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Phantom Menace projected - video quality?


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28 replies to this topic

#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted August 16 2002 - 09:47 AM

Ultimate Electronics opened in the area recently, and they were showing TPM projected on a large screen (I'd be guessing at the dimensions, but it was cinema-like in the confines of the screening room). It didn't look too good, frankly: video noise everywhere, fuzzy, indistinct images. Now, I know TPM is not reference quality, mainly thanks to EE. But, are the problems stated above to be expected? I didn't ask specifically about the projector room, but one of the employees did say the TVs on the floor were not set up with the proper wiring; there were apparently no S-Video cables in use. Would that be the difference. Or, is any DVD going to look bad blown up that big?

If it wasn't for that, I was in love with the set up in the projector room. Large images. Posted Image Posted Image

One thing that was kind of funny: when I came in, the movie was on the Coruscant scenes. People would walk in, stay a minute or so, and then leave. I went over and skipped to the Duel of the Fates segment, and people started staying. I later put it on the Pod Race with the same effect. They need to learn how to show off movies. Posted Image

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 16 2002 - 10:46 AM

My TPM disc looks "pretty good" on my 16:9 96" LCD FPTV setup. The "haloing" and/or EE does intrude in about 20% of the scenes (mostly the desert scenes and in the Jedi Council room); but other than that it looks decent enough. Many scenes at least approach a "film-like" quality.

Now, the new "Lord of the Rings" disc looks pretty close to film all the time and joins The Fifth Element SB and The Mask of Zorro SE for transfers that look "just like film" on my setup.
Joseph
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#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted August 16 2002 - 10:46 AM

Don't trust what you see in store demo rooms. They hardly ever bother to use quality connections OR to calibrate the projector or TV properly. If you buy a digital PJ, you won't see it at its best until you feed it via the RGB or DVI inputs (consider component to be the bare minimum), and until you tweak the shite out of it (thankfully, there are plenty of user-made mods out there.) And if you buy a TV, get it ISF-calibrated, if possible.

I'm shopping for a projector, and was asking the guys at AVS just how big I could blow up a DVD signal before it looked "bad." I talked to one of the members, who has a 13-foot screen, and says DVDs look great, assuming the disc is well mastered. I would think TPM would look just fine, save for the EE haloing.

Man, an hour wasted on this sig! Thanks, Toshiba! :P

#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted August 16 2002 - 01:06 PM

That's great news. I couldn't believe how bad it looked, and knew the problems I was seeing did not match any reviews I had read. I should have known by the fact that A Bug's Life was playing on every other TV, and it looked just as bad.

You'd think they'd at least try to make a $10,000 projector look good! I'm still sold, though. Well, I would be if I had $10,000 to blow on a projector. Posted Image

Joseph, about how much did it set you back for your projector/screen? And, if it was significantly less than $10K, what brand/type are they? I would love to see AOTC on a set-up like that.

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted August 16 2002 - 02:42 PM

Here is the thread where I asked if planning for a 15-foot wide screen would be wise/realistic. There's some first-hand accounts from people who've seen properly set-up projected DVDs Posted Image
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#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted August 16 2002 - 05:12 PM

Quote:
Joseph, about how much did it set you back for your projector/screen? And, if it was significantly less than $10K, what brand/type are they? I would love to see AOTC on a set-up like that.

My entire setup cost about $5K ... but that was about 24 months ago. Most of the stuff I purchased then has long since slipped into obsolescence!

My setup includes a modest, now out-of-production, Philips SV20i, 1200 lumens, 300:1 contrast ratio unit, projecting onto a "negative gain" screen. The Philips projector has been tweaked like crazy for maximum black level, including the recent addition of a FL-D color correction filter.

These days you can obtain a bevy of higher-resolution, higher-contrast digital projectors that have been optimized for HT in the same price range. (My Philips was actually optimized for computer presentation work, but does include a very nice built-in scaler for HT.)

Anyway ... Check out projectorcentral.com for lots of reviews of the current crop of HT-optimized digital projectors.

One word of advice: I've found limiting the picture size to around 96" works best for most of today's economy digital projectors; especially if you can't get more than 10 feet or so away from the screen.
Joseph
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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted August 17 2002 - 12:39 AM

i'm finding that at a certain point, i actually like to take the image a little smaller to tighten it up.
i originally built my DIY screen about 4 1/2' x 96", but i have a wood frame,covered w/ black velvet, that sits out over thatand accommodates panel masking, etc.
the measurments i seem to like best now are
for 4:3 movies - 61" diagonal
for 2.35 movies - 73" wide

i have a dlp and screen door is a problem on some transfers.
defocusing goes a little ways, but i try to keep it as sharp as possible.
i don't think i could ever live with an LCD.

my set up:
LT150 dlp projector
Panasonic RP56 dvd player
Malata 520 region free PAL dvd player
2 x 35' component breakout cables
DIY screen
Kenwood HTIB 503 surround system
and
1 marquee theater seat

all together cost only a couple hundred $ more than the 53" Sony RP i purchased 6 months before stumbling across the deal on the pj.
if you are patient and keep your eyes open you will find some great deals on this kind of stuff.


and yes, SW EPI is a remarkably unsatisfying looking dvd when projected large. nowhere close to being reference.
Lost in Space, a very early dvd, still looks about 10x better.

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan Brecher

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Posted August 17 2002 - 01:35 AM

A good external scaler would help things a little, and a direct digital SDI or DVI output if you can do it, but you know, at the end of the day its the source material that has to look good, and TPM looks good, but sadly as we all know, it doesnt look GREAT. You could throw gobs of money into processing the image...etc...etc and you'd still notice the flaws of the transfer (unless you can afford a Teranex processor maybe. Posted Image )...

At 20th Century Fox on the HTF LA meet last september, we watched the DVD of Phantom Menace in the screening room. It must have been projected onto a screen of at least 25ft in width, and it was a screening room essentialy done up for film projection. It was coming off a 3 chip DLP projector, and the rest of the components I am unsure of, but it must have been using some obscene scaler system. Whilst many spotted all the EE on that screen, I myself was more prone to having issues with the contrast of the desert scenes, and the lack of detail in a lot of shots. It was a shame.

Now, some of us thought at first, it looked questionable due to the circumstances in which we were watching it. DVD is not meant to be blown up that big... Later that day though, we went back into the screening room to watch the disc of Burton's Planet of the Apes and... well, it was flawless.

Dan

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Bill Slack

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Posted August 17 2002 - 07:07 AM

Just let me echo what Dan said. I was there at Fox too. TPM looked OK, but certainly not great. There were times it looked poor enough that it was very distracting. POA, on the other hand was amazing. The only issue I ever had was the lack of resolution on very long shots, since it was a DVD. For POA I was sitting quite close too, and for TPM, I was sitting 6 or 7 rows further back.

TPM looks quite good on a smaller screen, but it is a flawed transfer. It shouldn't looked as bad as you described it though.

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Brett C

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Posted August 17 2002 - 08:49 AM

A thing that always bothered me besides the obvious EE was how scenes varied considerably in respect to sharpness. One scene was great looking and then the next was almost out of focus...

#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Terrell

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Posted August 17 2002 - 09:32 AM

Well I have to disagree. I don't get all the complaints about the supposed below average transfer of TPM. Every single review of this DVD gives high marks to the transfer. Not reference quality, but still damn good. I see absolutely no problems other than the edge enhancements and maybe a few issues with slight grain during some of the Tatooine scenes. Other than that, it looks great on my Pioneer Elite PRO-720HD. So my opinions reflect those of DVDfile and Digital Bits.

DVDfile rates it 4 out of 5 stars, and calls it overall stunning, with only a few minor issues that keep it from reference quality.

Digital Bits basically says the same thing and rates it an A- for video.

DVD Shrine rates it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

So all in all, I'm happy. I agree with those reviews. It's not reference quality. There are some issues with EE and some issues with grain on some Tatooine scenes. Hopefully AOTC will be reference quality and solve these problems. But if it's as good as TPM, I'm not gonna be unhappy. Maybe Greg is right that it gets worse when projected like he stated. But those are some big ass screens you guys are talking about, especially for any home. Most homes can't even begin to accomodate those screen sizes, nor would most people want to.

#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted August 17 2002 - 09:48 AM

TPM looks pretty good on my 84" screen too. Aside froma little EE, I have nor eal complaints about it.
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#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Terrell

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Posted August 17 2002 - 09:53 AM

Is Van Ling overseeing the AOTC DVD? Hopefully they heard the complaints about EE.

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Dan Brecher

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Posted August 17 2002 - 10:17 AM

Quote:
But those are some big ass screens you guys are talking about, especially for any home. Most homes can't even begin to accomodate those screen sizes, nor would most people want to.

That's not really the point. I mean, I've watched X-Men and Planet of the Apes DVDs projected to the same size as I saw TPM and in comparison those were flawless. The TPM transfer is questionable, and the bigger you view it, the more obvious that becomes. The bigger you view the likes of X-Men, Se7en and Apes...etc the more impressed one becomes with those transfers and the more one begins to hold TPM'S quality in a much lower regard.

DVD shouldn't be blown up so big, but when it is, and the disc holds up incredibly well, you really appreciate what is really a solid transfer.

Dan

PS: Yes Van Ling has done the AOTC DVD.

#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Terrell

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Posted August 17 2002 - 10:28 AM

Well Dan, I disagree. I don't think it's questionable at it. I'm shocked anyone would complain and call the transfer questionable. But different eyes I guess. I've presented my evidence. Nothing much I can do about that. To me it looks very good. So I can't see the complaint that you guys see.

#16 of 29 OFFLINE   JeremySt

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Posted August 17 2002 - 06:11 PM

Considering the quality/potential of todays DVD releases, TPM is middle of the road. To the untrained eye, it is fine, but there are so many scenes overcooked with artifacting, edge enhacement and noise, it becomes a huge distraction. By comparison, previously cited examples such as Se7en show can be done with DVD. When viewed on a screeen larger than 12 feet, you need some serious quality projection, superb scaling/progressive scan, and light output. Otherwise it just looks like poo. Even on my 46" 16x9 Mitsubishi, my newbie buddies can tell that TPM is not on par with other recent releases.

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Scooter

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Posted August 17 2002 - 10:40 PM

It was screened here last Oct. on my outdoor 20X10' screen projected with my Sony 400Q and it looked like a million damn dollars. Perhaps others who attended it could comment in this thread.

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted August 17 2002 - 11:21 PM

20 feet?? [Tiny Elvis]Man, that is HUGE[/Tiny Elvis] Posted Image
Man, an hour wasted on this sig! Thanks, Toshiba! :P

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted August 17 2002 - 11:41 PM

... but then, the 400Q (which I own too Posted Image ) is still something special -unique even- in projector country. Just imagine they added HD to that design as well...

Cees

#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Terrell

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Posted August 18 2002 - 12:18 AM

Quote:
but there are so many scenes overcooked with artifacting, edge enhacement and noise, it becomes a huge distraction.

Well, my eye certainly is untrained. Maybe you got a defective disc because I can guarantee you there is no compression artifacting whatsoever and no noise, other than some grain in a few scenes on Tatooine. There is EE, but that's the only real problem there is on my DVD. Maybe it's time for an exchange Jeremy.Posted Image And no, it's not middle of the road. It's not reference quality, but it's not middle of the road either.

As for Seven, it has an extremely good transfer, but there are transfers out there that are superior to Seven. Seven is not the very best when it comes to transfer. It's up there, but there are better transfers.

Quote:
Even on my 46" 16x9 Mitsubishi

Jeremy, maybe you need to upgrade to the Pioneer Elite PRO-720HD. It looks great on mine. Posted Image


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