Phantom Menace dvd EE observation

Sean Patrick

Supporting Actor
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Apr 22, 1999
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i was at a hi-fi buys yesterday looking at some 16:9 tube's, when i came across the Panasonic 16:9 34" which i almost bought (didn't, but that's another story).

anyway, they had Phantom Menace playing through a progressive feed. I finally saw unequivically what people have been talking about - horrible halos, EVERYWHERE. Just to make sure it wasn't the tv, i asked if i could watch another dvd...they put in Starship Troopers, and it looked fabulous. Tried a few more scenes from the Phantom Menace dvd and it just didn't look clear.

Why did they have to ruin this dvd with so much EE? I'm getting a 16:9 delivered tuesday and hope not too many dvd's get ruined by EE with a bigger display than i'm used to (27", going to 38" 16:9).
 

StephenA

Screenwriter
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I really don't see it on my TV, and I have a 6 foot tall projection TV. Is it only seen on HD or widescreen TVs?
 

GlennH

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Sean, I have a 58" rear-projection HDTV and I definitely can see EE halos in some DVDs, including TPM. But fortunately there are not too many offenders that are so bad as to ruin the experience. It does help you appreciate truly fine transfers much more though.

So don't worry, I think you'll be quite pleased on the whole.
 

Larry Sutliff

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I have a 40" widescreen set and I don't really have a problem with THE PHANTOM MENACE;indeed, it's one of the nicer looking DVD's I own. However 40" is relatively small and it may have obvious problems on a larger system.
 

Jason_Els

Screenwriter
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Feb 22, 2001
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I have the halo problem but only if I don't use the progressive ouput on my Panny RP-56. On my PC with a Sigma Designs Netstream 2000 there is no edge enhancement effect either. Both are progressive scan though so perhaps it's just that?
 

William Ward

Supporting Actor
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Mar 1, 2000
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It seems to suffer from the same problem that FOX's digital broadcast of the Super Bowl did:

Closeups look decent, but wide shots suffer from haloing. Now granted, it's much worse on FOX Super Bowl, but it's there on the TPM DVD. I don't know if it's technically EE that is provided after the transfer or what. But it IS distracting to 90% of those watching on larger setups and we want it removed.
 

Artur Meinild

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Aug 10, 2000
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I have a 32" widescreen tube TV and my eyes hurt from EE when I pop in TPM. As mentioned, Starship troopers is reference quality.
 

Jason_H

Second Unit
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Mar 9, 2000
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Good GAWD the EE on this title is incredibly bad! I cannot fathom not being able to see it on any kind of projection system, unless you have a really soft picture. Just for reference, I have a Toshiba 56H80.
But for anyone just getting into a RPTV or FPTV, I would say it is pretty rare for titles to look this bad due to EE. Certainly not a reason to stay out of the big screen market, the rewards FAR outweigh the drawbacks. Very few titles have EE that is this garrish, and most titles that do have EE, it is pretty mild and ignorable.
 

Andrew_Sch

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I didn't notice any difference in the EE in Usual Suspects going from a 27" WEGA to a 34" Toshiba widescreen.
 

Jeffrey Forner

Screenwriter
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Jun 19, 1999
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While I do see EE on The Phantom Menace(mostly on Tatooine), I can't believe the fuss people put up whenever the subject arises. It's present, but it's not that bad. Folks, I have a 42" Toshiba RPTV, a Panasonic RP91 DVD player, and a Silver Serpent component video cable from Better Cables. The TV has even been ISF calibrated. To top it all off, I sit about 7 feet away from my TV, so if there is excessive EE in a movie, I will (and have) noticed it.
The Phantom Menace may not rival the likes of Toy Story 2 or Shrek in the video department, but on a whole, the transfer is clean, the colors vibrant, and the detail in the picture is more than adequate. It isn't the best transfer ever, but it certainly should be good enough to not warrant so much disapproval.
 

Sean Patrick

Supporting Actor
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Apr 22, 1999
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i think the such vocal disapproval comes from the nature of the film (it's a Star Wars movie, the first on dvd, and a very effects driven and visual film). Hopefully it's not the best of the new trilogy (thankfully it looks like this summer's offering should be miles better)...

i guess it's just very telling that this DVD seems to exhibit bad EE even on the smallest of 16:9 displays, like the Panasonic i saw it on. Like i said, i stuck another dvd in to make sure HIFi buys didn't have the set screwed up, and that dvd looked near HD. Put Phantom Menace back in, and it looked like everything was glowing in certain scenes...all high contrast edges had a VERY pronouncable "noisy" area around it. it really varied from scene to scene, which was even stranger. Some scenes were pretty good, but other scenes were wretched with EE halos.

Anyway, it's good to hear that a vast majority of dvd titles don't suffer the same EE fate than Star Wars did.
 

Bjoern Roy

Second Unit
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Oct 15, 1998
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Mark,
I really don't see it on my TV, and I have a 6 foot tall projection TV. Is it only seen on HD or widescreen TVs?
If you don't see it with a screen that size, your setup is either far less optimally setup than it shoud/could be or you sit quite far away.
 

Derek Bang

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Apr 11, 2000
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Terribly noticeable on a 40" widescreen monitor. Blech. The scene in the beginning of the movie w/Qui Gon and Obi Wan waiting to meet with the Trade Federation - EE everywhere! Looks like someone used a highlighter to accent all the straight lines in the room.
 

DaViD Boulet

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Feb 24, 1999
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you seem to be sitting about 2.5 times screenwidth away. Although many will still find the EE unacceptable at that distance, i find it a LOT less distracting at that distance than it is at 1.5 times screenwidth, a distance that most FP folks like me use for ideal immersiveness.
Exactly. Folks, please realize that sitting 15 feet from your ISF callibrated 40" monitors is great...but it's not exactly replicating the 30 degree viewing angle you get in the theater when you watch *movies*. You may be happy (and you should be) with your TV right now. But eventually one day SOON you'll be able to buy a hi-fidelity 16x9 front-projector that will cost less than your 56" HDTV and produce a much better picture...which is why this should matter to you even if the rining isn't visible on your TV from the vieweing distance you enjoy right now.

Even though HD does an even better job, a well mastered DVD can provide a very satisfying "film like" experience with a 30 degree viewing angle in a properly set up front projection system. Poorly mastered discs have distracting "video" artifacts or poor resolution and aren't enjoyable from this viewing angle...forcing one to sit farther back to turn the "movie" into "big screen TV" in order to make it watchable.

The Phantom menace, from the normal viewing distance for well-mastered DVDs, on my friend's 100" screen (Japanese Sharp 16x9 DLP) looks good for much of the time, but also shows enough ringing and halos that it actually becomes distracting and you focus on it. The picture is also relatively soft to my eyes and doesn't have the resolution that some other reference DVD transfers (training day) seem to carry off without any effort at all.

It's a shame that after all this time THX still can't manage to get what was supposed to be one of the world's reference DVDs to look as good as non-THX titles being produced by non-FOX/Disney studios. It's even more of a shame that after the videophile community has a problem with their sub-par certified DVDs that they protest and either deny that there are any problems with the video on their discs or just quietly ignore us and continue to release more titles with the same problems.

-dave
 

Lou Sytsma

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There is no doubt that TPM is nowhere near a reference transfer and still the number of complaints about it is odd.

Granted there is EE or noise present and the picture does tend to be soft. On the whole it is still a good transfer just not great.

Watching this and then popping in something like the The Fast and The Furious is a revelation though. The clarity of that transfer is unbelievable!
 

Brian Kaz

Second Unit
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Aug 31, 2000
Messages
313
It's weird, but I have never been bothered by the EE on The Phantom Menace. I'm more distracted by two instances of excessive grain (like the sky during the first scene in the Jedi Council chamber) than any EE that might be there.
I have also noticed that the only two parts that look great on the LD (the Pod Race & the end battle) are still the best looking scenes on the DVD. For the record, I have a 46" Mitsu. 16:9, a H/K DVD50 progressive scan player and Acoustic Research component cables. I sit 5 feet away.
Just a tip: Perhaps if you guys watch the film rather than the halos, you wouldn't be bugged so much
 

StephenA

Screenwriter
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Nov 30, 2001
Messages
1,512
I sit across the room from my TV, which is like 15 feet. I never set up my TV, or any of the equipment to it. The TV was originally my stepfather's before he and my mom divorced. He had no where to put it, and left it at my house. I'm not really an electronics person, so I don't know how to get it all up to par.
 

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