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Blocky Video with Samsung DLP


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#1 of 27 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 07 2006 - 06:23 PM

I posted a similar topic recently in "audio/video sources" because I thought I might be having a problem with my DVD player(s), but now I think the problem lies with my Samsung DLP.

I have had a problem with blocky background images from the first day I set up my DLP, but running an Avia and DVE calibration with my Denon DVD-1600 seemed to help, though not entirely solve the problem. Now that I have also calibrated a new Oppo DVD player (running through DVI/HDMI), I am finding the problem is even worse. I was hoping the Oppo would eliminate the blocky video, but it seems to have accentuated the problem.

Here is a description of the problem:
I watched "Stay" tonight using the Oppo, and the "blocky" video was apparent in most scenes. When there are large areas (15% or more) of the picture that are mainly one shade, these areas are blocky (not smooth) with one or more jagged transitions. The transitions are mostly horizontal and represent a slight but distinct change in shade, and the transition itself is in motion even when the video is relatively static. It is most noticable with background images, grayish shades, and when the overall image is somewhat dark. It has gotten to the point that I am having a hard time enjoying movies.

From my description, does anyone have a guess as to what problem I am experiencing ??? Is this what is called "macro-blocking" ? Also, is this problem pretty typical with DLPs ? I don't want to have to set up a service call, but I am not sure what else to do at this point. Would it help if I tried to get a screen shot and posted it here ?
Sean
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#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted April 10 2006 - 04:16 PM

Sean,

I'm pretty sure both those players use the Faroudja dcdi chip, in which case they will produce the macroblocking and Samsung and other dlp sets are the most susceptible to the problem. Perhaps try one of the Sony upconverting players (non-Faroudja) and see if the problem persists.
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#3 of 27 OFFLINE   Kevin G.

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Posted April 11 2006 - 10:42 AM

Sean,
I had finally brought my Sammy home last week, and, non- calibrated, Narnia produced quite a few of these funny-shaded areas as well. So much so that my wife even noticed in dusk scenes there were a number of colored "blocky" shadows on the children's faces.
I also watched the first half of Kong on Sunday night, (after I had hooked up all my sound equipment), non-calibrated... and also noticed some.
However, yesterday, I went back to your earlier post, with your calbrated settings, and watched the second half. The effect was much less of a problem, to the point that I had to look pretty hard to find it at all.
I am running an Onkyo DVCP701 6-disc, through component.
But it is only a 480 native player.
As a side note, have you noticed the audio lag that has been an issue with this unit?
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#4 of 27 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 11 2006 - 03:34 PM

Quote:
I'm pretty sure both those players use the Faroudja dcdi chip, in which case they will produce the macroblocking and Samsung and other dlp sets are the most susceptible to the problem. Perhaps try one of the Sony upconverting players (non-Faroudja) and see if the problem persists.


Steve,

You are correct. Both players use a Faroudja chip, but why would the Faroudja be the possible source of the macro-blocking ? Everyone seems to tout the Faroudja as the best de-interlacer, and I've assumed this would equate to less video noise and a more accurate picture.

Do you know if the Samsung up-converting DVD players use something other than Faroudja ? Perhaps the Samsung players are purposely made to work well with their DLPs ?

My next step is to talk to a Samsung service tech, and possibly have him out on a house call. I've already arranged this with Samsung customer service. If the tech says it is "normal", I may pay for a professional calibration. I've heard (on AVS Forum) the gray scale is way off on the Samsung DLPs, and the correction will significantly improve the black level performance. I do suspect that gray scale is a problem with my set. After I calibrated with Avia, I checked color accuracy and found blue was accurate (as expected), but red was about 5% under-emphasized while green had almost 15% push. I don't think this amount of error can be corrected with the normal picture controls. I also don't know if gray scale is directly related to macro-blocking, but I have noticed that the blocky areas usually have a "green" hue. Just coincidence ?
Sean
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#5 of 27 OFFLINE   George_W_K

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Posted April 12 2006 - 12:37 PM

There was a thread @ AVS about the Samsung 710 AE projector doing something similar to this. Here's the link. The original post has a couple of pics of the problem? Is it the same as yours?

There's some interesting info there, but I'm not sure the problem was completely solved as to whether it was the projector, or the source causing the problem. Being that your tv is also a Samsung, I wonder if there's more to this than originally thought?

#6 of 27 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 12 2006 - 03:59 PM

George,

Thanks for the link. And yes, the blockiness being described on AVS is very similar to what I am experiencing. In fact, I was watching a Cousteau special on PBS (OTA HD feed) and the dark under-water scenes were worst than anything I have seen thus far... and very similar to the blue sky screen shots on AVS.

I thought my problem was isolated mainly to DVD playback, but now I don't think so. The topic on AVS seems to focus on DVI inputs only, and that the pure digital feed is possibly revealing bad source material. I have now witnessed macro-blocking on all my inputs and sources, though I do think the DVI input is the worst offender. Therefore, I have to assume my DLP set (or DLP technology in general) is at least partly to blame. This is disappointing because one of the reasons I went with a DLP was the ability to feed it a digital source with no or minimal processing. Now it seems my DLP may prefer analog sources.
Sean
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#7 of 27 OFFLINE   Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted April 13 2006 - 12:41 AM

I recently returned a Samsung 42" Plasma that had macroblocking on all interfaces (HDMI, Component and S-Video). It also had the worst blacks I've ever seen as well as the clay face problem. I put in about 3 weeks worth of cable changing and picture adjusting and just couldn't get rid of it. I returned the Samsung and purchased another brand (but went with LCD this time) and Viola! much much better blacks, the clay face is gone and the macro blocking is at a minimum on SD material.

The first time I powered on the Samsung I didn't like the picture. Sure it was bright and vibrant but the above described problems really detracted from the picture. It was actually stressful to watch TV or a movie.

In my opinion, after having read a lot on the Samsung units (whether it be plasma, LCD or DLP) on numerous other sites, I believe they are the worst offender for these problems.
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#8 of 27 OFFLINE   Dave>h

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Posted April 13 2006 - 01:07 AM

HI,

I have a Samsung DLP, calibrated using AVIA (although I got a lot higher brightness settings that you did - read your other post) and I to have experienced some Macro blocking (although I didn't know what it was called before this thread). I sit quite a ways away from my TV - 2.5 screen widths - and thus don't notice it much. The most common culprits are poorly mastered sources - Think TV series on DVD.

I use a Panasonic upconverting DVD and I have the Farrudja turned off on the TV, in fact i have most of the things turned off on the TV, except the Digital noise filter.

I very rarely notice the MB problem via HDMI (DVI on my TV)and didn't notice any during Chronicles.

May I suggest, that you sit a bit further back turn off all the processing (Faroudja etc) in the TV and see if this helps.

As I recall, and I have had the TV for a couple of years, once I turned off the internal processing on the TV, the picture quality improved quite a bit. I think there can be problems with double filtering or de interlacing (being done by both TV and DVD) and turning the filters off on the TV removes some of this problem.

Hope this helps.

Dave

Ps Shawn S - what does your returning a Samsung Plasma have to do with MB issues on a Samsung DLP?

#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted April 13 2006 - 01:31 PM

Quote:
Ps Shawn S - what does your returning a Samsung Plasma have to do with MB issues on a Samsung DLP?


Apparently absolutely nothing. Sorry for the post.
"A human being is part of the whole called by us the Universe. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest --a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection...

#10 of 27 OFFLINE   SeanA

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Posted April 13 2006 - 04:57 PM

Quote:
I use a Panasonic upconverting DVD and I have the Farrudja turned off on the TV, in fact i have most of the things turned off on the TV, except the Digital noise filter.


Dave,

How do you turn off Faroudja ? From what I understand, this is the scaling and de-interlacing hardware/software and I don't see how it can be turned off. I can see how you can bypass it by sending the TV its native resolution (720p), which I was trying to do with the Oppo player. Do you mean turning off DNIe ? If so, can't be done on the "R" Samsung models... at least not w/o entering the service menu. I do have DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) turned off... and no it does not appear to have any effect on macro-blocking.

Anyway, I do have confirmation now from a third tier tech at Samsung that my model of DLP does indeed have an "abnormal" problem with macro-blocking. He said they are working on a fix, but nothing definitive yet. He expects there will be a firmware update at the very least.

I put "Goblet of Fire" on and showed the problem to a friend today. He noticed the blockiness immediately and said that this movie actually looked better on his 27" SD television. I ran the movie on my Oppo at 720p, and on my Denon DVD-1600 at 480i and 480p. The problem was equally bad on all outputs. I think this does suggest that there is a problem with the TV and not just the DVD players, but it still doesn't rule out the Faroudja chipset as the source of the problem since both DVD players and the DLP set use Faroudja. If the Faroudja chipset is the problem and it also performs the conversion from 1080i to 720p, it might explain why I see a less severe macro-blocking problem with my OTA HD feed on occasion. Yet I don't think I have noticed the problem at all when watching HD on Fox, which just happens to transmit 720p.
Sean
Samsung HL-R4667W DLP, Denon DVD-1600, Sony DVPNS75H, H/K AVR 225, Wharfedale Emeralds and Diamonds

#11 of 27 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted April 14 2006 - 01:32 PM

the Samsung dlp rptvs are very well liked by a great number of people but I'm not one of them specifically because they seem to have a lot of pixellation and macroblocking issues. I think it all depends on what you're most sensitive to.

I like a clean smooth film like image with good rendition of subtle color variations and minimal digital artifacting. Others prefer percieved razor-sharp images and super-vivid colors.

If it's not too late, you might consider returning that set and getting something else.
Steve S.
I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.

#12 of 27 OFFLINE   LarryR

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Posted May 05 2006 - 08:37 AM

The problem of macroblocking (isn't it also called clay faces?) seems to be a problem for many with Samsung DLPs. I do have it, but only in the dark scenes on the faces. The rest of the picture is very clean, but maybe I never really saw the gradiations in sky or ocean scenes. I have tried both the DVI/HDMI and the component connections. I keep thinking one is better than the other, but than I change my mind. I do not know really which I like better.

#13 of 27 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted May 05 2006 - 09:07 AM

This sounds like a bit-depth limitation somewhere in the playback chain. This may be inherent to the display, or it may be aggravated by adjustments in the source via 8-bit DVI connection which can act as a bottleneck if you are trying to do image adjustments in the source.

#14 of 27 OFFLINE   LarryR

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Posted May 22 2006 - 04:35 PM

I only have the macroblocking on the very dark scenes, mainly the dark deep shadows and shadowed faces. I originally calibrated use Avia. I noticed that the factory set calibrations by Samsung (default) almost removed all of the problems. I recalibrated, using a DVD movie disk that had a THX calibration area. My settings were different and improved viewing with my Custom settings. Than I compared the Normal with my Custom settings and started to bring the Custom settings closer to the default. This really seems to have almost entirely eliminated my marcroblocking, especially the contrast setting. I now need to see more DVDs and HDMovies. I know it is better, but I am not sure it is entirely corrected. I liked my colors better with the calibrated Custom settings, but if I watch long enough I may not even notice.

#15 of 27 OFFLINE   Barry_B_B

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Posted May 25 2006 - 12:34 AM

[quote=Dave>h]HI,



As I recall, and I have had the TV for a couple of years, once I turned off the internal processing on the TV, the picture quality improved quite a bit.

QUOTE]

What Dave said. I picked up a 50" Samsung DLP about a month ago, and was a bit disappointed in the picture quality vs. my old 27" CRT. To be fair, this was RF via Direct TV. Changing to S-Video did not help much. I then purchased a Cambridge Audio DVD player with DVI at 720p, WOW! I saw this thread and thinking about how poor NBA games looked, went home and turned off all processing/filtering. It makes a world of difference! Now need to talk my wife into the HD upgrade, moving from S-Video to Component connections...

#16 of 27 OFFLINE   London Lawson

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Posted May 25 2006 - 02:11 AM

MB must be what i witnessed at CC yesterday! They had a hd feed going to it with a coax cable according to the sales guy. There was a scene where it was in a cave and I thought I noticed some blockyness.

#17 of 27 OFFLINE   LarryR

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Posted July 06 2006 - 12:22 PM

My latest information on Samsung and clay faces (green/gray color in dark scenes). First, I have had wonderful replies from Samsung. My only problem is that I live on a small Island (Kauai) and they have only one technician here, who tells me he is an Electrical Engineer. He was supposed to make contact with me within two days. It took over a week and only after I had to re-call Samsung. Then he told me he would be there and call me just before coming. After 2 weeks I had to call him and he came out, finally. He was going to bring a setup disk (Ovation) and proceed to do exactly what I had done with my Avia disk. But, when he got here, he had forgotten his disk and had to have his wife bring it. He spent hours doing nothing, but trying to explain to me that it might be my HDTV Cable box. So, I told him the the Denon DVD player does the same thing, although it is not as high def. as the cable box. He told me I was a very discerning customer. I asked him does that mean I should put up with the degradation of the picture? He talked and talked and talked. (You think this message is long). He spent over 3 hours looking at my Denon manual and the picture. He agreed it was pretty green and gray and said he would call Samsung. Of course, I heard nothing, but I called Samsung back and they said if he doesn't fix it, they will replace it. How is that for a great company? BTW, they claimed this should not be occurring and the DVI connection from the DVD player could not be doing it since the HDTV Cable Box also does it.

Larry

#18 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Cappelletty

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Posted July 07 2006 - 04:59 AM

Interesting thread, as I just ordered the HLS5087 set from TVAuthority. Apparently the Oppo DVD players conflict with the DLP sets unless they're both finely calibrated; I'm waiting to see how my Sony works. And everything I've read about DLP sets is that the HLS line has worked out a lot of the bugs (at least the 1080p models) and that, particularly after calibration, it has the best image around. But I'm in the market for a new DVD player that upconverts video, so if anyone has any ideas -- or pre-calibration workarounds for the Oppo -- please let me know!

#19 of 27 OFFLINE   Kevin G.

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Posted July 07 2006 - 10:27 AM

As far as I've researched, the only Oppo with issues is the 971...because of the Faroudja (sp) processing.
I have been eyeballing the 970, which uses a different chip, and is supposed to be better at de-interlacing.
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#20 of 27 OFFLINE   Dan Hitchman

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Posted July 08 2006 - 03:55 AM

You should turn OFF Samsung's DNIe "feature" as a first step. It adds more problems to the picture than it solves.

Dan





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