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Mixed Opinion of VE Settings

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kerry Hackney, Aug 14, 2001.

  1. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Well-Known Member

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    I recently got the Video Essentials disc. Over the weekend I spent a couple of hours making the adjustments. Overall the main changes were to lower the brightness and contrast levels. I already had the sharpness off and the color was pretty close as well. Now, on DVD I am getting used to the new settings, I don't think the changes are mind blowing but for the 15 bucks I spent I am not complaining. When I adjusted the contrast on my set I could not get the pattern to "bloom" even at the max adjustment. At least it would not bloom the way the example on the disk depicted it. I did notice the needle pulse bend however "very slightly". (I have a 36" Toshiba by the way.)
    I adjusted the contrast down until the pluge setting didn't change between the high and low average patterns. I am assuming this is correct because the brightness and contrast usually have to be adjusted together and affect each other. As it is adjusted now when I view a tape or the cable TV feed, the picture seems way too dark. No detail is evident in any shadows. As I said the DVD picture is good and I am willing to evaluate it for a couple of weeks. I am wondering if any of the rest of you experience major changes between sources? Or, did I miss the setup?
     
  2. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Well-Known Member

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    The VE settings are great for DVD, but for broadcast TV, they tend to make the picture too dark, it also varies from station to station.
    If your TV can record multiple picture settings, keep the VE settings for DVD, and make another setting for TV viewing (you should still keep contrast down, as it shortens the life of your TV.).
     
  3. ThomasL

    ThomasL Well-Known Member

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    I have a Toshiba 27A40 and I've also found some cable channels to be too dark after calibrating with Avia. I've grown accustomed to it since other channels look great. In many ways, it is simply the wide variations in the cable signals that is causing the problem.
    Do you have a 36Axx series Toshiba?
    I would also guess that it doesn't hold black level well if it behaves like other A series models (e.g. 27A40). I have never used VE so I am not sure what it's black level patterns have on them, etc. What usually happens is that the black level will be set correctly for darker images (Avia has 3 patterns- full black with moving bars, half black/half grey with moving bars pattern, and half black/half white with moving bars) but on scenes with bright objects and dark shadowy areas, the latter will appear too dark and lack detail. On my 27A40, I have black level set using the half grey pattern which strikes a balance between both extremes. It means that night scenes and darker scenes look a little washed while dark areas/objects within bright scenes look a little too dark.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  4. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Well-Known Member

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    I will look to see exactly which model my TV is. I will say that I have just read this morning that the needle pulse test for setting contrast is not reliable with modern monitors due to improved voltage regulation. I have reset the color preference to "cool" on my set which I discovered was set as medium. Also, I reset the contrast using the pluge test pattern with the four gray boxes on the right side. I dialed up the contrast until the top box started to look harsh. (46 of 100) on my set... and then backed it off a couple of steps. I readjusted the black level using the high average brightness pattern and the colorbar pattern test. On low average brightness test the blacklevel is too high but doesn't seem extreme. Now the vcr performance is better and the cable channels are ok... some are still dark but I can live with it. DVD looks great. I expected that the calibrated levels would be some lower for me and they are. Even though I did not make huge changes it is definately better than before. My viewing room has very little ambient light so we have always had the brightness and contrast on mid to low values.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Well-Known Member

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    Broadcast station signals are not the gospel. Just look how the colour of skin varies from every station. When I had my 32" JVC as the main console, I calibrated using VE for DVD and left it at that. I really did not care what the broadcast stations looked like, just that my set was calibrated for DVD movie watching. If your TV has more than one preset then set up VE for cinema mode, and leave at the default for TV mode.
    orangeman
    ------------------
    Neil's H.T. Site
    (plus large selection of H.T.Links and movie images)
     
  6. ThomasL

    ThomasL Well-Known Member

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    Kerry, while it's impossible to tell whether this is true for your set, I suspect the Warm or Medium/Neutral color temperature setting is closest to D6500K, which is the reference grayscale. Cool is most likely closer to 9300K or higher. Of course, one should set the settings to what is most pleasing to one's eyes. I have my 27A40 set to Warm and it took some time to adjust to the "warmer" (i.e. redder toned) picture but now I like it very much.
    As for setting contrast, I haven't used VE but Avia has a pattern with 4-5 boxes on the top of the pattern. I've found the best way to set it is to start at 0 and tick contrast up until the top box looks white and not grayish white. Then I usually tick it up one or two more notches depending on the scale being used.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Supporter

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    I use the Avia settings as a starting point for CATV, but have always needed to do some fine tuning for both direct view and rear projection sets. In fact, even the ISF calibration technician adjusted the settings on the CATV input after calibrating the svideo and component inputs, and then suggested I may want to adjust them further (which I did). We copied the component settings to the CATV input just as a starting point (since I had no way to connect the DVD player directly to the antenna input on the TV). I decreased color saturation and sharpness for cable to soften the picture to compensate for the poorer quality signal. Contrast and brightness were close, but needed a little tweeking.
    ------------------
    My DVD Collection
    AFI 100 Films to watch: 40 -> 7
     
  8. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input all of you. My TV is CX36H60. I will take another look at the color preferences. I looked on Toshiba's site to see if they defined the color temp for the three option but could not find the info there. I will look in the manual to see if it is stated.
    I will try to use Thomas' method for adjusting contrast and see where that puts me. Overall this has been a good exercise and worth the time I've spent...
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    Since my inputs varied widely on my Sony TV, I used VE DVD for the component inputs, but use the A Video Standard laserdisc plugged into my composite and S-Video inputs for the VHS, laserdisc, & camcorder inputs. The only reason I took this approach with the S-Video input is because I use it exclusively for laserdiscs (my LD player's 3-line comb filter performs better than my TV's 3-line comb filter).
    Since my broadcast viewing is mostly cable (RF composite video), I figured that a straight pass of a composite reference source would be a better reference from which to calibrate. This assumes that Joe Kane & company could create a better composite reference source on the laserdisc than my DVD player could from its component signal (pretty safe). It also assumes that my laserdisc player is not attenuating that reference signal differently from my VCR & local cable company plus RF demodulator (not quite so safe). I achieved acceptable results, but there is still wide variation on certain channels thanks to our friends at Time Warner Cable.
    If you don't have access to laserdisc or a test disc, you may want to see if you have differences between composite, s-video, and component inputs (however many of the above your TV supports) using VE with your DVD player's multiple outputs. You could also try plugging your DVD composite output into a RF modulator to calibrate your TVs antenna input. I'm not sure how you are hooked up, so not all of the above suggestions may apply.
    Regards,
    ------------------
    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
     
  10. ThomasL

    ThomasL Well-Known Member

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    The main problem with many of the sets people own, including mine, is that even if the settings are different between inputs, there is no way to save settings on a per input basis. I am hopefull this is a feature that will become standard on all tvs over the next few years as multiple input types become commonplace. For what its worth, I did run my Toshiba DVD player into both the component and Svideo (as well as composite) inputs on my 27A40 when I first got it, and found that all that differed was the overall color saturation. Component was about ~10 percent more saturated. Contrast, brightness and sharpness were all the same pretty much if I'm recalling correctly. I had similar results when I compared the component and composite on my Toshiba 20AF41 using the same dvd player.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  11. Chris Sigua

    Chris Sigua Well-Known Member

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  12. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Well-Known Member

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  13. Brian_J

    Brian_J Well-Known Member

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  14. ThomasL

    ThomasL Well-Known Member

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    Phil, with regard to individual NVRAM for each video input, only the higher end direct view Toshibas have this feature according to their specs. The 32AFX61 has it yet the 32AF41 does not. it looks like all the new RPTVs have it. Hopefully, they'll continue to add it to the entire television line even all the way down to the 20 inch sets.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  15. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Well-Known Member

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  16. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Well-Known Member

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    Note: On some TV sets the "off" position of the sharpness control is in the middle as opposed to at the left. Use the "video sweep" (upright lines gradually getting closer together) and adjust sharpness so no section of the lines to the right is unusually strident.
    Note: The "needle pulse" contrast test is used to find the point where the TV set (power supply) maxes out. Whether or not you can make the line bend, you should still, if possible, reduce the contrast to not more than 1/3 for FPTV and RPTV and under 1/2 for direct view, then make other adjustments around this.
    Note: If you don't like the picture after using VE or AVIA, you can always let your own preferences override. After all, audio amplifiers' tone controls are for personal use as well as compensate for room acoustics. Do keep in mind that screen wear (burn) is accelerated when you put contrast above what I have suggested here.
    Other video hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  17. ThomasL

    ThomasL Well-Known Member

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    The Avia sharpness pattern has a nice set of vertical lines on the upper half of the pattern. I find the easiest way to set sharpness is to tick it down to 0 and then tick it up until you begin to see the lines bloom/ghost. Then tick it down until the lines begin to look less crisp/blurry/fuzzy. Somewhere in that range is where the sharpness setting should be. If one's set has SVM, then even when sharpness may be set to a point where the lines look a little blurry, one may still get ghosting. On my Toshiba 20AF41, I have ghosting even with sharpness at 0 even though at 0 the lines look a little out of focus i.e. blurry. This is due to SVM, as best as I can guess.
    Also, when setting contrast and brightness, make sure to set your color temperature first. This setting will have a minor affect on these other two. If you like a higher (i.e. setting = Cool) grayscale color temperature then it'll mean your whites are "whiter" at the same contrast setting, and thus you may want to lower your contrast a little. I checked last night and my contrast on my 27A40 (using Warm color temperature) is just a tick or two above 50 percent. If I set it to Cool then I lower contrast down a few ticks to slightly under 50 percent (for the record, I leave it on Warm for both cable tv and dvd sources).
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  18. KevinW

    KevinW Well-Known Member

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