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Component upgrade from composite produced NO improvement! (1 Viewer)

JasonDG

Grip
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
16
I'm a little disappointed. I just got my Liberty component video cables yesterday and went to hook them up. Up till now all I've been using is composite connections. So I left the composite cable hooked up and tried a direct comparison with my Episode I DVD.

I swear I couldn't tell a difference between the two. On top of that, I was getting some distortion in the picture that looked like horizontal lines. The distortion was not affected by the cable connection.

Here is my equipment:

Toshiba SD-2150 Dual Tray DVD (christmas gift)

Mitsubishi VS-50805 HDTV Upgradeable (on loan from in-laws)

Kenwood HTB-504 Surround Sound (purchase based on HTFs high recommendation)

So, the sound is great of course. But I have to say that I was disappointed by the picture quality. The TV doubles the lines of the standard 480i and there are two settings. 480p and 960i. The 480p settnig seemed to diminish the distortion slightly.

Does anybody have any ideas why it's not crystal clear?

Here are my ideas:

Option 1: I'm just not used to a 50" screen, and I'm noticing just how bad 480 lines of resolution really is.

Option 2: This TV just isn't as good as I think it is. (Although I can't really complain too much because I got it for free.)

Option 3: My DVD isn't as good as I think it is. (Although I can't really complain because I got it for free. And I don't really think this is the cause.)

Option 4: I just need to get HDTV.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
On my ordinary TV, there is a dramatic difference between Composite and SVideo. Lets start by telling you what to look for:
1) Dont use a moving scene to compare. You want to pause the scene and toggle between the inputs.
2) Make sure your TV does not have the brightness turned all the way up or the contrast turned up so you see extra lines. Avia or Video Essentials DVD are very good at helping you turn these down so details appear.
3) Turn the TV on for 20 minutes and have the room fairly dark for your comparison.
Find a scene with large areas of bright colors and/or lots of straight lines on dark backgrounds. Menu systems are good esp. with text and grid-lines, or rolling credits at the end of a movie.
Now look for these things:
Dot Crawl: Look at a scene with straight lines/text on dark background. Focus on the straight lines. With composite, you should see small dots moving along the horizontal or vertical lines. Kind of like small ants. This is called dot crawl. Flipping to Component should greatly reduce the motion.
Solid Colors: Find a scene with large areas of bright contrasting colors that intersect. Freeze it. Start with composite and notice the colors near the intersection. Flip to Component and you should notice that the colors look a lot more solid all the way to the intersection. With composite, the colors will fade near the intersection.
Rainbow Swirls (aka: Morie (sp?)): Find a scene with small fine patterns like window blinds. The Fifth Element has a scene at the begining with a wide shot of the tomb and the stairs going up to the entrance. Bill Paxtons Hounds-tooth coat in Twister is another. With composite, you should see a rainbow swirl of colors in the fine details. This should be reduced with component.
Yes, these are all little details. But these details are what make the difference.
 

JasonDG

Grip
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
16
Sorry about the multiple postings, but I wasn't getting any response. I wanted to go for maximum coverage and it didn't fit into one category really.

That's the most detailed info on what to look for on the difference between component and composite. I will try it again. If I see ANY improvement I will be happy. I only spent $30 on the component cables (although I think they're pretty good), but if I don't see any improvement then it was a wasted $30.

But, that still leaves the other part of my post about the horizontal lines/distortion. Is this normal for 480 lines displaying on a 50" TV and I'm just not used to it? I just want to know if it's the best I'm going to get, or if there's something I can do to improve it. Will the Avia disk help me get rid of the problem?
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
But, that still leaves the other part of my post about the horizontal lines/distortion
No, this is not normal unless you have the ... (crap, cant remember which one it is), contrast/brightness turned way, way up.

Note: Some of the better TV's store different settings PER INPUT. So just because the Composite input is adjusted correctly (no horizontal lines), the SVideo/Component inputs could be way off. Flip to the Component input and look at the settings while viewing the component signal.

Check your local video stores that rent DVD's. Hollywood DVD near my home rents both Avia and Video Essentials.
 

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