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Discussion Starter #1
I have my HDTV calibrated through the stand-alone DVD player. Picture quality from the STB and DVD player are excellent. The image quality from the HTPC... no so good. The image is grainy, with shadows around people on the TV.

My question: Should I be adjusting the brightness, contrast, and sharpness of the HTPC by changing the video card options (Nvidia 8200 on board) - rather than the display settings of the television? Seem logical, as I don't want to screw up the settings already calculated for the STB and DVD player.
 

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That would depend on the TV and how you're connected. Most TVs will store a "custom" (or similar) mode for each input, so if your computer is connected to another input, you could custom calibrate that input. If that's not how you're connected, or for some reason the TV does "global" calibration only, then obviously adjust the HTPC.

How is the PC connected to the TV? Do you see these artifacts on the PC screen?
 

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Long shot but... whent he HTPC is displaying to the TV, is the whole screen filled? If not, the computer is underscanning for legacy displays and underscanning results in a poor display. I know ATI cards will do this by default and am not sure what nVidia does. Might want to try this simple approach first. I get excellent results from an ATI 4570 fanless card.
 

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Looking at other Nvidia 8200 IGP motherboards, I'm guessing you should have an HDMI output? You should use this rather than the VGA adapter. Some TVs treat their Computer/VGA input as a low resolution 1024x768 computer monitors. The HDMI will configure itself to the native resolution of the TV, 1080 or 720.

Next, open the Nvidia PureVideo application. I believe that offers complete control over the video card. (I use ATI cards with their Catalyst Control Panel). I once found that my video card by default was using excessive amounts of sharpening and anti-aliasing to "improve" the picture. Once I scaled that back, the halos around objects and the wierdly pasty skin tones disappeared. You can set colour, tint, contrast, gamma, etc. In my experience, the video card is usually just about right for those settings.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback. My motherboard (Asus M3N78-VM) has a HDMI connection - for which is connected directly to the TV (Samsung HP-S4233 plasma). Settings on the TV are not unique to each input option selected - therefore settings are the same for all inputs.

I will try to scale back the video options on the nVidia control panel. Pretty complicated, but I will give it a go.
 
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