iMac 17" screen: good enough for DVDs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allan Mack, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    Is the 17" LCD iMac's screen good enough for watching DVDs for an extended period of time? Is the frame rate fast enough for live action movies? Or is there ghosting? Also, how is the contrast ratio?

    Is the eMac (CRT) better for DVD viewing?

    If anyone has any experience with one, post here. I haven't seen one yet with a DVD loaded because most of the stores have ignorant anti-Mac salespeople...
     
  2. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    Works just fine. I have watched all of the Wizard of Oz on a 17" iMac...never noticed any blurring.
     
  3. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Don't go for the eMac. The machine is fine, but it doesn't have the widescreen like the 17" iMac does.
     
  4. Phil Kim

    Phil Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    The iMac LCD's capable of 30 frames per second or so (pixel response time of around 30 ms.), which would be sufficient for DVD.
    I have just two criticisms: (1) the black level on the LCD is more dark gray than black and (2) Apple's DVD Player does not zoom non-anamorphic widescreen DVDs to fill 17" screen (fortunately, such titles are getting rare).
     
  5. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    I finally took a look at the 17" iMac--it was playing Monsters, Inc.

    The picture looked slightly blocky or pixelized in certain scenes. The version I saw was the widescreen version, with black bars at the top and bottom. (I assume there are black bars because the iMac's display is 16:10 and the movie is closer to 16:9.) I never saw any blockiness on my home TV (Sony 36XBR450)

    Is this blockiness/pixelation due to the high resolution of the iMac's display (1440 x 900)? I've seen Toy Story 2 on my sister's iMac DV (15" CRT @ 1024 x 768) and never noticed any blockiness.

    What is the ideal monitor resolution for viewing anamorphic 16:9 DVDs? 1024 x 768? 800 x 600?

    On the 17" iMac, I also noticed a lot of combing in the video-based feature "Mike's New Car". There was no combing during the movie, which (I assume) is 24 fps.

    When I tried out some video-based material on my sister's iMac DV, there was also a lot of combing. The combing disappeared when the feature film (24 fps) was played.

    I guess video-based DVDs don't fare too well in the Mac DVD Player. My inexpensive standalone DVD player (Panny RP82) does a much better job of handling video material. Why can't a supercomputer (Power PC G4) handle simple stuff like this? I guess the Mac platform is not big enough to have specialized DVD playback software/hardware like on the PC end...
     
  6. Mike Sogge

    Mike Sogge Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    16:9 content, whether it is a 1.85 or 2.35 movie, is usually upscaled to 960x540 square pixels (from DVD's non-square 720x480). Both 800x600 and 1024x768 (full-screen), will work, but they are not the preferred size.

    The combing is due primarily to the fact that a computer display is progressive, while your TV is interlaced. DVDs are designed to be interlaced. So your inexpensive DVD player requires no effort to display the video-based material properly on a TV. All computer-based players must try a variety of tricks to deinterlace the content, but unlike with 24fps material, they're just guessing. Now, pervasive combing might indicate that they're not even trying, and a better player might do a better job, but it's tought to get it "perfect"

    //Ken
     
  8. Allan Mack

    Allan Mack Supporting Actor

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    Oh, I see. So that's why my HD-ready TV and Faroudja progressive scan DVD player looks so much smoother and filmlike than the 17" LCD iMac. Probably also because it has the DCDi chip in it.

    Thanks.

    I also looked at a progressive-scan portable DVD player (Toshiba SD-P2000) today, and it also looked much better than the iMac, even though it's also an LCD...
     

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