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HT 300: dark scenes?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by godzilla, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. godzilla

    godzilla
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    I'm delighted with the performance of my Sim2 HT300 projector, but I've noticed that on certain dark scenes on a couple of dvds (the Diablo driving across the bridge in Bedazzled and night time indoor scenes in We Were Soldiers) the blackest parts go very "blocky" as if the digital processing was trying to work out what was going on.

    Has anyone else noticed this? I've viewed the same scenes on my Panasonic 36" TV with no noticeable artifacts, so I believe it is a projector related issue.

    Also, without really understanding the workings of such things, would it be a noticeable improvement generally to replace my ageing Pioneer 717 with, say a 757 and use prog scan?

    Wouldn't that bypass the Faroudja chip in the HT300?

    At the moment, the 717 is connected via RGB.

    thanks.
     
  2. chips

    chips
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    Hi,

    Can’t comment on Bedazzled, but I do have We Were Soldiers and certainly don’t remember seeing any blocking on that.

    I have used a Sony 735 feeding interlaced component signal to the HT300 and currently use a Toshiba 9500, which has both interlaced and progressive component feeds. I have not tried RGB though (and can’t now as the Tosh doesn’t have it). The main difference between the Sony and the Tosh is a more detailed picture from the latter. I watched Gladiator the other night for the first time on the Tosh and saw fine detail, particularly in the clothing fabrics, which had not shown up on the Sony.

    Regarding interlaced vs. progressive, I think I prefer using interlaced and the HT300s onboard Faroudja, but both are very close. Some scenes are marginally better with the progressive signal but on balance I prefer to use the interlaced on the majority of material.

    Do you have the latest software for the HT300? Might be worth checking with your dealer, as there have been a number of improvements.
     
  3. godzilla

    godzilla
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    Thanks chips,
    So you are saying that given the choice you usually prefer to let the Sim2's processor do the de-interlacing and not use prog scan?
    Will updating the software actually improve video performance, I thought it was mainly to fix operational bugs?
    Is it easy to do or will it need to go back to the dealer?
     
  4. chips

    chips
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    Yes, I find that I prefer to let the Sim2's processor do the de-interlacing and not use prog scan.
    Latest software is I think 2.07 I believe that there have been a number of updates to improve picture quality. I got mine with 2.07 so can't speak from personal experience though.
    It must be done by dealer.

    You have PM.
     
  5. -Spike-

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    Hi guys,

    Firstly the software updates can be done by you or your dealer.
    They are fairly straight forward to do, let me know if you want to know more

    I actually prefer feeding my HT300 with PS, I just think it has the edge over interlaced particularly with fine detail. Admittedly there isn't a great deal in it. Just give it a go if you can.

    I'd like to write more but my Manager has just come into the office, I'll post again lat
     
  6. chips

    chips
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    Spikey, You have PM.
     
  7. chips

    chips
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    Actually it's so close that I've been driving myself, and the wife, round the bend switching from one to the other. Have now decided for the sake of our sanity to stick with interlaced.

    Or have I?
     
  8. godzilla

    godzilla
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    I forgot to mention that all my inputs are routed through my Denon AVC A1, i.e. they are fed into the amp which is connected to the RGBS input on the HT300 and I then select "dvd" or "tv/dbs" on the Denon for digital cable/X-box/PS2 all outputting RGB through a separate RGB video switching box.

    Could the circuitry in the Denon cause the artifacts I've described?
     
  9. chips

    chips
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    Pass:confused:
     
  10. Paul Hayward

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    Hi Godzilla,

    What you are describing sounds like a problem with either the DVD player or the RGBS switching on your Denon sending a compromised signal to the HT300. I have this fine pj and currently use the Pioneer 717 myself. There are artifacts particular to the Pioneer but the blocking in dark scenes is not one of them. To check this out you may want to try attaching an RGBS lead straight from the DVD player into your pj. This would at least test out the Denon's contribution. Hope this helps,

    Best Wishes,

    Paul H
     
  11. godzilla

    godzilla
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    Thanks for the advice.
    Rewiring may be tricky as the cables were laid through the ceiling and under the floorboards of 2 upstairs bedrooms!
    Do you have your 717 wired directly to your proj, hence hogging the RGB input?
    If so what about other RGB sources and what is RGB 15khz and RGB 32khz all about?
    Should my installers perhaps have used one exclusively for dvd and the other shared for "lesser" RGB sources?
    Finally are you thinking of upgrading the 717, and if so for what as I this may be my next change?
     
  12. BadAss

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    How much did you pay for your Sim2 HT300s guys? Saw this PJ at the Practical Hi-Fi show and thought it look superb. Im guessing they go for around the £6000 mark?
     
  13. chips

    chips
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    Strangely enough there is one for sale in the classifieds now. I have only seen one other advertised and I bought that.

    New price is £8,999 but the new model HT300plus is out now, not sure of the price though.
     
  14. -Spike-

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    godzilla,

    I had picture problems a while back with my HT300 and like yourself all of my cabling is in the walls.

    Just to reiterate what Paul has already said - in this situation it's down to a process of elimination and the way I sorted it with the cabling was to borrow a 10m S-video lead and have it run directly from Pj to DVD player (I use component connects) this then eliminated my cabling as a source of the problem as at that time it was still there

    HTH
     
  15. Paul Hayward

    Paul Hayward
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    Hi Godzilla,

    I have two sources at present. The Sky+ is currently piped into the composite input and surprisingly its not that bad. The 717 goes straight into the RGBS. However, within a few weeks I shall replace the 717 with an HTPC input into the VGA socket and Sky+ will go into the RGBS. The resulting images will be superb.

    The RGB 15khz setting is for recieving interlaced signals from Sky or a DVD player that are then de-interlaced by the Faroudja chipset and upscaled to 720 progressive by the internal Pixelworks scaler. The 32khz setting is for receiving progressive signals from your DVD player. Here the de-interlacing is done inside the DVD player and the progressive signal is sent to the pj which scales it to 720p, the native rate of the HT300's panels. Hope this helps,

    Best Wishes,

    Paul H
     
  16. godzilla

    godzilla
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    thanks guys, I guess one solution would be to upgrade to a dvd player with component out (whether prog scan or not) and use the component input exclusively for dvd, leaving the RGB input for my other sources.
    OR as I'm about to massively upgrade my PC anyway, change it to HTPC spec and watch dvds through the XGA graphics input! AARRGH!
    too many options!

    Edited to say that the first idea won't work because the component sockets on the back ARE the RGB ones! D'oh!
    I'm off to read up about HTPCs!
     
  17. Paul Hayward

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    Hi Godzilla,

    Unfortunately, the input on the HT300 is either for component or for RGBS. There are no separate RGBS and component inputs. I estimate that you have three options. Firstly, it is possible that Owl Video has perfected a convertion and switching device which allows for two scart RGBS inputs that convert to one component out to the projector. The price for this device was around the £200ish mark the last time I enquired. The beauty of this device is that you can still use the cable you have currently installed to the pj. The second option is to go for the full monty remote interface board with composite, s video, rgb and component (I think) into one EVC connector at the back of the pj. This does demand a new cable of 10 metres in length. The third option is to go the HTPC route feeding your native rate DVD signal into the VGA connector and Sky etc into RGBS. Again, this involves running an extra VGA cable to the pj. Personally, I'd try and go the HTPC route as this give you the very best quality video. What we HT300 and HT300+ users must remember is that the more you polish the glass, the more faults you will find endemic to the current low res digital feeds. Good luck,

    Best Wishes,

    Paul H

    Paul H
     
  18. docsmith2k1

    docsmith2k1
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    Paul

    I currently have my DVD player (Arcam DV27) connected via the component input on the RI2 interface and the Sky + box via composite on the same box. Are you saying that I can connect Sky+ to the second set of RGB connectors on the RI2, and have the HT300 convert to prog scan image - If so where can you get scart to component cables from. Thanks
     
  19. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    Thats correct. (One of the advantages of the RI2 is that you can have both RGBS and Component inputs hooked up at the same time...and yes, I am still trying to sell my RI2 ;) )

    I'm not sure re. the cable (SCART to RGB RCAs). Worth getting in touch with your installer for that one.

    Only thing I would question (and maybe Paul Hayward can answer this one) is why not use de-interlaced/scaled s-video from the Sky+? Is it really any worse than RGB once its been through the Faroudja?

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  20. chips

    chips
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    I have two signal cables running to the HT300.

    Component cable direct from DVD player into HT300 and an S Video cable from AV amp to HT300 This enables me to switch between my two S Video feeds (Sky plus and JVC DVHS) via the AV amp. The selected signal is then deinterlaced by the Faroudja, as Ian has suggested.
     
  21. Paul Hayward

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    Hi Doc,

    As Ian says you can connect Sky+ to the RGB on the Rll interface box. One of the Sky+ scarts has this RGB capability. I think its the TV scart, ie the bottom one. If you do a seach for Monster cables or Audioquest cables, they will have the scart to phono leads. I've only seen a comparison of RGB and S-Video on one occassion with DVD and while not in the best of light controlled environments, I still prefered the RGB but it was closer than one might think. The observed difference may be because the HT300 is so good at resolving fine detail. And just one more thing to note. The HT300 and most if not all digital pj's that take an interlaced signal HAVE to convert to a progressive signal and then scale the signal to the native rate of the display. One of the great advantages of the Faroudja chipset, which has now been upgraded, is its fantastic de-interlacing capabilites. Its one of the main reasons why so many of the newer digital pj's incorporating DCDi are looking so good these days.

    Best Wishes,

    Paul H
     
  22. godzilla

    godzilla
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    "One of the great advantages of the Faroudja chipset, which has now been upgraded, is its fantastic de-interlacing capabilites. Its one of the main reasons why so many of the newer digital pj's incorporating DCDi are looking so good these days."

    Which is why I don't understand why bypassing it with a "pixel to pixel" HTPC input would lead to a better end result. Am I right in assuming that feeding the HT300 with deinterlaced prog scan image bypasses the DCDi?
    If that is the case there should be a cheaper version without the Faroudja chip available.:confused:
     
  23. chips

    chips
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    Yes but as the PJ needs to have an onboard deinterlacer to enable it to accept an interlaced signal, as stated by Paul, it is probably more cost effective to stick with the DCDi rather than have two models. I would think that the cost savings of fitting a cheaper deinterlacer, or indeed no deinterlacer, would be more than offset by the additional costs of producing, and stocking, a lower cost unit which would probably only sell in very low volumes.

    In any case the cost of the Faroudja chipset to an OEM is probably not a very significant part of the £9K for one of these PJs, bearing in mind that these chipsets ane fitted in DVD players costing a few hundred pounds.
    Yes, I believe that this is correct.
     
  24. Paul Hayward

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    Hallo Doc,

    There is an ongoing debate about whether the HT300 looks better with a progressive scan (the Denon 3800 for instance) input which bypasses the DCDi but uses the internal pixelworks scaler of the pj vs an interlace signal and DCDi active. My take on this is that there is probably not much difference overall. Although some may disagree. This allows one to use a range of DVD players knowing that the resulting picture will be excellent.

    Feeding the pj a pure 1280x720 signal will give the best results but at a significant cost. I am a bit of a perfectionist and prefer the 'best' if I can afford it. Having switched between an interlaced picture and an HTPC generated picture, the difference is not immediately apparent. However, after extended viewing the HTPC image does begin to look less grainy and in a number of scenes somewhat sharper. Whether this is worth the extra £1200 to £2000 is really up to the buyer. The HT300's flexibility is one of its great selling points and whatever you use (within reason) you can be sure of great image quality. Hope this helps,

    Best Wishes,

    Paul H
     

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