is a computer monitor the best way to see DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricW, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    for the last year (since i moved out from the parents), i've been watching DVDs on my PC's 19" monitor with a hardware card (realmagic). now i've started shopping for rptvs, in the 42" HD range, both 4:3 and 16:9... and am really dissapointed in the picture qualities. it's either because:
    a) the hi-volume retailers i've been going to don't know how to display their products or
    b) i'm spoiled by the playback of dvds on PCs.

    regarding a): it seems the places never have a progressive scan player hooked to a tv, only a normal one. also, the broadcast signals been cut several times. their primary input is computer that outputs in HD, which is a very unrealistic good display.

    regarding b): even when the mid-range TVs are displayitng HD material, i find it's just not as good as my monitor. it's hard to explain but the solids are always "wavering" and the picture just isn't stable. perhaps it's only because my monitor is small and hides these imperfections. i dunno.

    is it just me?
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Very few (none) of the big box retailers calibrate their televisions. When I was searching for my HDTV two weeks ago, I asked a few of the smaller retailers if they calibrated the TV's in their showroom. All of them answer "No" and a few had the puzzled "Why calibrate" look. A progressive scan DVD on a calibrated HDTV is great and with an ISF calibration it should be spectacular.

    -Robert
     
  3. Sandra B.

    Sandra B. Extra

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    No, it isn't just you. I also view dvd's on my pc monitor and they look great. The only problem is the aspect ratio. Think that only with high (very high) end plasma displays you're going to achieve that perfect image quality.

    ¿What c. monitor did you have?
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    TUBE! (or plasma) One of the reasons it looks better on a smaller monitor is becase you are seeing the resolution squeezed into a smaller area. As the screen size grows, the flaws become more apparent. I can tollerate RPTVs, but overall, I haven't seen many that the resolution is spectacular. More or less, for the price, I will choose a tube set with a better picture vs a larger screen.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    you're really comparing apples and organges: a tube vs. a projection. they're different technologies.

    one of the main drawbacks of a projection is exactly what you're discussing. but the size sure is cool isn't it?

    believe me, if they made a 65" tube, people would be all over it like white on rice.
     
  6. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    what's the fundamental difference(s) between TV tubes and computer monitor tubes? or are there any? i think the computer monitor beats even those. i was watching Black Hawk Down on a 36" HD tube at the store, then went home and watched it again on the monitor, and there was quite a difference.
     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    The high quality of computer monitors is also caused by the far superior electronics controlling it. TV screens are made to produce an acceptable 500 x 500 image (HD twice that amount), but modern PC monitors have razorsharp 1024 x 720 or 1280 x 1024 and higher rasters.

    Modern graphic cards can upgrade images to a higher resolution much better than most of the circuitry that's in or around most TV sets.
    The speed used to be a problem, but now that's solved in practice, the only drawback that's left is the maximum seize of PC monitor screens (partly "solved" by the viewer sitting closer).
    And, BTW, larger screen sizes lead to new problems: convergence, etc. (causing image and colour distortions near the corners, among other effects).

    So yes, PC monitors generally may have a superior image now - but with its own (other) limitations.

    Cees
     
  8. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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  9. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    The dot pitch on a computer monitor is much finer than on a TV. 0.25 to 0.30 mm vs. upwards of 0.8 mm. Typically a computer monitor will deliver a picture that is sharper than on a regular TV twice the size.
    Also almost all computer monitors have an easilyajusted height control to do 16:9 mode.
    The picture won't be quite as bright, and it is small, but is often suitable for a dorm room where space is at a premium and you might not want to lug a heavy TV in in September and out in June every year.
    Use an iScan or a VB50 or an Instant TV or a VVGA-300 to convert ordinary interlaced video to computer VGA.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  10. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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  11. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    In my bedroom, it's not practical to have both a computer and a TV (Just not enough space) so I use my computer monitor as my video device. It’s a Sony Trinitron G400 19” and it does the job well. I imagine this will be even better once I upgrade to a 21”. I have yet to see a video where the computer monitor doesn’t reveal it’s weaknesses.
     
  12. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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  13. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    DVD's played back on my monitor scaled to 1600x1200 72hz look amazing; I can't imagine a TV looking this well. But when I have to chose between a 19" computer monitor or a 40+" RPTV, the decision is simple.
     
  14. Mike-grouse

    Mike-grouse Stunt Coordinator

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    A "good" hdtv rear projection model will look better than a compute generated DVD image.

    sure you have more squeezed so that it looks better, but you don't have the same calibration controls on a computer that you do on a TV. Mainly the sharpness setting. When calibrated correctly the sharpness on a TV will actually blur the pictire a bit. THis softens the picture, make it look more film like and hide those little mpeg artifacts.

    On a computer monitor the mpeg artifacts stand out like sore thumb. ANd the sie is paltry.

    TV is way better than computer. You just need ot clabrate correctly and set in reality what a quality HDTV rear projection unit is.

    A $2000- $3000 HDTV RPTV is crap.
    They're scaled down versions of the real RPTV offered.

    Just look at price range comparisons:
    tube tv $200-$2200 (generally)
    projection $2000-$8000 (genrally)

    It helps to know when you're looking at the bottom of the barrel as to not expect find the best quality.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. Mike-grouse

    Mike-grouse Stunt Coordinator

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    one more addition:

    The main goal of a home theater is to simualte the movie theater as best as possible.

    Big screen and big sound are fundamental.

    I've had the monster vega 36" and now have a monster platinum plus mits 65" hdtv 16:9.

    Loved em both and both provide excellent video quality as expected. There something about the big screen that brings you closer to actors expressions and the actions. It's amazing what a big screen allows you to see the seem like meaningless actions on a small screen.

    Both TVs offered superb brilliance with a "how could there be better" feeling to the quality of both TVs.

    It just comes down to you get what you pay for.

    Not being snobby just stating fact.

    HAve fun and enjoy your HTs
     
  16. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    If you think that your computer monitor gives the best picture, then just purchase an extremely large computer monitor. Panasonic makes a 40'' 16:9 LCD TV that can also be used as a computer monitor. It retails for about $3000, and I think it gives you a better picture then a regular projection TV (I think it rivals plasma TVs, but since it's 16 inches thick as oppose to 3.5 inches, it's only a fraction of those prices). It is capable of 480p/720p/1080i pictures for TV, and 1280 x 720 when serving as a computer monitor. Panasonic makes a 45 incher too, but I've seen the 40'' around at Best Buy. It really makes me wish I had a billion dollars to spend as I please.
     
  17. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    i just wanted to post that i'm now a proud and HAPPY [​IMG] owner of a Toshiba 36" hidef tube (36hfx72) and it is saWEEEEEtah. no comparison to a monitor and i haven't had an early night's sleep for a week since i've gotten it. while the monitor may still have better detail, the TV has much better, deeper blacks and the colours are more vibrant. the TV gives a much better three dimensional look while the monitor always looks flat. watching Ep2 on the TV is like looking through a window.
     
  18. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

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    Something to keep in mind though especially where space is at a premium would be a Sony GDM-FW900 screen...24" 16:10 crt; the size is better than what you would get using a 4:3 24" flat screen, and it gives you higher resolution, higher refresh, etc.

    Also, before dismissing monitors as having poor brightness and contrast, I think it's only fair (just as people have said don't look at an improperly-calibrated RPTV) to calibrate the monitor properly. I know that on my old Mitsubishi Diamondtron 19" monitor it had a button that you would press for "Fine Picture Mode". It basically adjusted the contrast, brightness, etc. to give a much better image for viewing movies and graphics. Granted, the colors mightbe moved off of reference or whatever but pretty much anyone who saw Fine Picture Mode vs. Normally Calibrated found the Fine Picture Mode to look pretty good.
     

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