Just got the RP-91... Out Of Box Impressions / Concerns....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich H, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    I posted the question yesterday, asking if I'd likely see a difference between my Sony DVP s-360 (entry level) DVD player and the Panny RP-91, using my Panny Tau 27" screen.

    Well, I brought home the Panny RP91 and....

    I wasn't expecting to see much difference at all, given the S-video, interlaced only capabilities of

    my TV. But....WOW! Was there ever a difference.

    The RP-91 put out an awesomely crisp, clear, detailed picture with more realistically nuanced color. Subjectively,

    it almost felt like when I originally moved from VHS to DVD with the Sony. I simply would never have believed my

    TV was capable of such a picture - to my eyes I'm seeing a better picture than most of the bigger, newer CRT

    set-ups I encounter at the store.

    BUT, but...I also have cause for concern, as I also encountered some troubling picture qualities.

    Here are the problems:

    1. Jaggies. Lots of them. Anything with a straight line seems to break up and shimmer with jaggies (especially

    when characters are wearing glasses). Letters, anything. On the Alien disc, when the camera does that famous

    crane shot reveal of the dead alien pilot, the various architectural lines surrounding the structure became a riot of shimmering lines. This virtually never happened with the cheap Sony player. What gives? Can this be addressed? I plan to eventually use the RP-91 in progressive scan mode with a plasma. Will progressive scan mode cure this? (I keep reading of the RP-91's "smooth" film-like quality in progscan).

    2. Ghosting. There often seems to be a ghost image off-set from the original image. This is very evident at the

    beggining of Toy Story. Looking at the Pixar logo, the letters seem to be a faint duplicate of the letters, slightly off-set from the original letters. Has anyone else seen this with the RP-91? Also, during certain scenes, the top of the letterbox picture, where it meets the top black bar, jiggles and blurs, with some occaisional frame information actually bleeding outside into the letterbox.

    3. Contrast. The blacks seem "too" black, loosing detail. Shadows quickly become pitch black. Characters wearing tuxedos have little detail on the dark tux, like they are wearing a pitch black suite. Definitely not a natural

    balance of blacks, and it can get fairly annoying.

    I have not fiddled with any settings. Can this be fixed on the RP-91?

    I've looked at the RP-91 FAQ and, perhaps some of it went over my head, but I'm not sure these exact problems are adressed there.

    As much as I am utterly amazed at the RP-91, if these problems don't have a fix, I'm not sure I could live with

    these picture problems.

    Any comments? (This is a gift for me/wife, and I've got to figure out fast if I should return it).

    Much Thanks,

    Rich H.
     
  2. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    I can help address some of your concerns.

    First off, the jaggies your talking about are inherent in the RP91. Its not the best at this as it still uses the Genesis chipset. See the most recent DVD shootout at secrets.

    The different video modes give you differing amounts of jaggies because some of them are finer than others. Play with these and see which one you like the best.

    Your second comment about ghosting I have not seen and I've never seen the top of the letterbox jiggles or blurs. Maybe there's something wrong with your cables or even the player itself.

    There is a setting in the configuration that allows you to choose dark or light black levels. And, it also has a setting for the type of TV you have.

    Have you setup the DVD player and TV with AVIA or VE yet? This will setup the proper contrast and everything else since it is a different player than you previously had. Set it up and see if any of these things goes away.

    Good luck,

    Patrick
     
  3. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    He wouldn't be using the Genesis de-interlacer chip because he's running the interlaced S-video cord to his TV.

    As for jaggies, this is inherent to the downconversion of anamorphic enhanced DVDs to 4:3 TV's with some players. The Toshiba players are the most noticeable, Panasonic somewhere in the middle, and Sony is considered very soft in order to hide the flaws in downconversion.

    Ghosting can be a problem of signal reflection or interference in the TV or cables (for the cables, you'd need better shielding and true 75 ohm impedence). Also, if your power is dirty or there is a ground loop in the system, it can cause video problems.

    Dan
     
  4. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    The jaggies are caused by the downconversion process for 4:3 sets. Sony players use an algorithm that is pretty good at eliminating jaggies, but causes the picture to look softer and less crisp. Other players (perhaps Panasonic) simply eliminate every 4th scan line for down-conversion, producing a nice, sharp image, but with jaggies. It's a trade-off.

    You should no longer observe the problem when you switch to a 16:9 set, since no downconversion is needed.
     
  5. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Are you using the auto 2 setting? The details are in the FAQ, but if not, that could account for some of what you're seeing.
     
  7. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Thank you everyone for all the suggestions. Unfortunately I don't have time to fool with the RP-91 'til after Christmas, so I guess I'll go on faith that I can work out the bugs and keep it.

    Rich H.
     
  8. c aronson

    c aronson Auditioning

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    I have compared the RP91 to my Pioneer DV37 by going back and forth between them using the same DVD both connected to the component inputs on my Pioneer 700 RPTV. In my opinion the picture on the RP91 is much sharper and clearer than the DV37. Also the colors with the RP91 are much more vivid than the DV37. There are no jaggies seen in progressive scan mode in the anamorphic mode. Per haps there is slightly more noise with the RP91 but this can be significantly be blocked by turning on the DNR button. The RP91 DVD player is the best I have seen sofar.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  10. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    One more problem with the Rp-91 I didn't note the first time, and I haven't heard of this problem with the RP-91 before.

    Really bad warping of vertical lines. It's especially noticable with architecture. Often the straight line of a building or pillar is either curved inward toward the center of the picture - like what happens at the outside of a very wide angle lens. Sometimes, however, vertical lines are not simply curved, but are wavy. Not subtle at all, it's quite bad.

    For instance, looking at Phantom Menace, in the long shot were the Princess is looking out of the palace window, the surrounding pillars are all severely curved and warped.

    Any ideas what's going on with this one?

    Thanks,

    Rich H.
     
  11. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Rich H - sounds like your TV might be having problems! Try turning brightness and contrast down... that often causes geometry warping on the screen.

    Frankly, testing a DVD player on a 27" really isn't much of a test. The RP91 puts out a VERY good picture, but most people use it in progressive mode though via component outputs.

    If you're planning on keeping the TV I think the RP91 is MAJOR overkill.
     
  12. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Oh brother,

    Paul H, after reading your suggestion about my TV I went and checked it. Turns out my TV seems to be dying. It was fine

    only a few days ago, so naturally I blamed the RP-91 when I started examining the picture critically. I guess it's been dying over several days and tonight the picture is horrible. It's loosing brightness, looks terribly contrasty - no detail in blacks, the color is bleaching, bleeding and yes, the vertical lines are all wavy and curved. So that stuff I can now attribute to the TV. I'm not sure yet if the jaggies are still due to the RP-91.

    BTW, is this a picture tube thing that can be replaced or fixed?

    Sigh.

    Oh well, maybe THIS is the excuse I need to convince my wife

    it's time for the plasma purchase.

    Thanks all.

    Rich.
     
  13. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    Sorry to hear your TV is dying.

    Fixing a 27" TV will cost you $150 minimum probably so it's debatable as to whether it's worth it especially if you're serious about possibly moving to plasma! That's like going from a Yugo to a Lexus.

    I had my old 32" Sony fixed ($175) though because I wanted to use it in the basement and that repair price wasn't high enough to justify getting a new TV instead.
     

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