Progressive scan and TV sharpness settings question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt_Marlow, Nov 13, 2001.

  1. Matt_Marlow

    Matt_Marlow Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a JVC progressive scan DVD player to hook up to my Toshiba 57" RPTV. I've noticed that when it's in interlaced mode that the picture looks pretty sharp. The TV's sharpness setting was at 25%. When I go into progressive mode, the picture looks quite a bit softer. I have to turn the sharpness up to about 40% for the resolution to look as good as on interlaced. Is this normal for progressive scan? I kind of prefer the progressive picture because it somehow looks "cleaner" than interlaced. I mean, it looks more like what I see on a smaller tube TV, just less noise or grain in the picture in my opinion, I just don't like it to look too soft. When I increase the sharpness it makes up for the softer picture somewhat. I was just wondering if other people had noticed this effect.
    Not sure if it makes any difference in this discussion, but my contrast is at 42% and brightness at 57% when watching DVDs.
    Also, while I'm on the subject...when you use a progressive player, the line doubler in the TV no longer makes any difference, is that right? So if a person spent like $6,000 on a Pioneer Elite because the line doubler is supposed to such great shakes, would using a progressive DVD player defeat the purpose of spending all that money(for DVDs anyway)?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Christopher Bosley

    Christopher Bosley Stunt Coordinator

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    You didn't mention whether your RPTV was one capable of displaying progressively scanned signals. Assuming it is, progressive scan material will (should) look more filmlike than you might be used to after viewing interlaced dvds. Much of the potential improvement will depend largely on the source material. "Fifth Element" and "Caddyshack," for example, vary incredibly in the level of softness and detail, even though both are anamorphically enhanced and even when both are played through a prog. scan dvd. In the end, however, progressive scan has been a quantum leap for me from the "very good video" I got with my interlaced DVD/through s-video input on a 27" Sony compared to the mostly flawless (again depending on the source) picture that a 16x9/component video/RP-91 setup gives me.
    [Edited last by Christopher Bosley on November 13, 2001 at 03:05 PM]
     
  3. Matt_Marlow

    Matt_Marlow Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, it's an HDTV--Toshiba 57H81. I use component video inputs. I have around 400 DVDs, but have only tried various scenes from around 50 movies on this new player. I sure can't say that it's any kind of quantum leap in performance for me. In fact, in some ways, like I said, I give the edge to the interlaced picture for the increased detail. If more "filmlike" means a softer picture, then I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing in my case. Then again, it may be my TV that is the problem, I just don't know.
     
  4. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Matt:
    Be very careful when using the Sharpness control. It is probably one of the most mis-understood (and mis-used) controls on TVs.
    People see the label "Sharpness" and think "yeah, I want it sharp", so they crank it up. The problem is, the majority of Sharpness controls do nothing more than add noise to the picture. There is an illusion of sharpness, but in fact you've only added noise and therefore limited resolution.
    A common reaction, after having set the Sharpness control to its proper setting, is that the image is too soft. This is just because you are so used to the artificially 'sharp' image. Leave it alone for a few days. Slowly, you'll notice that you're actually getting more detail with the proper setting before and soon you won't consider the image 'soft', but rather 'correct'.
    Now, back to your questions. I'm going to answer your first question last. With the latest generation Toshibas, if you feed it either a 480i or 480p signal, the doubler comes into effect and ups it to 540p. You were correct in your assumption - for the previous series. The previous series left 480p signals alone. The new design has changed this.
    As for the differences between the two modes, it is hard to say. I know DVDs players often exhibit different picture characteristics between their interlaced and progressive outputs. That could be a cause. Or it could be a function of the doubler, just reacting differently to the different signals.
    With the new generation Toshiba's, one could argue that you are no better off with 480p than 480i - simply because the doubler is used any way. Whether there is a difference upping 480i to 540p or 480p to 540p is really debatable. The consensus so far (from what I have read) seems to be that the new series do a really job, so it shouldn't be an issue.
    Anyway, hope there was some food for thought there. [​IMG]
    ----
    Jeff
    ------------------
    "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    A softer picture in progressive mode could mean your video cables are not good enough. Progressive needs twice the bandwidth as interlaced. Also the A/V receiver could have insufficient bandwidth in the video signal paths within.
    Other video hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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