Prog. scan + 16:9 = Disappointment?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Christopher Bosley, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. Christopher Bosley

    Christopher Bosley Stunt Coordinator

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    Finally made the jump to widescreen and progressive scan and was wondering if my experience is anything like others' in the past.
    Admittedly, I am probably sitting just a little to close to my 30" Philips direct-view than is proper, but I am still a bit disappointed in the way many DVD's look. Some, like "Fifth Element" remain truly reference quality and my jaw drops upon seeing them. With others, the results have not been as spectacular. I agree that 480p DOES make the image more "film like," i.e., no scan lines. But it also seems that with anything but the latest, greatest releases, going wide has its cons as well. Older films, "The Right Stuff" comes to mind, which looked very sharp (but small) on my Sony 27" Trinitron now look merely like blown-up versions of regular broadcast t.v.
    Certainly makes one appreciate a truly well-done DVD.
     
  2. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Christopher, how close are you to your set? A 30" set is not very large, I can't imagine you're sitting too close?
    Is your set 16:9?
     
  3. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    I have a 34" direct view widescreen.
    Good titles look better. The deficiencies from bad titles are now more obvious, which in some ways is more annoying. It depends on the title though, since for some movies, the old poor transfer looks better on the progressive scan player, but that's probably related to the MPEG noise reduction I have on for these.
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    1000 km on a tank of gas??? Check out the Prius and drive the future now!
     
  4. Christopher Bosley

    Christopher Bosley Stunt Coordinator

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    From eyeball to screen is probably no less than 7 feet and the 30" is a widescreen, so it is a little bigger than a 4:3 set of the same size. I am certainly seeing artifacting that I never noticed in the past.
    I don't really have a problem is with the set or player (although the Sony NS700P DEFINITELY has the chroma bug). Maybe it's just that DVD's higher resolution as displayed on my old non-WS, non-HD set looked sharper b/c it was pushing that technology's envelope (to borrow a phrase from "The Right Stuff"). On the new set, 480p is the bottom rung, so to speak, and perhaps my new set reveals the limits of DVD's resolution itself.
    Again, it really seems to be more of an authoring and film source "problem." I guess I just wish that, to the extent possible given the source material, every DVD could look as sharp, clear, and true as "Matrix" or "Fifth Element." Maybe there is nothing more the studios can do than take the best existing elements and make do as best they can.
    [Edited last by Christopher Bosley on August 13, 2001 at 03:19 PM]
     
  5. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Maybe its an obvious question, but are the titles you are dissatisfied with non-anamorphic? Making the jump from non-digital 4:3 to digital 16:9 will make these look bad, even with progressive scan (Although some non-anamorphic releases are reportedly beautiful through a progressive player)
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  6. Mike_Skill

    Mike_Skill Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's my take.....I have a 56" Toshiba 16X9 set and a progressive scan DVD player. Switching back and forth between progressive and interlaced it's immediately obvious that progressive scan is 'brighter'. In doing some A-B comparisons, progressive scan wins over interlaced 9 out of 10 times in eliminating 'jaggies'. I looked at scenes in Amistad where there were views from the ships deck looking up towards the tops of the sails. There are many scenes like this that have the ropes that support the sails running top to bottom through the picture. A nightmare for NTSC. Progressive scan handles this much better than interlaced with much less 'shimmer' or 'jaggies'. The opening scene in 'Star Trek Insurrection' is another great demo for this. The kids playing in the hay-stacks, and the roofs of the cottages. Also look at the thatch roof in the opening credits to "Shakespeare in Love". Again progressive scan is much more stable.
    -M
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Is your new set calibrated using VE or AVIA? Are all the artificial picture enhancers turned off? I've seen the 34" Sony HDTV and if you don't disable a bunch of those electronic picture enhancers it renders DVD a mess!
    I made the jump from an old 32" NTSC to a new 47" HD-ready widescreen set powered by an RP91 progressive player and, after calibrating to AVIA and taking it off of torch mode (gray scale by eye, no measuring device handy), plus 64 pt convergence...I am floored! And to think HD will look superior to what I'm seeing now on DVD...I shudder at the thought.
    Oh, and I'm about 9' away from the set.
     
  8. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    *Older* films, like THE RIGHT STUFF!?
    man, imagine what BLADE RUNNER, or even SPARTACUS must look like...
    this may be the tradeoff or 'downside' to high end video gear-everything filmed in the last 5 years will likely look squeaky clean and digitally perfect, and anything older will start to look....old....
    and in the way...;-)
    which, ideally, should not interfere with your enjoyment of great movies...
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  9. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Christopher,quote: Older films, "The Right Stuff" comes to mind, which looked very sharp (but small) on my Sony 27" Trinitron now look merely like blown-up versions of regular broadcast t.v.[/quote]
    You didn't mention what model of progressive DVD player you are using.(Later you mentioned Sony NS700P) The player and what cables you use and how you connect them to the television can also effect the picture quality.
    In our house, we have two direct view 34" 16x9 televisions, and I would have to say that I would never go back to a 4:3 set after experiencing the quality results.
    One of the televisions we have was the first consumer RCA (16:9) 34" SDTV models made in America about 1993 and the other is a Sony 34" direct view HDTV (Sony only sold one model of direct view HDTV to date). The RCA has a Panasonic H1000 progressive DVD player connected to it and the Sony uses a Camelot "The Round Table" progressive player. Interconnects for both televisions for the (Analog) Progressive component video cable connections use "Straight Wire Silver-link" brand and they are considered "very good" interconnects.
    The 480P DVD quality shows a superb display and IMHO is equal on both sets. Anamorphic DVD's definitely produce better resolution than non animorphic, but older films do show their age - no less and no more than watching untouched original old films in a movie theater.
    Old films that have been restored to some degree or have been carefully preserved are great to watch.
    Just the other night we bought the DVD "Paint Your Wagon", and I was thrilled by the quality and fidelity of the 60's film.
    Progressive scan and 16:9 until a better format comes along. [​IMG]
    Paul
    [Edited last by Paul Hillenbrand on August 14, 2001 at 11:27 AM]
     
  10. Tom Oh

    Tom Oh Second Unit

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    I purchased a Sony 9000ES DVD player and Panasonic TH-42PWD4U Plasma about 3 months ago. I really cannot tell the difference between progressive and interlace on anamorphic DVDs. This was a dissappointment since I expected to see a drastic improvement. Is this because the interlace is great on Panasonic? Also, please suggest some DVDs that I can look at to really see the difference, even minor please.
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  11. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  12. Christopher Bosley

    Christopher Bosley Stunt Coordinator

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    Points taken. Maybe disappointment was too strong a word. I guess it was more surprise, that discs that seemed sort of universally "good" on my old set now look vastly different, depending on how well they are done. As I say, going widescreen with progressive scan certainly makes me appreciate a truly great disc, as opposed to one that is just ok. Don't get me wrong, there is no doubt that the image quality of 480p is stunning. Looks like film for sure. But that then makes the actual image very dependent on how good the film from which the DVD is authored is in the first place.
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    quote: Also, please suggest some DVDs that I can look at to really see the difference, even minor please.[/quote] Bearing in mind the caveats about image quality on plasma displays, try the following:
    On Saving Private Ryan, go to the scene shortly after the Omaha Beach landing where Mrs. Ryan gets the bad news that she's lost all but one of her sons. Watch the auto that approaches the Ryan home (the shot is from inside the house and follows Mrs. Ryan out the door).
    If the grille work on the auto looks the same in progressive and interlaced, something is seriously wrong. Progressive gives you numerous similar small improvements that, overall, add up to a superior picture. It's possible you're not seeing all the improvements because of the limitations of current plasma displays.
    M.
    [Edited last by Michael Reuben on August 14, 2001 at 10:14 PM]
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Also at the beginning of 2001, right after the monkeys and you start seeing the ships fly through space in orbit around earth while the song is playing, on interlaced you can see the ship shimmer as it moves from right to left (the one that looks like a taquito, not the space station) on interlaced. Switching my RP91 to progressive makes the ship rock solid as it moves.
    I'll try to get the time on the disc and post that later on tonight...
    [Edited last by Carlo Medina on August 14, 2001 at 01:57 PM]
     
  15. Tom Oh

    Tom Oh Second Unit

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    Thanks all. Todd, I happen to think that the Panny plasma looks quite good. Have you seen this model? It is much better than Philips or Sony models. Yes there is a big price tag and coolness factor, but I wouldn't have bought it if the picture wasn't to the standard I want.
    I 'll try 2001 and SPR tonight. Any other suggestions?
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  16. Christopher Bosley

    Christopher Bosley Stunt Coordinator

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    After watching a bit of "My Man Godfrey" on my 16:9, I was left to wonder whether the studios couldn't also begin to "windowbox" 4:3 content and, thus, enable it to be viewed as enhanced for widescreen displays. It seems that people with 4:3 displays would be no worse off, because the only information that would be cut off would be the black bars on the sides. Is the blowup of 1.33:1 pictures something that the RP-91's scaling feature will cure? Just thinking ahead to "Citizen Kane" and not really wanting to look at it on the non-progressive scan input of my set (the line doubling just can't hold a candle to true 480p).
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    quote: After watching a bit of "My Man Godfrey" on my 16:9, I was left to wonder whether the studios couldn't also begin to "windowbox" 4:3 content and, thus, enable it to be viewed as enhanced for widescreen displays. It seems that people with 4:3 displays would be no worse off, because the only information that would be cut off would be the black bars on the sides. Is the blowup of 1.33:1 pictures something that the RP-91's scaling feature will cure? Just thinking ahead to "Citizen Kane" and not really wanting to look at it on the non-progressive scan input of my set (the line doubling just can't hold a candle to true 480p).[/quote]Respectfully, think a little harder about this... Windowboxed 4x3 inside a 16x9 frame loses a great deal of vertical resolution compared to full resolution 4x3. This is an incredibly bad idea. The problem is in your hardware, not any software.
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    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
    [Edited last by Philip Hamm on August 15, 2001 at 11:03 AM]
     
  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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  19. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Windowboxing 4x3 content is a bad idea all around for everyone, not just 4x3 owners.
    DVD resolution is 720x480 pixels. On a 4x3 film, all 720x480 pixels contain picture information. If I "enhance" (not really) the picture for 16x9 TVs, some of the 720 pixels across are then used to store the side black bars. This leaves actual picture information at about 540x480. Is that "better?" No.
    The inferior display of interlaced content on your display is a problem with a twofold solution.
    1. The manufacturer of the TV could have spent more time building a better doubler.
    2. The manufacturer of the DVD player could have added the 4x3 scaling ability, like the Panasonic RP-91.
    In other words, it's the equipment's problem, and we shouldn't "dumb down" discs to compensate for that.
    Windowboxing 4x3 content for 16x9 sets is no better than letterboxing a widescreen image (i.e. non-anamorphic transfer) for a 4x3 set. Both are bad solutions to equipment issues.
    Todd
     
  20. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark-TS - Great band, Huh!
     

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