THX needs some feedback

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Parker Clack, May 24, 2005.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    While this zoom obviously isn't going to result in the best quality... allowing users to properly format letterboxed content to their similarly shaped panel is, IMHO, a no-brainer. However with more recent displays, it seems to be going the way of the dodo.

    \V
     
  2. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Amen brother Wiggles! I'll be joining you in that fight as well.
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I know I already submitted things earlier in the thread, but let me third:

    Don't use edge enhancement. [​IMG]

    Also, don't use too much filtering or processing on the picture to make it look "sharper" for uncalibrated TVs. One should assume a calibrated set and make the picture look its best on that, and the picture should still look fine "for the masses".
     
  4. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    Chris Wiggles,

    Thank you for so aptly elevating what ought to be common sense and obvious!

    STANDARDS preserve original artistic intent
    STANDARDS promote consistency of quality
    STANDARDS protect against confusion in the marketplace
    STANDARDS simplify understanding for the consumer

    THX takes a lot of heat for insisting on quantified performance criteria, based upon fundamental industry standards. Their methods have not always been perfect but their leadership has had a very positive impact upon motion picture related industries. Here, again, we see they are exercising initiative to improve on current methods. Tell me, what other industry leaders are being this pro-active, and so directly soliciting input from the home theater forum community?

    Best regards and beautiful pictures,
    G. Alan Brown, President
    CinemaQuest, Inc.
    ISF, SMPTE, THX Certified Dealer/Installer

    "Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Absolutely!

    THX's contributions in pushing for focus and adherence to standards and other quality measures is important. Certainly it's also impossible to do fully, but they have added a lot to the understanding and emphasis on all kinds of performance-related measurements and standards etc. But that also doesn't preclude THX, nor anyone else for that matter (for there are a lot of other folks pushing for adherence to standards, and high-quality etc too!) to some helpful critique to improve adherence to these lofty ideals. There are a number of folks and organizations who have contribute worlds and participated constantly with enthusiasts that I also critique heavily for areas that are lacking or imperfect. As is obvious in most of my postings, I can be something of a fundamentalist and can be unrelentingly precise and picky about advanced, seemingly mundane things, but if anything this is evidence of how far we really have come in improving consumer A/V components and also improving the mastering and media-creation etc. We are all on the same side, and excellence in many areas doesn't mean that there aren't weaknesses that can be improved in yet others.
     
  6. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    As the proud owner of a 27" JVC, I would like to add:

    -EDUCATION - there are a lot of people who have a upconverting DVD player, DVI/HDMI cable, and a nice 50, 60" DLP/LCD display. They park it in 'Dynamic' and that is that. People need to understand the need to calibrate (many would, but they simply don't know!!!) If more people understood this, there would be more market ($ale$) for 'better' DVD's.

    -MARKETING - back to the edge enhancement issue and etc., people who park their TV in Dynamic are NOT GOING TO BENEFIT from edge enhancement, where as people on this forum suffer. No need to cater to people who don't know, care, or see the results of this effort!

    -Again, no need to try and cater to the masses. Dynamic mode will give the sharp edges and bleeding reds, just give is the raw, natural, neutral image and we can do with it as we please (watch it like it should be...or torch mode [​IMG] )

    STUPID IDEA: any way to build a firmware monitor calibration system into a THX cert. DVD player? That would be awesome.
     
  7. Roy F

    Roy F Auditioning

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    While not necessarily a widescreen display problem, and ChrisWiggles mentioned this above with respect to players, preserving peak values is important. I seem to be noticing a number of recent DVDs that show a flagrant disregard for headroom (none were THX). These DVDs have values that are clipped just barely into the peak region, resulting in (for example) featureless clouds, blank toasty white shirts, greenish fireballs, and gorgeous aurora borealis-like greenish sunsets. These features destroy any involvement I might have had with the scene. (Again, I do not recall any THX discs having these undesirable characteristics.)

    As a corollary, I'd like to suggest modifying the contrast adjustment pattern of the THX Optimizer so that it includes peak whites. The current consumer-oriented contrast adjustment patterns that I know of are geared for failure on digital displays, because they contain values up to reference white, but not beyond (except one, noted below). The typical procedure is to increase contrast until the brightest two patches merge, then decrease it until they are separate again. Ironically, this procedure virtually guarantees that contrast will be set too high and will clip peak values. So by using a pattern similar to the current Optimizer contrast pattern but containing some additional patches that are based on peak white instead of reference white, contrast can be set to a more appropriate level to pass as complete a range of values as possible. I am making the assumption that the levels in the pattern will all be correct. (The one disc I know of that does contain peak values puts them in patterns are not really ideal for adjusting contrast. They can be somewhat misleading when used for this purpose on displays that have light falloff away from the center.)

    One other item that is a bit distracting to me, which I have seen on one or two THX discs, occurs in a few rare scenes where the color level appears to have been cooked to emphasize the color in someone's face during closeups. It's a pretty coarse look, just like someone cranked up the color knob, instead of looking like a finessed special effect on the film.

    I'd also like to echo the sentiments about sticking to the standards, preserving as much real picture detail as possible, and encoding the soundtrack so that it retains a high degree of speech intelligibility.
     
  8. ClaytonMG

    ClaytonMG Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd like to suggest an easier Gamma test tone than what's on the new Advanced Optimizers. Maybe smaller Boxes and Ramps?

    Clayton
     
  9. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

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    ABSOLUTELY NO EDGE-ENHANCEMENT! - I can't stress enough, how important this really is!

    Less Filtering would also be nice. Allow some of the natural grain to come through.

    Higher Bitrates.
     
  10. ClaytonMG

    ClaytonMG Stunt Coordinator

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    Higher bit rates would be nice. But I have Dante's Peak (the DTS version) and the bit rate is constantly above 9 and you can still see major compression artifacts and things like that. Maybe it's just because it's an old DVD.
     
  11. Aaron Garman

    Aaron Garman Second Unit

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    Thanks for taking an active interest in our opinions THX. I'd definitely agree with more education on proper calibration. People spend thousands on great sets and they end up looking horrible because they think that is all it can do. Many folks, including manufacturers, need to step up and address this issue. Everything from proper color to geometry from inproper use of zoom modes would be extremely helpful for the average consumer.

    As far as standards for THX DVDs, I'd like to see a few things:

    -NO EDGE ENHANCEMENT
    -Little to no filtering: I want to see a film not video.
    -The soundmix should represent the original track as intended. No juicing it up, but also no trimming it down for people with $5 speakers.
    -Less compression artifacts: any way possible.
    -Subtitled films should have burned in titles like they do on actual film, except in situations like The Passion.
    -16x9 on ALL widescreen films...no questions.
    -Extras all on other discs, except for possible commentary.

    Now a possible radical idea: when the disc is inserted, the film begins. No commercials, no menus: the movie. Menus should be available, but the disc shouldn't boot right to it.

    Thanks.

    AJG

    EDIT: Mods, is there a way to link this in the Software forum? It may get more attention there.
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    No, it's nice to be able to adjust the subtitle position, etc.
     
  13. Rex.G

    Rex.G Stunt Coordinator

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    Every dvd regardless of OAR should be anamorphic. If a person has a 4x3 display this makes no difference. However if one has a WS display they are left with the short end of the stick.


    PG
     
  14. Rex.G

    Rex.G Stunt Coordinator

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    This is the best idea I have ever heard!!!!!!!!!!

    EDIT:
    I am probably in the minority on this one, But I HATE animated menus. I miss that simple static menus dvd's had in the late 90's.

    Since I have already seen the movie on the dvd about to be watched (99% of the time), I find, with animated menues, the music and images tend to trigger a response I had when the movie was previously viewed. This always makes me feel like I am expericing something in the movie far to prematurely! Besides I have little patients for the animations. I think they are a waste of time, effort and money.
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Absurd! Making a 4:3 AR film anamorphic is a horrible idea. You need to format the disc either 4:3 or anamorphic based on which will utilize the most image area. All widescreen films should be anamorphic of course, 4:3 material should not be done anamorphically. There is probably a theoretical AR in between somewhere where it crosses and doesn't matter which you choose to write the disc, but I don't know what it is or if it's ever used.
     
  16. ClaytonMG

    ClaytonMG Stunt Coordinator

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    But, if a 4:3 image was anamorphic, people using 1080i or 720p upgrading players, wouldn't have to get up and change the settings on their players... However I don't know how'd you be able to make a 4:3 image anamorphic.

    Clayton
     
  17. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    That's what remote controls are for [​IMG]
     
  18. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    Genius!
    ************************************************** *
    -NO EDGE ENHANCEMENT
    -Little to no filtering: I want to see a film not video.
    -The soundmix should represent the original track as intended. No juicing it up, but also no trimming it down for people with $5 speakers.
    -Less compression artifacts: any way possible.
    -Subtitled films should have burned in titles like they do on actual film, except in situations like The Passion.
    -16x9 on ALL widescreen films...no questions.
    -Extras all on other discs, except for possible commentary.

    Now a possible radical idea: when the disc is inserted, the film begins. No commercials, no menus: the movie. Menus should be available, but the disc shouldn't boot right to it.
    ************************************************** **

    THX is supposed to set the standard for quality A/V. When I see nasties on these dvds, I die a little inside.
     
  19. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    There are several excellent recommendations, but the issue which concerns me the most during everyday use is minimising poor quality and degradation during conversions of resolutions scaled up/down to the native of the display by the display or sources, and to a great degree the problem documented in Vince Maskeeper’s Post 21.

    Since I am stuck for the foreseeable future with a display that locks into full when it receives any signal above 480p. I have no interest in upscaling players unless they can address this issue, with multiple choice workarounds. (when using my displays or seeing other displays zoom/crop functions there is a wide variance in quality and final result depending upon the source OAR, these ‘fixes’ and workarounds are applied to).

    Regardless of my desire for higher resolution, the film or broadcast is rendered un-watchable to me, if the ratio ends up stretched in any manner as displayed on my 16:9 screen. I’d always rather lose the tops of heads and drop resolution, than to see oddly transformed body shapes (fat or thin). Any player which either upscales or in future is capable of playing HD discs with 720p/1080i and someday a (true 1080p) resolution, -really have to be able to address this issue. Dealing ably with the range of conversions which will go on as players feed to various display ‘native’ resolutions and with all the conversions currently going on in home displays.

    More zooms/pillars, scaling options are needed to override and address current HD displays failings in their handling of native and nonn. resolutions.

    “Lock in full” is a horrific ruination of media for me, I don’t understand why displays are still being designed and produced without addressing these issues.
    The STB's, smart cards, players and products, which can best allievate these inherent weakness's in current displays playing varying aspect ratios, get my money.
     
  20. Mike JM

    Mike JM Stunt Coordinator

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    Put the subtitles on the top portion of the bottom black bar!!! ...for 2.35:1 movies of course.

    do it.
     

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