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Big Ball O' Wax MUSE Thread

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by ChristopherDAC, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Okay, so far I have gathered:

    All MUSE players get about the same performance, except the HLD-X0 which is simply the best LDP ever built.
    TOP GUN looks very bad, DANCES WITH WOLVES [the only one apparently without those stupid letterbox bars on the cover] very good.
    Brian thinks A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT looks very good, Rachael thinks it looks very bad in dark scenes.
    Everyone agrees BUGSY has zero picture quality, worse than NTSC.
    On all players but the X0, film material has a tendency to exhibit a greenish tinge.
    HDVS discs are chiefly scenery material, intended for broadcst use.
    Fish discs are just that, a screwy virtual-aquarium deal; I asked Santini [bought a very late Japanese boxset from him, and figured I was entitled to a little extra info for the price] and he sent me a picture.

    So:

    Do wideband HDVS discs provide sound? Does their programme material duplicate largely what is on MUSE? EDIT: As near as I can make out, these are TCI format, with 20 MHz for Y and 7 [or 5.5] MHz for chroma, with Pr and Pb on a line-alternate basis, and PCM audio baseband-multiplexed into the vertical blanking interval. I really do not think, however, that they are of the type described in the HiVision book using 2 parallel tracks simultaneously like a UniHi VCR. Probably they just use a red laser and a very high rotational speed to obtain sufficient bandwidth, about 3 or 4 times that of even MUSE LD.
    Do Fish Discs provide sound?
    The blanket category "scenery disc" is very broad and I don't know what all is in it. The only LD of this type I have [my collection is almost exclusively animation, preponderately Japanese] is a 1986 demo for Digital Sound. Some of the scenes have young female models in them, there is a clip from a parade, some stunning pictures of food, &c. I guess some discs have just pictures of specific places, reports suggest there is at least one with nude female models posing in front of tourist attraction type sights. Just saying "scenery disc" tells me little about what's on it.

    These kinds of questions are directed to anybody who is willing to answer them.
    I undestand your reasons for losing interest, Brian. I'm just suggesting that now, as the Forum members take a "first look" at Blu-Ray, is a time to take a "last look" at MUSE. By the way, the Search function here only pulls up your posts back to 2001, and AVS similar, so this may be part of the reason I'm annoying you. [​IMG]
     
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Those screenshots are beautiful, but I can't tell a blessed thing. Except that the shadowmask on this monitor is far too coarse to run at 1024*768, but I already knew that. [​IMG] And that the Jurassic Park DVD is way too bright. Amber isn't water-clear, and there's no way that woman could be so light-coloured.
     
  3. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Just to demonstrate that my thirst for knowledge is insatiable, I am going to pose some more questions for anyone who has any knowledge to answer.

    I have posited that, since the LDP does not decode the MUSE signal, it cannot read the MUSE datastream, and that the subcode data must all come by way of the Redbook subcodes P and Q. If this is the case, a MUSE disc without EFM soundtrack cannot have chapter stops, frame numbers, or timecode; if it does have these, it must have at least the "shell" of a Redbook track, with the audio set to zero. It ought to be pretty easy to confirm the presence/absence of such a signal. Is my surmise corresct?

    Does MUSE CAV provide trick effects? If so, are they any good? I would guess "no" or "yes, no" given that MUSE is interframe encoded; at best a single frame would have low resolution, and applying the motion vectors over and over again would give funny results, though reverse play might work.

    Does the LDP digitise the MUSE signal for time-base correction? If so, are there two separate clock references for the two video systems, or just one?

    Presumably these players incorporste a field-memory circuit for NTSC playback. If so, does it also provide trick effects on MUSE CLV? If so, are they any good, and does the necessarily larger capacity of the store provide any improvements to picture quality when used for NTSC CLV trick effects?


    Looking at my timing diagrammes, it appears that there are about 640 lines per frame in which the Colour Difference signal is followed by something just termed "G". G for Green? If so, I think we have a winner! [​IMG] EDIT No, I see it stands for Guard band, which is supposed to be Grey.

    On NTSC LDs the analog and digital audio tracks are recorded in diferent frequency bands. Either MUSE players have a separate set of sound IF traps equivalent to those for PAL discs just in order to play BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, or else MUSE discs can have a total of three or more soundtracks: A or B mode DANCE, Redbook stereo or dual-channel [or dts encoded as such], and AFM stereo, dual-channel, or mono + AC-3. Think of the possibilities! A total of 15.2 available channels. [​IMG]
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Brian, I don't think I get that inHD channel, I have Direc. Do you have Voom or somethin'? [​IMG]
     
  5. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    HDVS is the uncompressed discs, not MUSE discs. In any case, they provide sound on both formats.

    The Fish discs have no sound.

    All MUSE discs have chapters. And MUSE discs carry either an A-Mode (3-1 32KHz multichannel track) AND a PCM 44.1KHz track, or a B-Mode (2 channel 48KHz surround encoded) track. I've never seen a MUSE disc that had B-Mode + PCM, or A+B Modes, or A+B+PCM tracks. A couple of Sony scenery discs have A-Mode only.

    I can't answer the rest of the MUSE questions, that book I recommended will answer all your MUSE questions in great detail.

    Rachael, InHD is a cable only channel. Email me offline if you have a D-VHS deck.
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Brian, have you read my signature lately?[​IMG]
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Well, today when the mail came there was a big grey envelope emblazoned with Domo-kun on it. This turned out to be about 45 11*17 sheets which some kind soul at NHK has sent in reply a request for information about MUSE I mailed them last month. I am going to have to write a nice note. :b
    It tells me next to nothing about the MUSE LD, I guess I'll have to ask SONY about that, but I now have nearly enough information to construct my own second-generation MUSE encoder. [​IMG] What it does say is that a pilot signal ought to be recorded on the disc, and I guess a sound carrier would suffice.
    As a result, and taking into account input from the Honourable Membership, I have modified my article substantially, to this form.
    It is impossible to have A and B modes together, and LDDb lists a couple of MUSE discs without chapters, including Dracula. It looks like Tony Kwong entered that data, I wish I could catch his attention. Seriously, Brian, thank you very much for the information, but I am not asking you to answer all these questions, though it may seem that way, and you'll notice I did differentiate between HDVS and MUSE. I'm going to try to grab that book through Interlibrary Loan. Edit: somebody else has checked out the nearest copy of this book! Hard to believe anybody else would be interested in this "obsoilete" technology.
     
  8. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Thanks to the wonders of Interlibrary Loan, I am now reading the Hi-Vision book. It is very interesting, and I have learned a good deal from this and the papers on such topics as pseudo-emphasis ["edge enhancement"] and auditory response; but it contains basically nothing on MUSE LD [although it contains rather substantial data on the 1/2" Uni-Hi VCR format, and a truly frightening block diagramme of the Tsukuba Expo 4-track VTR].
     
  9. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    From a volume called the Proceedings of the 1993 NAB HDTV World Conference, I have extracted what is mostly an announcement of the MUSE Hi-Vision LD system, by a Pioneer representative. It contains some very interesting details, principally a confirmation that the signal format encoded on the disc is the same as satellite-broadcast MUSE-E.

    MUSE LD specs out as follows:
    Linear velocity [CLV]: ~14 m/s [roughly 25% greater than for NTSC]
    Rotational velocity [CAV] 1800 RPM [same as for NTSC; vide infra]
    ditto, CLV: 2700-900 RPM [50% higher at maximum than for NTSC]
    Track Pitch: 1.1 micron
    Inner radius, CLV discs: 55 mm
    ditto, CAV: 76 mm [because at 1800 RPM the linear velocity is not high enough further in; we can see from this that about 15 minutes of the CLV play time is recorded inside of the play region for CAV, and the remaining 45 minutes overlaps it.]
    Outer radius:
    20 cm disc: 96 mm
    30 cm disc: 145 mm
    Play time:
    20 cm: 20 min CLV, 10 min CAV
    30 cm: 60 min CLV, 30 min CAV
    Carrier Frequencies:
    Video: 10.6-14.4 MHz [a very low index of modulation, but the best available within the technical restrictions]
    Pilot Tone: 2.28 MHz [135/2 horizontal frequency]
    EFM/CD Audio [optional]: baseband
    Note there is no provision for analog audio.
    Demodulated signal/noise ratio, CLV: ~36 dB typically [de-emphasis performed at MUSE decoder should provide ~9.5 dB improvement, but output picture is quoted at only 43 dB for some reason]
    Bit error rate, DANCE audio signal: "well below 10^-4" [error correction code is changed from BCH(82,74) to BCH(82,67) to accomodate burst error correction]
    Emphasis: same as for BS/MUSE-E
    LD-specific control data is recorded on line 564, left vacant for just this purpose in the original MUSE spec.
    Optical Pickup:
    Laser Wavelength: 670 nm [vs. 780 for NTSC]
    Lens Numerical Aperture: 0.55 [vs. 0.5 for NTSC]
    The result of the above is to improve MTF of the optical system by about 30%, which of course provides an improved Carrier/Noise ratio when playing NTSC discs.
    While the pilot signal allows for the reduction of playback jitter to tolerable levels using a phase-locked loop and a moving mirror, the players as actually produced incorporated a time-base corrector and frame store to allow for trick play modes [and, presumably, OSD]. Apparently the designers originally believed that Hi-Vision would achieve enough market penetration to engender a demand for barebones players. If only!

    I have about come to the conclusion that the bad appearance of MUSE movie discs, which as I understand it does not extend to the material sourced from video, is largely a result of poor transfers. SONY's state-of-the-art facility used for making HDVS discs as well as MUSE LDs employed a projector/camera telecine. Of course, it is possible that film grain interferes with the motion-estimating routines at the encoder and decoder; I suspect that this could have been corrected with proper software changes.
     
  10. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Well, I've bought a MUSE decoder. I already have a HiVision LD (Chaplin -- I think everybody has that one), so all that remains is a player.


    With all the technical papers I have, I ought to be able to build an encoder, but first I need a signal source & a standard decoder for reference. I'm coming close!
     
  11. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    This decoder is remarkable. The US-style polarized plug, along with labels on it, lead me to believe that it may have been officially imported by Sony (it's a model MST-2000) for demonstration purposes or something.






     
  12. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I decided to sit down and revise my original MUSE/Hi-Vision article, based on the information I have gathered. New version, same old address. Of particular interest, the new version addresses the "green tint" issue.

    Also, I have begun to try to create a user's guide for the Sony MST-2000 MUSE decoder. This is a big .PDF (A2 paper size, that is, but only 275 KB) including full-scale illustrations of the front & back panels, based on measurements made by yours truly. I'm not even sure yet whether my unit works, as I haven't had the opportunity to apply a MUSE signal to it, & I don't have the remote control. I wish I had a manual — it would be in Japanese, but I can make shift to read that language — but I wish I had a remote more.
     
  13. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Well, I've obtained manuals for the Sony MST-1000 & MSC-4000 decoders, as well as the Victor HV-MD2, courtesy of various correspondents, & for the MST-2000 courtesy of Sony Japan Customer Service (good people). That should allow me to provide more useful & extensive user guides. I have also acquired a copy of The Test Disc, although I still have nothing to play it on, & a test-pattern generator which provides a clean 1125(1035)i60 signal. I am looking into the possibility of acquiring MUSE test equipment from Japan, & continuing to investigate emulating the MST-2000 remote control which I don't have.


    Incidentally, I would really be grateful for the opportunity to use a MUSE LD player for an afternoon, somewhere in the area bounded by Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, & Tulsa (that being about as far as I can drive in a day & return).
     
  14. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Well, my MST-2000 user guide (PDF, 400 KB) is basically complete, except for a couple of unanswered questions which I will need a MUSE LD player to test (I'd actually like to buy one, but they're hard to find, especially within my budget), & a couple of remote control codes I haven't identified yet. I may never be able to sort out the two audio codes, & one of them may be a null, so it's really only the OSD one that I have to figure out.


    As mentioned, I have materials to start on user guides for other models, although I would welcome more. I have received a request to do the Victor HV-MD2 next.


    Anyway, comments are welcome.
     

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