DVD PQ compared to HDTV on new plasma

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Joe Pick, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. Joe Pick

    Joe Pick Stunt Coordinator

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    Is the reason my HDVT (Comcast) picture quality looks better than DVD, because I'm viewing 1080i vs. 480p? How can I improved DVD PQ? It's not bad, just not as good as HDTV.

    I've got a new Panasonic TH-37PX60U, an older Sony DVD player, Comcast DVR - all connected via component cables through my Onkyo A/V receiver.

    Thanks for the help - still learning.
     
  2. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    DVD PQ is good, but not as good as HDTV. The only way it will be is to buy one of the new HD players. The "upconverting" players will NOT make your DVD's look like HDTV. It's like expecting AM radio to sound like CD's. You can't make 480 lines look like 1080.
     
  3. Joe Pick

    Joe Pick Stunt Coordinator

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    Makes sense - thank you. On my DVD player, is "interlace" or "progressive" a better setting? I'm not sure I can tell the difference, but I've only looked at a couple DVDs, and I'm not sure of what to look for.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    DVD is a standard definition source, so no it's not going to look as detailed as HD sources are.

    That being said, quality video processing can make DVDs look quite excellent, so you may want to explore using better processing then that found in your display if your display is lackluster in that regards.
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    As far as interlaced versus progressive as selected manually at the DVD player, it depends on which gives you a sharper picture with a minimum of motion blur. Which looks better may depend on the make and model of player together with the make and model of TV.

    With the DVD player on progressive, picture quality is more sensitive to differences in cable quality, although you don't have to run out and buy really expensive name brand cables.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/viddoubl.htm
     
  6. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    You aren't going to get better picture quality from your DVD player that compares to high definition content. The advantage that DVD's have, both hi-def and standard def, is that when they are mastered to DVD scenes are compressed at varying levels in order to maximize space on their discs. The end result is usually really nice looking even though it's all been considerably compressed from the original source.

    With HDTV via cable or satellite, all content is simply compressed in order to be distributed through the bandwidth limitations of the cable/satellite service. It's not even 1080i but it will still look much better than standard definition TV and standard def DVD's.

    Don't go wasting your money on a "better" DVD player that scales and "ups" resolution, it's all marketing gimmicks, etc. If you have a plasma, you should buy either the HD-DVD player or Blu-Ray Disc player. Go to the forums on this site discussion both of those new formats.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    You should be clear that that applies mainly to broadcast, but not to other ways of distributing HD content such as HD-DVD/BR. Those are certainly not fixed bitrate.

    Last: upscaling content is not at ALL a marketing gimmick. Proper, quality scaling of content is difficult to do well (especially getting the cadence detection right) and skimping out and letting an inferior device process the video can yield less than ideal quality. Fortunately, video processing is SOOO much cheaper nowadays thatn it used to be. Something like the Denon 5910 smokes standalone processors from just a few years ago that easily could have cost you twenty grand.
     
  8. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    " The advantage that DVD's have, both hi-def and standard def, is that when they are mastered to DVD scenes are compressed at varying levels in order to maximize space on their discs. The end result is usually really nice looking even though it's all been considerably compressed from the original source."

    I don't how much more clear that can be.

    And upscaling dvd players aren't that useful. They can achieve, in my opinion, slightly better images on HDTV's, but certainly don't make nearly as much sense as they did in previous years.

    Some people may have a considerably large DVD library now and I understand that, but I couldn't recommend anyone to buy inferior equipment that will be useless and outdated in a couple of years.
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I don't see how high quality scaling is "useless" and outdated. I agree, HD is absolutely preferred where available, but many people have very large DVD libraries and it will certainly be a while yet before the format war settles out and similarly large libraries of films will be available in HD, so there's absolutely some desire to have high quality DVD performance, and that will necessarily involve scaling to HD resolutions for the best image. While it is true that at the low end when most displays have internal upscaling, that low-end upscaling players may not provide much of a difference, high end processing is qutie a big deal especially with large-format projection displays. Scaling up the resolution absolutely does provide a significant improvement in the image and the resolving of all the source detail, even if it does not reach (obviously) the amount of detail that is possible in a native HD source of comparable quality.
     
  10. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    It makes an improvement, but is it worth the investment? A high end processor is not worth the investment in my opinion because true HD equipment is here.

    If you're not concerned with buying equipment that you won't be using for very long to maximize your soon to be outdated library it's a decent upgrade. I just can't endorse it.

    I'm used to looking at 35mm film in 23.98 PsF on a 10-bit reference monitor, so upscaling standard def DVD's to consumer plasmas is just not that impressive to me.
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Absolutely it's worth it. Considering that there are some dozens of HD titles out now (not counting D-theater), compared with tens of thousands on DVD, it's hardly fair to characterize as HD content as being "here" in a way that renders DVD in any way obsolete. That is of course, if you're actually into watching a wide variety of movies.


    I'm as excited as HD content as anyone else, certainly if makes DVD pale in comparison, but that doesn't have anything to do with the desire to make DVD look as good as possible, because many people still watch a large quantity of DVD content because obviously that's where a lot of content is.

    You are also welcome to explain to how you watch 35mm film in a psf form...
     
  12. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't buy one. That's my last word on this topic.

    Viewing 35mm film in 23.98 PsF is part of my job.
     
  13. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    That's fine, your loss.

    Second, it's not possible to watch film in a sgemented-frame format. Unless there is another PsF acronym that I am not aware of, you seem to be misinformed? Considering you are viewing on a display with a defined bit-depth as you stated above, you're not watching film. That's how you would view PsF content, because film is different matter. It certainly could be film-based content (as opposed to video-based) but that's different than watching film.
     
  14. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    I really don't understand where this "I need to correct everyone, cause I know everything attitude" comes from. There really isn't a need for it here. I said I look at 35mm film (that being the source) in 23.98 PsF (that being the reference) on a 10-bit color monitor.

    I'd really like to know how I am not looking at film?
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Because it's impossible to view actual film in that format. PsF necessarily defines a digital format, which means its not film that you're looking at. Is there a projector with a film reel projecting film? Or are you viewing PsF content at 10-bit? It's either one or the other, not both. I'm not trying to be intentionally confrontational, but if you say "I'm viewing 35mm film on a CRT display" that's not possible, and yet that's exactly the essence of what you said and it doesn't make any sense at all. You were the one who made the statement, it seems, to create the impression that you have expertise in this area.

    I'm not trying to bring any kind of attitude. If you're going to claim that upscaling is just a "marketing gimmick," that's an errant statement that should be corrected because it's just flat wrong.
     
  16. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    It's not possible to view film on a video monitor? Is that what you are contending? That unless you are viewing a projection of film, then you aren't viewing film?

    I brought up looking at 35mm film on a 10 bit monitor in 23.98 PsF as the basis for comparison for viewing HD content, in this case versus consumer grade content on consumer equipment. How is it not possible to view film in this HD standard? What is your source for this limitation?
     
  17. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    If you're looking at a video monitor, then of course that's different than looking at film for obvious reasons. Obviously you can look at film content that's been transferred to a video format but that is quite different than looking at actual film for a variety of reasons.

    When one says that they're looking at film, I take it to mean that that is indeed the format they're viewing, that's all. That's why your statement above was understandably confusing to me because it didn't make any sense that you were viewing "film" on a video monitor. I don't know what the source is you're viewing exactly, but it's very confusing to say you're viewing film, rather than film-based video content of some kind because obviously you're not actually viewing *film.*
     
  18. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I know what I am saying... it is you that is misunderstanding.

    I look directly at 35mm film, that is processed negative, on my 10-bit monitor, run by my Thompson Spirit 2k Datacine. The process is called telecine.

    I didn't say I was viewing film-based content, I said I was viewing "35mm film." You do realize that anything shot on film *is* viewed by the people who shot it before it is ever transferred to any video format, right?

    So my basis for comparison of Hi-definition content differs greatly from yours or the vast majority of people (yes, even HT fans) because I look at raw negative via a multimillion dollar workstation before it is ever transferred or compressed or viewed on inferior 8-bit consumer HDTV's.

    All this being said and back to the original point of all this nonsensical banter, is that standard definition upscaling dvd players are not worth the investment. It was a misunderstanding, just chill on the I-know-it-all-preachy stuff.
     
  19. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    If you had just said you were viewing telecine it would have made sense in the first place.
     
  20. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    Of course, you weren't wrong or presumptuous or anything. It was me that was vague.

    I'm not viewing "telecine." Telecine is a process. Once the process has taken place I'd be viewing video, which is not what I have been saying at all. What I do view is AGAIN, "35mm film." I view it on a 10 bit monitor and yes in 23.98 PsF.
     

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