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Does one need both PAL & NTSC test discs to set up PJ?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Kane D Williams, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    Hi there

    I have DVE (NTSC) on order, but should I spend another £15 on the PAL version as well? I watch 99% NTSC films, but still want the pic to be right when watching any R2 discs. Are there any cheap alternative PAL test discs? I have the disc that was given free with Total DVD a long time ago!

    Cheers
     
  2. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    The Total dvd disc is rubbish anyway.
    You can find some region2 THX discs with the optimod on them which is ok for basic set-up.

    Depending on how you feed your display and how it stores its settings you may well get away with only having a 525/60 disc ( I can on my kit but its all coming from a HTPC and even then I use a PAL optimode for Dscaler auto-calibration).
     
  3. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    I will be feeding a Sanyo Z2 from a Yamakawa 365 via DVI @ 720p.
     
  4. WSquared

    WSquared
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    In order to correctly set brightness & contrast correctly for NTSC and PAL, you should use test patterns from NTSC and PAL discs. If your device locks into different memories for dirrerent scan rates, you would have to use different discs.
    Cheers,
    William
     
  5. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    Just found out that my NTSC DVE has not even been sent yet!!!!!!!! I won't get it till Jan!! How frustrating! I'll have to make do with THX Optimizer till then!
     
  6. barneypooch

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    William, can I ask a question? Why should brightness and contrast be set differently for PAL and NTSC DVDs?
    I constantly used to read differing opinions about 0 IRE and 7.5 IRE and how they are different for PAL and NTSC. But, after a lot of Internet trawling, and a direct answer from Stacey Spears (whose opinion I really, really trust, given the huge respect he has in the A/V community) it would seem that, *FOR DVD ONLY*, black level is exactly the same for both PAL and NTSC.
    The black levels are indeed different for PAL and NTSC television, but not DVD.
    Back in my own world, I have both PAL and NTSC test DVDs, and my brightness/contrast settings remain exactly the same with both - unless the PAL DVD is wrongly mastered/transferred (which does happen occasionally).
    So, can I ask again why ..."you should use test patterns from NTSC and PAL discs. If your device locks into different memories for dirrerent scan rates, you would have to use different discs..."

    Thanks in advance,

    Greg.
     
  7. buns

    buns
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    PAL and NTSC arent picture formats..... they are a format/reference (i lose the right word) for color. I am not the pro that Will is, so maybe he can confirm, but to suggest that the mere change from dvd to tv within the same system will produce a transform of the colors seems a tad nonsensical. And if this is the case, someone is going out of their way to make things hard for themselves!

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  8. Kramer

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    Well that's an important one right there :eek: Most display devices (certainly PJs) "memorise" settings for different inputs/formats. So if calibrated with a Pal DVD, the settings will automatically "default" for NTSC.

    Pretty easy copy the settings across though :)
     
  9. barneypooch

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    Buns: Yes, you're right, "someone is going out of their way to make things hard for themselves".

    Here is a quotation from Joe Kane himself: "The American NTSC system sets black level at +7.5 IRE. The Japanese NTSC system and the worldwide PAL system uses 0 IRE for black level."
    He goes on to confirm that DVD uses 0 IRE for black level, WORLDWIDE, no matter if it's NTSC or PAL.

    The ONLY reason that American DVD players have an adjustable IRE is so that American consumers don't have to keep changing the black level on their TVs when they switch between DVD and (broadcast) TV (or videotape, where IRE is still 7.5).

    Please don't tell people they're being "nonsensical" when you haven't done your homework. Thanks.
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    BarneyPooch: If you cannot set your DVD player to output black at 0ire then you must use two discs for calibration as William says. The level black is set at on a DVD is constant (well actually it is not but it should be) as you say but we are not talking about what is on a DVD we are talking about the voltage that come out the back of a DVD player, which is different.

    If you are using Component or RGB then I would expect black to always be at 0ire, regardless of PAL 480i or 576i but this is often not the case too.

    Gordon
     
  11. barneypooch

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    Yes, Gordon, you are quite right - but I don't know of a machine made for the European market that won't pass blacker-than-black or 0 IRE.

    The reason I posted my original (somewhat disingenuous) question to Wsquared is because I'd like to know what is so different about setting up contrast for PAL as opposed to NTSC. I'm not talking about LaserDiscs or anything else. I mean DVD.

    The answer is that, if your DVD player will output 0 IRE (as they all should, though we know they don't), then you don't have to alter your contrast settings in between a PAL and NTSC DVD disc.

    If we were talking about LaserDiscs I wouldn't have an argument, since NTSC LaserDiscs have black at 7.5 (in the US, at least), and PAL LaserDiscs have black at 0 IRE. Which means that you do have to alter brightness and contrast in the way that WSquared seemed to be suggesting we should for DVD.

    PS: I'm interested to know why "If you are using Component or RGB then I would expect black to always be at 0ire, regardless of PAL 480i or 576i"

    And while we're at it, what is "PAL 480i" ?
     
  12. barneypooch

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    Of course, strictly speaking there is no such thing as "IRE" with DVDs, because they are digital video. The correct term for absolute black is "Digital 16".
     
  13. WSquared

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    Well, I think the questions that were directed at me have been answered by Gordon and kramer. Thanks guys.

    barney pooch, you make a fair points about players on the european market. But many of people import players from all over the world.

    FYI, when we calibrate display devices we try to include calibrating for broadcast sources as well, not just DVD. It depends on what the customer wants/watches.

    In the end, every combination of source , processing, & display devices is a different story. Add what the user wants and you have something different again. The way memories are allocated to various scan rates is a key point. Often times, a comprimise is required.

    Happy holidays

    Regards, William
     
  14. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    So what you guys are saying is, as long as the DVD player will output at 0 IRE, then setting up a PJ with an NTSC copy of DVE will result in correct colours and black/white levels etc when popping in a PAL disc as well as an NTSC disc?

    Thanks
     
  15. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    "blacker than black" is a misnomer for describing the ability to show additional levels below a 7.5IRE set-up . If you have a set-up of 0IRE the "below black" doesn't exist. ( its not missing its just that your pedestal black level is already at 0IRE). I have a modded standalone dvd player ( ancient panasonic A350) that allows the set-up to be forced to either 7.5IRE or 0IRE for any format.

    PAL,Component,RGB and NTSC in Japan all set-up for black at 0IRE.

    NTSC ( Japan excepted) sets up at 7.5IRE.

    This is independant of whether the image structure is 625/50 or 525/60 ( these attributes are wrongly desribed as differentiating NTSC or PAL. NTSC and PAL are descriptions of colour carrier systems not image structure)

    Laserdisc is encoded in composite and as such it has to adhere to the set-up of the disc itself ( NTSC or PAL 7.5IRE or 0IRE). DVD is encoded as yuv ( colour difference component) , if its required to output a composite type signal the set-up is applied by the player accordingly.

    PAL480i is often called PAL60 and sometimes pseudoPal ( often used for different things and a bit confsuing that last one).
    Its a 525/60 structured image running with a PAL composite colour system ( the image is the same as what is often reffered to as NTSC but the colour signal is in the PAL format)

    I get along just fine on all my kit with a 525/60 version of Avia and VE but I normally only use RGB , RGBHV ( from computer) or s-video ( always a PAL colour signal in my case). Aims for black point white point and colour ( to all intents and purposes) are the same across the board. The only thing I use a 625/50 formatted disc for is Dscaler auto-calibration.
     
  16. WSquared

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    Kane,
    ...outputting 0IRE for NTSC, then yes the NTSC disc will do.

    I wouldn't want to generalise too much, because there may be anomalies with certain combinations of equipment.

    If the display device locks into different memories for different scan rates, you should be able to copy them accross as Kramer mentioned.

    Cheers, William
     
  17. Kane D Williams

    Kane D Williams
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    I will be using a Z2 via DVI from Yamakawa 356DivX. I think the Z2 will only accept a 60Hz signal at 1280x720, so will this make a difference? The 365 will output 720p at both 50Hz and 60Hz (selectable).
     
  18. buns

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    barneypooch,

    I never accused you of being nonsensical, i accused the system of being so since it utilises a set of differently defined standards for effectively the same thing.

    In any case, I have found pal and ntsc calibration to be somewhat different, and yes, this is through measurement, so my homework has been done....... so make of that what you may

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  19. barneypooch

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    Buns, I agree things are often different, because too much DVD mastering is an absolute mess.
    My sole point was that a PAL DVD is not "darker" than an NTSC DVD, unlike LaserDisc (for eg) which differed.
    Hence, you shouldn't have to adjust the contrast/brightness at your PJ if you play a PAL disc first, followed by an NTSC one. And you should be able to set correct contrast/brightness with either species of test disc.
    For quick and dirty proof of this, use the THX optimode thingy from a R1 disc to set the levels, then use the same thingy from a R2. The levels won't change.
     
  20. barneypooch

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    Kane, I think there's basic agreement now. Use any disc you want. Especially as you'll be using DVI.
     
  21. buns

    buns
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    BUT other things do seem to..... my nice flat ntsc grayscale isnt just as nice when i try it with pal

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  22. barneypooch

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    Okay, I guess I'm saying they SHOULDN'T.
    But as we've agreed, mastering differences can make a complete balls anyway...
     
  23. gandley

    gandley
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    but are the actual films any good.:laugh:
     
  24. buns

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    ok, im a troublemaker....

    If you can see an ntsc blacker than black bar (as i can) from avia..... what does this mean!? The blacker than black is at 0 ire and the background black is at 7.5? surely then that suggests that the black level on this pattern isnt 0 ire? Basically..... what the hell is this pattern calibrating me to!?

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  25. buns

    buns
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    anyone? Or is this simply too messy to try answering!?

    I just dont understand how it all fits together, one part of the story contradicts the other..... or it seems to

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  26. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    There is no blacker than black bar on AVIA. There are above black bars on a black background.

    Gordon
     
  27. buns

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    ah ok..... so im getting bogged in terminology in that case..... i thought that the left hand bar was meant to be darker than the background.

    thanks gordon

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  28. Gary Lightfoot

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    Hi Gordon - this is an interesting one...

    On my HT1000 via DVI (HTPC), if I set the black levels using the black bars screen (I have to use the HTPC to move the brightness up one notch to get it correct), the background is as black as the NEC can show, and the two moving black bars are showing slight amounts of mirror activity to represent the two slightly grey levels - I adjust it so the left hand bar becomes black, then bring it back up so it is just visible.

    If I then display the black (0ire) full screen (via the windows menu IIRC) I can see random mirror activity - definately not black. So I was wondering what the black background in the black bars test was? It looks like it must be below black in this case. The 0ire screen definatley isn't black.

    I tried this with a Pioneer and Sim2 Link at RTFMs (Jeff), and it disn't seem to have this problem.

    Any ideas?

    Gary.
     
  29. Mr.D

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    I was kinda under the impression that the pluge type tests on Avia do actually have a below black bar if you are looking at 7.5IRE setup. If you are using it at 0IRE ( which 99% of the time most of us lot will be) you won't see the below black bar as a matter of course ( it won't differentiate from the background).

    Could be wrong though.
     
  30. WSquared

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    Gary, I'm not sure what you mean by mirror activity. But I will try to comment on what I think you mean.

    Unfortunately, it is common for patterns with a different Average Picture Levels (APL) to result in the device producing different output on the screen.

    What I mean is if you use a pattern that has a very low APL(black bars with all black background) to set brightness, it will probably not produce the same results when using a pattern with a higher APL(black bars with half gray or other). The reasons behind this vary from device to device. It is often down to the power supply circuitry, but it can also be coded in the software on digital devices, intentionally or unintentionally.

    In fact, several new digital projectors have a "feature" :rolleyes: that increases the light output (or other such nonsense) at low APL levels.

    So, you ask what is the correct pattern to use? My personal preference is to use black bars with half grey and then watch a few test clips of real movies. There are also two patterns that I like on a german test disk.

    Unfortunatley, no matter what you end up with on the brightness & contrast settings, they wont be the absolute best for every scene of every movie, nevermind the lighting conditions. The directors and production houses would never allow that! At some point you just have to sit down and watch the movie....and enjoy it.;)

    Kind Regards,
    William
     

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