Question on video upconversion for LaserDisc...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Vader, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    There was an X0 that sold on ebay a couple of weeks ago. Went for a buy it now price around $2500 I think. I would like to see one, but the single side play only ruins it for me.
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Greg, single-side play sure doesn't bother me. I quess, I "grew up" with it back in the 80's. I can handle it.[​IMG] If I had 50 or so Muse discs, I'd proably want an X0 but for 14 discs...proably not, unless I win Powerball.

    Another great use for an X0 or an LD-S2 would be for use with a stereo for music LD's, IMO. [​IMG]
     
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Here's an old thread that relates to something I'm trying to resolve:


    Laserdisc player is a Pioneer DVL-90, receiver is a Pioneer VSX-21TXH, screen is a Panasonic 50VT25. I'm running the LD into the receiver via composite video and analog audio, and a Lexicon LDD-1 handles the digital stereo, DTS and AC-3. They all work fine, the audio is great, no problems at all.


    The problem is the video: (1) The LD picture is automatically expanded to 16:9 for no reason I can determine, and the Panny's pillarboxed 4:3 display is a truncated version of its "full" display -- selecting 4:3 simply cuts off the sides, go back to "full" and the sides are filled in. (2) The picture is stretched. Cycling through the "format" selector on the Panasonic remote yields a stretched LD picture on every setting. (The only ones I'd actually use, of course, would be 4:3 and Zoom.)


    After agonizing over this for a while, I ran a separate composite video line directly to the screen, and... Voila!, problem fixed! Well, up to a point. 4:3 and Zoom both display the picture complete and undistorted, exactly as expected. But the receiver purports to upscale from all sources, and even through that hideous stretched picture, I'm seeing a tighter, more focused display -- but with color seeping into b&w material and an overall muddier appearance.


    So, what to do? I'm happy to have found a workaround via direct connection to the screen. But my receiver is the hub of the system, I love everything else about it, and I want to benefit from whatever upscaling benefits it provides. And it seems that the receiver is where this is getting screwed up.


    If any of this description isn't clear, I'll be happy to rework it in the cold light of day. And thanks in advance -- any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
     
  4. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    The bleeding colour results from two things: (1) the NTSC video system (there's a reason why it's nicknamed Never Twice Same Colour) and (2) the composite video source. Online reviews indicate this has both S-Video and component outs, which would reduce the colour bleed, but not completely eliminate it. See here: http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/dvl-70.html. Unfortunately, with some upscalers built into receivers/amplifiers, they automatically assume all inputs are 16:9, so the output gets stretched. Unless there is a workaround built into the playback device (which is the case with most BD players), you're stuck with the stretch.
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Thanks, Stephen.


    I never got bleeding color on b&w material in my many years of using this or any other player connected directly to my old CRT TV. Not even a hint of it. I'll try the S-video connection. The reason I hadn't yet is that in other threads here people have been describing LD S-video outs as more a marketing gimmick than an actual useful improvement. As for component outs, Pioneer did add them to the model following this one, but I'm under the impression that that was only for the DVD section of the combo player. (I sure wouldn't mind being proven wrong on that!)


    As for the receiver, Pioneer very clearly states "upconverting from all SD analog sources", so they certainly shouldn't be assuming them to be 16:9, and it's hard to imagine why they would think that automatically stretching the picture is something that should be done. But I'm paraphrasing from memory. I'll check that out thoroughly later, and will call them if necessary.
     
  6. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    The reason you never got bleeding colour on a CRT from B & W sources is that CRTs are much more "forgiving" of artifacts than Plasma, DLP, SXRD, LCoS or LCD. That was the first thing I noticed when I went HD. I popped my Tombstone Vista Series DVD in my HD-A30 when I first got my 32" LCD, and it was a painful viewing experience compared to when I watched it on a CRT. Exaggerated grain, edge haloes, you name it, it was on this disc. Newer displays magnify every little thing that is wrong with source material, including stuff that would have been covered up by a CRT, and artifacts introduced by a composite signal. let me know how it goes with the S-Video connector.
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Success!!!


    Obviously I have but scratched the surface in learning the fine points of this receiver. There's an aspect ratio adjustment, among other things, under Video Parameters. For some reason they default that to THROUGH, which apparently means run it the hell out to 16x9. Changed that to NORMAL and instantly got my LD collection back. Also changed resolution from AUTO to 1080p. I'll explore the other tweaks later.


    I know what you mean by HDTVs showing up faults, but the couple of LDs I checked out last night were wonderful. And forget the other stuff I reported. There's no problem with B&W, and I'll describe later what gave me the impression there was. Contrast, etc., all fine. This is still using the composite connection. I'll try the S-Video later to see if I can detect a difference. For now, I couldn't be happier. It's time to bring out the Dancing Banana.
     
  8. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Supporting Actor

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    Congratulations, Chas!!! I, too, just picked up a new HT receiver last month. And I am running my laserdisc player through the receiver itself via composite video in to HDMI upconversion to my television.

    It does, indeed, work like a charm when set from through to 1080p (i for me--my HDTV is a little older.
     
  9. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Glad to hear it's working now. If you don't want to waste the space here, PM me about what you were seeing as colour bleed on the previous settings.
     
  10. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Sorry for the delay in getting back to this! I love this stuff, so by all means, let's waste some space.


    The player-generated displays (Chapter, Audio, Play, Pause, etc.) had been quite tinged with color. In my haste that first evening, while totally distracted by the distorted picture, I didn't study it critically enough to realize that's where most of the "color" was. But also, there's a trick you can do with your eyes -- this may not work for everyone, but I and a few other people have noticed it: With a b&w picture on your screen, move your eyeballs rapidly from side to side or up and down, and you'll "create" fringes of color in the display. I get a flash of yellow and maybe some blue or green. I'm sure I was looking here and there that night, catching those quick flashes of "color", and not even thinking, I took it as part of the problem.


    So then I discovered how to change the receiver setup, and reported no problem with b&w. Had I been looking more carefully at that point, I would have seen the color fringing still there on those player-generated displays. But the next thing to do was try the S-Video connection, and the first thing that jumped out at me was that it displayed those items perfectly, bold and clear, no color fringing at all. That in itself was enough for me to decide to stick with the S-Video, figuring that if it's making that obvious an improvement in those silly things, the rest is probably benefiting as well.


    Now, having tried (and greatly enjoyed) several LDs, I can see that there is indeed an occasional bit of color creeping into a b&w picture. And this is on Criterion and other quality discs. In fact, a freeze frame always includes speckles of color, and I have no idea whether that was evident on the old TV. And it doesn't matter. It probably was, and it really amounts to nothing at all beyond making this observation. You said the issue is inherent in NTSC, so that has to be accepted. It's no more a problem than it ever was.


    To be continued...
     
  11. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    This weekend I recorded TCM's airing of The Uninvited (1944) on a Verbatim DVD+R DL at highest speed for best quality. I'd forgotten I had the film on laser disc (it's in the "Encore" series), but having recorded it, I thought a comparison would be interesting. I synced them up, and to my eyes, they were surprisingly close in quality. I got more image on all sides from the LD (my screen isn't yet calibrated, in case that will make a difference later on), and the DVD had a slight edge with deeper blacks -- but after a few seconds of watching the LD again, it was fine. Of course different players would yield different results, and this was hardly a tightly controlled experiment. But bottom line, what pleased me was how the upscaled LD compared with the upscaled home-recorded DVD. And at a comfortable "normal" viewing distance, both are watchable and enjoyable. This upscaling technology is a godsend.
     
  12. MMORPGBOB

    MMORPGBOB Auditioning

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  13. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Have you ever seen a DLP display with a colour wheel? The colour fringing you get out of one of those by doing the same thing is unreal.
     
  14. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    A couple of observations. The speckles in the picture you are seeing are probably caused by a kind of shot noise, due to submicroscopic imperfections in the disc. A half-cycle of FM carrier is lost, & the resultant disturbance in the demodulator circuitry can have components which fall in the chroma passband. The severity of this phenomenon depends on things such as the exact mastering & duplication techniques used, as well as the drop-out compensation & other details of the player electronics. The so-called laser rot is a similar effect, but one which steadily grows worse over time.


    Because the on-screen display "punches into" the playback video with 100% white (typically), cutting off the chroma subcarrier, a similar disturbance occurs at the edges of the display characters. This effect largely disappears with S-Video, because the Y & C signals are transmitted separately. On the other hand, for playback video, since the disc stores a composite signal, your S-Video connexion is artificially generated by circuitry in the player. Whether this separator circuit is better than the one in your receiver is the apposite question, & it can only be tested on actual playback video. I suspect you will find the receiver circuitry superior.

    Some discs contain test patterns suitable for making this comparison -- A Video Standard & Video Essentials are well-known ones, but many others exist. The basic test is to look for colour fringes around fine black-&-white lines, especially diagonals & in moving scenes. Some discs, alas, have this cross-colour mastered in.
     
  15. Garfed

    Garfed Auditioning

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  16. bridesmaid

    bridesmaid Auditioning

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  17. nasubzna

    nasubzna Auditioning

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