I recently bought an Intel NUC D34010WYK to replace my old Asrock ION Atom 330-HT HTPC. Most of the time i use my HTPC to watch Live and recorded TV through Windows Media Center in Windows 8.1 Pro. I have run Media Center with excellent picture quality for 5 years on my ION based system.
But when I compare the picture quality in Media Center on my new NUC to my old ION based HTPC I see a huge Video quality drop. There is much more noise and pixelation on the nuc. When watching movies with fog and mist you can clearly see more noise on the nuc compared to the Asrock. When I watch SD interlaced channels I can see the interlace stripes on my NUC, but not on my Asrock. Its like deinterlacing is not working as it should.
As you know WMC is built upon Windows Media Foundation, and totally relies on the DXVA2/DXVAHD implementation. So there is no codec tweak I can do. And on my Asrock it's woking Awesome out of the box. The picture is generally more smooth and with less noise on the Asrock compared to the NUC. I guess the quality difference between the 2 hardware setup is due to different implementation of video upscaling method and deinterlace method since all post processing settings on TV and on both HTPCs (Nvidia PureVideo compared to Intel ICV HD) are turned off.
I have tested all Video post processing settings in Intel control panel including noice filters, but it always end up with that the quality looks best with "let program decide"
The video broadcast video standard where i live in Sweden is:
720p50 or 720p25 or 576i50 or 576p25
H.264/AVC/MPEG-4 Part 10 with Variable BitRate (VBR) between 4 and 16 Mbit/s
Both my HTPCs runs on a Clean install of Windows 8.1 Pro x64 With Media Center. When I did the comparsion test i played the same recorded TV file and both system hooked up to the same LG TV running at 1080p@50hz.
My question is:
Does Windows Media Foundation (Used by WMC, WMP, Win8-Apps, Silverlight etc) utilize the best scaling and deinterlacing methods from ICV HD?
If not - How can I configure my NUC to do so!?
At this point I'm really disappointed about the video playback quality...
Here is 2 screen dumps from the same video played in WMP on my both systems. Note the difference of the pxielation on the left mans costume and face especially, much smother on the ION system. I can upload more screen dumps if wanted to do more comparsion. I also attached my NUCS DxDiag
Intel NUC screen dump:
Asrock ION 330-HT screen dump:
DxDiag.zip 13.8 K