I'm I being a victim of lame component cables?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Manuel Parrado, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello.
    I recently bought a Panasonic 53wx52 and RP-82.
    I have found NTSC reception not to be soft, but not very objectionable, in part because I have good cable reception here.
    Now, I was expecting progressive DVD to look awesome by the testimony of many in this forum. In fact, I was seing no difference between progressive and interlaced and I am using a reputable player with Sage DCDI de-interlacing. Also, the image looks rather soft compared with my 27" TV and inerlaced DVD.
    Today, I went through all the settings and made sure everything was properly set up. After watching a movie (in progressive mode), I went back to several scenes where I had noticed artifacting. And indeed there was a lot of it.
    On solid dark colors, a balck coat in particular, the image seem rather dark, solid and texture-less. It looked a lot like over-compressed Direct TV images. I went through this scene back and forth, cleaned the disk and revised all my settings to no avail. Finally, I set the player to interlaced mode and the coat looked just right, with its texture back and no obvious artifacting.
    I know the player is indeed outputting progressive because there is a test pattern in S&V HT Tune-Up (dot hatch, I believe) where it says it's designed for progressive displays and that it filckers on intelaced players/displays. It does exactly that, flickers on iterlaced and is steady on progressive.
    I finally have arrived to the conclusion that it must be the component video cables. I'm using cheap Magnavox brand component cables of the kind you buy for $18 at K-mart. I theorize that the cables are OK for interlaced but cannot handle progressive which requires twice the bandwith and hence why interlaced looks better than progressive on my player/display combination.
    Does this sound accurate?
    Is my description of the picture consistent with what you would see by using cables whithout enough bandwith?
    Can cable quality actually make that much of a difference or could I be looking at a defective DVD player?
    I will be ordering cables by mail but would like to know if this is likely to solve my problem.
    Thanks
     
  2. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry about the double post.
    I screwed up somehow.
     
  3. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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  4. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Acutally no.
    The fact that I'm getting the progressive signal through with these cables does not mean the signal is all it is supposed to be.
    I would just like to know if it can make that much of a difference.

    I just can't get over the fact that the progressive signal is actually looking worse than interlaced. I've read so many people say how much better ther progressive DVD player image is versus interlaced on HD RPTV's that I just have to think ther is s3omething wrong.
     
  5. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    My Panny RP-56 does something similar and I can tell you why:

    In progressive mode, the lowest black level is automatically at 0 IRE. In interlaced, you have a selection in the player's menu to set it for normal or darker (which is 7.5 IRE and 0 IRE, respectively). NOTE: This setting ONLY affects interlaced mode. Panasonic doesn't give you the option for progressive -- it's at 0 IRE regardless. This likely has NOTHING to do with your cables.

    Make sure you calibrate your television in progressive mode for the best results. In my case (RP-56, Hitachi 43UWX10b) I've found that I have to bump the brightness up 2 notches from where Avia says it should be to get the best picture. Since you're calibrating to 0 IRE and television's standard is 7.5, your cable reception may look like slightly washed out. If your TV lets you store different settings for each input, no problem. Otherwise, find a compromise setting between the two and stick with it. AND REMEMBER -- Give yourself a few days to get accustomed to a calibration before you give up on it.
     
  6. BobRoulier

    BobRoulier Second Unit

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    I use the factory component cables with my panasonic rp91, I have bought several cables from prominent cable makers and really did not notice enough difference! Better cables, monster,kimber, and a couple more I cant think of. there is not going to be a night and day difference with cables but there will be between progressive and interlaced


    Bob
     
  7. Mike-grouse

    Mike-grouse Stunt Coordinator

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    Not the cables but rather your inclination that a projection progressive should look like a tube.

    Fact is the interlacing on tubes hides a lot of image artifact making the image actually look better on the interlaced set at first.

    Progressive set show more of the faults of compression technologies used henge why dss and cable look so bad on hdtv sets.

    the fix is not with cables (although you shoul duse a decent set for obvious reasons), but rather in calibration. A properly calibrated TV hides the artifacts beautifully and makes you tv display with a quality you never thought possible (it's that significant). You can do a lot yourself by getting Video Essentials ar Avia's Guide to Home Theater and calibrating your TV.

    Rediscover your home theater. Everybody if pushed into correctly calibrating their TV has thanked me for showing them the light.

    Hopefullt the light will shining bright in yourHT in the Near future.

    Best of luck
     
  8. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for their help so far.

    While I was working on this issue, I played with the brightness settings back and forth and no amount of adjustments could make that black coat look right (and there are many more instances where I noticed these artifacts).

    It's hard to describe but it looks all the same exact color and you can't make out the texture of it. It looks fine in interlaced mode.

    If progressive scan is going to be showing me these flaws all the time and not give me anything in return, then what's the whole point of switching to progressive? How come so many people see that much of a difference. "Night and day" is a phrase commonly used to describe the difference. So far I'm still in denial mode and believing there is something wrong in my gear. I'm just hoping reality does not hit me too hard.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

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    I'd say the odds that the type of artifacts you are seeing are being caused by your component cables are about nil.

    480p is just not that much bandwidth. I'm not saying that all cables look alike, just that the differences are subtle.

    I'd suspect something in the TV, perhaps in the internal (service menu settings) being less optimal for 480p. Perhaps SVM is engaged to a higher degree for 480p than 480i, or something like that.

    Frankly, if you really want to try cables, I'd go somewhere local with a good return policy.
     
  10. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    My first impression on switching between interlaced and progressive (Toshiba 42" RPTV and Toshiba 3800 DVD player) was, "Hey, the interlaced picture looks better!" It definitely had more vibrant colors and seemed sharper.
    However, I found that there really was no more actual detail in the interlaced picture. I believe I was getting a more natural color from the progressive output, whereas interlaced was more highly "pushed," like a TV set on demo in a store.
    What convinced me to stick with progressive, though, was a brocade coat worn by a character in Shakespeare in Love. The coat shimmered whenever he moved, in interlaced mode, but was stable in progressive mode.
    In summary, my RPTV screen is small by RPTV standards, and the Toshiba de-interlacer is one of the best, so the difference between interlaced DVD output (de-interlaced by the TV) and progressive was pretty minimal.
    I agree that it's unlikely that cables are your problem, or that buying expensive ones will fix it. I think, rather, it's a case of elevated expectations and the other factors people have mentioned (black level, etc.).
    As for the Panasonic not being as sharp as your 27" direct view set...well, the screen is about four times larger. Get your nose up close to the 27" and see if you can actually discern any more real detail than you can see with the Panasonic. Most likely not.
    Jan
     
  11. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for sparing me wasting another $60 on this whole big-butt-HDTV-480p-DVD issue that, at every passing moment, feels more like a big fiasco.

    I'll re-calibrate again tonight (480p of course) and see what I can get.

    I somehow looks like if the TV were performing some additional digital processing to the image on progressive which actually does not make any sense at all.
     
  12. Manuel Parrado

    Manuel Parrado Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeremy Anderson, you were right.
    I set the the iterlaced output to "darker" and got the same results as when using progressive. However, no amount of playing around with the picture controls (using the S&V calibratin disc) seems to improve it.
    Is there a workaround for this on the TV?
    As far as the sofness is concerned, I'm beginning to suspect my set is not well focused. The dots in the focus pattern don't seem sharp. This coupled with less than optimal convergence (I have only done the user menu convergence) might be contributing to my image looking soft.
    Does this sound like a possibility?
    Regards
     

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