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Maximizing TV Playback

This page is only useful for people who own a NVIDIA card. If you are not an owner of such a card, move on to the next page.

TV Tool is a very useful application for NVIDIA cards with TV Output chipsets. It allows you to tweak several basic aspects of the card that are not available through the driver interface itself (and how lame is that!).

Once you have TV Tool installed, I strongly suggest reviewing it's keyboard shortcuts so you can quickly switch between TV/Monitor modes.

On the "Mode", set the "Picture Size" to "Fullscreen". This will set the TV output to that 1:1 pixel ratio mentioned earlier.

Next you will have to select the resolution. For PAL, you should choose either 800x600 or 768x576- either one will work for us. For NTSC I recommend 640x480. While you can go with 720x480, it's a non-standard aspect ratio which means you will be limited to using Zoom Player as your playback application if you desire to maintain a correct aspect ratio.

You will also notice that there are two types of PAL mode: Standard PAL and PAL-60. Standard pal works at 50hz, which means the screen is updated 25 times per second. NTSC is updated 30 times per second, so PAL-60 is an extended mode which allows PAL to be updated 30 times per second as well. The thing is, not all TV sets support PAL-60. If yours does, I recommend using it as it will allow for higher resolution while still being able to play NTSC content without dropping frames.

Next, go over to the "Adjust" tab and set the "Flickerfilter" track-bar to DVD-S mode by moving it all the way to the left. This disables the blur-filtering discussed earlier. The screen text may appear to flicker a bit, but this is normal- small single-colored text simply does not appear well on a TV screen without blurring. But rest assured, this doesn't concern us, as our goal is to view video with the best quality, not to do word processing.

Lastly, you will notice as "Connection" box. From my experience, it's best to manually select VHS (RCA) and S-VHS (S-Video), as the automatic detection may fail with certain TV Chipsets, resulting in a dark image, or possibly a black-and-white image.

At the time this article was written, the latest version of TV Tool is v5.53. You can get TV Tool at it's home page here.