterlacing the quality of which of
RADEON 8500 and 9500/9700 cards is much better with the new drivers.
If you keep the aspect ratio I recommend that you set 800x600 for
the best video output quality irrespective of a TV standard used and
a connection type (composite or S-Video).
In case of movies with interlaced video resulting from the
operation called Telecine
(only some of NTSC 525/60 DVD), it's better to use adaptive
deinterlacing as it ensures less blurry images in comparison with
displaying of each field on TV. Although Telecine retains smoothness
in case of movies with the initial fps of 59.94 fps and interlacing,
it doesn't enhance quality of the image.
2. DVD playback in the Clone mode
As I mentioned above, in this mode movies can be played only on
the master display. So, you are to choose between a black square on
the monitor filled with the key color and its refresh rate of 50 or
60 Hz depending on the TV standard used. The latter option is better
for navigating various DVD menus (if you don't have a remote
control) when both the PC monitor and TV are made master.
In this mode all players except some versions of PowerDVD have
full functionality in contrast with image displaying on a single
monitor. PowerDVD XP 4.0 may use DirectX VA (v1329) and may not
(1811 and ATI DVD Player 7.8 based on PowerDVD engine). Moreover,
its latest version 2417 doesn't use overlay in this mode at
Therefore, the clone mode has only one disadvantage (depending on
which method you use) - 50 or 60 Hz refresh rate or a black screen
on the secondary monitor. But this mode is a match for playing DVD
3. DVD playback in the desktop extension mode
time I mentioned that it was possible to enable DirectX VA in
the ATI DVD Player from the register. It turned out that MMC
(MultiMedia Center) has a respective option which is called "Enable
Fig.21. Tick off "Enable Multi-monitor support" to disable DXVA
in ATI DVD Player.
Why is it called so? In the desktop extension
mode the ATI Player can't display images on the secondary monitor
with the DirectX VA used. Moreover, it is typical of all other
software players. But the worst thing is that we lose adaptive
So, the desktop extension mode is a good solution only for movies
with progressive video or in case of correct displaying of fields of
movies with interlaced video which do not result from the Telecine
operation. Therefore, it can't be considered optimal (i.e. for all
situations). Besides, it can be a problem to use this mode in
Windows 2000 because overlay is supported only on the master
display, and owners of RADEON 9500/9700 cards are deprived of this
mode at all.
4. DVD Playback in the Theater mode
Because of the problems in forcing a desired resolution this mode
can have difficulties with correct field displaying. To avoid it you
can try to switch to the vertical resolution of 480 and 576 lines,
but it won't make any sense to use the Theater mode then.
If you don't need correct field displaying (if you use adaptive
deinterlacing or you don't play movies with interlaced video), this
mode will likely suit you.
There is one thing I want to draw your attention to: when I
played movies with adaptive deinterlacing the RADEON 8500 card gave
the image with the weave deinterlacing used on TV (secondary).
Probably, it also concerns RADEON 7000 and 7500 (but not RADEON 9000
Also note that it can be a problem to use PowerDVD XP 4.0 in the
Theater mode because the player doesn't support overlay. You can
solve it by starting the movie in the first turn and then turning on
TV-out; but it doesn't help always.
5. Brief characteristics of software DVD players and their
ATI DVD Player 7.6/7.7. Rather good video decoding quality and
poor sound processing capabilities. It also refers to filters of
these players. Unfortunately, a deinterlacing method can't be
chosen. In general, they offer a good choice but not for RADEON
9500/9700 cards. With these cards the player (filter) can't play
protected DVDs, and sometimes there are errors in video decoding
in Windows 2000/XP. It doesn't make sense to use the interface of
these players because it's better to use the filters, for example,
together with DirectShow Player with a handier and more functional
ATI DVD Player 7.8. It is based on Cyber Link PowerDVD XP 4.0
engine. The sound processing features are identical to the
previous ATI players, the video quality is good, but DirectX VA is
not supported in the clone and theater modes. I don't see much
sense in using this player or its filters.
ATI DVD Player 8.0. Excellent video decoding quality and
crippled sound decoding features. All downsides of video decoding
of PowerDVD are done away with. Like in the previous versions,
it's not sensible to use the interface of the player, but its
video filter can be used together with DirectShow players.
CyberLink PowerDVD XP 4.0. It has problems with video playing
on TV. That is why I wouldn't recommend it and its video filter.
As to the audio filter, it can be a good choice for sound decoding
if you find the patch 2417.
NVDVD. It has a bad registration system: you have to
reregister it after reinstallation of the system (i.e. you will
have to buy it again). The video and audio decoding quality is
good. The player is handy (though there are some downsides), that
is why you can use both the player itself and its filters which
have no capabilities restricted, in contrast to other
InterVideo WinDVD 4.0. This is a very good player with
excellent image quality (only in Windows XP) and very good sound
decoding capabilities. If it's used not in Windows XP or you play
not DVD discs, don't use adaptive deinterlacing. The interface is
improving, but some errors are still noticeable. Nevertheless, it
is the best solution for users of Windows XP who watch only DVD
MPEG2 movies. I don't recommend to use its video filter in
DirectShow players. At the same time, its audio filter is a pretty
For attaching filters use Zoom Player (I find it
best) and the method I described last time in the section dealing
with this player. Also remember about AC3Filter
which can be used for Dolby Digital sound decoding in DVD
Part 6. Summary
RADEON cards have rich capabilities for TV-out. But at present
it's not easy to use them because of inconvenient settings and
because of a lack of an ideal player. I wish it were possible to
save as schemes not only settings shown on fig.5 and resolutions,
but TV-out settings as well (TV standard, position on the screen
etc.). At last, an ideal player should select TV-out settings itself
for the most optimal TV playback.
Finally, there are the key points of the today review which you
could have missed:
For watching movies on TV it's better to choose a TV standard
(PAL 625/50 or NTSC 525/60) according to the frame rate of a given
PAL 625/50 standards ensure sharper pictures; I'd recommend
PAL-D among all of them in case of S-Video connection.
NTSC-J is preferable to NTSC-M
When playing widescreen anamorphous DVD movies you'd better
disable "keep aspect ratio" in the player for high quality on TV,
but in this case you have to set the TV to the widescreen 16:9
If the previous item doesn't suit you, and you set "keep
aspect ratio" in the player settings (or in the Theater mode
settings) choose 800x600 on TV for better quality.
In the theater mode RADEON 8500 (and probably RADEON 7000 and
7500) do not support video with adaptive deintrlacing on the
If you set the minimal refresh rate over 60 Hz in any
resolution, it won't be supported on TV. If you switch to the mode
with an unsupported resolution or refresh rate you will get a
At the moment I can't recommend you a best software player or
playback mode (Clone, Theater or Desktop Extension), that is why
it's for you to decide which mode should be used and when.