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DRC

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by GPHoare, Nov 26, 2000.

  1. GPHoare

    GPHoare
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    Simple question for ya all - is Sony's DRC (digital reality creation) their name for progressive scan?

    It looks similar but I am not quite sure - DRC 1250 appears to double the pixels/line and the lines per image (4x the total pixels).

    However DRC 100 just doubles the pixels/line...

    Can someone set me straight on this?
     
  2. Ludae

    Ludae
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    No. DRC is an image scaling system, originally designed to work on interlaced images. Instead of using a simple linear filter to increase the number of pixels in an image (as many alternative products do), the DRC system has a special classification and addressing system to associate incoming blocks of standard definition pixels with a database of high definition blocks stored in ROM.

    An interpolation scheme is used to account for the match error between incoming pixel blocks and the nearest high-def block found in the ROM.

    The different DRC modes exist due to the marketing importance of a TV having the ubiquitous 100Hz capability.

    DRC50 is 1440x1250 @50Hz interlaced
    DRC100 is 1440x625 @100Hz interlaced

    The horizontal scanning frequency of the current Sony TV tubes don't allow for a DRC100 mode with 1440x1250.

    Some Sony products that have progressive scanning capability can also use the DRC output format but the de-interlacing process is entirely separate.

    DRC is a clever process although it does have its foibles and inadequacies, particularly in the way it may deal with blocking artifacts, noise and ringing in the images.

    The DRC50 mode is the most significant and useful, particularly when dealing with zooming 4:3 TV and letterbox widescreen formats.

    DRC100 is not of much interest beyond any competing product, in that it introduces greater motion judder and blur which is not compensated for. This fact will tend to negate any benefit of the DRC system having mapped the horizontal res to 1440.

    It would seem that Sony will be tackling the motion judder and blur problem in various future models with the inclusion of a Philips motion compensated frame rate up-conversion chip.

    It is important to realise that although the DRC system can map standard res video to a much higher res output, those extra pixels cannot be realised fully on TVs such as the 36F70. That set does not have the capability to resolve 1440x1250. High-end consumer video devices will, such as some CRT type projection systems.
     
  3. GPHoare

    GPHoare
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    Thanks for your detailed and comphrensive answer..... I will hold off buying a TV until your site becomes live ;-)

     
  4. Cipoliv

    Cipoliv
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    Ludae:

    This may be a little off topic but still, i'll take the chance (the forum topic does say 'video processing').
    I'm about to buy a TV set and I'm quite interested in the progressive scan issue. I've been looking to several models like the 32FQ75 DRC model from Sony, Loewe, Metz and Philips.
    I beggining to feel quite desperate since none can really live up to my expectations. I cannot live with 50Hz sets and the video processing in 100Hz sets have details that quite bother me. The Philips (32PW9525) seem to have the sharpest and most detailed picture I've ever saw, , but, motion seems unnatural and absolutely not cinematic; Loewe Aconda it's expensive and the image seems to fail to impress me although I must admit, that due to the price issue, I didn't give it as much attention as the others; Metz Artos also a bit expensive but can't really say I've looked deep into it..
    Sony DRC model 32FQ75 was really going ahead until today i noticed some effect i can't really 'define'. On 'The Mummy' DVD, at the beggining when Brendan runs away through the sand into the desert after the battle, as the camera does some panning up to follow him, the sand that he steps in seems to flicker (is this what you call 'motion judder'?). This effect was noticed in all modes (DRC50, DRC100 and 'Normal') and the funny thing was that an old model (32FX60) next to it did not showed this effect!
    Bottom line, it seems that today's video processing on home TV's is still quite far from perfect and the new gadgets that try to impose themselves as state of the art like 'DRC' and 'Natural Motion' really still have enough flaws to keep the most demanding buyers away.
    Progressive scan seems to be a bit far from European homes. Although new DVD players from Sony and Pioneer have this feature, the 'NTSC only' detail and the lack of direct view PS sets, do not predict a bright near future for PAL users...
    Still, a new set really must come home in the next weeks because I can no longer live with this 17 inch set I have here. Any suggestions, please?

    CO
     
  5. Ludae

    Ludae
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    I know how you feel!

    Did you see this set with Natural Motion on or off?

    Some people who are used to and expect the motion judder of low frame rate films find the smoothness of Natural Motion a bit 'unnatural' at first, I know I did, but now I favour it over the motion judder of plain 100Hz (or even 50Hz).

    Always audition TVs starting with every type of processing trick turned off, particularly noise reduction. On the Philips, press the Smart Picture button to set it to 'personal', turn off the noise reduction (DNR), go into the picture settings menu and turn off Dynamic Contrast, set the Sharpness control quite low and check that Active Picture control is off.

    Both very good sets, the ARTOS was on my list but the posterization problems put me off. Ended up buying the Philips 36PW9525.

    It is difficult for me to comment as I don't know how the TVs were set up and am not familiar with either TV, although I do know about DRC.

    I agree with you to some extent. I have been looking for a new TV for a long time but never found one that performed well in all respects. The Philips 36" was the best compromise for me and I must admit it is very good. Both the DRC and Natural Motion technologies are worthwhile and will be improved upon in future incarnations. Both technologies will be discussed in our web site on video processing to be made live this month.

    Sony has tried to tackle some of the spatial resolution problems whereas Philips has tackled the motion problems. Personally, on standard TVs I feel Philips have been the most successful. Perhaps Sony feels the same way as they are buying the Natural Motion processor from Philips.

    Another thing to remember when auditioning TVs is that in most shops they are displayed in a very brightly lit area using florescent lighting, and that really does ruin the image quality and usually requires that the contrast is turned up high to compete with the shops lighting. When I set my Philips TV up at home, the image quality was entirely different than what I have seen in most shops, and the contrast could be turned down to less than half way, giving improved detail and longer tube life.

    The lack of progressive scan PAL output on the latest DVD players is down to copy protection issues, that will probably be sorted out next year. But that's not the half of it, there are also arguments over copy protection of VGA and digital video outputs such as DVI and IEEE1394. Then we have to wait until the CE manufacturers put the required inputs on their products. Just look at Sony's very expensive Grand Wega 50" TV, a right rip off in terms on its connection terminals. My own TVs chassis can be configured with 4 Scart sockets, VGA, component YUV, Dolby Digital and progressive scan, but who knows when we will actually get the choice. I needed a TV now so had to buy what I thought was the best available to suit my needs, I couldn't wait for the perfect set that may never arrive.

    I don't believe there is a progressive scan direct view TV on the market in the UK now that has any significant extra benefits over a 100Hz TV such as the Philips (if you like the Natural Motion feature). Also, many of the latest TVs have digital processing and can suffer from posterization artifacts, a sort of grey scale or colour banding in the image that many people can't abide, myself included. One reason I bought the Philips is because its processing is quite good and has 9bit ADC (analogue to digital converters), I haven't noticed any posterization problems yet.

    I am not really going to go the whole hog and actually recommend a TV to you, they all have their good and bad points, it's up to you to put in the effort and find one that best suits you. But remember, you will not find a perfect TV out there, but you will find some very good ones.

    Best of luck.


    [This message has been edited by Ludae (edited 01-12-2000).]
     

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