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Windows 7: Can I increase WMC recording quality up from 720x576?

31 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Can I increase WMC recording quality up from 720x576?

Hi everyone,

I am looking for a little expert help, and my many hours of experimenting and googling have bourne no fruit so far.

I use my Dell desktop/Win7 Professional 64 Bit/Media Centre/Hauppauge HVR-1000 combination to record over the air TV (DVB-T Freeview in the UK).

Using MediaInfo, I can see that all recordings are 720x576 (16:9) at 25,000fps, MPEG Video (PAL) (Version 2).

When I play these recordings on my HD TV, through my Sony PS3, the picture is tiny - approximately a third of the available screen estate. Zooming into full screen makes the quality very poor as you can imagine.

I would like to increase the Media Centre recording quality, ideally from 720x576 up to 1920x1080 to match my TV's capability. Anyone know how to do this? I have no Best/Better/Good/etc quality dropdown in Media Centre, so perhaps the Hauppage HVR-1000 is the limiting factor?

Thanks for any advice or help,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 sp1

According to the microsoft website.

To set the recording quality

  1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click TV, click Recorder, and then click Recorder Storage.
  2. Under Recording quality, click the - or + button to change the default quality setting at which all future recordings will record. The quality setting affects the total recording time available on the selected disk drive. For example, if you select Best quality on a disk drive that has a maximum TV limit of 60 gigabytes (GB), you can record about 22 hours of TV, whereas Good quality allows you to record about 42 hours of TV.
Don't know if it makes any difference.

Happy New Year.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2011   #3
3D Jed

Windows 7 pro x64 SP1

In the UK the 4 main channels are also broadcast on Freeview in HD h264. I use a Blackgold dual SD/HD pci-e card, which I believe is the only UK spec HD card on sale at the moment. Around 105 GBP from Amazon etc

BGT3620 - BlackGold

and I can see the HD/SD difference on my 27" 1920*1080 monitor.

The HD h264 is not 1920p but anamorph 1440p (that is stretched to 1920p by TV etc) and most content is copy protected, so removing adverts is out. There may be a HD satellite pci-e card solution, but that's not my field.

Quite a lot of UK HD is just upscaled SD (exception being new BBC content) - also might be a good idea to check your local transmitter does HD before splashing the cash.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Thanks for the replies.

Regarding your suggestion rustberger, unfortunately that piece of functionality is not available on my particular instance of WMC. A bit of googling suggests it may have been removed going from Vista to Win7, but I cannot find any conslusive info.

Thanks 3D Jed for the link to the HD card, looks good. Part of me is worried that maybe my graphics card (1024Mb NVIDIA GForce 220) is not up to the job though, and hence I may be wasting my money - I am puzzled by the fact that there is a *huge* difference in quality between live broadcast, and recorded/streamed over PS3 versions of the same program. Makes me wonder if my TV Tuner card (Hauppauge HVR-1000) or Graphics card is letting the side down.

Thanks for all the help, and happy new year.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

I just wanted to post back here as a very kind person has pointed me towards the solution on this.

It transpires that 720x576 is the native resolution of the broadcast, and there is no way I could expect better. This should be perfectly good quality.

It turns out that the PS3 software is the root cause, and the way that media playing part of the software works was causing my lack of quality issue.

I installed an alternative PS3 media player called TVersity, and played the exact same recorded file through it. Absolutely night and day improvement in picture quality.

Just posting back in case it helps someone else in future.

Thanks for everyone's assistance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I increase WMC recording quality up from 720x576?

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