Pioneer DV59-AVi ... HELP!!!! S.O.S. HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by MarcoBiscotti, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    This machine is giving me so many problems I just don't know what to do!!!


    First, I'll start by giving a breakdown of my setup...


    The Pioneer is connected via component cable to an HD Leeza scaler and output to my DLP front projector at a native 1280x720 res (60Hz).


    The image I am getting from the Pionner is plain UGLY!

    Loads of digital noise and artifacts, and it does NOT handle motion sequences well at all!


    I have the Pure Cinema mode turned OFF, and the progressive scan is set to 'Auto 1' which is supposed to be the best de-interlacing function.


    Let me explain what I am seeing...


    First of all, the image appears extremely soft and in detailed shots (such as a forest of trees or a close-up of a brick wall) the ammount of digital noise disturbance and scattered pixels is terrible and very distracting!


    Another major issue I have is with compression artifacts, especially noticeable in motion sequences!

    Often, the result of such appears in the form of an interlacing error where a flicker is seen in solid lines and any hard straight edges of the image experience a slight jitter which is very quick and subtle but still quite apparent if one were to watch with a discerning eye.

    It's very distracting and downright ugly!

    It also happens to be most apparent in animated titles for some reason. I have some R2 PAL DVD's of The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show and the effect renders them almost unwatchable!


    I've tried nearly every progressive mode too..


    For example, when Charlie Brown turns his head to speak to Schroeder, the solid lines around his mouth flicker and break up. Of course this all happens within a matter of single seconds, but it is consistent when watching DVD's.

    I've never noticed it to be as bad as these R2 German sets which I have, and I am certain that it cannot be an issue with the DVD's themselves as they have received all around rave reviews on Amazon.de and elsewhere that I have checked with excellent feedback in regards to the image quality. The restoration done to the video transfers are far superior to the Charlie Brown DVD's I've previously owned from Paramount in R1. So I can only guess that my setup is to blame!



    I'm just really unhappy overall with the performance of my Pioneer, and for the price I paid for it, I really would have expected better quality!

    I cannot believe that what I am seeing howver, is an accepted standard amongst these players. In fact, it's impossible!


    The 59-AVi is supposed to be a top-of-the line contender, voted "Player Of The Year" by Home Theater Secrets last Fall and has been fishing the highest reviews accross the board. For the $1,000 + price tag I paid for this unit, I am certainly NOT seeing equal quality!!



    Can anyone please help me out and offer feedback as to what the issues might be?




    MAJOR UPDATE:


    I now have an even bigger problem!!!

    I just went to turn on the Pioneer to see what I could do with the remote functions, perhaps to test out the "fast-slow" function of the progressive option in the top menu.

    As I fired up the DLP and switched the Arcam amp to the appropriate channel - when the Pioneer screen came into view, the entire image was distorted and appeared in split screen with the borders of the menu image being cut off at either end by the split sides of the screen frame!

    It almost appears as if someone placed a mirror down the center of my screen causing the image to double, and than lowered the brightness and contrast levels making it very difficult to see altogether!

    How on earth did this happen and what the hell do I do about this now?!

    PLEASE HELP ME OUT!!!
     
  2. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I just received the new limited edition R2 PAL German box set of "A Fistfull Of Dollars" and "A Few Dollars More" and tested them out on the setup...


    Once again, the entire image appears wavy for lack of a better description. It almost looks like a camera-heat effect, you know when you're driving down the highway on a scorching hot afternoon in the summer and you look down the horizon and the road appears to flutter in the heat in a wave-like motion?

    Well that's the effect I'm seeing with these PAL discs, only not as extreme. Anywhere where there is written text, such a sign post, etc, it becomes blatantly obvious as you can see the letters sort of bounce and flutter. The image just looks very unstable.

    Can anyone else PLEASE help me out with this?

    Is it all possible that it's just a combination of me running component cables through to a not-so-great DVD player and that when I've got HDMI wired and connected to the Pioneer Elite, my problems will be resolved?

    Please help me out, this is really killing me!!!
     
  3. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Your first problem is this: 50-60 conversion. The scaler is doing a workmanlike job of turning 50Hz video into 60Hz video, because there's no way for it to know that that 50Hz video ought to be slowed down to 48 Hz and dealt with as film frames, and no way for it to do that if it did know. Framerate conversion, even with studio-quality equipment, always looks ugly -- details disappear and reappear, moving objects lose detail, all the symptoms you are describing. This is not the fault of your equipment: it just can't do with the source material what you want it to, because it's mathematically impossible.

    The "split-screen" effect you are seeing is normally the result of outputting a progressive signal to a device which is expecting an interlaced input signal: since it only expects 525/2 lines every 60th of a second, it simply ignores the horizontal interval in the middle of the line, and displays two consecutive lines on the screen. Again, this is not a fault of your equiment: it is the result of improper operation.

    Tell me, how much do you know about video? I find it unusual that anyone would spend as much money as the equipment you use costs, without carefully studying the principles and issues involved. If the manuals are any good -- as they ought to be, at that price -- you can learn a great deal by reading all the way through them from beginning to end before attempting to do anything else. I know that may sound rude, but it is the procedure I use, and I ordinarily meet with success. You may also want to read some books on television and video subjects. Those written for a technical audience in the late 1940s and early 1950s are particularly good. You may not want to become a video professional, but if you want to keep doing heavy-duty things you'd be well advised to understand what is going on.
     
  4. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Thanks Chris,

    admittedly, I don't know nearly as much as a good number of you who post here at HTF but that is why I value such a resource and most of what I've learned in the past few years has been a matter of trial-and-error as well as reading forums such as these and researching online.


    I've spent the past 6-7 years saving up for a high-end Home Theater and have finally achieved that goal. I might not be the most well-versed or knowledgable member posting on such topics, but it's a hobby that I enjoy greatly and am very proud of.


    Now as for the video rates, I was always under the assumption that a good internal video converter would do the trick? Afterall, there are people out there with high-end multi region setups and I've seen screen captures done for reviews and such in which the quality looked really incredible, referance-like!

    The HD Leeza does recognize the video standard as a PAL signal when inputting R2 discs into my player, and I do have the option of selecting a 50Hz frequency, however it really does not show any difference in quality nor render the interlace effects any different.


    I'm sure there must be something out there that can help me achieve a more stable image when viewing PAL sourced material on my setup? Part of the reason I invested in the Leeza was due to it's strong PAL-NTSC and deinterlacing capabilities. I figured this would make it easier for import-viewing. I'm just really dissapointed int he overall performance and can't accept that "this is the best it will look for PAL sourced material".

    As per the "soft-image" and "digital-noise" apparent in regular NTSC disc playback... is it possible that this will correct itself once I wire for HDMI and upconvert with the Pioneer and ditch the budget JVC unit?

    Thanks for you help btw, I appreciate it!
     
  5. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    The question is this: does the "HD LEEZA" accept HDCP-encrypted material? If so, you should attempt to feed 480i60 or 576i50 from the DVD player via the HDMI interface [you may need a DVI-HDMI connector adapter, but those are cheap]. This will avoid a digital-analog-digital conversion step, and it will ensure that all of the video conversion is done in the same circuitry.

    You most certainly do not, under any circumstances, want to feed any variety of "progressive" [except native 720p from HD broadcasts] or de-interlaced video into the scaler: first because its upconversion circuitry should be superior, second because a signal on which some but not all processing has already been done may confuse it. It sounds to me that this is half of your problem: the scaler's framerate conversion will work much better if what is coming into it has not already been de-interlaced, especially if there is a motion-adaptive algorithm involved.

    Additionally, I don't know if the Pioneer's "slow" mode slows down PAL video to 24 Hz and then performs a 3-2 pulldown to bring it up to 576i60, but if that is its function you should try that.

    You have to be very careful to allow the equipment to operate at the settings for which it gives best performance; and the performance it gives will still have limitations.
     
  6. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Chris, thanks again for the help!!!


    The Leeza should accept HDCP-encrypted source material, however the Arcam amps that I'm connecting won't allow me to run HDMI cables. I spoke to my installer about this last week and he was supposed to have ordered adaptors, I'll find out in the next couple of days what the status on that is. I'm hoping it will make a significant difference... at least in the playback coming from my Pioneer and hopefully it will render a much sharper image when upconverting from 1080 or 720.

    As for the "slow" mode on the Pioneer, I was unsure what function it served but I'll give it a shot this afternoon and see if it helps any.


    I really appreciate your opinions and help on this matter!


    Thanks again, I'll post again to update on the outcome!!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    In any case, component or HDMI, I want to make the point that you should be feeding interlaced, not "progressive", material to the scaler. This is key. That way you can make the full use of the scaler's input configuration.

    Question: can you bypass your amplifier, at least for test purposes, and simply connect an HDMI cable between the DVD player and the scaler? If you are using the amplifier as a switcher, what other sources do you have connected? If you have only two sources, you may want to make shift by hooking the other device to the scaler directly via component cables, and changing inputs in order to change sources: this may have a benefit in allowing you to have settings on each input customised for the source.
     
  8. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    If all that's required of that is turning off the progressive functions of the DVD player, than I am indeed feeding an interlaced signal. In fact, it's without choice as the Leeza doesn't seem to accept a progressive signal and causes the projection screen to go screwy. I have the "progressive" key on the front panel of the player deselected, as well the "Pure Cinema" function through the remote turned to "off". Ideally, I'm told that "auto 1" selection is the best option for de-interlacing, but since I'm going through the Leeza, I've killed that so as not to have any interference.

    As for bypassing my amps and connecting directly to the player and Leeza... you've lost me there! :b I'm somewhat up on the technical side of things but when it comes to actual wiring and connections, I let my installer handle all of that! Eitherway, I don;t have any HDMI cable at my convenience right now to test...

    And I do have my input settings customized for each source. My dealer/installer spent a few hours at my place setting that up for me during calibration. Everything's on a different channel and optimized for its seperate performance.
     
  9. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Btw, I played around with the Pioneer settings (Pure Cinema mode, etc) as mentioned above, and realized part of my problem...

    I was previously feeding all source material through my subpar JVC player which admittedly looked like crap! I was resorting to this only because I was previously less than happy with the performance of my Pioneer and thought the JVC did a better job with current connections, but I realized that for whatever reason, the Leeza was not registering PAL encoded discs in the proper video standard.

    For example, an NTSC video logo kept appearing on screen with the Leeza's automated pop-up menu, every time I'd turn on the player and insert a R2 PAL encoded disc.


    With the Pioneer, the Leeza is acknowledging the PAL source and by adjusting the frequency to 50 Hz, the picture already looks one million times more stable!

    I'm no longer noticing the line break-up and inherent flicker that I was previously seeing. It's not perfect just yet... there is still a very subtle bit of "jumpiness" that really takes a discerning and watchful eye to pick up on, but it's a vast improvement and makes these discs watchable and enjoyable again!

    I guess this is the best I'll get for now, until running HDMI and upconverting the signal. HGopefully that will smoothe things out and give me the full high-res image quality that I should be seeing!

    My main beef with the Pioneer initially, was that the picture looked softer and a tad noisier than the image I was getting from the JVC... but I guess it just wasn't optimized with current connections. Fuddeling around with the remote functions made a huge difference!

    I don't know why I didn't go back to the Pioneer initially and avoid all this stress - I knew there was a reason I paid this much for a DVD player!


    Anyways, thanks again Chris!!!

    My setup is far from perfected, the image is not yet looking beautiful and sharp as it should... I don't want to give the impression that all is fixed, but I'm content for now...

    Merci beaucoup!!



    [​IMG]
     
  10. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Marco - what was done to the 59 to mod it to Region Free?

    Do you still have the same problems with R1 discs where there would be no change from NTSC/60Hz?

    Will the projector take a 480p signal via component directly from the 59 (bypass the scaler) so you can see what the 59 outputs on it's own?

    You've probably read through the extensive DV59i thread at AVS Forum, but you might also want to post there as a lot of folks are using external scalers with the 59 with excellent success. One of the main reasons to get a 59 for use with a scaler is that it does 480p over HDMI and therefore you do not need to SDI mod the unit.
     
  11. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Hey Paul,

    To be honest, I'm not exactly sure how the Pioneer was modified, I guess it was a code-free chipset. I purchased it as is from an online retailer:

    http://regionfreedvdplayers.com/regi...r_dv59avi.html

    This is what they have to say concerning their mods -

    "All of our code free, region free DVD Players are expertly modified using industry-standard ICOS 725 chipset technology, ensuring the best picture quality compatible with Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. All chipset modifications are made in a sterile environment to prevent any damage to internal circuitry."


    As for the problem with R1 discs not changing from NTSC 60 Hz, I'm not quite sure what you mean?


    With my JVC player, I had an issue where the HD Leeza was not responding to the PAL video format and registering or acknowledging my R2 discs as if they were R1 NTSC. But I don't seem to have that problem with the Pioneer. The Leeza menu seems to aptly be able to read and recognize all discs put through the 59-AVi as they are, and I can adjust the video frequencies according through the Leeza menu for PAL and NTSC.

    I'm really not sure whether I can pass the signal directly to the pj, but to be honest, I don't want to start messing around with the connections. I leave that up to my installer as I feel less confident from that end.

    As for the main reason to get the 59 and HDL (or any external scaler) for outputting 480p over HDMI... that's exactly what everyone's been saying as well and a main reason I went with this setup.. The only temporary problem that I ran into was that my amp wouldn't accept HDMI, but I'm waiting on some adaptors from my dealer who should be able to resolve that issue.

    Hopefully by running HDMI and skipping he analog to digital conversion, the softness of the image and video noise will leave me alone! I just really hope that upconverting 720/1080i will be the answer to all of this! I don't see why it shouldn't, given the quality of hardware and eqipment I have to work with...
     
  12. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    OK, so it sounds like your JVC player was doing a bargain-basement framerate conversion all by its lonesome. This would be a big part of the problem you were having, so you're already half of the way to the solution. Hope you get all the way there! As I noted, there will never be a "perfect" framerate conversion, but the scaler will at least make it look better than decent.
     

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