The way DVDs look on HDTVs!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mitch Stevens, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

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    You know, I had never in my entire life watched an HDTV display a DVD. That is, until about a week ago, when my mom's best friend (from work) bought a Sony 48" Widescreen HDTV. She had it ISF calibrated and invited me over to watch DVDs with her. I took some of my favourite DVDs that I have read here on the forum, that have reference video.

    I popped in the discs that I took, and boy was I surprised. None of the discs looked nearly as good as I had imagined they would! In fact, I was quite disappointed in every one of them!

    These are the discs I took:

    FIGHT CLUB: I took this to test the black levels. Sure, it was black enough, but besides proper black levels, that was about it.

    SLEEPY HOLLOW: This looks marvelous on my Sony 27" Wega with Anamorphic squeeze, but on this TV, I was VERY disappointed in the transfer! VERY un-film like!

    HALLOWEEN: The (Restored) version. Very VERY disappointing. Noticed things that I had never noticed on my tiny TV. It was a mess!

    MOULIN ROUGE!: WOW! This was the most disappointing of all! After so much hype about how amazing it looked, I almost cried when I saw how awful it looked! No way in my mind, could I have imagined that DVDs could look this bad. Note: On my Sony Wega, during the medley on the elephant, the background on my TV could be described as a "blue mess" with video noise EVERYWHERE! On the HDTV, this noise was no longer present, so I assume that it's just my TV that has poor quality. On the HDTV, there was no noise that I could easily see, but the way that it "looked"....It just looked very weird.

    After hearing all this talk about "FILM-LIKE" transfers, I thought it would look as if you were inside a well calibrated THX certified theater, but it was FAR from that! No way in hell, does DVD ever compare to theater-like quality!

    Having said all that, those were the only 4 DVDs that I had the displeasure of watching on the TV. I didn't take any of my other ones. Maybe I should have tried discs like:

    Toy Story 2
    Blade 2
    Jason X
    Starship Troopers

    Next time I go over there, I'll take the ones mentioned above to test. The complain I have, is that DVDs have a very FAKE look to them. I never noticed this on my Wega, they look razor sharp/EXTREMELY clear but not on an HDTV.

    Like I said, I had never seen the way a DVD looked on an HDTV, and this was my very first time. Maybe it's just a look that you have to learn to adjust to.

    Can I hear anyone else's FIRST reactions to watching DVDs on an HDTV?
     
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    My first reaction to DVD on a digital 16x9? "This looks awful! I can't believe this is what I was waiting for!" Then, I realized I was a dumbass and changed the DVD player's menu setting over to progressive scan. Then, I was floored by the quality.
     
  3. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

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    I can assure you, that this wasn't the case. The DVD player was set to output progressive scan, as well as 16X9 Widescreen (as opposed to 4:3 letterbox). The TV itself was also in the correct full mode, where anamorphic DVDs automatically would stretch themselves out, and fill the screen (although, there were still black bars, on top and bottom, because we were watching 2.35:1 movies) {Except for Sleepy Hollow}.
     
  4. Leif Wall

    Leif Wall Second Unit

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    When I first got my 53" Panasonic, I wasn't all that happy. At the time I had to use the free Apex player though. (worst player I've ever had to use) After tweaking the tv myself and snatching up a Panasonic rp82, I'm pretty damn happy.

    Just about all dvds look good to me on it. Even the ones that get crappy reviews for their video quality. I could never go back to a small direct-view tv.
     
  5. Glenn_Jn

    Glenn_Jn Stunt Coordinator

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  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    glenn thats so wrong for you to say that.

    a dvd and hdtv on a well calibrated rptv looks beautiful.
    if that was a joke, remember that it's hard to "read" sarcasm.
     
  7. Richard Gilmore

    Richard Gilmore Stunt Coordinator

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    The difference between a 48" RPTV and a 27" TV is huge. The larger image will magnify any flaws in the source - many not visible at the smaller size. For instance on my 27" VVega I have a Fleetwood Mac concert DVD that looks fantastic. If I watch that same DVD projected on my 100" screen, it looks like crap. I don't have the particular DVD's that are cited, but I suspect they are not the best sources and the larger image is revealing their flaws. Yes DVD's can look great on a big screen, but no not all of them.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  9. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I maybe be wrong but it appears Mitch is assuming a HDTV will reproduce HD regardless of the source. It doesn't work that way. However, there will be a difference in the video reproduction if a progressive scan DVD player is used.

    Having said that, I have yet to see a DVDs look better than they look on my Sony 36XBR400.
     
  10. Matt Odegard

    Matt Odegard Stunt Coordinator

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    Another thing to consider is I think he is used to the sharpness of his Wega with the S-vid input. Going from that to a Component Pro-Scan on HD does soften the picture a tad. But I still think DVD's on a HD are far superior to that of a Diect View with S-vid.

    I dunno, I could never tell before, but now I can totally tell if a movie has 3:2 conversion, compared to if I watch a DVD or VHS on a direct view tv or if I watch it on HD. I totally see a film like picture.

    IMO
     
  11. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

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    I could NEVER go back to a smaller direct view tv. I've owned a 35" direct view, a 50" RPTV and now I own a 56" HD RPTV 16:9.

    With progressive scan, quality cables and a good calibration DVD's now look FAR more filmlike on my 16:9 HD set than on anything I've owned before.

    I don't even have any HD programming right now but the way dvd's look on a HD set was worth the pricetag IMHO.

    BTW, I LOVE the way SLEEPY HOLLOW looks on my HDTV. Very much how I remember seeing it at the theater.

    You have to remember that of course any image will appear "razor sharp" on a smaller display, but to me that makes it appear

    less filmlike. When I go to the movies and watch actual film, this is not how I see it. Sure, it may be a pretty picture on a smaller display but that doesn't neccesarily mean 'filmlike'.

    To each his/her own, I suppose[​IMG]
     
  12. John Macri

    John Macri Stunt Coordinator

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    As mentioned by others, simply going from 27" to 48" on the same TV type will show big differences. Add in tube to RPTV, 4:3 (even stretched) to 16x9, s-video to progressive component, DVD player chipset, and the burn-in of a new RPTV, and you're really confounding what's affecting what.

    It took about 3-weeks for my 50H82 to burn-in and after 52-point calibration DVDs (even non-anamorphic) look phenomenal. Switching from a Sony DVD player to a Panasonic also made big improvement in viewing quality.
     
  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    So this tv is new and it's been ISF calibrated already? Isn't this a bit too early? I was under the impression that you should wait a while for the monitor to break-in before doing this?

    Mitch,

    I think you've jumped the gun here. When I first got my JVC 48" 16X9 HD I wasn't initially impressed by the image quality either...until the set broke in and it was properly calibrated, now DVD's look beautiful. I too had a 27" VVEGA before this tv and I would NEVER go back. [​IMG]

    Glenn,

    your observation about RPTV's are just too ridiculous to concieve.

    Dan,

    you nailed it! I really don't care for the way DVD's look on smaller direct views either, they look very good, but not really "film-like" which is what I was after when I got this set...and I now have it. Watching 'SW EP II' on my VVEGA and again on my 48" are two completly different animals, two different experiences that really brought out the flaws in my VVEGA. In fact, it was this very thing that made me snap and finally go for a better display!
     
  14. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    It's funny, DVDs look pretty good on my HDTV monitor (Hitachi Ultravision) but I don't really see much of a difference between using Progressive Scan and not. Maybe it's because when you toggle between the 2 modes, there is a couple of seconds of blackness, so I can't see the change right before my eyes
     
  15. Glenn_Jn

    Glenn_Jn Stunt Coordinator

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    Well maybe "sh*t" is too strong a word. Hey each to their own if your happy with your RPTV good for you. I would never buy one for two reasons. One I don't need anything that big and two I'm not looking for a "film-like" picture, whatever that means. I just want a nice sharp colorful picture with nice contrast and my Sony HDTV gives me that on DVD and even better on pure HD signals (and that's without any kind of calibration or burn-in)
     
  16. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

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  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    You might like to check out some other RPTVs before coming to a conclusion. Nothing at all against Sony (I have one of their CRT HDTVs), but check out the top end Toshiba and Mitsubishi models before you decide that this is not for you.
     
  18. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    If you guys owned front projection systems, you wouldn't think that sh*t was too strong a word for a RPTV[​IMG]

    (just a little joke, I am sure that you all have wonderful displays and are as happy as pigs in sh*t)
     
  19. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Just because something is better doesn't mean that the lesser is Sh*t.

    Pretension is not very flattering either.
     
  20. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Glenn,

    to answer your question about what constitutes a "film-like" image, in my eyes it is a soft, clean image with the characteristics of projected light, like in a theater. As I said, when I did that comparison with SW EPII there was no doubt in my mind that a direct view, no matter how good, can't give you that, it can't mimic a projected image.

    Mark,

    I know you said you were joking about FP, but i'm still curious, what's the difference between a high end FP and a high end RP other than image size capability? None as far as I can see.
     

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