Any newer model players with format correction/scaling?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Sean Moon, May 1, 2004.

  1. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    I was wondering if any new models out there do the format correction/scaling much like the Panny RP91 or JVC XV75GD? I have the JVC player and love the format correction for 4x3 and non anamorphic material, as my TV locks into full mode when getting a progressive scan signal, and am wondering if any of the new players out there support this feature at all.
     
  2. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    All of the JVC models including the latest units support pillar-boxing of 4:3 titles on 16:9 displays. The only other newer DVD player I've seen with this feature is the Mitsubishi DD-8040 ($250 at Tweeter stores) which also has the top-rated Faroudja de-interlacer chip.
     
  3. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    There are a few other players I know of that also do the pillar-boxing like the RP91, including the LiteOn LVD-2001 and its still available Norcent 501M clone, and the Momitsu V880. Unlike the RP91 they do it with both progressive scan output and interlaced.
     
  4. George Fogel

    George Fogel Agent

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    Sean,

    It's nice to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. My RP91 died and apparently can't be fixed, so I'm looking for today's best version of the same thing. Thanks to you all for your suggestions.
     
  5. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    Ah, but do these players do the format correction for non anamorphic letterboxed films too? Like on my JVC, much of Fox's back catalog of non anamorphic stuff (Office Space, Young Frankenstein, Abyss, Commando, Broken Arrow, True Lies) but is properly flagged as letterbox, the JVC player I have will actually send the image to the TV as a faux anamorphic, meaning the above titles actually play on my 16x9 as if they were enhanced. Do the players mentioned do this same function?
     
  6. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Only other JVC models do that for non-anamorphics.
     
  7. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    Well damn, that sucks, because that is a VERY useful and cool feature. I have become spoiled by that and the pillarboxing feature over the last two years. But my player is getting quirky occasionally and was looking for a replacement possibly with these features, but looks like I have to stick with JVC in general then.
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Sean,

    I've got a JVC XV-NA77SL with these features as well as a Panasonic DVD-S35.

    The JVC does pillarboxing for 4/3 flawlessly and automatically. It does not automatically scale non-anamorphic dvds at all, not even the properly flagged ones.
    The older models like yours would do scaling automatically only for those few discs like Abyss with proper flagging--I have one of those models also. It could be "tricked" into doing scaling on improperly flagged discs by hitting zoom, but then the zoom icon stayed onscreen and it was a 2x zoom which resulted in a lot of overscan. The zoom icon could sometimes be made to disappear by hitting a non-existent chapter number.

    On the new JVCs, there is a 1.8x zoom which minimizes the excessive overscan and the zoom icon goes away by itself after a few seconds. This has worked out much better for me than the setup on the older models.

    The Panny DVD-S35 will do pillarboxing and can be set to do an infinite zoom for non-anamorphic widescreen. This is pretty much the same setup as the new JVCs and with infinitely variable zoom you don't need to put up with any overscan at all. Only problem is that overall pq in the zoomed mode is very noticeably inferior on the Panny vs the JVC. I'd rather have the extra overscan of the JVC.

    I have yet another Panny, a CP-72 with Faroudja chip but no scaling. This model has superior pq in progressive mode with video based and poorly flagged film based stuff along with a questionable spindle drive. It only gets used now for discs with problem de-interlacing. With properly flagged film based discs, the 77SL JVC actually has better pq.
     
  9. George Fogel

    George Fogel Agent

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    OK guys, please forgive me, but I want to be sure I understand what you are all saying.

    My (sadly departed) RP91 sent my TV a progressive signal, which caused the set to lock into the "Full" mode. I could go into the RP91's menu, and select most of same modes as were available from my TV (if it hadn't locked into the "Full" mode): a full mode (stretching out the anamorphically squeezed image), a regular mode which showed a 4:3 image between two black vertical bars, and a zoom mode, which enabled me to essentially fill the screen with a letterboxed, non-anamorphically squeezed widescreen image.

    1. Are you saying that all JVC players do this (whether or not they do it automatically is another matter) and the Mitsubishi DD-8040 mentioned above does not?

    2. What does JVC call this feature? (I'd like to see their specs and know what buzz word to look for.)

    Thanks for your help on this.
     
  10. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    This feature is usually not even mentioned in many players specs. In the manual for my JVC it just says something along the lines of 16:9 normal and 16:9 auto, use the normal for a set where you cant control the aspect, or something like that. I am wondering exactly what to call this feature, as this is in my opinion a wonderful feature that should be in every single DVD player out there, and not just 4x3 pillarboxing. I thought this was called scaling, but that can be taken another way, like upconversion. Even if my set did not lock into full mode, I would be spoiled by this feature because the player does all the work for me, and places black bars on the sides, instead of my sets gray bars. But its the changing of non anamorphic material that makes me savor this player every time I use it for that feature.

    Now my real big question is, how hard would it be for this feature to be implemented into DVD players across the board, including the high and mighty Faroudja players?
     
  11. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    For the LiteOn/Norcent players and for the Momitsu V880, for non-anamorphic discs to get them to display like the JVC models and the RP91 in progressive scan mode you have to hit the zoom button on the remote once. No big deal. 4X3 DVDs automatically do the proper pillar-boxing.
     
  12. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    The Mitsubishi DD-8040 has a similar setup like the JVC regarding 16:9-normal and 16:9-auto to pillarbox 4:3 titles, but it does not zoom for non-amamorphic widescreen DVDs. The JVCs have zoom and 4:3 title pilllarboxing but have an inferior de-interlacer compared to the Faroudja in the Mitsubishi. The pillarboxing of 4:3 titles is obviously possible with the Faroudja but for some reason only Mitsubishi's DD-8040 does it with Faroudja. The Faroudja doesn't support the zoom/scaling of JVC's Mediamatics all-on-one-chip though, so the variable zoom for non-anamorphics isn't possible there.
     
  13. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    But why cant Faroudja make a new chip that does this function? I know its not a high demand function really, but it certainly is nice.
     
  14. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    If the manufacturer's demanded it of Faroudja they probably would add zoom, but apparently they don't consider it a necessary function - none of Denon's even support pillar-boxing though that is indeed possible with Faroudja since the similar Mitsubishi model can do it.
     
  15. George Fogel

    George Fogel Agent

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    Does this mean that most widescreen TV's do NOT lock into "Full" mode when they receive a progressive scan signal?

    What would a non-anamorphically-enhanced widescreen film look like from the Mitsubishi DD-8040 into my TV (locks into Full mode...)? Letterboxed within pillar-boxes?
     
  16. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    George,

    The vast majority of current model widescreen tvs do not lock into full when given a 480p signal. This locking into full was almost the norm a few years ago but no longer is the case.

    With sets that do lock into full with 480p inputs you will have the following from a dvd player that cannot pillarbox or scale:

    4/3 images like old movies with an original aspect ratio of 1:33 will be uniformly stretched horizontally--image will look short and fat, circles will be ovals, no black bars at top, bottom, or sides.

    non-anamorphic widescreen dvds will fill the screen horizontally but will also be squished vertically, black bars will be the same thickness that they would be if your set were 4/3.

    If you change the output of your dvd player from 480p to 480i, then all your set's stretch/zoom modes will work just as they do for any normal ntsc tv broadcast.

    I am going to use the word "scaling" to refer to aspect ratio control rather than de-interlacing, in order to clarify.

    The advantage of a scaling dvd player is that one can use progressive scan output and still display 4/3 images with black bars instead of the gray ones generated by most tvs, and more importantly one can display non-anamorphic widescreen dvds in progressive scan with correct geometry.

    In general the de-interlacing in the player is superior to that of the tv--advantage one. Faroudja de-interlacers, contrary to gospel, are not necessarily must-haves. They only have an advantage when the dvd authoring is faulty, which is true of only a tiny minority of discs. The vast majority of dvds will look just as good on a JVC as they will on one of the Faroudja based players. I have both JVC and a Panny with Faroudja, and over 400 dvds in my collection. Other than special features sections which are a hodgepodge of mixed video and film sources, I have only 3 or 4 dvds on which the Faroudja based Panny displays a superior image.

    Would a Faroudja based dvd player with scaling be superior to the JVC? yes of course it would and I waited 2 years for one to appear but it didn't. Nor is it likely that we'll see one any time soon. Given a choice between a Foroudja de-interlaced movie zoomed by the tv, and a non-Faroudja de-interlaced movie zoomed by the JVC, I'll take the latter every time. Armageddon, Dusk til Dawn, Titanic, Abyss, and all my 1:66 MGM releases look much better on the JVC than on my Panny CP-72.

    My set does not lock into full with 480p input, so I can display non-anamorphic dvds from a non-scaling player with the correct geometry by using Zoom mode-a uniform horizontal and vertical stretch. Problem is that like all the other crt based sets I've seen, zoom accomplishes the vertical part of this stretch by spreading out the raster scanlines, in effect it's like the anamorphic squeeze mode of many 4/3 sets, but in reverse, and looks kinda nasty.

    The scaling players will do the zoom digitally, no raster expansion involved so you don't suddenly have those nasty scanlines all over the place. So a scaling player is an advantage even if your set does not lock into full mode when sent 480p. Of the current model players, the JVCs do this better than the current Pannys though I suspect the RP91 did it much better than the new Pannys do.

    Given a good transfer in the first place (Titanic, Abyss, Armageddon Criterion), a non-anamorphic widescreen dvd can look as good as most true anamorphic dvds on one of the JVC players.
     
  17. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    I agree with Steve. The Faroudja I have seen on my set looked only slightly better sometimes, and usually no discernable difference on most discs, but the poorly flagged video material, the JVC is weak. But with everything else going for it, the JVCs are a great deal. I thought about getting one of the sony mega changers for most of my stuff, and keeping the JVC hooked for 4x3 material, and rentals.
     
  18. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    The only option for those with an old HDTV that locks in FULL mode with 480p and a DVD player without zoom for non-anamorphics, is to switch to interlaced mode for that DVD. Fortunately there are very few non-anamorphic titles these days. I believe all HDTVs sold since about 2 years ago support zoom/stretch modes in 480p and well as 480i. However all HDTVs lock into FULL with HD (720p or 1080i) inputs and now thats a problem with some newer HD-upconverting DVD players now in the same situations for non-amamorphic DVD titles.
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Even if your 16x9 set does not lock into full mode with a 480p signal, these pillarboxing and scaling/zoom features are still a great convenience, IMO. I hated having to constantly change the viewing mode on my 16x9 TV for different material with my first progressive scan DVD player. I love my Panny RP-91's automatic pillarboxing and zoom/scaling feature even though my Toshiba 56H80 does not lock into full mode. My universal remote sets my TV in full mode every time I switch to the DVD player, and I never have to change it. Also, I hate the gray pillarbox bars that my Toshiba TV uses -- I much prefer the black side bars used by the RP-91. If my RP-91 dies, I will be very disappointed if I cannot find another player with a similar feature.

    As more 16x9 TV's are purchased, I would think this would become a more popular feature. I guess since most players do not have it, though, most people just do not know what they are missing.
     
  20. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Yes I used to have a JVC DVD player and liked the pillarboxing and auto non-anamorphic title zooming with my Toshiba HDTV. But I had to upgrade to a Panasonic XP30 for the significantly better picture quality and Faroudja de-interlacer and gave up those DVD-player scaling features. I rarely use the 4:3 pillarbox mode now anyway, instead I use TW1 (nonlinear stretch) and TW2 (zoom/crop) for non-anamorphic titles. Its not a big deal to switch modes on the TV once per DVD title.
     

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