Progressive scanning and PAL

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Chris Valder, May 28, 2002.

  1. Chris Valder

    Chris Valder Auditioning

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    I am new to this game, but want to buy a DVD player for my projector in the UK. Progressive scanning DVD players seem to offer the best picture. At present is this technology applicable only to NTSC or do PAL videos offer the same facility?
    Cheers Chris[​IMG]
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Progressive scan technology (and all of the problems in de-interlacing) apply equally to PAL as to NTSC. I am told, unfortunately, that the selection of PAL equipment is much more limited at this time.
    The iScan Pro de-interlaces both PAL (to 576p) and NTSC (to 480p).
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/viddoubl.htm
     
  3. Jonathan Kaye

    Jonathan Kaye Second Unit

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    For a start, you need to check if your projector is capable of accepting a progressively scanned picture in both PAL & NTSC, otherwise you can forget it.

    PAL Progressive Scan output is yet to be ratified due to copy protection issues, and won't be for the time being. There are several Progressive Scan players that can have their PAL progressive scan 'turned on' (such as recent players from Denon & Arcam) in much the same way as multi-region handset hacks.

    The best solution I've come across is TAG McLaren's DVD32R player, which has a Progressive Scan upgrade that can quite legally do PAL as well (as it is a seperate video processor, albeit within the DVD player's casing). It's based on an updated version of the processor in the iScan Pro, and has the added benefit of being to progressively scan video signals in (ie from satellite, VCR, etc). The downside is that the player & upgrade costs about GBP5400 in total!
     
  4. Chris Valder

    Chris Valder Auditioning

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    Thanks good people.
    I have a Sony VPL VW10HT projector which I believe is Ok for these signals.
    I have read good reports of the Denon 2800. I believe it is multiregion and will do progressive scanning on both NTSC and PAL.
    What do you think? Also what other competition is there at about £750?
    Cheers Chris (Bishops Stortford, Herts)
     
  5. Ian Montgomerie

    Ian Montgomerie Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, PAL progressive is harder than NTSC progressive for most chips. Sage's motion-adaptive chips have no problem. However, other chips are mostly based on "cadence detection" to differentiate film vs. video. This is looking for the 3/2 cadence found in 24fps film converted to 60fps NTSC. PAL however has a 2/2 cadence, so PAL progressive is inherently annoying for many chipsets to support. At least, without having a manual video/film switch for the user.
     
  6. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have a Sony VW10HT, and I wouldn't recommend the Denon 2800, as it has a pretty visible chroma bug. Since the 10HT can natively handle NTSC and PAL with no problem, you just need a player than can output PAL as PAL and NTSC as NTSC; you don't need transcoding. Given that, your options are considerable. If you can get your hands on a Skyworth or Nintaus player, they are region-free and have good PAL and NTSC progressive output. They are chinese and quirky. There's a thread on them here: nintaus/skyworth thread
    You may be able to find a hacked Panasonic RP-56 (or whatever the British equivalent is), which would also be a good choice.
    My understanding is that the Philips Q50 (US) can be easily hacked to produce PAL-progressive output, and that's a very nice player.
    What I'm running right now is a hacked player that was originally a Panasonic A110 with a progressive board added to it, and it works like a champ for both PAL and NTSC. Sadly, that's hardly an "off the shelf" solution.
    You may just want to check with the usual multi-region folks in the UK and tell them that you want a progressive player that can output PAL as PAL and NTSC as NTSC. That's generally an easier bill to fill than one that transcodes. Also, if you do get one that transcodes, make sure that it also will output PAL and NTSC unchanged, as it will look better if it's never transcoded and the projector gets the original format.
    Hope this helps,
    Don
     
  7. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's another thread, about how to enable PAL progressive on the NTSC Philips Q50:
    Philips Q50 PAL hack
    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    The new Philips 962SA will also output PAL progressive. There's a pretty extensive thread over on AVS Forum where it's covered. Make sure you read up on the hacks because turning PAL on in these Philips players can undo other hacks or seriously mess up the players permanently. It's a long thread, but definitely worth the read if you're in Europe and want PAL progressive output.
     
  9. Chris Valder

    Chris Valder Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the help. Together with more reading there seems to be 2 ways to link to the Sony 10HT assuming a spend of about £1000.
    First option. An expensive DVD player that outputs PAL as PAL and NTSC as NTSC both with progressive scanning (good chips)
    Second option. Spend about £700 on an Iscan Pro line-doubler and use the residual £300 to buy a non progressive DVD player. This will allow line doubling on other sources such as VCR and satellite TV.
    Which option would people go with.
    If the second one what cheap (£300) DVD player would fit the bill. Toshiba have good reviews.
    Thanks again Chris
     
  10. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, I'd recommend a Panasonic. They have the best MPEG decoder for interlaced output right now, largely because they don't have the chroma bug. The RP-91 in the US is excellent, but I don't know what the equivalent is in the UK. The RV-32 is a fine unit, not quite as good as the RP-91, but there's nothing wrong with it. They seem to have that in the UK, as I see that MailUK.com has one region free for £189. (Not that I recommend MailUK; I don't know anything about them. I was just looking to see what region-free players were available in the UK.)

    Don
     
  11. Chris Valder

    Chris Valder Auditioning

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    Before others reply to my question, what exactly is the chroma bug and how does it manifest itself.
    Also by recommending a cheap player do you go along with the notion of using an external line doubler like the iscan.
    Cheers Chris
     
  12. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    The chroma bug is an error in the way progressive-flagged material has its chroma channel upsampled in the MPEG decoder.
    Here's an article about it (written by me) that covers it in some detail:
    Chroma bug article
    As to your question, I have an iScan pro, and it's a good solution, and allows you to choose from a wider variety of DVD players. There is some signal degradation going through the iScan, but it's not huge. On test patterns, you can see the loss, but it's very very subtle on real movie material.
    Really, the best solution is an iScan Pro *and* a good progressive DVD player, which is what I'm using. But the iScan will get you most of the goodness of a progressive player, and deinterlace your other sources as well.
    Another option with the 10HT is nothing at all. The deinterlacer in the 10HT does not have a film mode, but is otherwise very good. A good deinterlacer with a film mode is a nice improvement, but don't expect huge changes. The improvements are good, but not overwhelming. Largely you'll see more detail on moving diagonal edges and moving high-detail areas like patterned wallpaper and faliage. The "nothing at all" approach will not get you the optimal video image, but does have the virtue of being very cheap. [​IMG]
    Don
     
  13. RobD

    RobD Second Unit

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    I too am considering PAL progressive but have the little brother of the VW10HT, the VPLHS1. Does anyone know if this projector supports Pal progressive?

    Out of interest can it handle the HD signal from MUSE laserdisks too?
     

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