24" 1920x1200 LCD Monitor looks like crap?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Allen Marshall, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    What is it about things like live action HD trailers that look so bad? Video games on this thing look exactly like thye should, unbelievable. The Desktop looks exactly like it should, unbelievable. Live Action movies look like no one in the film industry has even known what they were doing ever, and that simply cant be. Im sittin here watching 1080p trailers from the wmv hd and they look terrible.

    The sharpness from the added pixels is apparent, but there's something else wrong. The picture is sorta fuzzy and ontop of that, my biggest problem with this thing is the funky coloring between something like shadows and a bright wall. They shades of black dont fade into pitch black properly, it's all colorful and sometimes the color dances. I know LCDs are supposed to be black retarded but is that what it's really supposed to look like because that's more annoying then bad picture quality.

    I compared my HD Terminator 2 1080p DVD on my 24 inch monitor (kept resolution at 1920x1200) and Terminator 2 at 480i on my 35 inch Toshiba. The Toshiba picture looked better and I stood away from both displays to make it fair. I agree that being 2ft away from a 24" screen will show 720p's weak spots, cause my god it sure as hell does with 480p DVDs, but....1080p....the picture annoyances are there. Like I said you can plainly tell the increase number of pixels by the sharper picture, but with all these other things going wrong that amounts to squat. Got a fuzzy sorta screendoor effect, the transition from a color to black is ridiculous and im trying to figure out what's true and what's within the limits of my monitor.

    But, but but but, the picture doesn't look fuzzy if I push my chair back a ways, you cant see it from back there, but I really didn't expect that from 1080p and still refuse to. Another pickle is that the slight fuzzy screendoor look does not change at all with 720p and 1080p. Another interesting thing is, with Animated movies like Madagascar 720p, it's not there. It's only live action movies, characters dont have smooth skin it looks dotty (though many dots).

    I recorded myself playing Half-Life 2 at 1280x720 at 60 fps, it's not there. But, it's uncompressed and 200Mbps so I question the fact that maybe this look is because these HD trailers are between 8-10Mbps and maybe thats not enough to get that full look. I think there's something wrong though because these problems with darker colors are alittle to extreme and if this was the real case I dont think they'd sell any of these things. You know how if you close your eyes, it's not pitch black it's kind of colorful on account of the light shining through you eye lids, that's what shadows are like, and alot of them dance around.

    I froze a shot in the batman begins trailer with Liam Neeson and half his body is covered in shadow, what I see are like 10 different shades of colors that dont fade into each other, they have defining lines between one color and another and there's this spot in the background that's just a floating dark greenish blotch. The colors in the shadow look, repeat look pixelated, those colors are rather large squares that are next to each other like a puzzle that isnt done yet. I'd like another person with an LCD, hopefully one with a high resolution to take a look at the trailer and tell me what they see.

    Other things I see are flickery lines like the part where Christian Bale is walking towards the airplane, the camera is slowly panning up and you see flickering lines in that green truck in the back. Actually nevermind, I only really see flickering lines when I watch it in a smaller window, fullscreen fixes those flickers, can somebody tell me why. Another prime example in the same trailer would be when he's walking down the stairs, the vertical lines in the stairs kinda flicker when they jump up to the next scanline.

    What bothers me about this being to close to the monitor thing is, I get no screen door effect or such video artifacts in games. Not even at 720x480, everything is as it should be. So.....what, $100,000 cameras suck? what's the deal lol.
     
  2. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    IMHO its Microsofts so called wmv hd format that sucks. While lcd monitors are proned to screen door effect if you sit to close to them. I believe that you are just seeing the limitations in MS wmv format when you see an action movie with fast action on the screen. This is a big reason why I dont want to see MS as the centerpiece of a HT system. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    In general, LCD displays themselves are not so good at fast motion. Has to do with how fast the liquid crystal material can change phase. And yes, LCDs are not as good at plasmas in terms of color rendition either. Although they can be brighter.

    You can blame the MS format, but a lot of people feel that this format should be included on HD-DVD or Blu-ray because it's so good.
     
  4. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Allen, having tapped all our knowledge once before, had you checked out that AVSForum I suggested yet? You won't find a greater number of experts in one place:

    AVSForum
     
  5. Ken Burkstrum

    Ken Burkstrum Stunt Coordinator

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    Arent those guys SVS trash talkers?
     
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    They're just talking about Shaft.

    Eh? What is SVS? All I know is that whereas HTF will maybe have two to three threads with daily activity (in this section), AVSForum will have a couple dozen. For sheer numbers of eyes, they're a good technically minded forum.

    I prefer HTF for discussion of DVDs though - HTF reigns supreme in that area. But even HTF moderators would admit that traffic in the technical areas here is light. No harm in visiting both.
     
  7. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Ok I posted it, it got 90 views and no replies then faded off the front page. [​IMG]
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Allen:

    This sounds like a software of system config problem that's arising when you are playing back WMV HD material. If DVD looks fine, and games look fine, and there are serious anomolies happening with WMV HD, then you'll have to explore your software configs for WMV HD playback.

    What are you using to play back WMV material? Overlay/VMR9?

    Your descriptions of the artifacts you are seeing is unclear, I know you may not know exactly the "proper names" for what you're seeing, but perhaps more detailed descriptions of what you see, or screenshots may help.


    This is an interesting opinion. Sorry if I take this as winded bologna, but do you have any kind of experience to back up a statement like that? Having seen quite a bit of WMV HD encoded material (publicly and privately), I can say quite comfortably and authoritatively that your experiences must have been based on problems unrelated to the encode format.
     
  9. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I recorded myself playing a game at 1280x720 at 200Mbps, I compressed it down to 1280x720 at 10Mbps using wmv and the picture is fine. None of those artifacts that are supposed to be wmv related. I only notice this screen door effect with live action movies for some reason. Even the HD Divx Madagascar trailer with a 512Kbps looked fine except for the noticable artifacts on account of the lower bitrate.

    An interesting thing is, if I scoot my chair back so im about 5ft away from the screen, I can no longer see the problem and the picture looks as I expect 1080p to look which is friggin fantastic. So that says "hey, must be an LCD thing, it's bad to be so close" but why ooooooo why do games not have this effect when im so close. Just to make sure I went through every resolution the game has to offer from 1920x1200 all the way down to 640x480 and they all looked exactly as they should.

    You said somewhere "if DVD looks good", but it doesn't. Watching a DVD on my monitor was what sparked the question in the first place, I watched Constantine and the picture looked bad enough I knew that me being this close had nothing to do with it. I dont know how to describe it, it's just the picture isn't clear and it's not on account of the lack of pixels to make the picture sharp. Which is why I asked if it was because of limitations in Cameras with live action movies. I have many wmv HD IMAX clips at 1080p and I dont use them to judge cause it seems like their picture isnt as good on account of them being older and the cameras used being old technology, maybe im wrong. In the 1080p IMAX clips it feels like they'res some super light film grain on account of the black spots that keep popping and flicking all over the film.

    I'll make a list:

    GOOD:

    Desktop
    Computer Games at all resolutions
    HD 3D/Animated Clips and Trailers


    BAD:

    Live Action videos even 720p and 1080p
    DVDs even 3D/Animated movies
    480p Xbox games hooked up to the monitor via Component video.


    Out of all of that the 480p xbox games look the worst, it's a different problem completely then the other, the picture looks jaggy like watching a certain aspect on a different aspect display, but I made sure it was widescreen in the settings and the quality was still disgusting.

    There's so many opposing facts that it's to complicated for me to figure out what could be going on. Oh and by screen door effect I mean it looks like they filmed all the shots from behind a screen door just not to that extreme extent.
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    It sounds like you're seeing film grain perhaps. Obviously a lot of animation/CG stuff and video games will not have grain. Be careful to diferentiate between film grain and MPEG encoding noise/mosquito noise.
     
  11. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Hmmmm, well...when are they gonna fix that lol??? Any ideas towards the xbox thing?

    If LCDs are supposed to look like this as far as how it handles darker colors im not to interesting in owning one, it's beyond my acceptable parameters. How do Plasmas and DLP screens handle black, do they have any annoying problems like this? I want to buy atleast a 30 inch with atleast 1080p picture for a monitor as soon as it's practically available and dont think I'll be getting an LCD again.
     
  12. John S

    John S Producer

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    Man we use these lowly Samsung 1600x1200 22" LCD monitors and movies look pure awesome on them. Just regular DVD's.

    And they were only like $600 each.
     
  13. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Sounds more like hardware/software/calibration issues to me. How fast is your computer and what kind of video card are you using? What software are you using to play the movies? Have you done anything to calibrate the picture? What color temperature is your lcd set to? What lcd monitor are you using?
     
  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    No matter what the calibration, LCD will always be challenged by blacks. The problem is that the backlight for an LCD display is always on. The LCD material is either polarized to allow that light to pass (along with whatever the color is for that pixel at that time), or not to pass. That light can never be 100% blocked by the liquid crystal material. Materials limitation. Hence, poor blacks. For a plasma though, the cells can be turned off all the way. (Although for response, the cell is never 100% turned off, but always has some voltage running through it.) Hence, plasma blacks can approach a CRT's blacks, but LCD never can.

    Allan, if you want a 30" 1080p display, plasma will never go that small. But ... you might want to keep an eye out for OLED. Or just keep looking for an LCD that's "good enough" that you might try to live with it. [​IMG]

    I'm going to bash for one second [​IMG]: I have seen some of those Syntax Olevia displays around lately. Really cheap LCDs. They can't do any representation of "black". Try ... dark purple.
     
  15. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    How small will they go? I just want to plan out a purchase in the next year or so for something atleast this size and atleast this resolution. I do alot of game design and game playing so I wouldnt be lookin forward to downgrading the picture to much. I can tell the difference between 1920x1200 and 1920x1080 and 1920x1080 and 1600x1200, when I start at 1920x1200 and work my way down one notch at a time I can clearly see each time the degrade in the picture. So I'd like to preferably stay where im at with my next screen.

    This screen cost me $1,200 I think I might go as high as $3,000 for my next monitor/tv. I dont care if it's a tv or not, when it comes to cable shows I dont give a damn about the quality I'll just watch the 35" non HD Toshiba I have in the same room. Since it's gonna be my monitor it doesnt need to be very big so i'd like to happily substitute size for quality.

    So basically, I'm gonna be on the look out for something between 24 and 40 inches that can produce 1080p but preferably 1200p or better so's not to downgrade, and keep the price under $3,000. Soooo, which technology to choose, you said OLED i've never even heard of that before. I'd like it to have alot of bells and whistles. Like my Monitor has composite, S-Video, Component, VGA and DVI, I'd like that to be atleast the case with my next screen. And PIP and split screen. Also PIP and split screen. Whether it's a monitor or a TV doesnt matter to me. LCD is the devil starting now.
     
  16. John S

    John S Producer

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    The Dell's... Hmmmm We evaluated the Dells before we went with our Samsungs. The Dell's despite their decent user ratings and reviews were found to be sub par in several areas.

    At work we are a large company that is paperless with a high end imaging system going. We actually have two of these large LCD flatscreens on every desk.

    These were around the 22" size though.
     
  17. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Jesus John, what do you do?
     
  18. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Good system. I'd recommend using zoom player or theatertek dvd software for video playback. You need to do a lot of video tweaking to get files to play right and it also depends very much on what codecs you are using and how it is configured. DVD software like powerdvd and windvd (the versions I've seen at least) are not motion adaptive deinterlacers and dvd quality is not as good as it could be.
     
  19. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Does anybody know of any sites that offer higher bitrate HD live action clips then what the mac and wmv site offer?

    Mine are 8-10Mbps for both 720p and 1080p so I was thinking something closer to HDTV bandwidth or higher. Might be a big download but when I was rendering my half-life 2 footage I spyed with my naked eye the quality change each time I added a megabit. 8Mbps wasn't good enough there was to much motion artifacts, it didnt get reasonable until I got to 11Mbps....but then I decided I'd just make a 25Mbps copy and call it a day.

    I dont know what the bitrate of Terminator 2 on 1080p is but like I said in my first post the picture didnt look better then 480i on my Toshiba tube TV.
     
  20. John S

    John S Producer

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    Allen Marshall,


    "Jesus John, what do you do?"


    I.T. Director for an E&S Insurance Broker


    The new LCD's are way cool, gives us an entire page on the screen the same size as a real page. We multitask heavily with many many other applications, the dual monitor scheme has been a real blessing for our users.


    We definetly spent some cashola this year on monitors though, before we were using 19" CRT and 17" LCD duals. Quite a nice upgrade for the users, extremely impressive.

    On another cool note, I have worked here nearly 20 years, and I.T. in the past has always got the short end on resources..... Well last week (a 112 hour weeks for me) over last weekend, I got to move into my new real dedicated server/computer room, designed by me. What a difference it is already making in my work life. We run about 14 servers right now.
     

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