Quality Issues With Monitor

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Allen Marshall, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I just bought the 24" widescreen flat panel monitor and im wondering why it is that all my videos look like crap now and how I fix that. Im running it at full 1920x1200 right now.

    To be specific, video files and dvds are annoyingly fuzzy.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    DVDs only have 720x480 pixels. I'm not sure what you were expecting.

    Have you watched HD (preferably 1080) on it? Does that look like crap? Some HD material here and here.
     
  3. StevenFC

    StevenFC Second Unit

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    24 inches?? Good lord, that's one big honkin' monitor! [​IMG] You might try droppiing the resolution down some from the native resolution. Although that has its own issues on an LCD monitor. Don't fret, HD-DVD is on the way. [​IMG]
     
  4. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    What kind of video card are you running? What about DVD software? There are a number of things that could be causing problems. Did you view DVD material on it before you bought it?

    We need more info.

    BTW...Dropping the native resolution is the last thing you want to do. Any time you set a display on a fixed pixel screen to anything other than it's native resolution you lose picture quality.
     
  5. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    What kind of connections are you using? You should be using the composite connection at a minimum - don't even bother with the old RCA plugs or the not-quite-as-old-but-still crappy s-video cables. Is your DVD player set to progressive scan like it should be? On the chance that this is a larger screen than you've had before, you may need to ask if your DVD player is any good (how does it fare in the Shootout tests located here: here
     
  6. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    To answer all questions first:

    Im using the vga or dvi that came with it, not sure what it's called, the smaller one thats blue.

    Im using my dvd drive as a DVD player, so if you can set progressive scan on computer dvd drive, fill me in [​IMG]

    I was using PowerDVD to watch my DVDs.

    I was watching wmv HD on windows media player.

    I forgot the name of my video card, Radeon 850 XT PE or XT or there was another 2 letter thing at the end lol!

    I was expecting the DVD to look like a DVD. DVDs looked DVD quality on my 19 inch at 1024x768 or whatever it was. I know im only 3ft away from the monitor but dvds cant look that bad up close. Givin I watch DVDs on either a 35 inch from 8ft away or a 55" inch from 12ft away so obviously my distance to size ratio is better.

    I've never had an HDTV before, I've only ever glanced at them at stores real quick and that wasnt enough to burn in. The best quality picture i've ever seen in my life has been DVDs on my 35 inch non HD and I've only been lookin at the monitor for a total of 2 hours since I got it so I dont think it's a product of staring at a really defined picture then downgrading and noticing terrible flaws.

    I tried watching two HD files. One was that one about surfing on the wmv HD site which was 1080p and this Madagascar trailer which is 720p. They look good, but there's something missing. I dont know how to explain it. It's like the HD is there but it's not there, one aspect of it is there but it's lacking the other one, does that make any sense?

    It's a bit harder to tell about the Madagascar picture, but even the HD movies I've watched seem like they got alittle bit of fuzz goin on, like watching a movie in the theater just not as intense on the fuzz. My DVDs look like they have a slight touch of "noise" in the picture.

    Im not sure what the situation is with that as far as resolution which is kind of sad considering I do so much editing. Does watching 720x480 on 1920x1200 ruin the picture? If I watched 720x480 at a resolution of 720x480 will it start lookin normal? If im on 720x480 and I turn on a movie thats 1080x720, whats the result gonna be?

    I've never understood clearly all the combinations of how resolution works. Like if your watching a video on the computer that's 640x480, does it sustain that number of scan lines and pixels no matter how big or small you make it? Are all pixels the same size? If so how do you get a better quality picture thats the same size? If it's 1080x720 but has a low bitrate like 500Kb/s is it still considered high definition?

    Could the problem be widescreening material that isnt widescreen? Why is it that even with a widescreen there's still black bars, it's like now a days yah hardly ever use 20% of the screen. I hope I dont end up havnig to change resolutions everytime I want to do something, that doesnt seem like a very practical thing.


    I do plan on buying a soundcard with an optical so I can hook my speakers and reciever up to it and my monitor does have component video on it's belly so I thought I might hook a DVD player up to it when the HT is set up.

    I dont even remember what I just typed and I think I was about to repeat something so I'll stop rambling there.

    I just trust that from where I'm sitting, on a 24 inch screen, DVD should look better then that. And then the HD files not looking right also supports my theory. I was under the impression the leap between DVD and HD was gigantic and that by all means I shouldnt be seeing what im seeing on 1080p, even if I am 3ft away from a 24 inch.
     
  7. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    By the way, PC:

    Dual P4 3.2Ghz Extreme Edition with HT
    500GB HD
    2GB RAM
    ATI Radeon X850 XT PE

    If that might be a problem. Is that enough to run 1080p properly?
     
  8. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    If it's blue, it's likely a VGA adapter.

    It appears that you may need an HDTV Component Video Adapter to enable analog component output support for your Radeon X850. The adapter provides component output for display on an HDTV set and supports 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i. DVD playback support is limited to 480i and 480p due to Macrovision restrictions, and there are overscan issues to contend with (the percentage of image loss will vary among monitors).

    If it is an official ATI X850 card (and not a "Powered by ATI" card), you can order the HDTV dongle from ATI's website; search for an ATI 9-PIN HDTV Output Cable (P/N 6110017500) (there are different HDTV dongles for various Radeon cards; this one is specific to the X850). The dongle is ~$30 + S/H.
     
  9. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I have no idea what you just said or what your talking about lol.


    You mean...so I can hook a DVD player up to my monitor? You say HDTV but I never planned on using the monitor to watch HDTV or TV at all on it.
     
  10. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Ok, I just did a comparison with Terminator 2 Special Edition. I used normal DVD version on my 35" non HD Toshiba tube tv and the 1080p High Definition version on my computer on my 24" Ultrasharp widescreen monitor. My TV picture looks better. For one, the color, brightness, contrast etc on the DVD for my TV was a hell of a lot better and more rich while the monitor seems like it has a slight white hue. So if anyone can help me calibrate it or find me a link to get it lookin right that would be awesome.

    Another thing I noticed is, the computer picture does have more detail and is more defined, like I can see lines and cracks on sarah conners lips on the monitor and it all comes out real well but on my TV they were hardly noticeable, but the problem is all video on my monitor has this slight fuzz to it and my TV does not.

    I knew there was no way that could be considered high definition picture. Will I be able to fix this or is this a product of monitors being inferior to real TVs?

    To answer the question "it's a dvd what do you expect", I expect picture that looks atleast as good as a DVD if it's supposed to be High Definition [​IMG]

    It is kind of cool though, right now I got them playing perfectly parallel on both screens and the TV hands down is a heck of alot better to look at. Any help with this woul dbe great, I just got my computer so bad news like this is a real kick in the crotch yah know.
     
  11. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Hmm. Perhaps your monitor is set to an improper color temperature. If I recall correctly, the DVD/HDTV standard is 6500 K.

    Color temperature determines what shade of white is used, presumably by using the blackbody radiation model. High temperatures (~9300K )are slightly bluish, lower temperatures (~5000 K) are slightly reddish.

    I use a mac, so I have no idea if Windows is even capable of calibrating colors. But the monitor should have an internal setting for color temperature.
     
  12. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I dont see anything, I have

    Color Settings, which lets you mess with the red blue and green levels.

    Image Settings, which lets me set Pixel Clock, Phase, Sharpness, Scaling, Video Mode.

    OSD settings, horizontal and vertical position, OSD Timer, Transparency, OSD Lock, Rotation.

    There is a bunch of crazy settings provided by graphics card in control panel/screen resolution/advanced but still cant find anything that says color temperature or has numbers similar to those.

    Lets not wander to far, the color is a problem to but the fuzziness is most important. It's almost like watching a movie through a screen door just with thinner wiring.
     
  13. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I think I've found the manual Of course, it could be for a slightly different model.

    Anyway, you should probably use the DVI, rather than the VGA connector, assuming that your video card supports it. Should give a sharper picture...
     
  14. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Alright I tried things the manual suggested (pretty much move around the options until your picture looks the way you want it) and it didnt work. I replaced the VGA with the DVI (it is white isnt it?) and the picture is kinda worse. Not with desktop computer related things...hell the resolution is so damn sharp with things like this site I cant really tell the difference. But the fuzz with DVDs seems like it's stronger then it was with VGA and now I have ghosting. Text lightly blurs out and in the credits it leaves after-images.

    Hope there's a way to fix that, fighting through a jungle of wires in a hot corner can get pretty damn frustrating when you have to start unscrewing stuff in an uncombfortale position and do a bunch of yanking and banging your elbows and hands up against things.

    You know what, maybe it's just me with high definition files. I mean, both of the wmv HD movies I've been using have little film black twitches and blinks and stuff so maybe the super ultra slight fuzz is just a product of the picture.

    And maybe I'm noticing a flaw in the Madagascar trailer because it's data rate is only 512KB/s? So lets just assume all thats ok and stick to the DVDs. Perhaps the DVD drive im using or something or some kind of setting I can mess with to fix that? Cause even the Terminator 1080p DVD looked like VHS without the lighting problem.

    I got a question by the way, can you not watch high definition movies on dvd player because you usually cant fit a feature length film on it or are there other reasons like the DVD player not being able to do it for so and so reasons?
     
  15. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Is this is your first LCD monitor? LCD screens are inherently worse than CRT monitors with respect to black level.
     
  16. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    You might be able to poke around the Radeon "Catalyst" control panel thingie, and see if has any specific settings for rendering video streams. (The radeon can apparently be set to "smooth" and "deblock" certain kinds of video.) Also, have you tried any other video players? Same result?
     
  17. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Sort of my first LCD, we have two computers in the house and one has a 19" LCD, the one I use(d) was a 19" CRT. Didnt know CRT monitors look better then LCD, news to me. Plasma and DLP looks better then CRT right? Do they have Plasma/DLP screens of this or alittle bit bigger that work as a computer comp?

    No one has said anything about 1920x1200 makin 720x480 DVDs look weird so im guessing that isnt the case right? That it's to high a resolution so it warps the dvd picture something wicked? I've tried DVDs on three different players, all look equally fuzzy.

    I tried lowing the screen resolution, that didnt change it. I hooked my xbox up to the screen using component witha 480p game and it looked like crap. The picture wasnt fuzzy like the DVDs though it was just jaggy, like the screen wasnt producing any straight lines. Interesting that my computer is so unfriendly to anything lower then 720p quality but WHY!
     
  18. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    You're opening up a can of worms there...especially in a forum like this. Suffice it to say that they each have advantages. CRT typically has better black levels than plasma (but that's slowly changing) and definitely better black levels than LCD. Comparing the technologies is slipping into the abyss and probably isn't going to solve your immediate problem, though.

    Your computer specs are great...there is no reason it should have any difficulty producing good DVD or HD images.

    Pondering the different combinations of resolutions is good for the left brain, but it's not likely to solve anything here. The video card has to be set to the native resolution of the fixed pixel screen or picture quality will suffer.

    DVI-should give you the same or better picture...definitely not worse. Again, just make sure that the video card is set to the maximum/native resolution of the monitor. You mentioned "Ultra sharp"...is this a Dell 2405FPW? If so, then 1920X1200 is what you're looking for. (I know you mentioned it in the original post, but just checking.) One thing I would usually check would be trying a different cable, but since you've switched from VGA to DVI already, you've already covered that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you've used this computer to view material on another display with no problem. If so, then that rules out the video card or anything else on the computer. If not, give that a try to compare.

    You've already done most of the troubleshooting I would do if it were me. If, as I posed above, you've used this same computer configuration with a different screen with no problems, then the only thing we're left with is the screen itself. If it's the Dell you've got, I've never seen that model up close, but my company uses many of the 17 and 18" 4:3 models and they're actually very highly rated screens...even by some gamers.

    Pain, though it may be, I think you need to replace the screen. If it's a Dell, they're pretty good about shipping another out in advance and setting you up with a waybill number to return the original.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Supposably, the ATI Catalyst 5.7 driver comes with a little wizard that optimizes the myriad of different settings for a particular display type. You could try running it-- perhaps it can tweak the video acceleration settings so that doesn't produce jagged video. ATI's site was of little help-- note to marketroids: a 6.6 MB pdf of a four page manual is pretty obnoxious.
     
  20. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Jeez, I typed this whole thing out and it just up and disappeared on me, gotta type it again. Paul thanks for the effort in your post.

    Here's what the situation is so far.

    CRAP:

    Xbox hooked up to monitor with component video playing 480p games.

    DVDs on DVD+/-RW drive, both 4:3 and widescreen.

    1080p Terminator 2 dvd looked no better then the normal version and worse then 480i on my Toshiba 35" non HD tube TV, (not including subjectual black level)

    Video Files with anything below 720p HD resolution.

    EXCELLENT:

    Computer Games like Half-Life 2

    Video Files with atleast 720p HD resolution and a high bitrate.

    Desktop and site related tasks.


    I tried Half-Life 2 at 720x480 and it was perfect DVD quality, so that slaps my theory of my computer being unfriendly to lower resolutions in the face. I thought maybe 4:3 material was being target specifically and getting messed up, so I tried both 4:3 and widescreen DVDs, same result.

    But Half-Life 2 runs on a DVD...so im out of ideas. I never used a different monitor with this CPU or graphics card, I gave the old one to my brother and i'd never be able to get the other monitor free for even 10 minutes so I dont think i'll be able to do a comparison.

    If it was a problem with the screen wouldnt everything look whacked though? Is my screen bound to 1920x1200 for all eternity or can I/will I be able to make it higher without my screen freakin out. Screen resolution limit is determined by the video card right? Is it a coincedence that my highest setting is 1920x1200 or is there a tie. Lastly, I was wondering what is the highest resolution people are using these days, I've heard talk with 2048x1536 but im not sure if that's the peak right now or what.
     

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