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Progressive scanning: great or subtle difference in image quality?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thik Nongyow, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    Because I want to experience what a progressive-scan movie looks like, I purchased a HDTV-ready (has progressive-scanning) set and a reliable progressive-scan DVD player. When I watch a movie on interlaced and then on progressive-scan mode, I do not see any great difference in picture quality as I usually expected. I feel disappointed and discouraged.

    Can it be that the differences in picture quality is subtle that it takes a discerning eye to see it?
     
  2. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Thik, I see a difference but its nowhere close to 1080i or 720p. Now that is beautiful. I can't imagine what 1080p is going to look like... drool. Does your hdtv have 16:9 squeeze? I find that helps as much as progressive scan. Also make sure you are watching anamorphic discs, but I am sure you are. Is the switch on the back of your dvd player set to progressive? Just thinking out loud.
    I can definitely see a difference from interlaced to progressive but I am not sure its worth the purchase of an hdtv just for 480p. I think an hdtv's value is the overall picture quality you get with everything, not to mention you finally get the chance to see hdtv. I promise you won't be posting a similar thread about hdtv once you see that miracle. Its time to unleash the power of your new toy, but I warn you that after hdtv, dvd's will start to look fuzzy in comparison. [​IMG]
     
  3. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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  4. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    What's the 16:9 squeeze? I've heard about it but I don't know what it is. Is it just for HDTVs or does it work on analog tvs?
    James
     
  5. Nick_Scott

    Nick_Scott Second Unit

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    Thik
    When I compare interlaced vs progressive, I see a great different in quality. Basically, no interlaced artifacts, making it much more movie like.
    Perhaps you are comparing progressive-via-DVD vs progressive-via-TV. In which case, the difference depends on how well the TV recombines the images.

    nick
     
  6. Felipe S

    Felipe S Stunt Coordinator

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    What I've noticed... if the DVD player is doing the line doubling/progressive processing, then the TV will let the player do that (and display the player's progressive image). If the DVD player is not doing the line doubling/progressive processing, then the TV will do the job (and display the tv's progressive image). That's why you might not see the difference. To see the difference, you would have to send an interlaced signal from the DVD player and tell the TV not to do any line doubling or progressive processing to see a true interlaced image. Then compare it to a true progressive signal... and you WILL see the difference.
    (i almost confused myself with that...[​IMG]
     
  7. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    James, It collapses the picture on a 4:3 set into 16:9 so you get the full resolution of an anamorphic dvd. This way you aren't wasting resolution on the two black bars on the top and bottom.

    It works for both analog and hdtv. Sony lets you do it with the touch of a button (on older models you have to go to the main menu). Samsung lets you do it from the touch of a button as well. Toshiba and Panasonic can be done from the service menu and that can be more tricky if you aren't experienced with navigating the service menu, but its still easy once you get over the initial fear. Off the top of my head I don't know about Hitachi, Phillips, Pioneer and so on, but I am sure they can in one way or another.
     
  8. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info Jed!
     
  9. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    To let everyone know what I have:

    a) Samsung 27" DynaFlat HDTV monitor
    b) Pioneer RP82 progressive-scan DVD player

    On my TV, I set the picture size to "Normal." I enabled 480p on my DVD player by going to the picture menu. I then went to the setup menu under "Video" and changed the TV Aspect to 4:3 letterbox, since I own a 4:3 set.

    Am I doing this correctly to see a true progressive-scan image?
     
  10. shankar

    shankar Stunt Coordinator

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    I think not. When you say 4:3 letterbox, the DVD player usually down converts the signals. You may lose many scan lines in this process. Hence you are not getting a true progressive scan. You may also be "helped" by the fact that the TV is small. The effects of artifacts are usually seen on big screen TV's. Then you'll see that edge artifacts are seen with an interlaced picture and are absent with prog. scan.
     
  11. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Thik, I am running out the door but since you have a samsung I think you can do it from your remote. The tv should not be on "normal" but some type of "widescreen". Then you dvd player should be set to 16:9. That should give you true anamorphic 480p. Sorry I can't elaborate any further right now but I'm late.
     
  12. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    This is a thread I started this morning in Home Theater Basics with very much the same question. Basically, will I find the picture on my new 36XBR800 disappointing if I put off replacing my RV31 with a progressive-scan RP62?
    From the previous replies here, I'd say the move from a 27" analog Trinitron to the 36" XBR will accomplish the PQ improvement I'm hoping for and to some extent an RP62 would be icing on the cake (and it's a mighty big cake).
     
  13. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you using component video? The most obvious benefit would be reduced visible scan lines. That said, I doubt you will see much difference on a 27" screen. On much larger screens the improvement is readily apparent.
     
  14. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

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    Ron, progressive scan is not possible except with component inputs, so I assume that Thik is using them.

    Thik, I easily saw a difference on my 55" Mitsubishi between progressive and interlaced. I think you are having a hard time seeing the difference because your screen size hides a lot of imperfections.
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Thik:

    Your error in set-up has been detected here--you set the DVD player at 4:3 letterbox. You're just getting a downconverted image. Adjust the player to output at 16:9--the TV will then collapse the scanning-line raster into a 16:9 window, and the player will provide a correctly proportioned, progressively scanned image.

    Even if you had an interlaced-only player also outputting at 16:9, the TV's internal line double would kick in and provide a prog-scan image. Best to let the player do that work, though.

    JB
     
  16. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  17. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Marvin: If you had a display that is 4:3 but has no 16:9 mode--and if you don't use the service menu to "squeeze" the raster--then you must set the DVD player to "4:3 letterbox" mode. The player will then downconvert the signal internally in order to scale the widescreen picture properly. If, on the other hand, you have a 16:9 display or a 4:3 display with a 16:9 mode, then the player must be set to 16:9. Progressive scanning is not an issue in this case. JB
     
  19. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    After many suggestions, this is what I did to get a progressive-scan picture:


    a) In the Panasonic RP82 setup menu, I went to the Video section and went to "TV Aspect."

    b) I selected "16:9."

    c) Still in the Video section, I went to "Progressive Out."

    d) I selected "Enable."

    e) I turned off the setup menu and returned to the "DVD Audio/Video" logo screen.

    f) I inserted "Shrek" (anamorphic widescreen) on the RP82's tray and closed it.

    g) The player starts with the squeezed "Dreamworks" logo.

    h) Using my remote control, I choose "Wide" from the "P.SIZE" button.

    i) As a result of this, the Dreamworks logo no longer becomes squeezed, and I hope I get the progressive-scan I am looking for.
     
  20. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Back to the original question:

    It depends.

    I've noticed that many interlaced players have a pretty damn good picture these days. And many TV now have excellent line doublers, as opposed to even a couple of years ago.
     

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