Extremely newbie question Re: DVD TV vs. DVD ROM

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ricardo C, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I'm not very knowledgeable at all about video signal processing. Although I'm a computer buff and make a living as a programmer, I've never really gotten into that particular area.

    When I watch a DVD on my TV, the image looks crisp, and the colors vibrant. When I watch it on my PC (Power DVD 4 and a GeForce 2 card), the video looks like, well, MPEG video (which dvd is, I know). The image, while great, looks "softer" than the image I see on TV, and the colors tend to sometimes look as if the image had a 256-color palette. Does anyone know the effect I'm referring to?

    Do I need a better video card? Or am I simply seeing the "true" content of my disc on my monitor and the crisper image I see on TV is more the result of the way the TV handles the signal my DVD player is feeding it? (I have noticed than whenever I hook up my computer to my TV and watch mov or avi files on it, the video tends to look crisper, if less detailed (in my eyes.)
     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    It's probably due to the difference in the way monitors display things vs. TVs. Monitors have pixels and TVs have scan lines. So the scan lines from the DVD video have to be reconfigured to be displayed as pixels on a monitor and that's probably why you're seeing some artifacts that you don't see on TV. So because of the fundamental differences between the two display devices I don't think there's anything you can do to "fix it."
     
  3. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Thanks, Bill [​IMG]
    And what would happen if I used my PC to feed the image to a CRT/DLP/LCD projector? Will I see the same image quirks I see on my monitor once I project it?
     
  4. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    No, because they're made to display NTSC video.
     
  5. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Thanks again! [​IMG]
    I can't say it enough: This forum is amazing. Quick, helpful responses even to the most basic questions. A million thanks to you all [​IMG]
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Actually, what has been said so far by Bill is probably wrong (I love the guy, he's helpful, but nobody bats 1000).

    The reason you're getting bad Computer playback is probably related to the video card in the machine. Your card is upsampling the resolution of DVD from 480 interlaced lines to your screen resolution (what are you running your monitor? 1024x768?)

    GeForce cards are known to do this upsample much more poorly than Radeon based cards. Add that to the fact that the filters in the older POWER DVD are one of the lower quality DVD players- and I think your experience is easily explained. You don't see this on TV because there is no resolution resample occuring as the TV syncs into 480i native- and if you could force your computer to do 480i and your monitor could sync to it, you would probably see "better" picture quality.

    I can get amazing quality DVD playback to my monitor on any of my Radeon based PCs-- so I don't think it has anything to do with display elements of monitors being lacking or unable to show video resolutions.

    As far as connecting a PC to a projector- this is a common thing, there is a whole element of HT called HTPC which uses PC for the main playback device. There is a whole board dedicated to this here on the HTF, and an even bigger one at AVS. Those who use HTPC are using PC with good video cards to provide the playback for their projector or HDTV.

    If you connected your computer to your projector- you'd likely find that you'd see the same poor quality picture, only bigger. The problem is likely in the video card- and so it would continue.

    Bill said that the projector was made for NTSC video, so it would do better- and that would have exactly nothing to do with it. Data projectors are designed to handle data resolutions... some are able to also sync to NTSC signal- but that fact won't help making a bad data resolution signal look any better. The basic display methodology of the projector would be very similar to the monitor display-- so the fact that it can also sync to NTSC video wouldn't have anything impact on how it handled the data resolution you're producing with your PC.

    Again, your situation is likely the result of poor upsampling of your video card in the PC (exactly how this is happening depends on if the deciding is done in software or hardware)--- connecing taht ppor image to a data projector will result in the same issues you're having on a monitor.
     
  7. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Before I get to the reply proper, let me show you the kind of problem I was talking about regarding image color. This is a capture from my Phantom Menace DVD (copy and past ethe link, please, as yahoo won't allow me to directly link to them)
    http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/e1550...wScx8Af8eitLCV
    See the poor color handling in the wall to Lucas' left? That's what I see on my screen, and the "blotches" change place with each frame.
    In addition to that, as I said, the video seems like MPEG video, with all that implies: It looks "soft" and I see what I call "grain" in the image's makeup (I'm sortry, that's the best I can describe it without actually being able to point it out in the video itself.)
    If this is indeed the fault of my video card and DVD player, what would you suggest? I've heard a lot about Radeon cards. Is there any one model I should look at? And what player should I use to replace Power DVD?
    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
    ps-- No, the image isn't quite THAT bad. The capture does show the color blotches accurately, but Lucas looks much better in the actual video. Every capture I take off PDVD seems to have a sharpening filter applied to it.
    pps-- My screen resolution is indeed 1024x768
     
  8. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Well...you win some, you lose some. [​IMG]
    I've noticed the lower quality DVD video on monitors before that wasn't there when plugged into a TV (using the same video card, but TV was hooked up to the S-video port whereas monitor was hooked up to VGA port) using a software decoder. I never bothered to try to improve the monitor's video playback because the TV looked fine.
    The S-video port is outputing NTSC resolution regardless of the video card settings, isn't it?
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  10. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Vince, the scene in the cap is from the "In the Beginning" documentary found on disc 2, in the "Deleted Scenes and Documentaries" section. It's chapter 1, at the 2:15 mark, give or take a second. I have the R4 disc, though. I don't know if it's organized in the same way as the R1 edition. The menus are certainly different.
    My usual screen settings are a 1024x768 resolution and 32-bit color depth.
    TheaterTek sounds awesome, and certainly sounds like it'd be worth the investment. I'm looking forward to your review [​IMG]
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Ricardo,
    I went ahead an reinstalled an old copy of Power DVD on the machine with the worst video card I have, just to try that first. Here is your cap:
    [​IMG]
    here is mine:
    [​IMG]
    Even on the worst card I have, the artifacting is not nearly as bad as yours (granted it isn't perfect but...). Either that card is doing a bad job at the scaling or you guys got a bum release in region 4.
    Can try to see how my Radeon looks, but there is currently no monitor attached (projector in the shop). Will see if I can dig one up and get some sort of version from that one.
    EDIT: Both caps look funky in IE- when they look much cleaner in Photoshop. Can't figure out why IE is killing the color depth.
    -V
     
  12. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Thanks for your help, Vince [​IMG] I really appreciate it.
    My brother has the movie in R1. I'll try to borrow it from him tomorrow and see if the artifacting looks the same.
     
  13. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Ricardo, I can't get to your link, it says Forbidden, permission denied.
    If you set your PC to regular VGA, 640 x 480 x 60 Hz, and true color (65 million colors) is the picture better? At 640 x 480 the DVD player software does not have to scale the picture although it still has to de-interlaced the 480i coming off the MPEG decoder to become non-interlaced for the PC monitor. If the de-interlacing is crude, for example simply duplicating each scan line to turn an odd field or an even field into a full frame, the overall picture will be softer.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  14. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Actually, it looks pretty pixelated at anything lower than 1024x768.
    ps-- You can see the cap if you either drag the link onto your browser's URL field, or if you copy and paste it [​IMG]
     
  15. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I borrowed my brother's R1 edition, but it won't run on my DVD ROM (first time I have a problem with an R1 disc.)
    Vince, if and when you can test the disc on a different card, please let me know [​IMG]
     

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