6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2011 8:42 AM by kbriggs RSS

    Solo quality issues on Window 7

    kbriggs

      I just got my first Slingbox Solo yesterday and have it connected to my Comcast HD DVR.  The quality of the video on my cheap Dell netbook running XP and connected to my network via wifi is excellent, near DVD quality.  However, the quality on my Dell quad-core 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate desktop, wired directy to the router is not nearly as good. It's especially evident when looking at text on the screen like you see at the bottom of the cable news networks or just in the Comcast guide. See linked image below:

       

      http://www.briggsoft.com/temp/SlingSolo.png

       

      The better one on the left is a screen shot from the XP notebook. The one on the right with the blotchy, ghosted text is from the Win7 desktop.  Look in the yellow part in the upper left. The "D" in TWCHD has an extra vertical line, as does the "7" in 627 just below that, The "R" in Riders below that, etc. etc.

       

      Note that I happened to catch those shots during the Optimizing stage but it doesn't change at full stream mode. Also the 1500 Kbps bitrate is low there because the screen has a mostly static image. When the guide is off and showing full video, both stream between 4000 and 5000 Kbps. That makes no difference in the quality. Both are set for Automatic optimization in the Settings. I tried playing with the manual settings for the Win7 system but nothing improved the quality.  I went to ATI's web site and download the latest video drivers for my Radeon card. No change. I read in some other threads that some people had issues when their Win7 theme was not set to Aero. I'm already running an Aero theme but I tried it both ways. No change.

       

      What else can I do to fix this?

        • Re: Solo quality issues on Windows 7
          kbriggs

          I've seen other threads on the Pro-HD section that described the same problem I'm having. So far I've tried these things mentioned:

           

          Setting the VideoRenderer property in SBCore.ini to other values.

          Setting StreamTypeVideo to 1 in SBCore.ini to force H.264

          Running the Web version in I.E. (looked the same)

          Temporarily Replacing SBDS.ax and H264DecoderDLL.ax with the WebSlingPlayer versions

          Changing my Windows theme to Basic and back to Aero

          Uninstalling Windows Media Player 12 and re-installing it

          Installed SlingPlayer 1.5 (looked the same)

          Removed other codecs and players like ffdshow and VLC from my system.

           

          None of those things make any difference at all. I also have an old desktop PC on my LAN that can dual boot between XP and 32-bit Vista. I installed the SlingPlayer 2.0.4 on both of those and it looked great.

            • Re: Solo quality issues on Windows 7
              kbriggs

              I forgot to mention, since I have Win 7 Ultimate edition I can run a virtual XP session on my desktop. I tried installing the Sling Player into that but the results were worse. Under the automatic settings, the resolution was very low. I could improve it some with the manual settings but the text was still not sharp and the video was skipping frames like crazy.

            • Re: Solo quality issues on Windows 7
              kbriggs

              Anyone home?

                • Re: Solo quality issues on Windows 7
                  billarnaiz Newbie

                  kbriggs,

                   

                  I'm new to Slingbox and the forums. I am experiencing the same thing. I see a lot of others here are also.

                  The PQ on WinXP, Vista using Slingplayer is outstanding, either on Laptop, Netbook, Dual Core all

                  look great.

                   

                  My super duper i5Intel 6GBmem Win 7 HP Super Entertainment Laptop looks horrible and is/was unsuable

                  unwatchable etc..As well as every other Win7 device I have.

                   

                  Well, I got it to a point where the PQ is decent, watchable. The text(s) on FoxBiz and others looks better by far;

                   

                  I did the following;   Set desktop to Basic, no Aero themes,  open Slingplayer set Encoding for 640x480 for both Local and Internet. Exit Slingplayer.

                                               Edit Sbcore.ini > set videorenderer=1  which is VMR-7 

                                                Save and exit.

                                                Open Sling player, for me it looks a lot better.

                   

                                Hope it works for you,

                   

                  Bill

                    • Re: Solo quality issues on Windows 7
                      kbriggs

                      Thanks, Bill. That helped quite a bit.  It was the combination of VMR-7 rendering and a non-Aero theme that now gives me smooth looking text on the screen. I didn't need to change the resolution, however. I just left it on Automatic. Any change on that settings pages forces it back to VMR-9 rendering so you have to edit the ini file last.

                       

                      I also don't like using the Basic theme in Windows so I just set the properties on the SlingPlayer shortcut to "Disable desktop composition" on the Compatibility tab.  That way it automatically switches to Basic mode when SlingPlayer is running and back to Aero when I close it.  The overall video quality is still not quite as good as what I get on my XP netbook. There are noticable digital artifacts on the shiny parts of the picture, like the eyes of the news anchors. I don't see that on XP.  Still, it's more watchable now.

                        • Re: Solo quality issues on Windows 7
                          billarnaiz Newbie

                          Hi,

                           

                          That's great, glad that it worked for you. Yes, I did notice any subsequent changes to "Encoding"  results in the INI file

                          being rewritten with VMR9, also thanks for the tip on the Desktop Composition.

                           

                          The PQ is still a bit away from XP. You gotta figure, over the internet, bit rates jump all over so PQ at certain points

                          will suffer. But at home, at more than 5mbs, it should look near perfect on any new/newer Win7 pc. I even tried

                          a 32bit version - same issues.

                           

                          I do see mosquito-ing here and there, text crawls are kind of semi-decent.  Faint lines in faces...etc. Not bad though.

                          Certainly more watchable now.

                           

                          Wonder why this hasn't been looked into by Sling?

                           

                          B