Official HTF Review X-MEN D-VHS High Def

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gregg Loewen, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
    Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 1999
    Messages:
    6,374
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    [​IMG]

    The moment I have been waiting for had finally arrived. I have owned the JVC 30000 D-VHS Deck since February but have only been able to watch 30 minutes of demonstration tape UP UNTIL TO NOW!! In preparation for the screening, the HD section of the Toshiba 65H80 was recalibrated as was the convergence and geometry. The time was 10 PM and the daylight had stopped coming into the theater room. Roll tape…
    I won’t go into specifics of the X-MEN plot, as I would like to spend time commenting on the quality of the format. Put simply it was stunning. I have never seen such detail with fantastic black levels on my Toshiba RPTV. The DVD was taken from the same HD transfer that the D-VHS copy was made from but the differences were obvious as night and day. Most people have always considered this DVD to be a reference quality disc when looking at black levels, but as I have previously stated, the D-VHS version was simply stunning in comparison. The film had a 3 dimensional look to it with colors well saturated and not bleeding as well as skin tones being accurate. I have also watched the X-MEN in HD from Dish Network, but the D-VHS version was unlike any HD image I have ever seen to date. I attribute this to be the result of the 28.2 Mbps transfer rate of the D-VHS image.
    The D-VHS copy is in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding. The soundtrack is well blended, smooth, and sounded great. I compared the DVD directly to the D-VHS and I could not find any discernable difference amongst the two. Perhaps a different soundtrack would show the advantage of the D-VHS’ greater bandwidth for Dolby Digital audio.
    While watching the film I noticed a total of six dropouts. With two of them resulting in audio and video dropouts. These were all momentary and each lasted for less than a second, but was long enough for the OSD to indicate that it had relocked on the DD stream. I immediately contacted FOX who sent another copy for comparison. The same problem was evident but could not be replicated at any one time or spot. The conclusion was that the JVC D-VHS Deck was causing the problem. I received the deck back in February so it does not have the latest firmware and hope that the new updated firmware will fix the dropouts. There are online posters who have witnessed this problem and that state it was resolved with a firmware upgrade.
    In closing, I must say I loved this movie and that it is a recent favorite. There is even a copy of the DVD on display in my theater that has been signed by both Bryan Singer and Stan Lee. The differences between the DVD and the D-VHS versions are mainly visual in nature. I find the video portion to be far superior to the DVD’s 480i picture and for this reason I wholeheartedly recommend the D-VHS version, not only for the film content, but also for the quality of the content. This was an outstanding debut release for Twentieth Century Fox and monumental step in the right direction for the format of high definition.
    My favorite scene: Wolverine giving the finger to Cyclops.
    D-VHS stats: 1080i, 28.2 Mbps, 2.35 ratio, 104 minutes run time, PG-13, MSRP: $ 34.95
    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
    Gregg Loewen
    Official ISF Video Calibrator of Hometheaterforum
     
  2. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great to hear Gregg. I want to see one of these decks in action before I pass final judgement on one. I have been toying with the idea of getting one when I get the money, but that is a long way off.
    Great to hear the good news on the format though.
     
  3. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1998
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm waiting for the next gen DVHS decks (hopefully at lower prices). I used to own the Panny PV-HD1000/DST51 combo, but sold it due to dropout problems & other issues. Panny did 19.8mbps I think, but the JVC being able to do 28.2 is impressive.

    I plan to get the Samsung SIR-T165 OTA STB w/Firewire when it's released. With it & a DVHS deck, at least OTA HD can be recorded. Having a good selection of D-Theater tapes to play would be icing on the cake.
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Awesome, Gregg! [​IMG]
    Wish I could watch what you're watching!
     
  5. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
     
  6. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
    Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 1999
    Messages:
    6,374
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    hi Steve!

    480i meaning the the native format of the DVD. I used a Panasonic RP-91 in progressive scan mode to convert to 480P.

    Gregg
     
  7. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The X-Men R1 DVD is interlaced?

    Nevermind, I just answered my own question. I looked at the info window in WinDVD and saw that it is not interlaced. I was thinking it would be odd if it was.
     
  8. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
    Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 1999
    Messages:
    6,374
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    Eric, it is 480i as are all other DVDs produced. 480P is produced by the player or the TV. Please keep in mind that this is different from anamorphic enhancement.

    Gregg
     
  9. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gregg, I always thought DVDs were natively stored in a progressive format unless chosen otherwise?

    So are you saying when all things are shown in 4:3 mode they are considered interlaced, and 16:9 anamorphic isn't? WinDVD does indeed make distinctions in its descriptions of content. Sometimes saying interlaced, and other times not.
     
  10. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
    Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 1999
    Messages:
    6,374
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    All dvds, (doesnt matter about aspect ratio), are natively in 480i.
     
  11. Ray Suarez

    Ray Suarez Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gregg,

    Thank you for the review. I have seen the HD version of X-men on HBO and I thought it was very good. To say the D-VHS version is "unlike any HD version " seen to date speaks volumes.

    Have you tried using the record function yet? If so how readily available is the software? Will this unit allow one to record in 1080i or is it limited to 480i?

    Thank You

    Ray
     
  12. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2001
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    DVD's are 480i, but these inter-frames can be flagged for progressive playback, as they are on many DVD's.
     
  13. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ray, it does record in 1080i or 720p or any of the other ATSC specs. Not sure about 1080p, though it will play that, I've been told. I record CSI, Alias, and The Agency in HD weekly.
     
  14. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,765
    Likes Received:
    196
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I have this movie on D-VHS tape. [​IMG] I just don't have a player to play it on. [​IMG]
    Maybe I can play it at Brian's house. [​IMG]
     
  15. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nice try Robert, I only have the Japanese decks. One day......
     
  16. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Will the deck play back pre-recorded 1080p material?

    If it does I don't think many of us could even display it. I wonder how much space 5mins of 1080p would take up on a tape...
     
  17. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Gregg- you should drop in (On page 2-3) here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=81640
    and here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=80083
    Where I've been going round and round about how DVD is stored "natively". There still seems to be much debate on the issue. Do you have a tech source available for the statement that all material is interlaced? Does this include material encoded as 24 (23.976) natively- or can DVD really be encoded natively at 23.976 as some have said?
    -V
     
  18. Michael St. Clair

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    6,001
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Considering that any decent progressive DVD player can output true 24fps video from most film sources, it's a little bit unfair to attack DVD as being '480i'.
     
  19. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    But the question is, for me, how that 480p output is being achieved. These players have standard scaling chips in them (Genesis, Sage, etc)- this leads me to think that the idea of prog scan DVD can just as easily be a dvd player with a line double built in, processing data into progressive the same was LD or VHS can be done. According to documents I've read, the material comes off the main bus interlaced- and is stored interlaced.

    Also, it it true that a Prog Scan player is displaying "24fps"- I always thought it was a 60hz signal with 3-2 pulldown (24 frames output as 60 [24*2.5]). Would that be considered true 24fps if it's being played at 60fps?

    -Vince
     
  20. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2000
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    247
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    My understanding of the DVD format (meaning for the most part: the MPEG-2 bitstream) is that when video is encoded it can be flagged if it's NTSC/PAL interlaced material @ 60 or 50 fields per seconds respectively, or at 30fps for film or computer graphics video. ..Or if it's originally 24fps film. I don't believe this mode (24fps progressive) is currently in use, as compressionist would rather interlace an image themselves and filter for artifacts that may arise when needed. But if it is 24fps encoded as 60 field NTSC, obviously 3-2 pulldown has been applied to fit 24 frames per second into 60 fields. Now MPEG-2 is always trying to find ways to compress video efficiently, and if it's flagged properly, the encoder can recognize 3-2 pulldown during compression and waste fewer bits on extra fields. It also (in theory) doesn't add additional compression artifacts due to the 3-2 pulldown if it knows how it was originally encoded, as the case of 24fps to 60 fields per second ala 3-2 pulldown. Some of the early pro-scan DVD players relied solely on these "flags" to convert interlaced video to progressive. The problem is, sometimes when some DVDs were encoded, these helper "flags" were set wrong. While this was only a minor detriment in encoding efficiency, it becomes a major snag when a pro-scan DVD player relies on these flags to make a progressive image. This is why most pro-scan players now have an "auto" mode, so it looks at the video material itself vs relying on the MPEG-2 identification flags.

    Hope this helps!

    -Greg-
     

Share This Page