Watching movie on DVD-ROM/PC monitor - what a difference in quality between discs!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MickeS, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

    Jul 24, 2000
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    I had never really watched a movie on a PC before, but I just bought a DVD-ROM so I could view some Swedish R2 titles.

    MAN, what a difference there is in quality between DVDs! [​IMG]

    OK, all of you out there knew that already, but I didn't. I have a standalone DVD-player hooked up to my "Joe Sixpack" Proscan 32" TV, and the picture is pretty good, but nothing spectacular. Most movies look about the same.

    Then when I got the DVD-ROM a few days ago, I checked out a few discs on it. First of all, I was once again blown away by how much better a PC monitor looks compared to a regular TV screen. It's hard to go back to watching DVDs on the TV now...

    Second, I was REALLY amazed at the differences in picture quality between titles. I put in my Region 2 version of Night of the living dead - 30th anniversary edition (terrible movie by the way), and there was a large amount of artifacts as well as some weird focus thing (it shifted constantly between being in focus and then slightly, slightly out of focus). When I played the same disc on the TV, none of this showed up. In this case, I wasn't even able to watch it on the monitor, it was just too distracting, I had to watch it on the TV... I guess that's one good thing about TV, it lets bad disc look decent because it can't show enough bad details. [​IMG]

    I then proceeded to play Jurassic Park, and that one looked much better, but still had some problems. It didn't seem as sharp or "in focus" as it could have been, still it was very enjoyable and I much preferred to watch it on the monitor to seeing it on the TV.

    After JP, I decided to give Starship Troopers a spin. OH MAN, this disc BLEW ME AWAY! The picture quality is SO GOOD. Like I said, I'm new to checking out transfers in detail like this, but this has got to be one of the best DVDs out there as far as picture quality goes, right?
    Everything was sharp, I didn't see any artifacts, and I couldn't see any edge enhancement distortion effects either.

    After that, it was hard to go back and view this movie on the TV, it just looked so dull in comparison to how it looked on the monitor (both were calibrated to the best of my ability with VE). The only thing that gets me to the TV is the fact that I have no surround sound by the PC. The screen size of the monitor (17") isn't really a problem, since I'm sitting so close to it that the picture looks big anyway.

    Anyway, I guess what I wanted to say was that I have a new understanding for those people with top-notch FP setups that complain about transfers... I imagine their picture quality is similar to what I have on the computer monitor, and I now understand what a pain it is to sit through transfers that aren't as excellent as they could be. [​IMG]

    What other titles besides "Starship Troopers" are there that are really excellent as far as picture quality goes? And what are some bad ones? I want to rent and compare some more. [​IMG]

  2. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

    Aug 27, 2001
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    South Florida
    Yeah - DVDs on PC monitors are in progressive scan, and the resolution is startling compared to a Joe Sixpack 32" TV. And if you think that's revealing, you should check out projection on screens in the 90-100" range. That will reveal all!!

    It's actually a little disheartening watching a disc on a big screen of a flick you love, but looks like crap. Fortunately, since late 2000 thru today, compression and image quality have improved noticeably (with a few well documented exceptions).

    Some great transfers (off the top of my head):
    Fast & The Furious
    Star Wars - Episode 2
    Dracula - Superbit
    Amelie (stylized but beautiful)
    Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, Bug's Life, etc (all Pixar)
    Fantasia 2000
    Singing In The Rain: SE (controversially cleaned up image - but looks wonderful to me)

    Many, many out there.

    Bad transfers IMHO (and I'm sure there's a lot more):
    Ninth Configuration
    12 Monkees: CE (compression and high level filtering screws the image up on the big screen)
    Jacob's Ladder (ditto)
    Die Hard With A Vengeance (worst EE I've seen)
    Somewhere In Time (both version)
    Born On The Fouth Of July (all version)
    Scarface (now out of print thank God - there's a new one coming)
    Deer Hunter (all versions)

    and also - many out there


    Visit the CineFlexx
  3. Anthony_H

    Anthony_H Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 27, 2000
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    Sherman Texas
    Real Name:
    Is it progressive scan that makes the difference? In that case, will it make a difference in regards to my non-HD TV if I purchase a player with progressive scan?
  4. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Dec 30, 2002
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    Anthony, only if your tv does 480p.
  5. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

    Oct 16, 2001
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    My original DVD player was my PC with a Sigma Real Hollywood+ hooked up to my 27" Trinitron, and the picture quality was top notch on the Trinitron (on good discs, that is). I've been fooling around with an old iMac of my brothers, and I am amazed at what the built in DVD player on it can do. It actually brings Ernest Goes To Jail up to VHS quality (not an easy feat)!
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

    Mar 6, 2001
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    I'm quite used to watching on my monitor, and not only are tvs too fuzzy, but I am glad to be rid of their high pitched whine. (The monitor's whine is, I guess, at a frequncy above my range of hearing).
  7. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Feb 24, 1999
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    It's not just the progressive-scan of the computer image, it's also the fact that the 720 x 480 Image has been scaled to the native resolution of your PC monitor (upconverted) and your PC monitor is able to really let it shine.

    Even a native 720x480 image on a progressive-scan TV rarely looks as good as 720 x 480 really can...most TV monitors just don't have the resolving capability to do even SD full justice IMO. I have a data-grade 480P 16x9 35" direct-view which has exellent resolving power (blows away your usual 480I NTSC set in terms of detail/resolution) but even *it* doesn't show an image as highly resolved/detailed as a PC or digital proejctor.

    As good as these GOOD discs can look on a PC...they STILL look that good projected on a 100" screen using a decent digital (or CRT) projector.

    If you respond so viscerally to the picture quality of watching DVDs on a PC monitor then you need to start saving for your projector. It's a "WOW" at the next level!!!

    -dave [​IMG]
  8. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

    Sep 5, 1999
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    If you buy an HDTV you can hook your PC up to it and drive it that way. I do. I watch DVDs at 1280*720/60Hz- that's progressive.

    Going from an interlaced low-resolution display (standard TV) to a progressive high-resolution display (HDTV) is like night and day. Wait untill you see a real HD broadcast.
  9. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

    Aug 9, 1999
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    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Joel Fontenot
    You also really notice that non-16x9 DVD's are really fuzzy compared to 16x9 DVD's on a computer monitor.


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